Unscene II


By popular demand, more missing scenes from “Star Wars—Episode I—The Phantom Menace”. By the way, did you know that “Star Wars—Episode IV—A New Hope—The Special Edition” was the first film ever with three hyphens and four titles? It’s a fact! George Lucas, ever the trendsetter.

On the same subject, did you know that the original title for Episode I was “Star Wars—Episode I—The Phantom Menace—The Hair Edition—Eat Taco Bell”? It’s true!

I felt sort of trendy myself when I decided to switch to the Dark Side and start bashing Lucas. You know how it goes, anything popular suffers an inevitable backlash, things that were good suddenly suck even though they were good before and nothing changed but the prevailing winds. It’s especially true in this new age of instant global backlash via electronic communication, AKA “The Web.” Not that I feed such petty, unimportant discussions, of course.

Let Qui-Gons Be Qui-Gons

Scene: Coruscant, seat of the Imperial Senate and the Jedi Council, city-world just like in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis except not a rip-off of that because it’s in color, right? Qui-Gon Jinn, Jedi Master and his Apprentice, the extra-cool Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi (All Obi-Wan dialog should be read with a proper British accent in a very relaxed way, as if he is bored.): Please don’t defy the Council again, Mahstuh.

Qui-Gon Jinn (All Qui-Gon dialog should be read with a very slight Irish accent with a twist of condescension and imperiousness because he knows better than you, moron.): I shall do what I think is right, Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: But there is something not right about this boy. They all feel it, why can’t you?

Qui-Gon Jinn: It is time to teach you a new lesson in the ways of the Jedi Knights, young Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: But you just said I was ready to be initiated.

Qui-Gon Jinn: One should never stop.. damn this robe. You know, I really hate it when I need to gesture or wave or something and my hands and arms are all gathered inside the extremely long sleeves of this stupid robe!

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Is that my lesson, Mahstuh?

Qui-Gon Jinn: No, young Obi-Wan. It is merely an observation.

Master Yoda (offscreen): Anger leads to hate! Hate leads to suffering. . .

Qui-Gon Jinn: Sometimes, we. . .

Master Yoda (offscreen): Suffering is like a pretty flower what smells bad. . .

Qui-Gon Jinn: And I. . .

Master Yoda (offscreen): E I E I O!

Qui-Gon Jinn: Can someone shut that puppet up, please! People are trying to have conversations around here!

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Mahstuh?

Qui-Gon Jinn (to himself): I will never understand why Master Yoda has to stick his hand up some puppet’s ass to do all his talking for him. (toward the Council Chamber) Freak!

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Mahstuh?

Qui-Gon Jinn: I. . .

Anakin Skywalker (offscreen): Yippee!

Qui-Gon Jinn: I was. . .

Master Mace Windu (offscreen): We have a few questions for you, Anakin.

Qui-Gon Jinn: I. . .

Anakin Skywalker (offscreen): Yippee!

Master Mace Windu (offscreen): What does Master Qui-Gon Jinn look like?

Anakin Skywalker (offscreen): Yippee!

Master Mace Windu (offscreen): What does Master Qui-Gon Jinn look like?

Anakin Skywalker (offscreen): Yippee!

Master Mace Windu (offscreen): Does Master Qui-Gon look like a bitch?

Anakin Skywalker (offscreen): Yippee!

Master Mace Windu (offscreen): I said, ‘Does Master Qui-Gon look like a bitch?’

Anakin Skywalker (offscreen): Yippee!

Master Mace Windu (offscreen): Say ‘Yippie’, again! Say, ‘Yippie’, again!

Anakin Skywalker (offscreen): Yip..!

(The sound of a lightsaber humming to life and the familiar sound of its slice through the air can be distinctly heard from the Council Chamber)

(Long pause, then:) Anakin Skywalker (offscreen): You cut off my fuckin’ leg!

Qui-Gon Jinn: I. . . Come over here near the matte, I mean, let us look down upon all of Coruscant spread beneath us like a carpet of light.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Yes, Mahstuh.

Qui-Gon Jinn: Obi-Wan, the life of a Jedi is one of contemplation, truth and justice, manipulation, looking down one’s nose on other life forms. We’re in the catbird’s seat in the Republic, yes? We uphold the law by whipping out our lightsabers and manipulating weak minds to do our bidding.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Yes, Mahstuh. I have observed you these past few days putting all our finely-honed talents to use securing the boy for our own devices. I particularly got a kick out of how you knew the outcome of the race and “bet” (he makes airquotes) his freedom on that preconceived outcome and manipulated the toss of the gaming cube to get your way.

Qui-Gon Jinn: That was good, wasn’t it?

Obi-Wan Kenobi: And then when that black-robed fellow tried to interfere and he was kicking your ass you ran away like you were scared shitless.

Qui-Gon Jinn: Well, let’s not go into. . .

(Laughing now) Obi-Wan Kenobi: And… And when you just left that slave woman behind with the half-built protocol droid and not even a fair-the-well or any money or anything! Man, that was priceless. Erm, I mean, Mahstuh, that was priceless.

Qui-Gon Jinn: What I want to teach you now is that sometimes, one must follow one’s own path, if one sees the way clearly and one feels one has the obligation to ignore the Jedi Council, and especially that goddam lazy-eyed puppet.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Yes, Mahstuh.

Qui-Gon Jinn: Promise me that if anything should happen to me…

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Like that black-robed guy coming back to finish kicking your ass?

Qui-Gon Jinn: Like that, yes, young Obi-Wan. Promise me that you’ll train young Anakin in the ways of the Force and accept him as your own apprentice, even should the Council maintain its stance against his training.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: But, Mahstuh, how can I defy the Council when they are so wise and knowing in the ways of the Force?

Qui-Gon Jinn: Okay, reality check? It’s a puppet, a guy with a surfboard for a head, a fur-covered footstool, two newts and the bald guy. And, yes, sure, the bald guy is one badass motherfucker, but all he ever does is sit there and look sideways in a discouraging manner.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Ah.

Qui-Gon Jinn: Let’s get a pizza. You like it with or without bantha?

You can see why I didn’t include that draft with the first batch. Nothing really new or interesting is revealed, except that part where the kid’s leg is severed which was, I think we can all agree, a little gratuitous. But, please, what director with Samuel L. Jackson in his cast wouldn’t include at least a little maiming of the cast members?

We all know by now how much the Gungun Jar Jar Binks has come to be almost universally disliked (to put it mildly) by both the reviewers and the audience. Perhaps even more heinous than the fighting teddy bears and the Tarzan yelling Wookiee from “Return of the Jedi”, this floppy-eared homage to Shaggy from the Scooby-Doo gang shambles through the film stepping in shit, being farted on, having his face electrocuted and his tongue squeezed by a threatening Jedi all in the name of what passes for humor and hyjinks in a film directed by the man who gave the world “Willow”. Enough said. Personally, I was more weirded out by that mini Greedo who hung out with Anakin’s juvenile delinquents (We’re happy slaves kids! Let’s put on a show in the used ‘droid parts garage!) but to each his or her own.

In this unbelievable first draft excerpt written, if one were to believe the notes in the margins, in 1990, Lucas’s experiments with film form are revealed as, for the first time, we see that he presaged Woody Allen’s “Everyone Says I Love You” by a few years in attempting to bring the movie musical back in full Force! Believe it!

Here now, Jar Jar Binks and Queen Amidala in a stirring musical extravaganza from “Star Wars—Episode I—Song Of The Jedi!”

Song of the Souse

Scene: Coruscant, seat of the Imperial Senate and the Jedi Council, a sprawling megalopolis reminiscent of Asimov’s Trantor from “The Foundation Trilogy” only not at all a ripoff of that because it’s all digitally rendered instead of written down in a book, so it’s different! Queen Amidala, elected ruler of Naboo but still referred to as a Queen for some reason that even I, the author, cannot fathom, stands looking down at the city as Jar Jar Binks, a Gungan also from Naboo only a totally different race that’s probably native to the planet since they don’t seem to have space travel capability even though they’re not at all surprised by it, approaches.

Queen Amidala (All Amidala dialog should be read with a monotone, monotonous, monoinflection void of emotion, as if she is dead. Her singing voice will be performed by Marianne Faithfull.): Ah, Coruscant. Planet city.

Jar Jar Binks (Jar Jar Binks, like all Gungan, speaks with a childlike pidgin English almost unintelligible. Sort of a cross between that Mushmouth guy from the Fat Albert cartoons whoba talkbuhed liebuk thibus and a Jamaican patois similar to but totally unlike Jamaican-accented English. His singing voice will be performed by James Brown.): Hellosah Princess!

Queen Amidala: I am a Queen, Jar Jar Binks.

Jar Jar Binks: Yousa Queen?

Queen Amidala: Yes. (She begins to sing)
On Naboo, where I was born
To the royal family tree
They elect their ruling class
A democratic monarchy

And in my crib they placed a wig
A huge dramatic hairy mass
So I would grow accustomed to
Looking like a Kabuki lass

Jar Jar Binks (he sings): Yousa Queen? Amidala Thing?
Meesa love you!

Queen Amidala: (She stops singing) Shut up.

Jar Jar Binks: Whatsa you lookin’a at?

Queen Amidala: Are you Italian?

Jar Jar Binks: Meesa? Nosah! Meesa Gungan! (He begins to sing)
Meesa too, from Naboo
Gungan warrior through and through
Livin’ ina water city
Very wet but very pretty

Queen Amidala: (Singing) Do you swim from here to there?

Jar Jar Binks: Here to there and everywhere!

Queen Amidala: Do you fight for what is right?

Jar Jar Binks: In the day or in the night!

Queen Amidala: Do you like green eggs and ham?

Jar Jar Binks: I do not like them, Sam I Am!

Queen Amidala: (She stops singing) Shut up.

Jar Jar Binks: Meesa wondering. Yousa love Anny?

Queen Amidala: Annie? No, I prefer something less bubbly. And I simply cannot abide that song.

Jar Jar Binks: Song?

Queen Amidala: You know. (She sings, in a flat, monotone, bored voice.) The sun’ll come out. Tomorrow. Betchur bottom dollar that tomorrow. There’ll be sun.

Jar Jar Binks: (Nodding) Just tinkin boutsa. Tomorree. Clear away duh cobweeb and dee sorry. Till be none.

Anakin (offscreen): When I’m stuck with a day! That’s gray! And lonely! I just stick out my chin! And grin! And… ow! Hey, stop hitting me!

Obi-Wan (offscreen): It slipped.

Jar Jar Binks: Meesa thinkin yousa misunderstand meesa question!

Queen Amidala: (Humming “Hard Knock Life” in spite herself.)

Jar Jar Binks: Meesa mean Anny. (He points to where Anakin’s voice was heard moments before.)

Anakin (offscreen): Yippy! Ow!

Obi-Wan (offscreen): Slipped again.

Queen Amidala: Ah. The boy. He has a certain innocent charm, as if he could be turned to a life of evil.

Jar Jar Binks: Whatsa?

Queen Amidala: Nothing. (She sighs.) Is the city not beautiful, Jar Jar Binks?

Jar Jar Binks: (He nods, grinning like a simp.)

Queen Amidala: (She sings)
Oh, Coruscant, Coruscant
Beautiful city planet
Oh, Coruscant, Coruscant
I wish my name was Janet

If I were Janet then my life
Would be so very different
A queen I would no longer be
And something that rhymes with ‘different’!

Oh, Coruscant, Coruscant
Beautiful city planet
Oh, Coruscant, Coruscant
I wish my naaaaaaaaame!
(whispered) Was Janet…

Jar Jar Binks: Meesa wish meesa name be Veronica!

Queen Amidala: Shut up.

Jar Jar Binks: Um, meesa… Meesa want… Could meesa… (Suddenly, Jar Jar takes Amidala in his arms and slides his long tongue into her mouth before planting a long, wet kiss on her tiny red lip button.) Meesa love you, Amidala.

Queen Amidala: What?!?

Jar Jar Binks: (He sings)
Meesa love you, meesa do
Meesa want to marry you
Meesa need you, meesa lust
Meesa want to lick you bust

Queen Amidala: (She slaps him) Jar Jar Binks, behave yourself.

Jar Jar Binks: Yousa no love meesa?

Queen Amidala: I can barely understand a word you’re saying. But you cannot simply take a Queen such as myself, even an elected Queen, and kiss her on her tiny red lip button.

Jar Jar Binks: Meesa sorry.

Queen Amidala: Frankly, I’m completely out of the moment. I believe I shall retire to my… can you do that thing again?

Jar Jar Binks: Thing?

Queen Amidala: The tongue thing?

Jar Jar Binks: (He obliges. A long, slick, agile stalk slides from between his lips.)

Queen Amidala: Mmm. Hmm. Uhhhhh… Here’s my number. Call me. Later.

And the hits just keep on coming!

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to Star Wars: Episode II—Amidala Gets Her Groove Back. I have a feeling that George’ll screw it up somehow, but lets keep our appendages crossed, shall we?

August 30, 1999

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