Star Wars: Five Things ‘The Phantom Menace’ Did Perfectly
We’ve given the Prequels a lot of grief in the last few weeks. Let’s talk about something Star Wars: Phantom Menace got right.
Lately, we’ve been taking a look at some of the things Star Wars movies have gotten right, and a few things they’ve gotten wrong here or there. We’ve looked at mistakes made in Revenge of the Sith and Attack of the Clones. Some silly git even had the temerity to pan The Phantom Menace.
Well, I’m here to set the record straight. The movie absolutely nailed some moments, and they deserve some attention.
5. “Killing” Darth Maul
This one might be a bit controversial. Back when the Prequels were coming out, a lot of people said that killing Maul off was a major mistake. He was a cool and instantly iconic villain, and he made a greater impression than Dooku or Grievous.
It was, they said, a mistake to kill him early and leave the later movies with “weaker” villain. It also meant that the good guys weren’t fighting one bad guy the whole trilogy (at least not that they know, Palpatine is still there).
And yeah, they had some points, at the time it could be considered a misstep– though I think for a movie perspective, it needed to happen. But maaaaaaan, if Lucas hadn’t “killed” him off in Menace, we never would have gotten all the amazing Maul stuff in Clone Wars and Rebels.
So for what we got out of it, I think this was a perfect move.
4. The Pod Race
Yeah ok, I love the pod race. I love the idea of podracing in general; it’s a great homage to old chariot races. I think its a cool idea, and the jankiness of the pods makes a great contrasts to the otherwise bright, clean Republic Era.
And it was a great action scene in the movie. The stuff around it was flawed, but it was a fun.
3. Star Wars’ The Phantom Menace Opened Up The Galaxy
This movie had to do a ton of heavy lifting. It introduced us to a whole new period of the Galaxy, one with a different look and feel to what we new. It introduced a ton of new factors and ideas and worlds.
You get the Jedi council, the Padawans, the inner workings of the Republic. A ton of things. And overall the movie does it well. This is a movie that massively expands Star Wars and gave you ideas and things to build off it.
Nowadays, it stands in stark contract to the Sequels, which utterly failed to do this.
Coruscant was a world that’s featured a lot in the old EU– even before Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out. It was likely the most important planet in Star Wars, and a world like no other we’d never seen before.
By choosing to take us there, to the heart of things, the movie bit off a lot. People had very high expectations. This movie met and exceeded them.
Coruscant became a major part of the on-screen Prequel era of Star Wars on. It’s become the iconic look for a city planet.
1. Dual of The Fates
Everything about this dual is perfect. The setting, the scenery, the choreography, the sublime score… perfection.
From the variation in fighting style to the quiet contemplative moments, this is a fight that tells a story. It shows off the characters and sets up one of the greatest Star Wars rivalries. I love the shots of Qui-Gon meditating while Maul restlessly paces.
This scene redefined what lightsaber fights could be. It still ranks as one of the best fights in all of Star Wars. It’s a fight so good that it makes the movie worth it.
Let us know what you loved about this movie, down in the comments!