Pre-Watch: The Phantom Menace

07 Jan

So this is the new year // and I don’t feel any different…

Sorry.  Death Cab on Pandora radio.  I actually feel different, but I’m not going to get into that here.  Here is for Movies, and as I am one stinking episode of True Blood away from finishing season 3, let’s move on to the first movie I’ll See, which is (conveniently) also the next movie on my Netflix queue.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Interestingly enough, I have seen the majority of this movie.  When did it come out, 1999?  (Goes to check on imdb.)  Yeah, 1999.  Well, I remember distinctly that it was a night in late June or possibly early July — myself and Beth and Mikel were playing a round of mini golf at the Long Shot Golfing Range in Brunswick.  The mosquitos were coming out, but we were valiant.  Oh, that’s right, it was Beth’s first time mini golfing, and she had no idea that, at some mini golf places, the 18th hole collects the golf ball.  She did a whole Charlton Heston-finding-the-Statue-of-Liberty-on-the-beach “NOOOOOOO” thing even. 

DAMMIT.  *Adds Planet of the Apes to the list.*

ANYWAY.  After the game, my dad came to pick me up and he took me and my sister to see The Phantom Menace.  My dad has always been a huge geek — it’s where I get it from, honestly.  And I remember he was always trying to get me to watch Star Wars, and Indiana Jones, and Back to the Future when I was a kid, but I’d always resist.  Indiana Jones I remember resisting because of the spiders on Sapito, or the snakes in the Well of Lost Souls.  I can’t remember why I didn’t want to watch Back to the Future when I was a kid — probably because of the Libyans shooting the shit out of Doc Brown.  As for Star Wars — I was a girl, and all I ever saw was a scary guy in a black cape talking weird.

But I’ll talk more about A New Hope later.

So when George Lucas began filming a new Star Wars series, the one that explained how Darth Vader came to be, and how he was Luke and Leia’s father, but who was their mother, et cetera, et cetera, well; Dad was very excited.  He resolved that my sister and I were finally old enough to understand all the political intrigue of what was going on, and I think around the same time George Lucas was mucking around with the original Star Wars, digitizing them and making them all pretty (and adding scenes where he didn’t need to, and again, I’ll talk about that later), so Dad decided that he was going to take my sister and I to see all the new Star Wars movies in the theater.

We left the mini golf course — I think Beth’s brother took her and Mikel home — and we drove over to the Regal Cinema practically next door, and sat down for the later show of The Phantom Menace.

So what do I remember of the movie?  Well, there was this really annoying kid haggling with Liam Neeson over the price of something, and he was a pod racer, and there was an angry Senator Palpatine who was driving Princess Amidala crazy, and oh, wasn’t there an Amidala Double?  I think I remember that.  And although I didn’t know it at the time, there was Ewan McGregor as a very young Obi-Wan Kenobi.  That is now a Bonus!Hot Guy for this movie (and one of its only saving graces, if I remember correctly).

But what I remember the most is that I was so tired, and Jar-Jar was so fucking boring and annoying, that I fell asleep during the Pod race.  I can’t remember anything of what happened with that.  At all.  I remember seeing the scene where he’s driving the Pod through the desert, but that could also be me remembering the commercials for the movie.  I mean, I was out like a light.  Completely zonked.  In the middle of the most important, most action-driven segment of the entire fucking movie.

Oh, I also remember that there was something called midichlorians (?), and those things were actually the Force, not some mystical property, which, even though I haven’t actually seen any of the other movies, I call SHENANIGANS.

Now, some of you may ask, “Alaina — why are you starting with The Phantom Menace?  Why don’t you start with A New Hope and FINALLY join the ranks of geekdom to which you so fervently wish to belong?”  Well, Some of You, here’s why I made the decision to watch the story chronologically, versus the movies chronologically: because I don’t want to end with Revenge of the Sith.  Would you?  I mean, I know enough of both trilogies that I could get away with watching the ‘original’ trilogy first and ending with the ‘first’ trilogy, but … why would you want to?  Wouldn’t you want to watch the series in order, a) of all, to get fucking Jar-Jar Binks out of the way, and b) of all, to end with Han and Luke and Leia triumphant?  I also don’t want to have a sour taste on Star Wars in my mouth, and watching the greatest trilogy of all time (yes, even better than Back to the Future, or so I’ve been told) and then watching the WORST trilogy of all time would definitely create a sour taste.

Now, having said that: when/if I ever have kids, rest assured that they will be watching the original trilogy first.  Then, if they’re curious as to how Darth Vader came to be and who’s Obi-Wan Kenobi and did Yoda ever not talk funny, then I may let them watch the second trilogy.  Maybe.  It depends of if I like Attack of the Clones and/or Revenge of the Sith.  I may just gloss over the details and let them wait until they’re old enough to make their own mistakes choices.

So my plan: I’m going to finish True Blood and then mail those back, so sometime next week, I should be able to cross The Phantom Menace off my list.  And the sooner, the better; I also remember that it totally and completely sucked.

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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Star Wars


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