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Why George? WHY?
The travesty that is The Phantom Menace is one of the biggest diasppointments in movie history in my opinion. For a movie so hyped, so anticipated by a whole generation of people I at least expected it to be entertaining and some-what good. But no, Georgle Lucas just had to take a masterpiece and crap all over it and produce the Phantom Menace.
We all know that the prequel saga is all about Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader and betraying the jedi. But this movie barely touched on that subject at all. Instead it focused on a boring trade dispute that achieved no emotional reaction from the audience (they could have at least showed some Nabooians struggling in poverty not being able to get supplies or something), boring political issues and a villain that we don't really know the motive of.
The character of Qui-gon Jinn was the only relatable character in the film. He was the guy who saved the queen and freed the kid from slavery and we were all sitting there thinking 'wow, Qui-gon's the man!' all while Obi-wan twiddles his thumbs and occasionally had a dull throw away line. Obi-wan did survive this film and as such should have had a more important role to try and get the audience actually caring about what happens to him.
Anakin was just a kid they found on Tattoine who we were supposed to believe was special in some way. He never really displayed any extraordinary ability other than a proficiency with machanics and good reflexes (which nearly every character in the movie had). The pod-race was cool however although drawn out and the scene where he leaves his mother was one of the few times throughout the entire film where any character showed emotion. But I was extremely disappointed that we couldn't see Anakin and Obi- wan really bond. Or maybe just not like each other at first and develop a friendship. We're told in all the other movies that Anakin and Obi-wan are hte best of friends but we never really see how that came about. And an 8 year old kid falling in love with a 14 year old queen. PUH-LEASE, at least a teenage Anakin would be relatable to the audience. But no. They went with an 8 year old.
The Jedi council scenes and the senate scenes were just so dull I could barely stand it. The council could spposedly see a darkness in Anakin, but we were just meant to take their word on it, we never see anything foreshadowing Skywalker's transformation into Vader. In the meanwhile Palpatine is just shown trying to gain more and more power from the senate, and that was all political mumjo jumbo that had all the kids watching running off to play with their toys or something.
Darth Maul was a character I thought had loads of potential but GL again gave him about 3 lines in the whole movie and we never get a motive for his actions. It's just he's working with Sidious and he hates Jedi. Deal with it. His death at the end of the film irritated me too. If Maul had survived I would have been far more interested in the sequel. Obi-wan had just seen his master killed by this Sith, in a scene I give props to as being truly epic, but, he would be angry, upset and emotional. Something that he didn't display much of throughout the movie. It would have led on to maybe some great battles between them in the future and given me a cliff-hanger that excited me for what was to come. Much like GL did with Empire.
Finally, I couldn't understand the tone of the movie at all. IN the scenes that were supposed to be dramatic, Jar Jar wold come alone and do something stupid to try and get a laugh from the audience. It totally ruined the mood because I'd get all nervous about one thing, next minute I'm watching Jar Jar juggle electric balls in the middle of a battle. It just didn't fit.
There were only 3 good things I could take from the picture. - special effects - The music - a few decent scenes like the pod race or the lightsaber battle at the end.
But overall I was extremely disappointed with TPM. I prefer to pretend it never happened and Star Wars is just a trilogy.