The problem with the Pod Racer pilots
For what I believe to be my 200th post, I wanted to address an aspect of Episode I that bothered me even more than some of Jar Jar's antics. This thread is, of course, inspired by the news of the additional scenes worked up for the upcoming DVD release. Many of these scenes appear to focus on the Pod Races and even some of the previously unseen pilots. This brought the issue of how many of these pilots looked on screen to mind. When I saw TPM the first few times (we went four times on opening day), I honestly thought that many of the pilots were cheesy hand puppets. Several "death scenes" show close ups of pilots like Ratts Tyrell and look almost like cheap muppets. I thought some of the puppetry in Jedi was substandard!
Then the bigger blow came! I found out that even these "puppets" were, like Jar Jar, computer generated! What is sad is that they can almost seamlessly insert Jar Jar into the live action sequences, yet when it came to the pod pilots, a few looked like bad hand puppets with stumpy, inarticulate arms and minimal movement. Did anyone else get this impression?