Regardless if you’re a die hard Star Wars fan or a casual watcher of the franchise, the overall feeling is that the prequels that were devised to explain the original trilogy were worse than horrible. Some think that they were fine the way they were, while others believe that much more could have been done to make the supposed beginning to the franchise much, much better. No matter what you believe, there are several reasons why the first film “The Phantom Menace”, was much better than you might have thought.
Here are five reason Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was better than you think
5. Anakin Skywalker
So yes, Jake Lloyd probably wasn’t the best idea for the part, given that he had no acting experience and was kind of stiff the whole way through. But barring that, the first episode gave a new insight to one of Star Wars’ greatest villains by showing that he wasn’t always the epitome of evil. At one point he was a cocky, very idealistic kid that wanted to take on corruption and protect his mother. Getting past the performance, the idea that Darth Vader was once an innocent brings to light the idea of how he managed to turn on the Emperor near the end of episode 6.
4. The lightsaber battles.
Think about it. In the original trilogy there wasn’t much finesse or even skill used in the lightsaber battles. They were impressive, but those in episode one were absolutely fantastic. Plus, no one that hadn’t read the comics or played the games had ever seen a double-sided lightsaber before, or the moves that Darth Maul utilized to put on a clinic for Obi-Wan during the final battle. The fight sequences in episode one were new and revolutionary and not to be discounted.
3. The Jedi council.
This was integral to the films considering that by the time the original trilogy came out the Jedi council was done, finished, and long relegated to memory, if that. This representation of the Jedi council shows that at one time they were a very potent force for peace in the galaxy, and were a highly ordered group that were governed by laws and rules that they did not often bend or break. Plus, despite his rubbery appearance, Yoda was a welcome addition to episode one.
2. It introduced more of the galaxy.
In the original trilogy fans are introduced to several planets and are led to believe that many more exist in this galaxy. But it is rare that we ever see such worlds, or their representatives, for more than a few seconds. That trend doesn’t really go away in episode one, but we were introduced to new worlds, species, and the idea that the galaxy is composed of hundreds of worlds that have come together to form a galactic senate that is absolutely huge. As the story embarks upon the feat of including more and more worlds that are being added to the mix, the viewer is finally able to understand that Star Wars is in fact a very expansive tale.
1. The characters are quite interesting.
Okay, put all thoughts of Jar Jar Binks out of your head for the moment. He obviously wasn’t the most well-received or the best-liked character of the bunch, but there are others that were easily able to carry the film past his blundering moments. Queen Padme Amidala, Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jin, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and even the Sith lords Darth Sidious and Darth Maul were more than enough to create a memorable cast that keeps to the Star Wars mythos while introducing new faces that can help to drive the story even further. Seriously, forget about Binks, it can only hurt your memory of the movie.
*Bonus – Because it’s a great movie!
Maybe not compared to other Star Wars movies but compared to ANY movie? Yeah, it rocks. Plus Darth Maul is one of the coolest Star Wars characters of all-time.
So if you’re Star Wars fan or not just keep in mind that the prequels weren’t all that bad. They had their flaws, just as any film will, but they did happen to shed more light on questions that the original trilogy hadn’t yet answered.