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Episode I: The Phantom Menace - 20th Anniversary
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:05 pm    Post subject: Episode I: The Phantom Menace - 20th Anniversary Reply with quote

This is a poster still on the Star Wars wall of my basement.


When I started playing the Star Wars RPG game, Star Wars movies beyond the original trilogy were not a certainty. I can't express the excitement I felt when they announced Episode I in the mid-90s. The screenplay for the first Star Wars film had originally been much more inspired by Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, so it seems appropriate that Episode I's final story went back to Kurosawa. It is neat that Lucas officially introduced things stated in a 1977 interview, such as Midi-chlorians and Threepio being built by a boy working for an outer rim junk dealer. And we see the initial factor in Darth Vader's decent to the Dark Side, the separation from his mother.

There is a lot to love about The Phantom Menace. John Williams delivered a totally up to par score with my favorite Star Wars theme, Duel of the Fates. Ewan McGregor is an excellent young Obi-Wan Kenobi. Liam Neeson is an absolutely fantastic lead as Obi-Wan's Jedi Master (the Old Ben of this film). We get to see a brief lightsaber duel long before the final battle. Maul is a perfect mysterious dark warrior introducing the mystery of the Sith and his master Darth Sidious, the titular "phantom menace". The delightful Ian McDiarmid returns as Palpatine, now in his pre-Empire days. Jabba the Hutt appears. The pod race was so wizard. There was a minor amount of humor in the film.

It is quite fitting that Episode I serves as the quintessential Star Wars films in some ways, especially with respect to the film's four-arena final battle. The lightsaber duel of the climax is an epic melee. TPM's space battle with young Anakin is a meaningful contrast to his son's final battle in ANH. (Luke was a young adult with a fully developed ego so had to be told to let go of his conscious self to act on instinct and make the shot, but Anakin on the other hand was a kid and still more fully immersed in his unconscious self so "Oops".)

Quote:
Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.


Overall I love TPM and it is still in my top tier of Star Wars films. I'm not trying gloss over how unfortunately controversial this film and how divisive it is among the fan base, but this thread is meant to be a celebration. What do you like about The Phantom Menace? What's good? What do you enjoy? Let's keep it on the positive here. Thanks.
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griff
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too was very excited when the new movies were announced. What I really liked about The Phantom Menace was seeing Coruscant on screen. I liked the set pieces a lot. My favorite is still the pod racer repair facility and the arena. And after having kids and showing them Episode 1 and having them love Jar Jar, I don't mind his goofiness as much as I did when the movie first came out. In October of 2001 I had a bad motorcycle accident and was recovering for two months, The Phantom Menace came out on DVD and I watched it several times during that time (sometimes twice aday), it got me through that recovery without have to focus solely on everything going on in the real world at that time. To this day I still don't know where all the hate for the prequels comes from, especially The Phantom Menace.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same here. When Ep 1 was announced, i think most EVERY Sw fan was stoked...
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember setting up my computer to download the trailer.
It was ready to view the next morning!

And I watched and watched that trailer!

This one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJZ846YkK78

I think that might have been responsible for some of my disappointment with it.
The original trailer hints at so much that it could NEVER deliver on what my imagination had conjured as I watched that trailer and indulged in unintentional mental conjecture!

"Wipe them out. ALL of them."
How could I NOT think it was the Emperor starting the purge of the Jedi?

The best part, for me, was the Ben-Hur style pod race.

I got a lot of use out of that concept and imagery in my game.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't get to see it in theaters. I was working 1800-600 shifts in a warehouse, and my family went to see it without me, and I was too wiped to see it myself.

The only prequel I saw in theaters was The Revenge of the Sith. I didn't see AotC until after that, even.
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RyanDarkstar
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exploring new worlds, especially Coruscant, was great. It gave a better look at a galaxy actually populated by citizens, rather than out-of-the-way locations that were largely devoid of human forms.

Also, seeing the Jedi in their prime was neat, but the council was somewhat disappointing. They were so detached from reality that they really had no one but themselves to blame for their eventual destruction, which was the point.

While I enjoyed the original treatment for The Phantom Menace more, the movie created a decent foundation for the prequels.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a senior in high school in 1999. My mom orchestrated us all cutting school to go see it in the "good" movie theater an hour away as opposed to the lesser one which was 30 minutes away.

We had to drive 60 minutes each way the week before too, to buy the tickets in advance. My friend who'd graduated ahead of me, and my older brother, came back to town to go to it with us along with a handful of my HS friends. I wanted to take my then-girlfriend but it wasn't a certainty that her strict grandparents were going to let her ditch school to go.

Ultimately the best thing about TPM was my girlfriend's gramma saying "When I was your age we all skipped school to go see Gone With the Wind, I think you should go!". That was an early and important lesson about the constancy of human nature throughout and across generations.

Her gramma died just a couple weekends ago, had to think of that and pour one out for her.
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When it first came out I pretty much loathed everything about it. There's still a great deal that I don't like about it, but one thing that I do appreciate is the very different looking design aesthetic of Naboo and its culture.

You still see, for example, the more "typical" looking starship design from the Jedi consular corvette (or whatever the ship is), and you see certain common themes in things like blaster design, but the design aesthetic of Naboo is all about beauty and sleekness and it just ends up being very distinct.

I've been thinking about the sequel trilogy and what comes after it, and about how -- once you're past that point -- you presumably can no longer rely on the visual tropes established in the OT -- or variations on those themes -- to get you through and convey that "This is Star Wars." You won't have white-armored troopers and wedge-shaped giant spaceships and variations on the X-wing theme. So...how do you make Star Wars that doesn't exactly look like Star Wars? I think TPM manages to do that pretty well.

It's still hampered by some other poor design choices (why are Jedi all apparently dressed like Tatooinian farmers?), but on the whole, it's pretty clear it's a Star Wars film, just one that doesn't rely on a ton of visual familiarity as a shortcut to "Yup, that's Star Wars." I definitely didn't give it enough credit in its time for that.


I'll reserve comment on the rest of it, though, in the spirit of this thread. Wink
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solo4114 wrote:
It's still hampered by some other poor design choices (why are Jedi all apparently dressed like Tatooinian farmers?), but on the whole, it's pretty clear it's a Star Wars film, just one that doesn't rely on a ton of visual familiarity as a shortcut to "Yup, that's Star Wars."

Quote:
As these garments were not usually elaborate, the outfit mirrored their attachment-free philosophy, as well as showing their requirement to live almost devoid of luxury and also their devotion to service.

Here's more about it. It was a conscious design choice, but not for TPM. The design choice was made in the production of the original Star Wars. Old Obi-Wan was meant to be wearing Jedi apparel in that film, which was always intentionally similar to what common folk of the galaxy wear (like Uncle Owen). It seems apparent that your judgement of Jedi apparel in the prequels is based on an inaccurate assumption that in the original film Old Ben was wearing crazy dessert hermit wear and not his original Jedi apparel. It's quite amazing what all Lucas envisioned about the Star Wars galaxy back in the 70s. We have proof that Midi-chlorians, Threepio being built by a boy working for an outer rim junk dealer, and stormtroopers being clones all come from the 70s. Lucas imagined what Jedi would wear back when there was only one Jedi in the story, and it was intentionally similar to Tatooine farmers.

Now if you disagree with Jedi wearing clothes like common farmers of the galaxy, that's your prerogative and I would be interested in hearing what you think Jedi should wear instead. But I still wouldn't consider your particular sense of aesthetics to be a poor choice of Lucas.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember this one guy brought his girlfriend, who wasn't a Star Wars fan.

After TPM she turned to him on the way out and asked,

"So...when does Anakin change his name to Luke?"
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:
I remember this one guy brought his girlfriend, who wasn't a Star Wars fan.

After TPM she turned to him on the way out and asked,

"So...when does Anakin change his name to Luke?"

I seem to recall some confusion from more casual fans that thought little Ani was Luke as a child. The Disney era seems more confusing to these people though. There were people confused by why Rey wasn't in Solo, and someone actually asked me if there was going to be a Rogue One 2. LOL.
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RyanDarkstar
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
It seems apparent that your judgement of Jedi apparel in the prequels is based on an inaccurate assumption that in the original film Old Ben was wearing crazy dessert hermit wear and not his original Jedi apparel. It's quite amazing what all Lucas envisioned about the Star Wars galaxy back in the 70s... Lucas imagined what Jedi would wear back when there was only one Jedi in the story, and it was intentionally similar to Tatooine farmers.


Apparently the folks at Marvel weren't in on Lucas' vision, hence Obi-wan in issue #24 (though it seems it foreshadowed Luke's RotJ outfit back in 1979):

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RyanDarkstar wrote:
Apparently the folks at Marvel weren't in on Lucas' vision, hence Obi-wan in issue #24 (though it seems it foreshadowed Luke's RotJ outfit back in 1979)

That's a very 70s-comic outfit. Lucas didn't micromanage publishing. He gave them a 'Do Not' list, and I'm pretty sure that something like Obi-Wan dressing differently in flashbacks would not be on the list.
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:
I remember this one guy brought his girlfriend, who wasn't a Star Wars fan.

After TPM she turned to him on the way out and asked,

"So...when does Anakin change his name to Luke?"


Holy Mother of god and all her wacky nephews. That's something my dad might say if he actually were forced to watch all the relevant Star Wars movies. And he's borderline senile. SMH

Whill wrote:
I seem to recall some confusion from more casual fans that thought little Ani was Luke as a child. The Disney era seems more confusing to these people though. There were people confused by why Rey wasn't in Solo, and someone actually asked me if there was going to be a Rogue One 2. LOL.


Did that person who asked about "Rogue One 2" (I blame that same person for actually making me think and type the words "Rogue One 2" and will never forgive such a crime against humanity) actually see the part of Rogue One where the entire party got killed? How do you have a direct sequel when all the primary characters are already dead?

That's the problem with some people: you can't always tell if they're trolling you or if they really are that stupid. It's one thing to be confused if you're a casual fan, it's damn well another to jump to utterly ridiculous conclusions that could be avoided with even a cursory knowledge of Star Wars. (I mean, seriously, thinking Anakin and Luke were the same person? Where the hell did that come from?)
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obi-Wan et al dress like samurai, from the samurai movies being copied at the time. Owen et al dress like Japanese peasants, from the same movies.

I never thought of it as "moisture farmer" clothes, just "Star Wars" clothes.

I suppose one could think of it as both Jedi and farmers as being subsets of the population that dress very old fashioned though. As opposed to city fellers like Han and Lando.
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