I start out liking this scene and then rolling my eyes. I actually enjoy Watto’s character a lot and thought he was a fun addition. I also like finding out that Anakin was once a slave, which was an interesting beginning to his history. Most importantly, this is the first time we see Anakin in the prequels as a young boy on Tatooine. But the lines he says at the end to Padmé make me giggle, because honestly they are pretty bad and the line of “Are you an angel?” is probably one of the most made fun of lines in the movie.
Isn’t it also interesting that this random Toydarian junkshop dealer on the remote planet of Tatooine has parts for a J-type 327 Nubian? We all know that Watto is a sketchball, but I like how this is another example of how the Force guided Qui-Gon to this planet. Earlier in the movie, he mentions that it’s a good place to land because the Hutts are not looking for Queen Amidala, therefore giving them the advantage over landing on a planet where the Federation may have occupation. Not only did Qui-Gon pick a planet that had the parts he needed for his specific ship, but it also guided him to Anakin. This is one of the reasons that I love Qui-Gon. I believe that when everyone else thought he was crazy or disagreed with him, he knew to follow his gut (or the Force) because it was what had to be done. Even Obi-Wan disagreed with him often, showing those closest to him were not always on his side – but Qui-Gon ended up right on most accounts.
I was reading in the 2nd to latest Star Wars Insider about the Huttese language and, unfortunately, I don’t have the magazine on me (bummer) but I remember it saying it was based off of the Peruvian language of Quechua, with all the clicks and shorter spurts of sound. I think the magazine brought it up in referencing one of the Indiana Jones movies. However, if you notice, this dialogue doesn’t sound like how they describe Quechua and I found out that the Huttese that used Quechua as an inspiration is actually what we hear Greedo speaking in the original Star Wars. As the movies progressed, George based Huttese more closely to the Aymara language (spoken by people in the Andes). You can find examples of both languages on YouTube if you’d like…random bit of trivia for you.
I was going to go into the bad dialogue for the second half of this scene, but since I’m in such a positive mood and because I feel like I have mentioned it more than once in the past few weeks (the lack of skill on the writers during the prequels), I’m going to skip over that. Instead, I’ll relay an anecdote relating to Watto.
When Mr. Reticent and I used to work together at the same company, and sit next to each other, there were certain people we just couldn’t stand. Namely, they were our bosses or various people who shoved work upon us. We decided that it was way too dangerous to complain about these people because of unwanted listeners and people who sat near us, so we created code names for each person based on Star Wars characters.
One of our bosses received the glorious name of Watto because he was kind of slimy; always trying to make boring, dull projects sound way more fun to try and get us to be enthusiastic, really didn’t care about us as people but wanted to know what we could provide for him, etc. I ended up taking a picture of the real Watto and taping it at an area on my desk that was closest to his office as friendly reminder to us.
And really, that’s the end of the story. Wasn’t that great, but whenever I hear Watto, I now think of one of the executive I supported. Honestly – he wasn’t that bad and I actually ended up enjoying working for him over time, but the name of Watto always stuck because it was what we had created in the beginning.
P.S. I read an interview once where George said his favorite character of the prequels were the Pit Droids. Not sure if that’s still true but I find that cute.
INTERIOR: WATTO’S JUNK SHOP – DAY
QUI-GON, JAR JAR, PADME, and ARTOO enter the dingy junk shop and are greeted by WATTO, a pudgy blue alien who flies on short little wings like a hummingbird.
WATTO: (subtitled) Hi chuba da naga? (What do you want?)
QUI-GON: I need parts for a J-type 327 Nubian.
WATTO: Ah yes, ah yes. Nubian. We have lots of that. What kinda junk? (subtitled) Peedenkel! Naba dee unko (Boy, get in here! Now!)
QUI-GON: My droid here has a readout of what I need.
A disheveled boy, ANAKIN SKYWALKER, runs in from the junk yard. He is about nine years old, very dirty, and dressed in rags. WATTO raises a hand, and ANAKIN flinches.
WATTO: (subtitled) Coona tee-tocky malia? (What took you so long?)
ANAKIN: (subtitled) Mel tassa cho-passa… (I was cleaning the bin like you…)
WATTO: (subtitled) Chut-Chut! Ganda doe wallya. (Never mind! Watch the store) Me dwana no bata. (I’ve got some selling to do here.) (to Qui Gon) Soooo, let me take- a thee out back. Ni you’ll find what you need.
ARTOO and QUI-GON follow WATTO toward the junk yard, leaving JAR JAR with PADME and the young boy ANAKIN. JAR JAR picks up a gizmo, trying to figure out its purpose. QUI-GON takes the part out of his hand and puts it back.
QUI-GON: Don’t touch anything.
JAR JAR makes a rude face to QUI-GON’s back and sticks out his long tongue. ANAKIN sits on the counter, pretending to clean a part, staring at PADME. She is the most beautiful creature he has ever seen in his life. PADME is a little embarrassed by his stare, but she musters up an amused smile. Finally, he gets the courage to speak.
ANAKIN: Are you an angel?
ANAKIN: An angel. I’ve heard the deep space pilots talk about them. They live on the Moons of Iego I think. They are the most beautiful creatures in the universe. They are good and kind, and so pretty they make even the most hardened spice pirate cry.
PADME looks at him, not knowing what to say.
PADME: I’ve never heard of angels.
ANAKIN: You must be one…maybe you just don’t know it.
PADME: You’re a funny little boy. How do you know so much?
ANAKIN: Since I was very little, three, I think. My Mom and I were sold to Gardulla the Hutt, but she lost us, betting on the Podraces, to Watto, who’s a lot better master than Gardulla, I think.
PADME: You’re…a slave?
ANAKIN looks at PADME defiantly.
ANAKIN: I am a person! My name is Anakin.
PADME: I’m sorry. I don’t fully understand. (looking around)This is a strange world to me.
ANAKIN studies her intently.
ANAKIN: You are a strange girl to me.
JAR JAR pushes the nose on what appears to be a LITTLE DROID, and it instantly comes to life, grows legs and arms, and starts marching around, knocking over everything. JAR JAR holds on but can’t stop it.
ANAKIN: (Cont’d) Hit the nose!
JAR JAR hits the nose, and the DROID collapses back into its original state. ANAKIN and PADME laugh. ANAKIN watches PADME straighten her hair.