I both liked and disliekd Queen Amidala’s get ups in The Phantom Menace.
I liked them because they were very striking, and I liked the idea that she had this extremely formal wear and deepened voice to giver her a more intimidating appearance to the Senate because in reality she was just a short, petite, teenage girl.
However, when watching it, it looked very clearly to be Asian-inspired. So much so that it didn’t feel like I was in a galaxy far, far away, but instead a local Kabuki-themed production.
For the longest time I didn’t realize Darth Vader’s design was patterned after samurai armor. If anything, I thought of Doctor Doom. Even the initials are inverted.
So much of The Phantom Menace, design-wise felt wrong. I think Palpatine was wearing clothing that was reminiscent of some kind of Renaissance-era tunic. Naboo looked like a cross between Roman/Renaissance period/Florence and Dinotopia. It didn’t feel like Star Wars at all.
And Darth Maul’s design was always kind of weak to me. It’s like what a 6 year old would come up with. Black and red with spikes coming out of his head. And it was also weird that both teenage, human Amidala, and obviously-alien Darth Maul were both wearing what looked like kabuki makeup.
In hindsight though, Darth Maul ended up being the best villain in the whole trilogy. He even had a motorcycle which was cool. They really dropped the ball with killing him off so early. He could have been the new Darth Vader.