Apr. 13th, 2017

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I'm going to cheat a little here and go backwards. I've been doing the quotes chronologically until now, but I realized that I wanted to cover two lines in one entry. Both come from that pesky guy who never lets you see the top half of his face.

"I will make it legal."
"Not for the Sith."


With Darth Sidious and Palpatine, we have a different kind of duality as compared to Amidala/Padmé or the Gungans and Naboo. It's a deceptive, manipulative dichotomy, between the apparently benevolent Senator and his hidden evil nature. The secret connection between the two identities is indicated from the very start, as both make their initial appearance via hologram. Both are a form of manipulation of those with whom he is communicating, though his exploitation of Amidala is more subtle, beneath the veneer of helping the queen and her people. He appears kind and helpful and honestly bewildered that the ambassadors haven't arrived yet.

As Sidious, however, he is brusque, dismissive of the slightest sign of cowardice ("I don't want this stunted slime in my sight again") and sneering. And then there is his utter contempt for the rule of law. "I will make it legal." There we have his entire system of political belief, summed up in five words. His will, his word, makes the law. Not the will of the people, not a collection of elected representatives; just one ultra-powerful being, bending the galaxy however he pleases.

And later, as the sniveling Federation leaders admit that Queen Amidala has slipped from their grasp and will be impossible to find, he offers the brief but highly effective retort, "Not for the Sith." This is accompanied by Darth Maul's sudden impressive entrance, the first time we get a view of his nightmarish visage, terrifying even in the fuzzy blue of a hologram. So we don't have too much trouble believing that the Sith are, indeed, a formidable force (sorry, but it's such a common word, the puns are inevitable) to be reckoned with.

Sidious speaks in curt, harsh tones. Palpatine, as we'll see in later scenes on Coruscant, rambles on and on in a friendly and solicitous manner. But that chatty kindness is nothing but a mask, and beneath it all is a man who could send a chill up your spine with just a handful of well-chosen words.

Next time, the theme of duality continues with some words from Obi-Wan...

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