Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

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This was painful.

I remember watching this film when it was released. I was eleven years old, and I loved it.

Watching it now, at 30, I could barely finish it. I understand, now, that children were the intended target audience.

Jar Jar Binks is possibly the singular worst thing to ever happen to the Star Wars films. Annoying and unnecessary does not even begin to describe the character.

The script is abysmal, and subsequently there is not a single noteworthy performance in the whole of film. Liam Neeson and Ian McDiarmid give passable attempts, but nothing ever rises above mediocre.

The CGI may have been good for the time, but it has not aged well. The practical effects of the original trilogy surpass the eyesore that is The Phantom Menace by an easy mile.

The plot is simple and mundane and boring and does not warrant the excessive run time. The Trade Federation is angry about some taxes, so they invade Naboo. That’s it. That’s literally the entire plot of The Phantom Menace.

The characters are one dimensional and uninteresting. There’s literally no character development or background given for anyone. Who is Darth Maul? Where did he come from? Who is Qui-Gon Jinn? Who is Queen Amidala? Why should the viewer care about any of them?

What a nightmare.

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