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View Full Version : Zam Wesell - Changeling or Missed Opportunity?



LTBasker
10-12-2007, 05:27 PM
First of all, I can't think of her name without having to say it; "We are looking for the nuclear wessels!"

So, I was watching AOTC on HBO a few minutes ago for the Coruscant speeder chase, and it got to the Nightclub scene. Anakin says to Obi-Wan, "I think she's a changeling." In which he replies, "Then we'll have to be extra careful."

This minute or so of screentime turns out to be incredibly redundant, considering that not only does she not change her face for the attempt at a stealthy assassination of Obi-Wan, but her outfit - the only thing Anakin has seen in detail - doesn't change. Granted, Obi-Wan wasn't aware of this, but for the audience the dialogue sets up a potential danger that will result in more oohs and awes. Sadly, we are disappointed. Instead, the total changeling ability we are treated to is a reptilian head once Jango successfully silences her.

If it hadn't been for the quick reptile-cheek flash when Anakin was wrasslin' with her speeder, it could have just been speculated the reptilian appearance in her death was merely an allergic reaction to the Kamino poison.

So, why did it matter that she was a changeling? I suppose we could theorize that her changeling ability helped her plant the bomb on the Naboo transport vessel that Dorme was the decoy on, but we could have just as easily assumed she was a highly trained assassin. Especially since she nearly succeeds in killing Padme later on.

If she did use her changeling ability, then instead of doing the complicated bit of sending a rather large droid to stealthily smuggle murderous creatures into a Senator's apartment, could she not have just used her changeling ability? Obi-Wan and Anakin are the only ones around Padme that could have sensed a disturbance, yet they often left her. Could she not have just impersonated one of them in order to get close to Padme?

Perhaps Zam's changeling ability is not that advanced, possibly only being able to change into the human form we see her as for 99% of her screen existence? Considering that no parts of her outfit appear to change from her deathly unmasking and only her face swells out into reptilian form, we can assume that the rest of her anatomy was nearly exact in shape and size, obviously aside from her head.

If this is true, then we could assume that she's not a "changeling" in the sense of Odo from DS9, the weird chick from The Undiscovered Country or Marvel's Mystique. Rather, it might be like Mystique from the X-Men movies, though still without the vast changeling ability as depicted in the movie, but her reptillian features could morph her appearance. Maybe her species even goes through a training process of "finding" their alternate appearance.

Of course, it could be suggested that her outfit (and helmet) prohibited her changeling ability, causing only her face to revert back to the reptilian appearance. This would be highly inefficient for a bounty hunter though, the ability to change your appearance when the need arises would be very profitable.

In conclusion, I feel that Lucas could have omitted the whole changeling thing in order to save us from redundancy. However, instead of this just being a complaint thread against Lucas' inability to be creatively consistent, I will say I would have preferred him to feature Zam further. Even if her changeling ability were limited to two appearances, she would have been a very interesting character if handled right.

At the very least, I feel it should have been changed to something other than "changeling," I understand it's more familiar to general sci-fi fans but the mention of this ability tends to insinuate that we'll actually get to see it (pardon the pun) fleshed-out.

How would you prefer Zam? A changeling as we know them in every sci-fi, a limited "changeling", completely human-esque, or just omitted entirely?

El Chuxter
10-12-2007, 05:38 PM
Omitted entirely. She added nothing to the movie except for an excuse for a car chase.

If she stays, she should not be a changeling. That ability is inconsistent with what we've seen in SW before and since. And, since it's not used for anything (as you pointed out), cutting it out is no loss to the film.

Unfortunately, EU says she's a full-on shapeshifter. In one comic set just prior to AOTC, she turns herself into a Dug.

stillakid
10-12-2007, 06:58 PM
How would you prefer Zam?

Naked. That chick's got a killer body. :love:

2-1B
10-12-2007, 08:58 PM
She should have just been a human like they shot it...all that changeling nonsense was added in later, it wasn't really part of anything important.

Or she should have just been Aurra Sing. lol

Qui-Long Gone
10-13-2007, 12:06 PM
I think her being a changeling was as important a plot point as Ani learning about the bacteria known as the force....

I still think Lucas should have explained why she was a changeling in ROTS....that, and what happened to Qui Gon's spirit, why Ben and Owen had a fall-out over Luke's destiny, and why R2 didn't have his memory wipped, and where Windu landed when he was blasted out of Pals' office, and how exactly Padme died, and why it took so damn long to build the death star 1, but only another film to build 2.....

Battle Droid
10-13-2007, 12:52 PM
There's a changeling in ROTS also, Po Nudo's Aqualish Aide is one, though he's not a Clawdite like Zam, he's a Shi'ido.

stillakid
10-13-2007, 01:18 PM
I still think Lucas should have explained why she was a changeling in ROTS....
He did it because it was "cool."



that, and what happened to Qui Gon's spirit,
It died along with the spirit of a million eager fans.


why Ben and Owen had a fall-out over Luke's destiny,
Well that's obvious because Ben and Owen had such a rich history toge... oh wait. That must be somebody else because Owen didn't know Ben from Adam, Obi had only spent a day on the dustbowl and had never met Owen before dumping a strange orphaned baby on him.



and why R2 didn't have his memory wipped,
It wouldn't be story convenient.


and where Windu landed when he was blasted out of Pals' office,
he landed on the stunt pad that was surrounded by a massive greenscreen.


and how exactly Padme died,
I don't understand the question. ROTS is very clear that she is normal, but she is dying for unknown reasons. The Prequels are perfect so that reason should be enough for us all...anything to setup the fanwankoff moment of Obi Wan dropping lil' Luke off on Tatooine.


and why it took so damn long to build the death star 1, but only another film to build 2.....
Better contractor.

El Chuxter
10-13-2007, 01:55 PM
There's a changeling in ROTS also, Po Nudo's Aqualish Aide is one, though he's not a Clawdite like Zam, he's a Shi'ido.

Expanded Universe.