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I'm going to see Star Wars tonight
In one of those weird things that happens, a (not-actually-fannish, though buggered if you can tell) friend of mine said "oh, I'm a mad Star Wars fan, and we're going to it on Thursday, do you want to come along?" And I said oh, hard life, housework, kids, cons, -2CDCS, you know... and Steven said "You deserve a night off". So I'm going to see it tonight.

However, I hadn't seen Episode 1, so I borrowed her video to watch. There was one point, about 20 minutes in, when I became actively despondent at how dull it was, but it picked up a lot after that. I despised Jar Jar Binks, who completely fails to function as the Chewbacca substitute he was clearly intended to be. I think the film suffers from a belief that it is no longer acceptable to put actors in alien suits; the advantage of actors is that they *act*.

I also thought that the way in which the droids were controlled forms one of the most perfect Idiot Plots I have ever seen in my entire life. (An idiot plot is one that can only work if you assume that one or more of the characters are complete idiots.)

I had seen reviews criticising the acting of the boy who plays Anakin, but I thought he was pretty sound on the whole; he had most of the best scenes. Natalie Portman was wet, though. Their scenes also had a particular problem; if the sexes had been reversed, so that an adult man was sweet-talking a nine-year-old girl, prior to a romance ten years later, it would have appeared completely vile.

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Actually, Jar Jar *was* a guy in a suit, for the most part. They rendered the face on top afterwards, but the body actions are all the actor, so far as I've been told.

Of course, I find Phantom Menace reminds me, now that I think about it, of Laurell Hamilton's Kiss of Shadows - both have a lot of extraneous highly-described stuff in the middle that prevents that valuable space being used for plot or character development. :->

Young Anakin/Jake Lloyd (or whatever...)

There's a scene in his mother's house, around the dining table, a scene that I believe will be pivotal to the rest of the saga and who Anakin is and becomes, where it is obvious (at least I think it's obvious) that they've basically had to cut in every shot of the young boy since the editing makes his stuff just so disjointed from the rest of the scene.

Midichlorians, puh-leese!

There was a Jar-Jar Binks actor but I think they completely removed him (in a roger rabbit way) with the animated version. Yoda in this second film is supposed to be dramatically better as a CGI character.

And at least now we'll see why Sam Jackson was in the first film (!) (he was interviewed on Radio 4 and talked about what happens to his character and (spoiler) a bit about what he does in the third film ... bah, humbug!)

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Re: Meesa have last laugh

Oh God no!!!!

Likely? Well, only if Lucas wants to be massacred by fans. :-)

Re: Meesa have last laugh

Actually thinking more about this, the whole saga could also be subtitled "How two clever droids firstly screwed up and then rescued the galactic community".

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