Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Quick View:A Long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, society is on the brink of war. Can two Jedi ambassadors and their lucky aquatic friend save the queen and stop the trade federation from enslaving her planet?
Full Review: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace is the first installment of George Lucas’ Prequel trilogy of his successful space-action-fantasy adventure saga, Star Wars. This epic, although delivering in action and family friendly entertainment, suffers from its use of CGI and, well, family friendly entertainment. It’s comic relief comes off as obnoxious to anyone above the age of 8 and the story seems more akin to the holiday special then the previous 3 Star Wars films. That said, the movie overall makes a good watch for any Sci Fi fan
wishing to marathon one of their favorite movie sagas.
The story follows Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi as they fight their way through the droid armies of the trade federation to rescue the Queen of the planet naboo. they escape, only to find themselves stranded on the planet Tatooine. With the help of a gifted youngster, the motley crew find their way to Coruscant, home of the galactic republic, where they petition the senate to send aid to Naboo. The Queen, with the help of the Jedi, return to Naboo to fight the trade federation and free the people of the planet. All goes well until they encounter an enemy thought long gone: A Sith Lord.
Overall the characters and their development differ from case to case. In the terms of the jedi, we get to see more of their style of dress, their demeanor and what it was they did for the Republic. This is some valuable insight which we were missing in the original trilogy. Despite the best efforts of Liam Neeson and Ewan Mcgregor, we were still left victim to Jar Jar Binks and his insufferable insanity. We get it George, you want to make something the kids will love, but was this really the best way to do that? Although many fans might disagree, I was actually pleased with Young Anakin Skywalker and his curious nature. It makes sense if you are gonna take a character and tell his story you should start at the beginning. The cast did their best to work together, and although overall the story was good, a certain alien creature kept making what should have been a good start to a good trilogy a miserable show of bad, childish humor.
The settings throughout the show are beautiful, and the guys in charge of location surely got it right. The unnecessary level of CGI in the film can sometimes take away from the scenery, but overall the film was very, well, pretty. The space fights were action packed and fun to watch, even with young Anakin’s less than amazing commentary.
The final battle between the Jedi and the Sith lord Darth Maul is by far the highlight of the film, and after the shocking final scenes of the fight, we are treated to what fans have been waiting for for 30 years: Obi-wan taking Anakin by his padawan. If you are willing to look past the shoddy CGI and poor dialogue for some characters, the movie delivers in its mandate to begin the trilogy, and is far from as bad as many fans claim it to be. Maybe it’s my bias, having grown up with the film, but overall it really isn’t that bad.
Final Score: 7/10