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Community Focus Thread 1: The Phantom Menace — Page 18

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EddieDean said:

Here’s a little idea, I don’t know how valuable it would be, but it might be worth thinking about:

You could potentially move Padmé’s early conversation by video with the Neimoidians on their bridge to when she’s on Tattooine.

During the “The death toll is catastrophic”/“It’s a trap, send no reply” segment, you could follow that up a short time later with Padmé’s “The Trade Federation have gone too far this time” - and then follow that with the launch of the probe droids and eventual attack by Maul.

Does that make for an interesting throughline?

Sorry, but I don’t think that would work. Aside from what Peter Pan already mentioned about Padme not being on her ship at that point in the movie, the video call scene is too closely tied to the beginning of the movie for it to work anywhere else, and it seems a bit weird that Padme would reveal her location to the Trade Feds just to taunt them. It’s an interesting idea, but it probably wouldn’t work in practice.

My preferred Skywalker Saga experience:
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX

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George Lucas’ story structure works in the “pass the baton” sort of way. It’s been that way since A New Hope. Padme contacting the Trade Federation is what allows us to transition to Naboo, because we’ve already been introduced to Padme in the context of what we’ve already seen.

I ship Spideychelle (MCU Peter and MJ) and Tomdaya (Tom Holland and Zendaya)
My Star Wars Fan-Edits

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Peter Pan said:

I spend the last week finishing my attempt at an fast paced Opening for TPM.
Key plot points are:

-new status quo at the beginning of the movie: The Trade Federation isn’t even in the picture yet, the main conflict is the tension between the Gungan (Warriors) and the Naboo (Pacifist)*

-the Jedi are send to diffuse the situation

-The Trade Federation exploit the instability and invades the planet

-The Jedi save the queen and speed away

But see for yourself:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CiqeDqziCzEtLhAEtYz6QHoP6qq3Z_Ex/view?usp=sharing

I really like this EXCEPT I would move the Palpatine/Trade Federation scene to before the invasion starts so that we go from them saying the invasion is on track to the invasion and then from that to QGJ and OWK coming from the Gungan place. That would flow better.

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I just had a bit of a eureka moment regarding how to structure the opening scene. According to my current plan, you only need to make one major change in order for the opening to work: make it seem like the Trade Feds know what’s going on from the very beginning. They’re immediately aware that the ambassadors are Jedi, and before Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon have even entered the conference room they’ve already made plans for what to do next.

Here’s the way I want to structure the opening:

  • Cut straight from the opening shot to the captain saying “With all due respect…” removing redundant dialogue.
  • After the Jedi ship lands in the hangar, cut to the first appearance of Sidious. This makes the Trade Feds seem more proactive, establishes that there’s a mysterious force at play here from the very beginning, and increases the tension in the conference scenes (since we know that the Trade Feds are planning to kill the Jedi). Also, cut the bit about making the invasion legal, as part of a general change to make the Trade Feds seem more like bullies: they know what they’re doing is illegal, but they think the Republic is too weak to stop them.
  • Then, cut to the conference door opening, with TC-14 saying “We are greatly honored by your visit.” Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon’s conversation plays out in full, with Qui-Gon’s lines now having an added element of dramatic irony.
  • Afterwards, cut to the first appearance of the Queen, as she has a tense conversation with the Trade Feds. Gunray’s denial that there are any ambassadors onboard now has a greater ominousness to it, since they still think their murder of the Jedi will succeed. Cut Gunray’s line “We would never do anything without the approval of the Senate”, as part of giving the Trade Feds a “screw you, you can’t stop us” attitude.
  • Continue the scene the way it did originally, with Gunray cutting off all communications, resulting in Palpatine’s hologram shorting out. However, end the scene after the governor says “Invasion.” This both ends the scene in a much stronger way, and removes more talk about how the Trade Feds always adhere to galactic law.
  • Next, cut to the Jedi ship being blown up, and toxic gas flooding the conference room. The action scene on board the command ship plays out mostly in full, but with the standard cuts (no “Destroy what’s left of them”, less Trade Fed cowardice).
  • When Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon see the invasion army, cut Qui-Gon saying “This is an odd play for the Trade Federation.” Again, the Trade Feds aren’t concerned about legality. After Obi-Wan’s one-liner about how “The negotiations were short”, cut to the start of the invasion, and proceed from there.

So, does that work? It’s not a radical change like I had previously envisioned, but I think it really helps in terms of making the opening more engaging.

My preferred Skywalker Saga experience:
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX

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I think that idea has potential, I’d love to see a mock up of that.

Your thread will make a fine addition to my collection.

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It’s a little choppy (so many cuts, especially noticeable before the action starts) but it’s a definite vanilla-like improvement.

I’d still like to see some of the more radical openings come to fruition.

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I agree with vranir, maybe loose the “wishing to board immediately” scene and alter the first Sidious appearance.
Something like this:

•Crawl

•The cruiser appears, lands aboard the federation ship and two hooded figures leave.

•Wide shot of the command bridge, insert “a transmission from the planet” but not the video.

•All communication is cut and Sio Bibble suspects an invasion. Maybe I’d add padmé’s “they wouldn’t dare that far” and finish the scene on “I will not condone a course of action, that will lead us to war.” Simply because it’s one of the better shots in the movie.

•The ship is blown up, the gas gets released and Gunray instructs the Battledroids to “destroy the rest of them”

•The door opens and the action ensues

•The Jedi dodge from the scene, see the invasion army and decide to warn the naboo.

Let’s see maybe next week I’ll find the time to try my hands on this.

Your thread will make a fine addition to my collection.

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vranir said:

It’s a little choppy (so many cuts, especially noticeable before the action starts) but it’s a definite vanilla-like improvement.

I’d still like to see some of the more radical openings come to fruition.

I can fix a lot of the choppiness simply with some audio crossfades, especially since I made a few of those cuts already in my edit of Episode I (namely the Jedi lightsaber fight scene).

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Yea, as said, was mostly a quick mockup to visualize the idea, didn’t really put any effort into prettying up the audio lmao

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Would there be any possible changes anybody could make to the Jedi Council scene wit Anakin to get George Lucas’ intent across better? What I mean by this is make it so it doesn’t seem like the Council is being critical of Anakin being afraid and moreso just trying to get him to admit it.

If you don’t know what I mean: https://www.tumblr.com/david-talks-sw/692126625024835584/going-over-anakin-the-council?source=share

I ship Spideychelle (MCU Peter and MJ) and Tomdaya (Tom Holland and Zendaya)
My Star Wars Fan-Edits

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 (Edited)

I like the idea, but I agree too many short scenes. I’d arrange it a little differently and cut a bit more:

  • Begin with the crawl, scroll down in space to the ship.
  • Cut the stuff with the captain/Nute Gunray/etc.
  • First interior shot should just be Qui-Gonn/Obi-Wan enter, what’s in the mock-up is good. They should be our first characters we see.
  • Move on to Gunray talking to Palpy as we saw in the mock-up, then go from that to a cut where they are told they have the transmission from Amidala.
  • Then to Amidala talking to the Jedi Council which gives us a nice flow. Which then ends with them discussing “that can only mean invasion” which leads to -->
  • Then the ship explosion, but no need to show the captain/co-captain, all we need is to see the exterior/explosion.
  • And then to the Jedi reaction/fight.

All of that flows and shouldn’t have the choppy feel to it. (I don’t think.)