Escape to the Movies: The Phantom Menace 13 Years Later

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As a longtime fan of Star Wars I'm going to put this out there:

Star Wars is bigger than George Lucas and the 6 main movies.

The appeal of Star Wars isn't entirely in the story presented in the movies, it's in the detail of the universe where it becomes it's own genre. The Star Wars universe is big enough for people to have their own adventures in.

Look at how devoted people still are to Firefly, which is basically "The Han Solo Adventures" with an expanded cast and snappier dialogue minus the force and all of the aliens. There's still interest in Star Wars as a Science Fantasy genre if not in the actual stories Lucas wanted to tell.

Even if the prequels and the Clone Wars are a terrible mess of film they still work as a visual reference guide of ships, weapons, locations, and aliens.

i agree that episode one was blown way out of proportion. its not a good movie and i cant see myself paying to watch it, but i dont mind sitting through it if its on tv or something. what i do NOT agree with is his statement that its better than episode 2. i would still pay to see episode 2 because the climax was pretty good and the scenes with obi-wan are really good. heck, id probably prefer episode 2 over return of the jedi

Well, yeah, you're right. It isn't that bad. It's not good (and I'd disagree on some of the movies you would compare it to in quality, but that's no surprise), and I'd pretty much agree on the reasons it's not good, but it didn't even make me rage about the hours of my life I'd lost coming out of the theater.

But I think both as an individual movie and with regard to what it meant to the series, the genre, and the fan community, the third movie is the one I'd really single out for disdain. Yeah, "Clones" has tedious and obligatory plot movement and character development that isn't, not to mention some of the most cringe-worthy "romantic" dialogue ever committed to pulp. But "Revenge" is where we really started to recognize that not only were our expectations not going to be met, we weren't even getting something that plausibly integrated with the trilogy of our youth. I'm not even talking about the feelings of nostalgia and innocence and the sheer gee-whiz of space-opera daring-do; I'm talking about things like Leia remembering her mother and the various features and memories the droids inexplicably misplace. It wasn't just bad; it was sloppy in a way that suggested a genuine disrespect for the audience that had made it a multi-billion dollar franchise.

Yeah, I know... time to move on. Maybe in a cruel way we can take a certain pride that we hurt Lucas' feelings enough that the remaining properties might get left in better hands.

So, not really going to touch The Phantom Menace topic but...

Did anyone else catch the reference to The Wheel of Time books?

So you're whining about people whining about star wars, and your main arguments is that whining doesn't solve anything? (for the love of god no inception jokes).

I was watching this thinking back to when I liked the Phantom Menace when I was like 7 when it came out... and then I remembered HATING Attack of the Clones and wondered why that didn't get as much slagging off.

Then Bob mentioned it and I was like "Fucking right too!"

I was a kid when Phantom Menace came out and I really liked it. Sure, I had seen the other Star Wars films, but this was the one I saw on the big screen, which made it cool. I remember it as the only film I went back to see multiple times (something I rarely do). For me, Jar Jar was only mildly annoying and the whole midichlorians things actually made sense to me. I've never understood the all of the fanboy raging, but then I was never a hardcore Star Wars fan that lived off the (relatively) small stream of merchandise and comics through the 80s and 90s. To this day, I still hold Episode 1 as the best of the prequel trilogy.

Now, Mr. Moviebob, I dare you to give the exact same lecture to all the Transformers fans because it's the exact same mess. The movies are NOT worse than the Star Wars prequels and anybody who says so is (mostly likely) guilty of the same things you've just accused Star Wars of in this video. *I'M* sick and tired of all the "BAYFORMERS RUINED MY CHILDHOOD" crap. People want to hate those movies because they didn't live up the expectations that they had held onto over the years. Sure, the movies are obviously flawed, but that doesn't make them the bane of anybody's existence. A toy company wanted to make a popcorn summer blockbuster to propel merchandise sales and they succeeded, and even from that perspective, I can say that I liked the films.

I agree with Bob

Thanks, MovieBob. I've been waiting for someone to just tell the Star Wars complainers to shut the hell up about it. I used to be a huge Star Wars fan, I'm not anymore, but rather than rage, I'm just apathetic about the franchise.

I preferred episodes I-III. DON'T LYNCH ME. HEAR ME OUT.

I watched them when I was a kid, they possibly had the same effect on original trilogy fanboys that they did on me. They were colourful, action packed, the story wasn't difficult to follow for a young mind and they were fast. (With lots of lasers)

On the other hand, while watching the original trilogy at that age, I found it boring, drawn out, far to much time spent with characters talking to each other about boring things I didn't care about.

So yea. It's all perspective. Just because fanboys didn't enjoy them, doesn't mean they weren't good kids movies.

MovieBob:
The Phantom Menace isn't nearly as bad as you think it is.

I never really got why people disliked it that much. I enjoyed it at the time and will be going to see it in the local cheap arse cinema when it is re-released here.

I just realised that I was 9 when it first came out.

The movie sucked, yeah, that's not news, but I've never been a "hardcore" fan of Star Wars who somehow felt butthurt by this "travesty" of a movie. I'm in the middle between casual and hardcore, I'm not that "passionate" about the movies, but I liked them enough to know a bit of trivia that casuals wouldn't simply know, or certainly wouldn't care to know.

Back in the day, I never wasted my money to watch this on the theater, in fact, I only watched this movie in bits and pieces, at school, when my english teachers brought a bunch of DVDs to "learn english" (ah, those were the days). To put it simply, the movie was pretty "meh" to me, nothing more, nothing less.

And props for pointing out the Red Letter review, I loved Mr. Plinket's reviews, all through The Revenge of the Siths, certainly much better and much entertaining than the movies themselves :)

Sick of bob hyping 'the avengers'... not saying he's not allowed to like it, but when he's gone and put down so many other good movies, or even ok movies, to be constantly propping it up seems like hypocrisy when the movie is looking very "meh"... bunch of superheroes together -- im sensing an unfocused story with poor character development, but i'll reserve that until i see it

also, the reason the dark knight rises will not do well is because 'the dark knight' was not as good as the original film. i was in denial about it at first too, but it seriously wasnt.

the joker is everyone's favourite character, and they loved the first movie, so everyone expected the dark knight to blow them away. and yes, parts of it were much better, but as a whole it just didnt work.

Must........disagree.........with MovieBob.......and still........hate episode I...........But can't.

DAMN IT!!!!!

*sigh* you're right MovieBob!

It isn't bad....heck the prequels even paved the way for one of my favorite shows on tv.....Clone Wars.

Good video

I didn't mind the Phantom Menace movie. I didn't think it was bad. Some part were fun. It was the other two movies that I hated. Especially the so called romance scenes, they were painfully corny. Lucas should have hired a romance writer to come up with less corny dialog than that.

Thank you Bob for being the voice of reason here. Yea the prequel trilogy isn't that great. Yea it underwhelms at every turn. Yea somehow Lucas was able to take great Oscar nominated actors and relegate them to freshmen taking a high school drama class. Non of that matters. If you like them cool, if not cool too. Don't watch them, don't buy them. That's why I only own the original trilogy, cause in all honesty I don't care enough about the prequels to want to add them to my movie collection. But I'm not going to keep allowing my disappointment to fester. It's been a decade, we gotta let it go.

Now the end of LOST...I'm still a bit on about.

Rabidkitten:
I actually disliked Revenge of the Sith the most. Because in the end it all just didn't pan out. You got to watch the whole sloppy thing drag its way past the finish line, and it just made the prior 2 worse. If Revenge of the Sith was a wonderful and engaging film, the first 2 would have been pardoned of their weakness in an effort to justify the greatness that was the 3rd film. Buuuut, they didn't and the 3rd film was god awful.

I tend to agree, even though people get all shocked when I say it. If The Phantom Menace were a book report or something, it would get a C for succeeded at being at what it set out to be, but no more than that (a mindless action flick with black and white morality and lots of wacky things from George Lucas's imagination).

But Revenge of the Sith gets a D or F for not accomplishing what it set out to do, which was to convince us why Anakin became Darth Vader. It tried to be serious and failed badly. The Phantom Menace, on the other hand, was never intended to be serious.

To Bob: thanks for this. And thanks for finally clarifying how you feel about the Plinkett reviews, since every time you mentioned him previously, I got the impression that you didn't like him. But I agree, the videos themselves are very well done and extremely informative, but the people who post them everywhere all the time and say "THIS IS WHY GEORGE LUCAS RUINED MY LIFE!" are annoying as hell.

the first star wars movie i saw was phantom menace
i saw in theaters as a kid
it's what got me into star wars
then i saw the origional trilogy
and i couldn't bring myself to like the the one i grew up with
i didn't hate them, i just didn't care

in fact
i don't really like star wars as much as i used to
mostly because of the animated series'
the reason is the vehicals
i know it's not a good reason
more of a nit-pick
but the designs of the ships just seem idiotic
i know it's sci-fi, but i can't see how many of those ships can even get close to flying
the designs are completely impractical

it was more like a toy commercial then a movie series
to me at least

(side note: i like the OT better then the prequils)

*Cough*
I LOVE Phantom Menace. I watched 4,5,6 when i was a child, and episode 1 as well. And I love all of them, pretty much equally. Can't see how episode 1 is worse in any way than the other movies.

I hate to say this, but the one thing that annoys me more then people whining about how bad something is... would be people whining about people whining about how bad something is. I won't start some infinite loop by actually whining about you whining about people whining about Star Wars episode 1, but man...

I'm right here with you, Bob. Phantom Menace really does get WAY overblown in how bad it is. In terms of the movie itself, you really nailed everything I think about it. Plus, that was a very interesting look into the fanboy mind, there.

Still not going to see it in theaters, though.

so this really wasn't a review at all...just commentary on fan rage. I at least wanted to hear about how the 3D added nothing to it as i had expected =/ this should have just been saved for a big picture episode.

IŽll give the 3D remake the only thing it deserves. Indifference.

MovieBob:
Snip

I think we can all now agree that this one isn't THAT bad, just kind of stupid.

Now we can all argue which of the Star Wars films is the worst one now with our fresh perspective.

On the Red Letter Media thing.

There's a commentary that you can listen to during the movie.

http://redlettermedia.bandcamp.com/

Actually, I liked Episode 2 more than Episode 1, but Ep1 wasn't terrible. I still watch the Saber fight every now and then, but that's about it. Like the same way I watch 1000 Agent Smiths gang up on Neo before he runs away, and then turn the movie off.

Episode 3 was by far the worst though, and it had the most action out of all of them. That's really saying something for story and acting.

jovack22:
Sick of bob hyping 'the avengers'...

I personally liked the part where he put another plug in for the Avengers at the end of a 6 minute video essentially talking about something that is in large part reviled simply because it didn't live up to many years worth of hype. If Phantom Menace should be the poster child for anything (other than middling sci fi fare), it should be for getting yourself so hyped up over something that nothing could ever live up to what you want it to be.

Phantom Menace is not a movie that has the luxury of standing or failing on its own merits.

MovieBob:
The Phantom Menace 13 Years Later

The Phantom Menace isn't nearly as bad as you think it is.

Watch Video

I'm really glad you made this video, and I'll tell you why. The main point of your video seems to be that you should take this movie on its own merits, rather than holding it up to the other movies for comparison because it was never going to live up to our starry-eyed memories or our expectations, and trying to say it's a bad movie because of that is unfair. Exactly the same thing happened when Duke Nukem Forever finally came out: after over a decade of waiting, everyone looked at it expecting it to be the best game ever, and collectively said "...is that it?"

The problem is that the advice you give to us in this video is exactly the advice that you need to start taking yourself. You hold on far too strongly to source material.

It's not just that though: movies based on comic books tend to have a hard time staying loyal to canon because some things just don't translate well from a print media to an actively visual media. Same with books - especially The Road. And even when updating from one movie to another, what literally made audiences jump out of their seats and cheer 20 years ago usually doesn't have any effect on them any more at all, because society has changed, and movies have to keep up with it in order to stay relevant.

Just look at the original House on Haunted Hill - in its day, it was terrifying, but today it's comical. The 1999 Geoffrey Rush remake bore almost no resemblance to the original at all, but for the average movie-goer the year it came out, it was a much better movie (having Famke Janssen and Ali Larter didn't hurt things either). Another remake in today's society would have to be drastically different again in order to keep up with the times. Would that make it a bad "House on Haunted Hill" movie? Absolutely not. Because it doesn't matter whether it holds to the source material, all that matters is that it stands tall on its own two feet.

You are absolutely right that Phantom Menace has to be taken on its own merits. But you also need to start applying those same standards to other movies as you review them.

Cheers to Movie Bob! I think some very excellent points were made here. However, I do believe that more has come of the reaction to the prequels than just bitterness and rage. From searching through all the previous replies I couldn't find anyone that had mentioned this - and if you have any strong opinions on the Star Wars movies, it's worth dropping a few bucks to see:
http://www.youtube.com/movie?v=T-8O0Y76rrI&feature=mv_sr
(trailer here)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aoc3roT81nU

The point being - what Lucas has done in his professional career raises some worthy questions about ownership of something that is so fundamental to popular culture.

That's what I've been saying all those years D:

I tell you what, though. I won't be happy until star wars goes away completely. Cook up whatever half-baked theory you want about the continuing dislike I may have for the prequels and Return of the Jedi, but I had not been as happy as I was when I heard that Lucas had said he wasn't going to do any more star wars stuff. Good, I thought. That is as it should be.

I agree with this ... I mean yeah, I raved about how bad this movie was for about a week after it came out, and I raved for another week after I heard it was coming out in 3D, but other than that I did basically what I do after seeing any other bad movie: I forgot all about it. It's not hard to do ...

But to be honest, this movie is really bad, imo. Right up there with the Transformers movies and The Expendables and everything. The fact that it has okay visuals is part of why I don't like it so much, because that's the worst kind of bad movie. Because it's just another piece of Hollywood bullshit, I mean at least movies like The Room and Birdemic are interestingly bad, but movies like this that had a bunch of money poured into them specifically to make a profit ... it's not interesting in the least, it's just transparently mechanical, nothing but numbers.

Even so, anyone saying this is the worst movie ever is just wrong. Hell, anyone saying this is the worst Star Wars movie ever ... has obviously never seen the Star Wars Holiday Special ... and I'm probably going to hell just for bringing that one up ... but oh well. The Holiday Special was the only movie ever that was so bad I couldn't finish it. And I watch terrible movies for fun.

Phantom Menace came out when I was little.. my movie choices that day were SouthPark the movie.. or phantom menace.. I saw Southpark instead.

Because I hadn't spent 20 years fapping to slave Leigh like most people who love Star Wars, I was relatively indifferent to the who series.. and with that said.. I still mark Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones as some of the worst movies I've ever seen.. right up there with The Last Airbender.

TsunamiWombat:

CronoT:

unacomn:
snip

snip

snip

For showing me that there are others out there who understand the subtle shit that I have for years: I fucking love you guys <3

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