Sunday, August 28, 2011

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

"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering"

So back in 1999 Star Wars fans alike were all greatly anticipating the first Star Wars film in 16 years. I was also looking forward to it, but I wasn't as familiar with the series. My first experience seeing the films was with the 1997 Special Edition re-releases, nevertheless a new film was coming and everyone was excited. What they eventually saw would go down in history as one of the crappiest films ever made.

The first teaser trailer made everyone believe the film was to be about Anakin Skywalker's beginnings, you know Darth Vader as a little kid! Well, the actually film wasn't too much about him. The film was more about the early days of Obi-Wan Kenobi and his trainer or whatever, Qui-Gon Jinn. They are basically trying to help out the planet of Naboo from an illegal blockade from the Trade Federation. They end up finding Anakin on the planet of Tatooine where he is living as a slave. After an incredibly long and unnecessary podrace scene Anakin is granted his freedom and accompanies Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to Courasant where he is presented to the Jedi Counsel. They agree he might be the "chosen one" but he can't be trained because of the dark feelings Yoda senses in him. Everyone decides to go back Naboo and fight the good fight. There Anakin somehow is able to "accidentally" destroy the Trade Federation mother ship and in turn saves the day.

Obviously I left some stuff out but for the most part that's the plot of the film. There were a lot of problems myself and many others had with this film. The biggest problem was Jar Jar Binks. Some weird looking fish type creature who's more annoying than anything else. There was really no reason for his character whatsoever. From what I've read Lucas created that character to try and draw in more kids or some crap. If I was a younger kid (I was 15 at the time) I'd probably hate him even more than I originally did!

The main problem I had with this movie and the prequels in general was the terrible acting and dialogue. The dialogue wasn't too bad in this one but the acting sucked ass, especially that from Jake Lloyd, the little kid who (horribly) played Anakin. If you want a good example of the terrible acting take a look at the scene where Qui-Gon and Padme first meet Anakin.

And then comes the contradictions made with the original trilogy. The big one being that in "The Empire Strikes Back" Obi-Wan said that Yoda was the Jedi Master who trained him, and then in this film it was Qui-Gon-Jinn who trained Obi-Wan. In "A New Hope" R2-D2 says that he used to belong to Obi-Wan Kenobi but he reacts as saying "I don't ever remember owning a droid", and yet in the prequels R2-D2 is with Obi-Wan all the fucking time!

Overall the movie is decent but goofy at the same time. The amount of time spent on the podrace is completely insane. The characters are annoying and the contradictions kind of ruin the other films for you. I saw the movies the way they were made, Episode IV through VI and then the prequels, I'd really like to meet someone who never saw any of them and saw them Episode I through VI.