PT Nute Gunray's Accent

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by KilroyMcFadden, Apr 18, 2013.

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  1. KilroyMcFadden Jedi Grand Master

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    All of the accents/languages in Star Wars seem to be based on something from real life. I'm trying to place Nute Gunray's accent. It's sort of like a comedic mangling of french.

    ...does it seem like his lip movement doesn't match the dialog?
    Last edited by KilroyMcFadden, Apr 18, 2013
  2. Garrett Atkins Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 11, 2013
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    Yeah, with the film's budget, I expected they could match the dialog to his lip movements.
    Last edited by Garrett Atkins, Apr 18, 2013
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  3. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

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    I've heard it's racist Asian, or something.

    Racist, not racist, whatever. I find it highly amusing.
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  4. Darth Dominikkus Jedi Grand Master

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    Yeah, I think it's close to some kind of Asian basis. And his lip movements don't match the dialogue because of the mechanism they were working with when using the puppet. It wasn't fast enough to keep up with the words he was saying.
  5. Ambervikings91 Jedi Master

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    Well I think it is prejudice against people who speak english because so many people in star wars speak english with a very western accent. Some of them have british accents! *sarcasm*
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  6. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Force Ghost

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    That's a cheap excuse. Lucasfilm just got lazy and ignored the little details — even something important as lip syncing. I've seen Milli Vanilli do a better job.

    Well, anyway, If Adywan can do it on his little computer, what does that say about Lucasfilm?
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  7. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

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    I always thought the lip movement thing was a nod to the previous SW films, where they had much more limited expression in the masks and puppets. Frankly I always thought it was cool, these self consciously 80's era aliens in a CGI filled 1999 film.
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  8. Cryogenic Force Ghost

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    Sort of Brechtian, almost.

    And the Neimoidians are, after all, puppets of Palpatine.

    So, you've got classic nods to b-movie cinema, as well as the de facto b-movie-ness of Star Wars itself, and a nice thematic resonance within TPM to the dastardly machinations of Darth Sidious, the ultimate puppet master, concocting an artificial world, like the lascivious demiurge he is, playing everyone for fools.

    One can certainly add to that the interrelated concepts of overdubbing (linguistic/psycho-acoustic manipulation), clumsiness/awkwardness, words being incongruent with actions, death masks, stilted speech, old age/decrepitude, words outpacing thoughts ("thinking before you speak"), maladroit communication ("it's a trick"), and so on.

    A bit of technical dumpiness just suits the aesthetic mood in so many ways. And it encourages a kind of reciprocal schadenfreude in the audience: makes them outwardly reject, but inwardly engage, with the movie and its mythology in broader ways.
  9. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

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    I read somewhere that the voice actor was trying to do a Thai accent, but for someone who lived in Thailand for 14 years, its not even close!
  10. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    I assumed it was a sort of stereotypical Chinese/Asian accent, the sort you might hear in a 1930s serial (where the Chinese were mainly played by white people).

    Personally, I find it more silly than offensive.
  11. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    You know, I've seen this "Asian stereotype" thing for years, and I still can't hear it. It just sounds like a rather goofy made-up accent to me.
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  12. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    I think it has its roots in goofy attempts at doing an Asian accent, rather than a real one. There's probably a couple of other inflections in there, as well, much as Watto's has been described as a mix of Arabic, Jewish and Russian.

    The accusations of racial stereotyping in TPM are just an example of people looking for something to attack. Don't recall similar such hysteria over the OT stereotyping the English as being either villains or effeminate droids.
  13. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

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    It might have something to do with the British not being a traditional target of racial stereotyping.
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  14. Alexrd Force Ghost

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    It's the truth. You can see on bts footage that the remote controlled jaw they made had a limited range of movements (which for the time was already great).
  15. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Oh, I don't know about that...

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
  16. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

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    So you have no interest in seriously discussing this? Or do you not see the historical difference between white people being stereotyped and non-whites being stereotyped?
  17. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Of course I see the difference - but my response regarding the English was just a joke, and while I think that there was a certain carelessness in the rendition of the Neimodians, I don't think TPM was the gigantic backwards step in race relations that many made it out to be.
    Jar-Jar really isn't anything more than a bumbling, idiotic alien, and although Watto has been another target, there's not much agreement about exactly what racial stereotype he's portraying. Maybe he's loosely derived from the character of Shylock, but take it up with the late William Shakespeare, not George Lucas.
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  18. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

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  19. Cryogenic Force Ghost

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    If people wanted to kick up a stink over TPM/the PT and its alleged bevy of bad or disreputable ideas (especially in the realm of purported stereotyping/fear-mongering), they might wanna be more inclined to bash Lucas for giving credence to the likes of David Icke. The PT is flooded with conspiracy theorist memes; and the first screen(audience)-facing character is a lizard-like overlord whose visage appears on a TV screen. If nothing else, Lucas is really saying -- perhaps as Icke really is -- "Examine this world closely". Both men could be said to be simply using metaphor and allegory to arouse disgust at authority, to provoke an awareness at the double speak of law-makers and corporate toads, and to encourage vigilance in a mammalian species that has a dangerous love of hierarchy and demagogy.

    I've also seen it written on TFN that TPM's opening shot (pan down, pan across) is very "Apocalypse Now"-esque, as if we are following, maybe, say, a raft, or a gondola, or the boat of Charon, heading down the river Styx, delivering us to Hades himself. We are thus journeying to a bleak destination (Mustafar is the literal manifestation of this: an operatic clarification -- a gestaltitc re-expression -- of where we already were, or almost were, to begin with) and it may be said, perhaps, that it's more the Transylvanian/reptilian/horror-vibe aspect of the Neimoidians that should interest and repulse us (can't you almost see the fires of Mustafar in their eyes?) more than their alleged offensiveness to one ethnicity or another (and who dares to speak for vast swathes of other people as if they need defending from the improprieties of Flash Gordon space operas, BTW?).

    It's also very amusing -- if not also a little disturbing -- that people see the TF as racist, Jar Jar, Watto, and whoever else, but not, apparently, the main heroes (Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Padme, Anakin), even though they're all clearly white and are the people in whom we're meant to place most of our sympathy and, indeed, direct most of our intellectual and emotional involvement toward (continuing into the OT, quite obviously, overtly, and inescapably, with Han, Luke, and Leia). TPM is particularly wanton on this front since it adds a new exploitative element with a fair-skinned, cherry-lipped, blue-eyed, blond-haired saviour figure/Übermensch, idealizing this boy as the supreme avatar of youth and innocence, with skills and abilities craned to near-nauseating levels of precocious brilliance. His physical excellence -- in body and voice -- is juxtaposed against the bulky adults around him, the demonic figure of Maul, the greasiness of Watto, the aristocratic senescence of Palpatine, et al. He is, in some sense, the ultimate embodiment of soft, serene, bucolic innocence -- and he's white. So, of course, is Palpatine, throwing a marvelous wrench in this ugly construction, but the deeper a prior assumption is that it's white people who are the movers and shakers, with the wherewithal to change the world, and other helpers and changers in more of an ancillary or subservient role.

    I think the flaying and denigration of these films speaks, on some level, to a sublimated unease/uncertainness around the uncontested -- dimly perceived -- notion (reality) that Star Wars puts whiteness at its centre, and that people are stricken with a hidden guilt about liking it, or having liked it, as much as they do. In order to correct or compensate for this and pretend it's an issue with easy resolution, arbitrarily problematic aspects are ring-fenced or cherry-picked, the better for the offending aspects to be recognized, attacked, and for those doing the cherry-picking and attacking to feel vindicated, that something sick inside the body has been purged, and even that they have been exculpated from their former crime of liking Star Wars at all; or at least liking it as a mindless innocent. Of course, this is really a bit like a Salem witch-hunt, or the right-wing tactic of blaming immigrants or "illegals" for social ills which have deeper roots. One can trace this behaviour back to antiquity, as in the opening up of a sacrificial victim's chest cavity, one per day, so that the sun may rise and the gods may smile again on one's wearisome civilization the next morning. There's nothing like putting a face to blame. Or the misdirected psycho-sexual energy that extends equally in the direction of scapegoats and messiahs.

    Then again, I shouldn't be so quick to diagnose fault and project where projection may not be warranted. That's the cause of all the trouble in the first place.
  20. Darth Dominikkus Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 5, 2013
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    I feel ya. When I watch TPM, I don't really notice any type of "asian" accent. It's not really a big like, advertisement that he even has an accent.
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  21. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

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    Uh, isn't Icke famous for going on the record as saying that he's absolutely serious about his whole "lizard people" theory? The guy's bonkers and offensive for the way that he repurposes hatemongering screeds like "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" to purport an idea that seems cobbled together out of late-night viewings of "V" and "They Live". It's especially unfortunate, because littering all of his wacko books are some fairly interesting, if not entirely convincing, observations of Masonic symbolism and codes that have been spread all about throughout everyday life. If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if he was a shill for the other side, someone whose crazy, offensive views are there to discredit the real conspiracy theorists, somewhat like all those FBI plants in Vietnam protest groups that gave hippies a bad name for calling troops "baby killers" and the like".
  22. Cryogenic Force Ghost

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    At root, you could say that all conspiracy theories are essentially the same. Or that their differences are trivial compared to their similarities. I don't know if Icke is necessarily bonkers or offensive, even though he doesn't seem to play with a full set. While people have rushed to tar him with the anti-semitism brush (something people have also rushed to do with George Lucas -- ain't that funny?), it seems -- to me -- an overreaction and an attempt to silence him, even though he draws from the same well a fair bit. What's troubling about slandering him that way, incidentally, is how people pass over his other iniquities, like the way he seems to disparage certain sexual practices and orientations, promulgating common phobias of one kind and another.

    I'm willing to grant the fact that Icke is a bit of an idiot, to put it politely, but that doesn't preclude some parallel thinking (even if it's simply unconscious) between he and George Lucas. Your own speculation about Icke is just that: speculation. I was similarly speculating, I guess, but within the mythic carapace of the art itself. Star Wars is a whirlwind of influences, positive and negative. Moral judgements, in fact, don't really enter into it. Not at that level, anyway. We could do without so much excessive non-thinking in the world, but until people become comfortable with critical thinking and the scientific method, we're gonna be stuck with wu-wu philosophers like Icke -- and the rampant spectres of credulity and fanaticism that have blighted every human society -- for some time yet.
  23. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

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    I think there's a very big difference between the percieved stereotypes in TPM (of which there are so many different interpretations, it's hard to take them too seriously-- is Watto an offensive Arab, Italian, Turkish, Russian or Jewish caricature?) and Icke's use of a known piece of anti-semitic propaganda that has long been discredited as a screed entirely designed to engender hatred. There's also a big difference between conspiracy theories that are rooted in concrete real-world events and evidence, and those that only rest on interpretations. Often they wind up revolving around the same subjects-- it's one thing to say that JFK was shot by more than just one gunman, and another thing to insist upon which faction he was assassinated by.

    It certainly is just speculation, but it's something that's been around as long as there's been conspiracy theories-- who are the real rebels, and who are the plants. I saw the new Assayas film at the New York Film Festival a while back, and there's a sequence in which a young activist's friends warn him not to read The Chairman's New Clothes, about Mao, insisting that the author is really a shill for the CIA, and I think that history has proven that theory to be incorrect. Guys like Icke or Alex Jones always take a risk by getting more and more visibility, and thereby alienating people who might otherwise follow their arguments with their own increasingly apparent biases and prejudices.
  24. Cryogenic Force Ghost

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    I don't think there's as big a difference as you imagine. Icke has bowdlerized "The Elders Of Zion" as "The Illuminati" -- the protocols, while a forgery, are based on an earlier publication, which was more of a political protest (Icke's interpretation seems to be more of a synthesis of the two) -- and, if anything, is relatively egalitarian at who he points the finger at. Of course, many of the rich and powerful do have Jewish ancestry, so anyone going after the rich and powerful, as Icke's brand of conspiracy narrative means he must, will then, ipso facto, run afoul of the anti-semitism slam based purely on numbers.

    Conspiracy theories, which are really an abuse of the word "theory", are all, by definition, speculative/interpretative. One might intuitively sound more plausible than another, but you're really just picking what you personally think sounds less absurd. Ultimately, it's evidence that counts. And their lack of evidence -- if not their impatience and outright contempt for evidence, or the proper means of attaining it -- combined with them being founded more on unresolved fears/paranoia, and a deep-seated need to believe, make all conspiracies the same, at root.

    You know, Icke might be insane, or, at the very least, believe a few nasty or regrettable things, but that doesn't place him above or below other artists, philosophers, historians, political leaders, storytellers, critics, theologians, scholars, etc., in terms of whether anything he's said or done has some valid bearing on Star Wars -- or other people's interpretation of it -- or not. You don't have to go back very far to find retrograde ideas rattling around in some very esteemed minds, whether it's gender supremacy, racism, slavery, or whatever. Or the loopier and fanciful stuff, like belief in astroprojection, ESP, communing with the dead, or what have you. Heck, Philip K. Dick built half a career obsessed with the dividing line between the synthetic and the real, and was apparently convinced (as, in some basic sense, half of the voting American public is) that the world was some direct outgrowth of Biblical mysticism.

    Icke's New Age boogeymanism is too rich for me, but it must ineluctably share certain ideas and patterns with much earlier beliefs and mythic paradigms, so it's not crazy to see some of this stuff in the prequel trilogy, which is not exactly shy at drawing on ideas pertaining to the mystical and the occult, or at painting a rather feverish vision of a world run by vampires, phantasms, and shape-shifting reptilian Sith Lords, after all.

    The human mind is a roiling, savage, crazed beast. It's how we steer it that's key. Icke hasn't steered his in a direction I find especially admirable, but I do see a lot of echoes between what he says and what many other people have said, albeit sometimes in a more restrained/dignified/reasonable tenor.

    All those guys really devour one another -- territoriality/tribalism (as in religion). I recently saw a video, in fact, where Alex Jones was surprisingly doleful. And why? Because he was lamenting the idea that people like David Icke make it harder for people like him to be taken seriously by a wider audience. These conspiracy nuts can see the extremes in their rivals all too easily, but never themselves. It's got something of the flavour of a missionary bringing "proper" religion to the heathens.

    "Follow". That's the humdinger. We'd all be better off if we didn't follow. The secret is not to follow, but to lead. Or to go wherever proper reasoning and the evidence take you. Not to go following the trail of wanna despots and raving lunatics who would surely drop you at the first opportunity or alternatively lead you and themselves off a cliff. People would do a hell of a lot better if they thought for themselves and didn't take the ravings -- even the eloquent ravings -- of other mammals all that seriously. Beliefs must scale with evidence. In general, conspiracy theories are like modern-day folk-tales/scare-stories for people who'd rather believe than think.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Apr 20, 2013
  25. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Force Ghost

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    Yeah, you're right. I didn't mean to say you were making crap up. I just think they could have went back in and cg edit it so it looks right, is all.

    The problem with TPM is that they were so focused on Jar Jar and his stupid ass antics that they forgot a lot of the important crap, like realism. :(
    Last edited by DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR, Apr 20, 2013
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