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  1. #1

    What are we meant to come away from the pod race with?

    Every time I watch Episode I, the prevailing question that still bothers me profoundly is not, "why Jar Jar?", but rather, what are we (the audience) supposed to think about the Pod Race sequence? Bear with me while I explore my meaning.
    During the course of the Pod Race, with the exception of Ben Quadineros (who's pod fails), (presumably) Odie Mandrel (who's pod fails due to Pit Droid troubles), Sebulba (who is knocked out of the race), and Anakin (who wins), EVERY SINGLE pod racer DIES! Or is at least knocked out of the race. The bonus footage for the DVD seems to bear this out as well.
    So, in the end we are to walk away from that sequence seeing Pod Racing as not so much a race as a demolition derby of doom. There hardly seems to be any point in betting on the races as only one may ultimately cross the finish line. I guess what I am getting at is that the one thing sorely lacking in that sequence was even a single other pod except Anakins shown finishing the race. Rather than the shot of Sebulba in medium close up cursing his loss, we should have seen him further back with a couple of stragglers coming in at second and third.
    And one sidebar note, when Watto is seen at the end of the race, he claims that he lost everything. Correct me if I'm wrong kids, but wasn't he entitled to all of Anakin's winnings less the cost of the parts Qui-Gon needed? Since local boy Anakin was almost certainly at least a 20:1 shot (if not a gazillion:1 shot), he should have paid of quite handsomely. And if Sebulba "always wins", wouldn't he just be a 1:1 shot? Why bet heavily on the sure winner. The pay-off could not have been that substantial.
    Any thoughts, class?
    "Does the name "Dingo" mean anything to you?" - Jedi Boulton to DingoDad at the October Dallas ComiCon.

  2. #2
    Maybe the price money he got from Anakin's win, was not enough to pay from other bets he made??? Thats an interesting point, but u have to analize it further.

    Other than that i think the podrace was very very cool.
    As always...........L

  3. #3
    it must be really hard for podracers to get huge fan bases and lucrative endorsement deals if they have a three race lifespan...
    [size=-2][color=darkblue]Let's consider our world not as inherited from our parents but as borrowed from our children[/color] -- [i]Unknown Kenyan[/i][/size]

  4. #4
    I've mentioned before that the entire reason for the podrace got lost in the Rube Goldberg plot layout. Assuming first that we are treated to the podrace because GL is so into auto racing, we can move on to the story purpose which at first seems to have been to prove that Anakin is a super human. That is he is the only human who can do it presumably because he has a gazillion Midichlorians swimming around in his bloodstream. Somewhere, that point gets lost and is never really reinforced after the race to remind us that that was supposed to be the whole point. Instead, GL used the race as part of the ridiculously complicated scheme to get the heroes off the planet. Because of the silly and simplistic way that it was introduced, there was never any real drama because any dope could see that Anakin would win in the end. So, that kind of answers the title of the post. We are supposed to believe that Anakin is Jedi material because he can fly a podracer. Pretty profound, huh?

    And you're right about all the odds stuff. Just one of many gaping holes in this poorly thought out story. What a let down. Definitely not up to snuff with the rest of the trilogy.

    And to all those out there who still think that we're just whining for the heck of it, I'd love to hear somebody rationalize away Jedicole's excellent observations. Too bad GL isn't checking out the internet boards anymore. I understand that he thinks that it's all just whining too.

  5. #5

    Re: What are we meant to come away from the pod race with?

    Originally posted by JediCole
    I guess what I am getting at is that the one thing sorely lacking in that sequence was even a single other pod except Anakins shown finishing the race. Rather than the shot of Sebulba in medium close up cursing his loss, we should have seen him further back with a couple of stragglers coming in at second and third.
    Gasgano finished 3rd,according to what I heard
    GNT
    ''
    You fool, my reach is far greater than the Jedi.Only a Sith can wield the force over such a great distance.'' - Darth Sidious

  6. #6
    Pretty, pretty eye candy; that's what we're supposed to get from the podrace. It has little bearing on the actual story except to complete the prerequisite of at least two major action sequences per movie.

    Let's see how they all stack up:

    TPM: Podrace, Final Naboo Battle/Jedi Duel
    ANH: Death Star Escape, Attack on the Death Star
    ESB: Hoth Battle, Escape from Bespin/Luke Vader Duel
    ROTJ: Skiff Battle, Final Big-Shebang Battle/Luke Vader Duel

    I still like it nonetheless, cuz it's just cool to watch.

  7. #7
    I came away with a pretty nifty video game for my PC! That was pretty much it.

    It was a fun and rather pointless sequence... funny how I was thinking this just last night!!!

    Oh, well... what are you gonna do?
    OK... I BLOG. YOU READ. at http://jedipartner1967.livejournal.com
    **Steven Sterlekar (1969-2001)**

  8. #8
    Cole and stillakid, great points. I think the initial point was to "show something new" and to point to the "he was already a great pilot" line of Obi-Wan's in ANH, but ultimately came off as an eye-candy detour meant to kill some time.

    I've also wondered about that Watto comment, my only guess is that he bet more than he had at that time, but I find that REALLY unlikely.

    It's really a waste of time IMO, it's everything that Lucas used to rail against (f/x that are more important than the story instead of being used as a tool to further the story).
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  9. #9
    I think I read somewhere that Watto had bet on Sebulba. Hey, wait--he still would've gotten his share of Ani's winnings! What goes on here? Did Qui-Gon screw Watto out of his share and the money he got from selling Ani's pod to Sebulba?

    As for who placed what (other than Ani), it's impossible to tell. Every source seems to dispute every other source. My favorite is Ratts Tyrell--according to Incredible Locations, if he didn't die in his crash, rescuers wouldn't go after him in the Krayyt dragon cave. But in the actual film, we see him on a stretcher just after the podrace!
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  10. #10
    GL is like a kid who has just been handed a box of new toys when it comes to this CG technology. He's just playing around and seeing what he can do, regardless of if it fits into the context of the story or not.

    As for Lucas' quirky sense of humor, that's always been there. In the original cut of ANH there were many sequences on the Death Star when Han, Luke and Leia would run up on a group of Stromtroopers or Imperial Officers and simply hide their weapons behind their backs and start staring at the ceiling, whistling. The troops would just walk by without noticing a thing. However, when the studio saw the rough cut and was clearly NOT IMPRESSED with anything in the film, GL was forced to recut it and make it less goofy. As time went on the studio became more and more antsy about GL's competence and threatened to take the film from him, salvage what they could and rush it to theaters; in an attempt to get some kind of return on their investment.

    I think this lack of pressure on GL has made him lazy.

    Even Lucas knows that the CG creatures aren't totally convincing. When Frank Oz tried to talk GL into making Yoda CG, GL said that he preferred a puppet, "It looks more organic this way" was his reasoning.

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