Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

…is an epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the fourth film to be released in the Star Wars saga, as the first in a prequel trilogy to the original trilogy. So in terms of chronological order, this is the first in order. It shows the discovery of Anakin Skywalker, the return of the Sith, and the teachings of Obi-Wan Kenobi. With the acting talents of Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDairmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Pernillia August, and Frank Oz as Yoda (and additional voices). (Running Time: 133 minutes)(Rated PG for sci-fi action/violence)

It had been first film in twenty-two years that Lucas had been in the director’s chair, but I’d say he returned just a good as he had been doing two decades ago.

Star Wars is a true epic of a saga; there are none like it. Notice how shortly after every Star Wars film, countless production companies, studios, and independent filmmakers tried desperately hard to make such films evenly up to par with Star Wars with some chintzy science fiction films which have usually failed.

After almost twenty years away from the big screen, the series returned with the Phantom Menace to millions of fans who could barely stand to wait two seconds for the film to start as they sat in their theater seats impatiently waiting for awesome action scenes, flashing light sabers, and a new chapter to the story which they had all come to love. I am one of those fans–well, used to be, I should say. In all honesty, my friends, I haven’t watched the films in quite a long time and my love for them has faded out here and there because I used to watch them ALL the time and watched nothing else, so I know every single detail of all of them, just about–as any logically thinking Star Wars fan did and does. Anyways, I thought it was high time to make it through the series again and now revive my absence from blogging.

Now, to kinda begin…

The Phantom Menace is one of my favored Star Wars episodes, I sincerely believe. Although it is so so difficult for me to decide which one is my “favorite” of all six–which I find impossible to decipher–some fans can decide it just like that. I hear a lot of praise towards episode 3, 4, and 5. And as I love them all, I just can decide which one is the greatest. But the Phantom Menace opens the saga up in a way that peeps your interest and draws you in. Episode one is the prologue to the remainder of the series. Not the book of Genesis; more like the book of 1 Samuel but far less wordy (and in other words, far easier to understand for some). Although I could go on and on about the information of the Star Wars universe–which is just as endless of its galaxy–all I can sum it up to is that: IT IS AN AWESOME SAGA AND IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT, PLOP IT IN THE DVD PLAYER PRONTO! (I wouldn’t say it in such a volume, but just as forcefully)

George Lucas isn’t a very very masterful director. There, I said it. Although I enjoy what he has done, I believe he is more of a storyteller rather then a director. One good trait about his directing is that he is a very humble man–well, used to be, that is. He never asked from the studio more credit and more money, but just wanted to finish his epic series he saw from the beginning and wished to see it till the end. Heck, he practically directed episode five and six and was barely credited for “Executive Producer”. This movie did not rely on its director; it relied primarily on the story the moves you to episode two, then three, then four……

The acting is phenomenal either, but with such a good cast it’s hard for an experienced Hollywood man like Lucas to suck at his job and stray them towards acting like a few nimrods that had just walked into the studio asking for a part and willing to accept minimum wage. I’m a huge fan of Liam Neeson, and will continue to express my respect for his powerful work. Once again, he plays a mentor on the big screen–which he is exceptionally good at, having been seasoned for the last twenty years in those roles.

Although I could go on from galaxy to galaxy about the sage, I shall bring this one to a gradual close.

Rate this movie? Oh, geez…that is extremely difficult to decide. I grew up with this movie, and when people ask me what I think of Star Wars, I don’t dwell on it long because I simply grew up with it like it was a normal thing. But if I had to analyze it further, I suppose I would go for a really high 5 stars out of 7 (?).

Once again, I would have to think this one further through. But the inception of Anakin’s tale opened well and closed well. This chapter in the Star Wars prequel trilogy is one of the finest and greatest of the three, and a highly regarded one of the six. Perhaps by the end of the watching the series over again, I will come to a more definite decision, but I really enjoy Episode One and is one of the favorite(?) of the series.

Highly recommended. Oh, but if you have never seen a single Star Wars film before (and if that is the case, you must live under a rock and are a homeschooler and use q-tips) then I would even more highly recommend START WITH Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The first Star Wars film ever made, and the best one to begin with. Then you can move to episode 5, then six…then star with the Phantom Menace. Trust me of this order, my dear friends and readers. You won’t regret it!

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About Morgan

January 2016 Update: This blog is under reconstruction. Please be patient while we gradually remove old material, posts, and pages, and create new ones. Thank you.
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