Movie Plot – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace: Two Jedi escape a hostile blockade to find allies and encounter a young boy who may bring balance to the Force, but the long dormant Sith reappear to claim their original glory.

Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ray Park, Samuel L. Jackson, Keira Knightley

Boring politics

Long ago, in a galaxy far away, several peoples lived together peacefully within the republic. However, the republic is being thwarted by the Federation, which has put up a trade blockade. Because the decision-making process within the Federation is taking a very long time, two Jedi are sent out to resolve the dispute. However, it soon becomes clear to them that the Federation is not looking for a solution but is coveting control of the entire republic. To do this, they need the signature of Queen Amidala. The Jedis are now tasked with protecting Queen Amidala and keeping her out of the Federation’s hands.

This is, without a doubt the most boring part of the film. Mostly, this is about this trade federation that no viewer cares about. In itself, I don’t have a problem with them wanting to involve politics in Star Wars because somewhere it makes sense. Wars obviously come from political conflicts. However, Lucas could have taken a better approach. On the other hand, I still respect him for making this wonderful universe.

Also, Jar Jar Binks gets his introduction. As a kid, I did enjoy him as a character because he was so silly. Now, I’ve grown up and realized how annoying he is. Now, you might think that I hate the prequels, but I actually enjoy them very much. Sure, there is a lot of boring stuff, but there’s also some awesome stuff. I also grew up with these films, so there’s some nostalgia factor to it. I used to buy light-sabers to play with my family.

Anakin Skywalker

When their spaceship runs into trouble, the group is forced to stop on the planet Tatooine where they are introduced to young Anakin Skywalker, the later Darth Vader. Anakin is a slave and the older Jedi, Quai Gon Jin, feels that The Force is strong with him.

That also brings to my second favorite part of the film, the pod racing! Little me enjoyed this so much and re-watched it multiple times. Now, I still love it, and especially the sound of the engines that comes with it. However, I would not want to compete, as this is a dangerous race.

After Quai Gon wins the boy’s freedom in a wager, Anakin accompanies the group throughout the rest of their journey, which leads to a confrontation with Darth Maul, the right hand of Federation leader Darth Siddius, at the end of the film.

The Jedi and the Sith

Now let’s get to the part we all love. The lightsaber fights!

To start off, I always thought the intro of “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” was pretty awesome with the two Jedis. It immediately gave you a sense of awesomeness. Also, Liam Neeson looks fantastic with long hair. We also get to see Obi-Wan Kenobi as a young Padawan.

Later on, a Sith named Darth Maul appears. There is not one scene with him that I hate. I could watch this film only for his scenes and especially the battle at the end. That’s one of the greatest light-saber fights ever. Even writing about it, makes me want to go on YouTube to rewatch it. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone complain about Darth Maul.

Acting, on the other hand, is pretty bland. Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman are incomprehensibly weak. And, I love these guys, but it is what it is. Ian McDiarmid is most enjoyable in his role, in my opinion.

Disney+

Visually, of course, this first prequel is a huge step backward from the older films. Real sets have been swapped for ubiquitous green screens. It often makes for very strange scenes where actors and the environment don’t seem to belong together. It’s like comparing The Lord of the Rings to the Hobbit movies.

What’s even worse is the 2020 version on Disney+. The colors of the CGI are so bad that they don’t match the rest of the film. I don’t understand how they could have made that worse. Sometimes, it looks like it’s a video game. The older effects were better as they felt more real. I was even shocked by the CGI on master Yoda.

Conclusion

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace might not be loved by everyone, but they do have one of the greatest light-saber fights ever. That’s enough for me to enjoy this film.