PT TPM: Were people really dying on Naboo?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by True Sith, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. True Sith

    True Sith Jedi Master star 4

    May 10, 2015
    Something that's a bit puzzling to me in TPM is the fact that supposedly, the death toll of Naboo citizens is "catastrophic" under the TF occupation, and yet the only source for this information is Sio Bibble's transmission. The very same transmission that was meant as bait to establish a trace. The film never shows us either way if there were actual casualties or not. So was Bibble's statement just an exaggeration or outright lie he was forced to say in order to try and trick the Queen?
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  2. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 16, 2005
    TBH, none of us fans KNOW for sure.
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  3. Seagoat

    Seagoat Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 25, 2013
    It's implied that, although it's fact that people were suffering and being sent to camps, the message about catastrophic death toll was likely sent by Sio Bibble while at blaster point in order to lure everyone back to Naboo so the treaty could be signed

    It is, of course, likely that several small resistance groups may have formed only to be put down by the TF
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  4. Kyle Katarn

    Kyle Katarn Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 10, 1998
    I've seen this bit in a few different ways.

    1. It's a ploy by the TF to get a trace as Obi Wan says and what Sio Bibble said was scripted. Think along the lines of what hostages held by the Viet Kong, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS say in their videos. They say one thing but their body language is totally different.

    2. Sio Bibble's body language and facial expressions did seem quite earnest, so he could have been telling the truth in spite of possibly being held at gunpoint.

    3. Sio Bibble was not saying this under duress and was stating a fact. We did see that the Trade Federation ran their vehicles through the forest without really looking out for anybody. This take no prisoners stance could have easily gone on elsewhere as it is evident that the TF army has superior firepower and could easily overwhelm any opposition, civilian or military.

    Even if the death toll was as high as we are lead to believe, it isn't something Lucas would have ever shown on camera. Piles of bodies and scenes reminiscent of a concentration camp were likely not what Lucas wanted TPM to be remembered for. Also of note is that little throw away lines like this can do a much better job at giving the viewer a broader picture of a scene than actual film footage would have done. It is sort of akin to how a good horror film director may only show part of a scary monster or axe murderer as whatever the viewer can conjure up in the theater of the mind is a thousand times scarier than anything they can show on screen. If Sio was conveying an actual fact, then my guess is that Lucas went with this route as it was the quickest and easiest way to tell it without bogging down the film with additional scenes that did nothing to move the story along and would have cost more money to make.
  5. thejeditraitor

    thejeditraitor Chosen One star 6

    Aug 19, 2003
    i would say yes.
  6. DarthCricketer

    DarthCricketer Jedi Master star 3

    Feb 18, 2016
    Don't know without any further information.

    Even if it was a falsified transmission, the Queen still uses the idea in her appeal to the Senate.
  7. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 13, 2011
    I'm gonna say for the most part, no, but I would stand corrected if there is ever anything said that implies otherwise.

    DARTHLINK Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 24, 2005
    I think we're supposed to assume that yes people were dying, but Lucas didn't want to kill the overall mood by going all 'Schindler's List' by showing us starving Nabooians in concentration camps and piles of bodies. Sometimes the best kind of horror is the horror you don't get to see.
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  9. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 13, 2014

    Funny. Until reading your post I never once thought Sio Bibble actually recorded that message. Just that is was some sort of trick the imagineers of the trade federation worked up from another holographic message or something.

    There is nothing in the movie to show that it's a fake hologram.

    Now that the people dying on Naboo I always believe was true. I'm not sure how large scale it was, but at the very least resistance fighters to the Trade Federation would be.
  10. ObiWanKnowsMe

    ObiWanKnowsMe Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2015
    I would assume that some droids killed some citizens if the citizens tried to fight back from their capture. The death toll being catastrophic is hard to believe though

    DARTHLINK I think Lucas did that also with Anakin's slavery. He didn't show everything gruesome about it

    DARTHLINK Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 24, 2005
    Yeah, he didn't pull a 12 Years A Slave where we graphically saw Watto beating Anakin until he was bloodied, black and purple and lying prone on the ground*, or Anakin being forced to watch his mother being abused by sleazy men, or show us a slave market. He had a story, and the story didn't involve exploring the horrors of slavery or life in a droid-run concentration camp.

    * Funny thing is, from what we saw, Anakin had it pretty good for a slave. Watto likely never struck him (unless the kid deserved it, and even then, I always imagined it was very brief with no blood) and he seemed to be very happy to let Anakin go off early when he wanted, and provided him and Shmi with whatever they needed.

    Sorry for sounding snarky, I'm messing around here. :D :p
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  12. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Force Ghost star 4

    Jan 1, 2011
    Unless Nute Gunray was lying when he told Sio Bibble this: "Your Queen is lost, your people are starving, and you, Governor, are going to die, much sooner than your people, I'm afraid."

    Then people were dying on Naboo. Now, it's possible Nute was only saying that in order to frighten Sio Bibble into making a more plausible transmission to Amidala but I find that unlikely given the imagery TPM uses. And the line about camps in which people are being "processed" is also quite telling.

    Example - Freeing France from Nazis/Freeing Naboo:
  13. Ingram_I

    Ingram_I Force Ghost star 5

    Sep 7, 2012
    Sorta the same thing happens in A New Hope with the destruction of Aalderaan. In that film Lucas reduced the human horrors of such a cataclysm to a single spectacle of FX that served more to propel B-movie plotting. Here, the suffering of Naboo is principally exposited through a single transmission recording aboard the Queen's ship. It all might seem anti-cinematic at first, but there is a certain mindset to it concerning the ongoing media res style of Star Wars: not Tolstoy epic, but pulpy episodic, where audiences are mostly privy to hero adventure narratives as elsewhere goings-on are given over to punchy verbal declarations. Furthermore, Lucas is fairly selective with such melodramatic events of genocide, intent on saving as much for the trilogy's third act with the Order 66.
  14. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    About there being massive camps where a lot or all the Naboo people were kept and the ultimate goal was to kill them all.

    I find this very unlikely for several reasons.
    1) To build camps for 1-2 billion people and move all these people to those camps would be a massive operation and it would take longer than a few days to do all that. So unpractical.

    2) The TF are merchants, if they commit large scale genocide and wipe out the entire population of Naboo, word of that would eventually get out. And no matter how hard they try to spin it or any kind of treaty, they will look like monsters.
    The TF tried very hard to deny that any invasion had taken place. The treaty would make the invasion legal. But would it also make the genocide legal? I doubt it.

    3) Lastly, why? What purpose is served by killing billions? The TF want control of Naboo. Why would they want to slaughter the entire population? Again the TF are merchants, they hardly want a reputation of being murdering savages that kill billions for no reason.

    So given this, I don't think that the camps or Nute's comments about starving referred to the entire or a large segment of the population of Naboo.
    Instead I think it more likely that he was talking about the leadership of Naboo. The people around Padme, the people in the government, high ranking officials etc. Those are Sio Bibble's "people", his co-workers and colleagues.
    Probably the TF were demanding their co-operation and they refused. So they were put in camps and starved to break their spirit. So we are maybe talking about a couple of hundred to maybe a couple of thousand people.
    This is still quite nasty but it isn't planetary scale genocide and I can at least see a purpose behind it. Not a nice one but one that makes some sense.

    Someone mentioned the DS, the goal of the DS was to be a weapon of terror. The empire wanted to scare the galaxy and make them do anything they said. The TF don't have that kind of power and they won't be served by acting in such a manner.

    So no, I don't think the death toll was catastrophic, that was just a ruse.

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
  15. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    There may not have been prison camps in the conventional sense, but they're probably not much different from what we saw in the hangar when the escape took place. But as to starving the people, that's easy to pull off. Cut off the power to Theed and have the droids remove food supplies and lock up stores. As to death toll, we don't know what all happened. Some might have been killed resisting the Droid Army, some might have been killed trying to flee and some might have been killed in order to force Bibble to cooperate. Take a thousand citizens out into a field and execute them.
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  16. Antpocalypse

    Antpocalypse Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 26, 2016
    I have a question: How long before the beginning of TPM was the blockade already in effect? If it was months or even weeks, I could probably believe that Naboo was beginning to run short of food or other imperative supplies leaving the people starving or dying.

    Then again, wasn't Naboo a fertile world with swathes of lush green land? Wouldn't that imply that they had large amounts of arable land and were most probably completely self sufficient?

    Also, would the Trade Federation really have been able to kill and subdue so many Nabooans in such short a time, without much destruction, which is indicated by the pristine condition that Theed remained in?
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  17. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Mar 10, 2005
    When you think about it, any death toll could be deemed catastrophic.
  18. Antpocalypse

    Antpocalypse Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 26, 2016

    I get what you mean, that the death of even one person is a catastrophe in the lives of those who loved that person and in the society in which they lived, but in this case, is that what was really being implied? In this case it would most probably mean that a large majority of the population was wiped out by a nuke or something of that order.
  19. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Mar 10, 2005
    I wouldn't go that far, but yes, he probably means that a significant amount of people have died.
    Again, though, what's significant depends on your point of view. Perhaps he's seen thirty people get killed and that was enough for him to consider the death toll catastrophic. Perhaps he's been told that the deaths he's seen are but a fraction of the total number and believed it.
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  20. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    Good post only quibble is that like Alderaan I think we are talking millions at most on Naboo if not less.
  21. Antpocalypse

    Antpocalypse Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 26, 2016

    Hmm, I like that explanation!
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  22. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001

    The blockade was about a month in. While the planet would have food supplies naturally, if access to said supplies was cut off, then people would start to die. Padme had ordered the people to not fight when the Droid Army was on the approach. This is why there is no resistance initially. But according to the droid commanders and Captain Panaka, there were pockets of resistance. We only see part of Theed in TPM. Not all of it.
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  23. Billy_Dee_Binks

    Billy_Dee_Binks Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 29, 2002
    I assume he was held at gunpoint off-hologram and forced to lie.
  24. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    RE: the people of Naboo were starving due to the blockade.

    I find this unlikely.
    1) As mentioned, Naboo is shown to be a lush, green world. If Qui-Riv-Brid is correct only a few hundred million people live there, then they would almost certainly be self-sufficient in terms of food.
    2) If they really were starving at the start of the film then that would be important enough to mention but no one says anything about that.
    3) I would also think this would generate a bit more urgency on the part of the Jedi and Padme. Millions of people are starving and could start dying.
    4) It also makes the blockade being legal very hard to swallow. Stopping trade goods and luxury items is one thing. Stopping basic supplies and food and thus starving the whole population, that is something else.

    RE: population size of Alderaan and Naboo, if less than a billion people live there, say 200 million. If both are the size of Earth then they are rather sparsely populated.

    RE: Nute/the TF trying to kill the whole/significant portion of the Naboo population. Either by death camps, cutting off all access to food or whatever.
    Again I have to ask, what would be the point? What purpose is served by wiping out the whole population of Naboo?
    And if they did this, if they announced basically "We now have control over your world and now we will kill you all by starving you to death." This wouldn't pacify the population, it would do the opposite. The Naboo people would know that they face death regardless and thus have nothing to loose and the TF would have a global revolution on their hands.
    Surely the planet is more valuable with people on it then with every last inhabitant killed. Plus they would have to dispose of rather lots of bodies.
    Also, if Nute really did this or tried to, then him getting through the courts scot free becomes harder to swallow.
    Nute had just attempted planetary-scale genocide and the courts let him go? They are corrupt yes but turning a blind eye to attempted mass murder/genocide, that is a bit much.
    Also, having the TF be a part of the seps would not be a plus. If the seps are trying in any way to seem like the good guys, why would they involve a guy accused of genocide? Yes he go off but there are courts and then courts of public opinion.
    And having Nute be known as a guy that tried to murder millions/billions for pretty much no reason would make his support of the seps rather dubious. And would make other system less likely to join them.

    So again, I doubt that there were killings done on a massive scale. To be sure, a few dozen to a few hundreds deaths, that is rather nasty. But to kill or try to kill hundreds of thousands or maybe millions or possibly billions, that is way, way worse.
    And again, Nute doesn't seem the type that delights in mass murder, esp pointless mass murder. And why would Sidious make him do this? It seems counter-productive.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  25. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    To force Padme to return and sign the treaty legitimizing their occupation.

    It is, but Padme left and now they're paying for her defiance.

    Palpatine controlled the courts. Judges were bought off, or those were eliminated who would object.

    Dooku was in charge and they answered to him and he answered to Lord Sidious. As to everyone else, they would spin it as Republic propaganda. That the Republic and the Jedi lied about what happened on Naboo and made it out to be worse than it was.

    See above.
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