Scene it on Friday – ROTJ Scene #3

going to jabba's palace

Some of me really wishes this was the first scene of the movie only because we had started with the two droids in ANH and it would be nice to have that reflection in the last movie of the saga (well, I guess it’s not the last movie anymore, is it?).   However, starting with Darth Vader and finding out the Emperor was going to overseeing construction of the Death Star is also a great way to start with a bang.

The very end of this scene actually reminds of Laurel and Hardy, when Laurel would cry and pull his hair.  The way Threepio is just calling after Artoo so plaintively, makes me think that he’d be doing the same thing as Laurel if he could.

For droids being, well, just droids, they certainly show a lot of emotion.  Threepio CLEARLY does not want to go into the palace.  He finds every excuse not to go.  In fact, he suggests leaving twice in this scene, plus he asks Artoo if he’s sure it’s the right place in the beginning.  That would show fear, right?  Avoiding a particular place, situation, or person is because of fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of confrontation, etc.  But can droids feel fear?  (This may be a post for another day)

My brother and I used to love the gatekeeper droid and how everything it said sounded almost familiar.  You could tell it was talking a different language, but you felt like you could understand it.  It’s amazing how they made this little eyeball on a stick sound and act human. Our favorite line was when Threepio says, “mischka Jabba du Hutt?”  We used to say it whenever we asked a question.

“Are we going to the pool today? Mischka Jabba du Hutt?”

“Do you want to play monopoly?  Mischka Jabba du Hutt?”

“Should we watch American Idol? Mischka Jabba du Hutt?”

Oh, it’s so much fun.  You should try it.  We don’t do it as much anymore, because well, we’re a little older now, but there was a time for about 2 years where it came after every question.

After having C-3PO and R2-D2 be apart for most (pretty much all) of ESB, it’s wonderful to see them together again.  They play off of each other nicely and I love that the first scene they have together throws them on dangerous mission.   That’s when they work best.

gate keeper droid


A lonely, windswept road meanders through the desolate Tatooine terrain. We HEAR a familiar BEEPING and a distinctive reply before catching sight of ARTOO-DETOO and SEE-THREEPIO, making their way along the road toward the ominous palace of Jabba the Hutt.

THREEPIO: Of course I’m worried. And you should be, too.  Lando Calrissian and poor Chewbacca never returned from this awful place.

Artoo whistles timidly.

THREEPIO: Don’t be so sure. If I told you half the things I’ve heard about this Jabba the Hutt, You’d probably short-circuit.

The two droids fearfully approach the massive gate to the palace. 

THREEPIO: Artoo, are you sure this is the right place? I better knock, I suppose. 


Threepio looks around for some kind of signaling device, then timidly knocks on the iron door. 

THREEPIO: (instantly) There doesn’t seem to be anyone there. Let’s go back and tell Master Luke.

A small hatch in the middle of the door opens and a spidery mechanical arm, with a large electronic eyeball on the end, pops out and inspects the two droids.

STRANGE VOICE: Tee chuta hhat yudd!

THREEPIO: Goodness gracious me!

Threepio points to Artoo, then to himself. 

THREEPIO: Artoo Detoowha bo Seethreepiowha ey toota odd mischka Jabba du Hutt.

The eye looks from one robot to the other, there is a laugh then the eye zips back into the door. The hatch slams shut. Artoo beeps his concern.

THREEPIO:  I don’t think they’re going to let us in, Artoo. We’d better go.

Artoo beeps his reluctance as Threepio turns to leave. Suddenly the massive door starts to rise with a horrific metallic SCREECH. The robots turn back and face an endless black cavity. The droids look at one another, afraid to enter.

Artoo starts forward into the gloom. Threepio rushes after his stubby companion. The door lowers noisily behind them.

THREEPIO: Artoo, wait. Oh, dear! Artoo. Artoo, I really don’t think we should rush into all this. Artoo continues down the corridor, with Threepio following. 

THREEPIO: Oh, Artoo!  Artoo, wait for me!


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