Finally saw Phantom Menace

Like I said, I finally went to see The Phantom Menace tonight. What can I say, I’m cheap and I waited until it got to the discount theaters. And quite frankly, I’m glad I didn’t pay seven bucks to see it.

Pretty much what I expected; phenomenal special effects and very little story. I did expect better acting from such a good cast. Maybe the prevading woodeness was due to the fact that they had to act so many scenes against non-existent co-stars who were added in during the editing. I thought only Liam Neeson and, surprisingly, Jake Lloyd did a credible job.

Jar Jar Binks and the Gunguns were as offensive as I had heard. So was Watto. I’d also heard some people accusing the Trade Federation of being either anti-Asian or anti-semitic, but actually their accents sounded vaguely French to me. I guess Lucas wanted to make sure he offended everyone equally. (I missed the Jar Jar Binks joke in South Park. What was it?)

I realize that this movie is part of a series, but after all these years, I wish Lucas had had more to say. Does anyone think that if this had actually been the first Star Wars movie released, there would have been a demand for any sequels? Now that Lucas has said he is only going to have six movies in the series (with parts 2 & 3 to come), has anyone considered where the series will end? Due to the shuffled order of the films, the actual last Star Wars movie will end at the lowest point of the series. Palpatine and Vader will be at the peak of their evil, will have total control of the galaxy, and the Jedis will be broken and hiding in exile. The End.

Anyway, I know there was at least one earlier thread on the movie and I’d like to read what others thought. I tried to do a search but it didn’t work. If anyone has better luck can they post a link to the earlier posts?

I didn’t like the Phantom Menace either. It was just a non-interactive demo for several computer games.

As to the tone of Episode 3, I think it might not be quite so dark. The struggle could be a feel-good fight to conceal little Leia and Luke from Vader. It’s true that the Empire can’t be totally defeated, but some nefarious plot could be foiled with a lot of heroic stuff by the good guys and a hint of the glorious Rebellion to come. There are plenty of comic books that never see the bad guy defeated.

Frankly, I think the franchise is on the rocks art-wise. By that I mean, it might make all the money in the world, but I doubt it will ever have any more magic. Lucas dawdled for 16 years before he could come up with a plot and he never succeeded. He just made the first movie anyway because he’s going to die soon. No, not soon in normal time, but soon in terms of the lifespan of the franchise.

Funny thing I thought of. In Episode 4, Carrie Fisher has a weird accent that never resurfaces in any other movies. In Episode 1, Portman also has a weird inexplicable accent (if you remember when she cleverly insulted the Senate by calling it a “committee”).

Well, what so few people realise, and I guess this isn’t too surprising, is that George isn’t making the new movies for anyone other than himself. He’s indulging in a little fantasy of his to tell his story the way he wants it told. He is attempting to make it as palatable as he can for people to enjoy, but really he doesn’t care about that much.

When he made the first movies, he wanted to draw in a reasonable audience to have fun with his little whizz-bang space fantasy, and it sort of grew to unbelievable proportions, so the it was now made possible for him to tell the whole story, instead of just the whizz-bang parts.

The rest of the story is decidedly less whizz-bang, and more introspective, dark, and most likely works best as a twelve hour tale than viewed in its individual instalments.

What I’m trying to say is, the flaws of ‘no plot’ or ‘wooden acting’ will almost definitely be forgotten once all three prequels are completed and we can view them all in their proper context.

Darth Maul was cool, though.

“Well, roll me in eggs and flour and bake me for forty minutes!”

The Legend Of PigeonMan

I had mixed feelings about the movie. Some parts were very cool:

1.The canyon race
2. the opening Jedi sequence
3. Darth Maul
4. The robo/Gungin/space ship fight

My problem with the movie is that Lucas tried to cram too much unnecessary information into the movie:

  1. The background of the Trade Federation political conflict with Naboo was too detailed. This should have been more background information, like the politics of Star Wars.
    2.The metacarsils…mitacondrians…meglomaniacs… whatever the thingies-in-the-blood-that-focus-the-force. WTF was that? That was completely unecessary. If the scene had been Yoda staring into the distance for a second, then whispering something like “Strong with the Force he is” It would have been a much more powerful and shorter scene.
    3.The sequence that set up the pod race was too long in dialogue. It reminded me of the worst examples of conferencing from Star Trek TNG. Again, just having Anakin run off and do the race would have been more powerful, and could have been used to set up the concept of an idealistic, impulsive young man who would be cold and calculating after having his dreams crushed and turned to the dark side.

So in my opinion, I think the movie suffered from rusty editing.

I’ll withhold final judgement until I see Episode Two.

You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.

No way in Hell. Maybe that’s why he started with episode 4, because he knew it would get people to come back for the other 5 parts.


Am i the only one who knows there are actually NINE Star Wars stories, and consequently 9 movies (potentially) ?

Anyway, I went last wednesday. Superb special effects, rather lame story, some obnoxious characters. Basically like any other SW movie so far.

Yeah, I liked it !


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

You should tell George Lucas. He’s explicitly stated there will be only six. :slight_smile:

I still don’t get the Jar Jar = black thing. I just do not see it, no matter how hard I try. I think people really are projecting their own racial preconceptions.

Oh, and Lucas said the Trade Federation aliens were supposed to sound Transylvanian.

“I love God! He’s so deliciously evil!” - Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

OK, the site:

This is an article written by my son, comparing STAR WARS and PHANTOM MENACE. Quick run down, and the parallels of characters are pretty amazing:

Wise old mentor, played by actors too good to be doing schlock sci-fi, killed by Dark Lord of Sith in laser fight: Obi-Wan Kenobi (old) - Qui Gon Jin

Young hotshot hero, learning way of the Force, who sees mentor killed in front of his eyes: Luke Skywalker - Obi-Wan Kenobi (young)

Token chicks: Princess Leia - Queen Amidala

Hotshot pilot, with little or no emotional maturity, who winds up with the girl: Han Solo - Anakin Skywalker

Resident non-human, non-droid character: Chewbacca - Jar Jar Binks

Dark Lord of Sith: Darth Vader - Darth Maul

Parent(s) raising child (aspiring jedi) without child’s natural father: Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru - Shmi Skywalker

Droid: C3P0 (covered) - C3P0 (insides visible)

Droid: R2D2 - R2D2

Evil Power trying to take over the Universe: Emperor Palpatine - Senator Palpatine

Cannon fodder: Storm troopers - Bagttle droids

Cute li’l critters: Ewoks - Gunguns

One-person motorcycles: Speeder Bikes - Pod Racers
Coincidence? Hah!