I am a 23 year old who loves the Star Wars saga. Not for its acting or
script, nor for the amazing digital effects. I love it for its timelessness, its themes
and its imagery. For the fact that it taps into the psyche of every individual and touches
them. Either in a good way or a bad way. It tapped into my love of space and space travel.
I have read a million reviews of Phantom. I have also read a million
interviews with the cast and more importantly George. It saddens me that the general
public and general critics would dare say that George was making this film purely for his
hip pocket. He is making these films to continue his passion. He never once said he was
making these films to gain a few bucks. If anything he is using the revenue to create the
second and third films. As he did with Empire and Jedi.
I refer to the interview in the movie magazine, Premiere; George said
that the only way there was a trilogy the first time round was that the films paid for
each other. That is what George is doing now. And do we always seem to forget that he
financed this film with his own money????
Yes the film has a poor script. Yes the acting could be better
(especially from Jackson) but damn it you go to see a Star Wars film to visit a galaxy
far, far away. If you're after Oscar material go see a film of Titanic proportions. Star
War is just a journey. One that I will be taking. It is a visual spectacular which open
the doors for the younger generation, which was George's intention. It wasn't made for
adults. It never was. He always planned it to be for the younger audiences.
And younger audiences the world round finally had something in common. If
you want a genuine review talk to a kid who’s seen it and they wont tie you down with
analysis on script, acting, editing or character development. They will either tell you
they loved it or hated it. Let’s leave it at that. "I will not condone a crappy
review that will lead us into war," as Queen Amidala might say.
The Phantom Menance is everything that people say it is not. Script wise
the film is great, one of the only films in the last couple of years not to have the bad
guy ever revealled dramatically to the audience before the last reel. The Senator
Palpatine guy who drives the story along is never revealled as the master, The Sith Lord
who engineers the whole films plot just to get elected as the head of the Council. So,
with no lead characters, the film is left with the one problem plotlines of the main
characters of the boy, the princess, the great knights to protect her, and the caracture
of the happy go-lucky guy who tags along.
This is great, but what do the ethniticity of the characters say about
where the film is coming from? There are African-speaking tribes that live under the sea,
and the Asian kingdoms that the baddies are trying to invade. The boy lives in the desert,
a slave. George Lucas has borrowed (or taken) from heaps of historical mythic situations
and put them all together to create a new one which is categorised as Science Fiction, but
the film series is set "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away." A long time
ago? What does it mean when history lessons are given in films, and seem more important
than real history. This is entertainment but also like all those old European nursery
rhymes it seems more about the world in which we live than the past or future.
Lucas' direction is very controlled almost slowing the film down to a
dead stop, but all on purpose. The film is like a half hour of television in the future.
My friend believes this means it is passionless compared to all the sex appeal and romance
of Episode 4, Star Wars: A New Hope, made first (released in 1977). The only romance is in
the plot, not the film. The romance is fast, and very innocent in The Phantom Menance, the
film is more about good and evil than sex and swashbucklers. George Lucas, I read when he
was writing the new film series said it was more "soapie". It is. A new wave
type of soapie like Manga films. The film is Cecil B. DeMille meets Astro Boy.
Adrian Fitzgerald, Sydney.
I have now seen PHANTOM MENACE twice and throughly enjoyed it both times.
The CGI animation was breathtaking at times, especially in the underwater sequences. Ewan
Macgregor was rather wasted in his role as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi, but Liam Neeson and
Jake Lloyd put in fine performances. I also liked Samuel L.Jackson's small role as a Jedi
Keep up the good work.
Hello, My name is Nikki and I live in Western Australia. I am 11 years old
turning 12. I just have to say that I am not so much a STAR WARS fan but when I saw the
movie I was suprised and now I ask my dad to see the movie all the time. I love that movie
and can't stop talking about it in class.
Show me the menace! Never before has a film needed Harrison Ford more
than Star Wars Episode One. But more to the point, never before has a film needed some
menace. Even a little bit of misbehaving wouldn't go astray. Everyone in this film is so
well behaved. The 'goodies' are so good that they're dull. Or maybe they're just dull.
Queen Amidala, though admittedly is only 14, doesn't have half the spunk of Princess Leia.
And as for Qui-Jon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi well ... you can't expect a Jedi to muck up. So
for comic relief we have a West Indian sounding, pidgin-speaking, walking amphibian, Jar
Jar Binks. The blandness of the characters is a reflection of the blandness of the film's
The main problem with the film is the downplaying of evil. We've no
asthmatic Darth Vader exuding evil to contend with. There's little mention of the Dark
Side of The Force. In fact the menace in Episode One is a bit of a phantom. Both Darth
Maul and his evil master are under-developed characters with so little screen time it's
difficult to fear them. In fact the whole notion of good and evil seems very watered down.
We're told that
The One' who was prophesied about - a sort of cosmic Messiah - will not
come to restore peace or defeat evil, but to bring balance to the force. Balance?! What
happened to conquering evil?
Back in 1977, I was a nine year old school boy who was blown away by the
amazing effects of Star Wars Episode IV. Immediately, I became a Star Wars disciple and
was the first to line up for Episodes V and VI. Twenty-two years later, I am utterly
disappointed with the beginning.
Apart from majestic visual effects, Episode 1 has nothing more to offer.
However, at the beginning of the movie, I was interested in the politics of the Federation
blockade and the efforts of the two Jedi knights in resolving the deadlock. Afterwards,
the story becomes a circus, except for the intriguing character of Darth Maul, who I
thought was interesting as an apprentice of Darth Sidious (I think).
The problem with the movie started with the cartoon character Jar Jar
Binks. Funny at first, but irritating later. Maybe, it had to do something with his
"voice". Besides that, I was ambivalent about the young Anikin Skywalker who,
even before being trained as a Jedi, was performing rather complex combat maneouvring with
a fighter jet. Not only that but the scene between Anikin and his mother was truly
hopeless. It made me feel that Anakin may not be the biological child of the woman.
Worst perhaps was the video game pace of the movie. At the end,
everything was happening at once and Lucas was shifting from one scene to the next at such
a speed that I was about to scream "stop it!" Episode 1 is for children, who may
not have seen the first three episode. Finally, I am glad that I am not a nine year old in
Dr. Sanjay Ramesh
I think that most people, ie, ADULTS, forgot that many of them were kids
when the movies series first appeared in the late 70's. It was a kid's story then, it's a
kid's story now. Of course Jar Jar is annoying, so were the Ewoks 20 years ago. But they
are there for the kids and the kids laughed at them. The sinister Darth Vader, the
sinister Darth Maul, the sinister emeperor, all of them, fairy tale symbols come to the
silver screen. If you really thought that Star Wars was supposed to be greatly written
science fiction, well, forget about it. The best sci fi movie ever made, Contact, was
adapted from Carl Sagan's book. Buy or rent that video, better, read the book, because no
matter how excellent the movie was, the book is superior. It is no Star Wars, but if it
sci fi you are looking for, open up your head to thought processes, not video processes.
Hesperia, California, USA
Whilst I loved the sense of anticipation provided by the hype leading up
to the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, I have to agree with Paul Fischer and
others that this latest instalment doesn't quite deliver. Without a doubt the best part of the film was the opening sequence, with its wonderfully familiar title treatment and
opening lines. I went to a 10pm session on June 3 and can confirm that this part of the
film evinced the most response from the audience, 90% of whom were over 25. From there on
in it was a gradual downhill slide, not into serious disappointment, but towards a
definite anti-climax. The closing credits didn't bring the expected cheers, clapping and
appreciative wait until the very end, just a concerted effort to reach the exit.
I feel the main problem with the film is that the filmmakers have
misfired with their target audience, which I believe should be those of us who are over 25
(I am 31) and can still remember how the film absolutely captured our imagination when
younger. We're not too old to be enticed again, but the storyline would necessarily
require the same tensions, well-developed heroes, heroines (and droids/big hairy
creatures) we can empathise with.
I'm sorry, but Jar Jar Binks reminds me of an unintelligible Goofy (or
those ridiculous Ewoks - the decline was heralded in Return of the Jedi...I should have
seen it coming!), Liam Neeson (an actor I very much respect) was more like a cardboard
cut-out and Ewan MacGregor his meek little shadow (if it is possible for a one-dimensional
figure acting against a blue-screen to have a shadow).
There was little background to Darth Maul and his master (unless I missed
some more obvious references in the film). The only character with potential was Princess
Amidala (fab costumes and makeup). Young Anakin Skywalker I found far too cute and posed.
So much more could have been done with these key characters! How I yearn for the intense
and naive facial expressions of a young Mark Hamill or the burgeoning and subtle sexual
tension between Princess Leia and Han Solo. I even miss the howls of Chewbacca!
The film is targeted towards a younger demographic, and whilst I can
fully understand the reasoning behind this decision, I think it neglects a crucial and
older audience base (and one with the financial resources to see the film over and over
again, had it delivered!).
I don't think it would have been too hard to inject a bit more soul and
integrity into the script. This said, I'm not prepared to give up on it altogether yet. I
live in hope that the material provided in this first instalment (which is more like a
draft than a finished script) will help create another two episodes full of the original
magic which, as soon as I came out of this screening, had me hankering for more re-runs of
the earlier films.
I do not know what the majority of people think about Star Wars: Episode 1-
The Phantom Menace but I thought that it was superb. Fantastic. I heard that the American
and Australian critics have been saying that they think it is silly. I couldn't disagree
more! I thought that the actors were wonderful. Maybe some of them seemed a bit wooden in
places but I thought that was the script. (Which I also thought was brilliant most of the
time.) The special effects were wonderful and I think that they must win Oscars next year.
Jar Jar Binks is magical and the Pod Race sequence is so realistic. It did remind me of
the Ben Hur race! Darths Maul and Sidious were menacing and were almost as bad as Vader.
The conclusion to the film will have you on the edge of your seat. I can't get enough of
this film. I'm going back already. All I can say is see it or miss it at your own risk! 10
out of 10.