And now we’ve reached the point in our reviews of every Star Wars movie where we discuss some of the most disliked content in the franchise, the prequels. This era kicked off with The Phantom Menace. This is also where we’ll kick off the review, so let’s backflip into it.
This chapter in the Star Wars saga introduces a new war between the Galactic Rebublic and the Separatists. In the middle of this war are two Jedi knights, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn. Together, these two warriors protect a Queen, find a young boy with great potential in the force, and uncover a sinister plot by their sworn enemy, the Sith.
Let’s get the bad stuff of this movie out of the way. If you’ve seen The Phantom Menace, you’ll know what I’m gonna say. The movie has a plot that’s riddled with over complicated space politics, too much lore that goes too far into explaining the force, and a lot of childish humor. Another problem is in the film’s characters. There’s so much focus on useless characters, like Jar-Jar Binks, that there isn’t enough screen time for the more intriguing characters, like Darth Maul. Most of the acting in the movie is either gratuitously overplayed or just bland.
Now let’s get into the better elements of The Phantom Menace. Even though he didn’t get enough screen time, Darth Maul is one of the most intriguing and intimidating Star Wars villains. To this day, he is still a fan favorite character. When the plot eventually moves along, the film actually has some exciting action. The pod race is a fun showcase of the franchise’s updated visual effects. While the battle between the Gungans and the droids came off as goofy at some points, it had a unique design for the trooper portion of the overall final battle. The Phantom Menace also brings us one of the most intense lightsaber battles we’ve ever seen. The fight between Darth Maul, Obi-Wan, and Qui-Gon is just as visually beautiful as it is emotionally griping. All of these qualities have the perfect topping of John William’s phenomenal score. His music creates a peanut butter and jelly combination with these set pieces to help build the pacing of the overall movie.
Let’s face it, The Phantom Menace is far from being the best Star Wars movie, but it has plenty of likeable qualities that make it a watchable addition for both fans and new comers.
For the rest of our Star Wars reviews, stay tuned to Geek Motivation.