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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Day 94: August 2nd, 2010

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

The Saga Begins....Again.

The most anticipated film of our generation? Before the release of what is now considered the worst film out of all six Star Wars films, everyone was going mad over Star Wars. I was in elementary school, grade 5 or 6 when this came out and even I knew that after watching it in the theatres that I could have directed a better Episode I. Why is it that so many people hated this film when it first came out, then came to simply dislike it years later? Well, this one reviewer goes into great detail about it all, as he did with Avatar, Star Trek and other Star Wars films.

Well, even though it is long, it pin points obvious flaws in the film that not only fans of the series, but average movie goers will have with it.

The biggest problem I have with this film is that it's too complicated for it's own good. What the original had was a plot that was easy to follow, good guys versus bad guys. The Phantom Menace has Trade Federations, Tax Talk and they inexcusably try to explain the force.

When I was a kid I loved the pod racing scene, now it bores me to death. George Lucas seems to have forfeited any sense of a good story with characters we like and try to create a film that would be marketable for toys and kids. The Phantom Menace out of all three films is the most kid friendly one, despite the plot that would normally go over their heads.

Darth Maul is one of my favourite characters in the series and it was disappointing to see him die at the end of this film. Other than Palpatine, this film needed a more central villain. Darth Maul should have filled this role. His light saber duel with Obi-Wan is one of the best in the series, it's fast paced and well choreographed. How many people had a smile on their face when the double edged light saber came out? I did. That's when the film became entertaining, the Duel of Fates. The rest of it is a jumbled mess of ideas that go nowhere.

Han Solo, that is what this film and all three prequels needed. Not that character, but a Han Solo type. Instead we got Qui Gon Jinn, who is more boring than a plank of wood. Jake Lloyd is just as annoying, if not more, than Jar Jar Binks. A character that created such controversy that he was excessively trimmed down for the two films to follow. Darth Vader is this little kid? No, it's not a harrowing story of a child deluded and brought to the dark side, it's a sad pathetic attempt to give more humanity to one of the greatest villain ever. He got that in Jedi, here he is annoying. As far as I'm concerned, Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker are not related in anyway what so ever.

The Phantom Menace is more fancy than fun, more colourful than bright and boring than entertaining. It's a weak and slow start to some prequels that (to some) ruined a great trilogy.