"STAR WARS: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE" (1999) Review

Sixteen years after the 1983 movie, "STAR WARS: EPISODE VI - RETURN OF THE JEDI" hit the movie screens, producer-director George Lucas returned to the world of তারকা WARS for a new trilogy that depicted the years before the 1977-1983 movies, starting with the 1999 film, "STAR WARS: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE".

"THE PHANTOM MENACE" was received very poorly দ্বারা critics and veteran তারকা WARS অনুরাগী when it was first released in 1999. Many believed that it failed to capture the spirit of Lucas' saga first established in the first three films. Despite the negative opinions, the movie proved to be a blockbuster champion at the box office. But public opinion of the movie in the following thirteen years remained negative. In fact, public opinion has not been that kind to the two চলচ্চিত্র that followed. When Lucas announced his intentions to re-release "THE PHANTOM MENACE" in 3D nearly four years ago, many either wondered why he would bother অথবা accused the producer of trying to দুধ the তারকা WARS cash cow even further. As for me, I received the news with mixed feelings. When the movie was first released in 1999, I must admit that I enjoyed it very much, even though I would never view it as one of my শীর্ষ পছন্দ তারকা WARS movies. On the other hand, I despise the 3D process. I despised the use of it in চলচ্চিত্র like 2009's "AVATAR" and my feelings for it had not changed when I last saw it used for "THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER". But my প্রণয় for তারকা WARS overcame my distaste for 3D and I went to see the movie.

Like other তারকা WARS, this one began in a galaxy, far, far away . . . thirty-two years before the events of the 1977 movie. Instead of an empire, this story is set during the Old Republic in which knights and masters of the religious Jedi Order serve as "the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy" on behalf of the Republic Senate. A Jedi Master named Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice (or padawan) have been dispatched দ্বারা the Senate's Chancellor Finis Valorum to negotiate a peace between the planet Naboo and the Trade Federation, an organization who has decided to establish a blockade of battleships in response to a taxation on trade routes. The Federation has made this সরানো on the "advice" of their partner, a Sith Lord (and enemy of the Jedi) named Darth Sidious. Unfortunately for Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, the Trade Federation attempt to kill them on the order of Darth Sidious. Both Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan escape from the Trade Federation battleship and make their way to Naboo's surface, during the former's invasion of the planet. The pair enlists the help of Jar-Jar Binks and his fellow Gungans (Naboo's underwater inhabitants) to reach কুইন Padme Amidala, the planet's 14 year-old ruler. They save her and her entourage, before making their escape from Naboo. Due to a failing power converter, the entire party make an emergency landing on the remote Tatooine in order to find the parts to fix the ship. In one of Tatooine's major cities, Mos Espa; Qui-Gon, Padme (who is disguised as a royal handmaiden), and Jar-Jar meet a young slave boy named Anakin Skywalker. It is not long before Qui-Gon Their meeting will prove to not only have major consequences on the outcome between Naboo and the Trade Federation, but also upon the galaxy.

My সাম্প্রতিক viewing of "THE PHANTOM MENACE" made me realize that after many years, I still প্রণয় the movie. Nothing has changed my view of the movie, including the addition of the 3D effects. However, I cannot deny that "THE PHANTOM MENACE" is not perfect. I have my complaints. My major complaint was Lucas' addition of the 3D effects. They were not impressive. I had expected them to be, considering the outstanding 3D effects of the updated তারকা WARS attractions at the ডিজনি amusement parks. But the movie's effects proved to be a poor comparison and a not-so-surprising disappointment. My সেকেন্ড complaint centered around the use of Tatooine as a setting. In fact, the saga's use of Tatooine has proven to be a major disappointment since the first movie, 1977's "A NEW HOPE". Aside from a few sequences, Tatooine proved to be a major bore. After Qui-Gon and Padme's first meeting with Anakin, I had to struggle to stay awake before the podrace sequence. Lucas' slow pacing and John Williams' less-than-stellar score nearly put me to sleep. The only movie in which Tatooine proved to be interesting from start to finish was 2002's "ATTACK OF THE CLONES". I realize that many তারকা WARS অনুরাগী dislike the Gungans and specifically, one Jar-Jar Binks. There are times that I feel I could write a detailed essay on the fans' dislike of Jar-Jar, but this is not the time অথবা place for such an article. Although I harbor no dislike of Jar-Jar, there were a few times when I had some difficulty understanding his and the other Gungans' dialogue.

It may not be perfect, but I cannot deny that I found "THE PHANTOM MENACE" enjoyable as ever. George Lucas wrote a complex, yet comprehensive tale that set in motion the downfall of the Galactic Republic, the Jedi Order and most of the major characters. "THE PHANTOM MENACE" offered a great deal for all ages and tastes. It provided a complex political tale that culminated in an exciting military battle that freed Naboo from the clutches of the Trade Federation. It provided an exciting duel between the two Jedi - Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan - and Sith Lord Darth Sidious' apprentice, Darth Maul. The movie provided characters such as a nine year-old Anakin Skywalker, his Tatooine বন্ধু and Jar-Jar Binks for children. But the one thing that really impressed me was the exciting Boonta Eve Podrace that Anakin participated in order to win parts for Qui-Gon, Padme and their ship. In fact, if I had to choose my পছন্দ sequence in the entire তারকা WARS movie saga, it had to be the one featuring the podrace. This sequence began with the Skywalkers, Qui-Gon, Padme and Jar-Jar arriving at the Mos Espa arena and ended aboard the Nabooan starship when Qui-Gon introduced Anakin to Obi-Wan, following his brief duel with Darth Maul.

"THE PHANTOM MENACE" provided some solid acting, despite George Lucas' cheesy dialogue. This is no surprise, considering that a combination of solid অভিনয় and cheesy dialogue has been the hallmark of তারকা WARS চলচ্চিত্র since the first one in 1977. Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, Ahmed Best, Hugh Quarshie, Terence Stamp, Andrew Secombe and রশ্মি Parks all did solid work. It was nice to hear vocals from তারকা WARS veterans Frank Oz, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker. The movie also featured brief moments for British stars such as Keira Knightley, Oliver Ford-Davies, Celia Imrie, Brian Blessed, and Richard Armitage. But there were a few performances that stood out. One came from Ian McDiarmid, who returned to portray Senator Palpatine of Naboo aka Darth Sidious for the সেকেন্ড time in his career. Unlike his portrayal of Palpatine in 1983's "RETURN OF THE JEDI", his performance was a great deal আরো subtle and layered with much charm. Jake Lloyd may not have been the best child actor in existence, but I cannot deny that his Anakin Skywalker was like a ball of solar energy that চার্মড্‌ the pants off of me. The good-bye scene between Anakin and his mother, Shmi was one of the most poignant in the saga. Both Lloyd and Pernilla August did such a superb job that their performances brought tears to my eyes. And aside from a few wooden moments, I thought he handled the role rather well. But if I had to choose the best performance in the movie, I would select Liam Neeson as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. First of all, he did a great job in conveying Qui-Gon's warmth and appeal. He made it easy for many to see why both Anakin and Obi-Wan viewed him as a father figure.

Since this is a তারকা WARS movie, one might as well discuss the technical aspects of "THE PHANTOM MENACE". Without a doubt, it is a beautiful looking movie. It was so beautiful that I did not know who to single out. But I can think of a few. First of all cinematographer David Tattersall did a beautiful job in photographing the movie's locations of England, Tunisia and especially Italy. Thanks to Ben Burtt and Paul Martin Smith's editing, the podrace and the Battle of Naboo proved to be two of the best sequences in the movie. And what can I say about Trisha Biggar's dazzling costume designs? It seems a crime that Biggar's work was never acknowledged দ্বারা the Academy Arts of Motion Pictures and Sciences অথবা the Golden Globes. At least she won a Saturn Award for the costumes in this movie.

However, it was George Lucas who put it altogether in the end. Twenty-two years had passed between the time he directed "A NEW HOPE" and "THE PHANTOM MENACE". Personally, I thought he did a pretty damn good job. The 1999 movie was not perfect. And if I must be perfectly frank, I was not impressed দ্বারা the movie's 3D effects. But I am glad that I went to see "THE PHANTOM MENACE" in the movie theaters again. It reminded me that the STAR WARS saga had not হারিয়ে গেছে its magic on the big screen.