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PT TPM: Were people really dying on Naboo?

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

  1. dagenspear

    dagenspear Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 9, 2015
    I don't know if I agree. I think it could be suggested that this is also used for Padme's character in helping her decide to work together with the gungans.
     
  2. Scoffed-Gherkin

    Scoffed-Gherkin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 11, 2021
    I don’t really see it. The film definitely makes it clear that she comes up with the idea when Jar Jar tells her about the Gungan Army, and she quickly sees an opportunity.

    And, like I said, I do think Lucas’s attempt to integrate Anakin into the Battle of Naboo is just genuinely awful.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
  3. Bor Mullet

    Bor Mullet Force Ghost star 6

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    Apr 6, 2018
    Sometimes. But in this case, no. Because there was nothing horrific about it.

    Should’ve been shown.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
  4. FightoftheForgotten

    FightoftheForgotten Jedi Master star 4

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    May 19, 2020
    TPM has a too lighthearted tone for that "death toll is catastrophic" line to hold weight. If TPM had the tone of ANH, it'd come off more genuine.
     
  5. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

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    Aug 25, 2014
    the biggest problem is the lack of concern from everyone involved, from Jedi to the senate...the apathy regarding the situation comes across a bit strange,
    add: WEEEESSSAAA GOING HOOOOMMMMME *arm wave* and "yousa thinkin' yousa people gonna DIEEEE????"it comes across as even more odd.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  6. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 6

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    Jul 7, 2009
    There's nothing horrific about a catastrophic death toll?!

    And why should it be shown? We are following Padmé character, it's much easier to relate to her position by seeing her suffering and sense of dread just by hearing the tragic situation and plea of her people through Sio Bibble than to show something that the character (in the situation she was in) would never see and thus not translate to the audience.
     
  7. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

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    Aug 25, 2014
    Truth is, Portman's stoic acting OR the 'Queen with stiff upper lip, don't show emotion' Lucas probably took from the Brits portrayal of this doesn't make for good or even sympathetic viewing.
     
  8. Scoffed-Gherkin

    Scoffed-Gherkin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 11, 2021
    You raise an excellent point and I think this may be part of why the Naboo plot never really regains momentum once they leave Tatooine.

    The actual invasion itself is done fine. We see their tanks just tearing through all sorts of flora and fauna. We see them march on the capitol, take the palace and hold the Queen hostage. We see that they have a blockade preventing anyone from entering or leaving the planet.

    But we never actually see the threat again in such stark terms once they leave Tatooine. We get some dull dry scenes with the Jedi Council, some Senate scenes that really come as dull and dry unless you realize who Darth Sidious actually is, and then they go back for the final battle.

    Again, I don’t hate The Phantom Menace and I do think it’s a passable action/adventure film, but it does have problems.
     
  9. Bor Mullet

    Bor Mullet Force Ghost star 6

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    Apr 6, 2018
    Of course it's a horrific thing to happen. But the way it was presented in the film seemed quite unbelievable. It didn't seem to make sense that so many people were dying. Did starvation set in that quickly? Were they being murdered? It just felt throwaway and unreal. Words with no weight. And as such, it didn't feel horrific.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
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  10. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 6

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    Jul 7, 2009
    I don't see how a character having composure and emotional maturity makes her not good or unsympathetic. She conveys the suffering and dreadfulness she's feeling without giving it away to others, and I'd say that's one of the strengths of the character.

    Speaking of which, I'm glad Lucas's stylistic approach in his movies avoided the typical overly intense (and vain) display of emotions that is so often seen in the industry, specially in modern works.

    I don't see it as having happened quickly. Remember that the blockade on the planet (and thus the limitation of resources) was in effect for quite a while. Long enough for the senate to endlessly debate the situation and for Valorum to be "forced" to ignore the senate and send Jedi in secret.

    Was everything that Sio Bibble reported actually happening? We don't know. But the fact that it's a likely possibility is enough for the dramatic purposes of the narrative.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
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  11. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 9

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    May 18, 2017
    No because it was only a movie.
     
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  12. Scoffed-Gherkin

    Scoffed-Gherkin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 11, 2021
    It’s a very difficult performance to pull off and frankly, I don’t think she does it very well. Liam Neeson manages to do it in this film. Leonard Nimoy did it in Star Trek. They were both able to give their characters a personality while still being restrained.

    Padmé just comes off as a thinly-drawn cipher in the movie. The performance is just wooden and honestly kinda boring. As a result, the entire character and the whole “people are dying” thing just elicits a shrug. We never see it, so we never feel the impact of it, and since nobody else seems to care, why should we?
     
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  13. Bor Mullet

    Bor Mullet Force Ghost star 6

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    Apr 6, 2018
    Portman does indeed deliver a very subpar performance.
     
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  14. Scoffed-Gherkin

    Scoffed-Gherkin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 11, 2021
    Imagine if, in A New Hope, instead of actually seeing the destruction of Alderaan, we’d simply had Leia very flatly and unemotionally say, “Oh no, they blew up Alderaan.”

    That’s kinda what happens here.
     
  15. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

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    Dec 7, 2014
    I actually think TPM is Portman's strongest performance of the three. She manages to deftly pull off two quite different characters (Padme and the Queen) without them feeling separate enough that the reveal that they're the same person wouldn't work. I particularly think the scene at night on the Naboo ship in which she sneaks in to watch Bibble's hologram is highlight that makes the 'people are dying' work more. Reveals a nice worried side of her that was previously forced to be restrained by either formality or being in disguise, finally getting a chance to hear the governor's words for herself. Then it pivots to a bonding moment with Anakin, since they're both going through similar emotions at the time. It's quite efficient how the reactions of both characters are similar, and since we saw how much the separation from Anakin's mother meant to him, it builds a similar response to Padme's own upset mood.
     
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  16. Bor Mullet

    Bor Mullet Force Ghost star 6

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    Apr 6, 2018
    But even in that scenario, where we don't see Alderaan blow up, connecting the Death Star (which we are told destroys planets, and which looks huge and imposing) to the destruction of a planet, makes perfect sense. The Trade Federation's mild takeover of Naboo just doesn't connect to the idea of the planet's population experiencing mass death. Was there ever any indication that the Neimodians intended, or even had the capacity to, commit mass murder on Naboo? It just doesn't gel.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  17. Scoffed-Gherkin

    Scoffed-Gherkin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 11, 2021
    I sort of vaguely recall that scene on the ship, but again, it mainly elicited a shrug from me. Both Natalie Portman and Jake Lloyd just sort of act like, “Well, that’s a bummer.” It’s underacted to such an extent that it just doesn’t carry any weight.
    One thing I think Peter Jackson did very well in The Lord of the Rings films is that we actually get to SEE it. We see Saruman’s forces attack the Westfold. When Sauron’s horde attack Minas Tirith, we get reaction shots from civilians who are trying to avoid falling debris or get outta the way of the Orcs. It just really drives home the stakes.

    The Phantom Menace again certainly conveys the sense that there’s an occupation, but it never conveys a sense of war crimes being committed.

    EDIT: Here’s the kind of scene I mean:
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  18. dagenspear

    dagenspear Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 9, 2015
    But I sympathize with it and think I've seen that emotion in the character.
     
  19. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

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    Aug 25, 2014
    including the audience, that's the problem for some of us.

    which she then throws away in the last part of ROTS all of a sudden
    where's the strong character when 'you're breaking my heart?' scene was happening.

    For me, Padme comes across as only being upset when it involves her personally.

    People are dying, suffering: she's stoic and bored looking.
    Anakin confesses to killing desert children: eh...nevermind Anakin.

    There is not even one scene where she privately grieves...on her own, without anyone watching her in TPM.
     
  20. Scoffed-Gherkin

    Scoffed-Gherkin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 11, 2021
    Here’s a classic scene in Star Trek where Spock thinks he’s killed Captain Kirk. He remains restrained, but Nimoy still manages to convey the grief and guilt he feels.
     
  21. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

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    Aug 25, 2014
    I am truly glad it worked for you and for others.
    I really wish I see it too.
     
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  22. dagenspear

    dagenspear Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 9, 2015
    Highly different situations, not just for Padme the character, but also for the scenarios she's in and timing of it all.
     
  23. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

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    Aug 25, 2014
    that's what I am basically getting at though
    it was more personal for Padme, so obviously she was bound to be outwardly upset. I was responding more to the point of praising the restraint of melodrama...until the lasst movie,

    in short I prefer emotional 'I actual give a **** about things' Padme as opposed to robotic Queen Amidala. And '*shrug* it's only human to be angry don't ya know? '
     
  24. FightoftheForgotten

    FightoftheForgotten Jedi Master star 4

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    May 19, 2020
    Padme is written to do whatever the story needs her to do. You can see the strings.