The end of pregnancy does weird things to you…for instance – everyone is telling you to “get your sleep” while you can, but yet, you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, uncomfortable, and unable to fall asleep again for at least an hour.
And what do I do during that hour+? Obsess about the weirdest stuff. Not stuff that makes sense like, “Will I be a good mom? Will I bring my child up safely and politely? Will my relationship survive the strain?”
Oh no. I obsess about stuff like, “I wonder if I’ll remember to take the trash out when I have the baby,” or “Why is my dog making those weird sounds? Did he throw up?” in which I promptly jump up, shine a light on him, wake my husband up, and see my dog is just in a funny sleeping position so semi-snoring. Yes, this happened once.
Last night I woke up and obsessed about my ideas for Star Wars blog posts and how I haven’t written any yet. Then it evolved into how I could expand on one of my ideas and write an entire blog post about pointless scenes in the saga.
So here we are! The fruits of last night’s pregnancy insomnia.
I define scenes as “pointless” if it could have been cut entirely and/or gotten to the point of the scene a lot faster.
The Phantom Menace
I think the most pointless scene in TPM would be the bongo scene. After arriving in Otoh Gunga with Jar Jar who was exiled, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jedi mind trick Boss Nass into giving them a transport out of there. He gives them a tribubble bongo and they head off to Theed through the planet core.
What ensues is basically a fish chase. They almost get eaten multiple times, Jar Jar freaks out too many times and everyone has some pretty dumb lines (“There’s always a bigger fish”).
This entire scene could have been cut. Instead, we could have seen them get on the bongo then appear in Theed. Funnily – it’s the scene right after this one that Lucas decides to keep when they arrive above water and have to escape being almost pulled down a waterfall.
If you want to add a little tension and excitement to the movie, that cut scene would have done a better job than the exceedingly drawn out bongo trip.
Attack of the Clones
Two scenes come to mind here: 1) the droid factory scene where Padmé and Anakin are on some kind of weird obstacle course and Anakin’s lightsaber dies, and 2) the gladiator arena scene at the end.
The droid factory scene is more pointless than the gladiator scene. I think this entire segment could have been cut out and replaced with something a lot more interesting. The point of this scene was to catch Anakin and Padmé somewhere they weren’t supposed to be, therefore giving an excuse to have them in the gladiator scene with Obi-Wan. Well, why not pick something that made the two main characters look a whole lot less foolish? Maybe spying on Count Dooku, or, even trying to rescue Obi-Wan right away and failing. And the whole thing with the lightsaber dying in the droid factory really rubbed me the wrong way. It took the mystique out of lightsabers that there is a possibility it could fail like anything else mechanical. Let’s not even go into Threepio in this scene and how must stupider it made the scene look with his horrible puns.
The gladiator scene is a harder to argue against but in this case, I think it was drawn out a little too long, similar to the bongo scene. I understand it was a convenient setup to have Obi-Wan, Padmé, and Anakin in one place for when the Jedi and clone troopers save the day. But it was unnecessary to have it be so dramatic when we had both the battle between the Separatists/Clones and Yoda/Count Dooku on the horizon. I think we could have cut out the entire part with the animals and got rid of the similarities to Gladiator (the blockbuster and Oscar winner that came out around the same time as AOTC) and been a lot better for it.
Revenge of the Sith
The General Grievous versus Obi-Wan lightsaber fight. Way too long and how in the world was General Grievous good enough to last as long as he did? Again, this is one of the areas where Obi-Wan is so awesome that the fact that he had to keep chasing Grievous and have a weird showdown in order to kill him was yawn-worthy.
We all knew that Grievous was not the main nemesis of the movie and there were so many other interesting aspect to get to that the corny lines (“Army or not, you must realize you are doomed.” “Oh, I don’t think so.”) and constant cat and mouse chase got to be too much. Obi-Wan is one of the best Jedi Masters out there so just kill him already.
It would have been SO much cooler if it was like an Indiana Jones scene where the guy is doing all the tricks with the whip and Indy just takes out his gun and shoots him. Something like that would have been way better for the Obi-Wan vs. Grievous show down.
A New Hope
Surprisingly – I can’t think of any pointless scenes in ANH. This is one of the things that kept me awake longer than it should have last night because I think every scene in ANH is there for a reason, makes sense, and none of them are pointless. This could be why I enjoy ANH more and more as I get older.
The Empire Strikes Back
This may be a little controversial, but I think one of the most pointless scenes in ESB is the cave scene where Luke sees his face in the mask of Vader. It’s not that I don’t understand what Lucas and Kershner are trying to do and say. However, I think it could have been brought up totally differently if they wanted to make that point. Or, do we even need it? Was our Star Wars viewing experience enriched by that scene? Isn’t it something that if you know Luke and see the training he is going through with Yoda, you can kind of figure it out on your own? It’s a pointless bit of fake foreshadowing that leads the audience to believe and think something else. Star Wars is also not known for its symbolism, even if it’s blatantly slapped in your face like this scene. So why pull it in now?
Return of the Jedi
Honestly, I had a few scenes in my mind but then when I started to write about them, I realized that they didn’t quite hit “pointless” on my radar. They did, in the end, have a point and they didn’t need to be cut either.
Therefore, I’m leaving ROTJ as another movie that was pretty well done and not too many scenes that I thought could have been left out.
The Force Awakens
Oh c’mon, do I even need to go here? We all know the scene that should have been cut.
Whhhhy is it in the movie? As I thought about this, the only reasons I could think of was to a) alert Han that the First Order was looking for two fugitives and a BB droid, and b) to show that Han Solo still has trouble talking his way out of things, albeit in a funny way in that he thinks he can talk himself out of dire situations.
This could have definitely been done differently. Being a smuggler again, Han probably would have known the First Order was looking for two fugitives and a BB unit…he probably would have had that come in on a priority signal or something.
As for the second part, we didn’t need it. Han had plenty of time in the movie to show that he was still the same guy.
This scene is up there with the droid factory scene in AOTC as something that could have been completely cut. It was childish, out-of-place in the Star Wars universe and was thrown in only for the action element.
I love Star Wars, as you all know. But there are some parts of it that drag on too long or don’t seem to have a reason as to why they are in the movie. More of the fault lied with the Prequel Trilogy than the Original Trilogy as I feel that gratuitous action scenes were thrown in to keep up with other summer blockbusters, when they really just made the movie look a little silly.
Let me know if you guys think of some pointless scenes in ANH and ROTJ…or if you disagree with my assessment!