With the recent release of the Star Wars sextilogy on Blu-ray, most normal people are pacing themselves, maybe watching a movie a week or y’know, something sensible. That’s not how we operate here at FleshEatingZipper. After a long day at work, I shotgunned all six Star Wars movies in canonical order, meaning the back half was going to a smooth slide. I also live-blogged the whole ordeal, so my descent into madness has been thoroughly recorded. So without any further ado, let’s begin!
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) – I saw this three times the summer it released and loved it each time. This movie was definitely designed for large screens, but in retrospect I was probably also won over by the fact that this was the first episode in the epic saga.
8:27PM – Danger Will Robinson! If I had some foresight, I would’ve left by the first paragraph alone: “The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute.” Snore.
8:30PM – Everything in HD is great. GREAT! Much easier to determine when Knightly is Amidala and when Portman is. CGI elements composited onto real assets don’t hold up nearly as well, but it still looks good in Episode III. I also don’t like the photography here, everything is incredibly flat looking, something that changes as we progress through the prequel trilogy.
8:33PM – Droidekas are still some of the coolest droids ever.
8:34PM – “We would never do anything without approoooooval of the Seeeeenate.”
8:37PM – Why would they put a stupid bot in charge of a stupid bot army?
8:38PM – Jar Jar. So when I saw this originally twelve years ago, I thought he was a funny addition, but having not seen any of the films in a number of years, he is definitely a blemish (or a blight) to the entire film.
8:47PM – “There’s always a bigger fish.” Twice. There seems to be a law of excess in this film. If anything can be done multiple times, or done at all, it is done here.
8:49PM – All of the Star Wars films have some awesome sound design. We take it for granted now, but something like the lightsaber hum is from the genius of Ben Burtt. My favorites here involve most of the droid noises, especially as they’re crushed or what have you.
8:53PM – There are so many contrivances here. Lucas is working so hard here to sow the entire universe to what he created so many years ago, rather than create interesting new elements. That makes this universe feel like a hollow shell to merely serve the original movies.
8:56PM – Off-screen: I am tackling a carton of strawberries!
8:58PM – Darth Vader’s first line in the series: “Are you an angel?”
9:00PM – The woodenest dialogue. Padme: “It’s on the outskirts.” Anakin: (awkward pause, staring off as if waiting for his mom to say ‘okay sweetie, say your line!’) “You’ll never make it.” Happens again later when he drops to the ground to avoid being hit by Darth Maul, he looks like he’s cautiously jumping onto a mat.
9:06PM – Darth Maul is a useless character
9:10PM – The podrace deal that Qui-gon is setting up with Watto is pulling down the entire movie right now.
9:17PM – Obi-wan stops entire film to say “wait a minute” and hover his hand over a console in a conversation with Qui-gon.
9:22PM – Pod race introduction at excess. These Special Edition add-ons they put in the DVD edition suck. Here, they are introducing each racer, some that won’t last longer than a few minutes after this race. They literally add scenes that show ships flying somewhere. It’s dumb.
9:33PM – There’s a new crisis for Anakin on every lap. FOR DRAMATIC ACTION.
9:38PM – The look on Anakin’s mom’s face when Anakin is free and she’s not: “Dammit.”
9:50PM – CGI Yoda makes sense here. This entire third act on Coruscant is so boring, highlighting how hollow this universe is: no one carries on in the background, everyone pays attention to the action of a few players in the foreground, which is in contrast to the original trilogy where, y’know what, we’ll get there in a few hours.
10:02PM – Look, the Midichlorian explanation never pissed me off. Obi-wan describes the Force in Episode IV as something that binds us all to the universe, but we know throughout the movies and Expanded Universe that only certain people are ‘Force-sensitive’, and so the explanation makes sense. U mad Supr Harkor Star Wars fans?
10:14PM – I don’t know if they have video games in the Star Wars universe, but launching out of a hangar with a high-powered enemy turret nested outside seems really dumb as a Naboo fighter is shot down on exit.
10:17PM – Anakin accidentally everything. Jar Jar accidentally everything. Darth Maul fight is aesthetically pleasing and otherwise useless.
10:22PM – “Duel of the Fates” was the first song I ever downloaded over the internet, the same month the movie came out: May 1999. The quality was so terrible and it took about an hour to download back then. Oh, how times have changed…
10:32PM – Palpatine: “And young Skywalker, we shall watch your career with great interest!” It’s actually kinda strange that Palpatine doesn’t do much with Anakin this time around as it means he has more to do in the next two flicks, feeling shoe-horned in.
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