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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A Great Celebration in the Force, 2 July 1999

(Taking an immortal line from the original Obi Wan and twisting it a bit.) This piece is an answer to the question plaguing George Lucas and looming over the coming episodes: how to get rid of the most annoying race of creatures (and quite possibly the one character in all of cinematography who most deserves to be shot... twice). It was picked up on a galactic news feed.

A Great Celebration in the Force

Rubber Nilly, GP (Galactic Press)

NABOO, OUTER GALAXY, Reports emerged today from one of the more obscure planets on the Federation Trade routes of the disappearance and apparent deaths of an entire race of moose-headed, web-eared, frog-tongued, underwater dwelling isolationists calling themselves "Gungun," or, loosely translated, "First-born of Much Vexation." Early details are sketchy, but it has been confirmed that every member of this young but proud race met with gruesome fates at the hands of their brothers.

Captain Banaka, Prime Captain of Queen Amidala's Palace Guard and Polo Champions, first discovered the absence of the Naboo neighbors early last week. "It was strange. One day they were there, the next, not. We knew because the air was a lot fresher when they were gone."

Attempts to investigate the Gunguns' disappearance have been slightly hampered by the presence of enormous reptilian carnivores in the lake where the Gungun made their homes, but more strongly by a general apathy by all involved as to the whereabouts or well being of this noble race. Said one search party member who wished to remain anonymous, "Sure we're out here looking, but what are we looking for? The Gungun! And why are we looking, I mean, they were fricking annoying now, weren't they?"

Asked to comment, George Lucas had this to say, "Apparently there was a problem in the lab with the development of the Gungun. It appears that our team of design engineers missed the genes for annoyance, un-intelligibility, and rampant cannibalism in the DNA slurry that was the basis for the Gungun, mistaking these genes for those of charm, wit, and importance in the script." Animation experts are saying that it was only a matter of time before the Gungun self-destructed into a primitive, ritualistic struggle to climb the food chain of their society.

Apparently, one Gungun by the name of Jar Jar Binks survived this degeneration into cannibalism, taking refuge with Queen Amidala in her palace during the past month. However palace reports now say that just two days ago he was hung, shot, flayed, and burned for allegedly stealing the Queen's good bologna. So, indeed, there are no Gungun left on Naboo, nor anywhere else in the Galaxy.

When confronted with this palace report and the assertion that the degeneration of the Gungun had been severely aided by the gift of a bright blue ball of.something and the radiation this ball of whatever-the-hell-that-was must have been giving off to the Gungun, the Queen denied both claims with a shrug and the matter was promptly dropped for lack of interest..

The apparent tenor toward these digital denizens of the deep can be best summarized by quoting the ancient jedi master, Yoda, who, upon feeling the removal of the life-energies of the Gungun from the Force, was heard to say, "About time, it is."

186 out of 367 people found the following review useful:
Less Jar Jar, More Darth Darth, 14 June 1999

I feel taken. There is no kinder way to put that. Preparing to see the prequel to some of the most epic films that have been made, I, along with most of the world, became excited at the prospect of a new chapter in the saga. A new chapter that promised to have both the charm and aura of the old while incorporating the new technology of the day. However, instead of the addition of new digital techniques to the epic story, we have the REPLACEMENT thereof.

Take, for instance, the idea of a completely digital character. In the words of Ian Malcolm, Jeff Goldblum's character in Jurassic Park, "Your scientists were so concerned with whether they could do it that they didn't stop to think if they should do it." Granted, Jar Jar ButtMonkey would have been far less intrusive (say, only as much as a proctological exam) were he not so abrasive and his voice less like the experience of simultaneously chewing aluminum foil and scraping your nails across a blackboard while a band of dwarven accordionists march in clockwise fashion around you playing an atonal interpretational montage of Bette Midler's greatest hits.

As far as the rest of the story goes, yes, the Pod Racing and the Light Sabre fight scenes are impressive, but they are not the story. They are simply moments. What we are left with after that is a weak attempt to recapture the audience that IV, V, and VI enthralled. On point, Lucas dialogue has always been ponderous, at best (revisit some of Princess Leah's lines from the originals if you disagree). In truth, he doesn't fail to return on that promise, but the lines do not come off with the same charm that the first movies held; indeed, how could they when the lines themselves are delivered with two-by-four accuracy? I submit the first scene between Amidala and Anakin in the shop of the slave-keeper. The scene is contrived, and the dialogue hollow. The characters are not talking to each other, they are making speeches at one another. Similarly, the scene that should make even the most ardent supporter of Lucas nod a tired nod of acceptance that, yes, this scene needed work: "I care for you." Any who have seen the movie know the scene I refer to and can hardly deny the malcontrusion of character and story that forced that line from Anakin prematurely in his relationship with Amidala.

I could go on: why try to scientifically explain the ability to use the Force; why demystify what had once been referred to as an "ancient RELIGION"? I don't mind the allegorical reference to the Christ story (anyone who could not see the parallels in the original movies was asleep), but I do not need the thinly vieled reference to mitochondria that serves as the basis for the most potent power in the universe. Just let it be. Let it be felt rather than explained.

My only hope, this film's only saving grace is that it is just a setup for II and III. However, maybe I have already seen II and III and don't know it. Maybe if I use the Lucas Plot-Planner 2000 I can come up with what is going to happen in those films before they are released...

Opening: Sinister scene showing ultimate evil-doers planning their ultimately evil things. Spice With: Chase scene (speeders, pod racers, etc.) Include: Yoda Climax: Light sabre duel (Vader and Obi Wan, Vader and Luke, Obi Wan and Darth Maul) or Death Star of some reincarnation.