Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3D
Me and Star Wars have a troubled, abusive, relationship. From the movies to the books the franchise has continued to beat me down but yet I held on for a long long time, reading the books, watching the different versions of the movies… until I finally said no, no more. I wasn’t going to give Star Wars any more of my time or money, it was for the best.
And that worked out until my nephew begged me to take him to the re-release of EPI in 3D. As I’m sure my parents didn’t want to go the Star Wars movies when I begged them to take me, yet they did, I couldn’t ignore the call of Karma. I took my nephew to see The Phantom Menace in 3D on opening night… and I have to say, the movie was better the second time around.
While I place the prequels on the bottom rung of the Star Wars movies, Menace was never the worse in my opinion. I considered it a good starting point for what should have been two epically awesome movies to come (but more on that later). I liked the idea of the young Anakin who used to be a slave and is suddenly told there is something special about him. This was perfect set up to make Anakin a post-Homeric Hero.
Even the inclusion of Artoo and Threepio did not go directly against the original episodes so there was no major argument there. Sure, there were some slight differences which could be explained (Obi says Yoda trained him, any person in a ‘trade’ can have more than one teacher) and a few things that don’t quite make sense (Naboo elects a pre-teen Queen?). All of this is in the spirit of the first films and forgivable.
There was a lot of lovely call backs to A New Hope, more than I caught the first time I watched it, and I appreciated them more on the second go around.
As for Midiclorians, yeah, the way I look at it, the bacteria is attracted to the Force and therefore the stronger the Force user the more there would be floating around in their blood. Kind of like how we recognize some virus’ by the anti-bodies in the blood and not the virus itself. After awhile people just started referencing one as the other. See, I can make EPI work for me, I love (loved) Star Wars that much.
And I grade Menace on a curve because it is the first film back after several years and had a lot to live up to. I even forgive Jar Jar because he wasn’t that annoying, just an easy target for all the fan boys to direct their anger at the film not living up to their expectations.
Of course this re-release was in 3D and wasn’t a bad conversion. The problem is, nothing really jumps out like a gimmicky 3D movie and therefore the 3D is pretty useless. The pod-race was good, but again, I expected them to throw in some stuff flying out at you to really put you in the experience and they didn’t.
But the re-released allowed my nephew to see the film on the big screen for the first time and he loved it. He was happy and laughing and going on about it the rest of the night, so can’t really complain about that now can I?