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  1. #1

    Are Gungans naturally vulnerable to mind tricks?

    This is an idea that I came up with while puzzling over one small aspect of TPM that has always bugged me. Boss Nass is supposed to be a wise, revered leader of the Gungan people. And yet, he falls prey to a mind trick, something we've been led to believe only works on the weak-willed.

    [Apologies in advance, because I will likely get a word or two wrong in the quotes.]

    QUI-GON: Then speed us on our way.
    BOSS NASS: Weesa speed youse on your way.
    QUI-GON: We could use a transport.
    BOSS NASS: Weesa give youse a bongo.
    But I wonder if it's quite that simple. Here are the other instances in the saga (in the order they were presented) of Jedi mind tricks:

    STORMTROOPER: How long have you had these droids?
    LUKE: About a season.
    BEN: They are for sale, if you'd want them.
    TROOPER: Let me see your identification.
    BEN: You don't need to see his identification.
    TROOPER: I don't need to see his identification.
    BEN: These aren't the droids you're looking for.
    TROOPER: These aren't the droids we're looking for.
    BEN: He can go about his business.
    TROOPER: He can go about his business.
    BEN: Move along.
    TROOPER: Move along. Move along.
    * * *
    BEN:
    The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.
    Right there. Proof that these mind tricks are intended for the less intellectual of foes. (Which explains why Obi-Wan doesn't just say, "You don't want to cut me down, Darth.")

    Just after the second instance (in which Luke makes Bib Fortuna echo him in Huttese):

    JABBA: You simple-minded fool! He's using a Jedi mind trick! . . . Your powers will not work on me, boy.
    Further confirmation of this fact. Jabba berates his lieutenant for his stupidity in falling for the mind trick. Why isn't Jabba swayed? EU later tells us that Hutts are naturally resistant to mind tricks. But this isn't necessarily proven in ROTJ. Jabba is supposed to be a formidable foe, and we can just as easily interpret his resistance (especially with his attack on Bib) as a sign of a strong will.

    But the fourth instance, in TPM, puts a different spin on things:

    QUI-GON: Republic credits will do fine.
    WATTO: No, they won't.
    QUI-GON: Credits will be fine.
    WATTO: No, they won't! What, do you think you're some kind of Jedi, waving your hand like that? I'm a Toydarian! Mind tricks don't work on me. Only money.
    Qui-Gon, disguised as a farmer, suddenly begins waving his hand like a Jedi without any other evidence of his being so. Watto thinks he's nothing more than an eccentric crank who might possibly buy some expensive merchandise, but can't or doesn't want to pay. If he thought he was a Jedi, Watto probably wouldn't be such a condescending smart-aleck. But he plays into what he thinks is an act.

    However, Watto knows what a Jedi is, and clearly knows enough about a resistance in his species to real mind tricks to make a snappy comeback. If this knowledge wasn't in the back of his mind, he likely would have ommitted the "I'm a Toydarian" part. If he didn't know about such a real resistance and know that this was a commonly enough known fact, it would have made no sense.

    We also know Qui-Gon isn't a crackpot, since he's already used this power on Boss Nass!

    In the E1 Visual Dictionary, this is explained by saying that mind tricks depend on a Jedi's knowledge of a species, and that Qui-Gon has never even heard of a Toydarian. Even if this isn't the case, though, this provides proof that certain species are physiologically inclined to resist mind tricks!

    Taking this into account, there are _____ ways to explain the mind trick on Boss Nass:

    1) Lucas blew it. We're supposed to buy this wise character, and yet we know he fell victim to a mind trick.

    While this might be the most likely explanation, it's not going to do a whole lot of good story-wise.

    2) Boss Nass isn't completely controlled, but only influenced.
    3) Qui-Gon uses a different method of mind trick.


    If either of these is the case, then Boss Nass is still affected, so the implication is once again that he is weak-minded. We're back at square one.

    4) Boss Nass is not affected, but is sick of the Jedi and pretends to be so.

    In this case, Boss Nass comes to respect the Jedi through the course of the film. This is possible (especially since he doesn't repeat Qui-Gon's second command verbatim), but it seems a bit overly complicated an explanation.

    5) Boss Nass has a strong will, but his species is biologically vulnerable to Force suggestion.

    We've seen that one (possibly two) species are resistant to Jedi mind tricks, so it's likely that other species have an opposite trait. To me, this seems the most likely explanation. Boss Nass can be manipulated by Qui-Gon, but it doesn't impact our thoughts on his character later on when we're supposed to see him as a wise old leader.

    There's one other scene involving a different sort of Force power that seems to support this theory. In the Bongo, Qui-Gon tries to calm an hysterical Jar Jar (presumably a psychological trick) and knocks him out. It makes no sense to knock out your guide! Obi-Wan tells him he overdid it, which may be the case. If Qui-Gon applied what he thought was a normal calming technique to a creature that is (unknown to him) more susceptible to Force powers, it could knock it out cold. Notice he doesn't try to calm the energetic Binks down again.

    Thoughts?
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  2. #2
    Hmmm, good point with the vulnerability to the force. Especially with how Qui-Gon knocks out Jar Jar with the simple 'relax' Jedi command. I definatly think you are on to something with that. Nice post, and good postulating my friend. If my RPG book was handy, I would check to see if it's mentioned anywhere in there about the species.

    A small note though. The Jedi's did nothing wrong, other then convincing Jar Jar to return to the city. So I bet that Nass was planning to release them anyway. All Qui-Gon did was make sure that they had a transport so they could get to Theed faster then swimming and walking. So it may have been easier to influence something the Boss would have likely done anyway.

    MTFBWY and HH!!

    Jar Jar Binks
    THE SPY. THE SPACEMAN. THE GODDESS. THE ROBOT. THE GORILLA.

    AGENTS OF ATLAS - Returns in Early 2009.

  3. #3
    I think it's done to show the Gungans as the "simpletons" or the lesser half of a Naboo society . . . yet when the time comes to join up with their estranged human neighbors, the Gungans take the lead and contribute to a victory.
    Same with Jar Jar - he's a bumbling fool but he can be a useful ally.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Caesar
    I think it's done to show the Gungans as the "simpletons" or the lesser half of a Naboo society . . . yet when the time comes to join up with their estranged human neighbors, the Gungans take the lead and contribute to a victory.
    Same with Jar Jar - he's a bumbling fool but he can be a useful ally.
    Yeah, that's what I thought TPM was implicating, too. I thought the mind tricks were just used to show that gungans were weak-minded. We see more examples in AOTC, too, Anakin:"they only work on the weak-minded." so I agree with Caesar about that.

  5. #5
    They do seem like simple minded creatures. They really are not that aware of the world outside of their bubble. They mingle only slightly with the Naboo folk but they are not open minded enough to tolerate them. When told many gungans will die before the battle Nass does not even blink an eye and says "Weez ready to do our part!"

    Since they can't see beyond their own point of view you don't even need mind tricks to control them. I always think about that when I watch Episode II. Mas Amedda and Palpatine seemed to have staged the conversation when hoping for someone to give Palpy control. Jar Jar fell right into it because he just wanted to help. He didn't really think that he was giving one man power enough to control the galaxy. So thank Jar Jar for the Empire.
    After 11 months The BEST/WORST figure poll is still going strong.

  6. #6
    I am leaning towards "gungans are more susceptible to Force powers than most species" as well as "Nass was only influenced by the mind trick, not totally fooled" theories. Nass seems to feel that the trip through the so-called planet core is a devious move to put on these unsuspecting Jedi.
    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.

  7. #7
    First off, nicely put together!

    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter
    1) Lucas blew it. We're supposed to buy this wise character, and yet we know he fell victim to a mind trick.
    Oh, there's a surprise.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter
    While this might be the most likely explanation, it's not going to do a whole lot of good story-wise.There's one other scene involving a different sort of Force power that seems to support this theory. In the Bongo, Qui-Gon tries to calm an hysterical Jar Jar (presumably a psychological trick) and knocks him out. It makes no sense to knock out your guide! Obi-Wan tells him he overdid it, which may be the case. If Qui-Gon applied what he thought was a normal calming technique to a creature that is (unknown to him) more susceptible to Force powers, it could knock it out cold. Notice he doesn't try to calm the energetic Binks down again.

    Thoughts?
    I've gotta think that putting Jar Jar in the sub had nothing to do with needing a guide (primarily because Jar Jar pretty much did nothing but whine the whole time he was there. Some nonsense about "the Force" will guide us popped out of Qui Gon's pie-hole at some point as well.). I'm guessing that they took Jar Jar because he was going to get a whuppin' from his massa' and it was a humanitarian gesture. They "shut him down" in a similar way that C-3PO got turned off in ESB.

    An argument could also be made that Qui Gon took Jar Jar because he "foresaw" needing a link between the Gungans and the humans at some point. I think that's stretching it, but I'm sure that somebody out there has that in mind.

    In any case, Qui Gon clearly used his "mind powers" on Nass. I think that where your question trips up is in thinking that he is wise to begin with. I don't see that at all. How much of a moron would he have to be to make Jar Jar a General? The clumsy screwball has no military training and has done nothing to prove that he could manage a large group of "people." What's more, he hasn't earned their trust. So I don't think that Nass should be considered "wise" by any stretch of the imagination, meaning that the Jedi could have a field day with his weak mind.

  8. #8
    Well Stilla, according to the novel which is based on the original screenplay, that's exactly why Qui-Gon took Jar Jar with them. He sensed through the force that the gungan would play some vital role in future events. It didn't carry over much on screen, but then neither did Obi-Wan's attitude about Jar Jar and Anakin, other then his 'Another Pathetic Lifeform' to Qui-Gon on Tatooine.

    MTFBWY and HH!!

    Jar Jar Binks
    THE SPY. THE SPACEMAN. THE GODDESS. THE ROBOT. THE GORILLA.

    AGENTS OF ATLAS - Returns in Early 2009.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JarJarBinks
    Well Stilla, according to the novel which is based on the original screenplay, that's exactly why Qui-Gon took Jar Jar with them. He sensed through the force that the gungan would play some vital role in future events. It didn't carry over much on screen, but then neither did Obi-Wan's attitude about Jar Jar and Anakin, other then his 'Another Pathetic Lifeform' to Qui-Gon on Tatooine.

    MTFBWY and HH!!

    Jar Jar Binks
    Thanks for the clarification! But the Star Wars novelization, which was based on the screenplay says that Owen Lars is Obi Wan's brother.

  10. #10
    quote from stillakid

    But the Star Wars novelization, which was based on the screenplay says that Owen Lars is Obi Wan's brother.
    ___________________________________

    I thought the novel that says obi-Wan was Owen's brother was just one of those dumb EU novels. Does one of the actuall film novels say that. I haven't read one of them in years.
    After 11 months The BEST/WORST figure poll is still going strong.

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