Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (A Second Look)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L Jackson, Ray Park, Ahmed Best, Frank Oz, Anthony Daniels, and Terence Stamp.

Directed By: George Lucas

Where I Watched it: Disney Plus

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

Description Provided By: Media Access Group

Narrated By: Miles Neff

The Plot: It’s Star Wars.

Thoughts On The movie: This is somewhere around the 4th time I’ve seen The Phantom Menace, but first doing so blind. That being said, in a way, Jake Lloyd and his performance has aged well. I’ve actually come to appreciate how anti-Vader he is, and that’s the point. Also, he’s a better actor than Hayden Christensen. Aside from that, I’ve seen this film too much to have too many new opinions. Jar Jar is still a bit much, Liam Neeson is still everything, and Natalie Portman has still given better performances than this.

The Blind Perspective: What did change, was me getting to experience the audio description. It’s really well done, especially in the action sequences. the pod racing sequence was a high standout for me in this film. Descriptions on characters are Ok, having to describe a lot of random alien races. I do notice that characters from other Star Wars films get less description (Yoda, R2, C-3PO) but Jar Jar’s description is just incorrect. He’s not amphibious, and the description barely scratched the surface of what I remember him looking like. he’s tall and lanky, kind of a pinkish/orangish brown, not the color you might expect from a character described as looking like an amphibian. And he has a long snout. The audio description does seem to assume, it’s Star Wars, people know who they are, and having already made it through the next couple chapters after this, I can tell you it’s a recurring problem throughout the series. First time viewers, if those exist, beware. But, Miles Neff (RIP) quickly became one of my favorite voices to listen to. Brilliant narrator. Gone too soon.

Final Thoughts: I think this movie is growing on me, even though i remember how much it annoyed Star Wars fans upon release. It is not my least favorite, that one is coming up. I started reviewing these because of the impending Obi wan series. I hope Obi Wan is better than this.

Final Grade: B-

7 thoughts on “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (A Second Look)

  1. This movie is fun. I think that Agen Kolar should have been the Jedi to train Anakin Skywalker. Here is the discussion as I see it: Ki-Adi-Mundi: “The force is strong with him.” Qui-Gon Jinn: “He is to be trained then”? Mace Windu: “No. He will not be trained. He is too old.” Yoda: “Clouded this boy’s future is.” Agen Kolar: “I will train the boy.” The rest of the Jedi Council: “You? Do you think you can handle the boy”? Agen Kolar: “Yes, I do.” The rest of the Council: “It is settled then.”

      1. I’m not sure that his trajectory would’ve changed either way. I’m not really sure it matters who takes them on as their Padawan. I suppose it could make for an interesting alternate timeline, sort of like a What If? situation. But, I think the whole idea was that this was always the destiny. It was foretold.

      2. The way you have the scene playing out is realistic enough. If someone else had volunteered first, it’s possible that the Jedi council would have considered them. I’m sure, for example, if Mace Windu wanted to take him on, the Jedi council would have allowed it. But, George Lucas already had this specific story in mind.

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