The Phantom Menace: A Sara Perspective
Or, Mad for Maul
Achtung! This review contains hella spoilers, so if you haven't seen this movie yet, 1) go see it now, stupid!! What are you waiting for? It won't be the same on video. Shell out the six bucks to see it in the theatre, cheapass, and 2) don't read this. It'll ruin the whole movie for you. If you really want my critical opinion but don't want the plot spoiled: It's a really, really good movie. Really.
Okay, like the rest of the country, I've seen Star Wars Episode I. And I liked it. A lot.
I'm actually pretty in love with the whole saga. I'm not one of the fanatics, but I love the movies. I originally saw them in the wrong order (Return of the Jedi, then The Empire Strikes Back, then Star Wars itself), so seeing Episode I after seeing episodes IV, V, and VI was pretty much in pattern for me. :)
Since I'm too lazy to write an in-depth analysis of The Phantom Menace, I'm just going to hit on the things that especially impressed, disturbed, or interested me. And I'd like to repeat: This is full of spoilers!!! You have been warned.
- Darth Maul Could he be any more badass? Okay, so he doesn't talk much. One of my personal rules is, it's okay to be quiet as long as you're fun to look at. And Lord Maul is so that. Like the makeup, love the outfit, in raptures over the glowering. DM even dies stylishly: note the shot of his two cleanly severed halves plummeting to the ground. Darth Maul is the Posh Spice of Star Wars villains.
(In case you're wondering, Emporer Palpatine=Sporty Spice, the Viceroys=Baby Spice, Jabba the Hutt=Ginger Spice, and Darth Vader=Scary Spice.)
- Jar Jar Binks Yes, I hate him. Hate him! Hate him! He hadn't been onscreen two minutes before I was like, "Oh, God... this little fucker's going to ruin the whole movie, isn't he?" Well, he didn't quite do that, but I would've enjoyed the movie about five million times more if he hadn't been in it. Star Wars does not need cutesy-pootsey comic relief. Especially not cutesy-pootsey comic relief dat gotsa wanna annoyinga accent dat makesa me want to claw my ears out. The Gungans in general did not impress me. They are to Phantom Menace what the Ewoks were to Return of the Jedi: far-too-precious, not-very-interesting creatures that the movie didn't really need.
- Queen Amidala I am so jealous of every single outfit she wears in this movie. I am so jealous of her. I want to be an icy, crazy-stylish space queen with a cool accent! But wasn't the whole Padme thing annoyingly obvious? "I wish for my handmaiden who happens to look just like me to accompany you and talk very confidently about what I would and would not approve!" Hmm... that's crafty.
- Jedis! After seeing this movie, Fran noted something cool: there are women on the Jedi Council! How cool is that? Anyway, that aside... Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan... Jedi Knights and pieces of ass! I'm sorry, but Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson are just about foxy... Show us your lightsabers!!