Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace ★★★★

It's badly written. It's barely directed. It has Jar Jar. But it watches so much better now we've had the sequels.

I found very little redeemable in the sequels. The carbon copy story which evolved into a complete mess, the chopping and changing of directors and story is unforgivable.

TPM makes sense to me. It made sense to me as an 8 year old and it makes sense to me now. It looks almost like an original trilogy film (I guess 35mm?). There's a lot of great action, Darth Maul, duel of the fates, the passion in the lightsabre battle is palpable to me. Most of all I love the world building. Decisions are explained, planets are described and explored, the politics of the galaxy begins to make some sense. We discover the Republic government, the Jedi Council, and begin to see the hints of the emergence of the Empire. This is missing in the sequels and the original trilogy. They're not sci-fi, they're space opera.

The original trilogy can get away with this. It was ground-breaking, fun and it's not meant to be hard sci-fi. I think the fan service in the prequels is hiding a complex universe and conspiracy story underneath a children's film. The fan service in the sequels is remaking the original trilogy as a 2D Marvel superhero story.

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