Several months ago, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was re-released in the movie theaters, only this time sporting a 3D conversion. I honestly had no intention of going to see it. Not because I don’t like the movie, but I’m really not into the whole 3D thing and didn’t think it would be worth spending so much money on a movie I’d seen so many times before and own on DVD. But one Friday night, some friends were all going to see it, and I decided to join them.
My impressions, as far as the 3D went, I really didn’t notice much of a difference. It gave some of the scenes a little bit more depth, but nothing jumped out at you. As a matter of fact, I probably could have watched the whole movie without wearing the glasses. The only difference I did notice was the inclusion of a computer-generated Yoda, which was a huge improvement over the weird looking puppet that was in the movie before.
Even though I didn’t think much of the 3D, I still really enjoyed the experience simply because, after 13 years, I got to see this movie on the big screen again. For me it was a trip down memory lane. It brought me right back to 1999. It seemed like this movie was pretty much the most highly anticipated movie ever. People were paying for tickets to other movies just so they could go into the theater and watch the trailer then leave. And the merchandising was ridiculous! You couldn’t go into a single store without seeing Star Wars all over everything from toys and books to soda cans and bags of chips.
And when the movie finally came out, I went with a big group of friends to go see it on opening day. And since that day, I have loved this movie! I know I’m in the minority, but I really enjoyed it. Granted I didn’t think it would win any awards, but I thought it was just a fun movie to watch.
The action sequences kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Starting with the opening scene aboard the Trade Federation battleship, and then during the rescue of the queen on Naboo, we got to see Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan take on armies of battle droids without breaking a sweat. This was our first glimpse of what a couple of real fully trained Jedi Knights could do. The Pod Race sequence was amazing and the lightsaber fight with Darth Maul was spectacular, it still remains one of my favorite fight scenes of all time. Everyone in the theater applauded at the end.
I thought there were some interesting characters, namely Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul. I just wish we could have gotten to know more about them. Although, according to the Clone Wars TV series, the reports of Darth Maul’s death may have been greatly exaggerated.
I know a lot of people complained a lot about certain things in this movie, namely the character of Jar Jar Binks. Yes, I agree, he’s not my favorite character, but I never had as much of a problem with him as others did. He’s just another character in the Star Wars universe. Yes he was annoying, he was supposed to be annoying. He was annoying to the other characters in the movie! Yeah, I wasn’t too big on the whole midi-chlorian thing either, but I’ve learned to accept it over the years. And people said the movie was racist, I never believed that. I think the people who believed that simply had too much free time on their hands and just wanted to find more things to complain about. It’s just a movie!
So these are my thoughts about the re-release of Episode I. I wasn’t too big on the 3D thing, but I really enjoyed seeing the movie again. Brought back lots of good memories. And although this movie is far from perfect, I think it’s a very enjoyable and entertaining movie, regardless of what the majority of fans have to say about it.