1999 Twentieth Century Fox
Darth Maul is cool even if he has no depth.
The Pod Racing scene is fun although I don’t think Star Wars needs racing.
Good music score by John Williams as usual.
The not so good:
In the beginning of the movie the stupid Jamaican frog dudes let the ship carrying the two Jedi land in the hanger and then destroy it. If you are going to destroy a spaceship you would think you would do it before it enters your ship instead of blowing it up in your own hanger deck. What if it seriously damaged your ship?
What was the point of the worthless Battle Droids? You could breath on these things and they would fall apart.
Why do the Battle Droids say “roger” like us Earthlings do at times? Nothing like taking the audience out of the movie with Earthly references like that.
Why do the Battle Droid heads fall off when communications are cut with the command ship? What conceivable reason could there be for this beyond a cheap laugh aimed at five year olds.
Why only two Sith’s at a time? What a stupid way to limit your options.
What is it with crackhead Yoda? Why would anyone think that puppet was acceptable.
How come Sandpeople can’t accurately hit a huge lumbering Sandcrawler but they can hit pod racers going a gazillion miles an hour from miles away?
Who gives a crap if a raspberry blowing character is given an award at the end of the movie? The award ceremony at the end of Star Wars had a point. The award ceremony in this movie has none beyond Lucas and his annoying need for symmetry .
Nice place to put the reactor on the ship, smack dab in the middle of the hanger with no shielding.
Please note this is the third time in six movies that a large round spaceship is destroyed by someone shooting the reactor. Very original.
How come Darth Maul didn’t win? He had the high ground!
The music cue that plays when Qui-Gon gets wasted is titled “Qui-Gon’s Noble End”. There is nothing noble about the way he dies. He loses plain and simple.
Midichlorians? Really? There is no reason for this to be in the movie at all. In the original trilogy Obi-Wan and Vader could sense the force in others. Vader didn’t say “The force is strong in this one. I must check his Midichlorian count”.
General Panaka should really learn to fire a blaster. He looks like a complete idiot when using it.
Anakin’s “Jesus” birth is ridiculous.
Luke and Leia are brother and sister. Anakin is their father. Anakin built C3PO. Yoda knows Chewie. Give me a freaking break. Are Han and Lando step-brothers?
The two headed announcer at the pod racers is quite probably an even worse idea than Jar Jar.
The scene with the bongo getting chased by the gooberfish is a perfect example of how not to make a scene interesting. The bongo is being chased by gooberfish as Jar Jar has a hissy fit. Qui-Gon spouts lame fortune cookie wisdom as Obi tries to fix the bongo. The characters are completely passive the entire time and pretty much do nothing. Also look at the names involved: bongo, Jar Jar, and gooberfish. If that doesn’t point to this being aimed at five year olds I don’t know what will?
Queen Amidala’s constant wardrobe changes send the message that she is a spoiled brat concerned with only her appearance. Not a good way to create a sympathetic character.
Random thoughts and observations:
The following is an actual quote from a New York Times interview with George Lucas in 1977 on the intended target audience for his new movie Star Wars –“It’s for young people. [American]Graffiti was for 16-year olds; this is for 14-year olds.” Despite what many supporters of this movie say it’s clear The Phantom Menace is targeted at an audience at least eight years younger than the audience for the original Star Wars (in my opinion).
I find it interesting that the original trailer for this movie showed almost no scenes of Jar Jar’s slapstick antics. It’s like the people who did the trailer knew more about a possible negative reaction than the creators of the movie did.