Monster Crap Inductee: Star Wars Episode 1 – The Phantom MenaceThe Movie That Was A Million Fans Felt A Disturbance In The Force
Well, this is it……..it is time for what would have been my 27th induction to become my 88th induction. And while I know why I delayed it for this long, I really should not have been surprised that people would be upset it took this long to do this film. In fact, I remember one guy told me when I made my excuse of the box office numbers, he said “George Lucas could have two hours of two Storm Troopers jerking each other off and it would make that much money.” For a long time, I took that as a smart-alecky remark….but with the success of the Twilight Saga and Michael Bay’s crappy Transformers films, I am forced to agree now. Star Wars Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace (no matter what IMDB says (it has a 6.4 now)) is a terrible film and the movie that after watching it, a million fans felt a huge disturbance in the force. It was as if a million fan boys screamed in horror and then there were blogs everywhere.
Speaking of fan boys, before I re-watched this film, I decided to watch the film Fanboys. The reason for that is because the whole focus of the film is fanatics of the Star Wars franchise try to watch the upcoming prequel by invading George Lucas house. The reason they do this is because one of their friends has a terminal disease and he will die before seeing the film. He alone ends up getting to see the film before its premiere and afterwards, he talks about how it wasn’t about the film, it was about the journey. While that is touching and all, it would really suck for him if it was about the film because had it been about the film, he would have died before completing the film.
My opinion of that film is it was okay, with it saved by a really great ending. I should also note that the director of this film, Kyle Newman…
Well, that nerd met his wife while making this film…….so let’s see what his wife looks like, I bet she is a complete nerd as well. Let’s see her….
Never Mind………Turns Out He Married A Hot Piece Of Ass…….Sometimes Nerds Do Get All The Luck
Anyway, back to the film in which we are inducting in Star Wars Episode One – The Phantom Menace. George Lucas had a great reputation for bringing us the original Star Wars Trilogy, which all did well as well as the Indiana Jones Trilogy (which he partnered with Stephen Spielberg to do). In the mid 90s, George Lucas re-released the three Star Wars films in theaters with promised deleted scenes that would be brought back. They all did easily well and I saw all three of them; had a good time watching them on the big screen too. However, if you look back, the deleted scenes were done all in CGI. Sadly, that should have all been a warning. But the prequels were able to get a big cast of their own with names like Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Liam Neeson, & Samuel L. Jackson. More names joined the cast as the prequels went on, but these four were all in the film we are talking about today.
And speaking of which, I should get right to the film.
We open with the epic opening that was in the Star Wars scene with the “A Long, Long Time Ago…..In A Galaxy Far Away” and our great opening crawl which tells us what is going on to set up the film.
Anyone Who Said They Saw This In Theaters And Didn’t Applaud Is A Lying S.O.B.
But when the text crawls down to set up the exposition, we immediately have issues so I’ll tell you what it says:
Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute. Hoping to resolve the matter with a blockade of deadly battleships, the greedy Trade Federation has stopped all shipping to the small planet of Naboo. While the congress of the Republic endlessly debates the alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, to settle the dispute….
I put some words in bold because the words “taxation”, “trade”, and “congress” should not be in a Star Wars movie!!!!! This isn’t Star Trek.
Hey, Take That Back!!!!
No, now get out of my induction. But before you go………I am going to have Ogre send you off.
Thank you, Ogre. Continuing on, I would also like to mention that the reason I put two words into bold and underlined them is because the “Trade Federation” are our main bad guys here. I know this is supposed to be a prequel and all, but “Trade Federation” sounds rather pathetic next to the films that were filmed before it and their “Galactic Empire”. So yeah, we haven’t even really started the film and we have problems. Oh, and by the way…….we are less than two minutes into this film and this movie has a runtime of 2 hours and 13 minutes. You might want to join me in getting liquored up because this is going to get worse.
We are then greeted by a CGI ship that is heading to the headquarters of the Trade Federation blockade. They ask via monitor the Viceroy Nute Gunray of the Trade Federation if they can board and the Viceroy gives the okay. It is while landing that we meet our main pawns in the Droid Army, which are all CGI.
Trust me, whenever these guys fight, we know the people fighting them are mostly fighting air because the CGI that is very much dated in 2011. That is different from the Storm Troopers in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, & Return of the Jedi because those Storm Troopers were really there thanks to the fact that they were all extras in suits.
The two ambassadors in cloaks are greeted by a silver version of C-3PO that is called TC-14.
TC-14 leads the ambassadors to a conference room where they are told to wait for Nute Gunray. After TC-14 leaves, the ambassadors remove their cloaks to reveal that they are Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan (meaning Jedi apprentice) Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Qui-Gon Is Played By Liam Neeson (Who Was Nominated For An Academy Award For His Lead Acting In Schlindler’s List) And Obi-Wan Is Played By Ewan McGregor (Who’s Big Role Was As Renton In Trainspotting)
Getting in a conversation between these two creates another problem as the acting of Ewan McGregor is at times very wooden. Liam Neeson is basically Liam Neeson. TC-14 tells Nute Gunray and the captain of the headquarter ship, Daultay Dofine, that the two ambassadors are definitely Jedi. This infuriates the two who think this is a ploy by the Chancellor to force an immediate withdrawal. Nute tells TC-14 to distract the two while he talks to Darth Sidious.
Yes, As You Can Tell, Darth Sidious Is The Same Model As Emperor Palpatine In Episodes IV through VI So You Easily Know Darth Sidious Really Is Palpatine.
TC-14 goes back to give the two drinks while Nute talks to Sidious. Sidious tells Nute to speed up the plans to invade Naboo and kill the two Jedi. Guns immediately come out and destroy the vessel that brought the Jedi to this base. Afterwards, the conference room doors are locked and gassed in an attempt to kill Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. This fails as when several droids comes in to destroy what is left of them, the two come out and kill them. The fight scenes in this film are very well done, but that is what you would expect from a Star Wars film.
Obi-Wan fights off the droids while Qui-Gon attempts to use his lightsaber to force open the door which separates them and Nute. Their attempts are stopped when Droid Destroyers come to fight. The two are then forced to leave and escape through the vent, which would be nice to see……but we only get told by one of Nute’s employees that they have escaped through the vents. The two Jedi then stow aboard two invading ships in an attempt to warn the Naboo.
Nute gets a message from Queen Amidala that she has been told that two ambassadors have been sent out to them to end this blockade.
Queen Amidala Of Course Is Played By Natalie Portman, Whose Role Before This Was As The President’s Daughter In Mars Attacks.
Nute of course lies and says that he didn’t meet with any ambassadors. The Queen also warns them that they have gone too far this time and Nute responds that they would never do anything without the approval of the Senate. Oh almost forgot to mention that the so called Congress of the Republic in the opening is called The Senate. So that whole Congress crap, you can forget about it as this film has.
Anyway, Nute decides that they must disrupt all communications so that Naboo can’t reach the Senate. Immediately we see that they have cut off all communications when a call to Senator Palpatine is cut off. While speaking with Governor Sio Bibble, the Queen realizes that this could mean that the Trade Federation is planning on invasion. The Federation invades as they land in the forests some distance away.
We see that in the forest the two Jedi are running along with Naboo animals to escape from the droids destroying the forest. While running, Qui-Gon runs into a Gungan named Jar Jar Binks. Oh Jar Jar, he was an attempt by George Lucas to have a marketability character for kids that failed miserably. You will find out throughout this film as Jar Jar is very unfunny and extremely annoying.
Oh And His Form Is Very Questionable CGI.
Qui-Gon saves Jar Jar from being run over by one of the droid tanks. Jar Jar basically says that it is demanded by his gods that he serve Qui-Gon because he saved his life. Our annoying character then recommends they go to Gunga City to hide from the droids since the city is a secret one. Jar Jar then mentions that he kind of has been banished from there and the heads would do terrible things to him as punishment if he should return. However, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan pressure Jar Jar into taking them there.
Jar Jar takes them to a lake where they have to swim underwater to reach the city. Because Jar Jar is amphibious, he can swim underwater just fine, but because Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are human, they need to use ridiculous contraptions to breath underwater.
Ridiculous Contraptions, I Say
They swim to the underwater city where they receive the not warm welcome they were warned about. The three are taken before Boss Nass.
Voiced By Veteran English Stage Actor Well Known For His Booming Voice, Brian Blessed.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan try to talk Nass into helping warn the Naboo, but it appears that the Gungans and the Naboo don’t see eye to eye because apparently, the Naboo think they have bigger brains than the Gungans. When Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon try to reason that they should do it because once they take care of Naboo, they are next………..the Gungans say they have places to hide that the invaders have no knowledge of. Nass tells them that the quickest way to the Naboo is through the planet’s core and provides them with a transport. Qui-Gon then says that they need a guide and he elects Jar Jar to be it. He says that since he saved Jar Jar’s life, the Gungan owes the Jedi Knight a life debt.
Jar Jar leads the two through the planet’s core and of course they get chased by several fish that see the ship as food. Unfortunately through this film, because of the dated CGI and the time this occurs in the movie, no one really seemed that intrigued or worried about our heroes getting eaten because they all knew that they would escape. Let’s move on……
The Trade Federation forces finally make it to the capital city of Theed and quickly occupy it without really any lives lost. Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, & Jar Jar appear at the same time. Nute tries to get Amidala to sign a treaty that would legitimize their occupation of Naboo so the Trade Federation doesn’t have to face the wrath of the Senate. However, Amidala refuses to sign said treaty and Nute then threatens to cause suffering of her people. As the queen and her staff are led away by droids, our three protagonists sneak into the city. In the alley, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan quickly destroy the droids escorting the prisoners while Jar Jar makes an idiot out of himself tripping like a doofus.
Several of her bodyguards grab the weapons from the fallen droids as the rest escort Queen Amidala away from the alley. Sio asks how badly did the negotiations fail and Qui-Gon says the negotiations never took place. When at the hanger, Qui-Gon is able to convince Queen Amidala to come with him and Obi-Wan to Coruscant so she can plead their case to the Senate. Qui-Gon funnily walks up to some droids and we get this funny exchange.
Droid Unit Leader: Halt!!!
Qui-Gon Jinn: I’m ambassador to the Supreme Chancellor. I’m taking these people to Coruscant.
Droid Unit Leader: Where are you taking them??
Qui-Gon Jinn: To Coruscant.
Droid Unit Leader: Coruscant………uh…………that doesn’t compute…….uh……..wait……….uh…..You’re Under Arrest!!!
It is clumsy dialogue like this that makes you wonder what the hell they are doing to my Star Wars franchise. After that clumsy dialogue, surprise…….the droids are destroyed. All the pilots that were being held captive escape and we get basically all of the ships leaving for Coruscant. While in the ship, Obi-Wan makes Jar Jar stay in the room where some R2s are stored. The ship which houses all of our main characters is being shot and damaged by the blockade. The shield generator gets damaged and most of the R2s get destroyed except R2-D2 who is able to repair power to the ship. However, they only have enough power to get them to Tatooine so they will have to land and try to get parts there.
In a meeting with Darth Sidious, Nute has to give the bad news that the Queen has escaped and the ship she was in is now in an area out of the Trade Federation’s range. Darth is not pleased and says that while it is out of their range, it is not out of the Sith’s range. He then introduces his apprentice, Darth Maul.
Looking All Badass……….
He says that Darth Maul will locate them. When Sidious and Maul leave, Nute and his associate Rune Haako question whether they should have associated with the Sith to begin with. Back on the ship, R2-D2 is given congratulations for his job in saving their bacon. Queen Amidala has one of her servants Padme clean up R2-D2 the best she can. While cleaning up R2-D2, Padme makes some small talk with Jar Jar. The ship lands on Tatooine where Qui-Gon, Jar Jar, R2-D2 and Padme embark on a quest to find the parts needed to get to Coruscant. There they meet a trader named Watto and his slave, Anakin Skywalker.
While Qui-Gon and Watto discuss the parts they need, Anakin asks Padme………well, I’ll let the dialogue speak for itself.
Anakin: Are you an angel?
Anakin: An angel. I’ve heard the deep space pilots talk about them. They’re the most beautiful creatures in the universe.
Yes, basically Anakin is kind of hitting on Padme. I would like to explain to me how creepy this is. This movie was released in theaters on May 19…………
AHHHHH....I’m Sorry Kane………..I Didn’t Mean To Offend You Or Anything!! Don’t Kill Me!!!
Anyways, it was released on that date in 1999. At that time, the guy playing Anakin (Jake Lloyd) had basically turned 10 years old. Natalie Portman (who plays Padme here……..guess I might have spoiled the later surprise) is at this time about to turn 18 in less than a month. So the idea of a 10 year old, kind of hitting on a 17 year old is creepy.
Back to the movie, the two make small talk and you can see a connection between the two (Seriously, we might need an adult here). Anyways, Anakin reveals that he and his mother got won by Watto in a pod race bet with one of the Hutts. Of course for a moment their conversation is interrupted by Jar Jar who of course makes a mess by playing with some robots.
Outside, we see Qui-Gon tries to use Republic credits to buy the parts, but people in Tatooine do not take Republic credits. Qui-Gon then tries to use the Jedi mind trick to get the parts and well…….it doesn’t go well.
*Qui-Gon waves his hand*
Qui-Gon: But credits will do fine…..
Watto: No, they won’t-a
*Qui-Gon waves his hand more firmly*
Qui-Gon: Credits will do fine….
Watto: No they won’t-a. What? You think you’re some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that? I’m a Toydarian. Mind tricks don’t work on me. Only money. No money, no parts, no deal!
I guess I should mention that Watto is a cross between a Jewish stereotype and an Italian stereotype. This movie does a lot of that with characters. Hell, Jar Jar Binks and the Gungans are basically all stereotypes. The outlanders as Watto calls them, all leave and we see more connection between Anakin and Padme……*shudders*
While wandering about, Jar Jar, while being an idiot, almost gets himself killed by Sebulba. But Anakin saves the day and we get very obvious hints that Anakin and Sebulba are enemies. Qui-Gon senses something in Anakin so he allows Anakin to tag along as they figure out how to get the parts from Watto. Meanwhile back at the ship, a message from home is sent by Governor Bibble asking Queen Amidala to return to Naboo and sign the treaty to stop the suffering of her people. Obi-Wan immediately figures out that this is a trick by the Trade Federation and tells the queen to disregard that message.
Meanwhile Anakin allows the outlanders he is with to stay with him and his mother until the incoming sandstorm passes. Anakin shows Padme the droid he is building, which so happens to be C-3PO.
He Isn’t Complete Yet As He Has Not Robotic Shell
And For All Of You Who Think R2-D2 And C-3PO Become A Gay Robot Couple, Here Is The Two Having Their Very First Conversation, Which Amounts To R2-D2 Telling C-3PO That He Is Naked And His Parts Are Showing.
At Coruscant, we see Darth Sidious and Darth Maul talking about their plans of gaining revenge of the Jedi. Back at the Skywalker house, Jar Jar uses his tongue to steal apples, but Qui-Gon grabs his tongue and tells him not to do that again. We also learn from Anakin’s mother that the Republic doesn’t exist in Tatooine, which is why slavery is allowed. Anakin is able to tell that Qui-Gon is a Jedi Knight because he saw the lightsaber and knows only Jedis carry those. Qui-Gon tries to say that he might have killed a Jedi and stolen it, but Anakin says that no one can kill a Jedi. Qui-Gon smiles and says he wishes that were so, but Jedis can die as well. Anakin says he had a dream that he was a Jedi and he freed all the slaves. When they explain why they are there, Anakin’s mom says that they could be able to get the parts through pod race gambling because it is always the junkyard dealers’ weaknesses.
Anakin reveals that he built a podracer and wants to race in the big race. However, it is revealed that Watto won’t let him race his pod. Anakin reasons that he doesn’t have to know he built it…just get him to pilot it for them. They try to figure out other ways to get the parts, but none come up so the plan is brought into fruition. Anakin wins a pod race with the pod and with them bet on him winning……they use the money to get the parts. They have Watto supply the boy and make a bet that if Anakin wins, Watto gets all the winnings, but has to give up the parts needed for the ship. However if Anakin loses, Watto gets the ship. Watto agrees to this deal and says he is putting his money on Sebulba because Sebulba has won the last four races. In a conversation with Obi-Won, who has some hesitance on the plan, Qui-Gon says that he has a feeling on the boy. He tells Anakin’s mother that he believes Anakin is a Jedi.
We also meet Anakin’s friends, including one who looks like a kid version of Greedo…..
Have To Do That Joke Or Someone Else Would Have
Anyway……..that character is named Wald and we all know who is under that costume.
No……….Not Phil Fondacaro. If This Were Of A Lower Budget Or George Lucas Need Another Little Guy…….Maybe
It’s Our Old Friend, The Leprechaun Warwick Davies. George Lucas Would Always Call Him First If He Needed A Midget.
The friends laugh off Anakin’s attempt to win the big podrace. Anakin tries to warn Jar Jar to be careful as if his hand gets caught in those energy beams in the back of the pod, it will go numb for hours. So logically………
He Sticks His Head In Between The Beams
Now the joke is for a few minutes of film reel, Jar Jar’s head and most noticeably his tongue are numb. Jar Jar then almost gets his hand stuck in one of the engines, but Padme pulls it out before he loses it. Anakin is able to start the pod and I guess it is ready for the big race. That night, Qui-Gon talks with Anakin and helps him clean a cut. When Anakin leaves, Qui-Gon asks Obi-Wan to check the blood sample he got from Anakin for a midi-chlorian count. Now I’m sure through constant jokes, you all know what it is………but for someone who was watching this movie in theaters in 1999, you are wondering “what the hell are midi-chlorians?”Anyway, Obi-Wan says that the readings are off the charts with the count being over………..
It’s Over 9,000!!!!!!
No, it’s over way more than that. It’s over 20,000. Qui-Gon mentions that not even Yoda has that many midi-chlorians. We then see Darth Maul land on Tatooine and send out some scouter droids to find the queen and the Jedis.
It’s the day of the big race and Qui-Gon is so confident, he makes a secondary bet with Watto. If Anakin loses, Watto gets the podracer. But if Anakin wins, both he and his mother are free. Watto initially rejects this bet because “no pod is worth two slaves”. Obi-Wan settles on just the boy and Watto is still hesitant since the boy really helps him a lot in the shop. He decides to play a game of chance with a dice that has two colors: red and blue. If it lands on blue, the boy goes free. If it lands on red, the mother goes free. He rolls the dice and it lands on blue (thanks in part to Qui-Gon’s Jedi trick).
The race is about to begin, but we learn that Anakin has never finished a race, which really upsets Padme since Qui-Gon is betting everything on this kid winning. We are also met by our announcers.
Well, One Announcer With Two Heads, But Who’s Counting
We also get this little joker who won’t get out of the shot so George Lucas can get the full walk of Anakin Skywalker going to his position.
Small Fry: Hi Mom!!!!!
George Lucas: GET OUT OF MY SHOT, YOU MORON!!!!
George Lucas Also Has Us Deal With A Fart Joke……….In A Star Wars Movie…………*Sigh*
Oh yeah and besides being the favorite in this race, we learn one more thing about Sebulba…
He Fucking Cheats
Yes, that is Sebulba sabotaging Anakin’s pod so he will lose the race and not even finish.
We Also See CGI Jabba The Hutt Who Starts The Race
The race begins and Anakin initially has his pod not start. He and the little dope who got in George Lucas shot have trouble with their engines.
George Lucas: That’s What You Get For Getting Into My Shot, You Bastard
Anakin finally gets his ship to work as he heads off, but he has huge ground to make. At the race, we see Sebulba immediately start bumping into other racers, causing them to crash. They weren’t kidding about Anakin having a fast pod as he catches up to some of the group in no time.
Some Tuskan Raiders Make A Cameo To Just Shoot At The Pods As They Pass By
We then see the little guy who pissed George Lucas off have his pod explode without ever starting.
Obviously You Don’t Piss George Off While He Is Filming
The race continues in its second lap and Anakin still has some ground to make before catching the leader. The pod racer ahead of him tries to block Anakin from passing him, but he fails as Anakin still passes him. The next podracer tries to bump him off the track, but Anakin is able to pass him using a nice trick. Sebulba causes the podracer behind him to crash by throwing an object at him.
I See Sebulba Has Played Himself Some Super Mario Kart
However, much to Sebulba’s chagrin, Anakin is now in second place. The Tuskan Raiders try to attack again and actually get one of the pods behind our two main racers to crash. It’s now the final lap and it is apparent that either Sebulba or Anakin will win. Sebulba rams into Anakin and causes Anakin to have a momentary issue, but Anakin is easily able to fix this and he catches up to Sebulba.
Hi, We Jawas Are Here To Make A Cameo As Well.
He passes Sebulba and forces Sebulba to try one final trick to beat Anakin, but it backfires and he crashes instead. Anakin is able to win the race and thus Qui-Gon wins both bets. A furious Watto tries to go back on his word that if he loses, he will free Anakin, but when Qui-Gon says he will go to the Hutts to deal with this issue, Watto gives in and says that can have him. Yeah, I don’t think you want to bother Jabba with bets from the pod race since apparently he doesn’t care. Why do I say this???
Lazy Bastard Fell Asleep During The Race
Oh I guess I should mention Anakin’s mother saying that Anakin’s win gave hope for those who have none. If she is talking about the slaves, she might wanna read the bio on Anakin’s rival Sebulba as Sebulba himself was a former slave, who got so good at pod racing, that he was able to get his freedom. So the hope for slaves crap is moot because it already happened.
Qui-Gon comes by to pick up the boy and we have a sad moment where Anakin has to say goodbye to his mother because he is the only one who is freed now. It is a bittersweet moment and when Anakin has some hesitation in leaving his mother behind, his mother tells him that he should go because Qui-Gon had promised to make him a Jedi, something that has been a dream of Anakin. His mother wants Anakin to live out his dream and thus, Anakin says his farewells. This is really hard for a child to do, but as the band Shinedown would say in one of their songs…
Sometimes Goodbye Is A Second Chance
The bots come back to Darth Maul and tell him the location of the spacecraft. Darth Maul gets on his speeder bike and heads off to confront them. He almost runs over Anakin and gets into a battle with Qui-Gon.
It merely is a distraction to get everyone on the ship and Qui-Gon gets in while the ship escapes. While Obi-Wan and Anakin check on him, Qui-Gon reveals that whoever he was facing was well trained in the Jedi arts and his guess is he was after the Queen. Back at Naboo, Nute tries to get Governor Bibble to work with him in getting the Queen to sign the treaty, but Bibble still refuses. We get more emotional connection between Padme and Anakin including Anakin giving her a present to remember him by……*double shudder*
The starship arrives at Coruscant, where Senator Palpatine is waiting for them. Yes, we know Palpatine is Darth Sidious, but in this film the Senator portion of him is a good guy.
The guy left of Palpatine is Supreme Chancellor Valorum, who is played by 60s icon Terrence Stamp, but for comic book fans and geeks altogether you might know for saying this line.
Kneel Before Zod
Yes, Terrence Stamp played the legendary General Zod in Superman II. Anyway, Valorum tells Amidala that he has called for a special council to deal with the events that have occurred in Naboo. In Palpetine’s office and away from Valorum’s ears, Palpatine tells the Queen that the Republic is not what it once was and only politics rule here. So…….like the current US Government…..
Anyway, he says the Chancellor has been mired by baseless accusations and the bureaucrats control the Chancellor. Palpatine then says that there isn’t much hope for the Republic to act on this invasion and their only chance is for her to push for the election of a new Chancellor, one that will be much stronger.
Qui-Gon meets with the Jedi Council and explains that the man they fought was trained in the arts of the Jedi and his only conclusion can be that it was a Sith Lord. The Jedi Council think this is impossible because the Sith have been extinct for quite some time. Qui-Gon then reveals that he found a person who he believes should be trained as a Jedi.
We also meet Mace Windu who of course is played by Samuel L. Jackson, who says that with the boy’s power……..he thinks Qui Gon is speaking of the prophecy that someone will bring order to the galaxy. Because this is somewhat geared towards kids, Samuel L. Jackson does no cursing as he is used to doing in films.
We also see Yoda and……
Oh boy……..the Yoda puppet has not aged well, which is why in the later sequels, Yoda is CGI. Let’s just say that there is no possible way now for Yoda to walk in that suit. Anyway, the Council tells Qui-Gon to bring the boy before them so they can judge for themselves.
We go to the Senate meeting where Queen Amidala tells of the invasion that has occurred. However there is a representative of the Trade Federation named Lott Dod who calls these accusations outrageous. They then call for a commission to find out the truth. Valorum gets talked to by some bureaucrats, who Palpatine tells the Queen, are aligned with the Trade Federation. Valorum asks the Queen if she will consent to a commission and she refuses. Then she says that she is forced to give the Chancellor a vote of no confidence. This causes several Senators to agree and Valorum sits down in sorrow, knowing that his time as Chancellor is up.
Obi-Wan tells Qui-Gon that the Council will probably not allow the boy to be a Jedi as he is too old. Yes, nine to ten years old is too old to become a Jedi. Qui-Gon then says that Anakin will become a Jedi and he promises that. Obi-Wan reveals that it is this stubbornness by Qui-Gon which is a reason why he is not part of the Council himself. Meanwhile the boy is being tested by the Council and while he passes one test, they have issue with the test of having fear. Apparently a Jedi can’t have fear because as Yoda says “Fear is a path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Meanwhile, Queen Amidala is told that Senator Palpatine has been nominated to be new Supreme Chancellor. There are some others nominated, but we won’t ever see them so it doesn’t matter. Palpatine is said to be surprised by it all, but he says it is a welcome one. He also promises should he win that he will end all corruption in the Senate. Queen Amidala tells Palpatine that she is planning on returning to Naboo to be with her people. While the Senator disapproves of this idea, Amidala doesn’t care as Coruscant is Palpatine’s arena as hers is in Naboo. Oh……….I forgot to mention that in this galaxy and in Naboo, you have to be elected Queen of a planet as well. Um……..that is not how a monarchy works. It works via bloodlines, not the will of the people.
Meanwhile back at the Jedi Council, the Council says that while the force is strong with Anakin, they refuse to make him a Jedi. They originally say the kid is too old, but when pressed further……they admit that the kid has fear in him and his future is clouded. Qui-Gon then says he will take Anakin as his Padawan, but when told he already has one in Obi-Wan Kenobi and can’t have two………Qui-Gon asks for Obi-Wan to be Jedi as he believes Kenobi is ready. The Council says that Young Skywalker’s fate will be decided later because there are more important things to deal with.
So Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Anakin join Amadala, Jar Jar, and her aides back to Naboo. Here we also learn what midi-chlorians are as Anakin wonders what they are. Qui-Gon says that midi-chlorians are microscopic organisms that exist in all living life-forms. Without midi-chlorians, there would be no knowledge of the Force. So yes, midi-chlorians are now how you determine who is a Jedi, which is the exact moment when many Star Wars fans screamed in anger. Now you may ask why that is and here is the answer. Say you are a fan of the original three films and throughout those three films, it has been hinted that the Force is magical and it is unknown who will gain it. Now you watch this movie and George Lucas brings the term “midi-chlorians” into existence and brings science into the realm of the Force. You’d be pissed off too if you were hinted at one thing for decades and then they do a complete 180 on your ass. To many Star Wars fans, this was the big “Fuck You” moment from George Lucas to his fans.
Back at Naboo, Nute tells Darth Sidious that they have control of every single life form on the planet. Sidious tells Nute that he is sending his apprentice Darth Maul to Naboo to make sure there are no screw-ups. Back in the ship, the pilot is teaching Anakin how to fly the ship. Queen Amidala says that it is time for her to negotiate with the Gungans in hopes that they will help fight this war to get the Trade Federation off of Naboo.
On Naboo, while Jar Jar takes the Queen to the Gungan City, Obi-Wan apologizes for his behavior in doubting Qui-Gon’s opinion on the boy. He also tells his master that he is grateful that Jinn thinks Kenobi can take on the trials. Qui-Gon responds by telling Obi-Wan that he is a good apprentice and that he is wiser than he himself is. The master also foresees that his Padawan will become a great Jedi Knight. Jar Jar returns with the Queen to say that Gungan City has been deserted. He says that he believes they have gone to the Sacred Place, a place they go to when there is trouble. When asked to take them there, he agrees to do so.
They reach the Sacred Place and are immediately escorted to Boss Nass. Queen Amidala comes before the Gungans and wants peace. When Queen Amidala asks to form an alliance, Padme interrupts and steps forward. When Boss Nass asks who dares to interrupt, Padme reveals that she is actually the real Queen Amidala and the other is Sache, her most trusted bodyguard and a decoy. She apologizes for her deception, but she believed it was necessary for her protection. She reasons that if the two do not unite, this whole planet will be lost. She even goes on her knees and begs the Gungans for help.
This show of respect that she never believed her people were smarter than the Gungans changes Boss Nass’ opinion of them and agrees to help. Back at the castle, Nute tells Sidious of the new alliance and Sidious is even shocked by this move. He then tells his apprentice Darth Maul that he needs to be mindful and let them make the first move instead of the other way around. Back at the Sacred Place, Nass makes Jar Jar a general for the upcoming battle, much to Jar Jar’s chagrin. The plan to take back Naboo has three parts. The first part is for the Gungans to fight the droids to cause a diversion. The second part is for the Jedi, Amidala, and her aides to infiltrate the castle and capture Nute. The third part is for starships to attack the main ship of the blockade which controls all of the Droid Army and destroy it, thus taking the Droids off line. There is a fourth part of the plan where the Jedi have to find Darth Maul, but that is not important in the grand scheme of the plan.
Back at the castle, it is obvious that they are falling for it as they are sending all of their Droid Army to the swamp to meet this army that is forming. And it’s time to begin the giant CGI battle between the Gungans and the Droid Army. There are only a few Gungans who have even been given dialogue so there is not much care for this giant battle and they also have shield generators which will stop most of the laser weapons.
The Droid Army shows up in all their CGI glory and honestly, I don’t care what happens, but for the sake of this induction………I’ll give some details on what happens.
The droids try firing on the shield, but they fail to pierce even an inch.
Meanwhile at the castle, the rest of the resistance makes their way into the castle with ease since only the smallest of droids are left. Qui-Gon tells Anakin that once they get inside, he go find a good place to hide. Nute immediately says that he thought that the battle was going to take place far from there, but he is stupid and doesn’t understand the idea of a diversion. The resistance immediately gets to the docking bay and several of them take the ships and head towards the blockade to attack the control ship of the Droids. One of them, oddly enough and by pure accident, is Anakin. You had to know that when Qui-Gon told Anakin to stay back, something else was gonna happen.
Meanwhile back at the Gungan battle, the tanks have ceased fire and the larger vehicles reveal themselves to be a place where droid reinforcements come from.
The reinforcements actually enter the shield and thus the real battle commences.
I will reframe from mentioning any of what Jar Jar Binks does because he is an idiot and he basically screws around and sometimes by pure luck, actually takes down some droids. Back at the castle, Darth Maul appears.
I Smell Trouble
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan say they will handle Darth Maul as the Queen and her troops decide to take the long way.
And thus our main Jedi vs. Sith battle commences. As you can see Darth has a double blades lightsaber which was a first in this series and is fucking awesome.
This Jedi battle between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul is epic and definitely the best part of the movie. However for a while, all of these battles are quickly cut between each other and thus……you are barely able to get what is going on before it cuts to somewhere else so to save people’s time, I will go to the important parts. Qui-Gon and Darth Maul get separated from Obi-Wan so basically it’s a one on one duel, while the other good guy tries to catch up. At the Gungan battle, a shield generator gets destroyed and the shield is gone.
This allows the tanks to fire successfully and this means huge trouble for the Gungans. At the castle, the Naboo resistance gets surrounded. Meanwhile Anakin lands in the landing bay of the control ship after his ship gets hit. It seems the ship is overheated, but not for long as Anakin starts blasting Droids that are inside the ship.
Back at the lightsaber battle, Darth Maul kills Qui-Gon.
Enjoy Being A Ghost Qui-Gon Throughout The Rest Of The Prequels
Back at the Gungan Battle, it seems over for our Gungan friends as they have been outnumbered and outflanked.
Yep, Jar Jar Gives Up While Another Gungan Looks On In Shame
Back at the palace, the Naboo resistance is taken to Nute who gloats about finally being able to force the Queen to sign the treaty. The fake Queen shows up and believing she is the real Queen, they take their eye off the prisoners and the prisoners use this little distraction to take out the guards and corner Nute. Yep, it’s over for the Viceroy.
Back to the lightsaber battle where it is time for a one on one showdown between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul.
Both Have Their Battle Faces On
Once the shield separating them disappears (the same shield that kept Obi-Wan away from Qui-Gon when Darth Maul killed him), it is go time.
After a very good fight scene (one in which Obi-Wan actually damages Maul’s lightsaber so one of the two blades is gone), it seems Obi-Wan is finished as he has lost his lightsaber and is hanging on the edge.
Through Anakin’s firing inside the docking bay of the control ship, Anakin is somehow able to destroy the ship from the inside because the reactors were in the docking bay. The bad guys don’t understand how someone could destroy their reactor through their shields; well…….that is kind of why you don’t put your reactor in the same place as your docking bay. Someone could just go in there and shoot it.
I mean seriously I wonder how the conversation went in building this damn thing.
Builder: Okay sir…….most of the ship is complete, we just need to find a place to place a reactor that if destroyed could destroy your entire ship. Where do you want that???
Boss: Ehhhhh………just put it anywhere.
*Boss looks around.*
Boss: Put it right in the docking bay, there is space there.
Builder: But sir…….if an enemy enters your docking bay, wouldn’t it be easy for them to destroy everything.
Boss: Who is the boss here: me or you???!!!! I say put it there!!!! It’s not like some fucking kid will destroy it through dumb luck.
Builder: You’re the boss……
Because the droid ship was destroyed, the droid army about to take care of the Gungans die and the Gungans win by default.
Yes……….Celebrate Your Victory Via Forfeit Knowing That If It Took Longer, You Would Be An Epic Fail Of Your Own, Jar Jar Binks.
Back at the Jedi battle since everything else seems to be finished, Darth Maul is basically taunting Obi-Wan about his current situation.
However, Obi-Wan is able to use the Force to grab Qui-Gon’s lightsaber and some acrobatics to make incredible jump past Darth Maul. There is able to cut Darth Maul into half.
Obi-Wan checks on Qui-Gon, who despite being stabbed a while ago…..is still alive. Qui-Gon makes Obi-Wan promise that Kenobi will train the boy. Obi-Wan promises he will do so and then Qui-Gon says that Anakin is the chosen one and he will bring balance to the force, before finally dying. With three films that are supposed to be later in the story released before this, let’s see how well Anakin does in being the chosen one and bringing balance to the force.
Ouch……………Seems Qui-Gon Was More Than A Little Wrong With That Prediction
Now that all the major battles are over, we need to clean up some loose ends. The Viceroy and his aides are sent back to Coruscant to answer for their actions. Palpatine becomes Supreme Chancellor and as you know since he is Darth Sidious and will turn the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire, we can thank Queen Amidala for that vote of no confidence on Chancellor Valorum because that is how Palpatine got into power in the first place. Palpatine shows up and says he will be keeping close eye on Anakin.
Obi-Wan ascends from a Padawan to a Full Jedi, however Yoda does not agree with Obi-Wan taking Anakin to be his Padawan. With much reluctance, Yoda agrees to allow Obi-Wan to train the boy. A funeral is then held for Qui-Gon as his body is cremated, much like Darth Vader’s body was cremated by his son, Luke in Return of the Jedi.
Bye Qui-Gon……….And Know That Your Defiance Has Doomed Us All
Yoda and Mace Windu asking if whether they killed the master or the apprentice with the Sith. A parade is held for the Gungans as everyone in Naboo celebrates victory.
The Gungans are given some kind of crystal ball and that makes the Gungans extremely happy.
We end this film with one more smile between Queen Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker continuing the creepiness of what will happen. As you all know from the later films, Anakin and Padme actually marry which is why in the other two films, Anakin is played by an older actor (because seeing this Anakin and Padme getting married would be more than enough for us to call Chris Hansen). Anakin hearing about the prophecy that Padme will die gets him to turn to the dark side, with the coercion of Chancellor Palpatine, who becomes Emperor Palpatine. The Jedi end up being in near extinction thanks to this duo and their new clone army of Storm Troopers; and then everything else can be explained by pretty much everyone (as I believe almost everyone have seen the original trilogy.
And if I just spoiled anything there, I just saved your ass from watching the remaining prequels as these films are the bane of Star Wars existence, but before I give my final thoughts on this film, we need some aftermath.
Pretty much a lot of people in this movie had good careers after this. The only one of note that didn’t do much after this was Jake Lloyd (who played Young Anakin Skywalker) and the reason was two years after this film, he decided to quit acting and live a normal life. Jake Lloyd has done a few conventions like in 2009 when he did the reunion of the cast ten years later, but for the most part……the kid decided that acting is not as important.
Liam Neeson (who played Qui Gon Jinn) can’t get enough roles as you can probably see him in many films and several of those films will appear in Monster Crap in the future. He has been in great films like Taken, The Chronicles of Narnia Series, and Batman Begins…..however in 2009, tragedy struck when his wife died in a skiing accident.
Ewan McGregor was in both of the other Star Wars prequels as Obi-Wan Kenobi. He has also done films like Big Fish and Black Hawk Down. \
Natalie Portman also returned to the other Star Wars prequels as now Senator Padme Amidala. She also has been in many successful films like V For Vendetta (a film I really like), Cold Mountain, Garden State, and she just recently won an Academy Award for Best Actress in Black Swan, while also announcing she is engaged to the Ballet dancer Benjamin Millepad, who she met while film Black Swan. Also she now has a kid with him.
Samuel L. Jackson……….well, you know what Sam has done since this film.
However, there are people who had minor roles in this films who have gone on to have great careers. Dominic West (who went on to be the traitorous senator in 300) played a Palace Guard. Sofia Coppola (now an accomplished director with Lost In Translation) played one of Queen Amidala’s handmaidens. But probably the one you have heard of the most is Keira Knightley, who played Sache, the fake Queen Amidala.
The movie did well, climbing all the way to #3 for all-time domestic box office. It has fallen since then, but not too far, which is why I was very reluctant to induct this film. However, that is no longer an issue so let’s get to my final thoughts.
For me, this film may not be the worst of the Star Wars films (I think The Clone Wars and Episode 2: Attack Of The Clones are worse). But this is a terrible film. The dialogue is terrible as it does no favors to the cast at all and makes them seem lifeless. The chemistry between Anakin and Padme doesn’t even border on creepy, it just leaped into just plain wrong (probably why they got an older actor for the latter prequel films). Jar Jar Binks becomes annoying and several races are so clichéd, they become stereotypes of certain races, and at that point….they can be seen as derogatory. The ret-con with Midi-chlorians was just a huge middle finger to every fan of the original trilogy. George Lucas at this point becomes very lazy by putting CGI into stuff that you could use practical effects on…….which makes big battles that would normally make us care what happens, does the exact opposite as all we are doing now is just looking at our watch and waiting for it to be over because you know for the most part nothing major is gonna happen to the important characters. But the major issue is what screws all prequels that I have seen so far and that is, we know what the hell happens which takes away all of the suspense.
However, there are some good things about this film. The fight between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Darth Maul is truly epic and a lot of that has to do with Ray Park (who played Darth Maul) being very able to do moves that most actors can’t do. The pod race is really good and almost makes up for the crappy Gungan vs. Droid battle. But sadly the negatives easily outweigh the positives and this movie is definitely crap, which no Star Wars fan wanted.
Well, after that I wonder what is next on my plate with the Monster Crap Randomizer……
I Was Wondering When I Was Going To Be Able To Do Another Gamera Movie….