Phantom Menace and bad writing

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Axiomatic
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Phantom Menace and bad writing

Post by Axiomatic » 2010-02-02 08:56am

Here's a brief summary of the problems of The Phantom Menace, as presented by Red Letter Media:

1. The movie has no protagonist. Who are we supposed to be identifying with here? Not Obi-Wan, he just sits in the ship and complains a lot. Not Anakin, we don't even meet him for 40 minutes of the film, and during the entire movie, events are beyond his control or even comprehension.

2. The characters have no personality. He demonstrates this by the following challenge.

DESCRIBE THE FOLLOWING STAR WARS CHARACTER WITHOUT SAYING WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE, WHAT KIND OF COSTUME THEY WORE, OR WHAT THEIR PROFESSION OR ROLE IN THE MOVIE WAS.

DESCRIBE THIS CHARACTER TO YOUR FRIENDS LIKE THEY AIN'T NEVER SEEN STAR WARS.

Then he gives the examples of Han Solo and C3PO versus Qui-Gon Jin and Queen Amidala. Everyone describes Han as "dashing" and "a rogue with a heart of gold", and C3PO as "anal-retentive" and "high-strung".

Nobody manages to find any words to describe Qui-Gon or Amidala, except a tentative label of "stoic" for Qui-Gon by one guy. The rest start laughing and they accuse Red Letter Media of knowing that it can't be done.

3. The whole plot doesn't make sense, since Darth Sidious basically plots against himself for the whole movie. His actual motivation is for the Queen to make it to the Galactic Senate and call a vote of no confidence, so...he tries to have the Jedi killed? And why the hell does he want the treaty signed? If the treaty is signed, the crisis is over, and he doesn't become the leader of the Galaxy! What the hell is the treaty anyway, and why does the Trade Federation want to stop trade with Naboo?

And why is the treaty even important? I mean, if they're willing to force her to sign it, why not just fake the signature?

And why the fuck are the Jedi going to warn the Naboo about the droid army? After all, the Naboo don't have an army of their own to make any USE of such a warning, and besides, the Jedi come down WITH the army! You can't warn someone of an impending army if you arrive on the same transport AS THE ARMY.

4. The problem of having characters you don't care about is made even worse by splitting the climax of the action across too many places. A New Hope has a good climax when all threads converge on the Death Star. The Phantom Menace, on the other hand, has Amidala storming the palace and Jar-Jar fighting a Napoleonic battle and Obi-Wan dueling Maul and Anakin fighting in space, and it's just a complete mess.

That's roughly the first half.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2010-02-02 12:17pm

Axiomatic wrote:Here's a brief summary of the problems of The Phantom Menace, as presented by Red Letter Media:

1. The movie has no protagonist. Who are we supposed to be identifying with here? Not Obi-Wan, he just sits in the ship and complains a lot. Not Anakin, we don't even meet him for 40 minutes of the film, and during the entire movie, events are beyond his control or even comprehension.
That's a fair point, although Anakin is obviously intended to be the protagonist. Still, stories with no obvious central protagonist are hardly unprecedented or unusual. The world's first famous work of literature, ie- Homer's Iliad, was similarly lacking in an obvious central protagonist. It's not a necessity.
2. The characters have no personality. He demonstrates this by the following challenge.

DESCRIBE THE FOLLOWING STAR WARS CHARACTER WITHOUT SAYING WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE, WHAT KIND OF COSTUME THEY WORE, OR WHAT THEIR PROFESSION OR ROLE IN THE MOVIE WAS.

DESCRIBE THIS CHARACTER TO YOUR FRIENDS LIKE THEY AIN'T NEVER SEEN STAR WARS.

Then he gives the examples of Han Solo and C3PO versus Qui-Gon Jin and Queen Amidala. Everyone describes Han as "dashing" and "a rogue with a heart of gold", and C3PO as "anal-retentive" and "high-strung".

Nobody manages to find any words to describe Qui-Gon or Amidala, except a tentative label of "stoic" for Qui-Gon by one guy. The rest start laughing and they accuse Red Letter Media of knowing that it can't be done.
Amidala: stuffy aristocrat who gets in over her head but eventually muddles through.
Qui-Gon: Zen-like warrior monk.
Obi-Wan: Qui-Gon's enthusiastic apprentice, young and eager to please.
Anakin: Precocious child.

It's really not difficult. Qui-Gon, in particular, is incredibly easy to describe as a character, thus making a mockery of his particular choice in this point. Perhaps he's just a Christian egocentric moron who has no concept of how Qui-Gon is the most obvious Buddhist character since The Dude? Far from being difficult to describe in quick personality terms, if anything, one could charge that Qui-Gon is too easy to describe as a personality. That is, of course, if one is not a moron.
3. The whole plot doesn't make sense, since Darth Sidious basically plots against himself for the whole movie. His actual motivation is for the Queen to make it to the Galactic Senate and call a vote of no confidence, so...he tries to have the Jedi killed? And why the hell does he want the treaty signed? If the treaty is signed, the crisis is over, and he doesn't become the leader of the Galaxy! What the hell is the treaty anyway, and why does the Trade Federation want to stop trade with Naboo?
Why does this imbecile assume that the plan is static? Obviously, plans change as unexpected events come to light. That is, I dunno, fucking obvious from the entire goddamned history of politics and warfare. Sidious' original plan was obviously to create a crisis in which an Outer Rim corporation seized control of a militarily weak Senate member planet and cast doubt on Chancellor Valorum's ability to maintain law and order, whereupon Senator Palpatine would be able to call for a vote of no-confidence.
And why is the treaty even important? I mean, if they're willing to force her to sign it, why not just fake the signature?
The Trade Federation stupidly hopes they can make it legal if she signs a treaty. Sidious couldn't care less whether she signs it, or whether she lives or dies; the whole thing is just an excuse for him to declare that Chancellor Valorum is useless, which he actually is. It serves his purposes equally regardless of what happens to Amidala, as long as the entire incident proves that Valorum is unable to maintain even the most basic tenets of law and order.
And why the fuck are the Jedi going to warn the Naboo about the droid army? After all, the Naboo don't have an army of their own to make any USE of such a warning, and besides, the Jedi come down WITH the army! You can't warn someone of an impending army if you arrive on the same transport AS THE ARMY.
What the fuck? The Jedi did not come down with an army. They came on a military transport, but that doesn't mean they had an army with them! The President's helicopter is a military transport; does that mean he could fight a war from it? Jesus Fucking Christ, is this guy honestly that goddamned stupid? He can't understand the plot of a Star Wars film? We're not talking about "Rashomon" here, for fuck's sake. The plot is as linear as they come. If anything, the film tries too hard to fill in all the gaps. This guy must be a flaming retard.
4. The problem of having characters you don't care about is made even worse by splitting the climax of the action across too many places. A New Hope has a good climax when all threads converge on the Death Star. The Phantom Menace, on the other hand, has Amidala storming the palace and Jar-Jar fighting a Napoleonic battle and Obi-Wan dueling Maul and Anakin fighting in space, and it's just a complete mess.
That's bullshit too. There is no reason why there has to be a single thread-tying battle at the end of a movie. Yes, that often happens in action or space opera movies, but you can split the action and it works fine. The twin struggles at the end of Serenity do not diminish from their impact in any way. If you're going to criticize the ending battles of TPM, go after Anakin's horrible acting job where he utterly fails to convey any sense of fear or urgency, or the fact that too many of the Naboo fighters survived (thus making it seem less like a desperate struggle), or the stupid plot device of having the entire droid army literally fall apart when the control ship is destroyed (it would have been more logical and arguably funnier if the droid army simply stopped after defeating the Gungans, asked for further orders, and patiently waited indefinitely for a response), or Natalie Portman's lousy acting where she similarly failed to convey any sense of fear or urgency.

Of all the conceivable criticisms you could make of the ending of TPM, the fact that it failed to tie everything into a single battle is the most stupid.

If this is the level of criticism we can expect from this cretin, I shudder to think what else he has to say.
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Post by Crazedwraith » 2010-02-02 12:29pm

Darth Wong wrote:
And why the fuck are the Jedi going to warn the Naboo about the droid army? After all, the Naboo don't have an army of their own to make any USE of such a warning, and besides, the Jedi come down WITH the army! You can't warn someone of an impending army if you arrive on the same transport AS THE ARMY.
What the fuck? The Jedi did not come down with an army. They came on a military transport, but that doesn't mean they had an army with them! The President's helicopter is a military transport; does that mean he could fight a war from it? Jesus Fucking Christ, is this guy honestly that goddamned stupid? He can't understand the plot of a Star Wars film? We're not talking about "Rashomon" here, for fuck's sake. The plot is as linear as they come. If anything, the film tries too hard to fill in all the gaps. This guy must be a flaming retard.
The point is talking about Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan stoking away on Trade Fed Landers to get onto Naboo. Not their Republic Transport having an army inside.
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Post by Serafina » 2010-02-02 12:49pm

Hey, they had a good chance to get out an early warning.
Besides, they did not know that they would be slower than the droid army - just a few minutes of early warning would be enough to rescue say, the queen (guess what, it happened).

It is definately better than staying on the ship.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2010-02-02 12:53pm

Crazedwraith wrote:The point is talking about Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan stoking away on Trade Fed Landers to get onto Naboo. Not their Republic Transport having an army inside.
What? That's just as stupid, if not more so. Given the fact that the army apparently landed very far from the capital city and Naboo has little or no military intel-gathering infrastructure (indeed, the whole planet appears to be essentially wilderness outside the city itself), it's hardly unreasonable for the Jedi to think they need to get to the capital city and tell them what's happening. What the fuck else are they supposed to do?

Sorry, but the guy's points (at least the listed ones) are stupid beyond belief.
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Post by takemeout_totheblack » 2010-02-02 01:29pm

So when his AOTC review comes out, I should watch it a few times over, list his points, post said points with the links, keep my own opinion out of it so I don't color anyone's opinion either way before they watch it, and hope a troll doesn't start a flame war.

If I post it at all of course, someone else may, and if so should they do the same?
I can see where Darth Wong is coming from when he says that youtube videos are inappropriate for the purposes of a debate...
There should be an official metric in regard to stupidity, so we can insult the imbeciles, morons, and RSAs out there the civilized way.
Any ideas for units of measure?

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Post by Axiomatic » 2010-02-02 01:33pm

Darth Wong wrote:Given the fact that the army apparently landed very far from the capital city
Which makes no fucking sense at all...
and Naboo has little or no military intel-gathering infrastructure (indeed, the whole planet appears to be essentially wilderness outside the city itself), it's hardly unreasonable for the Jedi to think they need to get to the capital city and tell them what's happening.
What, their plan was to walk faster than the droid army? Across half a planet? They were a lot faster than they could count on being, since they couldn't plan on visiting Water World and mindcontrolling the king of the Gungans into giving them a Bongo in advance.
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Post by Srelex » 2010-02-02 01:48pm

Axiomatic wrote:Which makes no fucking sense at all...
For what it's worth, the Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds game has them clearing out Naboo facilities before moving onto Theed. I also believe we were shown glimpses of transports landing in the city anyway--there's gotta be limited space there, after all.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2010-02-02 02:22pm

takemeout_totheblack wrote:So when his AOTC review comes out, I should watch it a few times over, list his points, post said points with the links, keep my own opinion out of it so I don't color anyone's opinion either way before they watch it, and hope a troll doesn't start a flame war.

If I post it at all of course, someone else may, and if so should they do the same?
I can see where Darth Wong is coming from when he says that youtube videos are inappropriate for the purposes of a debate...
There's no reason why you need to keep your own opinion out of it, but it does help to have text to quote and discuss.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2010-02-02 02:25pm

Axiomatic wrote:
Darth Wong wrote:Given the fact that the army apparently landed very far from the capital city
Which makes no fucking sense at all...
Sure it does. It means that they can build a beach head and marshal their forces in a staging area relatively unmolested, yet still have a straight shot to the city as long as they're on the same continental land-mass and there are no extraordinary obstacles such as mountain ranges in the way. Since their vehicles are 100% hover-vehicles, they can probably traverse long distances without too much trouble.
and Naboo has little or no military intel-gathering infrastructure (indeed, the whole planet appears to be essentially wilderness outside the city itself), it's hardly unreasonable for the Jedi to think they need to get to the capital city and tell them what's happening.
What, their plan was to walk faster than the droid army? Across half a planet?
Yes. If they could have hijacked so much as a single hover-vehicle, they could make a bee-line to the capital city while the droids are still marshaling and organizing their ground force. Is this the level of analysis you always apply to things?
They were a lot faster than they could count on being, since they couldn't plan on visiting Water World and mindcontrolling the king of the Gungans into giving them a Bongo in advance.
That was totally unplanned and obviously didn't work too well, since they didn't get to the capital city until after the droids did. If, however, they had successfully hijacked a couple of the droid hover-pogos, they could have probably zoomed to the capital city much quicker.
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Post by SAMAS » 2010-02-02 02:56pm

Axiomatic wrote:
Darth Wong wrote:Given the fact that the army apparently landed very far from the capital city
Which makes no fucking sense at all...
Remember, there were several TF ships shown around Naboo at the time. The ship they were in was simply hitting a target other than Theed.
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Post by stormthebeaches » 2010-02-02 03:05pm

Sure it does. It means that they can build a beach head and marshal their forces in a staging area relatively unmolested, yet still have a straight shot to the city as long as they're on the same continental land-mass and there are no extraordinary obstacles such as mountain ranges in the way. Since their vehicles are 100% hover-vehicles, they can probably traverse long distances without too much trouble.
Who's going to molest them? The planet they are invading has no army, just a glorified police force. There is no reason for them to land on the other side of the planet, rather than a few miles away if not directly on top of the city. You don't need to build a beach head when the planet you are invading is almost completely defenseless. Besides, landing on the far side of the planet has its own problems. It takes longer to get to the city and thus gives the defenders more time to prepare. I'd imagine that the Trade Federation would want to hit them hard and fast.
That was totally unplanned and obviously didn't work too well, since they didn't get to the capital city until after the droids did. If, however, they had successfully hijacked a couple of the droid hover-pogos, they could have probably zoomed to the capital city much quicker.
The movie stated that going through the planets core was the fastest way of getting to the city. And their plan was still flawed. What if the transport they were in landed fur away from the city whilst other transports landed very close to the city?

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Post by stormthebeaches » 2010-02-02 03:28pm

Amidala: stuffy aristocrat who gets in over her head but eventually muddles through.
Qui-Gon: Zen-like warrior monk.
Obi-Wan: Qui-Gon's enthusiastic apprentice, young and eager to please.
Anakin: Precocious child.
For a start the challenge was to describe their character traits without mentioning their job or relationship to other characters so things like"aristocrat" "Qui-Gon's apprentice" and "young" don't work.

Amidala: Do we have anything to show that she is over hear head? She remains cool and calm throughout the whole film. Much like everyone else. Not once do we get the impression that she is panicing or do any other behavior that someone who is over her head would do.
Qui-Gon: Good call on him being a warrior monk. He is still a dull character though. And his twisted moral compass bothers me.
Obi-Wan: Maybe my memory is failing me but I never got the impression that Obi-Wan was enthusiastic or eager to please. He just went through the motions, monotone the whole time. The only time we see any real enthusiasm or emotion on his part is when Qui-Gon dies.
Anakin: How do we know that he was precocious? His "are you an angel?" question is not necessarily sexual in nature.
Why does this imbecile assume that the plan is static? Obviously, plans change as unexpected events come to light. That is, I dunno, fucking obvious from the entire goddamned history of politics and warfare. Sidious' original plan was obviously to create a crisis in which an Outer Rim corporation seized control of a militarily weak Senate member planet and cast doubt on Chancellor Valorum's ability to maintain law and order, whereupon Senator Palpatine would be able to call for a vote of no-confidence.
We all know that Sidious was creating problems to make the current Chancellor look like a fool. The problem is, it would be far more beneficial to simply have the Trade Federation tell the Jedi "there will be no negotiations" and send them back to the Republics capital instead of trying to kill them. Sidious should have told the Trade Federation to make it obvious that they had invaded Naboo, instead Trade Federation repeatedly deny any wrong doing.

The only reason the evil plan worked is because of the Republic government is set up is the most retarded way possible. One vote of no confidence causes them to throw an election for a new Chancellor? :wtf:
The Trade Federation stupidly hopes they can make it legal if she signs a treaty. Sidious couldn't care less whether she signs it, or whether she lives or dies; the whole thing is just an excuse for him to declare that Chancellor Valorum is useless, which he actually is. It serves his purposes equally regardless of what happens to Amidala, as long as the entire incident proves that Valorum is unable to maintain even the most basic tenets of law and order.
Why would the Trade Federation be so stupid as to believe that a treaty signed at gun point would mean anything? I'd imagine that a big company like that would know various laws and legal loop holes like the back of its hand. I find it difficult to believe that the Trade Federation would be so dumb. Unless if the Republic has no safe guard against "SIGN THE TREATY OR DIE!" tactics.

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Post by Srelex » 2010-02-02 03:35pm

stormthebeaches wrote: We all know that Sidious was creating problems to make the current Chancellor look like a fool. The problem is, it would be far more beneficial to simply have the Trade Federation tell the Jedi "there will be no negotiations" and send them back to the Republics capital instead of trying to kill them. Sidious should have told the Trade Federation to make it obvious that they had invaded Naboo, instead Trade Federation repeatedly deny any wrong doing.

The only reason the evil plan worked is because of the Republic government is set up is the most retarded way possible. One vote of no confidence causes them to throw an election for a new Chancellor? :wtf:
Hasn't it been basically stated that Sidious already had a lot of senators in his pocket as it was? Dooku certainly did, IIRC, although whether this extended to pre-TPM is another matter...
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Post by Imperial Overlord » 2010-02-02 03:43pm

stormthebeaches wrote:
The Trade Federation stupidly hopes they can make it legal if she signs a treaty. Sidious couldn't care less whether she signs it, or whether she lives or dies; the whole thing is just an excuse for him to declare that Chancellor Valorum is useless, which he actually is. It serves his purposes equally regardless of what happens to Amidala, as long as the entire incident proves that Valorum is unable to maintain even the most basic tenets of law and order.
Why would the Trade Federation be so stupid as to believe that a treaty signed at gun point would mean anything? I'd imagine that a big company like that would know various laws and legal loop holes like the back of its hand. I find it difficult to believe that the Trade Federation would be so dumb. Unless if the Republic has no safe guard against "SIGN THE TREATY OR DIE!" tactics.
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Sidious clearly has the Trade Federation or at least the Viceroy, by the balls and is the one that is pushing everything forward (I believe the EU says that Gunray owes his position to Sidious's manipulations). Presumably Sidious has previously demonstrated his ability to manipulate the Senate, and frankly it's a credible position. Even with Amidala escaping to Coruscant along with Jedi envoys that the Trade Federation tried to assassinate, the Senate is still paralyzed. The Trade Federation are able to blockade Naboo without legal repercussions, so clearly some strong arm tactics between member states are effectively legal. Palpatine is just using the Trade Federation to get more power, of course, but idea that the Senate will be ineffectual is right on the money.
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Post by stormthebeaches » 2010-02-02 03:50pm

Hasn't it been basically stated that Sidious already had a lot of senators in his pocket as it was? Dooku certainly did, IIRC, although whether this extended to pre-TPM is another matter...
There is nothing in the TPM that indicates that Sidious had any senators in his pocket. Dooku mentioned it in 10 years later but Dooku could have been lying (remember he was trying to get Obi-Wan on his side) or Sidious could have used his new position and authority to bribe the senators.

Even still, it was the Queen's one vote which caused the election for the New Chancellor. It's not like there was a huge mass of senators declaring a vote of no confidence. It was the Queen's one vote. One vote. I cannot stress how stupid that is.

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Post by stormthebeaches » 2010-02-02 03:56pm

Sidious clearly has the Trade Federation or at least the Viceroy, by the balls and is the one that is pushing everything forward (I believe the EU says that Gunray owes his position to Sidious's manipulations). Presumably Sidious has previously demonstrated his ability to manipulate the Senate, and frankly it's a credible position. Even with Amidala escaping to Coruscant along with Jedi envoys that the Trade Federation tried to assassinate, the Senate is still paralyzed. The Trade Federation are able to blockade Naboo without legal repercussions, so clearly some strong arm tactics between member states are effectively legal. Palpatine is just using the Trade Federation to get more power, of course, but idea that the Senate will be ineffectual is right on the money.
But why is the Trade Federation constantly denying the invasion? Wouldn't Sidious want the Trade Federation to be as blatant about the invasion as possible? As the RedLetterMedia said, Sidious should have told the Trade Federation to tell the Jedi "there will be no negotiations" and send them on their way.

And no, I am still not buying that the Republic allows "SIGN THE TREATY OR DIE!" tactics.
Nute Gunray: Is that legal?
Sidious: I will make it legal.
It's been a while since I've watching the film. Are they referring to the invasion or forcing the Queen to sign the treaty at gunpoint?
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Post by Imperial Overlord » 2010-02-02 04:32pm

stormthebeaches wrote: But why is the Trade Federation constantly denying the invasion? Wouldn't Sidious want the Trade Federation to be as blatant about the invasion as possible? As the RedLetterMedia said, Sidious should have told the Trade Federation to tell the Jedi "there will be no negotiations" and send them on their way.
Sidious and the Trade Federation are working at cross purposes. Sidious is using the crisis to gain the Chancellory, the Trade Federation is using it to expand their power and don't know that Sidious will throw them under the bus. It is in Sidious's interest to prolong the conflict to the point until it can be used to unseat Valorum instead of sliding it through the Senate. Sidious is trying to escalate the crisis while preventing any resolution so he can use it to lever himself into high office. From his point of view the nastier it gets, as long as it isn't resolved, the better it is for him. The Trade Federation is trying to get richer while Sidious is throwing the Trade Federation under the bus.
It's been a while since I've watching the film. Are they referring to the invasion or forcing the Queen to sign the treaty at gunpoint?
That's the invasion. If the invasion is legal, well then the treaty between the conquerors and the conquered is probably going to be legal as well. That's what you're not getting. This is effectively a war between two members of the Republic. Victors demand all sorts of things from the defeated, and get them. Its a failure to maintain peace between different members of the Galactic Republic, which undermines the current government, but not probably not illegal as long as the Trade Federation can muster a defence of their invasion which is sufficient for the Senate. This is why the Trade Federation is muddying the waters, the less clear cut the matter, the less chance of the Senate mustering against them. They don't know Palpy's plan is to throw them under the bus.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2010-02-02 05:11pm

stormthebeaches wrote:Who's going to molest them? The planet they are invading has no army, just a glorified police force. There is no reason for them to land on the other side of the planet, rather than a few miles away if not directly on top of the city. You don't need to build a beach head when the planet you are invading is almost completely defenseless. Besides, landing on the far side of the planet has its own problems. It takes longer to get to the city and thus gives the defenders more time to prepare. I'd imagine that the Trade Federation would want to hit them hard and fast.
Bullshit. Even if they're merely planning an attack and not the construction of anything, it takes time to organize a ground army. It's not like a bad Vietnam movie where guys pile out of helicopters and immediately engage the enemy. Methinks you take your own username too seriously.

As for giving the defenders time to prepare, you're being very inconsistent here. If the defenders are weak as you say, then that is not a credible threat. However, the defenders do have fighters; they wouldn't be much use in defense (if they put up a fight, you can take out their hangar right off the bat and neutralize them for anything more than a single sortie), but they can wreak hell on a landing operation. If the TradeFed fumbled troops onto the ground in a highly disorganized fashion right next to the city, it's entirely possible that they could take much heavier losses than they would otherwise. Hell, the fighters might shoot down large numbers of the transports. Remember that they're not people; aggression against droids would be treated much differently, politically speaking, than aggression against civilian targets such as cities.
The movie stated that going through the planets core was the fastest way of getting to the city. And their plan was still flawed. What if the transport they were in landed fur away from the city whilst other transports landed very close to the city?
That piece of dialogue about going "through the planet core" might be some sort of Gungan colloquialism for all we know. It certainly doesn't make physical sense. As for their plan being flawed, I'd like to see what you would have done instead. They're two individuals, on a battleship with thousands of battledroids where the security forces are actively hunting for them.
stormthebeaches wrote:But why is the Trade Federation constantly denying the invasion? Wouldn't Sidious want the Trade Federation to be as blatant about the invasion as possible? As the RedLetterMedia said, Sidious should have told the Trade Federation to tell the Jedi "there will be no negotiations" and send them on their way.
What are you, a fucking retard? The Trade Federation and Sidious are not on the same page here. There's no reason why the Trade Fed's plan should coincide with Sidious' plan, because he's playing them for chumps. How can you tie your own shoelaces and be stupid enough to miss this? Of course they want to make it legal, or at least legal enough so that the Senate would not authorize action against them. Considering all of the incredible bullshit the Bush Administration pulled in order to claim legality for their unlawful invasion of Iraq, I would think that something like this would be obvious. As for Sidious, he's telling them that he can make it legal so that they will be bold enough to do it, moron. He just wants them to commit, so he can prove that the Senate and Valorum are useless.
And no, I am still not buying that the Republic allows "SIGN THE TREATY OR DIE!" tactics.
They don't have to, pinhead. They just have to be sufficiently gridlocked that interested parties can tie up any attempt to act on it. Just like nobody will ever be prosecuted for the various violations of federal hiring law and the Geneva Convention that occurred under President Bush. Everyone knows they're illegal, the government certainly does not officially condone this behaviour, his political opponents took control of the government, and yet ... not a damned thing will ever happen to him or any of his cronies and business associates. The Republic Senate is the same way; even if they don't officially condone these tactics, it doesn't matter. They just need to do enough to gridlock the system.
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Post by stormthebeaches » 2010-02-02 06:05pm

Bullshit. Even if they're merely planning an attack and not the construction of anything, it takes time to organize a ground army. It's not like a bad Vietnam movie where guys pile out of helicopters and immediately engage the enemy. Methinks you take your own username too seriously.

As for giving the defenders time to prepare, you're being very inconsistent here. If the defenders are weak as you say, then that is not a credible threat. However, the defenders do have fighters; they wouldn't be much use in defense (if they put up a fight, you can take out their hangar right off the bat and neutralize them for anything more than a single sortie), but they can wreak hell on a landing operation. If the TradeFed fumbled troops onto the ground in a highly disorganized fashion right next to the city, it's entirely possible that they could take much heavier losses than they would otherwise. Hell, the fighters might shoot down large numbers of the transports. Remember that they're not people; aggression against droids would be treated much differently, politically speaking, than aggression against civilian targets such as cities.
If you are worried about enemy fighters then wouldn't you want to strike as hard and fast as possible to catch the fighters on the ground? By landing on the other side of the planet you give the Naboo fighters plenty of time to do multiple sorties on your advancing ground forces. The Trade Federation's advancing ground forces would be incredibly vulnerable to Naboo fighters unless the Trade Federation has atmospheric fighters of their own (we never see the Trade Federation use any atmospheric fighters in this film so I'm not sure if they have any). In this case the Trade Federation would want to disable the Naboo fighters as quickly as possible by striking hard and fast at the city (where the hangers are).

As for organizing a ground army. It's true if your fighting in a campaign over a large area. In this case, it is only one city. Use the starships weapons to bombard the hangers, this should take care of the fighters. You then deploy battle droids immediately in the city. The goal here is to overwhelm the defenders as quickly as possible. If you want to minimize your losses then you would want to reach the city as quickly as possible. The longer it takes to get to the city the more time the defenders (no matter how weak) have to prepare, setting up blockages, improvised mines, and using their fighters to hammer your advancing ground forces.

And yes, the Naboo look really weak in the movie. The droid army just marched into the city with no resistance (excluding the Jedi). There were no soldiers shooting at the advancing droids, no fighters doing sorties, nothing.
That piece of dialogue about going "through the planet core" might be some sort of Gungan colloquialism for all we know. It certainly doesn't make physical sense. As for their plan being flawed, I'd like to see what you would have done instead. They're two individuals, on a battleship with thousands of battledroids where the security forces are actively hunting for them.
Why would the Gungan's want the trick the Jedi into take one of their ships? And "through the planet core" might not make physical sense but neither do a lot of things in the Star Wars. I just because I can't think of a better plan that does not mean that the Jedi's plan was any good, it wasn't for the reasons I described. If I were the Jedi I wold probably want to get back to Corresant (sp?) as soon as possible and forget about going onto Naboo.
What are you, a fucking retard? The Trade Federation and Sidious are not on the same page here. There's no reason why the Trade Fed's plan should coincide with Sidious' plan, because he's playing them for chumps. Of course they want to make it legal, or at least legal enough so that the Senate would not authorize action against them. Considering all of the incredible bullshit the Bush Administration pulled in order to claim legality for their unlawful invasion of Iraq, I would think that something like this would be obvious. As for Sidious, he's telling them that he can make it legal so that they will be bold enough to do it, moron. He just wants them to commit, so he can prove that the Senate and Valorum are useless.
Sorry but the movies portrays the Trade Federation as mere puppets to Sidious who do whatever he says. And Sidious could still manipulate the Trade Federation to be more open about their invasion. "The Republic is full of spineless cowards. Take a strong stance and being open about your willingness to use military power. They will back down and cave in to your demands".

This still does not explain why Sidious told the Trade Federation to kill the Jedi when they asked for his advice. Sidious should have told the Trade Federation to tell the Jedi that their would be no negotiations and then send them back to the Republic's capital.
They don't have to, pinhead. They just have to be sufficiently gridlocked that interested parties can tie up any attempt to act on it. Just like nobody will ever be prosecuted for the various violations of law and the Geneva Convention that occurred under President Bush. Everyone knows they're illegal, the government certainly does not officially condone this behaviour, his political opponents took control of the government, and yet ... not a damned thing will ever happen to him or any of his cronies and business associates. The Republic Senate is the same way; even if they don't officially condone these tactics, it doesn't matter. They just need to do enough to gridlock the system.
Even Bush's justifications for his crimes are better than "I forced this guy to sign this treaty at gunpoint". If one country launched an unprovoked invasion of another country and forced the government of the invaded country to sign a treaty legalizing the invasion at gunpoint no sane legal system on the planet would take that treaty seriously. The Trade Federation might as well have forged the Queen's signature.

There are loads of other ways the Trade Federation could have legalized their invasion. Ways that would have been far better that forcing the government of Naboo to sign a treaty at gunpoint. Hell, even a false flag Naboo terrorist attack on one of the blockading ships would have been better.

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Post by stormthebeaches » 2010-02-02 06:14pm

Sidious and the Trade Federation are working at cross purposes. Sidious is using the crisis to gain the Chancellory, the Trade Federation is using it to expand their power and don't know that Sidious will throw them under the bus. It is in Sidious's interest to prolong the conflict to the point until it can be used to unseat Valorum instead of sliding it through the Senate. Sidious is trying to escalate the crisis while preventing any resolution so he can use it to lever himself into high office. From his point of view the nastier it gets, as long as it isn't resolved, the better it is for him. The Trade Federation is trying to get richer while Sidious is throwing the Trade Federation under the bus.
When the Trade Federation asks Sidious what to do about the Jedi Sidious tells them to kill the Jedi. Why didn't Sidious say "tell the Jedi their will be no treaty and send them on their way"?
That's the invasion. If the invasion is legal, well then the treaty between the conquerors and the conquered is probably going to be legal as well. That's what you're not getting. This is effectively a war between two members of the Republic. Victors demand all sorts of things from the defeated, and get them. Its a failure to maintain peace between different members of the Galactic Republic, which undermines the current government, but not probably not illegal as long as the Trade Federation can muster a defence of their invasion which is sufficient for the Senate. This is why the Trade Federation is muddying the waters, the less clear cut the matter, the less chance of the Senate mustering against them. They don't know Palpy's plan is to throw them under the bus.
But why would the Trade Federation try to legalize the invasion in such an idiotic manner? Even a false flag terrorist attack on one of the blockading ships would be a better justification than a treaty signed at gunpoint.

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Post by Imperial Overlord » 2010-02-02 06:31pm

stormthebeaches wrote:
This still does not explain why Sidious told the Trade Federation to kill the Jedi when they asked for his advice. Sidious should have told the Trade Federation to tell the Jedi that their would be no negotiations and then send them back to the Republic's capital.
The Trade Federation were ready to give up when they saw Jedi. They are, however, even more scared of Sidious and with good reason. Killing the Jedi escalates the crisis and forces the Trade Federation to commit so of course Sidious ordered it. Futhermore, neither Sidious nor the Trade Federation wants Jedi investigating them. They're Jedi Masters acting for Valorum. They aren't going to go away because the Trade Federation tells them to fuck off.

Even Bush's justifications for his crimes are better than "I forced this guy to sign this treaty at gunpoint". If one country launched an unprovoked invasion of another country and forced the government of the invaded country to sign a treaty legalizing the invasion at gunpoint no sane legal system on the planet would take that treaty seriously. The Trade Federation might as well have forged the Queen's signature.

There are loads of other ways the Trade Federation could have legalized their invasion. Ways that would have been far better that forcing the government of Naboo to sign a treaty at gunpoint. Hell, even a false flag Naboo terrorist attack on one of the blockading ships would have been better.
The Trade Federation wanted the signature to legalize the occupation, i.e. that the legitimate government had surrendered to the Trade Federation and thus had no legitimate legal government or representatives in the Senate other than the Trade Federation.. Every surrender is a "I forced you to sign this treaty at gunpoint act" and they're still legally binding. While we're at it, the American terms imposed on Iraq contain a number of blatant work arounds and violation of international law in order to accomplish their privitization mania and they got away with it. The Trade Federation already had sufficient legal reason for a blockade, which is an act of war under many legal systems. Manufacturing additional evidence and imaginary incidents is once easier once they're in control of the planet.
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Post by Jim Raynor » 2010-02-02 06:35pm

Qui-Gon is easy to describe. He was the extremely wise and experienced Jedi Master, but was also the most independent and open-minded out of that stagnant order. The movie made it clear that his independent streak kept him out of the Jedi Council, but that the other Masters still had to respect him because he was that damn good.

And acting like TPM's climax was crap for having multiple simultaneous conflicts is bullshit. Did this idiot forget Luke dueling with Vader while the rest of the heroes tried to escape Cloud City? Or Luke dueling Vader again, while the Rebel and Imperial fleets engaged each other and the Ewoks were taking on Stormtroopers on the ground? I liked battles like this, which shows the epic scale of the conflict and builds the tension because everything could go to hell if just one set of heroes out of two or three went down.
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Post by Jim Raynor » 2010-02-02 07:20pm

LordOskuro wrote:As for describing the characters, people keep forgetting the rules. You can't say what a character looks like, nor can you say his profession. Describing Qui-Gonn as a rebel in the eyes of the Council does not meet this criteria, as it needs explaining the background more in depth to explain the character. The whole point of the exercise is to show that TPM characters lack a solid archetype, something I'd blame not only on the writing, but on the wooden performance.
Why can't you mention his job? And the "background" isn't so hard to explain. Qui-Gon's "archetype" is the open-minded maverick. Not good enough? Even if Qui-Gon didn't stick to "archetype," why is the writing at fault?

EDIT:

How is it doing "too much" to have simultaneous land/space battles? This is Star Wars. Modern or futuristic battles are going to involve lots of people all over the place.
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Post by Oskuro » 2010-02-02 07:32pm

The point of the exercise was to showcase the strength of a character based on its traits alone, without resorting to the background to give him context. To put a non-SW example, it'd be easy to describe Gandalf as a wizard, but when you compare him to another wizard, say, Dumbledore, you need to actually describe his character rather than just his profession.

In the video, he actually compares characters from the OT to TPM characters, the first being Han Solo (scoundrel, dashing, rougish, self-serving, noble) vs Qui-Gonn (estoic, open-minded). Now, it is not impossible to describe the TPM characters, but they are generally bland, with fewer recognizable character traits, thus they are weaker as characters.

This is all relative, of course, since what the reviews are trying to postulate is George Lucas' failings as writer and director by comparing TPM to the OT, not in a broader sense.

My personal opinion about TPM, actually, is that had it been a non SW movie, it would have been a decent Sci-Fi movie, but it fails to capture the essence of Star Wars, and as such fails as an Star Wars movie.
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