Plot holes? The final chapter.

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by OrlandoT, Apr 7, 2002.

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  1. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Pat;

    We'll never quite see eye to eye on the subject of the book 'Cloak of Deception', but I really want to say this --- in that story, the Trade Federation Directorate is assassinated. Every one of them, except Nute Gunray - who immediately becomes Viceroy. It is strongly suggested in the story that Sidious/Palpatine is the hand that puppeteers this chain of events. Is it important to the casual viewer? I don't think so. Is it useful for basket cases like us who endlessly debate the most minor things? Yeah, I think so. ;)

    From this point on, Gunray controls the TF. The building of an army is actually sanctioned by the Senate. They grant the TF permission to build an army for defense against pirates and terrorists in the Outer Regions. At the same time they open up for taxation of the trade routes, something the TF accepts at the time because their Sith advisor convinces them that the most important thing is gaining an army for protection. Just as soon as that goal is reached, he does a bit of an about face and convinces them that it's time to take actions against the taxation. Gunray does not question Sidious, but merely goes along with anything that seems to be in the TF's best interest from time to time. Of course, Gunray doesn't have any clue about what is really in the TF's best interest at this point.

    And the tax issue would easily have gone the TF's way, had it not been for the extraordinary efforts of Senator Palpatine. He actually engineered the passing of that bill, but without ever making it seem like he was all for it, of course. He helped Valorum see it through, but gave the impression to everybody else that he was against it because of Naboo's interests. And of course, he needed the taxation to happen in order to make the TF blockade Naboo and set more events in motion that would eventually lead to Valorum's fall. Witness the look of utter betrayal on Valorum's face as Amidala calls for a vote of no confidence. Is anyone going to believe him if he claims that his own successor to the chair set him up? Not likely.

    Patrick, I do not disagree with all your points about how the plot is difficult to understand sometimes, but we come from different places. I'm trying to make sense of it, maybe too hard, and I'm willing to let 'Cloak of Deception' do some talking for Lucas. You are trying a bit too hard, imo, to see problems with it. No offense, of course! I do wish you'd at least let your distaste for EU stand aside for enough time to let you enjoy a bleeding great book, for whatever it's worth. :)
  2. Lukecash Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 4
    Patrick

    I think the entire Trade Federation new what was going on. And I think they had planned an invasion/occupation but they might not have thought they were going to do it "Legally" Kinda like what America did to Afganastan.


    Rees Yees

    Thank you for your complement on my post. Most of the insights were gained by my first vewings of the movie. Some of it was on the debates on this boards.

    I didn't feel that most of the backstory of Star Wars was thrown out, I felt it was fleshed out considerably. The only source we really had for what the Republic was like was Ben. And even then, we don't get a lot of information from him. In fact, he's known to tell stories "From a certian point of view"

    The fact is he does meet Anakin. He is a terrific piolet(pod race) and he is already strong in the power of the force (midiclorian counts) Qui-gon was his mentor...not neccisarly his instructor. ESB hs says "The Jedi Master who instructed me." The republic looks to be very wealthy and happy and shiny and new. Befor the dark ages...before the Empire.

    Was some of the editing poorly done? Yeah, I find myself questioning cuts. Was Jar Jar too much in some cases..yes-some of his scenes did not help the story progress at all. But the character itself was good, though the voice could have been done better.

    If you do ever watch TPM again, try to keep my points in mind, and see if Lucas succeded in telling the story he set out to tell. Sometimes all it takes is looking at it from a different point of view.
  3. DarthTorgo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2002
    star 4
    <<Torgo:

    Are you so intent on finding fault that you'd throw logic out the window? >>

    You did that a long time ago when you said "Jar-Jar had to go with them to fulfill the life debt", but then you changed your stance to "Jar-Jar never had a life debt to Qui-Gon. He said it wasn't necessary."

    <<
    How do you know how far it is from where the Jedi landed to Theed? >>

    I don't know. But wasting your time conversing with the slobbering idiot leader of an indigenious race, being attacked by monster after monster after monster ( even losing power in the process), and relying on the "navigational" skills of Jar-Jar Binks, the trip with the sub through the core couldn't have been that much help. I'm sure they lost a lot of time with all that. Besides, they arrived sort of late, anyway.

    <<Should the Jedi have left Jar-Jar in a city that's either invaded or about to be? >>

    No. I explained this. Read my posts.

    <<Where did you get the idea that the forest was just around the corner? >>

    Read my posts. They could stop outside the city, thus allowing Jar-Jar to find his own way back to the woods.

    <<Why would he leave Jar_Jar behind when he could keep his eye on him? >>

    Behind where? At the ship on Tattooine, or on Naboo? If you mean Tattooine, why not let Obi-Wan watch him on the ship instead of letting Jar-Jar endanger the incredibly important mission? Look at what I reposted below, again.

  4. DarthTorgo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2002
    star 4
    Here are my POSTS again:


    <<>>>Are you saying that Jar-Jar never owed Qui-Gon a life debt because he said no? I thought the life debt was the whole damn reason we had to deal with him throughout the whole movie.<<<<


    No. They needed Jar-Jar to get him to the gungan city so they could get to theed. They took him with him trough the core to save his life. >>


    See below. I accept that much (although I think they could have actually gotten there faster if they had skipped the Gungan city, but that's something else entirely.).

    >>> Once they get off the Bongo, there's no reason for Jar-Jar to be in to movie, if there is no life debt. I can accept that Qui-Gon only brought up the life debt with Boss Nass to save Jar-Jar from punishment ( so much for me inventing problems that don't exist). And he couldn't get off the Bongo while it was underwater. But once they reached Theed, why on Earth didn't Jar-Jar just thank the Jedi and run back to the woods to continue eating dirt and mud, like he was before, if there was no life-debt Jar-Jar was entitled to give Qui-Gon, like you say. I can't think of any other reason than "the will of the script" which is a problem that seems to plague much of TPM. I'm sure you can find something, though.<<<<<


    You try to hard man to find something to question yet you don't bother to see if the film answer it. Common sense would tell you that it would be stupid to leave someone in a TF occupied city. What would you have them do? Take time to take Jar-Jar back where they got him from? >>

    Uh, how did the Jedi know Theed was occupied? From their vantage point when they surfaced, no battle droids were present. For all they know at this point, they have beaten the invasion army. Or maybe all they could have done was surfaced at a point not as far down the river, where they were not yet in the city, let Jar-Jar out so he can run back to the woods to continue eating dirt with all the other animals, and then continue on there way.

    >>>Even worse, why does Jar-Jar accompany the Jedi into Tattooine, if he had no life debt?. Not like he really does anything in that portion of the movie except act stupid and petty, anyway. The only reason I can think of is because it's really "funny".<<<

    Again, use some common sense here. Qui-Gon obviously did. Why leave a Gungan in the ship where he can cause trouble.


    I dunno. Maybe the same reason that he brought him with on an incredibly crucial phase of a mission in which the fate of a whole planet hangs in the balance? Where he could have caused a lot of trouble that might have caused the whole thing of getting parts for the hyperdrive to go to hell? Like maybe getting his slimy Gungan paws all over the newly acquired hyperdrive and causing a crucial component to break off? (you know the way how he has to get his paws all over everything mechanical he sees) Or maybe landing in jail or in the bottom of the Sarlaac pit for stealing food? (for all Qui-Gon knows, that creature who Jar-Jar stole the food from could have been a close ally/business associate of the Hutts. Or maybe they recieve a portion of the profits gained from all local shopkeepers for their own personal gain? That sounds just like the kind of sneaky thing the Hutts would do.)


    He was Qui-Gon's responsibility, remember?
    Why was he only Qui-Gon's responsiblity? Since Obi-Wan HAD to be stuck back at the ship, like you insist, couldn't Obi-Wan merely have watched over him at the ship during that time? I'm sure he can afford to pay more attention to him then Qui-Gon ultimately could. Not like he had much else to do.

    Or is it Gungan culture that if someone saves your life, that person has to baby you and feed you and fan your back and change your diapers? >>
  5. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    It would be really cool to have this discussion about the original Star Wars movie...
    Like how come Luke's only wondering who was his dad, not his mom? Etc... [face_plain]

    It's ridiculous to try and apply common sense and realism to a movie, and especially a movie like Star Wars. It's a constructed story and it's not meant to be very realistic. Why do spaceships make thunderous sounds in the vacuum of space? Because Lucas thought it would be cool. Why is Jar Jar Binks tagging along in TPM? Same reason. Whether you agree with Lucas or not is a different thing, but these debates could just as easily be done with ANH in mind, by someone who didn't like that movie. Is it plausible that the droids just HAPPEN to land practically on Luke's head when they have an enire planet to choose from? Not very, but I don't care. Wouldn't be a movie if it didn't happen.

    Torgo;
    The reason why Qui-Gon took Jar Jar with him on Tatooine was the same reason why he ultimately agreed to bringing Padme with him --- himself, Jar Jar, Padme and R2 is a group of random strangers peculiar enough not to raise any eyebrows in a place like Mos Espa. They seem to be a weird family or something like that. Jinn alone with an R2 unit would be more suspicious-looking, thought the Jedi Master.

    Btw, Patrick;
    The novelization of TPM states black on white that the TF's motivation for blockading and invading Naboo was to get the Senate to stop the taxation of the trade routes to outlying systems. After Sidious presents his apprentice Darth Maul to Gunray and Dofine and the pair start worrying about what will happen if the Jedi find out about the Sith Lords, Gunray is thinking that sabotaging the taxation of trade routes is not worth risking their lives for.
  6. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Anakin also rescues a Tusken Raider in the TPM novel.

    It's not that the political storyline is difficult to understand... it's just that there are a few points where it needed to be a bit clearer in the movie so as to provide a more believable (and, hence, enjoyable) motivation for the TF beyond merely obeying Palpatine. I find the TF to be an unnecessarily dull excuse for an adversary, and based on the implications of their exchanges with Palpatine in TPM, it sounds as if there MAY have been an idea there in George's noggin that the TF were there to invade and capture the planet rather than merely blockading it, which IMHO would have made them a slightly more interesting adversary.

    And in any case, if this wasn't what George intended, then at the very least he could have had another moment or two when the Viceroy and company whine a bit about the tax issue in their exchanges with Palpatine. It wouldn't have taken much, and it would at least have given them some needed definition motivation-wise.

    Adali, I do enjoy a good book, and I will certainly pick up Cloak when they finally put it out in paperback. But again, a filmmaker should not rely on third-party authors to provide basic story elements to his films. Lucas isn't a feeb... he can write a perfectly good story complete with solid villains... we've seen him do it before. Unfortunately, in too many ways he skimped on his presentation of the T.F. in TPM. And no EU book, no matter how good it may be in and of itself, is going to fix that in the movie. IMHO Star Wars simply shouldn't need reference material to present basics about the characters.
  7. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    He explains in the opening crawl that the Trade Federation were hoping to resolve the tax crisis with a blockade.

    I could understand the confusion if it wasn't spelled out in huge yellow lettering.
  8. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Patrick;
    I appreciate your feelings on this matter, and I'm not going to continue arguing about whether or not Lucas left it to someone else to tell his story. You know where I stand on this, and I don't want to repeat myself more than I already have. I'll just say that I don't see CoD as necessary for the film, but I do find the film even more enjoyable after having read the book. Just as I find the original 3 movies even more enjoyable after having read the novelizations. There's always stuff in those books that's impossible to tell in a movie, you know.

    However, about the TF - yes, they are poor excuses for villains, but I do not think that this is so because Lucas made a mistake. Quite the contrary - the TF is designed as a feeble adversary for the Jedi. Actually, it's even underlined in the movie's dialogue - "these Federation types are cowards". Not exactly Empire material to be sure. And Darth Sidious is designed as a phantom adversary the Jedi only gradually become slightly aware of. The only real threat in the film is a halfhearted invasion of a peaceful and outlying planet, and the very real and dangerous menace of Darth Maul. This is so because Lucas wanted the film to be without a clear-cut big evil like the Empire in the OT - remember, these are the peaceful times before the dark times. In AotC I'm sure we'll see a more immediate evil rear its head, and in EpIII the Empire will be heading for its golden age. But the whole point of TPM (the way I see it) was to have things going down the tube a bit WITHOUT there actually being much to put the finger on - hence the title.

    What I'm trying to say is that I think everything points to Lucas actually wanting it to be vague and slightly difficult to grasp, and definitely without the great classic villain (although Sidious is one hell of a menace on that screen for anyone who's seen the OT). It's not a mistake, it's design! :)
  9. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Then it's a lousy excuse for a design.

    A conflict-lite Star Wars movie. Gee, THERE'S an exciting prospect, eh? Kinda like drinking near-beer, watching that bizarre hotel-room porn where all the sex is edited out, or running the Indy 500 with golf carts...
  10. Lukecash Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 4
    {b]Patrick[/b]

    One lousy design?

    Hmmm...lets see. Okay, the villian isn't a hit your-head with-a-hammer kinda guy, with a gigantic weapon of mass destruction.

    He's a guy who smiles, gives fatherly advice to the heroes, while using others pawns and muscle in a mind game that has the people HANDING him the reins of power.

    And the movie is called The Phantom Menance.


    Damn, really bad desgn there Patric :D
  11. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Again, I don't buy the whole "But the movie has the word "Phantom" in the title!" justification for every limp dramatic choice Lucas made in TPM. It's not the "Barely-Threatening Menace" or the "Toothless Menace" or the "Ever-So-Slightly Worrisome Menace", is it? ;)

    The "Phantom" thing would have worked just as well (and likely even better) had the TF been a formidable foe who even so was being played from the background by a shadowy phantom of a villain. At least then the battles (aside from the Jedi duel, which IMHO does work fairly well) would have meant something.
  12. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Sigh...okay, okay. Call it a lousy excuse for whatever you will...

    The problem with having a really strong and menacing Trade Federation aggressively standing up against our heroes in good old Empire/Rebellion style is that it would not be believable that these guys would be played by a third party in some sinister game they were slightly aware of. And I'm sure you'd be quick to point out that failing logic as well. The pathetic bunch of greedy Neimodians do this job just fine, imo. They aren't the villains of the series, they are just pathetic pawns. It would be weak writing to create a whole new set of menacing villains in the first of six film, only to have them somehow disappear from sight once we got down to really showing the audience how bad Palpatine is and how cool the clones are.

    I wasn't using the title to "explain away" the un-menacing TF. The title doesn't even refer to them. They're not by any means a phantom menace. They are right there, in their spaceships, blockading and invading Naboo. Not too hard to see or anything.

    And look at the other side - are there heroes here? No! Not in that good old Rebellion way. The Republic is falling apart from the inside, and the Jedi are clearly flawed in their ways at this point in time. The galaxy just isn't what it is at the time of the OT, and thus there aren't the same easily defined borders of good and bad.

    And is TPM conflict-light? I don't think you really mean what you just typed there. Just because there aren't stormtroopers and Vader doesn't mean there's little conflict. At least it's obvious to me that fatal things are happening during this film, and the Sith are reappearing at the same time as the Republic falls into Palpatine's hands and Anakin Skywalker is taken into Jedi training under Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    You dare call Darth Sidious/Palpatine a "tooth-less" menace...? Well, those are your words... [face_plain]

    Another point is that this movie is not supposed to show great conflicts on the surface. This is "before the dark times...before the Empire", and I would have been disappointed had Lucas not shown what the heck Kenobi was talking about there. You'll get your conflicts over those next 4-5 hours of film.¨

    Sorry, I'm getting a touch annoyed now. You're free to dislike the film, obviously, but calling the set-up lousy because of a lack of clear-cut villains is just too thin when you take into consideration the story that is about to be told and how that story HAS to start with Palpatine easing his way into office. The point is that there is no coup. Palpatine sure manipulates a lot of things, but by the looks of it he is an elected official in a classic democracy. Like Hitler.

    Take no offense because of my slightly annoyed tone. It's just so obvious that you don't like the film, and nothing I say is making you see anything in a different light, and I'm mad at myself for wasting time on this.
  13. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    "The problem with having a really strong and menacing Trade Federation aggressively standing up against our heroes in good old Empire/Rebellion style is that it would not be believable that these guys would be played by a third party in some sinister game they were slightly aware of."


    I couldn't disagree more.

    This is, IMHO, along the same lines as how some folks insist that the only possible way to show Anakin as starting off good and innocent is to show him at age nine going "Oops!" and "Yippee!", when we have the perfect example of Luke being portrayed as a kind-hearted innocent at age 19 or whatever he was in ANH. Look at what we saw by the end of ROTJ... Palpatine had played the exact game you insist could not be played on anyone but a bunch of cowering feebs, but he'd played it on Darth Vader himself.

    Try wrapping your mind around THAT one for a sec'.

    Palpatine used Vader to get to Luke, and once Luke was there on the brink of the Dark Side, what did Palpatine do to the man he'd been calling "my friend" and "old friend"? He told Luke to kill him. He led Vader to believe that Luke would be brought "into the fold" and stand alongside the two of them... and he ultimately revealed that he'd intended to betray Vader all along.

    Now then, with that in mind, are you telling me that had the TF been portrayed as a bunch of ruthless (but greedy) space pirates who were dealing with Palpatine in order to gain even MORE power and wealth, and he was pulling the same sort of backstabbing trickery on them that he ultimately played on Vader, that this somehow wouldn't have been believable? IMHO it would not only have been right up Palpatine's alley, but it would have allowed for an adversary who was a little more interesting than the tapioca-esque Neimoidians.
  14. Ree Yees Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2000
    star 5
    I'm really tempted to make a thread called "Plot holes? The Appendix A".
  15. dingo_fett Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2002
    A few comments. Plot hole, plot device, who cares!?!?!?!?

    What are you trying to acomplish by saying "A" is not a plot hole, its a plot device. Are you trying to defend your movie - does it have to be perfect for you? Why don't they just change the thread to TPM plot devices? How boring. Mabye it should be TPM stupid crap that happens - that makes all the comments in here fit.

    Now some stupid crap that happens:

    No matter what you say, bringing the boy to the frontlines was stupid. He can come to Naboo to learn from watching, but ditch him with a baby sitter in the woods when it comes time to go to battle for pete's sake.

    The whole council thing. The boy is not to be trained. Hello!!! Let's kick the kid on the street that has the greatest force potential - I'm sure he'll learn some good things there. They should at least have agreed to train him so they could keep an eye on him if nothing else. Oh, yeah, he wouldn't have learned on his own - yeah, he wasn't learning to fly podracers by the force either. Mabye that is why they finaly caved - but we don't know that.

    The Jar JAr as a guide in the planet core. So they knock out their guide first thing and then use the force to navigate. Yeah, I guess he was necessary.

    OB1 said that Yoda INSTRUCTED him. He didn't say that Yoda was his Jedi Master. Yoda was on the council, thus in the position to instruct OB1. Plus that is a something stupid that happens in ESB, not TPM.
  16. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I think it's more of a case of lousy appreciation capabilities.

    I swear sometimes the unhappy fans remind me of a 16 year old kid who wanted a mustang for his birthday, and who is now complaining because his dad sprung for a Porsche instead.

    "That's a lousy excuse for a car."

    You guys are so preoccupied with what you wanted and didn't get, that you don't even take the time to figure out how much better what you got really is.
  17. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Spoken like a true gusher there, Gome.

    I'll refrain from matching you with a similar and equally irrelevant analogy from my P.O.V., lest I be accused of trying to start a flame war.
  18. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I am not trying to start a flame war, I am just pointing out how hastey your asessment of the plot seems to me.

    Just because the film was designed to be vague, you fold your arms as if a good movie can't be.

    In most cases you would be correct, but when it is the first in a planned trilogy, that is pure genius.

    For you to brazenly suggest that is a lousy way to make a movie, well it just seems like you have no idea how much thought a story structure like this takes to be done right.

    Like a guy looking at the grand canyon and saying "it's just a big hole".
  19. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Hasty?

    Uh... by my watch I've had almost three years to make this assessment, and I stand by it. An intentionally weak Star Wars movie is a waste of time, and no amount of repetition of the mantra "but it's the introduction" is going to change that.

    Gomer, you obviously consider relatively drab characters and flaccid villains to be an act of genius if they're in the first movie in a series. You've every right to feel that way. My feeling is that if you blow that first chance to grab the audience and make them care about the characters because of who they are and not merely because they're part of the Star Wars universe, then you've wasted an opportunity to make a vital, vibrant introduction to what is already a classic movie series.

    At this point, I'm going to see AOTC because of my love of the OT... were TPM the only SW movie going, I wouldn't be concerned with AOTC at all any more than I was with Toy Story 2 (which I still have not seen). And it's not because I expected TPM to be the OT in new clothes... it's because I expected TPM to make me care about the characters and to provide me with a compelling story rather than to merely sit there on the screen and "be an introduction". Even the griping I do about TPM is based on my fondness for the series in general (and currently my desperate attempts to occupy myself and NOT break down and read the AOTC script before opening day) and not on any sort of unconnected fixation on TPM itself.

    IMHO, TPM had every chance to be a good SW movie. But again... I can't look at a piece of white bread and pretend that it's a steak. If you can, more power to you. To me, weak villains and characters which are flat even by SW standards and a plot which is hit-or-miss at best (TF issues aside, I still think that the political story was about the only relatively strong part of TPM) are not an act of genius, but the act of a storyteller who hasn't really told a story in almost two decades and who is rusty because of that.
  20. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    You simply have no idea.

    There is a full sandwhich there but you can't see the insides through the bread, because Lucas is only allowing you to see it from the top at the moment.

    It will take episodes II and III for many of you to be able to see the sandwhich from the side.
  21. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Gomer, basically it's like buying the first of a six CD set of an orchestra playing a marathon symphony, putting it on, and realizing that you've just paid full price for an entire CD of the orchestra tuning up, but the label promises that you WILL get the overture when you buy the SECOND CD, and by the THIRD CD you will hear beyond a shadow of a doubt what the tuning up was leading to.
  22. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Whatever. Obvioulsy, SW just isn't for everyone.
  23. Lukecash Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 4
    EGADS! WILL YOU TWO STOP IT! :mad:

    I feel like I am watching a zen-poet editon of crossfire! :p



  24. Lukecash Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 4
    Okay, now that I am calmed down I am going to make some comments

    Go-mer: I think what Patrick is attempting to say, is that it was a REALLY lousy introduction/first part of the story. It's doing nothing for him thus far.

    If he was reading this in a book format- he wouldn't bother finishing the novel.

    Patrick: What Gomer is attempting to say is that Lucas is telling a story that you already love the ending. You just didn't know what the begining was.

    Perhaps because of pre-concieved notions of what the begining was, you have not allowed yourself to let the storyteller tell the tale. Answers and motivations sometimes do not come about until later in the tale.

  25. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I just wish the people who refuse to see the point would quit trying.
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