Cinematic Appreciation: Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

CINEMATIC APPRECIATION OBJECTIVE: I love movies. They are a combination of every art form- visual and audible, textures and colors and singing and talking and everything beautiful. So I thought I would take some time to fully appreciate the films that capture my heart the most.

Each film is scored on several different levels:

CGI (Computer Generated Images, or basically special effects): 0 being terrible and 10 being phenomenal.

COSTUMING AND MAKEUP (speaks for itself): 0 being inaccurate and 10 being perfect.

SCREENPLAY (script): 0 being filled with plot holes and 10 being flawless.

CASTING (even extras!): 0 being meh and 10 being EVEN THE PERSON ON THE SIDEWALK WAS IN CHARACTER!!!

MUSIC (soundtrack): 0 being a detraction from the film and 10 being an advantage.

And, finally, OVERALL FEELS (my fangirling emotions): 0 being none and 10 being I-can’t-breathe.

In a galaxy far, far away, is a movie that desperately needs to be appreciated properly.

Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace


Starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Liam Neeson

CGI: 6 out of 10

The graphics were admittedly old, especially when the clones would all do the exact same thing in typical under-animated style, but I have grace for it because it’s seventeen years old. Jar Jar Binks and his people were also a little lackluster, but my theory is that when they made the jump to computer animation, they gained depth perception and dynamic lighting but lost texture.



I’m a sucker for Star Wars couture, ever since my sister fell in love with it ten years ago. It feels so multi-cultural, and yet when you see it, it screams the culture of that galaxy far, far away. But while there are hundreds of unique costumes like this:


There are also the unfortunate choices such as this:

Padme 3.jpg

And I cannot in good conscience offer a full rating to a costume that is made of McDonalds red and yellow crushed velvet with a weird ball-cap brim under the hood.

SCREENPLAY: 5 out of 10

Lots of ridiculous information. George Lucas had some trouble getting back into the swing of things after his 16-year break, and it shows in the strange storyline of this film. Why is Jar Jar even in existence? Why does Anakin seem ten years younger than Padme when he’s probably only supposed to be five? Why?!?! WHY?!? I have so many questions, but to tell you the truth, last time I saw this movie I missed about a third of it. (Not like I felt like I was missing out on anything.) And my final complaint about this script is: WHY did you kill Darth Maul in the FIRST episode?! HE HAS SUCH POTENTIAL!!

CASTING: 8 out of 10


You can’t go wrong with Liam Neeson, even though every time he spoke, we all yelled “ASLAN!” Little Anakin is adorable, and not too shabby for acting. Apart from his unfortunate haircut, Ewan McGregor was… well, Ewan McGregor. My one problem with the casting is Natalie Portman. (I’m sorry, Stacey.) She actually grew on me as we watched these films, so I don’t hate her as much as I used to. But there are still moments when I cringe and ask, “Why is this one of the highest-grossing actresses in the world?!”

MUSIC: John Williams out of 10.

‘Nuff said.

OVERALL FEELS: *sigh* out of 10


*sigh* for the tears in my eyes at the innocence of this little boy who will turn into an evil villain.

*sigh* for the moments when Padme’s acting is only so-so.

*sigh* for every time Darth Maul shows up on screen.

*sigh* for the cringes I give when I see Jar Jar.

*sigh* for lightsabers, which are awesome.

The End.


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