Do you feel Qui-Gon's importance in the film is necessary?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by DarthTorgo, Apr 4, 2002.

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Do you feel Qui-Gon's importance in the film is necessary?

Poll closed Mar 22, 2012.
Yes. 160 vote(s) 69.0%
No. 63 vote(s) 27.2%
I have no idea. 9 vote(s) 3.9%
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  1. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    And again, I don't see why it's such a fantastic idea to intentionally make Episode I a total throwaway.

    Too bad,

    too bad you still see it as a total throwaway,
    and too bad you can't see why it had to be a partial throwaway.

    To put it very simple: TPM does the "dirty work" for the rest of the saga.

    Obi Wan's role in TPM is as important as Luke's role will be episode III: only their presence matters, everything else is a bonus.

    But I think your issues with TPM are far beyond Obi Wan?
  2. Duckman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
    star 4
    I wonder why you're watching the prequels as well, DarthTorgo :)
  3. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    I think he's a masochist... ;)
  4. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    There were PLENTY of ways to show the master/apprentice interaction without making Obi Wan's character empty and lifeless.

    And really, even the master/apprentice thing wasn't done all that well... the two of them were doing little more than talking through a "lady-shaver" for a significant portion of the movie. There was little meaningful interaction between Qui Gon and Obi Wan during one of the sections of the movie with the most potential for that sort of interaction. Instead, Qui Gon basically locks Obi Wan in the glove compartment of the Queen's ship and heads into town. There were an infinite number of ways to write that whole part of the movie, and Lucas chose a solution which unnecessarily removed Obi Wan from the movie for long stretches of time.

    Yeah, that's storytelling brilliance all right...
  5. SomeRandomNerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    "Storytelling brilliance" does not mean the same thing as "putting the character I wanted to see most of in centre stage all the time."

    What part of the story did Obi Wan's absence spoil/interfere with?
  6. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    Yeah, that's storytelling brilliance all right...

    Like I said before,

    we'll see...
  7. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    Maybe it occured to you that "absence of a main character" itself is a theme that runs through the entire saga?

    Leia in ANH
    Han in TESB
    Luke in ROTJ
    Vader throughout the OT

    There's your storytelling brilliance...
  8. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Even when those characters weren't onscreen, they were active in furthering the plot. All Obi-Wan did was sit there doing nothing. It's a whole different ballgame.
  9. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    It doesn't matter, Lucas is continuing (actually initiating) the pattern, with the one and only suitable character.

    (Maybe it's also foreshadowing that at some point in the saga, Obi wan will disappear forever?)

    You may not like what lucas is doing, but at least he's being consistent.
  10. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    No pattern in the OT involves characters sitting around with nothing to do. TPM, on the other hand, falls into this trap constantly. Obi gets ditched for forty-five minutes, Threepio makes his entrance, stands briefly on the sidelines and is then completely forgotten about, Padme spends most of the Tattooine interlude as a spectator, and the Feds spend the film's central hour twiddling their thumbs.

    Is any of this tense? Exciting? Compelling? Or just inert?
  11. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    This brings up a good point that i hope i make here, and i doubt it will come out right. Basically it is this. Some people say things like Qui Gon had to be in the movie, cause if you cut him out, then Lucas would only do the bare minimim to make the story still work, but the fact of the matter is, that Lucas could make TPM compleatly diffrently, and still not have QG. Lucas could have for example use Alderan instead of making up a planet called Naboo, The overall story of TPM in my mind does not have to be what was shown. If in an alternate version of TPM in Lucas's mind there was no Qui Gon, then anything that was absolutly needed for his charictor to do would have been done some other way, such as being a father figure to ani (if in this alternate version in Lucas's mind has Ani as needing one.) Same with the arguments saying to show how imature OB1 is or whatnot. So in the long run, with that logic if anyone understands it, no, Qui was not needed IMHO, and given how some parts of the movie could have used more work again IMHO, he was somewhat a waste of time.

    I really am slightly annoyied at how all of OB1's develoment seems to be done between the movies. Atleast with Han we saw him go from a rouge to a person who will help out his friends in ANH, not like all of a sudden in this film he is a wise man (then again, i could be wrong, but it seems like allot happens between the two movies).
  12. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    I agree, Darth Geist... if one is going to include a character in a story, especially one which is vital to a continuing narrative, then DO something with the character rather than just leaning him/her up against the wall like a mop.

    And to answer an earlier question, no... I do NOT agree that a film should intentionally be made to be a throwaway, be it partial or total. Why make a half-assed film?

    ANH was the introduction to end all introductions... nobody knew ANYTHING about the Star Wars universe when the first film came out. Yes, we all know that it was a self-contained film because Lucas didn't know if it'd do well enough to justify sequels, but the fact of the matter is, it introduced the characters, the conflict, and the environments of the SW world AND was a fully-realized story in and of itself. There was no reason to make it a "partial throwaway" just because it had to introduce characters and situations.

    It worked far better as an intro than TPM did, IMHO, because it wasn't playing the Ken Starr "The interesting stuff is coming... just you wait and see!" game and just told a good, solid story with good, solid characters, and obviously with plenty of room to expand upon everything in future movies. It didn't require that the audience pay full price for a half-hearted "introduction"... it delivered a whollop of an entertaining film, then followed it with a total southpaw punch with ESB.

    That right there shows me that an "introduction" does NOT need to be drab and anemic the way much of TPM was. The best character introductions are those which make a strong impression. TPM was not devoid of this, by the way. Palpatine, though he had very little in the way of actual screen time, was introduced as every ounce the scheming, insincere politician as well as being the shadowy Dark Lord. IMHO that character was one of the few who were well-crafted in TPM.

    Getting back to Obi Wan, since Lucas gave most of his role to Qui Gon and was kind of at a loose end as to what exactly to do with what remained of the character, what screen time Obi Wan does have is fragmented and not really cohesive. And it needed to be. I'm sorry, but this "he gets a character in AOTC" is ridiculous. He was in TPM, so give the guy a character. Why bore the audience when you can entertain them? Why give them a
    "partial throwaway" when you can give them a deeply satisfying film experience? TPM was like punting on first down... why waste an opportunity like that?
  13. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    Well, I guess Lucas could have killed Obi-Wan off (like he did in ANH when he realised there was nothing more for him to do) but that would have really screwed up the prequels. :)

    I'm open to the idea that Obi-Wan should have had more screentime. But what could he have done exactly? Qui-Gon left him on the ship for a reason (to watch over the Queen and stop any communications being sent). I don't see how any action scenes could have been shoe-horned in for Obi-Wan without dragging out the Tatooine scenes even longer.

    I know some people strongly object to Lucas's idea of "emerging" characters, but I think it works well for future audiences. We know Obi-Wan's importance, and we know he has to survive the film. But SW virgin audiences years from now will be surprised when the expendable padawan succeeds where his master failed and slays Darth Maul.
  14. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    could've, would've, should've...


    You don't know how wrong you are in comparing TPM to ANH,

    Do you know what you are saying? You're saying that the "introduction" qualities of what actually isn't the introduction episode are better then in the actual introduction episode itself, which has a lot more to introduce, and is an introduction to the SW galaxy and it's organisations, which ANH is barely.

    It's a different era, in the SW galaxy and in real life (which makes a virtual 50 year gap), but it's the same Lucas, and he's not gotten any dumber...

    Lucas had all the freedom in the world writing ANH, he simply pulled a Wookiee from the "battle of episode IX" and called him Chewie, by the time he got to write TPM he was bound and gagged by 3 existing and 2 forthcoming episodes.

    We are in the disadvantage of being spoiled already, while Lucas is thinking ahead for future generations. (and I think he's brave for doing that)

    At least we had the Darth Vader surprise...

    And I didn't say you had to agree with me, I'm just sorry you don't see my POV, If I think hard enough, I can give you hundreds of small reasons why I think TPM is a terrible film, but a wonderful prologue, and you could all discard them as irrelvant or futile, but all those reasons together justify TPM for me.
  15. MAROOTHDROOL Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2001
    star 1
    The script to TPM reminds me of a final term paper that was written at the last minute.
    There is so much material to cover, but it has to fit the format and be done by tommorow.

    "No time for minor intricacies that make the story jell, I'll just slap it together with the main points, which should work, I guess... Oh and I promised my buddy Liam I'd fit him in. What about Obi, oh well I've gotta get this done."

    STORYBOARDS IN 10 HOURS

    "Wish I would have thought this through earlier. Gosh I've had all semester, err, I mean 15 years." :p
  16. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    TPM's story could have been anything... that's the point. I've said it over and over again... Lucas was creating a work of fiction, and not reporting on actual historical facts.

    Obi Wan could have done just about anything during the time he was left back at the ship with his thumb up his back porch... or he could have been the one to go to Mos Espa instead of Qui Gon. Then after having kvetched about Qui Gon picking up Jar Jar, he comes back to the ship with a "pathetic lifeform" of his own in the form of Anakin. We could have seen him gradually, out of necessity for the mission, begun to exhibit the same sort of impulsive behavior that Qui Gon has. In fact, had he managed to outdo Qui Gon on that point, it would have created a very interesting level of interaction between the two of them.

    OR... leave Obi Wan on the ship and have something occur (A few Tuskens attack and are driven off, then they "soon return in greater numbers",) thus creating an even more urgent need for Qui Gon to get things wrapped up and to get back to the ship so they can get out of there. Being told that the Naboo people are allegedly dying is one thing... actually seeing a direct danger to life and limb descending upon the ship is something completely different. A bunch of sandpeople taking position in the cliffs beyond the ship, likely to attack at any moment... that's simply more exciting. IMHO it might have HELPED the Tatooine scenes to incorporate something like this... and clearly it would tie in with Obi Wan's knowledge of the ways of the sandpeople in ANH.
  17. MAROOTHDROOL Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2001
    star 1
  18. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    I've never really been in favor of the "Tuskens attack the ship" idea--it seems too extraneous to the rest of the plot (not unlike the bulk of the planet core sequence)--but I've always liked the idea of Obi going into Mos Espa (either with Qui-Gon or alone).
  19. MAROOTHDROOL Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2001
    star 1
    How about if Maul was on the federation ship in the beginning, kills Qui Gon then, and Obi Wan escapes to Naboo. A padawan by himself who discovers the boy on Tatooine.

    It would add depth to the entire film.
  20. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    And he could have disturbed the peace of the sequence leading up to the podrace, which later on turns out to be one of the rare "resting moments" in the saga, which at a certain point will be desired again, and delivered in episode IV...

    You're hitting the nail on the head Maroothdrool, it almost feels Lucas tried to cram an entire trilogy into film format... again...

    He fairly succeeded, but it's gotta hurt somewhere.
  21. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    "I've never really been in favor of the "Tuskens attack the ship" idea--it seems too extraneous to the rest of the plot (not unlike the bulk of the planet core sequence)--but I've always liked the idea of Obi going into Mos Espa (either with Qui-Gon or alone)."


    I've never been all that thrilled about it as a concept either, to be perfectly honest with you. But if Obi Wan MUST be left behind with absolutely nothing to do for a quarter to a third of the movie (or however long the Tatooine sequence is) then it's a conflict that can be worked into the story fairly smoothly, and which would add tension to a fairly flat stretch of the movie. Personally, I'd vote for keeping Obi Wan with Qui Gon or else sending him into Mos Espa alone.

    Plo Koen, you can go off all you want about how brilliant it is of Lucas to intentionally create a weak movie because "it's the introduction" and you can scoff at the comparisons to ANH, but it really doesn't change anything. ANH worked as an introduction. When we saw that movie back in 1977, we walked out of there knowing the characters enough to care about them, and knowing the basics about the SW universe.

    That, my friend, is the essence of an "introduction". And it was all done with a strong, dynamic movie which delivered in and of itself and was expanded upon by ESB... not COMPLETED by ESB.

    Since TPM takes place 10 years before AOTC, that's IMHO all the more reason to have followed the proven method from the OT and started off with a self-contained movie designed to give us a good sense of the trilogy's main characters and conflicts.

    Instead we got a flaccid, disjointed, sometimes enjoyable, often amateurish story with a lot of flashy visuals which STILL relies on the introductory qualities of ANH and the OT in order to make sense of itself.

    But if you believe that purposely making a half-assed film is somehow an artistic triumph, more power to you.
  22. MAROOTHDROOL Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2001
    star 1
    it's like he is trying to fit an entire trilogy into film format
    huh.
  23. MAROOTHDROOL Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2001
    star 1
    yeah, I know I misquoted you.
  24. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    You really don't have to convince me of the superiority of ANH, it is (and probably will stay) my favorite episode, and it's a wonderful introduction to the Classic Trilogy,

    But it isn't the prologue...

    Can we at least establish that we have an odd situation going on here, where an episode that is technically in the end of the saga, is considered the "introduction", while the episode that really is (and is designed to be), is being disputed?

    By all means, we will never be able to have a total objective view on TPM.
  25. DarthTorgo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2002
    star 4
    Great points, Patrick Rusell and Marooth Drool. An introduction shouldn't be boring just because "it's an introduction" and ANH proves this.

    I do agree about Palpatine's character being handled well. Actually, the character of Palpatine/Sidious is the ONLY character who I find well-crafted in TPM.

    You know, I was thinking about this whole Qui-Gon Jinn basis, and it occured to me that not only is it not necessary and harmful to the saga to have someone other than Obi-Wan discover Anakin, it is also unnecessary and harmful to the saga to show Obi-Wan being trained, but not by Yoda. I mean, I know that it sorta makes sense with that scene in AOTC, but it's not just about continuity, it's about what works better for the story and characters. Now that I think about it, we should have seen Yoda training Obi-Wan, not Qui-Gon. I mean, it would add a whole new level of depth to their relationship when we see them in ESB and ROTJ, and would give us oppurtunities for new insights into both characters. It makes thing more personal and might deepen Yoda's character a lot, much more so than that whole, "Yoda trains all Jedi until they're 7" thing. It seems from the OT as though Yoda was close with Obi-Wan (not in that way!!!!!!!) and they had a lot of history together. It is better for the story, and you don't have to craft new explanations to mae THAT fit. And Yoda actually survives past the first episode of the saga!! Why show us the relationship between Obi-Wan and a guy who dies in the first movie instead of showing us that between Obi-Wan and an alien who is in 5 of 6 movies! And why do we need to see how the relationship between that guy who dies at the end of the first movie and Anakin? Wouldn't it be better story telling to show it between Obi-Wan and Anakin? Now that I think about it, everything Qui-Gon does short of dying should have been, and, indeed, could have been done by Obi-Wan or Yoda instead!!! And knowing the name and character of the guy who taught Qui-Gon (except for Yoda, of course. Yoda trains all the Jedi, remember) doesn't change anything as far as that goes, so don't bring that up. That Qui-Gon character seems rather pointless. I wonder if the decision to make Episode I Qui-Gon's story came before or after Liam Neeson was cast.........
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