VIDEO: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Join the Suspect as he takes a look at the divisive Star Wars Episode I. Prequel defenders unite! Features cameos by Cubix, Joey Tedesco, and Il Neige.

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  • Gallen_Dugall

    It’s not terrible, but it’s not good. It’s just kinda there. It’s an okay movie. Certainly better than anything Michael Bay has ever extruded as a “movie” but whatever.
    It’s actually a fairly important film. Remember the point of this film was to underwrite the cost of developing special effects technology at a time when no one was willing to do anything more than reuse effects developed for previous films. In order to justify what was a multimillion dollar research and development program.
    The problem with Jar-Jar is that he is constantly comic-reliefing. Setting aside non funny nature of the humor comic relief exists to reset tension after reaching a peak allowing it to build up again. Jar Jar is constantly resetting the tension so it can’t build. Even in establishing shots the junior animators assigned to the task inserted unscripted comic-relief on the part of Jar Jar and it stayed in… because Lucas was too cheap to have them redo the scenes. So yes, if you remove Jar Jar this movie improves immensely.
    Ultimately these were never going to be great films because Lucas wasn’t interested in making them great films. He just didn’t care. No movie has ever survived a central vision that didn’t care and Lucas isn’t that great of a director to begin with. To him these films were about special effects development. Remove him as director, even if you keep his “written in an afternoon” scripts, and the film improves.

    One of the most disturbing things about these films is that the droids are actually sentient. They’re a mechanical slave species. Memories are routinely wiped to keep them docile.

  • Chewbacca

    Portraing Episode 1 in a not-so negative light, is a just cause, I think. I love the plinkett reviews, but though they raise a few good questions, I certainly can’t agreee with everything they say.. uuhm same here, of course. I would cut Jake Lloyd some slack. I don’t know why but his story (becoming the real life scapegoat for everything that went wrong with the prequels.. probably more so, than Ahmed Best) saddens me a bit and Hayden Christiansens Anakin was far worse.
    That aside, I just want to bloat about a little story about the prequel jedis. These guys seemed to be the bad guys in the trilogy. They just weren’t sitting there, doing nothing… it is far worse. Let me explain:
    There is one cool Jedi Knight in the galaxy, doing what a Jedi knight should do: fighting for the weak against their opression, helping out the little man/Duro. his name: Qui-Gon Jinn. He is some sort of the hippie Jedi… even willing to bend his sense of moral a little bit, if necessary.

    So, of course, the jedi counsel hates him. Who does he think he is? Some sort of self proclaimed space jesus? Surely the jedis are far superior than dealing with this shit. So, the other day, when he came back from the field once again, bruised and battered, but saved the queen, a slave boy and this jar jar, he was allowed to speak before them.
    – So what’s new Qui Gon? Anything interesting happpend during your adventures?
    – Well, we sort of stumbled across a sith lord.. you know this stuff that seems to be like really ancient jedi busieness…
    – shit, he’s right.. we gotta do… well, at least say something.. so uhhm.. good work there Qui Gon, we will take measures in our hand now and deal with this problem first thing in the morning, now LEAVE!…
    – But…but.. there is more! I.. found this boy who has like all this jedi power in him… and you guys love theses prophecies… well he might be that guy from that prophecy.
    All the gasping and eyrolling that took place at that exact moment must have been a great disturbance in the force.

    They say: Bring him before us, then. (eyeroll, EYROLL, EYEROLL)

    So you saw the movie. You know how it went down. As soon as Qui Gonn and Anakin left, they were like:
    Oh no, he didn’t…. is he for real? Prophecy? For real? I mean it is okay to teach this shit, but he don’t
    actually… this is blasphemy! So everybody gather round, this is what we do to get rid of this guy, once and for all…

    So the next day, Qui Gon stood before the counsel, once more.
    – Okay, Qui… we have a new assignment for you. You know, this Queen you’ve brought here to safety… take her back to that occupied planet..and be like her bodyguard, there or something.
    – Okay, will do… some back up would be nice, though…
    – Well, you got your apprentiece, who confidently bloated ybout being ready and stuff just a day ago..
    – Well, yeah technicaly…but wouldn’t it be a priority thing to see what’s going on there with the sith…
    – Hmm.. Oh I know!(holds laughter) You gonna take this new prophecy boy with you. According to you, he must be the super duper jedi… (one of the jedis let out a small gust of laughter…’hush..don’t spoil it’ Ki-Adi-Mundi whispered)

    Mace has something to add: Yeah, and while your at it, why don’t you take Jar Jar Binks with you. I am pretty sure he is of uttmost use in the tough things to come.

    – So, while I am being your only represantative to deal with a planet on the edge of war, unrevelling a mystery about the return of the siths.. What are you doing here, Yoda, Mace, Ki, Adi, Yaddle, Alien with thin thorat?
    – Hey, we don’t like your tone here. Certainly we have to stay to see the election, here. That SUPER IMPORTANT! Now please go and die…I mean diverse your choice… ah who am I kidding: farewell, and good riddance!