Chris Stuckmann: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Chris Stuckmann reviews Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

About ChrisStuckmann

Quick, funny reviews of movies and games, new and old.


  1. May the 6th be with you!

  2. DUDE. That podracer game. The only racing game I ever enjoyed. THANK YOU for the shout-out! I am also apparently the exact same age as you, so it’s interesting to hear your perspective. 🙂

    • TragicGuineaPig

      I had the PC version; it was awesome! I don’t know whatever happened to my copy of it, but I’d love to be able to dig it back out again. ASSUMING I could bet it to work on Win7.

  3. P.S. I always thought of the main character as Padme, but that was probably because I had a book which was basically the entire plot of the movie through her eyes–I remember that book as being pretty awesome and really liking her as a character because of it, but I’ll admit that I haven’t re-read it (or re-watched Episode 1) in ages.

  4. Aren’t the Jedi are the ones in power in this movie? Bringing balance to the force sounds like something they would want to avoid since it would making the Sith their equal. Why isn’t the move more about that? For that matter what does Anikin do to bring balance to the force? It sounds like the Sith were well on their way to doing that on their own.

    • Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Bringing about balance/order to the force would mean tipping the scale out of the favor of the light side users. QuiGon wasn’t smart enough to realize that the light side users had the upper hand already and instead only saw a prophecy “needing” to be fulfilled and committing himself to it through Obi Wan.
      You’re also right about Anikin. He never brought balance to the force, he merely helped tip the scale in favor of the Sith.
      The whole midichlorian thing was dumb and the script should have been rewritten to leave it out entirely. We could have all heard that Anikin was “born out of the will of the force itself” and been fine with that even if we didn’t like it.

      We could well have had at least an A- grade movie but we got George Lucas’s vision instead. Oh well. At least we still have the original trilogy.

      • Do you people don’t have basic knowledge about Star Wars lore?

        In short Jedi are all about balance. Light Side aren’t opposite force to Dark Side, those are simply different way to approach force which is only one. Jedi simply meditate about force, when Sith try use it to own gain.

        Reason why Anakin bring balance to the force was because Sith’s in that time use only conspiracy and newer step outside shadows. They were efficient to the point that Jedi were unable to track them, but they influence corrupted whole republic and tip balance of the force. This would continue until they would succeed, but because of Anakin they decide to do frontal move faster, considering him as final advantage what backfired in end.

        • Rezro, look at the first sentence of your reply and ask yourself – do you grammar?

        • Eh, my own first sentence was poorly edited from what I originally typed.

          And, no, I don’t know Star Wars lore. I saw the original 3 movies and that’s all I know about the setting.

          In any case it seems bringing balance meant reducing the number of people that could use the force down to 4. Obi-wan, Yoda, Vader, and robed guy who I never understood who that was. Which was rather evenly balanced. Then Luke disrupted it again and it was pretty much just Yoda since Luke himself wasn’t even that good at it.

          • That theory used to hold water but the EU and now the Disney continuity both blew that right out of the water. Besides that though there’s always been the problem that at the end of ROTJ Vader would have unbalanced the scale again when he killed the Emperor and died leaving only one fully trained light side user. (Although it’s fairly easy to argue that Luke is one of the most balanced Jedi ever.)

            Besides that, there’s just too many inquisitors, secret apprentices and hidden Jedi around the galaxy for that balance argument to make sense. It becomes a lot clearer when you learn that Lucas sees the Dark side as a corruption of the Force’s natural state. The Jedi let the Force guide their actions and the Sith wrestle for control with the Force and make it bend to their wills. (This is generally necessary for Force lightning though a few Jedi have found ways around this with a similar weaker variant)

            The EU’s largely not canon now with the new movies but for years the balance argument didn’t make sense post-Vader either because Luke went on to create the New Jedi Order which for a long time kept the Sith greatly reduced in power very similar to the Rule of 2 period in the Old Republic. Half of those Sith threats were Sith and dark jedi which were still around when Vader was which throws off his alleged balancing act even more.

            Lastly as of ROTJ Luke actually was a fully trained Jedi. It was film technology that portrayed him as anything less than a master lightsaber duelist. All tie in material shows Vader being surprised by his strength in Djem so and Luke would (and likely will in ep 7) go on to become an extremely powerful force user on the level of Yoda. Keep in mind that he is only one generation removed from the Jedi with the most force potential in history.

    • TragicGuineaPig

      He kills Palpatine at the end of ROTJ.

      As for the balance thing, as someone explained it to me, it’s because the Jedi strive for balance, whereas the Sith embrace the extremes. The Jedi see themselves as the guardians of the balance, whereas the Sith, when they act, disrupt the balance. When there is relative peace – i.e., when there are no Sith to battle – the Jedi are content just to sit back and maintain the status quo; it’s only when the Sith are starting wars that they feel it is their obligation to fight back and stop them.

      But then again, I don’t completely agree with the yin-yang aspect of Jedi philosophy anyway.

      • Probably because there is no such “Yin-Yang” in this story. Light and Dark Side are just colorful descriptions for kids. This philosophy was more well think then that, and most of concepts were better described if someone was interested in the lore. In fact this philosophy was tinkered through time and we could say that there was not only one Jedi order in history, and some of them have even radically different approach to this idea then people think.

        For example in KotOR series Jedi were douche gentleman club who didn’t care about anything, not to mention that in fact later Jedi order was created by rouge Sith who has large change in philosophical approach to the force.

      • It’s a good thing KotOR, a game that came out after the Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, gave us so much lore that affects nothing about the movies. Maybe it doesn’t matter how well thought out the philosophy in the EU is when none of it’s in the films. Especially when most of those are people sitting around chatting with plenty of opportunities to better explain that stuff instead of saying Darth Vader built C3PO and Yoda used to hang out with Chewie. It’s almost like Lucas himself didn’t care about the lore and told a bad story.

        But all that Expanded Universe Jedi nonsense is for children who don’t get the real deal and mature storytelling in the Star Wars universe. When you’re ready to join the grownups, you turn to Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure.

  5. WOW. This is PERFECT timing. I JUST saw it yesterday for Revenge of the Fifth. I used to LOVE this movie. Yeah, it wasn’t as good as I remember it being… I mostly had problems because of the pointless comic relief. I last saw it when I was like 8. If you cut out most of those stupid scenes, I would say it’s an average movie. I mean, Padme’s outfits are wonderful, the score is great, and Darth Maul is great. The battles are dumb but fun. In my opinion, it outweighs the bad… by 2 hairs. 🙂 Can’t wait for your future reviews.

  6. To be quite honest I don’t think the prequels are terrible. Just mediocre compared to the original trilogy. They had some great moments. Though a lot of bad ones as well. I still like Revenge of the Sith despite it’s flaws.

    • What most people miss is that most haters don’t hate plot as it was know from book from ages, just Lucas did horrible missteps in this movies. Yes, it was mediocre and most flows could be easily avoided. People expect great movie and it should be great movie, but no.. Lucas go wild!

  7. Hey Chris, good review and I actually don’t hate this movie out of the prequels (that’s reserved for Attack of the Clones).

    I remember in 1999 when this movie came out and me and my college friends camped out in a mile long line just to see this movie. I remember we all came out liking the movie, but I did rewatch it when the Blu Ray set came out and it definitely wasn’t as good as I remembered it. I surprisingly didn’t hate Jar-Jar until the internet made a huge mockery of him in that same year.

    • TragicGuineaPig

      My roommate and I went to see Phantom Menace on day one: and we watched it in an empty theater. No kidding!

      • Oh wow! That must have been nice!

        I remember the 97′ re-releases of the original trilogy were moderately packed, but the prequels were always mile long lines for me. I expect Force Awakens to be no different.

        • TragicGuineaPig

          I think it was because all the nerds in costumes went to the midnight showing. We went to an early afternoon showing. By then, I think the real fanatics had already seen it and were on the internet bragging about it, and everyone else was at work.

  8. The Phantom Menace does have problems, but I can still sit down and enjoy it. Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor are great in their roles, Darth Maul kicks ass and Duel of the Fates is some of the best music in all six movies.
    Truth be told, Jar Jar Binks doesn’t bother me that much. I’ve seen far more annoying characters than him in other movies. Not to mention, I still say that The Phantom Menace is better than Attack of the Clones.

    • Yes, but Lucas should already know that people hate Evoks already, but no.. more Evoks, frog-Evoks, robo-Evoks, and completely screwed romance with lack of chemistry, what is unforgivable in something with “opera” in name of genre.

      Anyway it isn’t horrible, but such series should be amazing. Even in 90’ties we still have better standards then 70’ties and Lucas still couldn’t reach level of something what form start was just heroic fantasy in space witch 70’ties movie tech. Too much CGI and crappy comic-relief, too less epicness. That is problem of new trilogy.

    • I have to agree with pretty much all of that. The movie has entire swathes which are pretty great. It’s more of a cohesion problem between them than anything in particular. Ep2 was far worse than 1. I just watched through the prequels again yesterday with some friends and Ep3 catches way too much flak because of the hate bandwagon. Watch the interactions between obiwan and anakin again side by side and it’s like night and day. If episode 3 got the relationship right then the Clone wars series perfected it and pretty much removed all of the problems Anakin had in the films. People like to pick out Jar Jar and while he doesn’t bother me much either I can sort of see how he could be really annoying (Though not to the levels “fans” seem to believe.) But however you feel about him you have to admit that when the public voiced their concerns George dialed the character right back to about 4 appearances in the next films, and while it’s easy to joke about how the Empire is directly his fault; who else would have put forward emergency powers besides him? We know none of the senators except Padme, Bail Organa and Mon Mothma(deleted scene) and all of them would have connections to the Rebel alliance in one way or another.

  9. Excellent review. I like that it gives you a good impression of the film without going as long as the Red Letter Media review (which is probably the definitive review of this movie).

  10. how i felt with Final Fantasy 8… tried convincing myself for 2 years that it was a good game.

  11. I was disappointed with Phantom Menace but I always knew it was never going to be as good as the original three movies. So I was able to see that it’s still an enjoyable movie and not half as bad as people like to make it out to be.
    Attack of the Clones is absolutely atrocious! And Revenge of the Sith though better than Clones was always going to suffer from following it.

    If I was going to rate the 6 Star Wars movies out of 100 it would be something like:
    Jedi – 100
    Star Wars – 98
    Empire – 97
    Phantom Menace – 70
    Clones – 33
    Revenge of the Sith – 65

    There are worse movies than Clones out there:
    Alien 3, Jaws: The Revenge, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek V, Star Trek: Generations and many more.
    But for a Star Wars movie it’s just horrid!

    • TragicGuineaPig

      Empire was always my favorite of the bunch. Some of the dialog of Jedi was a bit hammy, and Empire, for the most part, just felt more natural in its storytelling. I still enjoyed Jedi when it came out, but after watching them all so many times, Empire is just my favorite.

      • Empire wasn’t directed by Lucas, that is probably it is best in trilogy. Though if we ignore Evoks and some minor flaws, Jedi is more epic overall.

        • Empire has the issue of being the middle of a story and not a story in its own right.
          It’s still great don’t get me wrong. It’s just that Star Wars and Jedi are strong enough to stand on their own and Empire simply isn’t.

          As for Ewoks – Yes a lot of people don’t like them now but when Jedi came out they were HUUUUGELY popular!
          Yes the original plan was for them to be Wookies and Endor to be Kashyyk but we can see how that would have panned out from Revenge of the Sith {Oh so badly – Worst part of that particular movie!}.

          Star Wars and Empire are both in my Top 10 movies and will probably remain there for as long as I live but Jedi vies with Zulu for the #1 Spot.

          It maybe that I can actually remember seeing Jedi at the Cinema when I was 7 years old whereas obviously I could only see Star Wars and Empire on TV and VHS {a couple hundred times each!} until I was 20 and they were re-released to Cinemas but Jedi is simply unsurpassable in my view!

          P.S. Lucas didn’t direct Jedi either. That was Richard Marquand.

          • TragicGuineaPig

            Ah, but here’s the thing: it was three years between the release of Empire and Jedi. So for three years, Empire was the last bit of story we got. We had to wait a good while before we got to see the conclusion. We actually had the anticipation and speculation, wanting to know what was going to happen next. We couldn’t just pop in the next DVD and keep going. I guess what I’m getting at is that we had time to appreciate it for what it was: the next episode in the series.

  12. I just don’t get it. Everyone seems to complain about the “politics thing”. Some other reviewer even stated “who wants to see politics in a Star Wars movie?”
    Goddammit, this movie was to explain how the Star Wars started! There needs to be an explanation of the politics behind it and in my opinion Lucas wrote a very good political plot about this. I don’t think that he had the political situation in Europe and the European Union in mind when he wrote it, but so many times you watch our politicians here doing something, you just think: “That’s like in Star Wars.” And often enough I can bring phrases from the prequel trilogy that fit perfectly in real life situations (my favorite is “This is how freedom dies. With thunderous applaus.”).

    What is this ignorance? We don’t care why there’s a war, let’s just have battles going on without knowing why? Or even having any reason?

    • It’s more the fact so much of the focus was on the politics. A lot of the scenes could have been cut or as Chris suggest delivered in more entertaining scenes. The politics being there was fine but they didn’t do a good job making them interesting enough to deserve the amount of focus they got.

    • Firstly, the politics were DUMB politics. You should really check out redlettermedia for an expansion on that, but here’s the short version. Why would hooded Papatine be so intent on getting Padme to sign the treaty (at gun point, so it’s moot) if her signing it would undermine his own plan to get the “vote of no confidence” he needed to take over? He ends up getting what he wants BECAUSE his plan backfires. If it had gone the way he intended, it wouldn’t have worked. The Trade Federation would have themselves a sweet, one-sided deal with Naboo (the details of which we’re never told)… and Palpatine would have NOTHING (except maybe a grateful Nute Gunray). This makes him look inept and lucky as opposed to calculating and threatening.

      Secondly, you could have characters explain to each other why there’s a war going on with a few simple lines of dialog. Movies do that ALL THE TIME. We didn’t have to sit there and watch it unfold in slow motion to understand the simple-minded political bullshit.

      • In fact it has explanation. Palatine plan was to takeover republic, for that he need show himself as hard politic who would be capable to stand against crisis, which he as Sith Lord prosecuted on the first place. This work here, and that would work in way to creation of empire.

        Signing trading contract was only excuse to use Trade Federation, but he know that Padme wouldn’t sign such. In fact Darth Maul would eliminate Amidela in order to secure not signing contract. Then he as Nabo senator would make hero from himself. That was the point, but I agree that without context it is nonsensical, and could be made better.

        • Sounds like some author’s desperate attempt to ret-con the movie plot for the purpose of a novel. I’ll give whoever it was props for the effort. It takes A LOT of work to turn the plot of the movie into something that makes sense. But a movie shouldn’t require people to do research before (or after) seeing it.

          • I definitely agree with your point that people shouldn’t have to do external readings to understand the story but at the same time the tie in material has always been very important to understanding the entire story. Stuff like Luke constructing a new lightsaber and training on both Tatooine and on Dagobah take place largely entirely offscreen. The reason Han Solo wanted to leave the Rebels in EpV was explained with one line of dialogue referencing a star wars comic strip story about his encounter with a bounty hunter on Ord Mantell. After the heel turn on Yavin it is a little strange that something so seemingly minor changed his mind again. The only reason it doesn’t seem weird now is that we’ve had decades for us to gloss over it. Also keep in mind that in the main films we only see the beginning and end battles in the Clone wars. 3 years of very important backstory which directly inform how you view episode 3. At the time that was just the multimedia clone wars project but General Grievous’ cough is completely random at the beginning and then just goes away later on (presumably when he’s repaired the damage done to him by Mace Windu’s force crush.)

          • Oh and Shaak Ti as well. They deleted the scene with her onboard Invisible Hand but it is still in the extended cut. That is directly tied into the final Clone Wars episode and required audiences to have seen that to know what was going on. Likely why it was cut but still it’s just one example of many in starwars. Yes this is less of an issue in the original trilogy because the EU was still just being born and didn’t really kick off until Tim Zahn started writing for it but it’s still there.

            That’s why the Disney reboot doesn’t really completely work for anything but future events. (They should have kept anything pre-Yavin intact) Things which happen in the movies, particularly the prequels, requires certain events within the EU to be true because the prequels are partially set within the EU events themselves.

            Prime example being Korriban (Morriban now) Korriban is the homeworld of the Sith and Darth Bane appears in Clonewars. This means that some variation of the EU Bane events must be true as well as most of the Sith origins. Sith magic, Naga Sadow etc.

        • Actaully Darth Maul was just as oblivious to Sidious actual plan as the traid federation. Infact Sidious explictly states that Darth Maul should kill the two jedies and then take the queen back to Naboo to sign the treaty.

  13. You mention how there are many slight changes that could fix this movie and for a while I’ve had what I think is the perfect way to fix midichlorians. And no it’s not the cliche “don’t introduce them at all” suggestion either. I honestly think if done right midichlorians could have brought an interesting outlook on the force, if you have the Sith introduce the concept.

    If the Jedi believe in the mystic ways of the force while the Sith have a scientific explanation of midichlorians you show a conflict in the way these two types of users of the force look at it and it’s up to the viewer to decide who is right. This would of course mean midichlorians not getting mentioned until episode 3 as part of Palpatine’s story to Anakin and would put an interesting new context to the fact that despite being a Sith Darth Vader still speaks of the force the way a Jedi would.

    The problem with midichlorians is as both Jedi and Sith are fully aware of them, how they work and have the power to calculate them it’s canon that there is nothing mystical about the force.

    • I always believe that midichlorians were just indicators of force sensitivity not the source. Maybe I cheat myself, but that is simplest and easiest solution what could be applied in simple dialogue (and point of scene was to test Anakin about sensitivity, and outside that idea was pointless).

      Anyway Jedi aren’t idiots, they know science. Also Sith’s also are sect, just more pragmatical in approach.

      • TragicGuineaPig

        That’s the conclusion I came to as well: the midichlorians aren’t what enable a Jedi (or other living creature) to connect to the Force, or use it, but are rather Force-sensitive creatures who tend to show up in higher concentrations in those individuals with remarkable Force potential.

        Nevertheless, I think the real problem is that the Force is something mystical, and the midichlorians just come across as some way of being able to put it in a test tube. It just doesn’t feel like it’s the best way for Jedi to discover candidates. Maybe have Qui-Gon sense the boy’s latent talents, then maybe ask him a few questions to see if he has any inexplicable abilities, give him a few simple tests to see what he is capable of. And here’s the real kicker: these things could have been opportunity to give the characters some development.

        • Well the Jedi don’t use Midichlorians to detect Force sensitives. They sense their presence in the Force itself. Powerful masters like Yoda can sense them from great distances away and they send Jedi to look for them who have aptitude in this ability. Qui-gon absolutely sensed the latent talent in Anakin and combined with the story of his enhanced reflexes decided to test him. This was not Qui-gon’s specialty; he was noted for extremely powerful mind tricks.

          The Midichlorian test just seems to be to confirm their natural potential. Midichlorians are just blown way out of proportion by fans looking for something to blame for what amounts to merely an underwhelming film compared to its predecessors.

          Originally the Force was more like a martial art where anyone could train in it but this wasn’t really the case even by ROTJ so I don’t really blame them for explaining it as a biological trait in EpI considering Luke explained that the Force is strong “In his family.” If anything destroyed the image of the Force as something wholly mystical rather than partially genetic it was that. If not then why would Leia be any more special in being able to become a Jedi as anyone else in the Rebel Alliance?

          To respond to Rezro; you’re right, the Force was never created by the midichlorians themselves. It gets a bit into the EU but the Force is essentially two parts but the practical application one is the Living Force which Qui-gon Jin followed allowing him to become a Force ghost. That is generated by all living things and can be manipulated like any energy.

  14. Is it just me or should have Anakin been 14 or 15 years old? Just would have made a whole lot of sense in a few scenes.

    • I doubt it – In the original script for Ep. IV, Luke was supposed to be about the same age as Anakin was in Ep. I. But they couldn’t find a child actor capable of pulling off the role. Think of some of Luke’s early lines as delivered by a 10-year old: “But I need to go into town and pick up some power converters!” It sounded whiny even when Mark Hammill said it, but it’s a line that would fit much better to a younger actor, which is indeed what they’d originally intended. Now of course, in Ep. I they still couldn’t find a good enough child actor, but they went with it anyhow…

    • Yeah… It doesn’t quite have as much “OH WOW! A KID WHO POD RACES!” to it, but if they’d gotten someone older there might have been a little less creepy weirdness with Amidala, and they might have actually, I dunno, DONE something with the character that was actually interesting in the first film. I mean, I am one of the people that can enjoy the politics focus here, and even likes Jar-Jar (le gasp!) but I can certainly admit that the prequels were less than perfect. Heh, the original trilogy was never perfect either, though.

      • Well I mean she is only supposed to be 14 in EpI which is a little weird I guess but when you get to 13 years later in EpIII it’s a lot less so. But keep in mind that in EpI at best it was a one-sided affection from Anakin and despite the stilted dialogue in EpII it still came across that way at the beginning. After all Padme simply moved on with her life and became a Senator. In Anakin’s own words he’d been dreaming about her for 10 years during Jedi training.

  15. Left to right, left to right, left to right – Ever watch a NASCAR race? That’s pretty much exactly what it looks like. The only way you’d see it going the other direction is if you were inside the track loop, and they don’t have seats there, so that’s pretty accurate to many real-life racing events.

    My problem with the pod race scene was the same as my problem with the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Goblet of Fire – these are supposed to be spectator sports, so where are all the spectators? You see them at the very beginning and end of the race, but most of the exciting action happens in the middle of a barren desert (or underwater, inside a hedge-maze, flying around the castle for the GoF equivalent). So the fans have to just kind of sit there waiting for 20 minutes until the racers come around to where they’re sitting? Seems like a pretty boring way to spend an afternoon…

  16. After watching Plinkett’s review a dozen times or so, I realized who the main character of the movie is. It’s Jar-Jar.

    He’s introduced at roughly the same point in PM as Luke was introduced in Star Was. He’s there for most of the crucial moments (more so than any other single character). He has one quarter of the climax dedicated to JUST him (as far as established characters go) and he’s the only one in the movie with an arc.

    I think George was trying to sneak this in under the radar. We all know he hates having to have actors to deal with. I think MAYBE that was his attempt to start edging them out. To show how we didn’t really need them to make movies. But nobody really even noticed the attempt because they were so busy complaining about how awful Jar-Jar was.

    • Except that Jar-Jar WAS still played by an actor, both in voice and mo-cap. So it’s really more just showing off a “look what we can do!” sort of thing. In many ways, the techniques used to create Jar-Jar ultimately led to more well-done characters like Gollum in the LotR trilogy. Jar-Jar was actually very impressive from a technical standpoint at the time. It’s too bad the character was just so completely unlikable.

      • Yeah, I’m aware there was an “actor” there. I’ve actually read an interview he gave 10 years later about the fallout from being Jar-Jar. As I said, I believe this was George’s “ATTEMPT to START edging them out” though reality made it impossible for him to do that without using a human to some degree. But if he could’ve gotten the other actors to look in the right place without using a guy with a Jar-Jar hat on his head… AND if he could’ve used some kind of synthetic speech synthesizer for the dialog… oh yeah. He would’ve been all over that.

  17. Your review was spot on! I really like it!
    Regarding the pod race scene, I had never noticed the left-to-right thing you mentioned. It is really weird. However, there might be a reason for it (which happens to be the same reason for sidescroller games such as Mario to always be left to right). We percieve going left to rght as progressing, going forward. As far as I know we are just wired that way. Your point stands though. In such a long scene there is no reason not to explore other angles and more diverse takes.
    One thing that has bothered me about the pod race scene for years now and I never saw pointed out in any review is about the shots facing Anakin. He does the exact same gestures to turn his pod left and to turn his pod right. They didn’t even bother to mirror the image, they just tilted it the other way. It is a small continuity detail and it bothers me more than it should.
    Regarding Mauls death, I think it is representative of one of the greatest flaws in the prequels. The abscence of a recurring vilain. The OT had Vader. In the prqueles we have Maul, Dooku and Grievous. None of them is well developed or explored in the movies. They could be great characters if given time to develop over the movies. One of the things that make the prequels lackluster, for me, is the lack of a real antagonist. Nobody is antagonised in a personal level in theese movies. And that is a real shame.?

    • Hit the nail on the head with Maul. Lucas raised 2 good villains and killed them off in less than a full movie run time each. Frankly Maul had more potential as a foil to Obiwan but Lucas really wanted the Saga to be about Anakin’s rise and fall. While that was always the main arc of the story the story itself was about Luke in the originals and SHOULD have been about Obiwan Kenobi in the prequels. Both have a very close relationship to Vader (“brother” vs son) and their stories intersect with each other in a new hope. Obi’s coming to a close as Luke’s begins. Maul is a perfect foil to Obiwan right down to their lightsaber styles. Maul uses the fully aggressive Juyo mixed with Teras Kasi strikes, a fully physical brutal offense, while Obiwan prefers the impenetrable Soresu form augmented by ample use of the Force, primarily defensive and planning oriented.

      I would have still had Maul appear to die in Ep I but it would have been him who stepped out of the shadows 10 years later rather than Dooku (a random jedi we’ve never been introduced to who has half his backstory in tie in material). Don’t get me wrong I love Dooku and Grievous (aside from severely butchering him) but they both pale in comparison to the dramatic weight between Obiwan and Maul. Heck have Obiwan almost fall to the darkside trying to take Maul down by dropping everything to pursue him to avenge Quigon and have Anakin the one to save him before we get Obiwan trying to save him on Mustafar.

  18. Just a couple of days ago I was discussing this movie with a friend, and something came up that really bothered us – NONE of the Jedi, after arriving at Coruscant, ever even thought of, I don’t know, going to the bank to withdraw some cash, grabbing a padawan, giving him the cash and saying “Listen, there’s a kid here, whose mom is a slave on Tatooine, go there, find a flying big-nosed merchant, and BUY HER OUT OF SLAVERY”.

    • Heck, Anakin never did anything to rescue her either. I think that goes back to the whole stoicism thing they try to preach, though. They discourage attachments because they know that someone attached to other people is more likely to use dangerous shortcuts to rescue said person. However, their detachment in and of itself can be monstrous because it means that Jedi can easily turn a blind eye to certain situations that may require attention.

      Anakin at one time or another is proof for both sides of the argument. During the prequels, his attachments cause him to slide into darkness as he tries to stop something bad happening to those he loves. Yet, in Return of the Jedi, his attachment to his son is what causes him to turn against the dark side and kill the emperor.

      You can debate about whether Lucas made the Jedi deliberately less sympathetic in the prequels or not, but I kind of like the idea that perhaps the prophecy referred to cleaning out a Jedi order that had gotten too monolithic and starting afresh with Luke as the founder of a new Jedi order that’s a bit more attuned to the needs of the people in the galaxy.

      • TragicGuineaPig

        Keep in mind, too, Luke’s attachment to Leia nearly drove him to the dark side in his battle with Vader (and yes, Lucas did intend for that scene to signify that Luke had fallen – though, in my own opinion, it actually would have given him a noble cause to fight for). Yet, it was Luke’s attachment to his own father that drove him to reject the Emperor.

        I actually prefer the theory that Anakin’s role in the prophecy actually refers to him killing the Emperor. Early on, he was given the choice to side with Mace Windu against Palpatine, but chose to kill Windu instead. That could have been a significant shatterpoint. Nevertheless, even in his fallen state, he never truly escaped that destiny, and in time, he fulfilled it to save his family. In other words, the very cause that led to his fall also led to his redemption.

      • He didn’t raise a finger, not even when he was an apprentice of a freaking Jedi general. But since we’re talking about the first movie, it could be (somewhat) argued that Anakin was at that time a stupid inconsiderate minor. But the Jedi were supposed to be anything but that. Yes, it could also be argued that it was done so to not promote attachment in young Anakin… but this line of reasoning does not hold for me. At all.
        She’s a SLAVE. In SLAVERY. She’s not in a retirement home, or in a house of her own, or anywhere safe, for that matter.
        A condition which could be remedied by purchasing her, if slicing her owner into little bits with a lightsaber is too “darksidey” for a Jedi, and taking her away to any Republic-owned world. Then maybe, I don’t know, she wouldn’t have been killed by a bunch of sand people, and that kid wouldn’t have taken a first step towards the Dark Side.
        It really surprises me how many people don’t even register this problem. Like, at all.

  19. You know, a way to really make the Anakin in space scenes to be absolutely awesome and very funny would be not only the adult helmet but also the fact that him trying to adjust it jostles the controls and causes him to dodge in ways the droids can’t predict.

    Imagine the look on his face when he accidentally presses the fire button and blows up the control ship, not realizing that it was a good thing and the only thing he can say is “Qui-Gon’s gonna kill me.”

  20. Actually I like the Mediclorians bacterial theory.

    • I’m fine with Midichlorians for a simple reason. They literally do not effect the Force in the slightest. The Force is not simply a network of cells communicating with each other. Midichlorians are merely equivalent to a sensory organ allowing beings to interact with the Force. Like our eyes allowing us to see and interpret various wavelengths of light but no more. If anything contradicts the original explanation of the Force then it’s Luke’s speech about the Force being strong in his family. If the Force were merely an energy which you can train to manipulate then why would genetic relation have anything to do with it. Why are Jedi so rare? Why are some like Yoda naturally far more gifted in the Force? Because they have a genetic advantage. We’ve seen in so much tie in material (some of which is no longer canon but just for illustratory purposes in context to canon as of Episode 1) where the offspring of force users are force sensitive. The prime example being Luke and Leia but also examples such as Jaina and Jacen and Anakin Solo. Leia’s kids especially seem to indicate that force abilities are a dominant trait rather than recessive. You can even consider Cade Skywalker a century after Luke still retaining a similar connection to the Force.

      The Jedi order had a long history of detecting force sensitive children through the Force and removing them from the breeding population and into the Order where they rarely reproduced children leaving force sensitives generally rare in the Republic dominated galaxy. Meanwhile the Sith could care less and produced massive amounts of force sensitive children thanks in no small part to interbreeding with the Sith species on Korriban. So the connection capability to access the Force being a genetic trait makes a lot of sense especially all the force sensitive children being produced by New Jedi Order Jedi.

  21. Yes I actually support the Mediclorians in The Force because it’s more realistic or logical even in a fanciful Sci-Fi setting, oh and Chris did or are you trying to forget the junk dealing Anti-Semitic Jewish stereotype dragonfly alien Watto who owns Anikin Skywalker and his mother Shmi? also I think people often forget to mention that throughout the majority of the movie that Princess or queen Padme Amidala is in only one scene with Ani when he asks her “Are you an angel?” and it is the presence of Padme’s handmaiden “Decoy Queen” Sabe played by freaking fourteen year-old in 1999 Keira Knightly that’s in the majority of the short scenes, You know what I think, I think Keira Knightly grew up or matured way too fast presumably because of her successful movie career life and the warrior roles she has been given, I swear she killed expertly with an arrow shot from a bow as quick as you please by 16 years of age and maybe beat you in Soccer or European Football.

  22. Yes George Lucas directed Star Wars, but he had A LOT of help. The editing and numerous script changes saved that movie from being a total disaster. THX-1138 is a very surreal and creatively directed movie, but that’s really where his talents ended. I bring this up in light of your critique on the pod race. It was shot on the right hand side over and over, left to right over and over for one simple directorial reason: the 180 rule. George Lucas is so amateurish in directing, he probably feared people would get confused as to why the pods are going one way, and then suddenly, if he had shot it right to left, people would wonder why the pods were now going the other. This is how uncreative these movies were, and you’re right, the redlettermedia guys explain everything. The editing, the boring shots, the cinematography, (and more), were all poorly done almost as if Lucas just wanted IT done.

    I still like the last fight scene too, but now that I’m older, it just feels too polished, too choreographed. Hopefully Abrams can figure out a way around this.

  23. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    I have a question why would you release this video on channel awesome 2 days after may 4th did you forget or something. Anyways i understand the plot points but at least the sequels get better and i am curious to see what JJ Abrahams does with episode 7.

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