The Ultimate Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D FAQ

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is being re-released in cinemas in 3D this week and to celebrate, the PR Team has decided to answer every question that’s ever been asked about it. Even the questions you didn’t know you wanted to ask.

And if you squint really hard whilst crossing your eyes and looking only at your screen in your peripheral vision, you’ll notice this FAQ is also in glorious mindblowing 3D!

Warning: contains SWEARING and LOGIC.

Is it a bad sign for a family/kid’s film that the second line of the opening crawl reads, “The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute”?
Are you kidding us? You obviously know nothing about children. Kids love their mobiles, tweeting about Justin Bieber and Facebooking but you know what they love more? INTERGALACTIC TAXATION LAW DISPUTES AND PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE ABOUT SAID LAWS. Today’s average seven-year-old is all like, “Hey Steve, did you see Ben 10 this morning? PSYCHE STEVE, SUPER PSYCHE! I DIDN’T! I WAS WATCHING THE GALACTIC SENATE DISCUSS THE PASSING OF AN ADDENDUM TO SUBSECTION 27(C)(iii) REGARDING SPECIAL DISPENSATION TO TRADE ACROSS INTERGALACTIC BOUNDARIES!”

Naboo seems to be a beautiful, opulent planet rich in natural resources that is very probably entirely self-sufficient. How exactly would a space blockade work?
Well, it’s a blockade. Therefore it blocks things the Nabooians want. Space things. Like, err… asteroids and sunlight. Probably. That’s science.

Why do the Trade Federation all have really terrible faux-Asian accents?
Maybe ASIAN people have really terrible faux-TRADE FEDERATION accents. You don’t know.

How come Qui-Gon is constantly reminding Obi-Wan to be “mindful of the living Force”, yet has ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING CLUE at any point in time of what’s about to happen, e.g. being poisoned and shot at by killer robots?
He’s a Jedi. It’s their job to be so busy giving pretentious and hypocritical lectures that they don’t even notice when they’re about to get horribly murdered (see our Revenge of the Sith 3D FAQ in two years for more on this!).

Why send Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon to negotiate an intergalactic taxation treaty instead of, say, specialist intergalactic taxation lawyers and/or accountants?
Because specialist intergalactic taxation lawyers and/or accountants don’t have totally awesome super shiny laser swords that go, “BWOSSSSH! SHISSSSH!” That’s why.

The Trade Federation seem aware that the Jedi are virtually unstoppable laser sword-wielding killing machines. Why attempt to slowly kill them with visible poison gas instead of, say, explosively depressurising their meeting room, sending the killer droids straight in, setting an explosive to go off when they open the door, or even using any of the 481 kinds of invisible poison gas available?
MAYBE their plan was to kill the Jedi in a way so incredibly stupid that nobody would ever see it coming, thus making it the BEST PLAN EVER. Didn’t think of that, did you?

Those Destroyer Droids seem a lot more dangerous and threatening than standard issue Battle Droids, which are probably the LEAST MENACING ROBOTS IN THE ENTIRETY OF CINEMATIC HISTORY, behind WALL-E and James Franco. Why not just use Destroyers?
Look, they’re called the “Trade” Federation, not the “We Love Droids! Robots, YAY!” Federation. So they ordered several billion of the wrong model. Sheesh. Cut them some slack, Mr. Perfect.

Why is the “Queen” of Naboo an elected position? Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of a monarchy? How come she’s only sixteen or whatever? Would any even moderately sane planet really ELECT a teenager to rule them? Have they ever met an actual teenager?
Yes, okay, it would make a lot more sense if she was the hereditary ruler of the planet but seriously, stop nitpicking. This isn’t some stupidly boring movie about intergalactic succession laws and systems of government. It’s about the thrilling world of intergalactic taxation law, remember?

Why does she dress like Lady Gaga? And how come she’s not allowed to move, or speak properly, or show any kind of discernible human emotion?
It’s a complex metaphor for the burden of commitment and responsibility that ruling  places on our political leaders. Or because pretty dresses, maybe?

If the Gungans are so stupid that even their king can be Jedi mind tricked, how have they managed to develop sprawling, majestic underwater cities with force fields that prevent water (and presumably other unwanted sea life, etc) from getting in, yet allow humanoids through, as well as submarines that can navigate through the planet’s core?
Ummm… errr…. it’s… well…

Isn’t it kind of bad form for a noble Jedi to telepathically manipulate a king on several occasions?
Yes, it’s utterly reprehensible. You’ll notice that not even Emperor Palpatine does this once in the entire six movies. Regular manipulation? Sure. Mind control? Not once. Basically, this is just the first clue that the Jedi are total and utter bastards.

It’s SUPER exciting watching the Jedi fight lame CGI robots all the time, isn’t it?
Zzz… snnnrrrk… whazat? We fell asleep for a bit there during the pulse-poundingly thrilling “will they or will they” escape from the Naboo Hangar Bay sequence.

How come R2-D2 is in this movie? Couldn’t it just have been another random droid? Does every single person/alien/character from the original trilogy need to appear in these prequels?
Everyone knows it’s a rule of prequels that everyone has to have their backstory unnecessarily explained and linked together in a terribly clunky way that cheapens, or even ruins, the original character. Watch as the prequels transform original Obi-Wan from a noble Jedi Knight into a pathological liar and total a-hole!

Padmé uses a bodyguard to stand in for her as Queen sometimes. Is this 100% necessary even on a ship filled with her personal security guards and Jedi?
Yes, it creates a completely unnecessary “twist” later on. That’s just incredible screenwriting, you guys.

Why does Qui-Gon get annoyed at being asked to take Padmé with him on Tatooine because it will be dangerous, when he’s already taking Jar Jar with him?
Maybe we don’t give Qui-Gon enough credit. Maybe he’s hoping Jar Jar will stray into a side alley or a seedy cantina and get horrifically murdered.

Jar Jar Binks is an amphibious life form. Wouldn’t he just FUCKING DIE on Tatooine?
See above. Well played, Qui-Gon. Well played.

So kid Anakin FINALLY appears for the first time 32 minutes into the film. If he’s the film’s primary protagonist, doesn’t he make his entrance about 22 minutes too late?
Ah, you’d think that, wouldn’t you? But actually, Qui-Gon Jinn is The Phantom Menace‘s central character. We follow him from the film’s first scene to his funeral at the end.

But… why? Surely Anakin is supposed to be the film’s central character because the story arc for the prequels is his tragic fall to the Dark Side and the arc for the original trilogy is the story of his eventual redemption?
Anakin’s just a kid in this film! You can’t expect him to carry it all by himself, that’s ludicrous!

WHY is Anakin a kid in this film, then? Wouldn’t it be cooler and make way more sense to have the first movie be about him as an angsty teenager learning to use his Force powers and kicking ass with Obi-Wan, all whilst fighting the early temptations of the Dark Side?
Yes! No. Shut up. One thing LITERALLY EVERYONE said after seeing Return of the Jedi was, “I wonder what Darth Vader was like as a cute nine-year-old?” Now we know.

No one said that, ever.
Yes they did.

Prove it. Name one person in the history of ever who said or even thought that.
Errr… Let’s just back to Qui-Gon, shall we?

Okay, fine. If Qui-Gon Jinn IS the film’s main character, which STILL doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, how come he doesn’t change or grow as a person in any way, shape or form? In fact, he doesn’t learn a SINGLE LESSON throughout the course of the movie. Isn’t that, like, the most basic rule of storytelling?
George Lucas doesn’t play by society’s petty “rules”. He INVENTS rules. He’s a cowboy anarchist independent billionaire filmmaker, like Batman but with a plaid shirt instead of a cape. You watch. In 10 years, films with boring central characters that never grow or change in any way will be where storytelling is AT.

Wow… the expository dialogue between Padmé and Anakin is pretty fucking terrible, huh?
A word of advice? Literally the ONE way you are going to survive this movie and NOT rip your own frontal lobe out through your bloody ear holes is to not think about anything anybody says to anybody at any stage.

Ummm… the fuck? Nine-year-old Anakin CREATED C-3PO? He actually built a PROTOCOL DROID by himself?
Yup.

Why?
To… ummm… establish Anakin as a technological genius wunderkind who is amazing at building mechanical things, like a young Tony Stark but in space.

Ah, so this is a clever use of foreshadowing, as his genius and/or technological prowess will become relevant at some point later in the story, then?
… Not really …

But surely it’s referenced consistently throughout the ensuing movies, right? Because if he can build a protocol droid when he’s nine, he must go on to build even bigger and better things as he gets older?
Nope. The fact that Anakin is a techno whizz who can build robots from scratch is never, ever brought up again. Pretty sure nobody in the next five movies ever even references or acknowledges the fact that he singlehandedly built Threepio as a child.

Sorry to get stuck on what may seem like a trivial little detail then, but… WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
Just to get C-3PO into the movie. Obviously.

And there wasn’t a SINGLE BETTER, LESS INSANELY OUT OF CHARACTER way to do– you know what, forget it. Move along.
Can do!

Oh well, at least this movie can’t get any wOHGOD IT’S THE POD RACING BIT NOW, ISN’T IT?
You know it.

‘Kay. Let’s do it. First question: Qui-Gon and Co. are stuck on Tatooine because they don’t have the money to pay for the part for Padmé’s ship, right?
Check.

And Padmé’s Nubian ship, which is fit literally for a queen, would be worth a bucket load of money in a shithole town like Mos Espa, yes? Even though it needs some repairs?
You got it, fella.

So… why not forego the whole pod racing thing entirely and just TRADE THE SHIP IN FOR A SLIGHTLY LESSER, BUT TOTALLY WORKING, SPACESHIP AND GET OUT OF THERE?
Well, it’s… it’s just that… see… ummmm… POD RACING!!!!!!!!!

But Qui-Gon even stakes the Nubian ship as his ENTRY FEE FOR THE FRIGGING POD RACE, WHICH ANAKIN COULD VERY POSSIBLY LOSE!!!! WHY NOT JUST TRADE IT IN IN THE FIRST PLACE? IT’S THE INSANEST, MOST UNNECESSARY PLAN EVER AAARRRrrrrGGHhhhH!!!
You need a lie down. Make sure you’re back in time for the big pod race!

AAAAAAaaarrrRRrrrrrGGgggghHHHHhhh ggguuUUUuurrrgleee….

Whew, okay, I took a quick nap and I’m feeling better about the whole thing now. Kind of weirdly looking forward to the pod ra– wait, what was that thing about Anakin not having a father now?
Cool, huh? He’s Space Jesus!

Seriously, what in the fucking fuck are you talking about? How does he have no dad?
It’s another way of telling, rather than showing, the audience how COOL and MYSTERIOUS and also COOL Anakin is without having to delve into the messy aspects of paternity on a planet where slavery is endemic and a severe power imbalance between Anakin’s mother and father is extremely likely, or the ramifications of growing up with a potentially unwanted/abusive/non-present (BUT ACTUALLY EXISTING) father figure. You know, things that might have actually created internal conflict for young Anakin as he comes to deal with having great power but not wanting to use it like his father. Boooooring!

Okay, I’m scared but it’s time… Death Star PR, why are midi-chlorians?
Glad you asked! Midi-chlorians are intelligent microscopic symbiotic organisms that–

No, WHY are midi-chlorians? Why are they in the movie? Why did the concept of “the Force”, which everyone completely understood already, require more explanation?
Weeeell…  they provide a shorthand way for Mr. Lucas to tell the audience that Anakin is REALLY strong with the Force, rather than finding a clever and interesting way to show us that he’s incredibly strong with it.

It’s kind of like if the Harry Potter books had opened with Dumbledore waving his wand at Harry and saying, “Ah, I see you have the highest count of anti-Mugglets the world has ever seen! You will be the world’s GREATEST wizard!” Instead of setting up the whole mystery of who Voldemort was, what really happened to Harry’s parents and what his connection to Voldemort really is, which becomes the central mystery that plays out over seven books.

So … wait … you mean midi-chlorians provide a shorthand way of avoiding telling an actual interesting story in which we get to see Anakin first use, then begin to master his extraordinary powers against all the odds?
That’s it! Added bonus: it completely destroys the notion that the Force is an aspect of individual spirituality, which can be strengthened by one’s faith. Because strength in the Force is no longer about whether you believe enough to make something happen, it’s just whether you have enough midi-chlorians to do it. If you think about it, it negates Luke and Yoda’s entire training session on Dagobah! HOORAY FOR SCIENCE! WHOOO!

I’m going to try to push past this despite the fact that it is so bad it almost singlehandedly ruins all of Star Wars forever and concentrate on the fact that Qui-Gon is a total dick.
Probably for the best.

Am I wrong, or does Qui-Gon use his Force powers to alter the toss of Watto’s “chance cube” so he can get his own way? Isn’t that INCREDIBLY UNETHICAL FOR A JEDI?
Absolutely. BUT Watto WAS probably using a loaded die, so really, Qui-Gon was just cheating a cheater.

So the moral of this part of the kid’s film is, “Kids, it’s okay to cheat in games and life generally if you believe there’s even a small chance the other person might be trying to cheat too”?
You got it! Qui-Gon once again shows why he is a brilliant role model for kids everywhere. This is further emphasised by his unflinching willingness to allow a child to race in THE MOST DANGEROUS POD RACE OF ALL TIME, EVEN THOUGH HE KNOWS THE KID HAS NEVER EVEN FINISHED A RACE BEFORE.

Well, at least that will mean the pod race is going to be pretty exciting, huh?
Yes, there is literally NOTHING more thrilling than watching a nine-year-old kid act against a bunch of computer-generated future-toy characters and backgrounds for 15 minutes.

But it’s ENTERTAINING! Pod racing! Explosions! Weird aliens! High-speed hijinks! How could you possibly be against that?
This is a very obvious point and cited many times elsewhere, but it bears repeating: the best special effects in history aren’t worth a damn if they don’t support a good story and interesting characterisation. Think about it. When you watch Luke’s Death Star trench run, a very small part of your brain goes, “Cool special effects!” A bigger part of your brain goes, “These special effects are good enough for me to suspend disbelief and pretend this is really happening!” But by far the biggest part of your brain goes, “DIE ANNOYING FARM BOY, DIEEEEEEEE!!!!” (or, just maybe if you’re one of the weirdos who supports the Rebellion, “Oh my lawd, is Luke going to be okay???!”) That’s because the entire movie has been building to this moment, showing you Luke’s trials and tribulations, making you care about him and believe he’s real, so that when he’s in danger, you want him to be okay (or not, as the case may be).

In the pod race there’s only one character you even care slightly about and that’s probably mostly just because you know he’s going to grow up to be a kick ass evil cyborg someday. Put it this way – when you’re playing a video game, you get into it and you care what happens to your character, right?

Right.
Right. That’s because you’ve invested in that character. They’re your avatar. Effectively, it’s you in there getting shot at. But if you’re sitting there watching your friend play his video game for hours, it’s the most boring thing ever because you’re just watching computer generated beings do repetitive computer generated tasks, right? And that’s exactly what’s happening in the pod race, which is why it’s ultimately SO INSANELY BORING.

… Should we just skip it, then?
Let’s do that.

To recap, by now Qui-Gon has: mind-tricked the Gungan monarch, kidnapped a severely intellectually disabled Gungan for some reason, attempted to mind-trick a junk dealer, used the Force to manipulate a bet against said junk dealer, wagered his only means of transportation on a pod race, allowed (nay, encouraged!) a child to enter that pod race and taken a reading of that child’s DNA/midi-chlorians without parental permission.
That about sums it up. Is there a question here, or… ?

Given Qui-Gon’s complete lack of ANY KIND OF MORAL CODE WHATSOEVER TO THIS POINT, WHY DOESN’T HE JUST SAY, “FUCK YOU, WATTO!” AND TAKE ANAKIN’S MOTHER WITH HIM?
Qui-Gon is a Jedi, bound to a strict code of justice and morality and fuck it, it makes no sense to us either. Probably because it’s easier to just write her out of the story now? Of course, if the SECOND story had become the FIRST story, Mr. Lucas could’ve killed her off near the start, thus setting Anakin on the path to being a Jedi after already taking his first steps to the Dark Side by killing a bunch of Sand People, which would have been incredibly interesting and thus, isn’t even close to what actually happens.

Who cares about Qui-Gon? IT’S DARTH MAUL TIME! WOOOHOOOO!
He IS pretty cool, huh? Easily the best thing about the entire movie, which is why it’s SO FRIGGING AWESOME THAT WE SEE HIM IN ACTION FOR THE FIRST TIME 1 HOUR AND 16 MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE!

That DOES seem like a long time before introducing your film’s primary antagonist and protagonist to one another. Is that really a problem, though? Their 30 second fight scene was COOL!
It’s only a problem if you like little things called “tension” or “conflict” in your films. See, up until this point, over half way into the movie, Qui-Gon has never been in any real danger. There’s nothing at stake for him. He didn’t even KNOW they were being followed to Tatooine and he acted like it – walking everywhere, sitting for dinner, chatting with the Skywalkers, etc.

Only NOW is he aware that there’s more going on than just a simple trade dispute and HOLY FUCK WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK WAS THAT GUY WITH THE RED AND BLACK FACE AND THE HORNS AND THE LASER SWORD?! What is he? What does he want? Is he after me, or the Queen, or my spaceship, or my thick, lustrous hair or even this little kid with the impossibly high midi-chlorian count I just adopted?! All of that might have injected some much-needed drama into the film say, oh, about an hour ago?

Whatever, man. My pulse is FUCKING RACING after that Sith/Jedi battle royale. I’m PSYCHED for the steady build of action ahead of us as we CHARGE towards the climax. Where to now?
Coruscant, for many, MANY consecutive scenes of expository dialogue about political machinations and potential Sith sightings and horrendous Anakin/Padmé setting-up-future-love scenes.

Oh, for FU–
Totally.

Up side? We finally get to see Senator Palpatine as he begins his journey to hideously ugly ruler of a Galaxy. Quick question, though: why does he bother with all of these incredibly convoluted steps JUST to get Padmé to call a vote of no confidence in the existing chancellor and nominate him instead? SURELY he could have just manipulated/blackmailed/threatened any one of a thousand other senators to do exactly the same thing and saved himself the trouble?
True, but then this incredibly exciting special effects-laden feature film about the pitfalls inherent in navigating through the veritable minefield of the Galactic democratic political system and trade law would never have been made and THEN who’d be laughing?

Everyone, probably. Anyway, on to the Jedi Council, who are thrillingly all sitting unmoving in chairs as they discuss probably the most unsettling news they’ve heard in hundreds of years – that the Sith have returned AND Qui-Gon has found the Chosen One of the Prophecies Who Will Bring Balance to the Force. Question: why are the Jedi so blasé about the INCREDIBLY DISTURBING news that midi-chlorians had NON-CONSENSUAL SEX with a woman?
To be fair, are we sure they know enough about sex to know the difference between consensual and non-consensual sex, or even to know what sex is? And anyway, can you really blame them? Did you see that female Yoda in there? Holy crap! Once you’ve seen that thing, you can be forgiven for never, ever wanting to find out about a process that could potentially produce something so pants-wettingly terrifying.

I have no questions about the next few scenes, as my brain just genuinely tried to liquify itself rather than be subjected to the boredom contained within the Galactic Senate scenes again.
Man, you are missing out. This is the shit the kids have been waiting for, yo! When Supreme Chancellor Valorum asks Padmé, “Will you defer your motion to allow a commission to explore the validity of your accusations?” the kids go FUCKING MENTAL. To them, it’s like playing a video game inside a jumping castle that you can only win by eating so much candy you EXPLODE.

Speaking of kids, can we talk about Anakin’s meeting with the Jedi Council? Am I wrong, or is Yoda just a total dick to Anakin for being a nine-year-old who is afraid about leaving his mum?
You’re not wrong. It’s worse when you think that Yoda is probably the most respected teacher in the entire Jedi Order and is almost 900 years old, because that means he’s been treating A LOT of kids like crap for a long, loooong time. Worst. Teacher. Ever.

How is it that the Gungans, who live underwater in cities so hidden that the Trade Federation can’t pick them up on their sensors from outer space and the Jedi don’t seem to have known about them, have a huge army with catapults? Who in god’s name are they attacking?
Aaah, those crazy, stupid Gungans! They’re so RIDICULOUSLY STUPID that they built up an entire, heavily armed standing land army without ever stopping to think who they were going to use it against. That is SO Gungan!

After making peace with the Gungans, it was nice of Padmé to come up with a cunning plan whereby she uses them as cannon fodder in a diversion, wasn’t it?
She’s so nice. And pretty. Okay, mostly just pretty. The whole “using another race in a human wave attack against a vastly numerically and technologically superior army” isn’t the most considerate plan of all time.

Surely the IMPORTANT thing now is that we’re at the climax! The nail biting and action-packed final act! This is going to be AMAZING!
Yes, the entirely computer generated Gungan VS Droid Army battle certainly promises to be JUST as exciting as the pod race, but better, because there’s a SLIGHT chance Jar Jar might die. But actually, it will be worse, because it contains even less human characters AND Jar Jar doesn’t, in fact, die.

Wait a minute, does Qui-Gon actually instruct Anakin to hide IN THE COCKPIT OF A STARFIGHTER? Instead of, say, in a crate, or behind one, or EVEN in one of the 764 empty rooms in the palace they probably passed on the way in? You know, the ones far away from the shooting and the killing?
He sure does. It makes his wildly irresponsible decision to encourage Anakin to enter the pod race seem worthy of the Responsible Parent of the Year Award.

Then Anakin masters operating a starfighter in all of five minutes? What the?
How do you not get this? Although this would presumably usually take a regular fully grown adult several years of rigorous and intensive training, Anakin: a) has FOURTHTEEN BAGAZILLION MIDI-CHLORIANS; b) a “can-do” attitude; and, c) the experience of piloting a shitty pod racer HE BUILT HIMSELF FROM SCRAP PARTS AND EVERYONE LAUGHED AT AND SAID IT WOULD EXPLODE. Which is exactly like saying a few goes up and down the street on a tricycle at the age of three qualifies you to be a commercial airline pilot.

Look, we’ve been very slightly cynical at times. Can we at least agree that the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan/Darth Maul lightsaber duel is pretty cool?
It definitely is, though we’re personally INCREDIBLY thankful we didn’t get another similar scene sooner than an hour and fifty minutes into the movie. Just imagine how bad it would have been if we, the audience, felt any kind of genuine animosity between these characters? Like if both sides felt at this point like they had scores to settle and fought accordingly? People’s heads might have exploded from awesomeness! Thank Space Christ we avoided that!

Remember at the start of the movie when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Force ran at superspeed on the Droid ship? What’s with Obi-Wan not doing that here in the reactor core to catch up to Qui-Gon and Darth Maul?
Don’t try and start applying your filthy “logic” or “consistency” to the film now! That starship sailed a long time ago, my friend.

After Darth Maul impales Qui-Gon, why doesn’t he just use the Force to push Obi-Wan down the reactor shaft, or throw his lightsaber at Kenobi’s head, instead of just making pretty sparks with his saber?
You seriously need to ask that? Everyone knows bad guys never, ever use the simplest, most effective means possible to kill the hero. Because if they ever did, there is not a single final battle that the good guy would survive. Period.

And then Darth Maul dies? Just like that? Cut in half like a total chump? He was the best, possibly ONLY, good thing about this movie. PLEASE tell me that AT LEAST he gets replaced by an even MORE BAD ASS villain in the next film?
I know, right? But fear not! Wait until you see the eighty-year-old guy they’ve got playing the villain in the next–

EIGHTY YEARS OLD? THE ANTAGONIST IN THE NEXT FILM IS 80 FUCKING YEARS OLD? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
No… but… it IS Christopher Lee. Rest assured he’s pretty sprightly for an old guy. Thanks to the wonders of special effects, you can barely even notice his walking frame in most of the fight scenes!

They seriously replaced Darth fucking Maul with a guy who, no offence, looks like the mummified remains of Pharaoh Ramesses II? That is seriously– are we done here? My brain and soul have been destroyed. Can this be over now, please? Is there anything else worth noting?
Not really. Just that Qui-Gon’s body doesn’t disappear like Obi-Wan or Yoda’s in Episodes IV-VI, even though he is apparently the pioneer of the technique who later comes back as a ghost to teach Obi-Wan how to “become one with the Force”. That’s a bit weird.

… Why doesn’t Qui-Gon’s body disappear? The original films kind of made it seem like that was a thing that all Jedi did when their time came?
Probably just to set up a nice bookend for the films, so the saga starts and ends with a joyous celebration juxtaposed against a sad funeral-pyre-with-stirring-score-by-John-Williams™ scene. That’s worth breaking the internal logic of your film series for, right?

Fine. Whatever. I don’t care anymore. Let us never speak of this movie again.
Agreed. See you for the Attack of the Clones 3D FAQ next year, then?

… Sigh. I wish I knew how to quit you, Death Star PR.
I know.

 

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20 thoughts on “The Ultimate Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D FAQ

  1. Thank you for this, made seeing the movie this weekend ( don’t judge me; I couldn’t help myself, it was Star Wars damnit i couldn’t help going) worth it.

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  3. You haven’t answered my most pressing Ep I question:

    Okay. You have an angry little kid up to his neck in midichlorians and destined to bring Balance to the Force blah blah blah, and Obi-Wan has vowed to train him even without the Council’s consent. This seems like pretty high-stakes poker for the Jedi, doesn’t it? And you’d think that in that case, Yoda *could* take him and train him personally, so as to minimize the odds of impending total disaster…but nah, let the new guy train him!

    So my question is: where does the Jedi reputation for wisdom even come from??

  4. Here’s one that’s bothered me for a long time.

    Why do they need “Balance to the force”?

    I mean, when you think about it, balance should be “Equal amounts of dark side and light side”. But apparently, even though there’s hundreds of Jedi knights, and more in training, and a total of 3. FRIGGIN. SITH. in the entire prequel trilogy, the Jedi are still concerned about bringing “Balance to the force”. I suppose if “Balance to the force” means “wipe out the almost all major force users, so we can start over with a mostly clean slate in 25-30 years”, then well done, prophecy seekers.

    Except it doesn’t work that way, does it? I mean, just read the expanded universe books, where everyone and their frigging cousin ends up falling to the dark side at one point or another. (Well, except Anakin Solo, but eh…)

    • The prophecy meant the end of the sith, not an equal amount of sith
      ” [...] in which Anakin’s offspring redeem him and allow him to fulfill the prophecy where he brings balance to the Force by doing away with the Sith and getting rid of evil in the universe…”" –George Lucas, Intro to special edition VHS of Episode IV

      It also means, as far as George Lucas is concerned, any “canon” involving sith past episode VI is not actually canon.

  5. I. watched. this. movie. once.

    When the lights came up, nobody spoke. A few fanboys looked each other rather embarrassed in the face, then everybody sort of slid out off the cinema. In silence.

    Something had died that evening.

  6. Oops. And many thanks, Deathstar PR, for summarizing so neatly why I think this movie is so utterly forgettable. About some things you don’t want to think about yourself because you just want to forget about the whole thing, really.

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  8. Most of these barbs are spot on, but I have a few bones to pick.

    “Why does she dress like Lady Gaga? And how come she’s not allowed to move, or speak properly, or show any kind of discernible human emotion?”

    Yeah, who ever heard of a monarch having opulent clothes, garish makeup, or a highly reserved demeanor? I mean, besides everyone from Dynastic China to Victorian England. And comparing a costume design developed when Stefani Germanotta was 12 to Lady Gaga is just inane. You know who else looks like Lady Gaga? That Madonna whatserface. What a copycat.

    “If the Gungans are so stupid that even their king can be Jedi mind tricked, how have they managed to develop sprawling, majestic underwater cities with force fields?”

    Because technological aptitude amongst an entire species isn’t directly proportional to the sagacity and will-power of an individual leader. Like, say, humans: the species that split the atom, then almost used it to fry the planet because two nations got caught in a pissing contest of ballooning paranoia and posturing.

    “Jar Jar Binks is an amphibious life form. Wouldn’t he just FUCKING DIE on Tatooine?”

    Gungan skin looks pebbly and dry, like reptiles’, not slick and mucusy like Earthly amphibians’, which indicates they can retain water and don’t need to stay wet to live. On the contrary, they have to build artificial air bubbles in order to live underwater, just like us. Besides, there are real frogs that live in the desert, and that’s without the availability of cantinas at which to rehydrate.

    Furthermore, really? We’re starting to nitpick at the biology of Star Wars? The series featuring mile-long space slugs with no discernable food source?

    “setting Anakin on the path to being a Jedi after already taking his first steps to the Dark Side by killing a bunch of Sand People”

    With what, exactly? His Jai alai racket? How’s he supposed to take down a whole camp of warrior nomads before his years of martial training with specialized weaponry? Maybe he could try spinning. I’ve heard that’s a good trick.

    “EIGHTY YEARS OLD? THE ANTAGONIST IN THE NEXT FILM IS 80 FUCKING YEARS OLD?”

    In the series featuring Yoda and Emperor Palpatine, you’re using a character’s advanced age as an indication of weakness? Come on, man. Dooku is easily the best villain in the prequels (yes, better than campy, cackling monsterface Palpatine), and a big upgrade from a stuntman with face paint and a single facial expression.

    “Why doesn’t Qui-Gon’s body disappear? The original films kind of made it seem like that was a thing that all Jedi did when their time came?”

    Except that Darth Vader seems legitimately taken aback by Obi Wan disappearing. If that was something all Jedi did, he’d have been like, “Whatever, seen it.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Phantom Menace is a good film, because that would be a lie. But considering the wealth of bullshit with which the prequels are already stuffed, there’s no need to grasp at straws to provide more fodder for your snark bantha.

    • I agree with this. Sure, this movie, and the rest of the prequels had their faults. But there were some good things too. And it really pisses me off how everyone who liked the prequels get’s shit for it, people who just lived 10-20 years before them starts screaming shit about them not being real fans and newfags. All in all I liked the movies, and I think there are some major flaws with the sequels as well. But their movies, about a long time ago, in galaxy far far away, who the fuck are we to say that their logic should be the same as ours.

      When I pointed out to a friend that it was stupid that the laser guns all are single shots and not automatic, he replied that technology moves in different ways depending on the circumstances. Just look at all the people, who we might have been 200 years further back in our technological progress without. People tend to over think things when it comes to movies, plot holes will always be there. I prefer to enjoy movies rather than let the little things ruin it.

  9. “When Supreme Chancellor Valorum asks Padmé, “Will you defer your motion to allow a commission to explore the validity of your accusations?” the kids go FUCKING MENTAL. ”

    I actually got excited in that scene when I was a kid. I mean not everything is explosions and lightsabers. There’s all sorts of badassery in politics. And Palpatine’s faces were priceless

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