Skip to comments.The Phantom Menace: was it THAT bad?
Posted on 02/13/2012 8:42:27 PM PST by nickcarraway
In the dock, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace stands accused. Counsel for the prosecution is Neil Smith. Counsel for the defence is Jonathan Crocker. Court is in session!
The Phantom Menace has the dubious honour of being perhaps the most despised film of the last 20 years. With expectations sky-high following everyone's favourite sci-fi trilogy, Part I, for many, failed to deliver the pure thrill the Star Wars universe promised in the 70s and 80s. George Lucas must have instantly regretted the inclusion of infamous alien rasta Jar Jar Binks.
With The Phantom Menace coming to cinemas in a new 3D re-release (The first of all six movies' 3D versions), MSN Movies held a debate. The question: Is The Phantom Menace that bad? Counsels Smith (prosecution) and Crocker (defence) have delivered their statements below. YOU are the judges. Please offer up your verdicts in the comments!
COMPARISONS TO THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY
The Prosecution The main difference between the original trilogy and Phantom? There's nothing at stake. Where Star Wars began by plunging us headlong into an intergalactic civil war in which entire planets hung in the balance, Phantom involves a dreary trade dispute in which the only things up for grabs are figures on a spreadsheet. The original trilogy charts a young man's rite of passage from humble farm boy to heroic knight. Phantom, to quote Simon Pegg, is "a veiled whine about having to pay taxes". The first three pictures are fun, fast and epic. Phantom is slow, confusing, meandering and dull.
Choreographed by Brit stuntman/swordmaster Nick Gillard (Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, Henry V, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, Wanted), the three-way "Duel Of The Fates" isn't just the best sword fight in any Star Wars film, it's one of the best sword
(Excerpt) Read more at movies.uk.msn.com ...
People still watch movies?
Phantom Menace didn’t merely suck. It suckedy-suck-sucked. It defined “suck” not for merely Sci Fi, but for movies in general.
It was certainly my least favorite of the 6. It serves the purpose of being a good setup for the series, but just isn’t a good movie, especially in the context of the others.
“Attack of The Clones” was ‘good’. “Revenge of The Sith” was great.
Episode 1 should have been about adult Anakin slowly turning to the Dark Side and the birth of Luke and Leia, while the next two should have been the building of the empire.
It can be argued that Jar Jar Binks was potentially harmful to any reasonable person, but outside that, I don’t think so.
I saw Red Tails on Saturday. It was worth the 2 hours and $6 it cost me.
I’ve seen better sci-fi movies parodied on MST3K.
I can’t even remember the name of Liam Muslim’s character...not even one letter of its name...
Movie was so utterly forgettable.
Why is making a mediocre movie the strategy to make gobs of money? Wouldn’t one be more likely to make more money by making a good movie?
>Phantom Menace didnt merely suck. It suckedy-suck-sucked. It defined suck not for merely Sci Fi, but for movies in general.
You took the words out of my mouth...
It was brutal. I wanted to fight Jar Jar Binks and the little kid. Full out MMA fight. How they ruined Star Wars and Indiana Jones is beyond me.
Guess who thought last weekend, and wrongly, “No WAY can JarJar Binks suck as hard in 3-D as he did in 2-D”?
Because they included dumb things like Jabba the Hutt, then in episode II they made Boba Fett a major character, they had the Pod race just to make a Pod Racing video game. The entire series was made to make the die hard Star Wars nerds go crazy by explaining the origin of every character, and also so they could release dozens more action figures and vehicles.
If they truly wanted to introduce the 3D experience, there would be large fans moving air so the audience could truly experience how much the movie sucks and blows.
I bought episode III when it came out but I never saw it in the theater. I thought I would start collecting the whole saga. I did not care for episode III. It was boring. I never bought another starwars movie again. I saw episode I in the theaters opening weekend. I think I liked it. Its hard for me to keep them all straight in my memory. But I think the only part of episode I that was lame to me was the scene where Yoda has a light saber fight. I laughed at the screen in the movie theater when that scene came up. I don’t know who wrote that scene but they should be shot. Yoda is supposedly the most advanced jedi master of all time. He should’ve just made one extremely fast lightsabre move and that’s it. Fight over.
I’m afraid to watch the Tuskegee Airmen portrail in public...I fear inaccuracies that I would have to respond to. I’ll PM you in the morn.
I’ll be contrarian and say that I much preferred TPM to the other two prequels. It’s visually beautiful and several scenes (the early underwater scenes and the pod race) have a sense of wonder about them that I don’t find in the other two. The lightsaber fight with Darth Maul at the end is as good as any in all six movies. In fact, even though the original trilogy are all better films, many of the scenes are clunky and visually uninteresting compared to TPM.
If Vader had killed Jar Jar Binks in “Revenge of the Sith”, I’d have spotted him all his subsequent evil deeds. If he had polished off those damn Ewoks in “Return of the Jedi”, I would have proposed him for sainthood.
The ONLY thing good in Phantom Menace was Darth Maul.
Jar Jar Binks. Nuff said.
Quai Gon Jin
Actually, besides Maul, the only thing good in Phantom Menace was Watto. Tough to find an Italian running a chop shop in a galaxy far, far away, long, long ago.
You need to see this:
Clearly you haven’t seen Star Trek 5 or Battlefield Earth.
However Attack of The Clones sucked worse.
Until I found that if you cut every scene with Anikin and Whats-her-name until they are hauled into the arena it is actually not that bad.
Bottom line for me: Between episode IV starting in 1977 and episode III in the new movies, Lucas destroyed his own story. So many inconsistencies, it’s not funny.
For one: Obiwan did not know Luke had a sister. Only Yoda knew that. But in episode III he is there to witness the twins being born.
I also felt, like others, he made Darth Vader way too young for the one we knew in the beginning. By the new storyline, Vader would barely be 40 years old in episode V. I don’t buy it.
The best part about the prequels is the rise of Senator palpatine. This part of the story is done almost entirely in the background, though, so you have to suffer through the foreground along with it.
Jar jar was an unfortunate case of target demographic pandering gone horribly wrong. In the first films, the ewoks were targeted towards pre teens and Lucas got away with it because the audience was in fact teens and pre teens. Jar jar fails because he was also created for pre teens, but the phantom menace audience was much older, they were original viewers of star wars now grown up.
“Jar Jar Binks “
The dreaded Space Basset....
I've also felt Lucas' timeline made no sense.
I think it's a bad joke for Lucas to keep re-releasing his films and changing them - Greedo didn't shoot first.
I don’t even waste my time with new movies anymore. Nor do I watch any of that garbage that can be found on the alphabet channels.
“...just how MONMUMENTALLY STUPID the Jedi council was...”
You have to go no further than six or eight Jedi masters, including Yoda, sitting in a room with Chancellor Palpatine, and not realizing they’re within 10 feet of a Sith Lord.
Episode 4 - Awesome
Episode 5 - Awesome
Episode 6 - Muppet Movie, Crappity Crap Crap
Episode 1 - There are no words in the English language to describe how unbelievably sucky this movie was. The closest ones I can think of would not only get me banned from FR, but also off the entire internet
Episode 2 - (see episode 1)
Episode 3 - Still horrific, but did have some good scenes
And even then, Lucas handled it very poorly. What should have happened was that Anakin and Amidala got embroiled in a public sex scandal with their babies, which was verboten with the celibate Jedi. Anakin gets tossed out of the Jedi Order, is enraged, Palpatine picks him up, and then sends him back to the Jedi Council, where he breaks bad as Darth Vader, wiping out Windu and most of the other Jedi masters singlehandledly, with only Yoda escaping his wrath. Cut then to the battle with Obi-Wan, who manages to somehow overcome Vader at the lava pit.
THAT's what should have happened in Episode III.
One more thing on episode 6, I had the overwhelming urge to run up to each and every one of those muppet ewoks and kick them like a football.
On episode 1, for young Anakin, and Jar-Jar, I was thinking more along the lines of wood chipper, then hydrochloric acid bath, followed finally with a few metric tons of magnesium fire started with with a good charge of thermite.
Since I cannot do those things, I think I will take my rage from the destruction of a cherished childhood memory out by doing some mailbox baseball at George Lucas’s house.
Well, time for my evening tea.
Yeah, the Jedi Council got exactly what it deserved.
I’m more a Trekkie fan overall. But as I sat watching Jarears the Space Basset in the theater, I thought one thing. The franchise is dead.
And to many of us who grew up on the originals, it basically is. No, not financially, but as a ‘classic’ story it’s forever damaged.
Lucas killed it for cash. Personally I’d have been great with the fortune from the first three, my legacy assured. Not that idiot. Well, hope he feels it’s worth the tradeoff.
“And to many of us who grew up on the originals, it basically is. No, not financially, but as a classic story its forever damaged.”
You know the interesting thing, if you talk to anybody under 25, they almost unanimously prefer the new trilogy to the old one.
They grew up on 3D games. The first movies are not flashy enough for them...to ‘fake’ in the FX dept.
I understand why, though I still think they are idiots ;)
“too” fake...God I keep typoing that word lately....
I agree with you about Amidala and Anakin but what really set me off as being odd from the start was wondering how an entire planet could elect a fourteen year old "Queen" and leader.
Yup, it should have been an older, maybe even middle aged Anakin Skywalker still learning the ways of the force. Maybe a nice little move would have been to have him still wearing a similar armor, as a member of the Jedi Order fighting in the clone wars. We never see how he got so badly disfigured by the new trilogy, but only given the sense that it was through years and years of constant combat in the service of the emperor after falling to the Dark Side.
There are dozens of ways to have made a better prequel trilogy, but none of them were used.
Probably the most sickening part for me was when they introduced the Midiclorians or whatever. They basically reduced the whole philosophy of the Force, as laid out by Yoda in Empire Strikes back, to something utterly materialistic, inane and anti-spiritual. Leaving things as mysterious is far better.
Same here, the heck with the new ones. Besides, everybody knows ‘Ming The Merciless’ would whip up on Darth Whatever any day in a light year!
Why it sucked:
1. Jar Jar Binks.
2. Demystified the Force into “biology”
3. Obi-Wan’s history with Vader/Anakin completely depleted of meaning from Episode IV.
4. “There are only two can be.” Only TWO evil Sith Lords!? What? Really!? What fun is that? What is the point of a whole buncha Jedi, and why can’t a whole “buncha” Jedi find two Sith, take them down, what have you? (and don’t give me that “clouded” b.s.)
5. Locale, ship designs, sets, etc., don’t match up with the old series. Ships are generally unoriginal. I mean, come on! A silver SR-71 Blackbird!
6. Waste 1/3rd of the film on a “pod race” when there were obviously BETTER ways to gain parts for the ship. You’re a Jedi! Who says you couldn’t use the mind trick on other parts dealers. Did Qui-Gon really believe Watto when he said no one else had the parts? Hah!
7. Robots with EMOTIONS! They quiver and tremble in the midst of battle? Send them back to the factory! Get a refund! And what a waste of this type of AI on a BATTLE droid! Where are the big menacing droids like IG-88, the bounty hunter.. (I am so revealing my nerdiness here).
8. Sith can learn all kinds of really cool moves, yet can’t block a dude from jumping over them, then getting them from behind. Really?
9. Oh, yeah, let’s make said Sith look like... the DEVIL! Gee, do you think he’s evil? I’m not sure. Never sure what his motivation was. He never did much, only looked menacing. What revenge is he talking about...
10. “Yippee!” “I wonder what this does!” “Spinning, that’s a good move!” “Look ma, no Jedi training!” KABLOOEY!
I could go on....
In related but irrelevant news, the European cold snap brought snow to Tatooine last week:
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