||As seen in Entertainment Weekly! No really!
Written by: Chefelf
Edited by: Jacques
Jake Lloyd is a ten year old boy so I would feel bad if I made fun of him. I think he did a good job given the crap that he had to work with. However there are a few points in the movie where he delivers a rather lackluster performance. That's fine... that's why they have this thing called "Multiple Takes"! The one that sticks out more than any is the line: "Master, I've heard Master Yoda talking about midi-chlorians and I was wondering... what are midi-chlorians?" The line itself is written with the skill of a six year old and being delivered (with no fault to Jake Lloyd) poorly on top of this. Luckily Qui-Gon doesn't go into an agonizing description of the molecular and organic properties of midi-chlorians and how they help a Jedi use the force using the term "symbiont organisms" to illustrate his point. Oh wait, I was thinking of the Three Amigos. That didn't happen in the Three Amigos but it did happen in The Phantom Menace.
If I hadn't seen Episodes IV through VI then I think the whole Palpatine thing would be pretty cool. I think Ian McDiarmid does a brilliant job of acting like a really nice if kinda weaselly politician. It becomes kinda clear that he's working some of the situation to his own advantage but that is what a politician does. It's not clear what he's scheming, if anything at all. There's only one small problem with all of this: I have seen Episodes IV through VI and according to my most recent calculations there are about six billion other people who have. What's worse is that we've all known this for over twenty God damned years! What's with all the mystery? We know that he is Darth Sidious. Just say it and stop being all clever. It's like reading the last chapter in an Agatha Christie novel once a day for twenty years and then finally reading the beginning. This is why Agatha Christie didn't design her books to be read in this manner. Unfortunately George Lucas lacks that judgement.
"Yousa Qui-Gon Gonna Die?"
You know that Qui-Gon is going to die. He's practically a carbon copy of Obi-Wan from Episode IV. What makes it even more obvious is that he and Obi-Wan have this touching scene where Qui-Gon tells Obi-Wan how great a student he's been and how much he's learned, etc. Then Obi-Wan in turn tells Qui-Gon how much he means to him. I remember sitting in the theater thinking: "Okay, I know he's going to die now its just a matter of when. Hmmmmm. I wonder if it will involve Darth Maul and a lightsaber? Only time will tell." If they had left this pointless scene out then maybe Qui-Gon's death would have been a surprise if you were dumb... or under the age of eight.
"Meesa lika dis!"
Boss Nass agrees to form a military alliance with the Naboo because Queen Amidala says that she is not as good as a Gungan. Boy. I'm not sure what is dumber, Gungans or this plot device.
Because of Jar Jar's minimal involvement with the alliance between the Gungans and the naboo he is made a General. What is it with George lucas and this idea that anyone who does one minor thing is suddenly fit to lead troops into battle? This is the equivalent of some guy saving a kid trapped in a well and then meeting the president and the president saying: "Thank you, citizen. I'm now making you a general... in the United States military! Now lead our men to victory, General!" I'm not even sure that luke, Han Solo and Lando were all capable. They were cool and they did good things but leading troops into battle is a serious job. Luke, Lando and Han never showed any leadership skills prior to receiving the rank. Jar Jar is even worse because he showed that he is inept and clumsy prior to being made a general. Apparently showing Queen Amidala where the Gungans were hiding suddenly made him a military genius.
While the Viceroy is walking around the captured palace of Naboo there is a hologram generator that is following him with a hologram transmission from darth Sidious. It's walking around on legs! Legs! It's downright preposterous.
Right before the big battle on Naboo between the Gungans and the Trade Federation there is a Trade Federation droid surveying the battlefield with binoculars. Is this a joke? It's hard to tell in this movie what is done for humor value and what is just unintentionally funny. If this is done for a joke then it is not funny and really unrealistic. If this is done because some dipshit didn't consider the absurdity of it before hand then shame on them!
After a few rounds are fired at the Gungans' shields and do no damage a droid calls a "cease fire!" Now we know at this point that the droids are being controlled by a ship in orbit. Why do the droids need to againcommunicate via sound waves to each other. I think that droids that make no auditory communications would be a much scarier and more realistic foe. Maybe if they didn't communicate and say silly things like "You're under arrest!" and "Roger, Roger" every five seconds then there would actually be a moment in the movie when you could take them seriously as an enemy.
jedi Prepare for Battle
When Darth Maul finally meets up with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan on Naboo it is actually really cool how they prepare for battle. The Jedi stare the sith down and they all take off extraneous clothing and make last minute adjustments. It's very Akira Kurosawa in its simplicity. I really hate to admit it though.
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Qui-Gon tells anakin to wait in the cockpit of one of the Naboo ships that was supposed to go into battle. Wasn't there a pilot that could have been flying that thing? Apparently there were only about five pilots on Naboo because they left their sixth fighter in the hangar. Through a hilarious chain of events Anakin ends up in the battle saying things like: "Oops!" and "What does this button do?" and "This is tense!" and "Whoa!" and "Let's try spinning, that's a good trick!" and "Aaaaaaaaaaaah!" Marvelous.
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