Everything Wrong With The Phantom Menace
While the The Empire Strikes Back represents the heroes’ journey through hell, The Phantom Menace is just hell. It does have its moments, though. The movie is good when lightsabers are buzzing away, especially the exhilarating duel between Qui Gon Jinn, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul. Basically anytime there is action, the movie shines. But all the special effects and technical wizardry in the world mean little without a great story and characters to hold it together. So here are the main reasons that contributed to the resounding disappointment that is Episode I.
1. Jar Jar Binks
Pretty self-explanatory. Annoying. A danger to himself and others. A vaguely or overtly racist caricature depending on whom you talk to. Here's a video. Enjoy it. Live it.
2. Anakin Sure is Cheerful for a Slave
“Yippee”? I don't imagine slaves ever say "Yippee". Perhaps he's like a house slave who likes his master, like Samuel L. Jackson's character in Django Unchained, I guess.
Star Wars is at its heart a fantasy, with science fiction trappings. The Force was always a mystical energy field, a source of mysterious superhuman powers. Midi-chlorians strike me as George Lucas’ attempt to inject more “sci-fi” in the Star Wars universe. The idea of microscopic organisms in one’s cells that can be measured quantitatively and communicate with the Force diminishes the mystique of it all. Space magic! We were perfectly fine with space magic!
4. Dumb Luck is Strong With Anakin
The Force was strong with Luke. To destroy the Death Star, he used his instincts guided by the Force, along with skill, determination, nerve, and a little help from Han. Anakin, on the other hand, just happened to hide in a ship that just happened to fly into the middle of a dull space battle. He maneuvered wildly and just happened to fly into a hangar on the main droid control ship. He fired proton torpedoes all over the place and just happened to hit the main reactor conveniently located in the hangar. What type of engineering genius puts a main reactor in the hangar of a ship? Sheer dumb luck.
5. It’s Like Star Wars as Seen on C-Span
The taxation of trade routes, trade federations, debates in the Senate…these are the times that I actually noticed the time pass. In the theater, I looked at my watch and wondered why these scenes were taking so long. Am I actually bored at a Star Wars movie? What's going on?? At least have some emotion, like a Mr.Smith Goes to Washington filibuster or something!
6. Not Enough Darth Maul
The most interesting character in the movie gets the least amount of screen time and then DIES. I mean look at his kung fu skills! And he looks all demonic! The rest of the audience cheered when Obi-Wan sliced him in half. But in the words of Eric Cartman, I cried “tears of unfathomable sadness”.
7. That Two-Headed Announcer Guy
He presides over the Boonta Eve Podrace spewing vile clichés. “That’s gotta hurt!” he announced at the end. Well, he can just raise the roof and talk to the hand.
8.The Inexplicable Promotion of Jar Jar Binks
The rank of general seems to be given generously in the Star Wars universe, as evidenced by the promotions of Captain Han Solo and civilian Lando Calrissian (for his little maneuver at the Battle of Tanaab). So you do something remotely cool…wham! General. Considering these somewhat lax standards it is still a surprise that Boss Nass bestowed that rank upon the clumsy idiot Jar Jar. Sure, he did help bring together the humans and Gungans of Naboo. But does that warrant full command of your military? The following scene from the Battle of Naboo illustrates Jar Jar’s inadequate qualifications:
Captain Tarpals: “Jar Jar! Usa da booma!”
Jar Jar Binks: “Meesa donta hava da booma!”
Now a more competent officer would have had a booma prepared and would have known to use it at the proper time.
9. Gungan Life Debt?
I always thought this was a unique cultural trait among Wookies, particularly Chewbacca. Apparently, Gungans have it as an excuse for Jar Jar to tag along with the heroes and basically dominate the entire picture.
Read More From Reelrundown
10.The Movie Made Samuel L. Jackson Boring
Throughout the prequels, Jedi Master Mace Windu was a commanding presence and right-hand man to Yoda. You have no doubt of his authority, prowess, and wise counsel. But he's kind of subdued and boring, unlike every other movie Samuel L. Jackson has been in. Even his Capital One commercials are more entertaining. C'mon, he doesn't have to say muthaf-er or anything. But yeah I know, the whole "anger thing" is bad for Jedi.
Questions & Answers
Question: Is The Force Awakens the worst movie?
Answer: Force Awakens is the best of the sequel trilogy. Rise of Skywalker was pretty bad, though.
As the author, I have changed my mind. The Clone Wars and memes have redeemed the Prequel Trilogy. It's the Sequel Trilogy that's garbage.
abepaul on July 22, 2018:
How come no one knows the switcheroo game Armidala is playing with her Queen counterpart. I mean, surely every foreign official knows what the reigning queen looks like. Who signs the cheques and agreements. And how can Armidala can run off on an adventure posing as a handmaid and leave an imposter to make the big decisions?
SterWersLurvr on December 31, 2016:
@SarahChristina i COMPLETELY agree.
Creeper from Aw Man on February 02, 2016:
neeto, and im happy jar jar binks is 1
Joseph Ray on August 22, 2014:
I agree quite a bit with this hub, although in all fairness to the general title thing. Han Solo by this point had done quite a bit for the Rebellion. Also Lando had proven leadership skills from governing Cloud City. While he did make an obvious mess up with Vader, he does seem to have the loyalty of his people. Now, Jar Jar Binks was a stupid idea for a general. Diplomacy does not necessarily make for a great general after all.
Pharma6 on May 12, 2014:
Very nice site!
Johng233 on May 06, 2014:
This website was how do you say it? Relevant!! geacabagebdd
Antilles on April 23, 2014:
Darth Maul didn't die...
Sarah C Nason from Fresno, CA on May 15, 2013:
I agree with all your points, ESPECIALLY about Jar Jar and the midi-chlorians. Although I did find one other thing annoying, which was the casting choice of Anakin. He's suppose to be 10 yrs old and the kid they chose looks like he's 6. They also chose to make him "cheery and cute" when I was expecting a smart, maybe even slightly dark and brooding child. It's very unrealistic to me that this kid becomes Darth Vader.
Phantom Menace? George Lucas FAIL.
Stevennix2001 on December 06, 2012:
lol pretty good reasons. although i think jar jar wasn't the worst offender in this film's case, as there was a lot of things wrong about this one, but great hub anyway
manzi on August 18, 2012:
i agree with everything you say. phantom menace is very boring. flat dialogue, poor acting, few duels, dull discussions( be it midclorians or trade routes).
phantom menace is the only boring film that has passed the one-billion mark at the box-office because of its star wars name.
random on May 01, 2012:
those reasons are dumb
Ironman1992 on February 21, 2012:
I knew when I clicked on this hub, jarjar would be one of the first complaints to pop up, lol.
torch on June 09, 2008: