Sunday, March 06, 2005

In Lightning There is Power

It never dawned on me until recently, but ever since I was a child, many of my favorite fictional characters have been those who could shoot lightning from their hands. My favorite member of the Legion of Super-Heroes was Lightning Lad. It was especially cool when he got into it with his evil brother, Lightning Lord. I didn't care who was good or who was bad, it was just an awesome power when anyone used it.

The hand lightning was used a few times on Doctor Who, and was especially when the Cybermen used it, although that was more of an energy spark than an actual lightning bolt. Even when a little girl used it in "Remembrance of the Daleks", it looked wickedly cool.

Best of all is the Sith Lightning that has appeared in two of five Star Wars films so far and will probably be used to fullest effect in the new movie, Revenge of the Sith. I have read some early plot synopses and, while I don't want to spoil it completely for anyone who reads this, I will say that Darth Sidious uses his dark side lightning to destroy at least one major Jedi, the way that he almost destroyed Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi. If one of the spoilers that I read is correct, he has a great battle with Yoda in the Senate room, where Sidious uses the force to throw those big floating cereal bowls at the little Muppet. The only thing that would have outdone that is if they had added a new scene to A New Hope, in which Grand Moff Tarkin informs the officers on the Death Star that the Emperor has dissolved the Imperial Senate and left control of the empire in the hands of regional governors. Can you imagine how cool it would be if they had added a scene of the Emperor literally dissolving the Senate chambers with everyone inside?

There is a character who I dearly hope will meet his end in the upcoming movie. He hails from the planet of Naboo, and is easily the most annoying character in the "Prequel" Trilogy. Jar Jar Binks? No. Even he redeems himself by being funnier than most people give him credit for. I am talking about whiny, useless Sio Bibble, governor of Naboo. This guy was the one thing about both Episodes I and II that made me want to throw things and curse at the screen. All we have seen him do is whine and complain. Qui-Gon Jinn should have whacked Bibble with the light saber for his impudence when they first met in The Phantom Menace, but that would be a dark side thing to do. Who cares?

Senator Palpatine was enormously popular on Naboo when he was elected Supreme Chancellor at the end of Episode I. I envision him as a sort of "favorite son candidate" for Emperor as well, even though he doesn't need to be elected to become Emperor. Here's my vision of a scene for Episode III:
Newly declared Emperor Palpatine returns home for a visit to Naboo in order to assure his countrymen that everything is going well and that they need not fear his ascendancy. Sio Bibble is there to confront him (in his whiniest voice ever). "I have know you since we were children! We went to school together! We were best friends! When you were elected Senator, I supported you! When you were elected Chancellor, we were all so proud of you! How could you do this to us!"
Palpatine replies, "You have been deluding yourself your entire life. I have always hated you. You were an annoying whiny brat then; you are annoying and whiny now. No one liked you in school. You would never have reached your lofty post if not for your family's wealth. You have been nothing but a detriment to your government. The time has come for me to relieve you of your post."
With that, Palpatine reveals himself as the Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, and proceeds to nearly turn Sio Bibble transparent with the most aggressive flood of blue lightning ever unleashed from a dark lord's fingertips. Bibble whines incoherently and finally drops down dead at the feet of Sidious. He turns to face the crowd that has assembled, expecting to face resistance from angry friends and supporters of the sizzled corpse. Instead, he is greeted with cheers and applause. The favorite son has given his people exactly what they want. Palpatine is hailed as the greatest figure in Naboo's history and feted with a conquering hero's celebration.

George Lucas would never put anything like this into his movie, but I can still dream, right?

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