Hello - I'm new here. I just saw TPM yesterday, for the 1st time. I got it for my kids, ages 8 & 6, and they liked it alot. We own the Trilogy DVD and it was a blast introducing my boys to those films. I grew up watching the OT, seeing ANH in the theater 4 times the 1st week it came out, when I was 12! Truly a highlight of my childhood. However...(I know some of you were waiting for this) I really have some issues with TPM. Yes, Jar Jar was as bad as I'd heard. No more needs to be said on him, I think. What I really don't get, though is this; I've read in several places that Lucas' intention was to make a movie for children. That's fine - I love some movies intended for that audience. But, if this is the case, why does so much of TPM's plot revolve around the very un-childlike topics of trade embargos, Congressional politics, votes of no-confidence, and general political intrigue? I see this film as a cop-out. I would like to believe that Lucas originally intended to make this movie much more serious in tone and mature, maybe as atonement for the looniness that took place in RoTJ with those damned Teddy Ruxpins. So he comes up with a very intriguing concept of political machination and quasi-religious Messianiac themes. But somewhere along the line, someone talks to him and convinces him that this will never sell. It won't sell toys, it won't sell video games, it won't sell Halloween costumes, nothing. Lucas then goes and re-tools the movie, coming up with Jar Jar, pod racing, fart jokes, and poop jokes. This seemed like to vastly different movies at times to me. The scenes with Qui Gon and Obi Wan were very good. I could even take little Anikin - to a point. The dual with Darth Maul was brilliant - one of the better moments in the whole series. So we have the serious parts of this movie which are then contrasted by the silly, gimmicky parts; pod race, submarine tunnel of doom, Jar Jar, Gungans in general. Here's another example of how I feel it was a cop-out; the slavery issue. Now, again, a most serious topic, yet it was handled in a such a light, almost romanticized manner that it totally trivialized what being a slave means. Looking at Anikin and his mothers' life, it didn't seem to damn bad. They lived in a muli-room, modern home with Anikin's robot buddy C3PO, and his homemade pod racer. His mom looked like she kept a nice house, so where do these slaves get all this free time to build pod racers, droids, play with the other slave kids, wlak around the city, etc? He copped out! Show these slaves as suffering people. Make their lives harsh and deprived. This was made light-hearted to keep the tone happy, marketable and easy to take for children. It just doesn't work though. Hell, movies like A Christmas Carole, Oliver Twist, even Indiana Jones and the ToD portray harsher lives for kids. Back to Anikin for a bit. I didn't like the idea of him blowing up the control ship accidentally like that. It reeked of a video game moment. Which I feel was exactly why it was done that way. Get a whole new generation of kids between the ages of 6 and 14 into the movie by making moments like that part of the film. The pod race was the same idea. I liked the idea of taking Anikin to train him as a Jedi. It should have stopped with that. The less saw of him, the better it would have been. There needed to be some indication of how Darth Maul found they were on Tatooine. I've read speculation about handmaidens sending messages, Sith superpowers, etc., but there needed to be something to tell us how this was learned. I did think the thinly disguised racial types were in poor taste and very ill-fitting in this (or any) movie. All we needed was an "Ah-so" or two from the Traders and Watto in a wife-beater to really pound the idea home. The Jamaicans should boycott all Lucas projects as well. I'm curious to hear how people feel about these comments of mine. I know many will disagree - fine. I'd like to hear what you all think.