It's a personal life philosophy of mine to think of my problems in a positive light - not in an unrealistic way, but rather a constructive viewpoint where I figure out what went right and what went wrong.
There's a lot that went wrong with Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace. Most of us, myself included, have written about all those problems and plot holes before. But in the light of the new films and in the spirit of Star Wars, it's always worth looking at what the film did right as well!
Stretch your face hole into a smile and let's remember the good stuff:
People might disagree with me on this (many will, probably) but I thought podracing was the coolest thing in the world when I was a kid. There were arcade machines that were shaped like podracers, and I'd spend way too long attempting to beat the full game whenever my Dad brought the family to the arcade. Podracing, for me, was all about the tension - the whole scene pitted a child against some of the nastiest, underhanded alien speedsters in the galaxy, and he came out on top.
Sure, it takes up about 15 minutes of the movie (c'mon, that should have been faster) but it's also the most exciting part of the film for me, and one where we really get to see how Anakin's skills were above and beyond the norm as a child. Nobody pilots like that without the Force, except maybe Han Solo. Maybe.
While the costume design in the original trilogy progressively became more and more intricate, The Phantom Menace shows us a time when decorative fashion is prominent in the galaxy, before the war-torn remnants of the old Republic were forced to stop hiring top designers (c'mon, you gotta understand budget cuts like that). I love vintage Naboo fashion. Sigh.
Qui-Gon's death was a grim reminder of the direction that the prequels intended to take. The character embodied what Jedi should be at their core, and his gentle guidance could have saved the galaxy if he had stayed alive. I loved Qui-Gon, and that's saying a lot because I rarely love a character so truly good at his core (I mean, look at the guy. He's the most Jedi Jedi to ever Jedi). After spending an entire movie with him, even though many of us figured this was coming, it was still painful to see him go.
I was born far too late to experience the frenzy that was A New Hope's premiere, so I was ecstatic to be able to see The Phantom Menace on opening night. I've already recounted the evening, but it was great to see the stories and memories that were reflected in the comments of that particular article. Opening night holds a lot of very special memories for people everywhere, and thinking about it just gets me that much more excited about [Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158)!
The Promotional Material
I had already blasted through half of the Extended Universe by the time Episode I came out, along with "character diaries" and comic books, so the promotional material for Episode I could not have dropped at a more opportune time. I most definitely hit up KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell (there were no combination pizza huts or taco bells back then, by the way) to collect their planet-specific toys and bought even more books to calm my pre-teen mind while I waited for the movie's release.
What were your favorite things about Episode I, if you had any? Share them down in the comments!