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  1. #1

    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?

  2. #2
    From what I read, some of the podracers, like Ratts, were indeed puppets for their closeups, which explains why they LOOK like puppets. However, that doesn't excuse their designs to me, they're ALL so "kooky" and different, I mean, regardless of whether you think the podrace scene had merit within the film, couldn't SOME of them have been normal, familiar species, or maybe even multiples of the same species in the race?

    Ok, ultimately, I just don't like the Podrace, I don't think it comes off as being anything more than another rip-off of the ANH cantina scene and while exciting, adds NOTHING to the film.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  3. #3
    The Podrace was awesome, I see no reason why it was unnecessary to the movie. Everybody complains that GL should have used familiar aliens for the prequels. We all know that if he did those exact same people would be blasting GL for his lack of originality and saying he should have designed some new aliens.

    There's no pleasing some people.

    Personally I liked the Podrace for it's Saturday Morning Cartoon feel, and I thought it made an interesting addition to Star Wars canon.
    Last edited by bigbarada; 09-07-2001 at 12:08 PM.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  4. #4
    The podracers look cool,even Gasgano

    They bring 17 new characters to the movies which is good,plus if most of the podracers were the same or same type of characters seen throughout the whole trilogy,Then it would get very boring very fast,plus we get to see the Sandcrawler so whats their not to lose?
    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

  5. #5
    Everytime I see Ratts "Goggles" Tyrell let out that scream, it cracks me up. I want a figure of him with a Comchip repeating that same cry!

    What is the name of the alligator guy? Is it Mawhonic (or is that the Ree-Yees fella?)

  6. #6
    JT I have to agree with you. I think that it was needed, but it was just too long and even boring. If i watch the video, I will fast forward through it.
    "It can't rain all the time."

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  7. #7
    The "Alligator" guy was Aldar Beedo I believe.

    Mawhonic is indeed the "Ree Yees" Guy, although their race according to EU is Gran. And they come from either the planet Gran or Malastare. Pixelito is a large city on Malastare, famous for PodRacing. Sebulba (who is a Dug) is from Pixelito and therefore from Malastare.


    And the podRace sequence, while enjoyable, seems to be disconnected from the rest of the movie (which is about the blockade) so it kind of stands alone during the film.

  8. #8
    Ratts sounds like a cat with a sore throat! I love that "scream".

    I like most of the pilots, but never wanted any of them as figures. I'm hoping that some of the "additional" Podrace footage has some good bits with some of these guys. They were so damn loopy that I was cracking up through some of the parts of the race.
    OK... I BLOG. YOU READ. at http://jedipartner1967.livejournal.com
    **Steven Sterlekar (1969-2001)**

  9. #9
    The whole concept of the pod race was to illustrate that Anakin was super-human...he was the only human that could do it. We know this because of the unnecessarily boring dinner conversation where they TELL us everything we need to know instead of showing us. This message got lost, though, in the obvious nod to NASCAR type racing and GL's interest in the sport. Seeing an opportunity, GL decided to utilize the podrace as one of the cogs in his elaborate Rube Goldberg scheme to get the heroes off the planet. The biggest problem with the race is that we already know who is going to win before the race even starts. Despite the stall at the beginning and the harrowing (read: sarcasm) near misses, there was no doubt ever that Anakin would triumph leaving Sebulba in the dust.

    That could have been fixed easily by having Obi Wan (cut out the useless and boring Qui Gonn character altogether) wander into town and happen upon a Pod Race already in progress. At that point, a)we'd have no idea who the kid was and who might win the race and b)we (and Obi Wan!) would be SHOWN the kid's adept handling of the Force. This scenario would streamline the Tatooine story AND be true to the precendent set up in the original trilogy when Obi Wan says, "When I first knew him, your father was already a great pilot. But I was amazed how strongly the Force was with him."

    As for the Pod Racer Aliens themselves, their comic-book nature fits in with the sillyness of the rest of the story as told so it all works out. Now if we could only get some cool action figures and their pods!

  10. #10
    Originally posted by Rollo Tomassi
    The "Alligator" guy was Aldar Beedo I believe.
    Actually I think the alligator guy was Dud Bolt, but it all depends on what alien we're talking about.

    Here's Dud Bolt, Caesar, is the the "alligator guy" you mentioned?
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    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

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