Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by darthbarracuda, Apr 12, 2013.
Obese Twi'leks. That is all.
I always had the impression that Dex was an ex-bounty hunter or something of that sort, somebody very 'capable' who had retired to running a diner because he wanted the quiet life. In fact ex-bounty hunter would explain why Obi-Wan went to him about a bounty hunter and his weapon.
Perhaps Obi-Wan got him out of a tight spot once?
I understand you, but I never lie. But I guess it is hard to know over the internet....
Star Wars is not exactly politically correct when it comes to extreme body types. But neither is any mythology for that matter.
Dex broadly fits the "fat 'n' friendly" disheveled helper archetype, which "Harry Potter" has as Hagrid, "The Lord Of The Rings" includes as Tom Bombadil, the enduring (and increasingly tedious) Xmas mythology offers us as Santa Claus, etc.
There's a lot I could say about this very particular -- and hugely important -- AOTC scene, but I think I'll save it for now. Mostly, I'd just like to say that I enjoy the scene a great deal, and that I like all the little details George was able to weave or sneak in there.
Ever noticed, for instance, how Obi-Wan and Dex drink out of similar, but not identical, "wave"-pattern tumblers? And how this same basic form -- silvered cylindrical liquid container -- is featured two scenes later with Anakin and Padme on the refugee ship?
Or how Dex himself biomorphs into Padme on the ship with the seating positions of Obi-Wan and Dex reversed between Anakin and Padme? This is consistent with a motif rendered explicit in the film's earlier "chase" sequence which terminates in (or outside of) the nightclub: Dex, in transforming into Padme, both changes shape and gender. The toxic dart may even function as in-story analog for the brutal power of the editor, sharply excising and terminating the life force of a scene, a shot, a character, a gesture, a moment, in order to tell the story and move it forward.
To expound on the Dex-Padme thing, the similarity of both scenes is heightened by Lucas incorporating a cramped bar/serving area and a droid which travels from here to where the main characters are sitting and drops something off, followed by a brief acknowledgement by one of the main characters who has been attended to by the droid in each instance. And, of course, an obvious link between younger male characters on a hierarchical level: master (Obi) > padawan (Ani). Jar Jar subliminally "gets" this connection (the sobriquets he uses when greeting Anakin and Obi-Wan: a discrete rhyming couplet).
Shoot, I can't help myself (so much for saving), but if you check out Dex's shirt, not only does it have a kaadu on it, gently reminding us (if you notice -- is this also the first CG-rendered decal of a CG animal form?) of the film that started the ball rolling on this new trilogy, and adding some amusing personality to this greasy spoon diner owner with a checkered past (like he now works to save every penny and is hopelessly out-of-touch with the "cool" kids and their latest fashion trends), but there's also a small diamond pattern (a hole/tear) over his left abdominal region, which reappears as a stitched network of diamonds (and patterns within diamonds) in the following scene on Jocasta Nu's outfit at three main junctions (left shoulder/thorax, diagonal; right shoulder/thorax, diagonal; waist, horizontal). Finally, it appears with additional vertices as a hexagonal pattern on Obi-Wan's computer screen (which Jocasta herself taps to bring up). At this point, she roundly declares, "I hate to say it, but it looks like the system you're searching for doesn't exist." False sympathy: "I hate it when he does that!" .... "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate."
Lucas clearly -- or not so clearly? -- uses the Dex scene to introduce or advance a number of esoteric visual concepts he is dealing with elsewhere in AOTC. A graphical artist par excellence, you can see how Lucas delights in mapping strong associations between elements contained within a canvas, like the way the waitress droid's movements parallel the speeding cars outside, or the way the camera pans across the small diner to introduce Dex in a very subjective shot, or the way Obi-Wan comedically sits down, rises to greet Dex, and sits down again in record time, or in the astonishing use of scale in a closing shot: which places unusual emphasis on the comparatively-large mass of Obi-Wan against the now-harmless toxic dart he gently fumbles between his digits, which is wiped to a wide shot of Obi-Wan standing in the trench-like arrangement of the hallowed Jedi Archives, appearing about the same size as the dart in the previous shot; the dart also has a counterpart, of sorts, with the tables in the middle of the shot, and even in the tall pillars seated on bases with pointed, triangular sleeves.
And on a character level -- as has been noted -- the scene excels at giving the viewer another side to Obi-Wan, which was established in his first scene, particularly in his warmer attitude to Jar Jar, but is greatly developed here between him and Dex, suggesting a history and a growth -- a journey -- that the Obi-Wan character has been on in the unglimpsed years between the first and second episodes. Bringing an enhanced "day in the life" feel to the series, the scene also manages to make viable the sense that this is an immense galaxy which has many inner workings and jaunty delights beyond the strict Jedi-Sith/Republic-Empire narrative, and may be tainted by the wrestling of giants, so to speak, but will also go on functioning outside of their baroque dialectical conflict. This makes the scene quite poignant, in fact, because the Jedi, for the moment, still have an easy time of it, and are able to rove round and form bonds with others, even do something as laughably plain as order a cup of Jawa juice, without having to watch their every step, or run away under the cover of darkness. For all the gloom ahead, this is still a bright epoch in the Jedi's existence; or in Obi-Wan's, the "everyman" Jedi poised between the old and the new, at least. Furthermore, the underlying humour, irony, and homage-loving nature of Star Wars' "maker" can be keenly felt here, creating a bit of a tension with the "verisimilitude" of the scene as it exists as respite to the main proceedings, yet enriching it at the same time. So it's very fun: layered like an onion.
And that last observation really takes us to the heart of AOTC, the heart of Star Wars. This series is precisely so fun because it is so layered. One improbability leads to and strengthens another. Lucas probably felt he could get a little more "out there" with AOTC (I've spoken about this in other posts), so it's rather appropriate that it's in this obvious nod to "American Graffiti" -- as well as more contemporary parodies like Dot's Diner in the groundbreaking "ReBoot" children's TV show (a reference that adds immense subtext to AOTC's entire construction: as a sort of hyper-real reclamation of "ReBoot"'s surreal; a super-compressed digital-life odyssey) -- that Kamino is named and (sort of) pinned down as existing "beyond the Outer Rim" ("about twelve parsecs outside the Rishi Maze"). Beyond The Infinite. At this point, you are free -- or maybe forced -- to hold every element (visual and otherwise) in Star Wars with deep suspicion, lest you fall into Jocasta Nu's deadened pool and assume no new elements that haven't already been cataloged can flow or undergo change of their own. This puzzle is a room without walls. The pieces are always moving or subtly altering their form.
If you throw the Dex scene on the scrapheap, you essentially undermine and defame all that is good and interesting about SW -- and certainly, Lucas' prequel art -- IMO.
Yeah. I trust everyone's word until they give a reason for me to believe they are a dishonest debater. Oh well, it's still fun!
Dexter is brutal.
I really liked Dex actually. As soon as I saw the space dinner on the screen, the wave of nostalgia kicked in with respect to a certain Tatooine cantina. and especially when it turns out that Dexter has some connections to the 'underground' / information brokering, it brings to mind the "wretched hive of scum and villainy" quote.
Thank goodness for Leland Chee.
Some people just think that the movies are the limit, but they are soooo wrong.
eh, I don't think we are sooooooooooooo wrong, it's just that we have a different viewpoint in what we like,
being sooooooooo wrong is believing with point blank determination that the world is flat despite evidence to the contrary
Anyway back to Dexter: I thought it was a neat touch back to the 40's film noir era,
Detective wants info, goes to see wordly wise bar tender for information.
Simple as that.
It just made me embarrassed for George Lucas that he put such an overt reference to "Alice" in the Star Wars universe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_(TV_series) I'm surprised GL suppressed the urge to put in a scene in which Dexter yelled, "bag it you dinghy broad" with Flo rejoining, "Kiss my grits!"
Didn't care that much for Dex when I first saw him. After playing Mortal Kombat and Mass Effect and realising he's in fact a genetic crossbreed between Goro and a Krogan, I'm happier.
Dex is basically a mythical basilisk. Say that 50 times fast.
I like Dex, don't see what the problem is supposed to be with him.
Well, I'm right there with you, Darth Barracuda. I don't like the character of Dex one bit or actually, to be more accurate, his function in the film. I do think the diner is cute, but there are so many more interesting ways that GL could have had Obi find that info. He could've had Obi go into the Coruscant underworld where he would've had to encounter shifty characters. For instance, he could have interacted with mobsters and other bounty hunters who really would need to know about the most up-to-date weapons out there. Instead, this incredibly arcane piece of knowledge is simply known by some guy who runs a diner.
The way that you make a story interesting is that you establish a goal for your character and then you place challenging obstacles in the way of that goal. In his search to discover where the dart was made, he ends up going to a library, a kindergarten class, and a diner -- what's challenging about any of that?
I do like seeing Yoda teaching the kids, but GL certainly could have come up with a more interesting way of having Obi gain the info he's looking for.
I like Dex because it shows Obi has friends outside of the Jedi Order, I just love when creators just put in hints even if they're tiny that the main characters have a life outside of saving the Universe you know paying bills, making friends going to bars etc.
He was harmless to me, and as you say, it's nice that Obi-Wan isn't just a Jedi "hermit" yet and has contacts and friends outside the Temple walls. Besides, it was nice to see another part of Coruscant with the diner sequence too.
I always loved Dex.
His scene is a wonderful hommage to Lucas' Graffiti and the fifties in general. And we finally learned that Coruscanti people (and others) eat too.
"Don't tell Junior that I just ate the bones! OMG, I ate the bones!!"
We barely know anything about this awesome guy. That is the problem.
He fits his role as an informant well. I don't see the problem with introducing him for one scene to help Obi-Wan out when he needs a little guidance.
Like Watto, he's a great blue-collar like character and helps us having an inside look at the common citizen of the galaxy. Besides, it's nice to see a non-Jedi friend of Obi-Wan.
they should've cut it , along with a lot of other scenes .
That maybe true, but he is still awesome.
I just assumed Dex was a former smuggler/bounty hunter/criminal who had left that life behind and decided to settle down and start his own little diner. An american dream kind of character. He still has the connections of knowledge from his past and is able to help out his old pal Obi-Wan. Enjoyed the scene.