I have seen this movie seven times now, once at the theater and six times on Laserdisc, and I really must say that this is a great science fiction movie. But nothing else. To call this a Star Wars movies is a almost a mock on the original trilogy, which I have seen about 30 times each now. It has none of the magical storytelling that the other movies have.
Like I wrote earlier, it is a great science fiction movie. It has a good story with magnificent special effects to back the story up.
I think that it was a GREAT mistake to take the Jar-Jar Binks character to such lengths. I didn't find any of his so-called comic releaf the least funny. What I found the funniest thing about the movie was, once again, C-3PO. Especially when 3PO introduces himself to R2, when he says "What do you mean naked?" and then "My parts are showing?". I found that very funny indeed.
Something that I don't understand though is why did Jar-Jar go with Qui-Gon and Padme (Queen Amidala in disguise) to the city on Tatooine. Jar-Jar is a creature that is used to and lives in a very wet enviroment. Since his people live in the underwater city. Wouldn't it almost be torture for a creature like that outside in a desert enviroment like Tatooine? I guess he just came along to act as further comic releaf.
I sincerely hope that Lucas ditches that character unless he will have some function for the story. I would think that Jar-Jar only has a function in this movie when the action takes place around the plant Naboo. He did have a function to bring the Naboo and Gungan peoples together to defeat the trade federation. But other than that was he just a nuisance.
It didn't make me feel the same way as the original films did. None of the awe and wonder we saw in the first movies with colorful characters like Han Solo, Darth Vader, Yoda (who only has a minor function here), Governor Tarkin, Jabba the Hut, Boba Fett. And with wonderful ship designs like the Millenium Falcon, the Death Stars, Tie Fighters, Tie Bomber, Darth Vader's Tie Fighter, Darth Vader's flagship in The Empire Strikes Back, Cloud City. I guess the lists are endless. I didn't find any of this in this film. The ship that Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, the queen and everyone else traveled in was obviously a computer generated ship. It didn't even have a scratch after being shot at by the blockade.
I found that the actor who did the best work here was Ian McDiarmid who played Senator Palpatine and Lord Sideous, I suspect. I found this to be the case when I noticed the music after the forth time. Every time Lord Sideous appeared, the Emperor theme heard in Return of the Jedi is played. And since we all know that Senator Palpatine became the Emperor later in the story, we must assume that Senator Palpatine is Lord Sideous. He is obiously acting like he is very protective of his queen, but very discretly and with much finess manipulates the queen when she is on Coruscant.
There is also another wonderful scene when Anakin says goodbye to his mother. That is a heartbreaking scene with Anakin showing his reasons for becomming Darth Vader later in the story, his fears that he won't see his mother again. It is my suspiction that the Emperor/Senator Palpatine works on this in addition to his love for queen Amidala to make him give in and become his evil apprentice and work with him to eliminate almost every Jedi.
I have been writing enough now. But I must say again that is a good movie on it's own. But if you have been raised on Star Wars, like I have, I think you will find out that it is nothing compared to the original films.
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