Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

Since in December Episode VII is coming out my mom wanted to watch all the movies in order so she remembers what all happened in the previous episodes.  Although, I told her that The Force Awakens begins a whole new story that doesn’t care what happened 30 years before the Battle of Yavin she insisted. So we began this past weekend.  Now I haven’t watched the movies since I did a day long marathon of all six with my sister a couple of years ago, but I’ve been a huge fan of the two animated series (Clone Wars and Rebels) so I wondered if that might provide some background information, but I guess I’ve got to wait until Episode II for that to really come up.

Sure The Phantom Menace is arguably the worst Star Wars movie (I haven’t switched out my VHS copy for a DVD or Blu-ray yet), mostly it seems is that the film didn’t live up to the hype that everyone had for the film. However there are some interesting things going on in the film.  First off it vastly expands the galaxy with the introduction of Naboo and a look at Coruscant. Then we have the whole Jedi Order, a council of Jedi and the Sith. The main problem is with the story it’s too political with the trade negotiations and senate speeches and that Pod racing scene goes on forever. I read somewhere that what we see has the makings of a good movie but they talk about things that happened and instead of showing it.  Then there is the whole midichlorians thing with it being something in your blood and as most people think of it as it’s the physical manifestation of the force or something.

There are still moments that I really like in the movie the whole fight scene with Darth Maul and his double bladed lightsaber fighting both Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon is an amazing sequence. Some actors did a wonderful job in the film with Liam Neeson being the standout. Then there are other moments were I’m asking myself why was this a part of a movie, the characterization of the Gungans, and the overuse of green screen and visual effects. On the other side of the acting coin for the film is Jake Lloyd who isn’t the best as Anakin, as he gives stilted lines and lucks into things to become a hero in the end, but he shouts Yippee! too many damn times in the movie.  Yet in the end I still enjoyed watching the film at times I might have rolled my eyes (Jar Jar) but the movie still stand up as a decent film, and I am looking forward to watching Attack of the Clones.

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