Fifteen-minute Movie: Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace

or, “Padme has Spunk”

Scrolling Exposition – The Trade Federation has put a blockade in front of a planet called Naboo.  They picked Naboo because the planet doesn’t seem to have an army, so they’re easy pickings.  Of course, they are trying to disrupt the Republic.  Two Jedi have been sent to straighten this mess out.  I’m sure that will work out just fine.

Trade Federation Flag Ship:
Viceroy – Jedi!  They must know about our invasion fleet!  Also, we are in no way unflattering racial stereotypes.  Darth Sidious, what should we do?

Darth Sidious – Kill the Jedi.

Viceroy – Wait, won’t that make the Senate kind of suspicious?

Sidious – I’ll handle that.  Surely you and your droid army can take out two Jedi without any issues.  Invade the planet and don’t worry about the queen.  She’s a fourteen year old girl and a pushover who will not cause you any problems at all.

Obi-wan – These negotiations are going to be so boring.

[[cue the assassination attempt which doesn’t work because Jedi are, well, Jedi]]

Qui-gon – Never say anything like that again.  You’ll jinx us.  Let’s get out of here.

[[they sneak through the ship, blowing up a few flimsy droids on the way, until they reach the hangar bay]]

Qui-gon – Wow, they’re massing an invasion fleet.  You know, if they’d just negotiated with us and sent us on our way instead of trying to kill us, we’d never have found out about their insidious plans.

Obi-wan – So let’s get the heck out of here.

[[they do so by stowing away on one of the ships heading down to Naboo; in the escape, Qui-gon literally runs into Jar-Jar Binks]]

Qui-gon – What are you?  Some kind of over-sized Elmo stand-in?

Jar-jar – Meesa your friend and in no way an unflattering racial stereotype!  Yaaaay!

Qui-gon – Well, friend, we need to tell the queen the planet’s being invaded.

Naboo Capitol:
Amidala – Yeah, I figured that out already when the armed droids walked into my palace.  Thanks for the heads-up as I try to keep my people from getting killed because we have no freakin’ army.

Naboo Jungle:
Jar-jar – Meesa will take you to my boss in the underwater city.  He’ll help you.  Yaaaaay!

Gungan City:
Qui-gon – Ok, that Jar-jar is annoying, but this city demonstrates an impressive level of technology, plus a large population that would be useful for fighting a droid army.  Why don’t you help the Naboo people?

Boss Nass – Theysa think they’re better than we are, so *phhhbt*.

Obi-wan – But the Federation will conquer your people too.

Boss Nass – Not likely.  So, yousa should go now.

[[Qui-gon uses his Jedi mind-tricks to wrangle transport and for some ridiculous reason, Jar-jar; cue the special effects sequence as the gang narrowly avoids getting eaten by some truly terrifying creatures of the deep]]

Naboo Capitol:
Jar-jar – Yousa got us here alive.  Yaaay!

Obi-wan – I’m sorry, but why are we bringing him again on this very dangerous rescue mission?  He’s loud, he’s clumsy, and not unlikely to get us killed with good intentions.

Qui-gon – *sigh* Yeah, I know, but we’re stuck with him.

Amidala – Could you just get on with the rescuing please?

[[the Jedi proceed to take out some more flimsy droids and rescue the queen and her entire entourage]]

Qui-gon – Here are your options: stay here and probably die or come with us to Coruscant to try to plead your case to the Senate.

Amidala – Right, let’s go to Coruscant.

[[The queen’s ship is shot at muchly by the blockade forces]]

Captain – We are doomed!  Doomed!

R2-D2 – Beep beep blorp <No worries; I got this>> [[R2 proceeds to repair the ship allowing the queen and crew to escape]]

Viceroy – Whoops.  Well, we’ve still got the planet.

Sidious – Idiots.  I’ll send my apprentice to get this sorted.

Jar-jar – Weesa still not dead.  Yaaaay!

Qui-gon – Well, all we need is an engine.  That shouldn’t be too hard to find here on this godforsaken desert world so far in the backwoods of the galaxy that even the Republic has no control here.  I’ll just take Jar-jar and R2-D2 and find the part.

Obi-wan – Wait, I get R2 but why Jar-jar?  Surely he’ll just get you into trouble.

Qui-gon – You’re right young Padawan, but I have to take him with me.  It comes from a higher power.

Obi-wan – The Force?

Qui-gon – No.  George Lucas.

Padme – Then take me with you too.  The queen wants me to go with you to learn about this planet.

Qui-gon – Fine, what’s one more tagalong?

Grubby Tatooine City (oh wait, that’s all of them):
Watta – You need an engine?  I just so happen to have what you need and I am in no way an unflattering racial stereotype.

Qui-gon – That’s good luck considering this is the first shop we stopped at.

Watta – Come on out back.  <anakin, watch=”” these=”” other=”” two=”” and=”” make=”” sure=”” they=”” don’t=”” steal=”” the=”” goods=””>

Anakin – You’re pretty.  I like you.

Padme – Thanks, kid.

Anakin – I build totally awesome stuff even though I’m only nine.  And I race pods because I’m awesomer.

Qui-gon – We’ll take that engine.

Watta – I assume you have real money instead of that Republic credit.

Qui-gon – Er. [[waves hand]] You will take our credit.

Watta – Um, no, and what’s with this wavy thing?  You bring me some real money and we’ll make a deal.

Qui-gon – Ok, let’s go.  We need to reconsider our options.

[[a convenient sandstorm springs up and Anakin takes them to his house to meet his mother]]

Anakin’s House:
Anakin – Oh, and I also built C-3PO from scratch too.

Qui-gon – Seriously?  You built C-3PO?  Isn’t this stretching the bounds of believability just too far?

Anakin – And I built my own pod-racer because I’m the only human who can race them.

Qui-gon – Sure, why not?

Anakin – And you’re a Jedi here to free us slaves, right?

Qui-gon – Sure, yes, that’s totally why we’re here.  So, Shmi, is there any way we can scrape up some cash?

Shmi – Gambling on the pod-races.  But I’m sure you don’t have anything worth betting.

Qui-gon – Wait, wait, I’ve got an idea.  We’ll enter Anakin and his pod in tomorrow’s pod race.  I’ll bet the entire Naboo ship as collateral.

Padme – That’s your plan?  To bet the queen’s ship that a nine-year old kid who’s never finished a race can win in a pod he built in his backyard with scrap?  Seriously?  The queen would totally object to that if you could get a transmission out.

Qui-gon – Well, the queen’s not here and I’m not going to tell her, so *phbbt*.

Anakin’s House (later):
Qui-gon – Shmi, I think your son’s a Jedi.

Shmi – That would explain a lot.  Also, he was a virgin birth.

Qui-gon – Really?  We’re going with a Messiah complex?  Okay then. [[Qui-gon gets a sample of Anakin’s blood]]  So, is the kid a Jedi, Obi-wan?

Obi-wan – He’s got a lot of the mitro-whatsis.  Since when is the Force caused by microscopic organisms anyway?  I thought it was this was a mystical/spiritual thing.

Qui-gon – *sigh* I know it doesn’t make any sense.  Just go with it.

Race Day:
Qui-gon – Watta, here’s a further bet.  I bet you for the two slaves.  I’ll use the pod as collateral.

Watta – One slave, decided by chance.

Qui-gon – Or I could use my awesome Jedi telekinesis to cheat.

Watta – That’s fair.  I was using loaded dice anyway.  Fine, you win, you get the kid.

[[what follows is a ten minute special effects sequence because George Lucas likes race cars; despite bad luck and sabotage, Anakin wins the race]]

Jar-jar – Ani won the race and weesa can leave.  Yaaaaay!

Anakin’s House:
Qui-gon – I freed your son, but couldn’t free you.  And I’m not here to free the slaves anyway.  But you can come with me, Anakin, and learn to be a Jedi.

Shmi – It’s fine, son. You go with them.

Anakin – Ok. *sniff*  Bye, Mom.

[[they leave, and Anakin leaves C-3PO behind; Darth Maul attacks just as they’re about to leave]]

Qui-gon – Dude, what the heck?  You’re not a Jedi.  Why do you have a lightsaber? [[they duel for a few minutes before Qui-gon leaps aboard the ship and escapes]]

Coruscant, Queen’s Chambers:
Amidala – Senator Palpatine, how come you didn’t do your job and get this blockade declared illegal before the invasion?

Palpatine – You know, bureaucracy and stuff.

Amidala – Well, now I’ll plead the planet’s case myself.

Palpatine – I won’t work.  The Senate is so ensnared in bureaucracy they’ll want to form a committee to determine if your accusation against the Trade Federation is true.

Amidala – No way.  Even the Senate is not that bad.

Coruscant, Senate Chamber:
Random alien delegation – I think we should form a committee to determine if Queen Amidala’s accusations against the Trade Federation are true.

Amidala – No &$#@ing way!

Palpatine – Told you.

Amidala – Options?

Palpatine – Well, if there was a new Senate Chancellor who could control the bureaucrats, he might be able to take action against the Trade Federation.  Sadly, the re-election will also probably take less time than the proposed committee.

Amidala – *facepalm* Fine, I call for a vote of no confidence in this idiot who thinks I’m lying about my freakin’ planet being invaded.

Coruscant, Jedi Council Chambers:
Qui-gon – So the Sith have returned.

Yoda – Sure, are you?

Qui-gon – Yeah, I’m pretty darn sure unless one of  you is playing some sort of unfunny practical joke on me.  Seriously, you think I’m making this up about the guy with the red lightsaber who can use the Force and isn’t a Jedi?

Mace Windu – We’ll form a committee and investigate.

Qui-gon – Really?  Good grief.  Also, I found this boy who is stronger in the Force than any of us.  I think he’ll fulfill the prophecy about bringing balance to the Force.

Windu – No one really believes that, but you can bring him in to be tested.

Jedi Council Chambers, Take 2:
Windu – Well, the kid exhibits Jedi powers.

Yoda – Much fear in him, for his mother.

Qui-gon – Well, I did kind of leave her as a slave on a godforsaken rock controlled by ruthless gangsters.

Yoda – His fate we will determine later.  To Naboo you need to go and protect the queen.

Qui-gon – What?  Why is she going back to her planet?  It’s been invaded!

Queen’s Chambers:
Amidala – It’s clear to me you aren’t really working to save the planet, so I’m going to return to Naboo and figure out something myself.

Palpatine – I’m sure that’ll go fine.  Excuse me, I need to make a call to my “assistant” to “take care of” something.

Jar-jar – All Gungans run away to safe place, but meesa take you there.  Yaaaaay!

Queen – Please help us.

Boss Nass – Why should weesa help you?

Padme – Because I, the real queen, am begging you to help us, because we’re clearly not better than you are as a species.  You, for example, have an army.  By the way, queen decoy, we’re going to have a chat about you ordering me to wash off the Astrodroid.

Qui-gon – She’s the real queen?  Wow, I probably shouldn’t have been so condescending to her.

Padme – Yeah, you think?

Boss Nass – Meesa like you.  Yousa have spunk.  Also, the invaders tried to kill us.  So weesa help you.

Padme – Excellent.  Now listen up, Jedi, I’m making the plans since quite frankly your last one sucked even though it did work out.  The Gungans will bravely engage the droid army.  The remaining Naboo pilots will attempt to sabotage the orbiting Federation control ship which will shut down the entire army, and myself, my entourage, and you two, are going to help me take the Viceroy prisoner which should make negotiations with the Trade Federation go a lot smoother.  Everyone got that?  Good.

Obi-wan – That is kind of a kick-ass plan.

Qui-gon – Shut up and let’s do this thing.

[[the Gungans, who get stuck with Jar-jar, bravely fight the droid army with rather sophisticated energy shields and EMP bombs; meanwhile the other group, including Anakin, sneak into the palace]]

Palace Hangar Bay:
Qui-gon – Anakin, you find a place to hide and stay there.  Do not leave your hiding place, do you understand me?

Anakin – Okey dokey.  R2, let’s hide in this Naboo fighter.  I’m sure a pilot won’t need this or anything.

[[Padme and Co. leave the pilots to launching and head into the palace to kidnap the Viceroy; Anakin meanwhile accidentally starts up a fighter and it launches into space]]

Anakin – Well, I’m not leaving now, but I don’t think I’m any safer.

R2-D2 – Beep blorp beep beep <<Don’t worry, kid, I got this>> <relax, kid,=”” i=”” got=”” your=”” back. =”” one=”” of=”” my=”” primary=”” functions=”” is=”” saving=”” the=”” lives=”” main=”” characters,=”” after=”” all=””>

Palace (later):
Darth Maul – *posing* Remember me?

Qui-gon – That’s the guy who was trying to kill Amidala, I mean Padme, I mean, the queen.

Padme – Well, he looks scary so I’ll leave you two to take care of him.  Deal?

Qui-gon/Obi-wan/Maul – Deal.

[[Padme and Co. continue their part of the plan]]

Darth Maul – Check this out, Jedi losers.  Dual lightsaber, yeah.  I am so awesome despite having only one speaking line, if that.

Qui-gon – Ok, if that works for you.  I’d think you’d be more likely to cut your own arms off than be able to use that as an effective weapon, but whatever.  Bring it!

[[Thus begins the duel of the fates which ends up in some sort of heat vent thing with plasma shields that separates the two Jedi in a way that doesn’t actually make sense but does increase the drama]]

Maul – Just to prove my dual lightsaber is awesome and not ridiculous, I’m going to kill you with it.

Qui-gon – Sounds fair.

[[Maul stabs Qui-gon in the gut]]

Obi-wan – NOOOOO!!!

Maul – That was dramatic.  Now get in here so I can kill you too.

Padme and Co.:
Viceroy – Ha, our many droids have captured the queen and taken the party’s weapons.

Queen (decoy) – She’s not the queen!  I’m the queen, as obvious by the deliberately distracting hairstyle and make-up.

Viceroy – You idiots!  These are not them!  These are their stunt-doubles!  Go get the real queen.  Right, now that all my guards are gone I’m sure you’ll just stay put without any trouble.

Padme – Yeah, that’s what you think.  [[takes weapons hidden in the throne and re-captures the Viceroy]]

Viceroy – Well, I still have a droid army.

Naboo Pilot – That shield around the ship is impenetrable.  We can’t destroy the ship unless we get inside somehow!

Anakin – This is not as much fun as a pod-race.  I need a place to get out of the line of fire.  Hey, those hangar bays are open. [[lands in a hangar bay]]

Naboo Pilot – Seriously?  We just had to fly in the hangar bay?

Anakin – I’m being shot!  [[proceeds to blow up everything in range of the guns which for some reason seems to include the freakin’ power core]]  Uh-oh, I think I broke it.  R2, we’re getting out of here!  [[escapes the ship; which explodes and causes all droids to not only lose power but fall apart]]

Naboo Pilot – Are you &#@$ing me?  Not only is the hangar bay unprotected by the shield but the power core is within blaster range of the hangar bay?!  Who would build a ship like that!?

Gungan general – Meesa think the Federation should get their money back on these things.  They very flimsy.

Heat Reactor Thingy:
Obi-wan – Ok, I’m taking you down, Sith scum!

Maul – Wow, that’s pretty dark for a Jedi, isn’t it?  Also, I am seriously better than you are. [[disarms and flings Obi-wan down the shaft; he manages to grab on to a handy thing sticking out]]  So you’re taking me down?  How’s that working out for you?

Obi-wan – Just great, because while you’re gloating and showing off and not killing me, it gives me time to telekinetically grab Qui-gon’s lightsaber so I can jump up and kill you.

Maul – That’s not going to work.

Obi-wan – [[does exactly what he says]]

Maul – Dude, this sucks. [[falls into shaft thing and dies]]

Obi-wan – I’ll avenge you, Master!

Qui-gon – Just promise me you’ll train the boy.

Obi-wan – Can do.  Also, I have to say, Padme’s plan worked pretty darn well, even if the day was inexplicably saved by a nine-year old kid, again.

Coruscant, Jedi Council Chamber:
Yoda – Train this boy you should not.  Dangerous he is.

Obi-wan – Someone should train him if he’s dangerous, and if you don’t want me to do it, why don’t you do it since you’re such a great teacher, pointy-ears?

Yoda – Train this boy I do not want to do either.  Anyway, approves does the Council of your training him.

Obi-wan – Oh, so no problem.  It’s not like this will backfire horribly on me and I’ll spend out my advanced age regretting everything I ever said and did trying to teach him the ways of the Jedi.

[[Padme has a ceremony to reward the Gungans for their bravery; the Jedi are in attendance too]]

Padme – I’d like to thank the Gungans for help saving the planet when our own freakin’ Senator…

Palpatine – Supreme Chancellor.

Padme – Yeah, great, so when our own government representative couldn’t be bothered to do anything,  these wonderful Gungans stepped up and saved everything.  As a token of the people’s appreciation, I present you with this shiny thing.

Jar-jar – Meesa like shiny things.  Yaaaaay!

Windu – I guess we don’t need a committee to figure out the Sith have returned after all.  But at least one is dead.

Yoda – Always two Sith there are.  Dead is the apprentice.

Windu – So that leaves the Master.  I wonder where he could possibly be.  Clearly he must be someplace very far away from us and not, say, standing twenty feet away from us without us even knowing it.

Palpatine – Yes, clearly

– fade out-


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S. J. Drew is an aspiring writer who finally entered the blogosphere to shamelessly promote that writing (as evidenced by the title of the blog). Whether or not this works remains to be seen, but S. J. hopes you are at least entertained. And if you're actually reading this, that's probably a good sign.

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