Favorite moments... from Jedi and Menace
To make amends for missing a blog yesterday, and in keeping with my prediction, I present a two-for-one extravaganza of opinions!

Return of the Jedi moments
  • The Return of the Jedi. That moment when Luke catches his new lightsaber on the barge and watches the green blade ignite. I get tingles. One of my favorite scenes from Jedi, and supported by a thrilling Williams track (a staple of my iPod). Watching Luke finally show his Jedi licks still gives me goose bumps. Luke's confrontation with Boba Fett was the cherry on the scene (I'm certain that just about every Empire fan sat up straight in their chairs when he flew down to Luke's skipper), and we got our first shot of a Jedi blocking blaster bolts. Good stuff.
  • "My favorite kind of scum: fearless and inventive." Leia's ruse as a bounty hunter creates a great tense moment when she pulls out a thermal detonator in Jabba's court. Jabba, amused, merely continues negotiating the contract on Chewbacca.
  • "Well, how could they be jamming us if they don't know... if we're coming." Lando's split-second realization that the Empire is about to spring their trap sets up the thundering horns of both Williams' accompaniment and the hundreds of TIE fighters plowing into the fighter group. The shit is on.
  • "You want this... don't you?" After goading Luke with news of his friends' plight, the Emperor casually fingers the lightsaber on his chair's arm and asks him what he already knows. McDiarmid delivers the line with such delicacy, and then slowly turns up the intensity when goading him strike him down. Only slightly overshadowed is a favorite line later on, "Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!" That one ups the ante on the conflict considerably.
  • "You already have, Luke. You were right about me. Tell your sister...you were right." I can't resist putting in the last words of Anakin Skywalker. Still a touching scene to this day, as we hear the faint strains of the Imperial march die with him.
  • "That name no longer has any meaning for me." Vader responds in passionate denial, the first time we have really seen any kind of human doubt or feeling in the man in black. It was as jarring to me then as it was at the end of Sith when he asks for Padme. Luke pleads with him that it is the "name of his true self" and he's only forgotten. For just a moment, when Luke turns away, Vader is speechless, contemplating his words. Perhaps the very first time, he's wondering if maybe he can break free, make amends. Good drama.

    The Phantom Menace moments
  • Obi-Wan's anxiousness before Maul. After his mentor has been cut down by the horned Sith, Obi-Wan snarls with obvious anger. But the key for me is right before the energy barrier opens up: Obi-Wan hops with adrenaline-pumped readiness, like a prize-fighter itching to get it on. That little maneuver always inflects me with similar angst. The shit is about to hit the fan, and when Obi-Wan charges in, I'm on the edge of my seat.
  • "What's that got to do with anything?" When the Jedi council notes to young Anakin's that his thoughts dwell on his mother, we get our first taste of the rebellious, headstrong nature of the Chosen One. His tone is almost condescending to the council, an attitude which we see develop in later movies. It's a moment that the Jedi correctly foreshadow leading to trouble.
  • "You overdid it." A very subtle line, easily missed, regarding Qui-Gon's force-aided attempt to calm Jar Jar when they are traveling through the planet core. Qui-Gon reaches forward, touches Jar Jar's shoulder and says 'relax'; the Gungan promptly faints and Obi-Wan comments on his master's lack of touch. I get a kick out of that line.
  • "Master--destroyers!" The entire opening scene of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan slicing through droids is a thrilling way to start a series, but the first appearance of the 'Droidekas' is what gives it edge. Unfolding, shields up, and blasting away with twin cannons, these droids give the heretofore unstoppable Jedi pause.
  • "We'll handle this." When the Theed hanger doors open to reveal a hooded figure in black, the audience reacts just as the Naboo do (Naboo do? Like Voodoo?) -- whoa! Qui-Gon says the line and no one is going to argue. Rightly shown in just about every trailer. But, really, my favorite part (before they get it on) is the artful martial-arts twist Maul does with his twin-bladed lightsaber before turning it on.
  • "Are you an angel?" The first thing that Anakin says to Padme is cute, revealing, and ironic because it will be his 'angel' that leads him to his own personal hell. Perfect choice of words.
  • "He is mired down by... baseless accusations of corruption..." In Senator Palpatine's first in-person conversation with the Queen, he uses truth, lies, and false dilemma to direct her where he wants to go. Wonderfully acted by McDiarmid, the first impression is everything we expect from the only true villain of the series: slippery, deceptive, and subtle.
  • No comments: