Scene-by-Scene Analysis of The Phantom Menace

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by Obi-WanKenobi715, Jun 17, 2003.

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  1. Obi-WanKenobi715 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    This forum will contain a scene-by-scene analysis of The Phantom Menace. Hopefully this will lead to new perspectives and theories of the film.

    Feel free to discuss the following:

    Acting
    Cinematography
    Sybolism
    Cameos
    Bloopers
    Dialogue
    Overall Impact
    Importance to the Saga as a whole
    Anything

    I think I will include interesting tidbits from the Insider's Guide and post those, which will add even more to the discussion. Maybe people will think Mr. Lucas should have gone with his first impulse or incorporate bits from other drafts.

    If you feel the scene being discussed is pointless, say so, but state why. I don't want this to turn into a basher/gusher feud.

    I'll post a scene hopefully each day, using the 50 chapters of the DVD as a guideline, unless a shorter scene is contained within that chapter and I think it should be discussed separately.

    When the entire film has been covered, we can discuss the deleted scenes and then the impact of the film 4 years later.

    I hope people are interested. This could turn into, hopefully, a very thought provoking thread that will shed new light on the first chapter in the Star Wars Saga and if there's enough interest, when this thread is done, we'll move to Attack of the Clones.
  2. Padawan_Jess_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 4
    This is a great idea!! :D I'll definately participate in this. I just can't wait until we get up to the Duel of the Fates part of the movie. [face_devil] Than I can torture you all with a full page worth of ideas, thoughts, and gushing over every move of the battle. ;)
  3. Obi-WanKenobi715 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    Chapter 1 - 3

    1. Opening Logos
    2. The Phantom Menace
    3. Short Negotiations

    Interesting Tidbits:

    In earlier drafts. . .

    Star Destroyers are a part of the blockade.

    One Jedi is sent to negotiate, a certain Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    Daulty Dofine refuses to meet with Kenobi because Dofine is afraid he'll use a Jedi Mind trick to confuse him.

    After Dofine suggests, "We dare not go against these Jedi," Darth Sidious chokes him, lifts him in the air and says, "You fool, my reach is far greater than the Jedi. Only a Sith Lord can wield the power of the Force over such a great distance."

    Obi-Wan meditates while waiting and, sensing danger, warns the ship to flee, but not in time.

    Rune Haako, who knows more about Jedi than Nute Gunray, suggests that they leave because the Jedi will be looking for him.

    Destroyer droids spoke to one another. The commander orders two others to "swith to heat" and "swith to bio" while searching for Obi-Wan.

    From the commentary:

    Sidious first appears in the PT via hologram. Emperor Palpatine first appeared via hologram in the original trilogy.

    The scene is meant to establish that the Jedi are nearly invincible and a Force to be reckoned with.

    My thoughts:

    The opening moments of the film are solid. I love the way the Emperor's theme plays when Sidious first appears and the Jedi tearing through the battle droids, especially when Obi-Wan deflects one droids blaster fire into another. I also love the Force theme being played while Qui-Gon is trying to cut through the door.
  4. OBIX1 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2002
    star 6
    great thread idea! :D


    yeah,I really like the opening scenes.it gets to the fighting right away.and it's a great scene with qui-gon cutting through the door :)


    btw,those were instersting facts!
  5. Tatooine_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2003
    star 4
    Great thread Obi-WanKenobi715!

    When Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon board the TF's ship, two battledroids watch them , and one says to the other: "Jedi Knights! The President is in big trouble now, don't your think?" to which the other replies: "I wasn't made to think."

    I don't know if this was just a joke from an older draft, or that it acutally IS a deleted scene.
  6. Oakessteve Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 9, 1999
    star 6
    Brilliant idea for a thread, Obi-WanKenobi715! As I did A Level film at college, I'll be interested to see how this turns out. And just to empathise was Obi-WanKenobi715 said in his original post, please try to avoid any bashing, whether it's of the film or people who dislike it. Thank you! :)
  7. Obi-WanKenobi715 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    I'm going to keep the first chapter open for a day or two longer to give people a chance to check out the thread and give their comments about the first couple chapters. Then I'll post info on Chapter 4, Queen Amidala.
  8. ezekiel22x Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 4
    I thought the tidbit about Star Destroyers being in an earlier draft was especially interesting. Studying earlier script treatments is always fun, as it gives you a chance to picture would could have been and gives you better insight to the writer's thought process when developing a film. And by the way great thread idea, Obi-wanKenobi715.
  9. Bookedout Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 7, 2002
    star 3
    You're right, Tatooine_Fireman, It was in the script and is on page 4 of the TPM Illustrated Screenplay.

    EG-9: "A Republic cruiser! That's trouble... don't you think?"

    PK-4: "I'm not made to think."

    I think it was supposed to be a joke along the lines of people at work who just follow orders and aren't "paid to think." Anyway, GL decided to cut it out, but echoed the thought later in Dex's diner in AOTC when Obi Wan said that "...if droids could think there'd be none of us here."
  10. -Ace- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    The first chapter is one of my favorite scenes in the Saga. It makes the Jedi look so invincible in their prime with everyone else afraid of them. When Qui-Gon starts cutting the door then the blast doors come down but he still cutting was simply awesome. I also liked how the dialogue was crisp and to the point like in a real battle.
  11. Tatooine_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2003
    star 4
    Thanks, Bookedout!

    I agree with -Ace- TPm's first scenes are great.
    I especially love the shot of Naboo with all those TF-battleships in front of it. It looks so menacing.

    I also love, like -Ace- said, the part in which OB1 and Qui-Gon make their way to the bridge, especially when the droideka's arrive. These droids are really cool!

    Have you guys ever noticed that, when OB1 and Qui-Gon jump out of the ventillation(SP?) shaft, and we get a total shot of the hangar, on the left side of the hangar you can see a battledroid washing a tank?
    I guess he did something wrong, 'cause there's another droid instructing him!
    I love those little things.


  12. V Wing Fighter Pilot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 1999
    star 4
    To save everyone time:

    Jimmy Jameson put it best: "Theyre Crap! Crap, Crap...Mega Crap!"
  13. RogueSith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 3
    Great idea for a thread, as long as we can keep criticism and praise in balance.



    I agree that the opening is basically strong, but I don't care for the way the Jedi's actions are paced at the blast door. It seems like the Jedi are being shown as nearly unstoppable until the destoyer droids show up, then they just run. Tension is being built as Qui-Gon is cutting through despite the adding of layers to the blast door and things are going quite well, IMO, but then it just stops.
    This isn't a big fault really, just something I think could have worked better if the Jedi's actions leading them to the hangar would have been orchestrated differently.

    Couple of things on the upside:
    - I liked that the Jedi have their hoods down at the beginning, I think we should see this more often.
    - I love the subtle humor of the droid's reaction to "Send a droid".


    As for outakes, I think this one in particular -

    After Dofine suggests, "We dare not go against these Jedi," Darth Sidious chokes him, lifts him in the air and says, "You fool, my reach is far greater than the Jedi. Only a Sith Lord can wield the power of the Force over such a great distance."

    would have been great, minus "Only a Sith Lord can wield the power of the Force over such a great distance.". A small gesture from Sidious, a slight delay, Dofine choking much like the Imperial officer in ANH, then "Fool, my reach is far greater than the Jedi."
    Would have been an awesome moment. That type of scene would have injected the OT's mysterious feeling of the force into the PT from the beginning. Such an action wouldn't seem scientifically plausible, giving it a "black magic" vibe.
  14. SHAFTTT Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2002
    star 2
    I'm new to the TPM board, but I just recently watched the movie for the first time since it was in theaters...

    In the hangar of the Federation ship at the beginning of the movie, there were large "4 legged" robots walking around. Were those the Federation fighter ships in their "land form" that we see in the space battle at the end of the movie...kind of like pseudo-Transformers?
  15. Obi-WanKenobi715 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    Yeah, those were the Federation Fighters in "psuedo transformer mode." The ships can use their wings to walk and then move into flight mode.
  16. Obi-WanKenobi715 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    The Star Wars saga starts solidly in these opening scenes. Obi-Wan's first line of dialogue suggests that something else is afoot, "something elsewhere, elusive." The Star Wars saga begins at the point when a young Obi-Wan Kenobi first senses that something is afoot in the Galaxy.

    Later in the scene, Qui-Gon states that the hold up is "unusual for something as trivial as this trade dispute." People complain that the first episode is boring because there's no Star WARS, but that's the point. This situation IS trivial. The whole point of the blockade is for Senator Palpatine to pull enough strings to bring himself into power. Also, as Obi-Wan said in Episode IV, the Republic was a "more civilized age." No smugglers, no war, just Jedi going about their daily business.

    The one item from earlier drafts that I wish Lucas had included in the final film is Darth Sidious' reaction to Dofine's timidness in confronting the Jedi.

    Darth Sidious using the force to choke and lift Dofine would certainly "echo" Vader from the original trilogy. And we all know how much Lucas likes his films to "echo" and "rhyme." The lines "You fool, my reach is far greater than the Jedi. Only a Sith Lord can wield the power of the Force over such a great distance," is also much better than "Viceroy, I don't want this stunted slime in my sight again."

    This is just one of many instances when Lucas second guessed himself and the movie could have been that much better if he went with his gut instinct.
  17. Obi-WanKenobi715 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    Also, Darth Sidious says, "We must accelerate our plans. Being landing your troops."

    The first steps of Sidious' master plan to take over the Republic begins here.
  18. Obi-WanKenobi715 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    Chapter 4: Queen Amidala

    In earlier drafts . . .

    The Trade Federation's excuse for invading Naboo was to assist a starving liberation group that had been plunged into chaos because of Queen Amidala's refusal to sign a treaty. The Viceroy stated that the Federation was sending in troops to quell the unrest.

    Darth Sidious later states that the Senate is debating the Naboo's plea for help in putting down the riots.

    In the commentary . . .

    Lucas states that TPM is essentially Queen Amidala's story told through the eyes of the Jedi.

    My thoughts . . .

    This scene introduces Queen Amidala and establishes the Naboo's situation with the Federation. The Queen is suspcious of the Viceroy and the Federation is nervous that Amidala suspects something. It's a scene largely comprised of exposition.

    It's interesting to note that both Darth Sidious and Senator Palpatine are first introduced via hologram. Intentional? Definitely.
  19. Obi-WanKenobi715 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    Chapter 5: Landing on Naboo

    In earlier drafts . . .

    OOM-9, the droid commander states, "There is no resistance."

    Jar Jar speaks normal english, but is described as childlike and emotional.

    In the commentary:

    Lucas states that he's trying to keep each scene interesting in itself and provide a ton of information simultaneously. This scene shows the might of the Federation forces and introduces Jar Jar.

    My thoughts:

    I wish OOM-9's line, "There is no resistance," had been left in the final film. It'd explain the ease of the Federation's march to the capital. The shots of the Federation launching their attack on Naboo are also quite impressive.
  20. DarthVegas Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 4
    Here's my play.

    Chapters 1-3, brilliant. Shows the Jedi are a force to be reckoned with. I'm very glad Sidious did not Force Choke the Nemuodian. That would take it way from Vader, it's HIS trademark, dig?

    Now, Chapter 4, we're introduced to Queen Amidala. And Sidious and Palpatine introduced as a hologram.

    Amidala is fine. Now, when Palpatine is speaking to the Queen and begins to cut off... BRILLIANT!!! PURE BRILLIANCE! It shows Palpatine is a 'sketchy' character the way his transmission began to break up, and his voice in the transmission becomes very dark and sketched. I LOVE this about TPM.

    Chapter 5, Here's where I get mad. I wish we could have seen SOME type of action. This would have been a perfect opportunity to show the Battle Droids as some type of threat instead of the wastes of CGI metal that they were.

    I always imagine a scene that showed the Battle Droids as fierce simply because they could NOT be reasoned with, they are machines doing what they are programmed to do... kill, destroy, and report back to HQ. I would've loved to see them rampaging and marching through the city with blasters on high power. We saw none of this. We saw NOTHING. We got no idea that the battle droids were even the slightest threat. All we saw was that they were cannon fodder and that those who had surrendered to them were as weak as children. We have no idea of how harsh they could be.

    Bad idea on Lucas' part in my opinion. That line about 'there was no resistance' would have helped immensley, but still, the same problem remains.

    Great thread, by the way.
  21. RogueSith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 3
    Chapter 4 - I love the Flash Gordon holo-screen, especially the replicated sound that goes with it. That's a great job by the technical guys.

    Since first viewing I have never cared for the TF voices. I'm not saying they're racist (at least not intentionally), just that I don't like them. I think they sound like bad cartoon voices.

    On Amidala, so much better as Queen than as Senator. Her position furthered the feeling of an epic fantasy that I find missing from AOTC. I liked how she used a different voice and carried herself in a more regal manner as the Queen. IMO, the duality of her role gave her a certain depth that is, again, missing in AOTC.


    Chapter 5 - Good visual of the ships landing, but I've never like the design of the battle droids, they just seem so frail.

    I don't care at all for the way Qui-Gon talks to Jar Jar, it always struck me as mean-spirited and wrong for a Jedi. There's an invasion army landing on this creature's planet, and Qui-Gon is overly impatient and insulting to him because he's thankful for having his life saved. And on top of that his insult isn't even accurate -

    QUI-GON : Are you brainless? You almost got us killed!

    JAR JAR : I spek.

    QUI-GON : The ability to speak does not make you intelligent. Now get outta here!


    He didn't ask if he was intelligent, he asked if he had a brain, having a brain doesn't make you intelligent either. I don't know why that dialogue bugs me, but it does. Very small complaint, but a definite annoyance.



    EDIT : just fixed some typos
  22. Padawan_Jess_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 4
    I love chapters 1-5. It really shows quite a bit about the Naboo situation, and the Jedi.

    Amidala's Chapter was great, and I also liked how Palpatine's transmition got cut off. And the hologram thing that was mentioned previously- brilliant.

    Chapter 5- I actually quite enjoyed this one. I sensed nothing wrong from it, really. Sure a little more action would have been nice, but it didn't affect anything.

    I don't care at all for the way Qui-Gon talks to Jar Jar, it always struck me as mean-spirited and wrong for a Jedi. There's an invasion army landing on this creature's planet, and Qui-Gon is overly impatient and insulting to him because he's thankful for having his life saved. And on top of that his insult isn't even accurate -

    QUI-GON : Are you brainless? You almost got us killed!

    JAR JAR : I spek.

    QUI-GON : The ability to speak does not make you intelligent. Now get outta here!

    He didn't ask if he was intelligent, he asked if he had a brain, having a brain doesn't make you intelligent either. I don't know why that dialogue bugs me, but it does.


    RougeSith, that comment wasn't meant to be that insulting, and shouldn't be taken that way. And you didn't get the dialog completely correct. Qui-Gon says this:

    "The ability to speak does not make one intelligent. Now get out of here!"

    You see, that comment wasn't directly aimed at Jar Jar. He wasn't saying that Jar Jar wasn't intelligent because he could speak. It was a general comment, not exactly pertaining to Jar Jar. And you must admit, Qui-Gon was on a deadline, he didn't exactly have time to stop and speak with someone. ;)
  23. Mr_Sith Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2003
    star 5
    My 1-5 Analysis

    The Opening Logos and scroll really brought it back for me. Just thin to myself, "Wow, a new Star Wars movie in like 25 years. Epic. Then when that music hit it was surreal.

    I think that 1-5 were great because it showed what Jedi's did for people they didn't know. It really shows their code and their beliefs.

    I liked the droid landing scene because to me it brought that the Empire wasn't the only big faction in the Saga.

    I also enjoyed the scenes with the Queen switching. It was a useful and entertaining ploy that even fooled me.

    On the matter of Qui Gon/Jar Jar I liked it. becuase later on you here that Qui Gon is a maverick in the Order so really I thought that that was just him.

    Cant wait to discuss future scenes!
  24. Tatooine_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2003
    star 4
    I love Amidala's red throne-room gown. I think that when somebody says "queen amidala" people will allways be reminded at that red dress.
    When I first saw the pictures of Amidala in that dress, I thought someting like "Woowww how could you come up with such a design!"

    I like the shot of the TF invading Naboo, approaching Theed over the grass. Loos so cool, with the music, and droids flying on staps.

    I also like the shot of Amidala standing in front of the window, watching Theed being invaded. Note that you can see the wire of the lights on her dress on the wall!

    What can I say? I like TPM. Everyting of it.
  25. Obi-WanKenobi715 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    Chapter 6: Jar Jar

    In earlier drafts . . .

    This bit of dialogue was deleted from the final film after Qui-Gon destroys the STAPs pursuing Obi-Wan.

    Obi-Wan: Sorry master, the water fried my weapon.

    Obi-Wan pulls out his burnt lightsaber, which Qui-Gon inspects.

    Qui-Gon: You forgot to turn off the power again, didn't you?

    Obi-Wan nods sheepishly.

    Qui-Gon: It won't take long to recharge, but this is a lesson I hope you've learned my young padawan.

    Obi-Wan: Yes Master.

    In the commentary . . .

    Lucas states this is one of his favorite scenes featuring Jar Jar.

    My thoughts: Another solid scene that moves the plot along quickly. The first act on Naboo is well paced, IMO. I wish Qui-Gon's lecture had been included in the final film and wouldn't be surprised to see Lucas insert it in the archival edition, especially after Obi-Wan's lectures to Anakin about the importance of a lightsaber in AOTC. Jar Jar is really starting to grow on me as a character. The work done by ILM IS amazing. Jar Jar is really expressive and truly "acting." Did you notice the way the light naturally reflects off his skin in this scene?

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