A truly enjoyable high action film with great comedic laughs along the way. The Phantom Menace is the start of the story for Star Wars, even if it is not the first one of the films that was made. The Jedi are troubled, the Senate is bickering and one small planet is besieged and almost no one cares.
Qui-Gon Jinn, played by Liam Neeson and Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by Ewan McGregor have been sent to the blockaded planet of Naboo to negotiate settlement with the Trade Federation. Naboo is a peaceful agrarian planet that exported plasma, grain and art. It was the plasma and the pricing of it that was the reason for the Trade Federations blockade but also influence by a Sith lord by the name of Darth Sidious. The 2 were not able to even start negotiations and were forced to flee to the planet surface so that they could try and get to Queen Amidala / Padmé played by a young Natalie Portman.
Down on the planet Qui-Gon unwittingly and according to him, by the will of the force, saved a Gungan by the name of Jar Jar Binks, voiced by Ahmed Best. In saving his life they gained an ally and the help that they needed to reach the queen. Jar Jar Binks is also why this film received so many bad reviews when the film was first release. Jar Jar Binks is this films version of RD-D2 in that he is the one that provides all of the comic relief that is inherent in the Star Wars films. You can’t help but love the idiotic bumbling clueless character that is Jar Jar Binks, The film is worth seeing if only for him, luckily that is not the only good reason to see and own this film.
As stated, this film is full of action and will keep everyone entertained even when they don’t like the film. You have speeders, submarine adventures, light-saber duels of epic proportions, space battles to amaze the senses and even a thrilling and exciting pod race. It is the pod race that shows off the talents of a very young Anakin Skywalker, played by Jake Lloyd. Anakin is a slave but is gifted with the force, so givted that Qui-Gon knows that he is going to be very important to the Force, the univers and the Jedi order. It is also at this time that the connection begins to form between Padmé and Anakin. This movie also shows how C-3PO (whose voice has always been done by Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 meet and how they got on each other’s circuits even then.
This film takes you everywhere, from the colds of space to the green hills and valleys of Naboo to the desert wastes of Tatooine controlled by the Hutts to the city planet of Coruscant, the center of the Galactic Republic. I feel that this film was definitely well thought out and initiated, though one shot of a view screen on the Droid Command Ship was not aligned correctly. Odd that Lucas missed that one when he is always so involved with his movies. Enjoy the film and “May the Force be with you”
I give this film a Musing review of