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TPM: A Decade Later

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 (Edited)

It's been about 10 years now. Seems a helluva lot longer than 10 years.

HOW I FELT ABOUT TPM AFTER FIRST SEEING IT: I really, really liked the lightsaber battle. I don't know if I thought too much else about the rest of the movie.

HOW I FEEL ABOUT TPM 10 YEARS LATER: I can't watch it anymore. When I watch a Star Wars movie, and start thinking of others things to be doing, something is seriously wrong with the movie.

Okay, now you.

"Fuck you. All the star wars movies were excellent. none of them sucked. Also, revenge of the sith is the best."

- DarthZorgon (YouTube)

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Yeah, ditto; that pretty much sums up my thoughts precisely. The only times I've watched TPM in the last...oh, probably about four or five years...have all been with fanedits. JasonN's was quite masterful, and actually made it somewhat enjoyable - though still not anywhere remotely approaching "on par with the OT."

I've said before that TPM is both the PT's best and worst installment: the most enjoyable elements of the PT are in this movie, along with the most cringe-inducing. A properly polished fanedit actually makes TPM a much more entertaining and engaging film than either of its trainwreck sequels. Still, li'l orphan Ani and the abundance of gungans will always and forever render this episode a deeply flawed and ultimately unsalvageable film. (If some faneditor can take drastic measures and prove me wrong vis-a-vis the "unsalvageable" comment, I'd be quite appreciative.)

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Akwat - I'm sure you've seen the "Original" fan edit of TPM, the one that started it all, right?  Sit thru it with his audio commentary.  It's interesting not just from a Star Wars perspective but from a general editing view as well.  You can really see the differences the little trims make without changing the story.

My outlook on life - we’re all on the Hindenburg anyway…no point fighting over the window seat.

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Aye, I've seen The Phantom Edit, but I've never experienced it with the commentary. Thanks for the tip; if I can track it down again, I'll give it a look-see (or perhaps more accurately, a "listen.") :)

Every 27th customer will get a ball-peen hammer, free!

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 (Edited)

TPM is the only prequel in which the any of the main characters work well. Neeson as Qui Gon is great. Portman is mostly good as Padme. In contrast to how she was awful in AOTC and ROTS. McGregor is better than how he was in the later two prequels, more genuine, though still hardly inspired. Of course, the film doesn't do great with Anakin, but the later prequels do even worse. In the later prequels I found I couldn't give a fuck about any of the main characters, which seriously took from the story. TPM was better on that front.

But the final lightsaber battle in TPM is overrated. It's good in some ways, but it's overdone and the music is overdone. There was no need to beat the audience over the head with the message "This is Epic!" They did that even worse in the ROTS battle on Mustafarted, of course, and that battle had zero value, while the TPM one had some.

The podrace we could all have done without.

TPM totally broke the unspoken rules of star Wars films by loading on obviously cartoon characters. In the OT, some creatures were unconvincing, but the aim was to make them come off as real as possible. The OT tried to make things seem real. In TPM, we're hit with a lot of creatures who seem to be designed with no effort to make them come off real. This includes not only the CGI characters but also the cartoonish Trade Federation guys, who were really annoying, and the droid soldiers, who were just done as a joke (the OT never made its villains just a joke like that).

 And the cgi backgrounds helped (along with the cartoon characters) to give a very unreal feel to the film. Admittedly the OT used some matte paintings for backgrounds, but TPM sometimes really went out of its way to make things look unreal when that could easily have been avoided. This of course did not improve in the later prequels.

 The OT worked by bringing imagined things to life and making them seem real. TPM failed so badly here. TPM's reality fails to convince.

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When I first saw TPM my first reaction was, "Well, there has got to be a learning curve, right? The guy has been out of it for a long time, by the next film things should really start getting good."

I was completely certain that the lightsaber fight at the end of the movie was a sign of things to come. Unfortunately, it was the very last time we would see anything like that in a Star Wars movie.

Looking back, TPM, as awful of a film as it is, actually has more warmth and heart to it than the others. Even with Loyd's bad acting, I felt bad for him as he leaves his mom behind. When Qui-Gon got impaled with Maul's lightsaber, I was right there with Obi-Wan thinking, "No! Why did that have to happen!" Even when Obi-Wan was hanging on for dear life above the bottomless pit with Darth Maul taunting him from above, I was on the edge of my seat wondering how he was going to get out of it.

The other two films evoked either a gag reflex or smirks and laughs every time they tried to be emotional or dramatic. Shmi's death scene had me groaning rather than feeling bad for him. The injustice of him murdering all the Tusken Raiders made me feel mad more than anything, Padme's reaction to it just made me furious. Obi-Wan's dramatic, "He was killing... younglings." and Padme's reaction literally made me laugh in the theater the first time I saw it. So did my friend who was sitting next to me.

And the ending of ROTS, the confrotation should have had huge emotional impact, but instead the thing comes off as silly and overly stylized as they are hovering on the backs of droids over molten lava, as Obi-Wan preaching as his friend as he slowly burns to death. It felt more sick and twisted than anything else.

I still think TPM is an awful film. It may luck out by having a few good parts, but to me those good parts are not near enough of a reward for all the muck you have to wade throught to get to them.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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 (Edited)

Has it been 10 years?  Wow, I feel old now:)

I grew up with the OOT, and saw TPM when I was in my mid 20's, and suprisingly didn't have huge expectations like many of my friends did who anticipated this movie since 1983.  I always wanted the Sequel Trilogy, and the further adventures of Luke, Leia and Han.  I warned my friends in the spring of '99, "temper your expectations, these aren't the same characters, it just won't be the same.  Would you want to see a Back to the Future Prequel without Marty McFly?"

How did I feel on May 19,1999?  I actually walked out of the theater thinking it wasn't that bad.  My friends, who were expecting the next coming were horrified and hugely disappointed, but I kinda took it in stride.  I thought the movie was fun, and just felt like SW-light, but I loved the universe so much as a kid, I didn't bury like many did.  I didn't like Jar Jar, or Jake Lloyd, but I liked seeing the Senate in action, Palpatine taking a hold on power, and seeing a young Obiwan was cool too. 

How do I feel May 1, 2009?  When you now look at it as part 1 of part 3 in the trilogy, what a missed opportunity TPM really is.  Not until I saw ROTS, did you realize how much time Lucas wasted in Episode I and how it affected each movie after that.  In saying that, as a standalone movie for a SW fan, it is mildly entertaining, a bit childish, and has a cool lightsaber battle at the end.  Does it compare to the OT movies?  Not even close. 

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Yeah, I was  shocked that Qui-gon died in TPM. (And subsequently disappears from the PT)

Anyways, the sad thing about this film is that this is the best we got out of the PT. I honestly gave the first two films of the PT a chance, but until I realized how bad the whole PT was I simply cannot watch either film anymore, unless I want to mock the hell out of it.

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the lightsaber battle was my favorite. it was the most intense i've ever seen. i was shocked to see qui gon die. how i feel about it tday? i don't watch it very much anymore, still, its my favorite amongst the PT. mostly because darth maul's in it.

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Vaderisnothayden said:

TPM is the only prequel in which the any of the main characters work well. Neeson as Qui Gon is great. Portman is mostly good as Padme. In contrast to how she was awful in AOTC and ROTS. McGregor is better than how he was in the later two prequels, more genuine, though still hardly inspired. Of course, the film doesn't do great with Anakin, but the later prequels do even worse. In the later prequels I found I couldn't give a fuck about any of the main characters, which seriously took from the story. TPM was better on that front.

But the final lightsaber battle in TPM is overrated. It's good in some ways, but it's overdone and the music is overdone. There was no need to beat the audience over the head with the message "This is Epic!" They did that even worse in the ROTS battle on Mustafarted, of course, and that battle had zero value, while the TPM one had some.

The podrace we could all have done without.

TPM totally broke the unspoken rules of star Wars films by loading on obviously cartoon characters. In the OT, some creatures were unconvincing, but the aim was to make them come off as real as possible. The OT tried to make things seem real. In TPM, we're hit with a lot of creatures who seem to be designed with no effort to make them come off real. This includes not only the CGI characters but also the cartoonish Trade Federation guys, who were really annoying, and the droid soldiers, who were just done as a joke (the OT never made its villains just a joke like that).

 And the cgi backgrounds helped (along with the cartoon characters) to give a very unreal feel to the film. Admittedly the OT used some matte paintings for backgrounds, but TPM sometimes really went out of its way to make things look unreal when that could easily have been avoided. This of course did not improve in the later prequels.

 The OT worked by bringing imagined things to life and making them seem real. TPM failed so badly here. TPM's reality fails to convince.

 

The Mustafar duel was largely designed and co-directed by Steven Spielberg who oversaw the artists early cuts of the live action with the pre viz.  He is uncredited.  But this was the first time lucas and him worked together since last crusade.  And a precursor to Steven doing Crystal Skull and most of the editing choices via pre viz and computer cgi sequences.

Well most of the camera angles and editing choices were done during the pre viz on the Lord of the Rings films but nobody complains about those films.  Or the heavy use of cgi in them, because the context it is used in.  Plus the trilogy by Peter Jackson are damn good films and the star wars prequels are a giant black mark on the star wars legacy.

Plus you have the situation with the Gout and the originals being ruined via the special editions.  To the point its a very hard thing to be a fan of star wars or George Lucas for that matter anymore.  I am not surprised when people sell all their old star wars stuff and cease being fans because Lucas destroyed star wars.

To me if it was not for Zahn, the sequel era EU and the video games and comics star wars should have died in 1983 and died with some frickin dignity.   Yeah It ended with ewoks and a teddy bear picnic, still better than Jar Jar stepping in poo and fart jokes and Hayden Christensen.

But at the end of the day i realize George Lucas is a businessman.  and these films were made for a diiferent audience then the originals movies and a different generation of young people.  Kids used to cartoon cgi and big explosions and little substance in the movies they watch today.  Even though the series ended in 2005 the prequels are already looking pretty dated.  And the audience they were made for have grown up and away from star wars.  Whereas fans of the originals still have a huge amount of fond memories and nostalgia.

The prequels  situation are like the kids who grew up on power rangers and thought it was the greatest thing ever and then when they watched it as adults said it was shit.

These films are mediocre and garbage and wil not be remembered twenty to thirty years from now and the cgi in them is already surpassed and is laughably outdated.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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I don't mind TPM that much. I think it was definately the best of the prequels. I think it is kind of cool to see episode 1 and then pretend episodes 2 and 3 don't exisit and then just fill in the dots yourself on what happens between those movies. In fact, how the whole story comes together in episodes 2 and 3 is so simplistically done, you almost assumed everything that would happen in the next 2 movies anyways so you don't need them.

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i see wat u mean. but, fans want to SEE it happen even though we can assume wat WILL happen.

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Until the fans actually did see what happened... then they wished they hadn't.

There is no lingerie in space...

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don't exist... then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks... and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming... Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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true for a lot of people. personally, i'm glad i got to see wat happened. not wat i had imagined though. i wish george had been a little more creative about it.

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rcb said:

I wish George had been a little more creative about it.

Fixed.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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TPM is like the other PT movies, in that I never have any desire to throw it in every now and then to watch it. The only PT I've watched in the past few years is fan edits.

I repeat myself, so I'll be brief: I wanted TPM to be good, and I left the theater trying to convince myself I had seen a good movie. The wet blanket of our group was immediate and accurate with his many criticisms of the film. He annoyed me that day, but he was right. That's what bothered me the most that day.

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We know how the Phantom Menace performs when set against the standards of the oot, but how does it stand up against other films that came out in 1999?

I would ask the same for 2002 attack of the clones

and 2005 revenge of the sith.

What sci fi blockbusters have come out since 1999 that have done it better?

I could extend this all the way back to 1983 when the saga officially ended with the release of Return of the Jedi and was a closed subject.

But i'm more interested in sci fi/fantasy films of the nineties and 2000's that did a better job with their effects and story.  List some wontcha.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_in_film

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_in_film

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_in_film

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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vote_for_palpatine said:

 

TPM is like the other PT movies, in that I never have any desire to throw it in every now and then to watch it. The only PT I've watched in the past few years is fan edits.

I repeat myself, so I'll be brief: I wanted TPM to be good, and I left the theater trying to convince myself I had seen a good movie. The wet blanket of our group was immediate and accurate with his many criticisms of the film. He annoyed me that day, but he was right. That's what bothered me the most that day.

Quoted for truth.  This is exactly how I feel about TPM, and the PT in general, really.

a trolling bantha

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ChainsawAsh said:
vote_for_palpatine said:

 

TPM is like the other PT movies, in that I never have any desire to throw it in every now and then to watch it. The only PT I've watched in the past few years is fan edits.

I repeat myself, so I'll be brief: I wanted TPM to be good, and I left the theater trying to convince myself I had seen a good movie. The wet blanket of our group was immediate and accurate with his many criticisms of the film. He annoyed me that day, but he was right. That's what bothered me the most that day.

Quoted for truth.  This is exactly how I feel about TPM, and the PT in general, really.

 

 This was my experience as well.  It wasn't until after Clones came out that I realized I didn't need to keep trying to convince myself that the movie was a good one.

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Same Here. It was a day of epiphany for me to learn that the PT was bad (in 2002!), but I had kinda felt a bad feeling about TPM beforehand...

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Yeah, it wasn't until AOTC that I realized the PT was fucked. I wasn't crazy about TPM when I saw it, but I still was in a not-very-critical mindset and focused on its limited better aspects rather than its faults. I still had some faith in Lucas (god knows why). Then AOTC came along, with Hayden Skywalker and all that shit and the total emptiness of the movie and I realized Star Wars had lost its way. I viewed TPM more critcally then. After that, I didn't expect much from ROTS, but ROTS stil managed to disappoint my meager expectations.

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For me it was me hearing on Access Hollywood "AOTC was good, so that means TPM was just a fluke" (seriously), and at the same time critics saying that AOTC was slow and boring. Plus, it felt to me that the OT's spirit was never transferred in to TPM in the first place.

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yea, the PT and OT, though they're all part of the same story, are very different from each other. then again, each film is different from the other.

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Well, I was 13 at the time. I was extremely excited for the film - as was everybody - but my first reaction walking out of the theater was, "Well... that was okay, I guess." I definitely enjoyed the lightsaber fights, and that's pretty much the only reason I went to see it 2 more times afterwards - to re-watch the lightsaber duels. lol.

I've probably only watched it a couple times since the theater, and I have no desire to watch it again. The only bright spots of that film are Neeson - who did the best with what little he was given - and the music. And the cheesy Playstation game is a guilty pleasure of mine. I will give it credit for the overall look of the film - it probably looks the best out of the three movies, because it seems to have used the most amount of actual, built sets. So it doesn't look as awful and fake as the other two movies.

However, that's pretty much it. I agree with everyone else - whenever I think of TPM, I just think of one GIANT missed opportunity. That, and the memories of all the hype surrounding it's release.

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rcb said:

yea, the PT and OT, though they're all part of the same story, are very different from each other. then again, each film is different from the other.

 

I dunno, AOTC and ROTS are nearly identical, IMHO. It could be just one long painfully awful movie.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape