Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace begins with a trade negotiation turned betrayal. After the Federation refused negotiations, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are forced onto the planet of Naboo, where they meet the Gungan named Jar Jar Binks. After escaping some droids, the group saves Queen Amidala and transports her to Coruscant. Unfortunately, the starship has malfunctions, and the group is forced to land on Tatooine. Qui-Gon and Padmé, one of the queen’s handmaidens, meet Anakin Skywalker, and their fate of leaving the planet rests on the young boy’s shoulders.
The three main protagonists in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace are Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Queen Amidala.
Qui-Gon is a Jedi master. He is a calming influence on Obi-Wan, and a great teacher. He is very well versed in all things Jedi, and a great friend of the council. Although a strong Jedi, he does not always agree with the ways of the council.
Obi-Wan is a young Padawan, strong in the force like his master. He is a more skilled swordsman than Qui-Gon, but he carries many of the characteristics that made his master such a strong Jedi.
Queen Amidala is the queen of Naboo. She is a strong leader whose heart lies with her people. She navigates the world of bureaucracy with ease but always feels more comfortable with her people.
From many others, I heard that Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace wasn’t the most entertaining movie compared to the original trilogy. And to that statement, I agree and disagree. From my previous reviews, this score is tied with Episode 4: A New Hope. There are definitely areas I enjoyed more, and some areas that didn’t interest me as much. Before I get into the good, I’ll get over the bad, which aren’t that many. The first was that the pacing was relatively slow. The majority of the movie is spent with a pd race, and personally, I didn’t really care for that whole scene. I also wish they expanded on some of the characters. I really like Qui-Gon as a lead, and I wish we could’ve had more of his story.
Anyways, onto the better aspects. The fight scenes were so much better in this movie than I expected. For one, I loved having droids as the cannon fodder for enemies. There was less of a human aspect to them, which allowed the movie to have more gruesome and action-packed fights without any gore. Another benefit was the diversity of available enemies. Being droids, there were a lot more variety of available versions. The best part of this movie by far was the fight choreography between the Jedi and the Sith. I think what I missed most about the original trilogy was some good lightsaber duels. What was even better about the choreography was that each lightsaber user had their own styles, and you can see each style in play. Each character had their own stances, and they all attacked with different strokes.
Overall, I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I expected. For one, the fight scenes were tense and had a variety of enemies. By far my favourite aspect were the lightsaber duels. For those unsure about the prequels, I will warn you that there are indeed some boring parts, but the action scenes do bring up the intensity quite nicely.
The start of the prequel trilogy is okay, but it doesn’t hold a lot of water comparatively. It lacks the flare that we loved in the original trilogy, and the pace of the plot is a lot slower at times. The characters are awesome, and George Lucas has yet to miss with those, but this movie is longer than it should have been.
The Phantom Menace starts smoothly, with some really great build-up. This build-up doesn’t lay super long, and then we get a really slow middle. The plot really slows down, and it doesn’t have the action we are used to. There are a couple of great scenes at the beginning, and the ending is really solid, but I wished the middle was a lot more engaging. Nothing I would have expected from a Star Wars movie, and a little bit disappointing.
The thing that made this movie still decent was the characters. Anakin is a great character, even with being so young, and our Jedi is fantastic. The slow middle is full of really good character development, it’s unfortunate it was so slow. I really enjoyed watching the origin of some of the most well-known Star Wars, and we get to see a variety of different species from a different viewpoint than the original series.Overall, this movie leaps behind the original trilogy, but it is still a decent movie. Star Wars has yet to put out a truly terrible movie, and this fits that description. The characters make this a much better movie, but to understand the whole series, this is worth checking out.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is a movie I haven’t watched in a long time though I watched it a fair bit as a kid for whatever reason it’s been about 6 or 7 years since I last saw it. I have always personally preferred the story of the original trilogy and that group of characters though I may have let the public perception of The Phantom Menace influence my opinion. However, upon my re-watch of this film, I remembered why I enjoyed it in the first place. To get the stuff I didn’t like out of the way, I was not a huge fan of the pacing in this film as it really started out slowly then picked up for like 20 minutes, and then had a slow middle until the pod race. The character of Jar Jar Binks has always been a hot topic amongst Star Wars fans and after this watch, I can say that he had some funny moments but there were also quite a few times he annoyed me and wasn’t very funny. The dialogue could also be a little stale and boring and while most of the time I didn’t think it was the actors’ fault there were a few odd line deliveries. Now to discuss what I liked, I thought the characters themselves were all pretty good and I wanted to know more about them. As someone who was shown the films in release order ( started with the original trilogy and then the prequels) I really thought it was cool to see a younger Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Yoda. The whole purpose of these prequels was to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker ( played by Jake Loyd) and I liked kid Anakin for the most part. Yes sometimes he could be a little bland and emotionless but otherwise, he felt like a kid. Obi-Wan ( Ewan Mcgregor) was definitely my favourite character in the film and I liked seeing his journey as a padawan. The story is only okay as I enjoyed the whole part of the Jedi being bodyguards but the whole political talk was not my favourite element. The action in this film is quite good and the lightsaber battle that is at the end is one of my favourites and has really cool fighting choreography.
All in all, this movie has some highs and lows but I definitely see it in a more positive light than before and am happy I saw it again and would recommend watching it with the other Star Wars films. So hop on Disney+ and head on over to a galaxy far far away.
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