Recently I decided to just go and do it. I thought I might only get one chance to see The Phantom Menace in three dimensions on the big screen and so put all of the years of negative criticism and Redlettermedia’s reviews out of my mind and decided to enjoy some podracing and questionable dialogue. However, this is the first time that I have been to the cinema in which I know pretty much every single line of dialogue, every event and plot turn so my mind went wondering elsewhere. When this is the case you tend to enjoy the subtle lines of dialogue and smaller, in this case stranger characters. Here are some of my arbitrary thoughts that came while watching The Phantom Menace 3D:
1) Do those big dinosaur creatures, which carry the shield generators and assist Jar Jar and company during the Battle of Naboo live underwater with the Gungans. Otah Gunga seems quite cosy and I don’t see how they could just go about their business walking around without trampling a small child or how they get out the water to actually get to Naboo. Powerful, shield carrying dinosaurs they might but strong swimmers they aren’t.
2) Wasn’t George Lucas awfully harsh to Hugh Quarshie, who plays Captain Panaka. He is one of the only actors in the film that does his job without reverting to robot voice mode. Looking at you Portman. Just because he wanted to see a preview of the Attack of the Clones (Which is hardly a lost Shakespearean Play) saw him banished and replaced in Attack of the Clones by eyepatch wearing Captain Typho. It’s not like Quarshie would have stolen the script and reveal all sorts of spoilers to his friends on the cast of Holby City, would he?
3) The gungans are the worst military strategists ever. Why, if you are going to fight any number, regardless of the number do you take a couple of blue balls and hope they do the job. When Jar Jar says ‘Wesa warriors, wesa have a grand army’ you would think of they would have something better than electric balls considering in the many battles an army in a vast universe fights; they wouldn’t just be fighting some droids every time. Their hand to hand fighting also left something to be desired. In a real situation they would have all been shot, and Boss Nass would have a load of paperwork to get through about not giving his troops proper equipment.
4) Another one about the Battle of Naboo. Who cleans up at the end of that battle. Sure as a mark of respect I assume that the Gungans are picking up there dead but what about the thousands of battle droids that litter the beautiful, green countryside. Is there a huge, space Hoover device or perhaps Nute Gunray has to clean them all up as a term of his community service.
5) Why does Qui-Gon have no friends at the funeral? Sure he has Obi-Wan and the Jedi Council, but you would think a Jedi who has travelled all over the universe would have accumulated a lot of friends along the way of all races and creeds. Not just Boss Nass and people we have met in the course of the film. They really didn’t pull out any stops for this noble Jedi and just made the Star Wars universe seem somewhat small, I mean Ric Olie is in a very prominent position there and all he did was pilot the Naboo Starfighter. The same goes for at the end of Revenge of the Sith at Padme’s funeral, where instead of a myriad of former friends from her political and personal sphere and a proper look at her family, we are treated to yet more Boss Nass and Jar Jar. Whenever there’s an occasion those jokers want to get involved.
So there you have it. Looking back it seems it was towards the end of the film where I was getting a bit carried away with random thoughts but I suppose half an hour in the company of the senate and Jedi Council on Coruscant will do that to you.