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Thread: Mace vs. Palps

  1. #1

    Mace vs. Palps

    This is from the new homing beacon and includes info from Pablo Hidalgo, I had been thinking about starting a thread about "What if Anakin had been there?" I thought it was rather interesting.

    The following is a sample entry of the new Set Diary series now available for Hyperspace members. In the summer of 2003, correspondent Pablo Hidalgo filed daily reports on the making of Episode III, but by necessity most of the plot details were obscured as to not spoil any secrets. Now that the movie is out, much of what was too hot in 2003 can be discussed, with further insight into the making of Revenge of the Sith.

    It's one of the fieriest debates of online fan forums: when Palpatine was cornered in his office's giant window-frame, was he really overpowered by Mace? Or was he faking to lure Anakin? Could Mace really have gotten the upper hand on the Sith Lord?

    George Lucas is the ultimate keeper of the true answer, and he's not telling... yet, anyway. If you had asked me in the Summer of '03, when the sequence was first shot, I would have had a solid answer. But, if you asked me in the Fall of '04, when the sequence was re-shot, well... for those who want to debate, it's best to know more of the story of how this scene came to be.

    This entire sequence changed significantly during postproduction. What we witnessed in Sydney told a different story. Anakin did not earn Mace's trust by ratting out Sidious right away. He did not agonize over his decisions while sitting alone in the Jedi Council chamber. He did not rush in at the last minute to witness a questionable balance of power. Instead, he stayed at Palpatine's side, in the Chancellor's private office, as Mace and his posse of Jedi barged in.

    "Stand behind me," ordered Mace, in Sam Jackson's demanding tones. But Anakin didn't budge. Instead, he watched passively as Palpatine used the Force to snatch Anakin's lightsaber from his belt and attacks Mace and the Jedi. There's ample evidence of this original version for those with sharp eyes and behind-the-scenes photos. Heck, even Hasbro action figures with Palpatine packaged with Anakin's lightsaber got out there in the initial shipments.

    So, if Sidious' entire duel played out before Anakin's stunned eyes, I'd be inclined to think that his fall was just for show. This changed after a screening George Lucas held for a few key colleagues. Their reactions underscored the shortcomings of the way this duel was constructed. Anakin's inaction was hard to justify cinematically. "The story was there, but it wasn't clear," said Lucas at the time it came to rebuild this scene. "It was too abstract. We opened up that part and looked at what we could do."

    When word of the change came down, the keepers of continuities started carefully tracking the evolving consequences. Palpatine had two lightsabers, then, since he loses this one in the duel with Mace. I still have in my inbox a tentative email from one of the authors asking, "um, have we figured out yet whose lightsaber Palpatine uses in the fight with the Jedi?"

    At first, it was feared it was impossible to CG the small svelte-handled weapon over Anakin's relatively chunky handle, but nonetheless, that was the lightsaber given to McDiarmid for the pickup photography. The shots of Palpatine rising from his chair and extending the weapon were reshot. The bulk of the duel between Sidious and Mace stayed from principal photography, except for a new touch -- a kick to Palpatine's face, done with stunt double Michael Byrne. This was shot on a partial set of just a piece of window-frame on Friday, August 27.

    So... with this revised duel, if Sidious threw the fight, it places an awful lot of faith on Anakin's timing ...and he suffered a kicked-in face to boot. For what it's worth to those arguing, I doubt there's anyone who thinks Palpatine's serious when he claims he's too weak. That's obviously a lie. But was the fall into the corner that preceded his pleas for help a lie as well? What else changed in this scene? There are a few more interesting details, particularly where it moved in the sequencing of the story. But that will have to wait for another entry.
    Last edited by JimJamBonds; 06-23-2005 at 11:01 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Mace vs. Palps

    That's a pretty good write up. It brings to question whether or not Mace was indeed winning. If you think about it Mace had Palps down and crawling into a corner before Anakin walked in. You could say that Palps "forsaw" his entrance but that is used to explain away alot of the PT and I don't like it.

    I like how we finally get explination for the blue saber getting packaged with early releases of the Palp figure.
    Up, up, and OKAAAAY!!!

  3. #3

    Re: Mace vs. Palps

    Perspectives perspectives! I think an argument can be made for each side "winning" like the article said only one person really knows and he isn't saying.

  4. #4

    Re: Mace vs. Palps

    Absolutely Palpatine threw the fight. Though it wasn't much of one to begin with. Of all prequel trilogy duels, this one was the slowest and weakest of all. I was surprised to see three Jedi masters with swords drawn just stand there and let Palpatine stab them through or slice them with fairly slow strokes. Mace's fight wasn't much better with Palpatine looking like he's using a lightsaber for the first time ever.

    Palpatine's full force power was shown at the end of the movie during the Yoda fight. He was tossing senator pods without any effort or concentration to do so. Yoda appeared to still require some effort to deflect what was thrown at him. Dooku was the only force user in the film to effectively use force powers during a saber duel, like how he force held, choked, threw, and pinned Obi-Wan in a matter of seconds while knocking Anakin for a loop at the same time. Unfortunately we didn't see Palpatine do any of that, which he most certainly could. He could have held all the Jedi in the air, helpless, and taken care of them individually at his leisure. None of which was shown on screen, but I would assume it was within his power since Dooku was allegedly less powerful.

    Though IMO, if real thought was put into how powerful force abilities make a person, there would never be lightsaber duels to begin with. Ranged force attacks, especially when used by a Sith, would never allow an attacker to get close. Vader's long range force choking of Admiral Motti seen in TESB is testament to this. This would make the cinematic experience a bit less exciting however.
    Last edited by chewie; 06-23-2005 at 11:50 AM.

  5. #5

    Re: Mace vs. Palps

    Quote Originally Posted by chewie
    Absolutely Palpatine threw the fight. Though it wasn't much of one to begin with. Of all prequel trilogy duels, this one was the slowest and weakest of all. I was surprised to see three Jedi masters with swords drawn just stand there and let Palpatine stab them through or slice them with fairly slow strokes. Mace's fight wasn't much better with Palpatine looking like he's using a lightsaber for the first time ever.
    Palps does take care of the first three rather quick... the first Master to die (I don't recall who that was off hand) goes down WAAAAY to quick. All Palpatine does is a two handed 'up thrust' not much of a move really.

    Though IMO, if real thought was put into how powerful force abilities make a person, there would never be lightsaber duels to begin with. Ranged force attacks, especially when used by a Sith, would never allow an attacker to get close. Vader's long range force choking of Admiral Motti seen in TESB is testament to this. This would make the cinematic experience a bit less exciting however.
    That is true however in AOTC we see it is a draw when it comes to Yoda and Dooku's 'ranged force attacks.' Granted this is going away from your thought but I think there is a certain amount of "gentlemaness" to the duels. You dispatch your opponent via the sword just like in the past it would have been a duel with pistols at 20 paces not being able to lop him over the head with a stone.

  6. #6

    Re: Mace vs. Palps

    Good read, it sheds more light on those photos from the Making Of book, the pics of Anakin standing there when Town Marshall Mace came in.

    I think Mace was winning the fight up until Palps went down. Why do I think Mace could be more successful than Yoda ? Well, in AOTC Anakin compliments Obi-Wan as being "As wise and Master Yoda and as powerful as Master Windu." That's not a statement of fact, just my thoughts on the subject.

    Either way, I'm glad the scenes were reworked because I love Anakin in the Temple as he suffers over what to do.

  7. #7

    Re: Mace vs. Palps

    I think Palp's 'threw' the fight to prove to Ani what he had been telling him. The Jedi ended up doing everything that Palp's had said they would do, up to and including attempting to kill Palp's (although the Jedi should rightfully have killed him).

    I think that Mace would eventually have been overcome by Palp's "unlimited POWER!!!". That was great!
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  8. #8

    Re: Mace vs. Palps

    Great write up. and this is all a matter of perspectoves. But thats the great thing about having it open ended, you can make you own opinons about the situation.

  9. #9

    Re: Mace vs. Palps

    I also think that Mace was truly in control up until Anakin showed up. Palpatine was counting on Anakin's intervention. As the book discusses, Palpatine's weakness or shatterpoint was his faith in Anakin. Palpatine had to look defenseless to drive his points home and to get Anakin to cross the line. So if Anakin had decided at the last minute to just stay neutral, Palpatine would have been destroyed. Anakin was the key to everything, which side won. Mace just was too busy concentrating on Palpatine's weakness or shatterpoint, and completely ignored Anakin's (Padme) until it was too late.

  10. #10

    Re: Mace vs. Palps

    Palps definately threw the fight, it was all part of the master plan. He suckered mace into thinking he was down and out,and Mace let his guard down. I was also surprised with the ease which Palp defeated the other three Jedi. Especially Kit Fisto. Granted he was the only one who put up any kind of fight besides Mace.I also agree, that it was better to see Anakin sitting in the jedi temple mulling over what he should do.

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