It’s pretty clear from the beginning of the film that something is amiss on Naboo. The Neimoidians try to first stall, then kill the Jedi Ambassadors. Then the Queen is taken prisoner, along with her staff. Sounds like it’s about time for a good, old fashioned rescue attempt.
A NEIMOIDIAN SHIP IN THEED PLAZA
Here’s something interesting. In the finished film we see the Neimoidians coming out of their ship in the main square of Theed Plaza. They are , of course, on their way to the Queen’s Palace and Battle Droid OOM-9 happily informs them that he has captured the Queen, as per orders.
In the film, we never get to see this ship of theirs completely. We just see a leg and some of the base as the Neimoidians exit. In this picture from the Episode I Comic Adaptation, we get to see the whole ship and it looks pretty nice. It would have been great to see it actually land in the plaza.
Note: This same ship design was put to use in Episode II. You can see it taking off on Geonosis when everyone’s deserting the planet during the… uh… attack of the clones.
When Jar Jar, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan left Otoh Gunga for Theed, Jar Jar warned the Jedi that there was some “bad bombin'” up ahead. He was, of course, talking about the dangers of Naboo’s planet core like the Sando Aqua Monster, the Opee Sea Killer and the Colo Claw Fish to name a few. One thing they didn’t count on, however, was the possibility of going over one of Naboo’s huge waterfalls.
In the original screenplay, after the team pops up in the water near the Theed Palace, the current drags them toward a large and steep waterfall. Luckily, Qui-Gon happens to have a cable handy and secures the Bongo submarine-like vehicle to land before they go over. The danger doesn’t end there, though. Right after they finally get to land, they encounter a battle droid named 3B3, and Qui-Gon makes short work of him.
There are a few different versions of this scene depending on where you get your information. In the Episode I novelization by Terry Brooks, the whole waterfall scene is completely disregarded and Obi-Wan simply steers the Bongo to shore. The Episode I Illustrated Screenplay, however, gives us the most detailed account of what was originally supposed to happen to our heroes in the Gungan sub after it popped up in Theed the day of the Naboo invasion:
INT. NABOO LAKE – UNDERWATER – SUB (FX)
The little sub continues to propel itself toward the surface, which is brightly lit.
Wesa dude it!
EXT. THEED – ESTUARY – DAY
Paradise. Billowing clouds frame a romantic body of water. There is a LOUD RUSH OF BUBBLES, and a small sub bobs to the surface.
The current in the estuary begins to pull the sub backward into a fast moving river. OBI-WAN switches off the two remaining bubble canopies. QUI-GON stands up to look around. JAR JAR lets out a sigh of relief.
Wesa safe now.
Get this thing started!
Dissen berry good. Hey?
What is it?
JAR JAR looks back to where they’re drifting. He sees they are headed for a large waterfall.
What!!?? Oie boie!
OBI-WAN tries to start the engine. The long props behind the sub slowly begin to rotate. OBI-WAN struggles until finally, a few feet short of the waterfall, the sub starts and is able to generate enough power to stop drifiting backward in the powerful current. The sub slowly moves forward. In the background, QUI-GON takes a cable out of his belt. The engine coughs and dies. They start drifting backward again. JAR JAR panics.
(Cont’d) Iyiiiyi, wesa die’n here, hey!
QUI-GON shoots the thin cable, and it wraps itself around a railing on the shore. The sub pulls the cable taut, and the little craft hangs precariously over the edge of the waterfall.
OBI-WAN climbs out of the sub and pulls himself along the cable. QUI-GON starts in after him.
(Cont’d) Come on, Jar Jar.
No! Too scary!
Get up here!
No a mighty no!
JAR JAR looks back and sees he is hanging over the waterfall.
(Cont’d) Oie boie…mesa comen. Mesa comen!
JAR JAR starts to climb out of the sub. OBI-WAN is on shore and helps to pull QUI-GON out of the water.
That was close.
Battle Droid 3B3
(O.S.) Drop your weapons!
The TWO JEDI turn around and see a BATTLE DROID standing in front of them. JAR JAR climbs up on shore between the JEDI.
Battle Droid 3B3
I said drop your weapons.
QUI-GON ignites his laser sword, and in a brief flash, the DROID is cut down by the JEDI. A stray laser bolt hits the cable and the sub breaks loose, crashing down the waterfall.
The JEDI move on. JAR JAR reluctantly follows and looks back at the mess.
The pasage above is almost like two scenes combined. There’s the whole waterfall fiasco and then there’s the confrontation with Battle Droid 3B3. Both of these scenes were filmed (or at least scheduled to be filmed) but at different locations. The waterfall shots were all filmed at Pinewood studios in the great tank that they have there, while the scene where the Jedi encounter 3B3 was to be shot at Hever Castle in England about 30 miles from London. The scenes are simply listed in the shooting schedule as:
Ext – Theed Estuary – Day
Small sub bobs to the surface (shot at Pinewood tank)
Ext – Theed Estuary – Day
The submarine in the rapids (shot at Pinewood tank)
Ext – Theed Estuary – Day
The Jedi land and chop droid (shot at Hever Castle)
The waterfall part of this scene is included on the Episode I DVD. Many of the deleted scenes that were included on that DVD were never fully completed for the film’s release. They were finished especially for the DVD. The bad news here is that the 3B3 scene supposedly shot at Hever castle is not included with the waterfall scene. The two take place back to back and immediately after they get out of the water so it would have made sense to include the 3B3 shots. Someone somewhere made an executive decision not to include it, I guess. If you have the DVD, watch the scene and you’ll see that it’s even more simple than the scene described above in the Illustrated Screenplay.
Are you curious about the Batman-like cable that Qui-Gon fired to secure the Gungan Bongo to shore? The scene described above simply says that Qui-Gon takes a cable from his belt. The following information is from Starwars.com:
Jedi carry a similar grappling spike device, as a cut scene from The Phantom Menace indicates. After emerging in a Theed estuary, the bongo sub carrying Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jar Jar Binks was to have been carried over a waterfall. The Jedi and their Gungan navigator escape this calamity by using a grappling spike launcher that connected the sub to nearby outcropping.
So there’s your answer. Enjoy the photos I’m including here. The one close-up of Qui-Gon aiming his cable is courtesy of a site called Fort Tusken (no longer online). The three other color pics are from Starwars.com. The two storyboards are taken from the Illustrated Screenplay. The two reference shots of Hever Castle were sent in by an friend, Mike Urbanski. These are just pictures of the castle and have nothing to do with the day of the shoot. I’m including them here for reference and to give you an idea of what it looks like there.
|Download: The Waterfall Sequence. Episode I Deleted Scene from the DVD|
SAVING THE QUEEN
That’s about all I can say, really.
If I remember correctly, I found this photo on the web on a news site. Unfortunately, I can’t recall which one.
In the film, after the shield generator on the Queen’s ship is hit, the R2 units are sent to take care of the situation. During this time there is a short shot where Qui-Gon asks if the ship can be cloaked. This was removed from the film.
I believe Darth Maul’s ship also has a cloaking device but for some reason all mention of cloaking has been removed from the film.
Here’s the quick scene from the Episode I Illustrated Screenplay:
Stay on course!
Do you have a cloaking device?
No, this is not a warship…we have no weapons.
We’re a non-violent people…that is why the
Federation was brave enough to attack us.
We won’t make it.
The shields are gone.