More Star Words

The latest Star Words entry focuses on an important turning point in TPM:

If she stays on Coruscant, he’ll become Chancellor and put on a show of helping the poor beleaguered people of their home planet. If she goes and inevitably gets herself killed, her martyrdom will only increase the power of the sympathy vote (which he refers to with a rather smarmy complacency, followed up with a “I will be Chancellor” line that always makes my skin crawl). And if she somehow manages to pull off her one-in-a-million gambit, her victory will make it all the more natural for the Senate to give Palpatine a victory as well. At this point, he can’t lose.

This line is poignant as well in how it will be echoed throughout the trilogy. We see Amidala evoking a similar sentiment later on in Episode I when she reveals her true identity to Boss Nass, kneels before him and declares, “Our fate is in your hands,” which is enough to convince him that the Naboo might not be so unforgivably arrogant after all. The fate of Gungan and Naboo is entwined, and they have finally acknowledged it and can use to reclaim their planet.



24 Responses to “More Star Words”

  1. ReuniclusBlob Says:

    i was at a comic store yesterday when the topic of star wars showed up i said that i love all 6 George movies and that Revenge of the sith is my favorite they started laughing at me saying the prequel trilogy is a disgrace to star wars and that prequel fans should drink bleach they also said they are glad George is not killing Star wars anymore i left because i could not take it anymore im glad this site exist at least here i can see people love the Prequel trilogy

  2. joe Says:

    there’s no excuse for that kid of behavior disney is the one destroying star wars with how they turned the heroes of the ot into cowards deadbeats and losers people like tht p*** me off

  3. Cryogenic Says:

    It’s this scene that essentially paints Amidala as the “hero” of TPM; and, in a way, the main protagonist of the PT. She is the initiator of the climax/conclusion of each movie. Note that every third act is marked by Amidala jumping into a chrome vessel and flying off to another world, a dangerous environment, in which she attempts to resolve a pressing crisis/calamity, defying some kind of male authority or “protector” figure in the process. In TPM, she “returns” to Naboo and successfully repels the Trade Federation, becoming a hero to her people. In AOTC, she departs with Anakin to Geonosis, helping to save Obi-Wan, but she is unable to stop the Trade Federation/The Sith/The Republic from beginning the Clone Wars. In ROTS, she has her most personal and tragic flight of all, once again leaving the “safe” confines of Coruscant, this time for the hellscape of Mustafar, which ultimately costs her her life. It’s also a little funny, I suppose, that she goes to rescue Obi-Wan in AOTC, but Obi-Wan is the one who finds a way to “motivate” her to take him straight to Anakin’s location in ROTS. No wonder she dies broken-hearted. Love all the rhymes and motifs of the epic prequel fabric.

    On another note, Ian and Natalie are very good in their scenes together. And my, what fantastic camera work and production design. Elizabethan costume drama, by way of Kurosawa and “Flash Gordon”, indeed.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Great catch!

      • Cryogenic Says:

        Thanks, LP. There’s so much wonderful structure and intricate interweaving across all the films. If the OT is kind of like a rough diamond, then the PT is a polished one, nicely set into a “ring” (punny reference intended). But the whole thing is also a stunning block of marble. There’s a lot inside that block.

    • Pedro Almeida Says:

      That, my friend, is what “Great writing” truly is.

    • Cryogenic Says:

      Thanks so much, Pedro. Those are some very kind “star words” of your own. I just love noticing things. 🙂

  4. Jacobesico Says:

    I think the whole Senate scene and aftermath of it all in TPM has to be one of my favourite things in Star Wars. The cunning of Palpatine is truly a wonder to behold. The “enter the bureaucrat” bit where he is whispering in Padmés ear is really quite chilling.

    • Cryogenic Says:

      I equate it, in a way, to the slaying of Obi-Wan by Darth Vader in the original movie. In the older film, a mentor is sliced down by the serial henchman (thus allowing the heroes to escape) — a memorable yet fairly trivial event. In TPM, however, Palpatine is essentially like Satan whispering poison in the ear of Eve, playing the whole Senate like an accordion in hell; with the slaying event being the deposing of Valorum and the death of democracy itself. You don’t have anyone shouting “Nooo!” (that comes later with the young Obi-Wan) or some swashbuckling music playing in the background. It is essentially a silent kill (the way of the Dark Side, the way of the Sith). I also love the shot of Valorum sinking down in defeat. The shadow that passes over his face is an artistic touch that calls to mind Obi-Wan’s words to Luke in his hovel: “Before the dark times, before the Empire.” TPM has a finely-done sense of ruination and ominous foreboding about it. Amidala opens the floodgates and she doesn’t even know it. Liberty may die to thunderous applause, but the Republic is throttled to death in silence.

      To quote GL from a Vanity Fair interview from 1999:

      “You see the government at work, you see the Senate,” says Lucas, adding cryptically, “You also see the demise of the Old Republic. It happens in this film, but you don’t know it.”

      • andywylde77 Says:

        I always enjoyed the scene when Palpatine was on the landing pad awaiting the queen’s arrival. You can see the worry on his face because he alter his entire plan. Ian really does a great job of conveying that concern.

        Then he starts using his sinister wit to play on Amidalla. He is like a snake slithering around the queen while whispering all the stuff into her ear. So he ended up having the queen herself call for the vote of no confidence herself. Palpatine is certainly the master manipulator. He even had that sly smile after the queen made the call.

      • Cryogenic Says:

        I love some of his lines there. “We’ve been very concerned”… “I’m anxious to hear your report on the situation”. But the best is probably Ric Olie’s line for its intriguing, saga-spanning implications: “And look over there! Senator Palpatine is waiting for us.” Creepy. Palpatine is a bit like this ancient toad with tremendous foresight. He’s sort of a Janus figure who can see forwards and backwards in time. The “arch” imagery in TPM (indirectly associated with the Roman god Janus) supports this interpretation. In fact, as the Wikipedia page states, “Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings.” All motifs and concerns you can find throughout TPM (“The Beginning”) and the wider saga. The Machiavellian rise, reign, and rapid fall of Palpatine bookmarks the entire GL saga. His strange presence and machinations are sort of the intellectual glue holding everything together.

  5. jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

    Then he starts using his sinister wit to play on Amidalla. He is like a snake slithering around the queen while whispering all the stuff into her ear. So he ended up having the queen herself call for the vote of no confidence herself. Palpatine is certainly the master manipulator. He even had that sly smile after the queen made the call.

    Palpatine is so smarmy and two faced in TPM. Ian McDiarmid and Lucas have a lot of fun with that aspect of the character.

  6. Pedro Almeida Says:

    The whole scene, like the whole movie, is just… There is nothing else like it, such a finely crafted jewel. The introduction with Queen Amidala and Jar Jar:

    “Youssa thinking, youssa people gonna die?”

    “I don’t know”

    “Gungans get pasted too, yey”

    “I hope not”

    “Wessa not dying without a fight, wessa warriors. Wessa got a Grand Army. That’s why youssa no liking us messa thinks”

    The dialogue is so amazing, it’s so good, so relatable. It hits all the right notes at the right time, expressing emotion, telling what the audience needs to know at the right time. The way it is edited with the score. The acting!!!! One of the most derided things by the haters is actually perfect! Natalie Portman and Ahmed Best just are just killer in this Movie. I don’t care what they say, when people first heard Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in Paris they started booing and laughing. They tore the chairs out of the theater and started tossing them around (really). The notion the haters have and that disney panders to is that of audience ownership. But it really hurts the quality of the final products. This situation really reminds me of a dialogue from the Steve Jobs (2015) movie when Woz is arguing with Jobs, saying people want this and that:

    “Jobs: Why do we have 8 slots?

    Woz: Because that’s what people want and the breakthrough…

    Jobs: People don’t know what they want
    until you show it to them. Edison didn’t do market research on the light bulb versus the candle.

    Woz: Look, serious users want to customize, they wanna modify, they wanna jack it up! They want hardware engineers like me top expand it’s capabilities.

    Jobs: They don’t get a vote. When Dylan
    wrote “Shelter From the Storm” he didn’t ask people to contribute to the lyrics. Plays don’t stop so the playwright can ask the audience what scene they’d like to see next. A painter…”

    And then Jobs’ dialogue is cut, because it’s Aaron Sorkin, but you get the idea. I really hope George Lucas and The Prequels get the praise they deserve even if it takes a thousand years.

    • Moose Says:

      Great job comparing the Prequels to The Rite of Spring.

      I must admit that I take it a bit of pride in being in the “unloved Prequels” camp, especially when I see what passes for popular entertainment these days. My reaction (to my self) is usually something like: “you all don’t like the Prequels, but you like this?”

      It is tragic to see Star Wars become just another piece of “content.”

      • Cryogenic Says:

        Moose Says:
        August 5, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Reply
        Great job comparing the Prequels to The Rite of Spring.

        Have you noticed the titles to the different “episodes” of Stravinsky’s famous work?

        – “Introduction” (Opening Logos)

        – “Ritual of Abduction” (Amidala and some of her handmaidens are marched to an internment camp and subsequently leave Naboo with the Jedi)

        – “Ritual of the Rival Tribes” (The metaphysical divide between the Jedi and the Sith, the estrangement between the Gungans and the Naboo)

        – “Dance of the Earth” (The Gungans dance in euphoria upon the green fields of Naboo after the Battle Droids deactivate en masse)

        – “Mystic Circles of the Young Girls” (Handmaidens, circle imagery, the rituals of court, decoy, and distraction)

        – “Glorification of the Chosen One” (“He *is* the Chosen One, He *will* bring balance”)

        – “Sacrificial Dance” (Duel of the Fates, Qui-Gon’s funeral)

      • Pedro Felipe Says:

        Holy, it actually makes sense! Look at these passages from the synopsis: “One of the young girls is selected by fate, being twice caught in the perpetual circle, and is honoured as the “Chosen One” with a martial dance.”

        “The Chosen One is entrusted to the care of the old wise men.” The Jedi?!

        Maybe it is not a direct influence, but the result of some shared mythological underpinning (Or maybe it is).

      • Cryogenic Says:

        Yes! The strange parity with Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”, as outlined above, also suggests the Chosen One in TPM is both Anakin and Amidala — or, really, indeed, Amidala. Everything in Star Wars is dualistic (decoys, clones, narrator robots, masters and apprentices, binary sunsets, etc.). “This is getting out of hand — now there are two of them!”; “Always two there are — no more, no less.” TWO other lines come to mind and smell a bit strange here (both Qui-Gon lines): “Had he been born on the Republic, we would have identified him earlier”, and “Your focus determines your reality”.

        But Amidala is not a “he”, and she seems to have mysterious, quicksilver qualities, which her personal starcraft, or ships (a ship is a shape), all of which are chrome or chrome-guilded (in the case of the N-1 starfighter), further the basic idea of. She seems to confound all her companions, advisors, and oppressors: Palpatine, Anakin, the Jedi, Jar Jar, Nute and the Trade Federation. Even her first appearance is unusual: sort of ghostly, behind a watery screen with a special sound effect, a flute accompaniment, by way of homage to “Flash Gordon”.

        And her death at the end of the PT is also tragic and mysterious. The prequel dreamspace opens and closes not long before and after her first and last appearances. And AOTC, the strange middle, begins with her “tragedy on the landing platform” (think ahead to ROTS and Mustafar), where she metaphorically glimpses her own passing at the hands of the Sith. She even freezes in horror: “I shouldn’t have come back” (an echo of Vader taunting Obi-Wan on the Death Star). The prequels, and Star Wars generally, are mostly about her, I think: all the things she initiates, all the things she feels, all the things she takes with her on her journey beyond the living painting of the world.

        Even Yoda shows some especially odd affection for her in Palpatine’s office: “Seeing you alive brings warm feelings to my heart”. So he was feeling pretty “dark” before that? Amidala’s passing turns the Force cold. She is a prime obstacle in Palpatine’s path; so, naturally, or unnaturally (??), he uses her as best he can, to help slide into power, corrupt Anakin, and set the Jedi brothers fighting over the right to essentially claim her for their cause (Artoo and Threepio are the ones who actually put an unconscious Padme back within the safety of her ship as the boys savagely duke it out).

        I think the idea is that something big is lost as Padme’s life force wanes and she ultimately dies. There is virtually no trace of her in the OT; though the blue Artoo is a constant reminder of her “flame”; and Dabobah has a strange, ethereal energy to it. Luke comments to Artoo: “It’s like something out of a dream”. The cave sequence can be reinterpreted as a vision, of sorts, prompted by the pain of Padme’s passing; or childbirth itself. “Luke… Oh, Luke…” Luke sees himself in Vader’s helmet — like he is being beckoned to see the deeper reality of himself within the tragic construction of his father (who was, of course, constructed into this form as Padme lay giving birth and dying). The sorrowful, almost apologetic tone she has, when she acknowledges Luke, suggests she sees his future.

        Only in ROTJ is Padme tangentially brought up in a mystical conversation between Luke and Leia, when Luke reveals Leia’s real heritage. And this is where Luke sadly confesses: “I have no memory of my mother”. His memory of her turns out to be more fragmented and elusive; he sort of remembers her through his quest to reach Anakin and return him to the light. This is surely the real beauty of the prequels — they have added a far grander mythological structure to the originals; which are more of a folk tale than anything else. Fretting over the fate of his mother is what sets Anakin down his dark path. Yet Luke has no direct recall; like the Force has placed a block there. Or a blockade; with little intimations diffusing into his father-obsessed conscience. All emanating from a strange source.

        It’s sort of all about Padme.

      • Hoggle Says:

        “Had he been born on the Republic, we would have identified him earlier”

        To me, the issue of midichlorians is about activation. The PT measurements are not invalid, it is just about the type of activation that is associated with jedi/sith powers. For someone like Padme, to not register the type of activation of midiclorians that would have signaled the jedi (or the sith) potential of development, does not mean inactivity neccessarily.

        Padme was the strongest in the galaxy at the time, in the ways of destiny, that was her choosing, as Anakin’s was of fate is how i see it as relates to those type of universal star wars cogs, & that’s ultimately where the weight of the galaxy is shifting to with my own fan fic mytho cycle stuff attempts inspired by GLs 6.

        Thus to me, while Luke would be an prodigy as Anakin was to midichlorians by PT standards, Leia may or may not have been, it’s really mostly irrelevant to the character’s pre-eminence in the galaxy which supersedes Lukes, which he acknowledged in RotJ before Leia had really started to come into her own, although she had already proved to be the major galactic influence in what would result in Palpatine’s total failure of foresight in being blown up in the 2nd death star and the loss of Vader.

      • Hoggle Says:

        Lastly, i had thought the differences of memory between Luke and Leia to Padme, is that Leia is the second born and this(Leia) coincides with Padme’s mystical death.

    • andywylde77 Says:

      I would’t worry too much about it. The PT get a lot of praise from all the right places. And that is all that really matters. The PT is special and will always be special to many people from all corners of the globe.

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