On a Delta flight coming back from a trip out west with some friends, I happened to read one of those airline flight magazines that all the airlines have and this one had an interview in it with Lucas mainly talking about attack of the clones, but he also answered a few questions concerning the phantom menace as well. I did not read much of the article because we landed too soon for me to finish it, but anyways I probably would not have read it all to begin with was because Lucas started comparing tpm to the hobbit. He compared along the lines that no one liked to the hobbit because it was a stupid kids story but as time has gone by the hobbit has become a classic piece of children's literature, I suppose he thinks tpm is going to do the same maybe or be viewed in the same light, I don't know which. But this leads me to the title of the subject, was the phantom menace even a neccessary movie to make? Attack of the Clones is such a totally different movie from The Phantom Menace in its tone, targeted audience, and in relation to the original films. I don't remember what I expected out of the new starwars films, more of the old I suppose, but the new ones haven't delievered to me. The Phantom Menace more so than Attack of the Clones. I have heard before that the target audience for The Phantom Menace was 12-13 year old boys, since when does starwars have a target audience? Of course this film does hit its target audience in this case and it does not readily appeal to me, I"m a 21 year old college student and almost to a man everyone I know does not care for The Phantom Menace. Naturally on a fansite such as this one more people probably like the movie than dislike it, hence the amount of defenders of this film on this site. Back to the hobbit comparsion now, The Hobbit was a prequel to Lord of the Rings that alone was its own story that played very little into the overall scheme of things as the adult story of The Lord of the Rings rolled along. The hobbit is a children's story, so is The Phantom Menace, both of these stories have sprinkles of violence, deception, adult themes in general in them. The point is The Phantom Menace could (and maybe should have been) a prequel to the prequel series of movies, All The Phantom Menace did for me watching Attack of the Clones was to give a name to the characters that I was watching act. The hobbit was not required reading in order for someone to read&understand the truly great series of books that are the Lord of the Rings. I bid that The Phantom Menace is not required viewing in order for someone to watch & understand the Starwars series of movies. Having viewed 5 out of the 6 starwars movies The Phantom Menace does stick out as the oddball because of its kiddy natured story. I suppose a comparsion to the hobbit is apt from Lucas trying to defend his film, so dead on its scary. The hobbit is a kids book (classic of course) and The Phantom Menace is a kids movie (summer popcorn flick) other than that, besides this thread I just wrote I don't see too many comparsions that can be made, maybe more shall come to mind later.