This scene really begs the question…can droids feel physical pain? Haha. No, but seriously, there’s a little “baby droid” being tortured and screaming electronically. Maybe it’s the strange computerized thought that with each wire being branded, it’s closer to the end of its life. That little robot brings up more questions than it’s worth.
I know, I know, it’s just a movie, who cares? It was for effect, nothing else. Oh, but you know there are fans out there that have looked up exactly why it was doing that.
Okay. I couldn’t help it. I looked it up on Wookiepedia. I can’t find anything about why or how it felt pain, but I did find out that it’s another GNK droid (I love Gonk droids!) and the steam that shot out of its feet was “a defense mechanism to prevent potential damage to its plating.” Okay, phew, I gave into temptation and feel much better and not the least bit guilty.
This scene is fabulous for showing Threepio’s usual lack of tact though. I like to compare this one to his scene in AOTC when he ends up in the droid factory with his head on a battle droid. Weird scene to compare it to, but both of these are scenes where Threepio is the leading man, so to say.
In AOTC, the writers relied on slapstick and lame one-liners, instead of letting Threepio’s quirky personality shine through, which in and of itself brings the humor. Here, in ROTJ, the writing is done beautifully, and you can laugh at Threepio’s unawareness of how to handle this situation. He is constantly surprised when people, or in this case a droid, interrupt him. Yet he still tries to show how accomplished he is when it’s clearly the wrong time to blabber. But his confidence quickly disappears when he is taken away from his only true friend, Artoo.
What makes this scene even funnier is knowing that Artoo is in on Luke’s plan to get Han free (Wait, do we actually know that at this point? I can’t remember since I’ve seen this movie too many times and it blends together). No one would ever trust Threepio with something like that because he would talk about it the moment he had the chance.
One last thought – does anyone know how to pronounce Gamorrean? For the longest time, I thought it was GA-MORE-AY-IN. But then I heard it pronounced on a podcast as GAH-MORE-EE-AHN. I figure that people get the correct pronunciation from video games. Your character walks into an area, and then says the species name, but does anyone actually know the pronunciation for these guards?
And on that related note, when you see AT-AT, do you say it A-T-A-T, with each letter said or do you say at-at, like the word “at”?
Yeesh, I should compile a list of how to say certain terms correctly in the Star Wars universe, for those of us who just read it and never hear it said.
INTERIOR: DUNGEON CORRIDOR
One of Jabba’s Gamorrean guards marches Artoo and Threepio down a dank, shadowy passageway lined with holding cells. The cries of unspeakable creatures bounce off the cold stone walls. Occasionally a repulsive arm or tentacle grabs through the bars at the hapless droids. Artoo beeps pitifully.
THREEPIO: What could possibly have come over Master Luke. Is it something I did? He never expressed any unhappiness with my work. Oh! Oh! Hold it! Ohh!
A large tentacle wraps around Threepio’s neck. He manages to break free, and they move on to a door at the end of the corridor.
INTERIOR: BOILER ROOM
The door slides open, revealing a room filled with steam and noisy machinery. The guard motions them into the boiler room, where they are met by a tall, thin humanlike robot named EV-9D9 (EVE-NINEDENINE). Behind the robot can be seen a torture rack pulling the legs off a screaming baby work droid. A second power droid is upside down. As smoking branding irons are pressed into his feet, the stubby robot lets out an agonized electronic scream. Artoo and Threepio cringe as the guard grunts to EV-9D9.
NINEDENINE: Ah, good. New acquisitions. You are a protocol droid, are you not?
THREEPIO: I am See-Threepio, human-cy…
NINEDENINE: Yes or no will do.
THREEPIO: Oh. Well, yes.
NINEDENINE: How many languages do you speak?
THREEPIO: I am fluent in over six million forms of communication, and can readily…
NINEDENINE: Splendid! We have been without an interpreter since our master got angry with our last protocol droid and disintegrated him.
NINEDENINE: (to a Gamorrean guard) Guard! This protocol droid might be useful. Fit him with a restraining bolt and take him back to His Excellency’s main audience chamber.
The guard shoves Threepio toward the door.
THREEPIO: (disappearing) Artoo, don’t leave me! Ohhh!
Artoo lets out a plaintive cry as the door closes. Then he beeps angrily.
NINEDENINE: You’re a feisty little one, but you’ll soon learn some respect. I have need for you on the master’s Sail Barge. And I think you’ll fit in nicely.
The poor work droid in the background lets out another tortured electronic scream.