In honor of the final 7 days before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Hella Butter will be reviewing ALL of the Star Wars films(Ep 1-6) every day! Today, I will be reviewing The Phantom Menace which will than lead to Friday when I post my review for The Force Awakens. The Star Wars saga is a huge part of my life(I have a Vader tattoo on my forearm) and I’m excited to finally do this. Yes we know Episodes 1-3 are not as good as 4-6, but I will be giving the readers my true feelings about each film while rating them at our usual Hella Butter scale of 1-10. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to The Phantom Menace!
The Phantom Menace might be the biggest dissapointment in the Star Wars franchise. Do I think it is the worst movie? No. But the hype for the movie did not live up to the expectations. Episode 1 was released in 1999(a day before my birthday) which makes it the first Star Wars film released in theaters in 16 years. Fans around the world were excited to see how Anakin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader and how the Clone Wars played out on the big screen. Instead, audiences left the theater confused and/or even upset.
Instead of talking about the many things wrong with The Phantom Menace, I will start it off with the things I liked. The one GREAT thing that everybody loves when they think of this movie has to be the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan/Darth Maul lightsaber duel. With the “Duel of Fates” track playing in the background, this is the type of lightsaber fight fans have been waiting for. The duel was very fast paced and beautifully choreographed. This movie needed MORE DARTH MAUL. Bring him back in one of the many upcoming Star Wars movies. With a running time of over 2hrs, we only got Maul for 10 minutes. Another great thing about this movie was the addition of the ever badass Liam Neeson. Of course it was necessary for Qui-Gon to die(to help the growth of Obi-Wan), but I wish we could have seen him more. One of the other things I personally enjoyed were the scenes with the podracing. I know alot of people don’t like the podracing, but to me it was fun and entertaining.
And with that, let’s talk about all the stuff we love to hate. First – let’s talk about Jar Jar Binks aka the most hated character in Star Wars history. Every scene he was in, I wanted to fast forward it. I hate him just as much as I did when I was 9 yrs old. Jar Jar was made to be the comic relief, but was probably the unfunniest thing I have ever seen in my life. Another thing we hate about The Phantom Menace – ALL THE TALKING. Remember in the older movies, there would be adventure, action, comedy. With this movie all we got were senate meetings, talking in the Jedi councils, talking in offices. I get George Lucas wanted to show the downfall of the Republic, but don’t bore your audience. You see – the story of The Phantom Menace is GREAT, the delivery was just horrible. And how can we forget the acting and dialogue. Thank you to Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor(Obi-Wan) for being the only ones who gave a damn about delivering for the fans.
The Phantom Menace is NOT the worst movie of the franchise. But it is the biggest disappointment. This was not the type of Star Wars film that fans were used to. What we got was a CGI crapfest. We all know the hype for the upcoming Force Awakens is huge, but the hype for The Phantom Menace was about the same if not bigger. The most scary thing about this movie was that it was a sample of things to come. Even though most of the movie was terrible – the fact that the story is still interesting and still important to the Star Wars lore makes it important to us fans. Throw in the famous “Duel of Fates” lightsaber duel, and that was worth the price of admission right there. I’ll give The Phantom Menace a 5/10.