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Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
Terry JarJars Commonplace Perceptions

Yeah, you heard me. Nay Sayers and jaded film lovers stop reading now. Ok, they're gone. We can talk. Episode One in the Star Wars legacy not only delivers some of the most beautiful visuals ever captured in motion pictures, but also offers a fun first entry to one of the most entertaining film series in the history of movies. Oh sure, Jar Jar grates on the nerves and the little Annakin is a little too cute for his own good, but good golly miss molly, Ewan MacGregor is perfect, Natalie Portman is beautiful, Naboo is breathtaking, Yoda is back, and the final fight scene with Liam Neeson, Ewan MacGregor and Darth Maul is one of the best moments in film history. No kid should be raised without being exposed to this series, and The Phantom Menace is no exception. The movie's charm is only heightened on DVD, where a brilliant commentary track by his majesty, George Lucas, and his crew make you appreciate the enormous undertaking of making a Star Wars movie. Also wonderful are the hours of documentaries. Dismissing this wonderful installment is not fully considering the larger scope of a masterpiece, which is the series as a whole. Despite what the backlash dictates, The Phantom Menace is better with repeated viewings and is a call to filmmaking of yesterday when adventure and entertainment didn't require foul language and body fluid jokes.

Terry Osterhout
October 2002

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