Star Wars has also been out for 35 years and I'm finally getting around to reviewing the greatest film saga of all time! I'll start with 1999's Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. This was the first of the prequels to be released and probably one of the most anticipated movies of the 20th Century.
I can remember all the hype and advertisements like it was yesterday: Pepsi, Pizza Hut, and KFC Ads, toy commercials (I still have all of them, action figures, plastic podracers, lightsabers, you name it!), t-shirts, lunchboxes, TV spots that were shown just about every day, and the list goes on and on!
I saw Episode I in theaters and being a 5 year old at the time, I was so blown away like some of you were when the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope came out! In Episode I, Qui-Gon-Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his apprentice Obi-Wan-Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) are secretly sent by the Supreme Chancellor to probe the mystery of the mysterious blockade that the Viceroy and the Trade Federation have over the planet of Naboo.
The Jedi meet and rescue a hilarious Gungan named Jar Jar Binks. They join forces with the regal Queen of Naboo, Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) who is fighting to save her people. Forced to land in Tatooine they also meet the young Anakin Skywalker, who is unaware that he will eventually become Darth Vader. Senator Palpatine (also known as Darth Sidious/The Evil Emperor) who is determined to become Supreme Chancellor is also introduced in this movie.
They also encounter an enemy; the evil Sith Lord Darth Maul (who wields an amazing double-bladed lightsaber) whom they will have to face. Amidst what the negative things cynics and critics say about Episode I, this movie did everything it was supposed to: remind us of how awesome Star Wars is and give fans new thrills! The hum of a lightsaber, (re)introducing us to C-3PO and R2-D2, an awe-inspiring Roman Colosseum-like podracing scene, the epic climax featuring Gungans battling battle droids, Naboo starfighters fighting to destroy the Trade Federation battleship similar to X-Wing fighters seeking a thermal exhaust port on the Death Star, the Queen battling the Viceroy, and the epic lightsaber duel we were longing for (which is my personal favorite in the series)!!!
Let's not neglect the amazing score by John Williams! I think "Duel of the Fates" and "Anakin's Theme" is John Williams at his best!!! I think by now you'll understand why I give Star Wars: Episode I - A Phantom Menace the rating:10/10!!!!
- Kristoff Hankerson, used with permission
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