PT Perspectives on The Phantom Menace

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

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  1. Monkeystrummer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2013
    I dont like The Phantom Menace at all. I really feel that the prequel trilogy could have covered a much wider time period and interesting events had episode I began with Anakin as an adult.
    I would have liked it to have began with him already a Fully fledged Jedi fighting alongside Obi Wan ... They could have still included Darth Maul who, for me anyway, was the only cool thing about the first film.
    Technically the film is pretty outstanding, however, I was saddened by how irrelevant to the story almost all of it was. Jar Jar was awful. The underwater guy was awful. The pod race was ... well, it meant nothing to me.
    There is not really anything in phantom menace that i feel matters to the story of Anakins fall from grace. I think beginning the story later on would have allowed the idea of the clone wars and his turning to the darkside and hunting down the jedi to be realised much better
    Last edited by Monkeystrummer, Mar 23, 2013
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  2. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2013
    star 4
    I still maintain that it was necessary to show the man who would become Darth Vader as a child, a sweet, good, innocent child at that, to add to the arc of Anakin Skywalker. I don't think a glowering young man Anakin such as happened in Episode II is a good way to start Anakin's arc.
  3. KilroyMcFadden Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 3
    The problem with that is that Menace was so disconnected from the other movies in tone and timeframe that Episode II is still functionally the start of Anakin's story. When you really consider the plot of Menace, it is a story about a Jedi named Qui-Gon and how he resolves a trade dispute and united two hostile species on the planet of Naboo with the help of his Jedi companion, Obi-Wan. The Anakin story is a subplot that is resolved before the resolution of the main plot, which is the defeat of the trade federation and the uniting of the two races of Naboo at the cost of Qui-Gon's life.
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  4. Klingon Padawan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2013
    star 1
    I agree with both of you. I enjoyed TPM because it showed Darth Vader when he was an innocent little boy, and despite any accusations of "childish-ness" of showing Anakin so young, it really added a lot of depth to his character, for reasons stated above.

    On the other hand, TPM was very disconnected from the main storyline and it focused on subplots. It had so much potential to focus on the larger aspects of the storyline, but it didn't. For example, in the EU, at the time of TPM, the idea for a Clone Army was in the making, Plagueis was working with Palpatine to take over the galaxy, etc. That's connected to the main storyline, and it would be far more entertaining to focus on than simply "tax disputes".

    Fans want thrill and excitement, not politics.
    Last edited by Klingon Padawan, Mar 24, 2013
  5. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Couple of mistakes from last night. "Oops!"

    I meant destroyer droid -- although, Jar Jar does, indeed, defeat a destroyer droid with a battle droid.

    The conference room scene comes before Luke discovers the remains of his aunt and uncle. Leia's interrogation is what follows.


    An apt summary -- but that's what makes it funnier and quirkier. The main plot doesn't begin until Episode II. Episode I is more of your light-hearted adventure movie. Or as Ingram_I termed it, a pop-up storybook. We get to explore the galaxy here and then we get the happy end. At the close of the film, the Trade Federation is defeated, there's a new guy in power, the Gungans and the Naboo have been united, Queen Amidala comes of age, and Anakin begins his new life as a Jedi. Job done, right? Only... nope. From this trivial turn of the page, comes an entire saga. People should have taken the original teaser trailer more seriously: "Every journey has a first step". First step: moving a single pace. "Little Skywalker has stalled". Then history hits the afterburner.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Mar 24, 2013
  6. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    I remember when I first saw both TPM previews and tried to guess what it would be about before seeing it at the theater. Boy, I was completely off on most of it, especially the pod race and Qui-Gon being Anakin's father. The one thing I knew would happen for sure would be Qui-Gon dying. But Darth Maul, too? And I hate to say it, I was probably only one of a few adults who were genuinely confused about the whole body double scenario while watching the movie, because I actually thought half way through that Natalie Portman wasn't really the Queen but just some retainer, after all. Good one, GL. And Jar Jar? Sigh. I thought he would be this skilled pilot or "whatever" tag along that just liked adventuring with the Jedi. A complete whiff on that one, too.
    Last edited by DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR, Mar 24, 2013
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  7. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    First of all, I thought that Senator Palpatine being Darth Sideous was obvious to everyone who saw TPM. I guess I was mistaken. IIRC, the ROTJ novelization (James Kahn, 1983) mentions that The Emperor's name is Palpatine. Also, the actor who played the Emperor in ROTJ was the same actor who played both Palpatine & Sideous in TPM (Ian McDiarmid). I would have thought that was a dead give-away right there - that being said, the heavy make-up/hood that IM had on in ROTJ really made him almost unrecognizable as the same person in TPM.

    Re: Anakin's age in TPM, IMHO it was critical to show him as an innocent little kid in the film, as opposed to being older - partially because this made his turn to to the Dark Side & his transformation to DV that much more tragic, and also because his path to the dark side began when he took out the sandpeople who had k. his mother in AOTC: As a child, he was obviously very attached to his mother, and it was very traumatic for him to leave her at such a young age. As Yoda says to him on Coruscant, "You miss your mother." This led to his going back to Tattoine years later in AOTC to search for his mother after she had been captured by the Sandpeople; his subsequent rage towards them had a lot to do with his gulity feelings over leaving her in the first place. And, the reason he was so set on not destroying Palpatine/Sideous in ROTS was because he was duped by Palpatine into believing that Palps knew of a way to bring back the dead (re: their conversation during the "opera" near the beginning of the film), since he was worried that what happened to his mother would also happen to Padme. I.e., "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

    If Anakin had instead have been shown as an adult fighting with Obi-wan in the Clone Wars (in EP1), we wouldn't have seen the important set-up that we saw in TPM; note that I feel TPM is much more of a "set-up" film, and stands very well on it's own; however, you know what I mean...

    Granted, you could argue that Anakin's turn to the dark side could have been accomplished another way, but IMHO the attachment he felt towards his mother was very effective as being the catalyst for this.
    Last edited by Blur, Mar 25, 2013
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  8. Jcuk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 4
    I respect your opinion. But for me, if Anakin had been discovered as a teenage slave (maybe 13-16) who'd lost BOTH his parents in a Tuskan raider attack when he was very young would've allowed time for more character development. The sheer anger he would have buried inside over that loss could've been part of the catalyst but would've been there from the outset. And all the no father and chosen one nonsense wouldn't have existed.
  9. KilroyMcFadden Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 3
    Of course it was obvious. In the movies that came before TPM, the emperor who had Sith powers, was named Palpatine, and was played by the same actor. That's why the heavy handed fan service wink-wink, nudge-nudge moments were so horrible. I didn't read back in the thread, is someone actually claiming they didn't know? THAT's hilarious.
    Last edited by KilroyMcFadden, Mar 25, 2013
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  10. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    People who only saw the movies and didn't read any books would not have known that the ROTJ Emperor's name was "Palpatine".
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  11. KilroyMcFadden Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 3
    This is a laughably thin argument and I'm not taking it seriously.
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  12. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    And there were probably a fairly enormous number of those.
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  13. kubricklynch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 3
    Back in the day on this forum (I had a different user name at the time), I got in many, many lengthy arguments trying to convince people that Sidious and Palpatine were the same person. A lot of people were adamant that they just couldn't be the same person!

    Kinda reminds me of people now thinking the ST is gonna be based on the EU..

    EDIT: While the average viewer may not have known the Emperor was named Palpatine, I think most people that are big enough fans to go on a message board knew.
    Last edited by kubricklynch, Mar 25, 2013
  14. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Good times. [face_laugh]

    You're right. I must have imagined all those moments where people screeched that they shouldn't have to read a book to understand the films. And all those other moments where people talked about how the EU fanbase was much smaller than the number of people who'd seen the films.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Mar 25, 2013
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  15. Sitara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2001
    star 3
    Man, I remember those days. I started lurking here right after TPM was released, and joined a year before AOTC.

    However, it is not so much that most people didn't know they were the same person, it was that they tried to overcomplicate it: They could not believe something so obvious would be the truth, so they kept trying to find conspiracies. The most popular by far was that Palpatine was a clone of Sidious, and that once the war was over Sidious would kill his 'clone' and take over, and call himself emperor. :rolleyes:
  16. Klingon Padawan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2013
    star 1
    Thankfully that idea wasn't used.

    I hate whenever cloning a character is use gratuitously. Cloning should only be used if it adds to the storyline; it should never be shoehorned into the story just for the sake of it being "cool".
  17. Darth Venator Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2013
    star 1
    I really enjoy TPM. For all its issues as a movie - there's MUCH worse out there. And I totally agree with the angle that people view it with too much OT nostalgia, when both trilogies are flawed - but fantastic in their own ways.

    I could go on and on about so many thinfs in TPM but so many posts here akready cover my thoughts so I won't readdress them all... But the one thing I'm always eager to talk about?

    I've been thinking about this a lot recently... And really he gets a worse reception than he deserves for what he is as a character. I don't have a problem with him being used to lighten the mood at times, even Chewie - though having the advantage of being brutally strong and being combat ready - was used to comic effect at times too (something which people are quick to forget). But in Jar Jar's case, there's just TOO much attempted 'comic relief' which becomes a bit tiresome. A shame, when technically, he serves more purpose to the bigger picture than Chewie ever did. A few less clips of him being clumsy and stupid, and a less annoying voice and he'd have been just fine.

    All things considered though, I can just about tolerate him as he is... Actually, my biggest gripe with Jar Jar is that he is a complete misrepresentation of the Gungan race. To me, they are stalwart, proud,mysterious, ritualistic and have access to some very interesting technologies (Their only real flaw being that their speech patterns were slightly OTT).

    But unfortunately, Jar Jar is the Gungan we see the most and he clashes completely with what we see of his people. His speech, stance, behaviour and even his skin colour felt 'off' - and sadly it seems that the whole Gungan race is cast off because of the dislike for him (Though I suppose Boss Nass helps him out a touch at doing that).

    Had Captain Tarpals been banished and on the surface during the droid invasion - opinions would be VERY different today. The events could still play out the same but instead of cheap goofy humour, we could've had quite a disgruntled yet noble character to play off the others. Imagine dialogue between a proud tribal warrior and Padme? Or a soldier alongside the Jedi when they reach the surface of Naboo to free the queen? A verified war veteran appointed as Gungan Senator in AotC?

    Ahhh, I can but dream...
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  18. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    No, it was only obvious to people who either had seen the OT or knew a lot about Star Wars already.

    I just showed the PT to a 10 year old, and he had NO idea Chancellor Palpatine was Darth Sideous
  19. Jcuk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 4
    I'm just constantly baffled as to why when people introduce kids to Star Wars for the 1st time they show them PT 1st.
  20. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2012
    star 3
    I like how the Sidious/Palpatine situation was handled. The evidence was always there, but many casual viewers didn't pick up on it. At the same time, it was never made obvious until ROTS. Either way, the story worked whether you knew or not.
  21. Darth Vader's Chest Plate Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2013
    star 1
    If he was that old it would have conflicted with Yoda's point that Luke was to old to be trained.

    The prophecy doesn't bother me to much but the force conception does. The only way i'd accept it is if he was formed by Palpatine or Plagueis with their ability to control midi-chlorians to form life.
  22. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I don't watch the credits when I see the movie so the whole Ian playing both was not known to me. I saw the OT before I saw TPM in theaters but could not find any logic behind Palpatine wanting Naboo invaded. I was 7 so I wasn't as into the EU at the time and the politics went over my head. I didn't get that people could have ulterior motives and be more complex than we see on screen.
  23. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Not surprising, given it was ripped off almost shot for shot from a certain chariot race from a film that got a record number of Academy Awards when it was made, mainly because of said chariot race.
    Last edited by Saintheart, Mar 25, 2013
  24. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    See, I don't see that as a flaw that Anakin Skywalker is a subplot in the movie. It's setting him up for all of the important business that takes place in Episode II and III. But here is the character when he was a kid so, if anything, it'll resonate on at least that level in the later two flicks. You really can't say that it's Anakin's movie at all, it really is about Qui-Gon Jinn (and Padme, although you don't get that until a 2nd viewing, but everything involving her story is the stuff that keeps the plot flowing). Introducing Anakin as a supporting character really makes him one of the titular "Phantom Menace"'s of the movie. And, if you view it as Qui-Gon's movie, he dies at the end, which is a fairly big, different twist, because then young Obi-Wan is the one who has to pick up the slack for Anakin. Because the hero of the movie got stabbed in the chest and freakin' died before the credits rolled! It's really hard to erase the baggage of rest of the saga from your mind when watching it, but if the flick was titled "Star Wars: Qui-Gon Jinn" A) It'd be a terrible title B) it would put the movie's main character into perspective. Although, overall, I'd say it's more of a multi-character flick as opposed to being about a single person, although if you watch it as Qui-Gon's final battle, it works that way.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Mar 25, 2013
  25. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    Because that's how it was created to be watched.

    Also I have ZERO interest in instilling PT haters' prejudice in new generations.
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