Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace 3D Review

It’s that time again; George Lucas needs to return to the films that made him money, only to make even more money off of them. Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace has returned to theaters, but this time in the very popular 3D format. The film though, remains the same. Episode 1, in my book, is still the weakest film of the series, but what did you expect? Lucas was facing a near impossible task of recreating the magic of the original trilogy and those films are held very sacred to most people.

I’m not really going to give a full, in-depth review of Episode 1, just because it’s been out for years and I’m sure everyone that wanted to see it has seen it. The story is the beginning of Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) and how he was found by two Jedi Knights; Qui-Gon Jin (Liam Neeson) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). Anakin, for those of you living under an extremely large rock, goes on to become the evil sith lord Darth Vader. Episode 1 picks up Anakin as a young slave boy who’s one heck of a pod-racer.

While crashed on the remote planet of Tatooine, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and a few other passengers go searching for parts to repair their broken ship. That is where they meet the young boy and that is where history is made. They eventually get off the planet, bringing Anakin with them as they battle some droids and one mean looking sith by the name of Darth Maul.

Episode 1 features all of those Star Wars moments you loved growing up as a child, but now with even more questionable dialogue. I haven’t seen any of the Star Wars films in a great time, but I don’t recall the original trilogy being so kid oriented. Some of the dialogue in Episode 1 is just so damn bad. It’s past the point of silly fun and becoming extremely annoying, especially whenever the character Jar-Jar Binks speaks. But that’s okay, because the lightsaber dueling and pod-racing should make the film at least watchable.

And it is, it really is. Star Wars: Episode 1, after all of these years at least feels watchable. It gives you a small taste of the original Star Wars films that everyone loved watching growing up. Sure, I can see why it is considered the worst of the bunch, because after that long wait between the original trilogy and the new trilogy, Episode 1 is definitely a disappointment, a big one at that.

But having not seen it for so long might have helped me look past all of the mistakes George Lucas made. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of the film by any means. I’ll probably never watch it again, but seeing it again, in 3D, wasn’t as bad as I originally remembered.

The 3D for this film is really, really good. It’s probably some of the best post-conversion I’ve seen yet, at least until James Cameron‘s Titanic. It’s kind of hard to approach this film because I’m all for directors actually taking the time on post-converting their stuff to 3D, but I’m also kind of against George Lucas for constantly milking his films. Move on already George.

The pod-racing advertised in the trailers is the coolest moments of the film in 3D. Lots of depth is present while Anakin flies around the corners. You really get a feel for the environment and the extra dimension draws you into the action. I also really enjoyed the lightsaber duels. Lucas at least knows where to place the camera during these high-energy sequences and it’s great being able to actually understand who is fighting who in a modern day where the shaky cam is taking over.

That being said, the lightsaber duels are a little light and meaningless in Episode 1, which brings me back to everything I didn’t like about the film. The 3D in no form makes the film better, but it does make it easier to digest. It probably works better if you come into the film kind of cold, like I did. Was it worth checking the film out again, but in 3D? Yeah, I think it was, but I’d say 70% of that is because I’ve only seen Episode 1 a total of one time, back when it first came out in theaters.

I didn’t really have any doubts in the quality of the 3D for the film. I knew George Lucas and his team would bring the film to life again, I just wish he would have started with the original trilogy. If you absolutely despise this film then you’re still going to want to stay away from this release, but if you were on the fence about it then I’d suggest you check it out on the biggest screen possible.

Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace 3D – 7/10

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