Having played with Peter Pan’s idea a little, there are some logistical challenges with this approach which it might be worth collectively considering.
Firstly, that initial transition. I agree that ideally you’d open on the Jedi going underwater, but this being Star Wars, we really should begin in space. We could follow the ambassador’s ship (now just anyone’s ship) into the Trade Federation ship, but then we should really have some scene on the ship itself, perhaps implying that the two Neimoidians have just arrived to oversee the situation. The invasion trigger shouldn’t happen until after the Gungan negotiations, but there is one scene of the two Neimoidians walking (away from the monitor) which might be usable with a zoomed shot and some alternate lines.
Secondly, context. Whatever the first scene with the Jedi is, it needs to carry some of the exposition we’d otherwise cut, setting them up as negotiators and mystics. I’ve had a bit of a play with this on top of Peter Pan’s ideas but haven’t finalised my thoughts yet, and you can’t do too much voice work without it becoming “fan-edity”. And while we don’t need the underwater fish stuff, some of the dialogue on the bongo can be a bit useful in emphasising what the Force is (“The force will guide us”, “maxi big the force.”)
Thirdly, the negotiation itself. It’s very short unless the Jedi are already aware of an attack, so I think it’s worth having the attack foreseen by the Jedi, as explained in the crawl. I think the best angle with this approach is that the Jedi are actively trying to forge an alliance to defend against invasion - this plan is used in the finale so it makes sense to use the Jedi in this way, plus it makes the failiure of the negotiations (and the speed of the attack) the catalyst for escalation of drama on Naboo (which will be later resolved at the movie’s conclusion). It also works with the lines about the Naboo guard being ill-equipped to defend against the Federation army.
The Galactic Republic is failing. As its
ability to protect its worlds diminishes,
the greedy TRADE FEDERATION have
grown increasingly bold in their quest
to exploit vulnerable planets.
QUEEN AMIDALA, elected ruler of the
verdant planet Naboo, fears an attack.
But a rift has grown between her
people and their former allies, the
Gungan warriors, leaving her with
Foreseeing an invasion, The Jedi
Order, mystical wielders of THE FORCE
and defenders of the Republic, have
dispatched Jedi Knight QUI-GON JINN
and his apprentice to re-forge the
alliance on Naboo before the situation
It’d also be nice to have them account for the failiure of the negotiations - probably using the line “Well you were right about one thing master; the negotiations were short.” But again you’re wrestling with voice lines there.