A colossal waste of everyone’s time, or not so bad? On a scary, stormy winter’s day long ago, I decided to find out.
First off, let me explain how this special review is going to work. It was a snowy, snowy weekend, so I rented the “Star Wars” Prequels and set about watching them back-to-back-to-back. The timeline below reflects this. I stopped my timer once the end credits started rolling, had an intermission, and started it up before the studio logo of the next movie in sequence. (Funny, I always thought I’d be doing this for “Lord of the Rings” or “Matrix” first. Huh.)
Damn, what can I say about the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy that hasn’t already been said? The key thing we learn in these prequels is that Darth Vader started out as a creepy whining punk-ass b*tch. I think that pretty much sums up my disappointment with the prequels.
That said, I am going to have a grand old time watching them again… and mocking them. Yippee!
The Best Parts:
0 minutes in – “Episode One: The Phantom Menace”
30 seconds in – WEE!!! 😀
1 minute in – Uh… trade routes?
7 minutes in – What’s with the goggles?
11 minutes in – Enter JarJar.
12 minutes in – You will excuse me if I go get more coffee during the Gungan-land sequence.
17 minutes in – Am I strange for knowing all the names of these sea-creatures?
27 minutes in – Hooray for insanely contrived plot mechanics! (I have found that this is one of the main reoccurring themes here.)
28 minutes in – Our boy, R2, he’s really somethin! (Man, Padme is willing to put up with a lot.)
31 minutes in – Enter Anakin!
35 minutes in – The “Yippee!” Of Doom!!!
37 minutes in – Hey, wasn’t this old lady in “Willow”?
38 minutes in – Wait, what, huh?
41 minutes in – Wow, this kid is a bad actor.
44 minutes in – Yeah, nice parenting skills, Shmi.
47 minutes in – Greedo as a lad!
48 minutes in – Man, you‘d think that’d shut him up for a minute!
49 minutes in – During this scene, for “odd”, read, “high as a kite”.
50 minutes in – Aw, man. This rented DVD is obviously pretty old. It skipped to the next chapter. I think I just missed Darth Maul’s arrival.
53 minutes in – “No Dungeon Master goes far without his 20-sided die!”
54 minutes in – Macrauchenia!
55 minutes in – President Beeblebrox would like to welcome you to a shameless video game tie-in!
58 minutes in – So, Jabba. Who is the lucky lady?
1 hour, 3 minutes in – Is this pod race B.S. going on for a lot longer than I remember or is it just me?
1 hour, 9 minutes in – And let’s see that Betelgeusian native dance!
1 hour, 13 minutes in – “Yippee!” again. (Eye roll…)
1 hour, 14 minutes in – Aw, it’s like he’s leaving for college!
1 hour, 16 minutes in – Scooty-Puff Jr.!
1 hour, 18 minutes in – I want that f-ing chair.
1 hour, 20 minutes in – O…kay, this is awkward…
1 hour, 22 minutes in – Say, is the Predator piloting that little speeder thingy?
1 hour, 25 minutes in – Oh good! I missed the Testing Positive for Jedi scene!
1 hour, 29 minutes in – Hooray for Wookiees! And… whatever E.T. is!
1 hour, 32 minutes in – Gungans are warriors? That came out of nowhere.
1 hour, 35 minutes in – And here’s the explanation of Midichlorians. *sigh*
1 hour, 39 minutes in – Wait, if that’s the Gungan sacred place, why are the statues all humans?
1 hour, 40 minutes in – Hooray for insanely contrived plot mechanics! Again!
1 hour, 48 minutes in – Epic battle!!!
1 hour, 51 minutes in – “Yippee, I like to hurt things!”
1 hour, 54 minutes in – May God forgive me, I hate this child so much.
1 hour, 57 minutes in – Ok, what are those blue things anyway?
1 hour, 59 minutes in – “NOOOOOOO!!! GANDAL… wait…”
2 hours, 2 minutes in – “Yippee! I like to blow things up!!!”
2 hours, 8 minutes in – Peace on Naboo and glowing disco balls for all!
~*~ Intermission Time~*~
2 hours, 10 minutes in – “Episode Two: Attack of the Clones”
2 hours, 10 minutes in – Wee!
2 hours, 12 minutes in – Ooh, scrolling UP instead of down.
2 hours, 14 minutes in – Worst job ever.
2 hours, 20 minutes in – Hooray for shameless fan-service!
2 hours, 21 minutes in – The little punk-ass child has grown up into a creepy whining punk-ass man. Aww.
2 hours, 24 minutes in – Epic Chase Scene! (Looks like somebody else liked “the Fifth Element”…)
2 hours, 29 minutes in – Hey, they are in one of the Big Dig tunnels!
2 hours, 32 minutes in – Hooray for blatant foreshadowing! (This is the other main reoccurring theme. More often than not, the foreshadowing is so blatant that I’m not going to point it out unless it’s ridiculous.)
2 hours, 33 minutes in – Mouse!
2 hours, 35 minutes in – Sucks to be Zam, doesn’t it?
2 hours, 37 minutes in – Oh, hell…
2 hours, 39 minutes in – Courtship on too much Ritalin.
2 hours, 42 minutes in – The Pointless “American Graffiti” Callback Scene! (Why?)
2 hours, 48 minutes in – Aw, they are like little Stepford Children!
2 hours, 52 minutes in – Why is everyone in this Galaxy, people and -um- Other People, on heavy, heavy sedatives?
2 hours, 55 minutes in – The Sand Speech!!!
2 hours, 59 minutes in – How uncomfortable does watching this make you feel?
3 hours, 1 minute in – Hooray for insanely ridiculous fan-service!!!
3 hours, 3 minutes in – Go make popcorn.
3 hours, 10 minutes in – You sure the scene with the N*SYNC Jedi was cut?
3 hours, 11 minutes in – Epic Battle! (It’s about time too, I was falling asleep.)
3 hours, 17 minutes in – Guitbasses of Doom!
3 hours, 21 minutes in – Hooray for contrived plot mechanics AND foreshadowing! (For the love of Benji, we get it!)
3 hours, 25 minutes in – “I’m a bad-ass!” 😡
3 hours, 28 minutes in – Am I the only one having a really hard time following all of this nonsense?
3 hours, 30 minutes in – And now, the Starting to Become Evil!
3 hours, 32 minutes in – GAH! Ant-people!!!
3 hours, 33 minutes in – Aw, womp-rats!
3 hours, 34 minutes in – And now, the Creepiest Anakin Monologue EVER! (Yes, worse than that crap about sand.)
3 hours, 41 minutes in – Woo. Shout-out.
3 hours, 44 minutes in – So JarJar inadvertently created the Empire. Nice touch.
3 hours, 48 minutes in – EEK! It’s like my front porch in the summer!
3 hours, 49 minutes in – R2D2 flies?!?
3 hours, 54 minutes in – Epic “Gladiator” Cash-In!
By the way, shouldn’t the Ant-People be led by a Queen? Of course, I’m just assuming the leader is male. Look at me devoting more thought to this than the writers did!
3 hours, 57 minutes in – “So, what do you get when you cross a Rhino with a Water Buffalo, a Tiger with a Shark, and the Alien Queen with -uh- whatever’s left over? I dunno either but my God, it’s comin’ right for us!!!”
4 hours in – WEE!!!
4 hours, 3 minutes in – R.I.P. Reek, Jango, and that one Jedi with the head of a Parasaurolophus.
4 hours, 5 minutes in – “OK, where are we going to find a steamer pot big enough for this thing?”
4 hours, 10 minutes in – Hell’s SegWays!
4 hours, 14 minutes in – She’d probably knock back a few drinks and kick a few asses… no, sorry, I was thinking of Trinity.
4 hours, 18 minutes in – Yoda kicks ass!!!???!!!
4 hours, 25 minutes in – “And wuv, twoo wuv, wiw fowwow yoo auways!”
~*~ Intermission Time~*~
4 hours, 26 minutes in – “Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith”
4 hours, 27 minutes in – Wee.
4 hours, 28 minutes in – Alright, this part is kickass.
4 hours, 29 minutes in – This is where it hits me that for the past four and a half hours, we have been rooting FOR the same people we will be rooting AGAINST in the Original Trilogy.
4 hours, 31 minutes in – Little Gremlin-Droids!
4 hours, 34 minutes in – The Nemoidian’s stupidly racist voices are replaced with stupidly -um- stupid voices.
4 hours, 35 minutes in – Why it’s just like the beginning of “Speed”, but with Jedi!
4 hours, 37 minutes in – Q. – “Well, they had Yoda kick ass, what else can they do?
A. – “Have R2D2 kick ass.”
4 hours, 44 minutes in – And here we have a contender for the hotly contested title of Single Goofiest Scene in the Prequel Trilogy.
4 hours, 46 minutes in – This character was far, far more interesting in the animated series.
I hadn’t mentioned “Clone Wars” before this and I have to say that I enjoyed it tremendously. Easily the best part of the prequels. However, I can’t shake the fact that this series would be as if Peter Jackson had cut the Battle of Helm’s Deep out of Two Towers and shunted it into a cartoon. No, wait, it’s exactly like that. >:/
4 hours, 49 minutes in – Here’s another thing I haven’t mentioned yet, which was bad of me as this is my other biggest problem with the prequels: There is NO suspense in scenes like this one. We know how things are going to turn out. We know which characters are going to get through these movies and which ones are, in the local parlance, sh*t outa luck. This wouldn’t matter so much if the characters and the story were interesting. *sigh*
4 hours, 51 minutes in – Go make popcorn. Again.
4 hours, 58 minutes in – Um, Padme, I’ve refrained from this for the past five hours, but you might want to F-ing RUN now.
5 hours, 2 minutes in – Dammit, Anakin, let the man talk!
5 hours, 7 minutes in – How about everyone listens to Yoda, okay? It will save you all a LOT of trouble!
5 hours, 9 minutes in – Hey, are they at a Blitzball championship?
5 hours, 12 minutes in – Frankly, this story would have been the more interesting movie.
5 hours, 15 minutes in – Happy Life Day!!!
5 hours, 19 minutes in – Reign of Blah-Blah…
5 hours, 22 minutes in – Krayt Dragon!!!
5 hours, 26 minutes in – Isn’t that Mr. Garrison’s “IT”?
5 hours, 27 minutes in – So, like, hide NOW maybe?
5 hours, 30 minutes in – What a bastard.
5 hours, 36 minutes in – Dammit, Anakin, run over there and get the plot moving again!
5 hours, 37 minutes in – No! Master Fisto!!!
5 hours, 39 minutes in – Mr. Burns has gone berserk!!!
5 hours, 43 minutes in – And now, A Lot of Very Distressing Things Happen At Once. 😦
5 hours, 49 minutes in – Aw, Chewie! 🙂
5 hours, 54 minutes in – Padme, you should F-ing RUN.
5 hours, 59 minutes in – And the creepy whining punk-ass bitch becomes the unmitigated assclown.
6 hours, 2 minutes in – Scott Farcus?!?
6 hours, 7 minutes in – “I put my trust / EEEEEEN yoooo-oou. / Pushed as far as I can go. / For all this, there’s only one thing you should KNAAUU-AAA-OW!!!”
6 hours, 12 minutes in – THE BATTLE OF CRAP-YOUR-PANTS!!!
Six hours and twelve minutes of darn near total B.S. to get here, it’d better be worth it…
6 hours, 17 minutes in – Actually, I had been secretly hoping that this cool set would be the centerpiece of an action scene.
6 hours, 20 minutes in – It appears that all the architecture on this here volcano planet relies on force fields to function. What happens when there’s a power outage?
6 hours, 22 minutes in – Oh yay. Another pointless reference to “American Graffiti”.
6 hours, 24 minutes in – Lava surfing!?! (Didn’t I just see this in a Disney movie?)
6 hours, 26 minutes in – “WE HATES IT FOREVERSSSSS!!!!!!!”
6 hours, 31 minutes in – Enter Luke and Leia!
6 hours, 32 minutes in – And the mask goes on!
6 hours, 34 minutes in – The “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!” Of Doom!!!
6 hours, 35 minutes in – “Alrighty then, are there any plot threads we still need to tie up?”
6 hours, 38 minutes in – Aw, Alderan!
6 hours, 39 minutes in – OK, I will admit, this scene got me.
6 hours, 40 minutes in – It’s over!!!
Let’s watch “Lord of the Rings” again.
Classic Lines of Dialogue:
You know, there are many I could post here. I will choose only one. This line was spoke very near the end, by Bail Organa (Princess Leia’s foster dad). I think it really says it all, and not in a good way:
“Have the Protocol Droid’s mind wiped.”
Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – Parents: If you can’t say “no” to your child when he wants to do stupid and/or dangerous things, said child may grow up to be Darth Vader.
* – Cities on Tatooine have that same optical illusion that you get in Las Vegas; where buildings look like they are right down the street but are, in fact, miles away.
* – You can breed genetically predetermined obedience into living things.
* – Senator Palpatine doesn’t care about Jedi people.
* – I think we can all agree that there are certain things that robots should never, ever be allowed to do.
And right at the top of the List of Things Robots Should Never Do: Gynecology.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? Yes.
Good Soundtrack? Yes.
Hot Guys? Yay Ewan! Seriously, he’s one of the only good things in this.
Pretty Scenery? Yes.
Nifty Animation/Special Effects/Illustrations? Yes.
Drinking Game Potential? I invite you to follow the rules of whatever version of the “Star Wars” Drinking Game is used in your college / circle / whatever.
If you have no house rules, here are some popular ones to get you started. Drink when anybody says “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…” Drink when anybody says “May the Force be with you” or a similar benediction. Pick a favorite incidental character (such as a specific droid, animal, or creature), and drink when you see them milling about in the background.
Head Movie Potential? Heck yes.
As a whole, the prequel trilogy gets a truly neutral rating of Jordan. There are many things bad about it, there are many things good about it.
Three Lucasfilm pictures released in a period from 1999-2005 by Twentieth Century Fox. Written and directed by George Lucas.
Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Jake Lloyd, Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Oz, Ian McDiarmid, Jimmy Smits, Ahmed Best, and Temuera Morrison.
IMDB Pages: Episode One, Episode Two, Episode Three
70 Minute “Phantom Menace” Analysis -This is pretty long, but it’s worth watching. On the one hand, it’s too off-the-wall to resist. On the other, it’s an excellent review of good storytelling skills. What does the Trade Federation actually do anyway?