Directed by: George Lucas
Written by: George Lucas
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman
At movie theaters, not so far far away, Star Wars: Episode I- The Phantom Menacehas returned to the big screen with an added dimension. While light sabers and Queen Amidala’s outfits will never go out of fashion, 3D does little to lift this 1999 prequel from its weak plot progression and bring something new to the already impressive visuals.
As evil from the Trade Federation disrupts the peaceful planet of Naboo, two Jedi Knights – Qui-Gon Jinn (Neeson) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) – are sent to negotiate with its leaders. When the negotiations prove to be a failure, the two Jedis flee to the planet of Tatooine with the Queen Amidala (Portman), befriending a young Anakin Skywalker on the way and discovering a Sith apprentice on their trail.
While the film’s action takes full advantage of 3D in the pod race, laser shoot-outs and double-ended light saber fights, these momentary excitements are not enough to sustain our interest in a story that is too simple and flatly scripted, yet too political and difficult for children. This may have something to do with the fact that The Phantom Menace lacks a clearly defined perspective as multiple characters merely push the story forward. Had the film focused on the experience of one protagonist, such as Obi-Wan, The Phantom Menace may have proven to be a lot more engaging, exciting and insightful in terms of its characters and the galaxies far, far away.