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.]
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: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.
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.")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.
Just after the second instance (in which Luke makes Bib Fortuna echo him in Huttese):
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.JABBA: You simple-minded fool! He's using a Jedi mind trick! . . . Your powers will not work on me, boy.
But the fourth instance, in TPM, puts a different spin on things:
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.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.
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.