FEEDBACK - upNXT Movie Review: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Hey yo! To celebrate May the 4th… The BDE will be reviewing the 1999 Star Wars prequel: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Post any comments or questions here to be read on the podcast!
May the 4th be with you, always.

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Gary from Dallas.

Phantom Menace came out when I was 14. I had been a massive Star Wars fan as a kid but missed the theatrical releases of the original trilogy. I did see the “special editions” when they were released in 1997. But it was really the books, comic books and video games that kept my interest in the series so high as a child. The news that there was going to be a new Star Wars was huge to me. I remembering clapping the first time I saw the trailer in a theater and I wasn’t alone! The hype for this movie was huge.

And as a 14 year old I loved it. I saw it five or six times in the cinema the summer it came out. It had what I was looking for. Mind-blowing special effects. Amazing lightsaber duels. An incredible John Williams score.

As I’ve grown older the problems with the movie have all become glaring (Jar Jar, wooden acting, weird plot decisions like Anakin being born from the force??? wtf). But I’ll always fondly remember my passion for it in 1999 and that it kept the Star Wars saga alive for another generation.

It also still has the greatest trailer ever:

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Yep, Woops. Fixed hah!

Still remember when this movie came out in 1999. It was star wars mania all over again. Every news outlet was reporting the event of those long line up of fans camping in front of theaters to be the first to see this movie. It was my generation version of the original star wars mania.

I actually saw 3 times in theaters and i really loved it for the most part. Sure jar jar binks was annoying but outside of that, it was your typical star wars movie and i had high hope for the rest of the trilogy.

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Michael from Newfoundland

Me and my buddy, Todd, skipped school for the day to watch this opening week. Among the prequels, I consider it the best. I still remember the hype behind it, from the constant commercials, trailers, best cans, and music video. As a kid in grade 9, I was all in. I will never say that the prequels were good. They were CGI-laden spectacles with slightly more logical story-sense than current Michael Bay films. But I have a soft spot for episode one, it was fun for what it was.

#podracing

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By far the worst Star Wars movie ever along with attack of the clones.

To get an honest opinion from the two of you. You need to watch this clean and sober. No smoke or drink.

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Crap. It needed more Darth Maul to make it bearable, but they just kept him on the sidelines until he had to die.

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I remember when tickets went on sale, I went in line the week earlier to the Silver city at St. Vital and the line was already out to the back of the Wal-Mart on the other side of the mall. It was the same story a week later when we lined up for the movie itself. Going down the line on the day of, you saw a love seat with an improvised tv and DVD player playing the special editions of the original trilogy. That was how insane it was in Winnipeg at that time. As for the movie itself, I thought it was o.k., but not the spectacle I was hoping for in a Star Wars movie. Yes, I found Anakin super annoying (Yippee?) and podracing was a bit of a waste of time trying to play to the element of NASCAR fans at the time. The best parts were of course, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, figuring out how Palpatine is going to screw everyone over, and Darth Maul. Jar Jar, however, in hindsight is somewhat more sympathetic with what they wanted to do and both the limitations of technology and the writing of the character to be the friendly kid attraction, that obviously backfired. In retrospect, episode 1 is a movie that plays like a kid’s movie, that a lot of fans forgot in that was it’s purpose. A 7 out of 10 droids.
Rich in Winnipeg.

This movie came out when I was in grade 9. My friend slept outside the local theatre, didn’t come to school and bought me a ticket for opening night. A far cry from buying my assigned seat ticket for Endgame on this magical device called a “smart” phone today.

I was so excited seeing the THX opening combined with the Lucas Arts graphic. Jar Jar hurt that excitement and the pod race made it worse. Not the worst movie I ever saw but a disappointment overall. Great score, the best lightsaber battle ever and Ewan Mcgregor is good in everything he does.

Are you guys stil planning to review all the movies sequentially ? Its a nice stroll through memory lane as I was also in high school for @TheBrayD’s favorite movie Attack of the Clones.

Thanks Guys!

Tyler from Orlando,

I was 3 years old when this movie came out, I’m a young one… for now.

This prequel trilogy was the Star Wars I grew up on so I have a warm heart for these 3 movies but of course even I can admit the original 3 are superior.

Phantom Menance seemed like it included so many politics, the young Anakin was a woeful part of the movie. I’m sure the kid tried his ass off & after all he is a kid, but it just didn’t work. Darth Maul is actually my #1 favorite character in Star Wars, he was excellent in the clone wars series & I’m interested to see his next involvement since he came back to the big screen in the Han Solo movie! I give the movie 4/10

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Imran from Huddersfield

Putting it out there - this is the best of the prequel trilogy. However, that is more of an indictment of how terrible Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are then anything else.

This is still a really bad movie… the plot is convoluted, the trade federation and Jar Jar are just bad, and actually - for a Star Wars film - it’s kinda boring.

However, it does have great music, and the final lightsabre battle is fantastic. In fact, the single best scene in any of the prequels is in this movie - which comes after Darth Maul has killed Qui Gon and he and Obi Wan are silently staring at each other separated by the electricity field - like two samurai’s waiting for battle. It’s a great scene that totally puts you in the moment, ramps up the expectation and, crucially, has no George Lucas dialogue whatsoever.

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Chris from Queensland, Australia.

I watched the 2011 Blu-Ray edition from the box set “Star Wars: The Compete Saga”.

Well nothing says exciting 2-hour movie more then a trade blockade and galactic politics. But in all seriousness I still enjoy this movie, even if it is thought the rose tinted glasses of a 10 year old self watching this on VHS.

As for the movie, it does still seem to be so slow in part’s when compared to other movies in the core series. But what the film may lack in an exciting fast paced story they make up for with amazing music and incredible cinemaphotography, even the 90’s CGI stand’s up relatively well when compared to other major film’s of the era.

The whole thing about the Midi-chlorians and the “Chosen One” always bothered me, like how can their be a chosen one to bring balance to the force the when the Jedi Council said themselves “the Sith have been extinct for a millennium”? Another thing is the visual age gap between Padmé & Anakin always bothered me in this film, probably because I know what’s to come and one looks about 18 while the other looks about 8.

Yes the dialog is wooden, Jar Jar Binks in beyond annoying, and the whole plot isn’t great, but George Lucas was trying to establish the universe before “A New Hope” did a remarkable job for the short time of what he wanted to do. In some TV shows & Film’s trying to wright a beginning when you already have a ending rarely works out spectacular. But it was nice to see some backstory to so many who would appear later (or before) in the Original trilogy.

All in all a good film, “3.5 Qui-Gon Jinn’s out of 5”!

I know for the Prequel trilogy & the Sequel trilogy of film’s it won’t really matter what version you watch, but for the Original trilogy of films there are some major changes which can effect the viewing for some.

I agree nothing from prequel is good.

I think AOTC and Phantom Menace is a toss up for the worst. So do think Revenge Is better even though it has it flaws as well.

Revenge does at least have a bit of Human Vader and the Emperor and Yoda fight was neat. Agreed that the whole Ani to the dark side felt rushed and Order 66 was dumb but overall it had some nice opening action sequences and showed some real evil by Vader that did make it better than the other two.

That being said the death certificate on the Padme reading “lost will to live” would you think at least demand the cornor perform an autopsy.

Charbel

My mom brought me to see Star Wars the phantom menace in theather and this movie blew my Mind , it’s also the first Star Wars movie my wife and daughter saw and it’s that movie that grew their interest for Star Wars !

I remember my father bought a Dolby surround sound system and me and my friends were always watching the pod race and the last Jedi fight scene ! This movie for me will Always have a place in my heart !

Last thing obiwan is my favourite character , in the comic or the animated tv show the clone wars or star wars rebel they developed him so much and he will always be my favourite ! Best obiwan fight is when he kills darth maul on Tatooine with a epic samouraï duel !

Thanks guys hope you review everything before the ep 9

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Jesse from the 6

Good things about this movie:
“Duel of the Fates” is perhaps the best John Williams Star Wars composition.
Darth Maul looks cool.

Bat things about this movie:
Every-fucking-thing else. Annoying and semi-racist caricatures. Unbelievably dry dialogue. The faces outnumbering the heel in the final fight scene. The creepy decision to have Anakin’s future wife meet him when he was like 10 and she was…18? And that godforsaken pod racer sequence. Ffs did this movie need a stricter editor. As for Jake Lloyd who portrayed young Anakin, I don’t think it’s right to say mean things about a child . . . buy my god did this kid fucking suck.

Ultimately, I think it’s appropriate that two wrestling podcasters are reviewing this film because there are several parallels between George Lucas and Vince McMahon. Both created a captivating universe with larger-than-life characters and both knew how to market their work, particularly to children. But neither can write dialogue for shit, neither can seem to obey the basic rules of storytelling, and neither has any concept of what relatable human characteristics are. And most crucially, neither have had enough people telling them “no”. They’ve also both got worse with age.

Take Care

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Genutz from Parts Unknown, Weight Unknown

I was hyped for this. And liked the underwater stuff. But it was so boring. The Plinkett Reviews are highly recommend. 2/5 trade federation blockades.

But the podracing N64 game was good.

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Paul from New Jersey

I was never into Star Wars, I’m just not that kind of nerd, but I can acknowledge and respect why people like it so much. I remember my mom and dad asking if I wanted to go see it with them and decided to do so. I recall looking around the movie theater seeing so many excited people. The excitement turned to doom and gloom about halfway through the movie. I can’t lie, I got some sick enjoyment out of it, however that movie did suck. I thought the pod race scene was cool, but everything else not so much. Very few likable characters. Anakin was a little bitch.

BG from St. Albans.

I remember this film mainly for one thing. Darth Maul getting… CUT. THE. FUCK. IN. HALF!

Ha ha, eat it you Sith Bitch!

Apart from that, it’s fairly average and as I’ve watched it it over the years, it really does re-enforce the point that we are all born innocent.

And Natalie Portman is terrible with her weird accent.