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on April 5, 2000
My friends say i'm not a true "Star Wars" fan because i absolutely loved "The Phantom Menace." I guess that is their way of telling me that they didn't like it. I felt the film did a fine job serving as the first episode of the saga. First off, in rebutal to what others may have claimed, the movie didn't exactly have "loose threads" in the story. In my opinion, i saw them as open doors for what is yet to come in Episodes II & III. Second of all, i had no complaints with any of the actors or their performaces. Ewan Mc Gregor and Natalie Portman are just getting warmed up as, the young, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Queen Amidala(mother of Luke and Leia). Liam Neeson's performance as Qui-gon Ginn was as noble as his character was meant to be, from the start of the story to his untimely death. Many people complained about Jar Jar Binks. I never had a problem with him or the Gungans. I didn't mind their comic releif at all. In fact i was more dissappointed when an army of Ewoks defeated the imperial stormtroopers on Endor. Others have also complained about Jake Lloyds performance, I felt he played his role very innocently, just as his character is. Ray Parks' performace as Darth Maul was one to definitely pay attention to, adding some stunning light saber work to the film. I was really happy to see R2-D2, C-3PO and Jabba the Hutt again. New characters such as Watto and Sebulba, were instantly classic. The new computer generated characters, blended in perfectly with the human actors. Some may have felt that some characters lacked the depth of other "Star Wars" characters, but why should there be another Han Solo or Chewbacca? They are in Episodes IV, V & VI. I think the charcters will really come to shape in the next two episodes and people will recosider the characters of Episode one. See the awesome effects. Hear and feel the great sound effects, as well as the awesome, John Williams, score. See it for yourself and enjoy it. I urge those who weren't immediately pleased in the theater, to go back again and check it out on video and look for the things that they may have missed before. As a fan,i feel that the widescreen version is a must, the bonus documentary, art book and film strip are great bonus. I seem to enjoy it more and more after each viewing. The only thing i find dissapointing, is having to wait two more years for the next episode and another five for the third. Until then, i will enjoy "The Phantom Menace" over and over(as well as the other three).
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on May 26, 2005
I saw this film on theatrical release in and was very disappointed. Of course, alot of the disappointment initially had to do with the incredible hype build-up that accompanied the new trilogy. Nothing could have lived up to the public's expectations.

That having been said, The Phantom Menace is disappointing not so much because it stinks, but because, I felt, with some additional tweaking, it could have been much much better. Its almost as if Lucas got the plot ideas and character concepts developed to a schematic level and then sort of lost interest in them and did not develop them any further.

Specific gripes:

1. We never really bond with or understand Qui-Gon's character or his relationship with young Anakin. He states that he thinks Anakin may be the chosen one, but that is not really sufficient. We need to see an emotional bond or some kind of identification between the two, but it just isn't there.

2. Not to pick on Jake Lloyd (he's probably a great kid), but Lucas or whoever just did not get a good performance out of him. Plus, there is no hint in young Anakin at this point of character traits or flaws that might later foreshadow his fall. Yoda says he sees anger and fear in Anakin and the Jedi Council make vague predications that he may eventually be dangerous, but we as audience members just don't see it. We are supposed to infer that Anakin is somehow damaged by his life as as slave and subsequent separation from his mother, but again, we don't see any of this. His life as a slave doesn't seem to indicate any hardship; his big scene saying goodbye to his mom is not particularly moving (mainly due to wooden acting by Lloyd; Pernilla August as his mom does a good job thought). Also, if he's a slave, how does he have time/resources to build robots and pod racers? Just not very true to life.

Perhaps if we had seen Anakin and/or his mom subjected to some sort of abuse or exploitation we would have a better indication both of the fear and anger in Anakin and also a potential emotional reason for why Qui-Gon wants to rescue Anakin. When I reflected on it, I thought it would almost be better if Anakin were like the feral boy in Road Warrior II: an unkempt, unclean, and agressive character that had to be somewhat tamed and civilized by his Jedi rescuers. We don't see any character flaws, any little hints of selfishness, anger, fear or frustration. As is, young Anakin is just an average cute kid; we don't see any depth to why he wants to escape his life as a slave or run off to join the Jedi so we don't really care.

3. Source of humor: The original series had a mix of humor based upon the droids 3PO and R2D2 and also with the human characters (primarily interactions between Solo, Leia, and Luke). In TPM, the primary source of humor is generated from droids and Jar Jar Binks with little or no humorous banter or interaction between human characters. This has two effects: 1)relying on computer-generated characters for humor means the primary form of humor becomes physical slapstick, which is one of the main complaints about the Jar Jar charcter; and 2)the interactions between the human main characters, when deprived of humor, makes their relationships seem dry and mechanical, another source of the shallow characterizations.

The one humorous moment that stands out is when, after being ambushed by the Trade Feds at the beginning, Obi-Won says to Qui-Gon with a wry smile: "Well, you were right about one thing Master....the negotiations were short!" This one moment stands out because it is one of the few jokes between human characters and it works and expresses some of Obi-Won's personality. It also effectively echoes some of the banter and attitude that made Solo's character so liekable and crucial to the original films, an attitude and sensibility that is lacking in TPM. As is, we are stuck with Jar Jar's pratfalls for yuks, and it just doesn't work unless you are 5 years old.

4. The shallowness of Darth Maul: Similar to other problems with character depth, we don't know enough about Maul. He says early in the film that at last he will have revenge on the Jedi. Revenge for what? We never know beyond vague notions that the Sith and Jedi are ancient enemies. That is not enough. We either need to be shown more back story on this or have some reason for Maul's motivation. His fight scenes with the Jedi at the end are dynamite and clearly the actor is very skilled in martial arts and projects a menacing attitude with only minimal dialog or screen time, but we never really know anything about him other than "he is a bad guy" and that is not enough.

5. Plot goofiness. As others have pointed out, all the midi-chlorian business is a red herring of mumbo-jumbo that takes the mystical mystery out of the Force and reduces it to a medical condition. The Jedi are supposed to be wise, powerful seers, but them seem oblivious to the presence and intentions of the bad guys over and over again. Having young Anakin build C3PO is silly and seems like a forced "circle closer". Further, having Anakin start out on Tatooine doesn't seem right and seems like another circle closer that is forced. Wouldn't he remember all this years later as Darth Vader in Episode 4? Wouldn't there be some result of this coincidence? As noted above, having a slave that doesn't seem to be deprived or suffering and has the time/resources to build robots and pod racers as a hobby seems goofy too.

Again, it seemed to me like Lucas got the plot and characters to a certain point and then quit on them. With only a little extra effort or different emphasis on certain elements, the movie could have been much improved and the audience would have had more insight into the characters and identified with them more. As is, the lack of character development combined with wooden acting makes it hard for the audience to care. The special effects set pieces are spectacular, and the computer generated elements are pioneering and well executed, but without a reason to care about or like the characters, its hard to get too excited.

Again, not a horrid movie, but frustrating because with just a few changes or extra effort, it could have been so much better.

POSTSCRIPT (2011)to my original year 2005 review:

This movie does not get better with time or repeated viewings. Further, the contention of some fans who like this movie and claim it should be viewed in the context of the other films (now complete) is not only a misguided apologist stance, but outright doesn't hold water. Why? Because if you compare TPM to any of the 5 other SW films, it is clearly the idiot bastard son of the bunch, wheezing and drooling in the corner.

In review, I give credence to a theory that a lot of other reviewers have given: in essence, Lucas was boiling everything down in this film to aim at the 5-year-old to 8-year-old demographic (probably to sell toys and mechandise, the real unexpected treasure that the original trilogy coughed up back in the 70's and 80's) and, as a result, bored everyone else to tears and/or made older fans hopping mad. However, huge stretches of this movie are so slow-moving that I bet a lot of the the target audience squirmed around in their seats anyway.

The second theory that other viewers have posed that seems to ring true with me as well is that Lucas is in a position now where he's THE MAN and, as a result, has no one around him that is willing to bring up constructive criticism to him or challenge weaknesses in the plot, script, or characters. Back in the day, while the original SW was certainly his vision, that film had to rely on a far more collaborative process to get made and address the many challenges its making entailed. With TPM, Lucas had total personal control and it seems like no one around Lucas had the guts to say: "George, we need a good kid actor to play a central character like Anakin, not some cutesy wooden mop-topped kid from TV commericals" or "Damn, George, that Jar Jar is irritating as hell!" or "George, did you realize all the aliens seem to be stand-ins for offensive real-life planet Earth racial / cultural stereotypes?" or "All the scenes with Kabuki-Natalie are boring boring boring" or "This movie is all-CGI and no plot and no character depth!" or "This movie is full of jumbled-up crap that makes no sense!". Further, modern movie technology further consolidated control with Lucas in that the 1970's technology required many people's input to solve technical problems and was far less malleable; modern CGI allows Lucas to personally review, tweak, and endlessly revise every aspect of the film just the way he wants it.

In a nutshell, there is a reason that the Irvin Kerschner (R.I.P.)- directed "Empire" is widely viewed as the best of the 6 films. How Lucas could see dailies of some of the performances he got out of his actors in TPM and not realize things stank or, at the very least, weren't working is beyond me, unless he was constantly surrounded by lackeys and toadies saying "That's great, Mr. Lucas! Not explaining anything about Darth Maul makes him sooooo mysterious! Having Jar Jar be a moron who speaks like Stepin Fetchit is really cool! He needs more screen time! You're a genius!". In retrospect, I wish that Lucas had handed over all the remaining films from "Return" all the way thru the newer Pre-Quel trilogy to others with Lucas only having an overall story arc / consulting role.

I know that Lucas is irritated by fans who act as if he "owes them" to handle all these movies a certain way (its HIS vision, as I'm sure he'd point out), and maybe it is unfair to whine about how Lucas could have / should have directed the story a different way. But the fact is that TPM is not a very good movie, and regardless of quibbles about overall direction of the story line, Lucas did owe it to fans to at least not make a stinker-roo that not only insults fans above the age of 8, but really tarnishes the legacy from the first trilogy. Lucas seems to think these movies are only for kids now, and has, at least in the case of TPM, clearly targeted them accordingly.

However, while I guess one could argue that adults should only go to see films like "My Dinner with Andre" or the oevre of Ingmar Bergman and leave anything less mature and intellectual to the kiddies, the fact is millions and millions of adults went to and enjoyed the first trilogy (and other action-adventure-fantasy films) and it is not unrealistic to expect millions of adults would have some interest in the Pre-Quel trilogy as well. Further, it is not unreasonable to expect those adults would have some expectation that the Pre-Quel trilogy would not only have something worthwhile for grown ups, but would also build and expand upon, in a worthy way, the original trilogy that was so well-liked. Lucas, frankly, dropped the ball on this one; contentions that it should be enough simply because it sprang out of Lucas' mind and vision are not sufficient.

One could even argue that Lucas now has more contempt than anything else for his adult audience and for the fanboys who gripe about things like "How could he make Greedo shoot first?" (the big Special Edition tweak that many felt was a poke in the eye.) Lucas seems to go thru great lengths to tweak things that don't need it and then ignores or is oblivious to things that are huge, infected carbuncles staring him right in the face, like crappy dialog, unrealistic plot devices, bad casting, and wooden acting. Its almost as if with TPM he's saying "Grow up, already! Trix are for kids! Don't forget to buy your kid a Happy Meal with an authorized LucasFilm toy on the way home!"

In short, Lucas seems to be taking his own films far less seriously than his fan base (and probably movie goers in general) does, and it clearly irritates the crap out of him (and/or he doesn't understand it). However, it also irritates the crap out of his fans and the audiences who loved the movies of the original Trilogy and expected more of the TPM. At worst, as some other harsh reviews have pointed out, TPM seems like just another cynical Hollywood-as-usual souless big money cash-in; was it so wrong for fans to expect something more than that? Until TPM, everyone felt that the Star Wars series was somehow different from the myriad of sci-fi / fantasy effects-laden movies (many of them awful; others: naked cash grabs) that its success inspired and spurred from 1977 onwards. The Star Wars series seemed to have a spirit of its own. The reason, whether Lucas understands it or not, for the vitirol spewed about TPM is many fans felt this "special-ness" was betrayed or sold short (either out of laziness, sloppiness, ineptitude, or worse, greed).

In short, TPM is a stinker. I surmise that even though he seemed to discount it in the press, Lucas took some of the fan reaction to TPM to heart as he stepped his game up somewhat with (the marginally better) AOTC and certainly with the much better (and darker, natch) ROTS. (Granted, no one is going to think ROTS was directed by Kubrick, but you get my point). Too bad TPM seems, still, like a serious and uncertain mis-step, almost like a rough draft concept that should have been abandoned and re-done from scratch. "Super Special Edition" anyone?
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on March 5, 2000
When I first heard about these prequel stories back in 1980, I have waited since for this movie to come out. And now...here it is-here it is, indeed... Well, I must confess this Star Wars installment dose not have that same "edge" if you will, that the Classical Trilogy has. The acting by Jake LLoyd and Natalie Portman was not up to par-hardly. I think much more screen time should have been given to the evil Darth Sidious and Darth Maul- and less screen time given to Jar Jar Binks. Truth be told, this movie has more of a Disney look (shudder) than being a Lucasfilm. Now, with that said, there are redeeming factors to this motion picture as well. Clearly, the Pod Race scene was fantastic, cut straight from the grandiose cloth of Ben-Hur. The Lightsaber scenes-Federation Trade battle droids, Tatoonie desert, and finally Darth Maul on Naboo-were Magnificent. Also, the underlying plot with Senator Palpatine subtly manipulating the circumstnaces so he can position himself to become Chancellor was also impressive-an area which Mr. Lucas should of have greatly focused on. Finally, the scenes with Jedi Master Yoda(Frank Oz returning as Yoda's voice) were very welcoming. With those redeeming characteristics, I give The Phantom Menace 4 stars in the overall sense. And it must also be kept in mind that this movie is the set-up movie for the rest of the Star Wars Saga. Now as we go into Episode II, everything is now in place: Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious, if you ask me)is Chancellor. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are starting a friendship while the seedlings of romance with Anakin and Amidala have been planted. Just as the trailer pitch said "Every Saga Has a Beginning..." That is exactly how one should look at this movie-A beginning; a set-up story for something larger to come. Yes, Episode I dosen't own up to the substantial quality of the Classical Trilogy, that is certain. However, with everything taken into account, it does serve it's foundational purpose for those movies and the coming Episodes. Watch it as it is-the opening story to a larger saga-and enjoy.
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on February 25, 2000
Well, my confidence in the "critics" has gone downhill since this came out. They have been panning and trashing this movie since it came out . . . and they're totally wrong! Am I a little biased? Maybe. I was 12 when Episode IV (the original Star Wars) came out and it had a profound influence on my future interests. The problem with the "critics" out there is that they seem to put up blinders when they see this movie, totally forgetting that it is 1/6th of a huge epic. In doing so, they will miss many of the subtleties in this movie. So many things are set up in The Phantom Menace that half the time I found myself scanning Episodes IV-VI through my head trying to fit the pieces together...I have already been postulating events in the next two installments. George Lucas is a master world builder! I was afraid that he wouldn't be able to capture the look and feel of the originals. Boy was I wrong. When John Williams' music kicks in, the the familiar scrolling intro rolled by, I was transported back to 1977 all over again. This is definitely Star Wars! The lightsaber duel at the end was phenomenal, and the pod racing scene is incredible. The next three years waiting for Episode II is going to be grueling. GREAT FUN! Just remember that this is 1/6th of an epic, the Trade Federation ISN'T the enemy in this film...and Yoda pretty much says exactly what's going to happen to Anakin and his mom in a later movie while talking to Anakin in the Jedi Council Chamber. There's more at work here than meets the eye.
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on October 15, 2001
For some reason, I received this DVD several days before the issue date, so when the weekend TV promotions for it claimed that it would set "the new standard for DVDs," I was qualified to nod my head in total agreement. In fact, nothing in my DVD collection matches the quality of this superb product. It is a great transfer in every respect, and the extras are mind boggling.
Unlike most people who will buy this DVD, my viewing of it was also my first viewing of "Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace," because I never caught it when it was in the theaters. I had read and heard all the negative reports, though, countered by some enthusiasm from diehard Star Wars fans, so my expectations weren't very high as to the story. My expectations as regards the visuals were very high, though, because of trailers that I had downloaded from the Net, and this DVD did not disappoint me.
I'm sure that seeing this movie on the big screen would be much better. It always is. But even on my 17" Sony computer monitor (set for anamorphic, full resolution) the visuals are lavish and astonishing. The pod race and the climactic battleground scene look so real ... well, they look real! Incredibly real! Even when paused and advanced a frame at a time, the pod race action looks like the real thing. In the real world, objects racing past a camera lens produce a blurred image that is more blurred the closer to the camera, less so as the distance increases. In order to be convincing, animation must do the same thing. The sorcerers at ILM have done this to perfection, combining real images and computer generated ones, matching surround sound to the action, and giving us so many simultaneous tracking movements our heads begin to spin, as though we are riding one of those wild, carreening "pods" through the jagged stone walls and screeching over the desert race course.
But enough about "special effects" (I hate that phrase). What everyone seems to carp about most is the story...and the actors, especially the young actor chosen to play Anakin Skywalker. More about the story in a minute. Let's talk about the boy first. I admit to long being mystified as to why this particular youngster (Jake Lloyd) was chosen. In the previews I had seen, he seemed dull, uninspired, almost disinterested. Viewing the actual film, I was of much the same opinion at first, but he did start to grow on me. It was only later, on viewing the multitudinous "making of" documentaries on disk 2 (see especially "3000 Anakins"!), where his auditions can be compared to those of two other boys, that I began to realize that he had actually been an excellent choice. What, then, is the reason that his on-screen performance seems at times so lackluster? After viewing this film, I firmly believe that the true culprit was sloppy and careless directing, not this inexperienced nine year old boy. In many of the peeks we get into the actual filming sessions, there seems to be an attitude of "let the kid be himself," with apparently the first take often being accepted as good enough because he's satisfyingly "unpredictable." This not only seems to have been the case in the direction (or lack of it) of young Lloyd, but in many of the scenes that did not include him. Having seen the kid's audition, I believe he was probably capable of delivering a great Anakin, but he was rarely if ever challenged, coached, or directed to do so. Result -- mediocrity that is by no means the kid's fault. He was only nine, so the fault must lie with the adults, and it plainly does. Jake's performances are by no means the only wooden ones in this movie.
Now to the story: I didn't fathom it, but this incredible flick is so entertaining in all its many other aspects, I really didn't care. In truth, I'm not a Star Wars fan. Never have been. So when that mob of oddly dressed wooden characters began babbling about Senators and treaties and Federations and other such mish-mosh, I gave up, relaxed, and just enjoyed the music and the backgrounds. A second and third viewing of SW-I will probably begin to clear things up for me -- but really, the action itself is so appealing, an actual story would seem almost an impediment to the enjoyment of this visual and sonic tour de force.
If you're a Star Wars fan and know the basic story and all the characters, then you will pick up on that aspect of things a lot quicker than I did, and will enjoy this movie again and again, I'm sure. But, from my point of view, it is a tribute to George Lucas and all the immensely talented people who gave us this treasure, that a detailed story isn't really all that necessary. For the casual viewer, just having a rough idea of what's going on is enough. The pure visceral experience of SW-I is worth four stars alone, and that's what I give "The Phantom Menace."
Technically, though, the DVD transfer is a solid 5 stars. In terms of bang for the bucks, it's off the scale!
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on March 23, 2000
OK OK I was expecting so much more. But let me tell you this,Alot of the Pre-Reviews I bought into.OK it cost alot of money to makeand Hype this Movie.I went by myself to see it and the one thing that stuck in my head from the reviews was hate Jar Jar.And I admit by myself he got on my nerves.(could be I was paying to close attention)and the thought of him being computer generated Oh well that did it. What an idiot I was two weeks later when I took my5 year old and 3 year old to see it. News Flash Jar Jar is COOL! I hardly watched the movie because I could not take my eyes off my boys. They loved it and so did I.Lucas is a genius. I have already ordered my copy. The story line is perfectthe eye popping effects are the best. it moves just fast enough to get you hooked and ends just in time to leave you wanting more. For my kids sake I hope they bring Jar Jar Back. Hey if you really hated it try it again with some kids around. See what happens, I loved the effect.
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on February 8, 2000
As I strolled through the Regency 20 theaters on May 22, 1999,(with a jumbo pack of Twizzlers and large Sprite, my standard movie going fare) my anticipation was high. My imagination was filled with child-like delight. My eyes twinkled like the prom queen's...ok, maybe that's more than you NEED to know, but nevertheless, I was positively enthralled with the chance to view before my very eyes, Star Wars: Episode 1-The Phantom Menace. The movie was, without a doubt, the most hyped and anticipated presentation in cinematic history, prompting people to even wildly erupt in thunderous applause when the 2 minute TRAILER was shown months earlier(I even heard one person exclaim "REWIND IT! ")....But how would it stand to the discriminating critique of Joe Lunchpail and Sally Housecoat? Judging from the word on the street, you'd think this movie was more disappointing than "Showgirls". But the box office receipts say otherwise...Personally, I LOVED the movie, but then again, I'm ALSO inpressed by the savagery of vultures fighting over a raccoon carcass. The movie was nothing more than an introduction to the storylines to follow. No, you will not find any gripping and compelling dialogue, although I do admit to being a little choked up when young Anakin(played so Culkin-like by Jake Lloyd) has to leave his mother. Like many a movie, it is eye candy du-jour, with it's lush vegetation, desert landscapes, and your standard dogfights in space. And THAT is why this movie is fun to watch. You even get to see the Jedi's preference of corpse disposal towards the end of the movie. It has it ALL....While I'm sure that Episodes 2 & 3 will be more spellbinding and satisfying to those who prefer more Shakespere and less shooting, this movie is more pleasing to the eye. We will see more bonding between Obi-Wan(Ewan McGregor), and Anakin(which I pray to GOD will not be played at any point and time by Leonardo DiCaprio), and hopefully we'll see more of Mace Windu(Samuel L. Jackson, 'cause even in SPACE, there's gotta be a brotha' throwin' it DOWN on the bad guys! )...But this movie is DEFINITELY worth your while, even if to just hear the entrancing and soothing sounds of a swinging lightsaber....
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on October 10, 2001
It was said that Star Wars wouldnt make its way to DVD for years to come. However the demand grew so intence, Lucas decided to feed our hunger, if only for a little while. I got this DVD early from a friend who works at Blockbuster...so i was very excited to be amoung the first to own this film on DVD.
Everyone has seen Episode 1 so I dont need to go on about the movie itself, but the special features instead.
Disc one has commentary with George Lucas and Crew, but no cast memebers. That itself is the only dissapointing thing on this DVD. It would have been nice to hear Liam Neeson, and Ewan McGregor talk about the experience. Also George Lucas pauses for long periods of time, before speaking again, I started losing interest into what he was saying, and more interested in watching the film again.
Disc two has all the good stuff, outside of the movie. You can view the deleted scenes seperately, or they are intergrated back into the movie, if you can catch them. The film itself has many extended scenes at Corousant, and The Pod Race at Tatooine. Each deleted scene comes with an interview with Lucas explainging why it was cut and so on.
The rest is all normal features. There are 5 documentaries and a bunch of other toys to play with. Its really a great DVD, with hours of fun. Also each time you put it in, the menu screen changes to a different scene. Its really nice looking.
It sounds great, picture looks great. Feels like your back in the theatre again..all you need is movie popcorn.
GO GET THIS ONE.
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on June 12, 2000
Like so many others I waited fingernail biting for many years. Also like many old fans I was left sorely disappointed. Now I kept my expectations relatively low for the new movie-and still it was bad! (Really bad) Most of my friends desperately wanting to keep Lucas venerated had "it was alright/ had some cool effects" to say, only to later join my much stronger "I hated it" stance. I've heard plenty of negative criticism without some specifics, so here are some of the problems with Lucas' blunder as I see them:
-THE TARGET AUDIENCE: (it was kids!) Now I know the desire was to keep Star Wars available to all ages, but this failed. The original movies were mature enough in dialogue, mood, and detail to enthrall older ages, yet still accessible to younger ages (Darth is evil). This movie though, is kept accessible to its target audience while neglecting the majority of its fans.
-THE COMEDY: (cheap laughs and clowning) In keeping with making a children's movie, Lucas had to ensure that all of the comedy could be understood, therefore physical buffoonery was the only out. Would it have been too much to include some subtle banter (or any verbal comedy) like that found in the other movies? (and capable of entertaining audiences older than twelve). Really though, does anything more need be said than Jar-Jar? I don't think so.
-THE VIOLENCE: (can't have the kids see any) Now not that I advocate violence for its own sake, but in this film its a mix of clowning-robot breaking-safety. The first five minutes of A New Hope are more violent then this entire movie- Vader parading over the fallen bodies of the storm troopers and rebels (and this was '77, not the desensitized world of the millennium). Violence can be used as a tool to produce mood, enforce the gravity of a situation, or (as Lucas likes) a chance to have a clown dance around making light of a 'war' (I guess because we wouldn't want our target audience to become upset at all the violence)
-SELF-CONTAINED WORLD: (it was not) The movie has placible accents (that are also painful) and connections with the 'real world'- i.e. the steriotypical comentators during the pod race.
-THE CHARACTERS: (because I care) The characters and their interactions are boring and cardboard. The enemy is not built up at all. Sure old Mal looked pretty nifty, but what is he? The villain- he dies- oh well, whatever, nice and one sided (after all, the target audience will get it). The same emotional impact is felt when Qui-Gon dies: "oh well".
-UNBELIEVABILITY: (suspension of disbelief has limits) Anakin is in his fighter plane, avoids dying, and accidentally shoots what turns out to be integral to the station and thereby winning the battle being 'fought' on the planet. I'm sorry I just couldn't work with it.
-ANAKIN"S FOREIGN TOUNGUE: (why? why?) Petty, maybe. Integral to the story, no. Annoying? Hell ya! Whose idea was it to have Anakin speak his rhyming gibberish? Were they going for the 'hey this sounds made up' sound, or the 'are they doing this on purpose?' sound?
I apologize for not going into greater detail (because believe me, I could) but these are some of the more prominent problems to a movie that I would plan to watch again only to find all those faults that have been forgotten since seeing during its first week.
My conclusion: Lucas has become drunk with success and lost his mind.
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on December 20, 2005
when i first saw this film i loved it,and i always remember the

light-saber duel beetwen darth mual and the jedi's. but now

after wacthing it a few times i have seen that it really wasn't

what it could of been. the film was made up of crummy dioluge

some action and an ending that wasn't wprth the watch. also the film should have focused less time on jar-jar binks! he is a completly stupid charecter. the film although bad did have it's good parts and such.

this movie is rated PG for sci-fi action\violence. the film deserved the rating,[like any other star wars] and the violence was kept mild. there was no languge kissing or any thing of that sort. it was not a scary film at all but it might not be the perfect film to take youre 4 year olds to.

overall the film was not what it could have been and totally worse than the old trilogy.
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