The basic themes of TPM are truly beautiful and there is a lot to be enjoyed if you just go in with an open mind. I truly think that the following is perhaps the best example of the many great basic themes woven into the film that (sadly) most people dont realize: The whole theme of symbiotic relationships and balance. A symbiotic relationship is a relationship between two entities which is mutually beneficial in order for both participants of the relationship to survive. Thus there is a positive-sum gain from cooperation. This is a term commonly used in biology and also in philosophy (two areas lucas excels in) to explain the relationship between two entities that need each other to survive and prosper. The bumblebee and the flower would be an example and in the film the midichlorians and living beings need to work together in order to communicate with the force. Symbiosis is THE prominent theme in TPM! It is exemplified all throughout the film, beginning, middle and end and it is cleverly done with the point of jar-jar's character being to teach a lesson in tolerance and understanding for beings who are different than you. Its completly innocent! Makes it even MORE of a shame so many people misunderstand jar-jar and join in on the tired trend of bashin him. This symbiotic relationship theme starts right from the beginning of the film with Obi-Wan’s dialogue to Boss Nass: "You and the Naboo form a symbiotic circle. What happens to one of you will affect the other. You must understand this." The Naboo (the first republic planet we see) represents two species who need to realize they depend on one another, and need one another, even if they don’t particularly like one another at first. Its the two societies of the planet Naboo's refusal to accpt this which keeps them in danger of the Traid Federations invasion of them. When padme establishes peice and understanding between the two societies they can now work together and because they are finaly working together they can survive and that is how they defeat the greedy trade barons and save their planet. It is an AMAZINGLY beautiful metaphor! The dark tragedy of TPM is that despite all this the sith still win. While the heroes are being introduced throughout the film on their epic adventure to combat the invasion of Naboo, they are actually unwitting pawns in Palpatines master plan to get elected. This is the most basic reasion why TPM is a truly beautiful fanticy film and the best way to start the saga. This is all EVEN MORE interesting when you just consider the amazing parallels between what happens in the film to what has been happening in America lately. And thats coming from George Lucas himself. Now that we've (finally) become so culturally aware of greedy-corporations buying into and controlling politicians and political parties I believe it is easier to truly appreciate the clever political sub-plots of the film and the PT as a whole. The greatest, bloodiest conflict in galactic history (the clone wars) would begin with a seemingly inconsequential conflict about rich, greedy corporations trying to pay less taxes in TPM. That is what was presented as the beginning of the end of the great old republic. How brilliant! Along the way of the vast adventure across the galaxy we are gracefully introduced to all the key characters and important places of the saga and presented with breath taking scope and examples of amazing different cultures all while laying the solid groundwork and basic rules for the whole entire saga leaving viewers feeling exhausted from having SO MUCH to take in by the end of this epic and beautiful film! There is a sense of discovery in EVERY SINGLE SCENE of The Phantom Menace and it leaves (open minded) viewers who watch the film with a sense of amazement and wonder in the true fashion that only Star Wars can do. In this way I truly believe that the Phantom Menace is perhaps one of THE BEST and the truest Star Wars films out of all the Episodes in the saga even ANH in many ways. What things like this about TPM do you think people miss or might need to remember again?