Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Starting with the first episode of the Star Wars saga. I think this is the one that I used to watch every Friday night for some reason when I was a kid. Who knows why, my memory is whacked for some things and not for other things. Here are my thoughts:
If you're looking for something with a start of what happens before a war then this is how it should began.I can sum up the plot for you by saying: We've got the Trade Federation, right? They've set up a blockade of their droid control ships around Naboo to invade. Between you and me I've always found Naboo to be a peaceful planet with a beautiful environment. I would so live there. People on there however, are one to always negotiate before fighting. That's what you expect from a planet with a series government, and a queen. After escaping the blockade with the queen we land on Tatooine and meet young Anakin Skywalker who is pretty much our protagonist for the entire saga. He is suspected to be the one to bring balance to the force but is unable to be trained by the Jedi council. Hence he participates in stopping the droid army so Viceroy Nute Gunray can be captured and the Sith Apprentice who was to capture the queen is killed. I must say, when I first saw this movie when I was a kid I didn't understand a damn thing that was going on like, why was there a pod-race? Why was the final battle a diversion. Who were the Sith? Was this Darth Sideous the one behind it all? But the one thing that hit me the most asking myself all these questions back then was who was the real queen?
Yeah, I should have figured it out back then when I was like only 7 years old when I first saw this movie I think. So turns out that the one I kept thinking was the queen who was dressed all fancy is actually a decoy for protection, her name was Sabe, I think, played by Keira Knightley. The real queen is one of the handmaidens: Padme Amidala played my Natalie Portman. Okay, I know I said I have a strong dislike for Natalie's character Jane Foster in the Thor series but I do like Natalie as an actress and I like her role as Padme? Why? You'll find out on my review on the second espisode.
I haven't done character detail in movie reviews in a while so here we go:
Anakin is definitely the one that gets your interest because there's so much you want to know about him the moment you see him. You don't really know what's going to happen to him. But funny thing is that my mother and I sort of already knew what he was going to become, because the first ever episode I saw of the saga was the fourth one. The real first one that was made in this case. I found him to be brave and willing to take any risk. Sometimes he likes to make things more fun to work on. This happens not just in this episode but in the next two as well. You'll see what I mean in the next two reviews. But in a way, you kind of owe it to him otherwise the Jedi and those in the Republic who escaped Naboo with him would have been stranded on his home planet forever. Other characters, like Qui-Gon Jinn, I found he had the bigger role than Anakin throughout the movie until his unfortunate death during the battle to bring Naboo back to the peace it once had. He was like the most caring one at that time. If he didn't die he would have become Anakin's master but I don't think a Jedi master is allowed to have two Padawan Learners. I have no idea. There are almost too many rules in being a Jedi Knight but I would still prefer to be on is the Star Wars universe was real. Obi-Wan I liked right away, I thought he was going to be the brave one, and boy was I right. Now most fans are not going to like me for saying this as I write one more thought here about the characters, but I don't care. I honestly, do not mind characters like Jar Jar Binks. I never had an issue with him when I was a kid. I thought he was kind of funny. Fans claim he is racist, ruined the films and was never needed. There is always going to be a random extra character with a weird personality, and sometimes you like him, and sometimes you don't. Sure he's clumsy but I don't hate him because he's got his own way of dealing with problems and he gets more mature in the next two movies even though his role isn't as big as it was in this one.
Villians, aliens, and battles I'd like to talk about now. This is a new subject, I know. Where do I start? The action, the usage of laser guns, lightsabers, spaceships, speeders, etc. If it weren't for any of this awesome shit I wouldn't be a Star Wars fan.
Battle droids never impressed me the moment I first saw them. I found them to be kind of "Meh, I think something is going to come up that is even tougher than them." Turns out I am right. But I must admit that a STAP (is that what those speeding hovering things with two guns are called?) look like fun to ride. I had a dream once that I had one of those and drove it everywhere but never used the guns on it. AAT Battle Tanks are just badass, but maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself here because there's more badass stuff that comes up later that's even cooler later on. Destroyers seem invincible. Who's idea was it to give them their own shield generators?
There were aliens that caught my interest like Watto and Sebulba the most. That's what I like about Tatooine. So many aliens! I don't know the name of every species but I should have done that 15 years ago when I was behaving more like a die hard fan. Speaking of Sebulba, the pod-race in this movie is absolutely my favourite part. Had me on the edge of my seat the whole time when I watched it.
I don't care for sports but if pod-racing was real I'd watch it or I'd join it. Extreme is my middle name (well sort of) but I would rather watch pod-racing than watch men kick a ball around a field or hit a hockey puck around an ice rink.
Last thing I want to talk about is the villain Darth Maul.
I thought he was pretty cool. Not sure if he either looks cooler with the spikes showing or the hood coming up. Certain villains in this series look even more awesome when something is added or removed from their appearance. Unfortunately with Darth Maul I couldn't decide but....(spoiler alert!) one of the villains in the third episode I know what makes him awesome for something he removes which I will talk a LOT about when I review the third movie. Anyway, I knew that Darth Maul's lightsaber was going to be something like two blades. He must have built two lightsabers both with a red crystal inside them and welded them together so it's like a staff instead of a sword. Pretty neat right? It was brutal for him to be cut in half at the end but even more brutal if there was blood.
To conclude this first episode provides a good start to the saga. I was a little confused with all the political parts of it, but I guess I have a better understanding of politics through the way it works. Droid armies vs. Gungans is a unique thing and lots of stuff that made me wish that this was the galaxy I was born in. But one question I asked myself tonight was, if the Viceroy had a whole blockade of ships at Naboo, why did the pilots only destroy one of the ships? You know that if there was supposed to be a blockade of droid control ships, you destroy one of them from the inside; you still have another five more than can control the droids on the planet! That didn't make any sense to me, to say the least.
That's it for this review. Up next, Attack of the Clones.