The same gal who crafted filks from the music of “Les Miserables” to tell the tale of TPM is back with AOTC:
Archive for April, 2016
Eleven Thirty Eight posted a long piece called The Case For More Padmé Amidala, which advocated for more books, comics, etc. that feature Padmé:
Like the rest of Star Wars fandom, I am eagerly anticipating next week’s release of Claudia Gray’s Bloodline. And while I am excited for a Leia-centric political novel, I can’t help but think of the other Skywalker family politician: Padmé Amidala. While I have always loved Leia, as a kid I latched onto Padmé in a way I never did with her daughter. I loved Padmé because she was both someone I looked up to and someone who was relatable. Padmé was a kid who ruled a planet and foiled Sith machinations due to sheer stubbornness and quick thinking, and yet was still totally a teenage girl. She pouts when she doesn’t get her way and makes friends with funny little boys in junk shops. I was enamored.
But sadly, most of the EU apparently doesn’t share my fondness for the galaxy’s most fabulously dressed politician. For a character who makes up one third of the prequel trilogy, she doesn’t get a lot of love outside the movies (or even within the movies, if we’re being honest). But she’s intimately connected to most major players in the saga; she’s close colleagues with Palpatine (at least at first), she’s married to Anakin (and indirectly one of the reasons for his fall), and she’s mother to Luke and Leia. She’s firmly entrenched within the Skywalker family and yet this is rarely acknowledged.
All this is why I think we are long overdue for a Padmé novel (well, frankly I just want more Padmé in general but starring in her own book is a start). Furthermore, it should be something focusing on the earlier part of her career, after The Phantom Menace but before Attack of the Clones, and before Anakin comes back into the picture.
I don’t agree with what the author had to say about the films (this site is mostly for fans of the cartoons and books) but I concur with the overall point of the article and that is Padmé could use a lot more love and attention.
Disney put on a “Disney Lifestyle” exhibit at Somerset House in London, featuring clothing, shoes, and other things, many of which were made for the event.
One item was this desk designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid, who passed away just a month ago. It was inspired by Queen Amidala’s famous headdress from TPM:
Here’s an Instagram photo of a description along with design art from the same exhibit. I don’t know how much this baby costs but only 12 were made.
H/T Douglas Whipdale for the tweet and the photo re the desk.
Hint: If I’m posting it here, it must be relevant somehow, right? Here’s the list.
No, it doesn’t include TFA which is probably being streamed more than rented in DVD format. Yes, renters are likely casual fans and not the hardcores who own everything on Blu-Ray. But it does show that the prequels are hardly “universally hated” as the media and geek know-it-alls want you to believe.
(P.S. Thor will be wielding the mighty delete and ban hammer.)
Some short tidbits from over the past day or two:
*”Obi-Wan & Anakin” #4 came out on Wednesday. Head over to your friendly local comic book store to get your copy.
*T.V. has dropped some prequel references lately. On Tuesday’s episode of “The Flash” there was mention of Vader/Anakin and midichlorians and on last Friday’s episode of “Dr. Ken,” there was mention of “padawans.” I applaud Hollywood finally hiring prequel fans.
*The George Shot First shop has gone live: show your support for Papa George with these tees. Apparel of all kinds celebrating his films, including the prequels, are forthcoming.
This interlude in AOTC packs a lot into a short seemingly simple scene. Dex’s Diner is another one of Lucas’s throwbacks to mid-20th century Americana. Even though it is on Coruscant, it looks familiar enough inside and out so that the audience instantly recognizes what it is and you’d almost be willing to try whatever the GFFA’s versions are of chocolate milkshakes, club sandwiches, French fries, chef’s salads, cherry pies, and a damn good cup of coffee (perhaps that’s “jawa juice”). A jukebox plays a bouncy tune. Dex might have several arms but his gruff but friendly demeanor is reminiscent of t.v. greasy spoon proprietors like Mel on the ‘70s sitcom “Alice” or Al on “Happy Days.” Plus he’s got issues with keeping his pants up.
The scene though is more than Lucas marinating in his small town youth. For one thing, it moves the detective story arc forward since Dex knows where the poison dart comes from and about the cloning operation on Kamino. It also shows how Obi-Wan has changed somewhat since TPM. In that film, Obi-Wan didn’t seem terribly engaged with people outside of the Jedi Order. You can practically see him rolling his eyes every time Qui-Gon gets chummy with a local and there is that “why do I sense you’ve picked up another pathetic lifeform” comment. Now here he is warmly embracing Dex like an old friend and taking advantage of Dex’s underworld knowledge when he’s exhausted sources at the Temple. Some of Qui-Gon had rubbed off on Obi-Wan and he probably knows at this point that it helped make him a better Jedi.
What Dex has to say is important too. He jokes about the Jedi (not) knowing the difference between knowledge and wisdom. It indicates that even the guy who runs a regular diner knows the Jedi are starting to trust knowledge over wisdom. “If it’s not in the archives it doesn’t exist,” though of course it can. There’s a theme throughout AOTC that the Jedi were “too sure of themselves” and even “arrogant.” Which, along with their vision being clouded by the Dark Side leads to their downfall.
Most of Obi-Wan’s detective arc scenes are in dark or shadowy locations. Even Kamino, where it’s very bright in the interiors, is a dark and stormy planet. This scene is in bright “daylight,” which indicates honesty and openness.
Ewan is just way too adorable in this scene and he plays off of the guy playing Dex beautifully.
Bonus trivia: Dex’s full name is Dexter Jettster, the last name of course taken from Lucas’s son Jett. He’s not to be confused with Dex Dexter, a character on ‘80s nighttime soap opera “Dynasty.”
Extra bonus trivia: If you watch the closeups carefully, you’ll notice Obi-Wan’s got a pierced ear ;).
This fan video features filk parodies of music from “Les Miserables” to TPM. Click on the link here.
Michael O’Connor’s “Power To The Prequels” series at Retrozap takes a look at moral issues in the prequels and how the films introduce ambiguity to the saga:
Lucas clearly intended to tell a different story. If the OT was a romanticized vision of World War II heroics and villainy, the PT is the morally dubious conflicts of World War I and the fallout events that caused its “sequel.” Lucas decided to take his morally pure galaxy and interject a couple of revolutionary questions: What if the enemies weren’t so obvious? What if the good guys sometimes made the wrong decisions?
The Phantom Menace is the first film to introduce this new dynamic of moral ambiguity, and it does so slyly. On the surface, the film is an optimistic, colorful fantasy of a couple of swashbuckling samurai rescuing a child Queen and meeting a gifted slave boy who can help save the galaxy from the slimy Trade Federation and its Sith leaders. But beneath that cheerful facade is a sweatshop of horrors. It is so markedly different from the original trilogy films that even watching it today, it feels like an outlier to the saga. An intentional exclamation point that requires further study. Successive films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith ditch the happy veneer altogether and connect more visibly with the original trilogy, but they double-down on the moral ambiguity that TPM introduced to the saga.