Senator (no), Chancellor (no) Palpatine, or Master Sidious?

Well, we are coming close to the end of the discussion on The Phantom Menace.  Let me know what you think about the movie in general in some comments in the next few blogs.  I plan on doing Palpatine today, and tommorrow I plan on doing a general overview of the entire movie and how I have viewed The Phantom Menace in general, and then I will post a blog that makes a summation of all of the characters commented on up till now.

Palpatine/Sidious:  ****** (6)

I really wonder if the role of Palpatine was played out the way that Lucas had intended, especially for this film.  My impression of Senator Palpatine is that he is a man that is desperately “bi-polar”.  Now, I don’t mean to mock the disorder (PLEASE don’t flood me with emails saying I hate people with bi-polar disorder because I have many students that I teach, and love, at my school with this disorder).  What do I mean by saying this?  Simple, people with bi-polar disorder live their lives at the emotional polar extremes.  They are happy and giddy one minute and mean and viscious the next.  Well, now apply that to Senator Palaptine and you can see what I mean.  He sees Queen Amidala for the first time and he is over joyed to see her and seems almost on the verge of being giddy.  He assures her that the Senate will help.  Then Queen Amidala makes her plea to the Senate and hen all of a suddent the Senate sucks and Chancellor Vellorum listens only to the beuracrats (I think that’s how you spell that word), so he urges Amidala to call for a vote of no confidence.  Then, Amidala leaves the Senate chambers and Palpatine comes back almost giddy again announcing that he is up for the position of Chancellor.  This just seems very bi-polaresque to me.  He’s happy one minute and then upset with the Senate the next.

Okay, so let’s say that he isn’t bi-polar, then he is definetly Jekyl and Hyde!  Think about it, not only is he Senator Palpatine, but he is Darth Sidious at the same time.  I like the fact that Lucas never really puts the pieces together for you in this movie, but most true Star Wars buffs put it together.  Palpatine and Sidious are one and the same.  Of course, we learn more about this in later movies.  My brother didn’t quite put it together and asked me if that was the case.  Palpatine has the utmost control of the Star Wars universe however.  He manages to convince the Trade Federation to start the trade blockade and then plays the Senate on the other end and urges them to end the blockade.  He is the ultimate poker player that not only knows his hand, but the hands of those around him.  He really doesn’t become the true bad guy in this movie, but definetly plays the chess pieces the way he sees fit.

I have to say of all of the Star Wars movies that Ian McDiarmid has participated in, this one was the worst.  I’m not sure if it was lack of direction on Lucas’ part or if McDiarmid had not really understood the role of Palpatine, but he seems too much like a kid in need of vision.  The role is very weak and even his role as the Sith Lord Sidious is just not mean enough.  Maybe this was done on purpose, but I don’t fear him in The Phantom Menace.

Palpatine/Sidious:  ****** (6)


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