Opinion – “Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace” by Erik Bajzert

Sometimes I wonder if the movies that we have strong negative reactions to really deserve the hate that they get. Maybe we’re being too hard on them and maybe, just maybe, there’s something to enjoy beyond all the disappointment that has cluttered our minds. I wonder if we really respect the artistic vision of the people behind it and I worry that sometimes we may have overlooked a cinematic gem. I then watch this movie and say to myself “Nope. this is still bullshit.”

Let me start this written rant by saying that the first time I saw The Phantom Menace, I LOVED it. Mind you I was about five, but that still doesn’t change the fact that it left a significant impact on my childhood. Everything from the pod races, to Darth Maul’s sleek looking lightsaber, to the dazzling special effects and (I’ll admit it) Jar Jar’s shameless appeal to very young children everywhere, was beyond dazzling to me. The film also has the distinction of being one of many factors that introduced me to the original trilogy, a series that I hold very near and dear to both my heart and my VHS collection. But suddenly, the impossible happened — I grew up

I remember revisiting this film a few years back and being completely bored by it. Yes, the nostalgia factor was still there, but didn’t change the fact that I thought it was one of the dullest and most irritating experiences I have ever had following a story. Gone was the simplicity of the adventurous original trilogy and gone was the likeability of all its characters. What was left to experience was a confusingly awful plot about intergalactic space economy with a set of dull and uninteresting characters to replace such icons as Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. Needless to say, I was let down.

So why revisit a film I feel nothing but irritation and remorse for? Because I would like this little piece to serve as a reminder to anyone going to see the re-release of Episode I that they will be paying for the very same thing that they have felt so strongly opposed to BUT IN 3D!

There’s no real sense in reviewing the film, since every critic on the planet has exposed every painstaking detail that this film entails, with such a degree of accented anger. We all know that the story makes no sense, the characters are one dimensional and that Jar Jar is one of the single most annoying characters in cinematic history. There’s no real need to go into detail about the over use of special effects and blank stares of all the actors involved, as well as the horrific dialogue and lack of chemistry amongst the characters. And there’s absolutely no purpose in discussing the abysmal logic that this film entails, seeing as everyone already knows of its existence.

It perplexes me why anyone would bother going out to see this film. Yet all I hear is “Hey Erik, you going to see Star Wars? It looks sick!” I then ask “Did you really like Episode One all that much?” The response I normally get is “No, but the 3d’s gonna be great!” George Lucas, you magnificent brainwashing bastard. I seriously don’t know how you get away with it! How do you manage to make a large amount of people buy into the very same movie that they hated before, while still managing to piss off the film community with every re-release, sequel and film you make? In a way, it’s actually kind of brilliant! Make everyone angry, while still making a profit! Perfect. And guess what my dear reader, whom I love so much, by going to see Episode I you’re completely supporting him!

If you liked The Phantom Menace, I hope that you enjoy it just as much as you did when you first saw it! I hope all twelve of you are satisfied. For the others — please I beg you, DON’T SEE THIS FILM. It’s not worth your sanity! Why would you pay for the same crappy product twice? 3D is not something that fixes a film, no matter how hard you try to deny that. I assure you, it will be the only thing about this film that isn’t one-dimensional. If you plan to review it, just see at home. It’s much more satisfying to give an opinion without having to pay admission for it. Don’t be robbed of a quality theater experience, when there are better and more interesting films out there that you won’t feel stupid about seeing when they let you down. This mentality can only make sense in a galaxy far, far away

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