By: Bryan Banner
June 3, 2020
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is the most frustrating Star Wars movie for every generation. This is the movie that had the most hype behind it, was the most anticipated, and the most potential to be awesome while seeming to fail at all of these. I am going to put myself in the shoes of people from the respective movie going generations and explain why this movie frustrates them in different ways.
Born 1900 – 1950
People that fall into this category are probably the least affected by this. They are a little too old to really be in or understand sci-fi the way later generations do. If it doesn’t look like Kansas in the 50’s with flying cars, they don’t get it. When you start talking and inter-galactic trade routes and unsanctioned blockades they’re out. All they know is they now have to spend $50 on goddamn swords that light up and make noise full well knowing all that is going to happen is there fine china is gonna get broken with a double backflip off the arm of the couch getting smoked by a red blur.
Born 1951 – 1985
This is the generation that is angry more than frustrated, but for this talk let’s consider those synonymous. See these are the people that got to see the OG trilogy in theaters and were expecting the same experience and feeling when you leave the movie that they felt back then. Instead they got Phantom Menace, and were really trying to understand how could this happen (said like the Viceroy)?? They were expecting to take their kids to see a movie that will change the way they look at the world, and instead they got Jar Jar Binks.
Born 1986- 2005
This is us/me. The movie frustrates this generation in a different way. This was supposed to be our first great Star Wars experience in theaters and this movie was supposed to change our lives. While seeing it in theaters was great and as a kid we LOVED this film at the time, it doesn’t sit as well years later. While it was great in 1999, as we got older we realized it is a very confusing story and is really unnecessary in the overall Star Wars saga. We are now having to constantly get into fights at bars defending this movie. Not that that is too hard, I mean come on we have “Duel of the Fates” and a double sided lightsaber, what more could you want…and don’t say a good plot.
Born 2006 – Present
We are gonna call this the “sequel trilogy kids”. Now you may ask how can Phantom Menace be frustrating to a generation who had to endure the roller coaster of a trilogy with zero throughline or a clear endgame? Well that’s just it; while in a lot of social circles Phantom Menace is considered the worst Star Wars movie, they got stuck with The Last Jedi. This generation was supposed to bring Star Wars back, and they can’t even make a better movie than Episode 1!
All in all is this a good movie? Absolutely not. Is it a fun movie? Abso-fucking-lutely! While the story and plot are a disaster, we get some of the coolest and most fun scenes in the Star Wars universe. I think that is something everyone can agree on.
From The Lab,
Bryan “the mad scientist” Banner