PT Perspectives on The Phantom Menace

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Darth_Zandalor, Mar 11, 2013.

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  1. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2013
    star 4
    I rewatched TPM recently for the first time in many years and found it wasn't as bad as I remembered it. I watched it right after I rewatched ANH too, and was also struck by how much the two mirror each other.
  2. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    And
    A couple of neat mirrors involving the droids:

    Artoo: This one is rather subtle, but as Artoo is flagging in the background while our heroes are entering Mos Espa, a couple of jawas pass him right by just as Qui-Gon is saying to Padme, "Moisture farms for the most part. Some undigenous (sic) tribes and scavengers". Jawas, of course, scavenge Artoo when he ventures across the rocky plains of Tatooine in ANH. The ones passing him in TPM, however, don't even give him a second glance. There's something tantamout to a reversal of fortune here.

    Threepio: This one echoes ROTJ, not ANH (in many ways, TPM's true twin), but Threepio is naked/incomplete: we can see his inner wiring. This is also true of the second Death Star. Objects in the world being incomplete can actually make them more beautiful: what Robert Smithson termed "discrete stage". Of course, ANH itself is also "discrete stage" -- as are all the Star Wars movies; and the making of the movies -- because it and they are necessarily tentative, isolated, and inchoate. Is there anything more beautiful than the movies themselves? Yes! The incomplete forms of them. Lucas' feature film career was launched (and then almost immediately railroaded) with "THX-1138", a movie full of white walls, shot for real in an unfinished subway system. And Padme thinks the unfinished Threepio is "perfect".
  3. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    The flick has an odd stop-start rhythm to it which takes a bit getting used to, the odd fact that the there seems to be a lot of spacey pauses in the dialogue seems to be that Lucas totally forgot his "faster, more intense" mantra. This is evident in the opening Naboo stuff where you get about 30 seconds of action, pause to relate expository dialogue, more 30 secs of loud action, pause to relate expository dialogue. Its a cool opening but an herky-jerky paced one. Once they hit Tatooine it basically becomes a mini-movie in the middle and I actually like the way that section is paced (character stuff, character stuff, action sequence, villain for little mini-movie - Watto - gets his comeuppance, ending sad character stuff goodbye stuff). Courscant being a bit ponderous and the return to Naboo maybe taking a hair too long does recall the weird pacing of the opening sequence but they're fun visual treats to watch. Overall, TPM it is a fairly straightforward adventure ensemble flick, even if it does take awhile for one of the most important characters to show up, that sort of jumps around all of the different groups in the third act. With a big twist that the main character (Qui-Gon, arguably) freakin' dies right before the ending! And it is called "The Phantom Menace" and there are some menacing moments in the background which do add to the subversive feel that "Yay, we're having a grand old good time but IT'S ALL GOING TO GO HORRIBLY WRONG IN THE END! But at least we had this one bit of fun."
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Mar 14, 2013
  4. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    That's a neat summary of the movie right there. Yeah, it does have some blotchy pacing, I'd charge, and this gives it an odd, hurried feel it never really shakes. I have to say that this "flaw" is put to good use, however, because it makes rewatches possible: you're hungry to lap up more than you did before. This sense of rapid transitioning is also accentuated to brilliant effect in the podrace: a breakneck tour-de-force (tour of the Force) of sound and spectacle that has to be experienced to be believed. One incredibly visceral moment, rich with symbolism, happens in the third and final lap as Anakin is shown rapidly passing through a series of rocky arches with a first-person perspective: mythological transitions through time. Right at this point, his podracer is undergoing some technical difficulties, placing Anakin on the brink of failure. His life will be a blur to him. And may our understanding be similarly ephemeral? "Something elsewhere, elusive..."

    TPM celebrates the folded, compressed nature of the series with some stunning conflagrations. As you say, it is also largely a fun adventure movie, but with ominous strains of a dark future ahead. Yet it's the merriment and mirth that single it out. Such a bright, upbeat feel gives it an "Age Of Innocence" imprint. Watching it is like discovering -- or rediscovering -- a fountain of youth. I think that's also part of the reason I dig Jar Jar so much: he's such an energetic, young, supple force. TPM is a one-of-a-kind movie -- a major accomplishment in cinematic art -- that needs fresh input. Note how it also heralds a new trilogy: I = Anakin as a boy (pre-war); II + III = Anakin as an impatient Jedi teen (Clone Wars); IV + V + VI = Anakin as a machine (Rebels vs. Empire). TPM, then, must "survive out here on [its] own", while the other movies have travel companions for support. It's uniquely obligated; and uniquely fun. If no-one but George Lucas could have made "Star Wars" (ANH), no-one but an older George Lucas, wishing to get back to that universe he almost left behind, could have made TPM. I'll take that, thank you!
    Andy Wylde and Darth_Martus like this.
  5. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    A lot of criticism here (full-blown dismissals, really) tearing into this film’s major story concepts. I won’t get into that, suffice to say there is a fundamental disconnect between countless fans and this movie that goes well beyond minor preconceived notions.

    But the one argument that I would like to rebuke is that the pod race sequence is too long, over-indulgent and that it throws off the film’s pacing. I think the pod race is the centerpiece of Episode I, a sort of narrative axis; the cinematic nucleus. I deem it perfect as is. There’s plenty of downtime after the escape from Naboo that introduces us to little Ani and plays rather quaintly like a Sunday school storybook session: simple, wholesome, earthen, dotted with age-old values. The events that follow the pod race lead into what is possibly the film’s most surreal act involving a spiraling silver metropolis, strange masks, murky bureaucracy and poker-faced monks. In other words, I think the pod race set piece is well placed, with the larger narrative on either side evenly balanced. As an indulgence, I’d say it was earned, in part because it is the stuff of pure Star Wars – Star Wars in motion.

    Call me nuts, but I think The Phantom Menace is like the sports movie installment of the saga, and a good sports movie is always rooted in something universal, even mythic; for what better way to begin the character of Anakin Skywalker than as a pseudo-biblical and/or Homeric champion? There’s a classical, academic quality to it, albeit one mixed with both the nostalgic, "Gee-wiz! "Americana of suburban go-karts supped-up with hotrod engines (seriously, the only thing this scene was missing was a Mos Espa drive-in theater (showing Ben-Hur) seen somewhere in the distance), and numerous Muppet-style sight gags. Therefore, I think it warranted that the sequence is stretched out as a main attraction and presented with enough fanfare to score a nod of approval from a blue ghost DeMille. I also think it gives the movie its own special gearhead personality.

    And then there are the details of the race that connects with themes specific to this film and define so much of its 9-yearold hero.

    [IMG] [IMG]
    [IMG] [IMG]

    Restoring turbine thrusters as a means to illustrate symbiosis.

    [IMG] [IMG]

    Anakin, ever the mechanically-minded, wielding magnetic force to summon objects as a precursor to wielding the actual Force.

    [IMG] [IMG]
    Last edited by Ingram_I, Mar 15, 2013
  6. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Strangely enough, I didn't mind the pod-racing sequence in the 3D although I always fast forward thru it on the DVD/bluray.

    The "overly lengthy" pod-racing sequence as it is to me might be a generational thing - to me it was one of those TPM sequences that felt too "video-game" like - and I have never played a video game. Heck, in my day, we took typing (not keyboarding) AND on a manual typewriter, Bill Gates was just getting Microsoft off the ground, we didn't have the TV channel line-ups of today, Mens Lib was becoming popular as a a backlash to Women's Lib, the internet - huh, what's that? (Damn, I feel old.)
  7. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4


    Wise. And I agree.

    It's like a film within a film. "Cinematic nucleus" is so right. Curiously -- check your copy -- I think the race also starts (the first light turns blue) at almost exactly the 1-hour mark. Between Jabba spitting that poor creature's head into the gong and him being prodded awake by Bob Fortuna (the last shot of the podrace), it's almost exactly ten minutes. And that duration is almost exactly half the duration of the final battle sequence (from the the shot of the Gungans marching through the mist to the wipe of that shuttle touching down as Obi-Wan cradles Qui-Gon post-duel). Within these action expanses, no wipes occur: it's all sustained kinematics.

    Those are good observations. The podrace is certainly earned with its linking to other pods in the movie: e.g., the senate rotunda pods, the crashed "2001" pod in Watto's junk pile. As a fantastic race sequence, I'd say it has no equal. And it's very apt that Lucas finally found a place in his space opus for one of his own major (adolescent) interests. This first chapter having a race -- the first major action set-piece of the saga in narrative order -- must also be significant. It sort of becomes this false climax. Lucas himself even remarks in "The Beginning" that the audience would be ready to go home after the podrace, after how exhausting/exhilarating it is. Structurally, it's very different based on its placing: bold, surreal, avant-garde. Of course, his first film, "THX-1138", also finished with a racing/flashy car/speeding sequence. Later, Anakin's vehicle in the space battle overheats, which is also what happens to THX's stolen car (and they both get power restored). It's like some organ transplantation. Star Wars emerges as a stranger being; a digital chimera.


    Heh. The music even has a DeMille/Maurice-Jarre-esque quality at the part where Jabba is announced and basks in the crowd's adoration. This is definitely Star Wars at its most classical and regal. One other thing I've noticed is that the alien racers are rapidly dispensed: either physically destroyed (their pods, at least) or quickly excluded from the main race narrative. The race very quickly gets to a focal point of Anakin versus Sebulba. It seems to deliberately set up this false dichotomy of Anakin versus one alien protagonist: i.e., if he conquers this one alien guardian/boss, he's home free. The movie simultaneously embraces and spoofs its own saga's brazen species-centrism. The aliens are depicted as joke obstacles that are quickly overcome, leaving us with the rousing -- but hollow -- win of a fair-faced human who will one day be black-suited and ambiguously alien himself.


    There are an extraordinary number of allegorical details within the race itself. It's like a living tapestry of allusion and metaphor: a microcosm of the entire Star Wars series.




    I dig it. Can't help noticing the "OO" goggles of Anakin above: NabOO, TatOOine, ArtOO, gOOberfish, bOOma, etc. (Based on, or taken from, I think, an optometrist's lens system). We also see incomplete/imperfect circles. And Anakin's dashboard is similar to the solid state switches and diodes seen inside the cockpit of the Republic cruiser at the beginning of the movie. Similar power-up lights will also be seen in Anakin's N-1 starfighter when he finds power restored, enabling him to blow up the TF battleship in the action climax.

    Once again... the colours of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. They come powerfully into play at the end of the lightsaber fight when Obi-Wan loses blue and must summon Qui-Gon's green to kill Maul.

    That's a prize catch! (From you and the boy). He alters the landscape, but not really. All he reclaims is a flapping hose. The rest passes him by, ever out-of-reach. As the first of these shots demonstrates, the TF ship form can also be found all over the movie, even on the side of Anakin's podracer, perpendicular to his headrest. Even a rough equivalent of the N-1 starfighter he uses to fly inside the TF ship and destroy it -- with blue Artoo's help -- can be perceived there. This movie is steeped in metaphor and allusion.
  8. SnakeWesker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2006
    star 1
    Episode I will always have sentimental value to me. It's the first Star Wars film that I got to see in theaters. I just watched it. I literally just took the Blu-ray disc out of my PS3, so I have it fresh in my mind.

    I'm not sure what it is about Episode I that people dislike so much. It's actually my fourth favorite Star Wars film (in front of Ep2 and Ep6). Sure, the Coruscant segment is a little slow. And I don't mind Jar Jar, but he shouldn't have had more screen time than Darth Maul. But at the end of the day, Ep1 has superb performances from Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor, impressive visuals, and arguably the best lightsaber fight of the saga. Not to mention the tremendous soundtrack from the always dependable John Williams. Fourteen years later, and I still love it.
  9. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2013
    star 4
    I agree with you, @SnakeWesker.

    Repost from another thread, but when I watched it recently I found:

    Last edited by themetresgained, Mar 16, 2013
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  10. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    I really enjoyed TPM - it's my favorite PT film, and also one of the most underrated films of all time:

    -The ships/vehicles were amazing - they were both different from the OT ships but at the same time very distinctly SW: These included - The large red Republic ship (that the Jedi were first seen on); the great Flash-Gordon-ish yellow Naboo starfighter; All the pod racers; The huge Trade Federation Droid Control ships (for some reason these reminded me of "The Wheel" space station in one of the late '70's SW Marvel comic arcs); The Queen's silver ship, The Flash Speeder, The large Droid ships that landed on Naboo, etc.

    - Seeing TC-14 in one of the very first scenes was very well-placed - you automatically knew this was SW, but everything was slightly different.

    - The Podrace was truly amazing - very tense & well-done.

    - All of the cool R2 units on the Queen's ship; I'm a sucker for R2 & C3 unit variations.

    - Jar Jar - yes, I thought JJ was funny - one of my favorite scenes was when Qui-gon grabbed his tongue after he was greedily slurping away at the food in Anakin's house and said "Don't do that again" - hilarious. Though I know a lot of fans hated him, I felt that the comic relief he provided was necessary; the film had an underlying darkness that was subtle but obvious (i.e., Darth Maul, Palpatine/Sideous' machinations, etc.) and JJ's antics/stupidity/foolishness was a good counter-point to this. Also, IMHO JJ's character was actually representative of other iconic "fool" characters that are seen in literature, i.e. court jesters, etc.

    - Destroyer Droids - Excellent! I liked how they were basically the very deadly back-ups to the intentionally incompetent/ridiculous Battle Droids.

    - The scene when Anakin left home and his mother - very sad and poignant.

    - The score was superb, from the opening sequence, to the pod race music, to Duel of the Fates, Augie's Municipal Band (end sequence), etc. This is definitely my favorite PT score.

    - The later scene when the Jedi Masters were testing Anakin and asking questions was also great, especially the sequence when Yoda mentioned that Anakin was "too old" for the Jedi training. What was especially interesting here was that though the film didn't go into detail on this, that line was explained in the novelization of TPM, i.e. that "force-sensitive" infant Jedi were located through the Force and taken from their parents (if the parents agreed, of course) to be trained (this explanation also clears up why Yoda thought Luke was "too old" to being the training in ESB; If Anakin was too old at age 9, Luke was definitely too old at 20-something). Anyway, the reason for potential Jedi being taken from their home so young is so they wouldn't become too attached to family/friends. What's brilliant about this is that Anakin's attachment to his mother is exactly what starts his path to the dark side in AOTC, just as Yoda/Mace Windu were concerned about during this sequence in TPM. Even Obi-wan was reluctant to train Anakin because, as he said, "he's dangerous."

    - The ending ground battle with the huge # of Battle Droids against the Gungan army. What was interesting here was that the Battle Droids in a small group seemed innefectual and even cheap looking; however, when you saw huge numbers of them marching against the Gungans this was somewhat menacing - and, you knew that they would have beat the Gungans hands down if Anakin hadn't destroyed the control ship. Re: their cheap/chintzy appearance, this actually makes sense in the context of the film - I think it was supposed to reflect the mentality of the Trade Federation, i.e. they were a company/organization that only cared about the bottom line, which meant that they didn't care if they produced crummy products (though I may be reading too much into this :D ).

    - Darth Maul - possibly the most evil-looking villain in the entire SW saga; his devil-like appearance was truly horrific. IMHO the Maul/Obi-wan/Qui-gon lightsaber fight was superb, and was one of the best things about the film. Very intense, incredible action. When the film came out, I remember reading that Lucas intentionally made this fight extraordinary since the battle was being fought by three Jedi (or someone trained in the art of the Jedi, i.e. D. Maul) at the peak of their powers. This was unlike the lightsaber battles in the OT, which were fought by an old man and a robotic man (ANH), or an inexperienced Jedi and a robotic man (ESB) - and, in ROTJ, Vader wasn't trying that hard (or didn't seem to be trying) to seriously injure Luke, so I almost don't count that particular duel.
  11. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    As a companion to my last post: Though I thought TPM was a great film, it had a lot of things going against it from the beginning:

    - Prior to it being released in May '99, there was so much hype/media attention for this film since it was the first SW film in 16 years (IMHO there was more hype for this film than for any other movie, ever) that it was impossible for the film to live up to these expectations. Fans probably expected something close to the second coming, and when the film was less than they hoped for they became quite dissapointed.

    - Since it was the first SW prequel (and the SW film, chronologically) there was a lot of exposition/explanation (i.e., background on the Jedi, midi-chlorians, etc.). Though I really enjoyed this aspect of the film, I think many felt it dragged because of this.

    - It showcased a small child (Anakin) as the main character/hero, and I think many fans would have preferred to see Anakin as slightly older. I understand why this was done, however; Anakin's fall and transformation into Darth Vader in Episode III was made more dramatic since you first saw him in TPM as an innocent little kid. I also felt that the scenes with Anakin and his mother (especially the scene when he left home) very poignant & moving, but, again, it's probably not what most fans wanted to see.

    - Jar Jar got panned by many because he served as the "comic relief" and played the fool for most of the film. I thought this aspect of the movie was fine and actually quite needed, since TPM was dark in a lot of other ways (i.e. Darth Maul, the behind-the-scenes machinations of Dark Sideous, etc.) Also, you have to remember that, IMHO, he replaced the comedy of R2-D2 & C3-PO from the OT. Again, however, this is not what many fans wanted to see and therefore there was a lot of criticism of the character because of this.

    - Though there was definitely action in the film (the short fight on the ship in the beginning, the podrace, the big battles at the end), the tone was different than what we saw in the OT. Fans would probably have preferred larger-scale battles like the ones we saw in Episodes II & III, but, again, those types of battles weren't the focus of TPM. This was really about setting up the story for what was to come later.

    Overall, it's unfortunate that TPM has never received the respect it truly deserved. I will always look back on this film with fondness, however. It brings back memories of the late '90's, and also a time when the SW universe was a lot less complicated.
  12. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    It is a surprisingly self-contained flick, the closest to Episode 4, similarities between them of the only really open-ended stuff is the bad guy gets away (literally) in episode 4 and TPM ends on that closeup of Palpy on "The master or the apprentice" line, which is why I actually like it more as time goes on. I remember being impatent with the Tatooine stuff in TPM when I first saw it but watching it now, I actually like how it's it's own thing crammed into the middle of it. Kind of like the Jabba's Palace stuff in "Jedi" that is basically it's own movie, but the Tatooine stuff in TPM is probably longer. Which is why I think the podrace itself does get allowance to be as long as it is. First of all, it's really funny to watch for the random little asides of the other podracers and their fates, which is added by the addition of the DVD release onward when they all got their own little introductions (I can watch that little dragon screaming dude smashing against the rocks on a loop. And I love how ineffective the podracer who is basically just a giant head and four arms turns out to be, whipping his hands against his console in frustration, babbling alien gibberish. He's like the worst guy ever at his job.). But it's the proper ending to "The Tatoonine Adventures of Anakin Skywalker" or whatever it is you wanna call the movie that starts when they walk into Mos Espa. So the podrace should take it's time. As for Anakin I really like his introductory scene into the movie, mostly because he's a 10-year old kid (and the movie does show that he is a kid at heart throughout with his confused reactions to what's going on around him) but he's actually a lot smarter than you would expect. And he even has a coal-miner's seen-it-all-cynicism to his life. ("Wouldn't have lasted so long if I wasn't so good at building things.") Which he does all of this as he picks up a random piece of "gear" lying around Watto's shop and starts to fiddle with it. This actually makes his "are you an angel" line to Padme a good intro, because this kid is basically just a grease-monkey so he sees his girl and thinks, well, obviously, she is this beautiful creature from the moons of Iago. And he says it in such a casual way that shows he's a bit smarter and wiser than you'd figure his age would be. All in a day's work, fixing droids, getting yelled at by this floating blue alien boss, and, hey, an angel just walked in.

    As for the Jar-Jar of it all, he's another piece of a multi-character juggling act, much like Episode 4, where you take different characters from all walks of the universe and cram them into a set adventure. (In Ep. 2 & Ep. 3 it basically boils down to Anakin's plot + Obi-Wan's plot. And a dash of Yoda on the side. I still like them a lot, and I'd say that Ep. 3 is a better movie overall because it focuses so much of it's lazer-beam on Anakin, but it doesn't go for the ambitious balancing act that TPM does) And even the characters themselves seem to be irritated by Jar-Jar at points, which is kind of funny and pretty much the overall point of the character. Qui-Gon's "You must have Jedi reflexes to race pods" (Jedi-like reflexes snatch Jar-Jar's tounge in mid air, a subtle joke saying "by the way kid, I'm a Jedi, FYI.") and he looks kinda irritated at Jar-Jar "Don't do that again." Also Anakin has that bit when Jar-Jar is juggling all of the pit-droids and Anakin and Padme just look a little aghast and he just says "Hey! Hit the nose!" in a self-explanatory way. But, they build Jar-Jar to be a screw-up and he does save the say in the end. Even if he does it while still screwing up. I even love Jar-Jar's interaction with Padme on Courscant, where she's just looking out the window in an almost resigned way, contemplating her fate. And Jar-Jar says "Gungans get pasted too, eh?" and she just replies with a somewhat sad a curt "I hope not." He mentions how the Gungans are noble warriors who won't go down without a fight, which if you think about it, it does get the whole third-act into motion. Padme in that part on Courscant is resigned to playing politics but she realizes that this Gugan screw-up, and all indications show that he will still keep screwing up, does stand for a larger thing, that they can get their act together and continue on the adventure.

    I even really like the title "The Phantom Menace" because, like the movie itself, there are a lot of layers to it. Anakin is a phantom menace because he's going to grow up to be Darth Vader. The Trade Federation is a phantom menace because their strings are being pulled by the Sith in the background (Qui-Gon's "I sense an unusual amount of fear for something as trivial as a trade dispute."). Sidious is literally a phantom menace since he's basically a freakin' hologram the entire movie, Apparently I think the one-on-one interaction bit with Sidious and Maul on the Courscant balcony was a reshoot insert, and if you do look at it the scene is a tad superflous to the plot. But that means in the first version of the movie Sidious was just all-hologram the entire time. Lucas said he threw it in there so the audience would know that Sidious was a real guy but I think he was overthinking himself, I would kind of dig it if all you ever saw of Sidious in TPM was just the hologram. Which would make his sole bit in Ep. 2 resonate more where, holy crow, he's a real guy after all! Then in Ep. 3 it's all Sidious, all the time. Slow burn, that fellow.

    The film works as a big tour of the Star Wars universe, this is Lucas exploring the different nooks and crannies of it in a way that technology and budget wouldn't allow him to do in the OT, and each character (the Jedi, the Gungans, the Queen, the Sith, even Artoo) work as small little pieces of the universe tossed together to fight off a larger evil. I saw in somebody's sig on here the ever-popular "suggested viewing order." as Ep. 4-5, 2-3, 6, 1. You could be a cynic and say "bah, throw the bad one at the end! Great idea!" but I look at it differently. That would really click if you took a complete newbie because, it preserves the "I am your father" bomb, Ep. 2-3 work together hand in hand but there really isn't anything in Ep. 2 that you wouldn't get into without watching Ep. 1. Ep. 6 is the climax of the story. Then go back to Episode 1. It's a self-contained adventure, not as heavy with dramatic resonance as Ep. 6 as an ending. Instead it works on it's own. If you watched it that way, you'd get a happy ending. But it all goes wrong, and even something as fun as that final parade show drips with, well, phantom menace. But things were oh-so-nice back then before it all blew up.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Mar 18, 2013
    Ingram_I likes this.
  13. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    Good post, but the above comment compelled me to add my own thoughts, as I totally agree. I’ve said before of this film, that it plays like some kind of exploratorium/activity center for the wide-eyed prepubescents of 1999 and onward who were experiencing Star Wars for the first time. Everything is on grand display: the Jurassic Park-like fauna of Naboo, the underwater aquarium world, the Circus Maximus pod race on Tatooine, the World’s Fair-dreamt future of Coruscant, the Renaissance rotunda of the galactic senate; junk yards, pageantry parades, art deco silver and banana yellow 'machines of tomorrow', royalty garb of the distant orient, warrior tribal tattoos …all of it passing by like Smithsonian exhibits.

    Episode I is like a cinematic pop-up book, more so in 3D.
    Last edited by Ingram_I, Mar 18, 2013
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  14. Darth kRud Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3


    Child actor = first strike but this was also rooted in the writing so second strike for bad writing which can branch into Jar Jar which is a big third strike and then the useless battle droids and such - all based in a misguided attempt to pander to children. Lucas started this line of thinking with ROTJ. The film shouldn't have been made. It had a ripple effect on the potential of the next two films. Lucas tried to adjust but he was already dedicated to having the love story be the driving force for Anakins turn to the darkside which gave him one film to set the love story foundation (AOTC) and it failed to get a majority of the audience emotionally attached. The only successful emotional strings Lucas pulled was in building the relationship between Anakin and OB1 and then destroying it at the end of Episode 3. The series would have been more powerful if Lucas could have made and destroyed the same connection between Anakin and Padme but the combination of the childish TPM and Lucas' lack of love story skills made what could've been an epic series an above average series at best. Darth Maul was the savior of TPM and could've/should've been used till Episode 3. Lucas is aware of this which is why he 'brought him back' in the cartoon. Really, the mistake that was TPM tied his hands for the last two films. Lucas NEEDED people around him helping to write, direct and produce. TPM was a massive ego fart.
  15. StarWars2015 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2012
    star 2
    My views extactly, Got caught up in the hype of a new Star Wars Film and was just totally let down by this crap that George Lucas forced on us on to have it get 10 times worst with AOTC, then he rushes to fix all the mess in the ROTS and ends up Destorying that movie as well by turning Anakin's fall into a utter joke.

    Well lets hope that with Lucas out of the way, Disney will not make the next trilogy with yes men and we can have movies that mirror the Empire Strikes Back or the best elements of the OT or even a new feel that makes us forget the horrible mistake of the prequels...
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  16. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    While not as strong tonally and thematically as the OT, the PT are still fun movies.
    Force Smuggler likes this.
  17. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    For me the most mind boggling things is if you read the rough draft, it's actually pretty good and would have been much better (including continuity) than what we got on screen

    http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/thebeginning.html
  18. Darth kRud Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    First we had Magnavox then Atari and then Texas Instruments computers with games....ya, no internet. No cell phones. Not even pagers yet. Good god.
  19. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Yes, I remember those days as well (late '70's & '80's). No Internet, no cell phones, no texting, no DVD's, no cable - or, or at least I never had it; though I remember some kids that did, it had very few channels, and HBO w/movies that were always re-run seemed to dominate.

    I also remember early sub-par pan & scan VHS tapes, & how in many cases it would take several years after a movie hit the theatre to be released on tape. Re: ROTJ, the film came out in May '83 but didn't hit VHS tape until February/March 1986 :(

    And, I remember the Atari 2600 & how popular it was at the time.
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  20. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    There's alot to like about this film. It is its own complete story. That's to its credit. Less fan service. Lucas took some risks with stuff. TPM is my favorite prequel.

    And the build up and anticipation for the release was incredible and fun. Great times.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Mar 20, 2013
  21. Bale Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2005
    star 4
    So true! For me, the storyline was secondary to the fact that there was more Star Wars in the movie theater again!
    ShaneP likes this.
  22. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    Build up was definitely fun. I remember having a great time merely going into Kmart to buy the novelization (Darth Maul cover of course). My favorite fan period was probably after Attack of the Clones, though. Seem to recall that not every single conversation devolved into OT vs. PT back then, but then again maybe that's nostalgia clouding my vision.
    Andy Wylde and Darth Chiznuk like this.
  23. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    No, I don't think it's nostalgia. The community was unified in their anticipation for a new SW film in ways not seen since.

    I really tried in vain not to read the spoilers and other merchandise stuff. But then I remember buying the soundtrack early only to find a massive spoiler on the back in a track name.

    Releasing the merchandise weeks before the film was painful to me. I couldn't fully enjoy it until I watched the film. Not sure that's the best way to do it actually. In fact, did they do it the same way again? It seems they scaled back the early release of stuff on the other two films.
  24. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    The soundtrack got me too, man. Maybe that was partly why I banned myself from Star Wars internet spoilers during the whole PT. It worked too! I didn't even make the Sidious/Palps connection.
  25. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I didn't make the Palpatine and Sidious connection until I read it in the ROTS novel. My dad says he told me had told me that they were the same after TPM. I don't remember that.
Moderators: Bazinga'd