The Suffering of Naboo citizens.

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by Jedi_Learner, Jan 17, 2003.

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  1. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    "Without this device, there would be no dramatic tension while they were stranded on Tatooine."

    [face_laugh]

    ROTFLMAO!!!!

    Lucas screwed up. He'd rather give us "Annie in toonland" than a great dramatic Star Wars film.

    If he wanted to keep the tension alive, he would not have spent 15 DAMN minutes on the Podrace.

    Rule Number One of Dramatic Tension: Keep things tight, with small intervals so as to not exhaust the audience.

    Tatooine was 15 minutes of eye-candy and 10 minutes of intervals.

    No dramatic tension whatsoever.


    Again: Is Bibble LYING THEN? Is he lying about the people's plight?

    Why would he do that? Where's his motivation for doing so?

    HE'S NOT LYING!

    The Naboo were suffering and Bibble was used by the TF to try and force the Queen to respond.

    Sidious did want the treaty signed until Amidala showed up on Coruscant. Once that happened, Palpious changed his plans and used her to gain the Chancellorship.

    After that, he didn't need her. That was why he no longer mentioned the treaty and instead informed Gunray to "Wipe them out. ALL of them."

    One thing Lucas has yet to do, in any of the Star Wars films, is stretch the plausibility of one character's influence on the course of EVERY SINGLE event.

    Palpatine was thwarted by Amidala earlier in TPM and he had to change his plans according to this young Queen who he earlier told Gunray was "Young and naieve"

    "Controlling her will not be difficult"

    He was wrong. Sidious had to change his course midway through and ended up with something more than he bargained for: Control of the Republic from within, not by carving it up as he originally planned by using the TF.
  2. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Annie in toonland? Whatever you say there.

    Lucas knows what he is doing a heck of a lot more than you seem to. The Pod Race's length adds to the dramatic tension being built by the possibility of the Naboo's suffering. Even taking the race in it's own context without the Naboo subtext, it was chock full of tension to me.

    />
    />

    The Naboo were suffering and Bibble was used by the TF to try and force the Queen to respond.
    />

    After that, he didn't need her. That was why he no longer mentioned the treaty and instead informed Gunray to "Wipe them out. ALL of them."
    />
/>

"Controlling her will not be difficult"

He was wrong. Sidious had to change his course midway through and ended up with something more than he bargained for: Control of the Republic from within, not by carving it up as he originally planned by using the TF.
/>

They key to all of this is to keep the TF thinking they need the treaty to make their invasion legal. If Sidious suddenly told them to abandon the treaty, they would probably stop the invasion. The only reason they agreed to do it in the first place is because Sidious assured them that if they got the treaty signed, they would be on the up and up with the Republic.

Lucas knows what he is doing. If more people would stop assuming they understand this stuff better than Lucas does, then maybe they would start to understand what it is he is actually doing./>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>
Go-Mer-Tonic, Mar 11, 2003 at 5:22 PM
#52
  • Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Lucas knows what he is doing. If more people would stop assuming they understand this stuff better than Lucas does, then maybe they would start to understand what it is he is actually doing.

    Like you do, Go-Mer? Please, enlighten us concerning your insights into GL's mind.

    Anyway, claims of prescience aside, there is no evidence that the podrace was meant to add tension to the "plight of the Naboo" subplot - it was meant to demonstrate Anakin's extraordinary abilities (since, after all, GL now states that the saga is Anakin's story), not to have the viewer think "Oh! How can they take time for this when Naboo's citizens could be suffering... or not, in which case there is no real tension to that subplot... Oh! Sebulba crashed! Waitaminnit, this scene is *longer* on the DVD?!"

    There is a lot more to indicate that the segment is about Anakin's characterization than it is for increasing the dramatic element of potential non-existent suffering. Regardless of any motivations fiated by us on Lucas for the choices he made, the point is many folks did not identify with the characters or feel any empathy with the Queen and her plight, and did so for very reasonable reasons. If we're supposed to care about these characters, that's a flaw in the storytelling. We shouldn't have to analyze afterwards why we're supposed to care - it should be self-evident; especially in light of the serial nature of these films. I'm not saying that the audience needs to be spoon-fed; I just think that enough needs to be given to demonstrate whether the threat is real.

    It's much more dramatic for the audience to *know* whether the Queen is deluding herself or whether she is acting out of genuine need. A sincere but misguided character is empathetic, as is a heroine in genuine plight - vague and indistinct worries do not compelling story-telling make.

    "Oh no, Padme! Look out for that angst!"
  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Insight into his mind? It's called paying attention to what he did.

    The race has it's own dramatic tension, but their overall tension during their whole time on Tatooine gets set up when they establish that "either way they are running out of time".

    Since the heros don't have confirmation of what is actually happening back on Naboo, the audience shouldn't either. This is how Lucas helps you to relate to the characters, to help you feel what they are feeling.

    When the film says they are being led off to detention camps, and then they find out they may or may not be suffering at the hands of the Trade Federation, I am not sure what more one would need to understand the potential severity of the matter.

    It bewilders me that people wouldn't be able to empathise with the Queen's plight.
  • SomeRandomNerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    ShaneP

    >>>Umm...bibble's hologram: "...cut off ALL FOOD SUPPLIES UNTIL YOU RETURN. The death toll is catastrophic.

    Obi-Wan: It's a trick. Send no reply.


    I thought "hunger strike" meant deliberately refusing food- not being starved...

    So the only evidence that there's a "hunger strike" going on, or that her people are dying, is a TRICK message?

    #sigh#

    Watch TPM. Watch what Bibble says when Padme is leaving Naboo, where he is the only person other than Qui Gon who thinks she should leave. Then explain to me why he would ask her to come back.

    And remember this line- from after the message was sent?
    "Your Queen is lost, your people are starving, and you, Governor, are going to die, much sooner than your people, I'm afraid.

    Doesn't that scene, where Bibble is telling Gunray that they won't bow to the TF's wishes, and the TF saying that nobody's died yet, indicate that he didn't actually ask Padme to come back?

    >>>Are you saying Bibble is lying? Are you saying Maul is a clawdite and posed as Bibble?

    Maybe they photoshopped it. But yeah, that Clawdite thing works too. The point is that the message was a fake. A TRICK.

    >>>It's obvious that her people are suffering. The suffering is to force the Queen to return and sign the treaty.

    Yes, they are probably suffering in some way. But they aren't dying. The condition that the Naboo are in is significantly different from the condition that Amidala thinks they are in, which is the basis for her vote. That's why it's not shown.

    "Yes, and that Sith Lord has used Amidala's fear to make her do exactly what he wants her to do."
    >>>No, he doesn't. He wants the treaty signed all the way up until Amidala arrives on Coruscant.


    Where he uses her fear to make her move for a vote of no confidence in Valorum! She won't sit around while her people are "dying", she won't wait for the Senate to verify her claims.

    "If something's not shown, it's not shown for a reason.
    The "suffering" wasn't shown for the reason that what was happening was different from what Amidala thought was happening."

    >>>>That's BS. The only reason we weren't shown what was happening was because Lucas decided he'd rather have characters standing around giving speeches than actually show them do something.


    I ask again, what were we not shown that we should have been?

    "Palpatine's work wasn't shown because it's not supposed to be clear to the audience that he is Sidious."

    >>>What is this about? When did I say it would be good to reveal Palpy's identity. Heck, if anything, I wished Lucas would've been more mysterious with the whole thing.


    I'm talking about the fact that what wasn't shown wasn't shown for a reason.
    Suffering wasn't shown because it didn't happen.
    Palpatine's manipulations weren't shown because the audience isn't supposed to know what he's doing.

    "Oh, come on; TPM had the most graphic violence of any Star Wars film with Qui Gon and Darth Maul's deaths."

    >>>>Again I ask: Why does the suffering of the Naboo have to be graphic?


    I was referring to your point that "This is the same damn PC sentiment that will lead to Lucas eventually editing out Walrus Man's bloody limb" etc. and pointing out that the idea that the "suffering" wasn't shown because Lucas is too PC flies in the face of the facts.

    >>>Why would they care about Amidala's victory if they weren't miserable under the TF? THEY WOULDN'T! They're happy because the TF made them suffer.

    So, if your town was taken over by armed soldiers, you were put under house arrest, then someone came along with a big army and freed you, you wouldn't care either way?
  • Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Insight into his mind? It's called paying attention to what he did.

    It's also called reading one's own interpretation into what he did and being unable to see where his part ends and your part begins. We've had that conversation before.

    The race has it's own dramatic tension, but their overall tension during their whole time on Tatooine gets set up when they establish that "either way they are running out of time".

    And at which point they don't reference time again until they're on Coruscant. In fact, the Tattooine segment is extended so that Anakin can say good-bye to Mom. And Jira. And throw in another lap into the pod-race. Surely if Lucas wanted us to be worried about the time element he would have tossed in a line like "Anakin, we must hurry." or something.

    Is it so hard to admit the possibility that perhaps the Naboo "suffering" was put on the back burner for a bit so that Anakin's characterization could be presented?

    Since the heros don't have confirmation of what is actually happening back on Naboo, the audience shouldn't either. This is how Lucas helps you to relate to the characters, to help you feel what they are feeling.

    Which didn't happen for many people, even after it was "explained", which makes it poorly executed. Further, exactly where is it required that the audience not receive confirmation of this? You throw the "it had to happen this way" around a lot and provide little justification for the statement. It's one thing to throw in plot twists to surprise the audience ("No, Luke. *I* am your father"); it's another to keep them in the dark about minor plot points (especially minor in light of the entire six-part saga).

    When the film says they are being led off to detention camps, and then they find out they may or may not be suffering at the hands of the Trade Federation, I am not sure what more one would need to understand the potential severity of the matter.

    Again, *showing* how the Naboo are affected increases the severity, which is the entire point of this thread.

    It bewilders me that people wouldn't be able to empathise with the Queen's plight.

    It seems that a lot bewilders you, and we've had conversations like this before. It bewilders me that you seem to have a hard time entertaining interpretations other than your own. It doesn't make my argument any more strong to say that that bewilders me, much in the same way that it doesn't strengthen your argument to say that others not accepting your interpretation bewilders you.
  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    What Lucas did makes a lot more sense to me than what you suppose he should have done.
    Go-Mer (before): Since the heros don't have confirmation of what is actually happening back on Naboo, the audience shouldn't either. This is how Lucas helps you to relate to the characters, to help you feel what they are feeling.

    Quix: Which didn't happen for many people, even after it was "explained", which makes it poorly executed.
    />

    I still can't comprehend someone not being able to understand the severity of the situation when they hear Bibble's message, unless they actually see the people suffering. It is also hard to beleive that one would need to be reminded about it every 5 minutes just to be able to retain the plot point.

    I may be assuming some motivations here, but at least my assumptions fit with what Lucas did. Your assumptions are all crafted so you can sit back and declare yourself smarter than Lucas.

    Go-Mer: Well, Lucas was trying to do "B", which is why he ended up with "B".

    Quix: "Oh obviously lucas was trying to do A, but he ended up doing B."

    What a bunch of self-pretentious poppycock./>/>
  • ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Go-Mer:
    "If it was explained to people, and they didn't understand the severity of the situation from Sio Bibble's words, then that is not a failure of the film."

    WHAT SEVERE SITUATION?! According to you, the occupation is benign.

    And Sidious didn't set out to set up the TF. He wanted a treaty that would help him, with the help of the TF, begin to carve up the Republic.

    This was a forerunner to what he was able to fully achieve later with the CIS and the seperatists.


    Go-Mer:
    "Insight into his mind? It's called paying attention to what he did."

    Go-Mer, you are clearly a symbiont with Lucas.


    SRN:
    "The message was a TRICK."

    [face_shocked]

    LOL!!

    SRN, I said it was a trick! BUT, the CONTENTS of the Trick WAS NOT.

    It was a trick to get her to RESPOND, but the plight of the Naboo WAS NOT.

    And I WAS JOKING about the Clawdite!

    Good Yoda!

    And again, why would the Naboo people be celebrating so much if the TF invasion was benign?

    They Would Not. It was not a benign invasion, and the Naboo were made to suffer.


    EDIT:

    SRN:

    "Yes, they are probably suffering in some way. But they aren't dying. The condition that the Naboo are in is significantly different from the condition that Amidala thinks they are in, which is the basis for her vote. That's why it's not shown."

    Okay, so they ARE SUFFERING RIGHT?


    SRN:

    "Suffering wasn't shown because it didn't happen."

    Okay, so the suffering DID NOT happen?

    [face_laugh]


    SRN:
    "So, if your town was taken over by armed soldiers, you were put under house arrest, then someone came along with a big army and freed you, you wouldn't care either way?"

    How do you know the Naboo were put under house arrest? This was NEVER SHOWN. And it wasn't shown for A REASON.

    Freed me from what?

    According to you, the suffering is all a big lie!

    So, again, where the Naboo suffering at all or not?

    Poor storytelling.
  • Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    If it was explained to people, and they didn't understand the severity of the situation from Sio Bibble's words, then that is not a failure of the film.

    But wait, is the situation severe or isn't it? I thought it was an illusion or veiled threat? I thought that we weren't supposed to know whether the situation is severe or not, to help us identify with the protagonists? Oh, wait, that's right, actually answering the question would be too easy.

    Perish the thought that a VISUAL medium be used to SHOW important events or motivations...

    I still can't comprehend someone not being able to understand the severity of the situation when they hear Bibble's message, unless they actually see the people suffering. It is also hard to beleive that one would need to be reminded about it every 5 minutes just to be able to retain the plot point.

    Er, wasn't the message a trick, and therefore not indicative of the situation on Naboo? And since when did I say that the audience needed to be reminded every five minutes? A subtle reminder about urgency would have been nice at some point in the rather extended sequences on Tattooine.

    And I know that having a countdown in the end battle of ANH was simply spoon-feeding the audience, since it assumed that they couldn't appreciate how time was working against the rebels.

    Oh, wait, you didn't say that, so I should be using it against you? Seems somehow familiar...

    I may be assuming some motivations here, but at least my assumptions fit with what Lucas did. Your assumptions are all crafted so you can sit back and declare yourself smarter than Lucas.

    Er, exactly when did I say this? When did I make this claim? What are you basing this on?

    Go-Mer: Well, Lucas was trying to do "B", which is why he ended up with "B".

    Quix: "Oh obviously lucas was trying to do A, but he ended up doing B."

    What a bunch of self-pretentious poppycock.


    [face_laugh]

    Oh, Go-Mer, if only my arguments were that simple... Still, I give you credit for flame-baiting a moderator.
  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I am sure your argument has to be pretty complex to enable you to completely ignore the most logical possibility here.

    When they tell you that the Naboo citizens may be suffering, you don't need to know for sure they are to understand what might be happening. At least I didn't need that.

  • ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Go-Mer, did the Naboo suffer or not?

    I don't mean DYING, but suffering?

    Where they being denied their freedom?

    Why celebrate at the end if the occupation was benign?

    :confused:

    Both you and SRN don't know for certain because the plot wasn't clear enough.

    Poor storytelling.

    And if the Palpy's whole goal was the chancellorship, then why mask whether the occupation was benign or violent?

    It makes his election dry and dull because it's not made clear the stakes involved....AT ALL.

  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Well, we do know that they were all taken to concentration camps, so at the very least they lost their freedom during the occupation, which is bad enough to warrant a celebration at the end.

    The idea that they were being denied food and supplies while being kept in the camps is what is never resolved. Nute Gunray told Sio Bibble about it, and Sio relayed that to Amidala.

    The point was to keep it unknown to the aduience, because it was unknown to the heros.

    It turns out that either way, they were running out of time, so I don't understand why it matters whether or not they clear that point up.
  • Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Then it seems you've missed the point of this thread, Go-Mer. There are a great many people who felt that the characterization of the Queen as champion of her people would have been aided by establishing a credible threat (i.e., *seeing* how the invasion affected them). There are a great many people who felt that aside from being told "They're the good guys" there's no real reason to feel that the situation is as terrible as you make it out to be. There are a great many people who don't buy into your little pet theory that the audience isn't supposed to know, even though the audience is given ample evidence of real and hidden motivations throughout the rest of the saga.

    Really, Go-Mer, we're not all as blind and ignorant as you make us out to be, and we happen to hold a different opinion stemming from the same "evidence" you claim supports your argument and your argument alone. A little clarity one way or the other (a two second cut or intro would do to show that it was more than a collective field trip) establishes the credibility of the Queen's sense of urgency. Why do you prefer to insult the intelligence of others rather than admitting that more than your particular take on the matter is possible?
  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I am not saying it would have been impossible to do, I am saying it is better the way Lucas did it IMHO.
  • SomeRandomNerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    To go back to the original question, I think that showing the suffering of the Naboo people would probably have given the audience more of an emotional connection to Amidala.

    What I'm clearly failing to get across here is that I don't think it's a good idea to "establish the credibility of the Queen's sense of urgency", because the Queen's sense of urgency is because she thinks her people are DYING, which it seems that they are not.

    By leaving the plight of her people off-camera, and only telling the audience what she knows herself shows us her position- it doesn't show the audience that what's actually going on is different to what she thinks is going on, because that wouldn't "establish the Queen's sense of urgency" at all!

    Amidala was manipulated by Palpatine, which clearly isn't supposed to be apparent to the audience who doesn't know who Palpatine is, and who he goes on to become.

    ShaneP

    >>>did the Naboo suffer or not? I don't mean DYING, but suffering? Where they being denied their freedom?

    Well, I think they were probably suffering to some extent. But Bibble's conversation implies that they were on hunger strike, and the people had decided not to give in. They were standing strong. On the other hand, the trick message says that they have had their food cut off, and that they want her to give up and come back. So the suffering that is going on is VERY different to the suffering that Amidala thinks is going on.

    >>>Why celebrate at the end if the occupation was benign?

    Because they are free again?

    >>>Both you and SRN don't know for certain because the plot wasn't clear enough.

    Poor storytelling.


    If TPM was a stand alone film, then I'd agree. If it was meant to be a film that you watch once then forget about, you'd have a very strong point. If you were supposed to know at the end of the film (without having eeen IV, V and VI) that Palpatine is Sidious, then you'd be right. But as we know, that's not the case.
  • ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    "If TPM was a stand alone film, then I'd agree. If it was meant to be a film that you watch once then forget about, you'd have a very strong point."

    Well, I can only watch one movie at a time you know.

    I watch Star Wars all the time, and it works just fine as a standalone film.

    All the serials that inspired Lucas so much had self-contained stories that brought up points and saw them to resolution.

    Everything that up to this point is exclusive to TPM, midis, Naboo occupation,symbiosis, etc. is poorly portrayed.

  • SomeRandomNerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    That's hardly surprising, considering that Star Wars was written as a standalone film. (Which is why so many elements joining it to ESB are off camera...)

    OK then. Without reference to subsequent episodes, what's wrong with the Naboo occupation's portrayal?

    Trade Federation invade.
    Queen escapes.
    People die.
    Stuff happens at the Senate.
    Queen returns.
    People are freed.
    Yipppee!

    Which part of that story did you not understand?

    "Midichlorians are microscopic life forms which speak to us, telling us the Will of the Force."

    Which part of midichlorians is poorly portrayed?

    Symbiosis is a word in the dictionary, so I don't expect Lucas to define it, any more than I expected the original trilogy to explain to me what a rebel or an empire was (whcih they completely failed to d, incidentally, and as a result I didn't understand the plot for about 5 years- despite enjoying the films immensely...)
  • ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    So, now the people WERE DYING?!

    :confused:

    Which one IS IT?!
  • Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    I think the fact that some of the film's most frequent watchers are still arguing here over what exactly was supposed to be happening highlights how vaguely the supposed threat came across.

  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Which is the brilliance of the way Lucas did it.

    It is -SUPPOSED- to be an unknown variable.
  • Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Again, let me ask, which situation is more tense...

    "The people I've grown to love are dying, I'm stuck on a rock in the middle of nowhere, and they're as good as dead if I don't get help right now."

    or...

    "Well, I think someone I don't really know might be in trouble, 'cause, um... well, I don't know why, but anyway, I should probably get help, you know, at some point, 'cause if I don't... um, yeah."

    That isn't tense. It's just wishy-washy. Why should the audience care? "The hero cares, so you should too" isn't good enough.
  • Jedi_Learner Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2002
    star 5
    Keep it civil please. One of my topics was locked because of this.
  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Let's see, which is more tense...
    (A) "The people I've grown to love are dying, I'm stuck on a rock in the middle of nowhere, and they're as good as dead if I don't get help right now."
    />
    (B) "Well, I think someone I don't really know might be in trouble, 'cause, um... well, I don't know why, but anyway, I should probably get help, you know, at some point, 'cause if I don't... um, yeah."
    />
    (A), which is the situation presented in the film. Where did you dig up scenario (B)? />/>/>/>
    #73
  • Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    The film never bothers to introduce the Naboo citizens (until after the fact), leaving the heroes on a quest to save faceless strangers. It glosses over the threat to said strangers, never begins to explain what those who hold this vague threat over them hope to gain in doing so, never imposes any kind of deadline, and suggests that the whole thing may be a ruse to begin with. That's where (B) comes from.
  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    How hard it is to understand that the Naboo Citizens are the people Amidala is Queen of? They do show them being carted off to concentration camps before they even leave Naboo.

    You are acting as if not seeing them actively suffering cheapens their actual perdicament, but when it is spelled out the way it is, they don't really need to show it.

    Also, it is important for the viewer to not know if it is a trick or not, because it is part of the dramatic tension that was carefully set up by the lines:

    Obi-Wan: "But what if it is true and the people are really dying?"

    Qui-Gon: "Either way we are running out of time."

    You say there is no deadline, but if the people are starving to death, then the deadline is "ASAP" right?

    Why should the audience care? Because people are possibly being starved to death. I know I cared.
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