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phantom menace first thoughts

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what were your first thoughts when viewing this 16 year gestating piece of crap? i remember going WTF! after the first five minutes and praying it would end soon thereafter, and i couldnt believe lucas waited so long to bring us this pile of steaming shit that brought the star wars trilogy into the ground
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I thought it sucked, I never bothered to go and a see it at the cinema, me and my friends saw about a week before on a quality pirate VHS and couldnt believe what crap it was, so we didnt bother wasting our money too go see it on the big screen, the only S.W movie i have never seen on a big screen in 28 years of Star Wars

At the time I couldnt believe this was actualy supposed to be a Star Wars movie, me an my friends found it very boring and found the Jar Jar and the Gungans and some of the pod-racers utually ridiculous, and my mates couldnt believe and mentioned they couldnt believe it was same George Lucas that had brought out the Original Trilogy released this rubbish.
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wow, you saw it on a bootleg? i only say that because there was nothing worse then seeing this turd with a roomful of fans. i never heard or felt such dissapointment after a film in all my cinema going life
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In all honesty we never bothered with on the big screen and my friends are big Star Wars fans we thought it was that bad and we were dissapointed, and can imagine what it was like for people who went to see it, it was o.k and we were enjoying it until Jar Jar appeared and it was like what the hell is this thing, and just could believe how bad and boring it was and couldnt wait for it to finish and it was probably worse in a cinema...
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it was pretty bad to sit with a roomful of people whom star wars gave some meaning to and watch it all go up in smoke. what a sad early morning that was for me and for alot of other people. when those lame destroyer droids showed up, i dug into my seat and knew in my heart of hearts this was the end for star wars, something i loved since i was at least a toddler
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I am adopting the policy of staying out of these discussions. So, I will not give my opinion in this thread.
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please post adam, i really like your posts, just because they give a different perspective
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OK, fine.

In a nutshell, TPM is to me, what ANH was to the 70's generation, or was to the group of people who saw ANH before any other SW film. It will always hold a special place in my childhood, becuase, just as ANH did to many, it introduced me to that galaxy far far away. TPM led to what has so far been a six year obsession. After seeing TPM, I was eager to find out the rest of the story. So I watched ANH, ESB, and ROTJ immediately after I left the theater in 99', and loved them. I then eagerly awaited AOTC and ROTS, and loved them as well. I enjoy all of star wars, no matter the quality of storytelling, or who it is telling the story. I watch the films, I read EU, and I enjoy the overall story for what it is. I like the fantasy genre period.
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adam, do the older star wars fans, in your opinion, take things a little to seriously then?
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Yeah, I mean, I can understand the great attatchment to the original versions, since those versions are usually from the best parts of their childhoods. I would feel the same way if, after 20 years, someone changed a film a loved so much around, and then said the story was not focused on who I thought it was. But, I think we all take it all a little too seriously at times. I myself often forget that it all is just fictional. It is such a fun, inspiring story, that we all wish parts of it were true.

I don't get these people who completely despise the prequels or the EU. I mean, they may not be the greatest films in the history of cinema, or the greatest stories in the world, and they may not hold up to the standards of the original films, but they are stories, which Lucas and company made with completely good intentions. They were made for a wide audience, in order for people of all ages to take away what they wanted from it. It's all meant to be enjoyed. Myself, I read the EU, watch the prequels, the original films, and I enjoy the stories. I may not like some stories, but I don't completely dismiss them as "horrible" or say that the artist needs to be redeemed or the artists has lost his/her touch. I like to watch/read the SW stories, and have fun, which is all I think anyone can ever expect.
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personally i liked the EU before i even knew what an EU was. but the prequels contradicted so much that it tarnished it for me
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Okay, this is how it all went along. I wacthed it with two other friends, one of them was keen on Star Wars, the other not really. As the movie moved along it felt kinda neat, although I wasn't focusing so much on the plot. When Jar Jar came along and they started to talk to Boss Nass, I was "Ooookay, what is going on here?".

Then, we found out that Anakin had built C3PO, and then I realized... that movie sucked. All the prequels would suck. Star Wars was doomned forever.

The pod racing was pretty neat, as I remember it. And that was it, nothing good happened in the movie afterwards. The friend of mine who enjoyed Star Wars, actually left the theater, waiting for us outside, as he couldn't go on watching it. I belive some other 2 people on the theater also left, bored to hell. Then there was the whole battle sequence, along with QuiGon and ObiWan vs Maul, and while I thought that was incredibly cheesy and childish, I was kinda enternained. The other friend of mine, who hadn't watch SW yet, thought it was pretty neat, specially the final battle.

I enjoyed it, and I even went to see it a second time the following night, this time with my brother and father (which was in awe by the special effects and digital creatures, but didn't pay attention to the plot). But I knew it... I knew Star Wars was doomned...

I remember hearing an interview on TV by a fan leaving the midnight session: "Well, it is great and all that, but I belive George Lucas should make sure the characters and plot are more mature for episode 2."
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Goering
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Pretty much teh same as Rik - I wasn't disgusted, but something was definitely not right. The Familiar yet differnt titl crawl came on screen and I was grinning like a madman, and I remember being quite impressed by Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan voice. I seem to remember enjoying the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan/Maul fight, but being baffled when Qui-Gon didn't disappear. I remeber being completely unsurprised by the padme-is-amidala 'revelation' and the predominant feeling throughout was one of boredom.

War does not make one great.

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Well being the biggest Star Wars nut in my group of friends, I was wetting my pants to see TPM.
In the UK we had to wait about 6 or 7 weeks after you guys in the US to watch it.
So after I read the spoilers by mistake (Qui Gons death for example, which was on the back of th CD soundtrack - well done LFL, well done) I was still excited about watching the first SW film in 16 years.

But my God was I gutted. We went to the pub afterwards, and man was I depressed. Crying in my beer
Even when I went to watch it again the next day I was still gutted.

But...

When it was released on VHS for the first time, it wasn't untill then that I actually quite enjoed TPM.
I think that had a lot to do with the big joint I was smoking at the time of watching the film
But I actually started to like it quite a bit.
AOTC was a better experiance in the cinema for me, because now I knew what direction Lucas was taking with these prequels. So for me it wasn't watching another prequel to the OT, but more like a sequel to TPM. In time though, AOTC has become my least fave SW movie.
Sith I just love.


Thing is, if some people here love the PT as much as I love the OT then I can't see a problem with that. I know alot of 8 and 9 yaer olds who prefer the new films to the old. It makes sense. I'm sure in time they'll see things differently, but guys like Adam who saw TPM before any other SW film and love it..well fair play. (You still need to see the OOT first though man. Can't have an opinion on something you haven't seen)
Jimbo was the same. His passion for AOTC was indeed on the same lines as my passion for ESB, it's just that his views on other matters were just sad.

Anyway, I'm in the middle here. I love, love the OT. I don't mind SOME of the changes in SE.( Cleaned up FX, sharp picture etc) I HATE some of the changes in the SE (The biggest one is Vaders Star Destroyer arrival in ESB being my least fave)
And I don't mind the PT. See now to me Star Wars is Star Wars. There's good films and there's bad films. Yeah, some of us wish things had been different. Man, I've felt like that since Jedi. Although in 83 I thought Jedi was bestfuckingfilm ever made. In time my view changed and Empire became the bestfuckingfilm ever made.
But I don't understand why some here hate the PT so much. They're not that bad IMO. Sure, they're not as good as the OT IMO, but they are quite enjoyable to watch, although AOTC does tend for me to nod off while watching it









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I remember walking out with my older brother and the two friends I grew up with, and we all loved the OT, and we were just kinda of like...uhh?

I remember saying it wasn't bad, but...... and another friend said, well.......it was.....pretty good? That is when Star Wars naitivity began to set in the fanbase. Instead of just saying whether it was a good or bad movie, like every frickin movie you see in our lives, we had to justify our answers with a but....

Here were the justifications on the ride home for us:

1. Well, it is the first movie, and a setup movie for the next two, he can't give us too much plot.
Rebuttal: Fellowship of the Ring that was a setup of three movies, they were able to advance the plot pretty well in that movie.

2. Anakin has to be nine years old, we have to see him as a cute kid.
Rebuttal: 20 minute flashback scene

3. It is kinda kiddy, but it isn't suppose to be dark until Episode III
Rebuttal: That doesn't mean you have to make it for 5 year olds!

4. Jar Jar.........We were all annoyed from day one about him, there was no rebuttal because he was annoying the minute he walked on screen. What the hell was Lucas thinking, he is the worst character in the history of movies

After AOTC, our justification was that it wasn't a great movie, but it was better than TPM. Now looking back, AOTC is another average movie, that could have been better.

Finally, ROTS to me was the only good prequel movie, but I can understand why older fans like myself don't like it or love it. They were burned for 2 movies, and by then, were so poisoned by Lucas, ROTS didn't have a chance. Plus the bad turn scene, and Padme dying of the will to live, it didn't help matter either.

Overall, Lucas to me never made lovable characters in the PT, and putting aside the failing of the movies, the characters were the #1 failure. I should have loved Padme & Anakin, and when their fates were sealed at the end of ROTS, I should have really felt for them as she died, and he was stuck in this body of armor for the rest of his life.

Anakin, should have been like a great athlete who is a wildcard, but was loved by the people and not necessarily loved by the Jedi. Lucas should have shown Anakin being heralded for being the top jedi during the Clone Wars, being the Michael Jordan of the galaxy, but his arrogance, like many star athletes, and their belief that they are indestructable, are the reasons for their downfall. Show him learn even greater powers from Palpatine, and make the audience feel that Anakin loves the darkside, but knows it is wrong deep down inside. Have the dream of Padme as a subplot, just something else to drive him there, not the sole reason. Anakin never turned to the darkside, he just wanted to save Padme, that was a real lame reason.

Sorry about the rant off topic, but once I start thinking of what if for the PT, I could go on and on......
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Yoda Is Your Father summed up pretty much how I felt for TPM.

But after AOTC, I felt like it was all over for salvaging the prequels, they forever would be a blackmark on the once proud franchise...I remember thinking how much worse it was than TPM....The love story was complete drivel, the Yoda CG was inconsistant, Obi-Wan's mullet was laughable, the sets looked like they were out of Star Trek TNG series, the Geonosis arena battles were a joke, the droid factory scene was an embarassment, and Cartoony Yoda posing like Crouching Tiger and fighting like Sonic the Hedgehog was so over the top I felt they completely destroyed any credibility the puppet once had.

I didn't hold up any hopes for ROTS, and thought it was OK after I left the theatre, after multiple viewings it's easily the best of the three and about roughly as good as ROTJ In my book.

For all its lame Gungan and droid antics I still think TPM is more faithfull to the OT than AOTC is.
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Yes, if you go back and watch The Phantom Menace now (preferably the Phantom Edit) it feels a little more 'OT' than the rest of them.

War does not make one great.

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I had been greatly anticipating the movie for years. I effortlessly moved from collecting all rumors to avoiding all spoilers before much of the plot got out, so I could go in and enjoy it. However, some of the stuff that got out had me just a bit worried. As did the ... excesses and miscues of the Special Editions. Not a lot, just a little nervous.

I saw the movie on opening day. I had gotten my tickets early, but there was no line when I arrived to get my seats. (I should have figured that'd be the case for a daytime showing, but I was young, and the hype was getting to me.) The theater wasn't empty, but it was far from packed. The movie started, and I watched the whole thing, from beginning to end.

For a few days, I told myself that I had enjoyed it. Darth Maul was neat, and it had a good score. It was nice to learn some of the backstory of the Imperial age, even if the backstory was kind of bland. But the truth could not be denied. Before long, I admitted that I hated it. It was awful. Even the parts that most people liked, on reflection, were hollow and substanceless. A "pod race?" I have Speedvision for when I need a NASCAR fix. A Sith ninja? Not nearly as threatening as Darth Vader, and besides, he's dead. The parts that people didn't like, I really didn't like.

I didn't watch another Star Wars movie again for three years.

Admitting to myself that I hated TPM was very liberating. The three years between TPM and AotC were also very productive, for me. I stopped worrying about Star Wars "canon" (varium et semper mutabile), and decided to stick to my own interpretations of events. I discovered Tolkien, and read most of the published Arda saga. A lot of Tolkien's unpublished stories, rough drafts, and superceded editions are available in print due to the efforts of his son Christopher and numerous Tolkien scholars. This is almost exactly what Star Wars fans are doing, preserving earlier versions of the story for study, entertainment, and posterity -- only we're forced to do it in an underground samizdat style, while Tolkien's early writings are generally available in large bookstores.

But I digress! This is a Star Wars forum, and a Phantom Menace topic. You have seen that, while my first thoughts regarding TPM were positive with qualifications, upon reflection it nearly destroyed Star Wars fandom as an element of my life.
"It's the stoned movie you don't have to be stoned for." -- Tom Shales on Star Wars
Scruffy's gonna die the way he lived.
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Welcome to the boards Scruffy. I can see you're gonna fit right in.

War does not make one great.

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Many people here have expressed the same kind of feelings as I had when watching TPM for the 1st time, however I would say, on the plus side I was impressed with Liam Neeson's portrayal of Qui-Gonn, and the lightsabre fight bewteen him, Maul and Obi-Wan, along with the promise McGregor showed as Kenobi, but that was almost it.

However, I do remember thinking 'is this it?', 'is this the best that GL and his people could come up with'?

With thanks to the Phantom Editor, MagnoliaFan and ADigitalMan (along with many others) I can now watch them enjoy it - there was a decent/good film in there - somewhere. In a way it is pretty damning of LucasFilm that the editing and pacing was so 'off' and overdrawn that a few fans with imagination and some cheap software made it feel more like Star Wars than LucasFilm could.
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I find that answer vague and unconvincing. Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves?
Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

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Originally posted by: oojason
With thanks to the Phantom Editor, MagnoliaFan and ADigitalMan (along with many others) I can now watch them enjoy it - there was a decent/good film in there - somewhere. In a way it is pretty damning of LucasFilm that the editing and pacing was so 'off' and overdrawn that a few fans with imagination and some cheap software made it feel more like Star Wars than LucasFilm could.



I will go along with that, I havent seen the Phantom Editor version, but have seen the other two, and they have done a remarkable job of turning the Theatrical-DVD version into a better film.
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I went to see it the day after it opened, because I was out of the country. My buddy and I couldn't bare to watch, and left just after they met Boss Nass. We then bought tickets to go see The Matrix, showing on another screen in the theatre. That was almost worth the price of the two tickets!
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I saw the Phantom Menace in theaters when I was 15, really geared up. I remember feeling that the film was very hollow and flat, with a big glaring inconsistency in regards to the first trilogy: Qui-Gon Jinn. I like Liam Neeson well enough, liked him in "Darkman" and "Michael Collins" etc, but Qui-Gon was not really all that necessary. As pointed out the on the 78 Reasons to Hate Episode I list hosted by Chefelf's Nightlife site, Qui-Gon was basically a carbon copy of Obi-Wan, and he ended up being a continuity error because he was shown discovering Anakin, befriending him, freeing him, taking him to the Jedi Council, lobbying to get him accepted, etc. This was all stuff that Obi-Wan Kenobi should have been doing. Anyone who's seen Return of the Jedi has heard the ghost Obi-Wan's speech to Luke "When I first knew him, your father was already a great pilot, but I was amazed at how strongly the Force was with him. I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi. I thought I could instruct him just as well as Yoda. I was wrong." So really Episode I should have had Obi-Wan Kenobi discovering the young Anakin, befriending him, freeing him, lobbying for his right to study the way of the Jedi, etc. But instead, Obi-Wan Kenobi spent the bulk of the film lurking in the background as a 2nd banana when he should have been leading the bloody film. Had George Lucas remembered his own continuity, he would have remembered the ROTJ speech and had Obi-Wan finding Anakin etc; if he could have at least followed that the film would have been at least slightly better than it was. Because Lucas couldn't remember this, or remember the fact that Anakin's friendship with Obi-Wan is somewhat crucial to his turning to the Dark Side, Episodes II and III are even weaker; it's hard to believe they're really friends in any of their scenes because we never saw the formation of the friendship.

Jar Jar Binks, of course, was just annoying. Don't know what Lucas was smoking when he thought up that elongated waste of special effects money. The whole fight between the Gungans and those ridiculous looking robots, sort of a cross between a dog and an anorexic Daffy Duck, was just a rehash of the fight between the Ewoks and the Imperial Stormtroopers in ROTJ, yet not as much fun (assuming you enjoyed the earlier brawl).

Darth Maul might have been silly looking, but killing him off after all the hype they put into him was kind of stupid.

Pernilla August, who played Anakin's mom, looked more like the mother of Natalie Portman. Miss Pernilla probably had more chemistry with Liam Neeson than Natalie Portman had with Hayden Christensen in the follow ups.

I had nothing against Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu. Didn't have anything against it then, don't have anything against it now. I just can't find the hate for Jackson's presence, which I've seen in other corners of the net.

Jake Lloyd... meh. No fun watching that kid, though he seemed more into it than his successor Hayden Christensen. Kind of insulting how he just blew up that giant ship that looked like a donut with a hole in the middle by accident. Those star fighters weren't much to write home about either.

Ian McDiarmid seemed more restrained in his brief Sidious moments than he did in ROTJ where he seemed to be going for the highest ham factor possible. Unfortunately, that did not help the film (I still like Clive Revill better).

Looking back at it, I think Natalie Portman might have shown more feeling in her non-queen moments of Episode I than she did over the entire course of Episodes II and III.
I'd like a qui-gon jinn please with an Obi-Wan to go.

Red heads ROCK. Blondes do not rock. Nuff said.

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Personaly, I enjoyed TPM when I've seen it in theatre. I was a little bit disappointed by the editing, cause the movie seemed to be more a "little-sequences-suite" (I don't know how to say that in english) than a one long movie, but I really enjoyed the show. The Pod race has really blow me up! I didn't know such thing was possible at this time, even if I was a big SFX fan.
But don't make quick conclusions, I'm really not interested in "visual-effects-only" movies...

Jar Jar? Well, I must say that I've found him pretty useless, but he didn't really bother me. About the other characters, I must say that I've found weird to use again 3PO and R2. For me, they have always been regular droids who were at the wrong place at the wrong moment in ANH.
On the other way, I really enjoyed "Qui-Gon" character, but the matter was that, from my point of view, the film was turning around him instead of anakin, and that was not the inital intention of that movie... Oh, and BTW, I've read track titles from the OST too, before seing the movie, and I was already aware of Qui-Gon's death...

So, I enjoyed it. But you know why? Just because I love the Star Wars universe (and it was well depicted in the movie), and cause I've always seen Star Wars as entertainment movies. I think that a lot of fans are taking all this too seriously, and have forgot that they were kids when they've seen the OT...

I enjoyed it? Yes. But it's really not my favourite Star Wars episode. But I've just took the PT as a new and different era in the SW universe. I've never been really disappointed by the PT, cause, from the begining, I've always though that the new episodes would never be as good as the OT. From that point of view, the new movies were just fun and entertainment for me, and you know what? SW is just that. It's a QUALITY and pretty smart entertainment made with good intentions (that makes difference with all those Hollywood blockbusters!), but that's all.

And concerning the release, we were not lucky in France, cause the film aired in septembre '99 (5 months after the US release!)...
I hope that all I said was understandable, sorry for my english...

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you make sense kaal- jhyy about the everything being little scenes strung together, thats a HUGE reason why i cant stand the prequels right there