Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Katherine Balestrini (Five Beers) –

Place the soundtrack into your ipod and begin the review of the first instalment of some truly, truly classic movies. Not in a galaxy far, far away but here and now.

The Phantom Menace, a film about a couple of Jedis going ‘round the universe doing good. Whilst saving a Queen they come across a small boy who has the potential to bring order to The Force.  As they are bringing order and peace to the Republic, there are people who are meddling in matters that will undoubtedly end badly. Luckily Chancellor Palpatine is there to aid the Queen and help her and the Jedis bring peace to Naboo. What could possibly go wrong?


Titanic’s maiden voyage. Every thing had been checked and double checked. Well, everything except the life boats, but that’s ok, it’s unsinkable.

This was one of the most anticipated films of all time; fans had waited years for George Lucas to write more Star Wars movies. This was the movie that couldn’t go wrong, the movie that already had the ending written for it. People camped out for the release date, they dressed as Jedi, Princess Leia, Wookies, and Storm Troopers. Some fans didn’t even dare leave the line to go to the toilet. It was EPIC.


Don’t piss off a bunch of nerds.They are armed with plastic lightsabers.

Then when everyone had their popcorn and had laminated their ticket stubs, they waited for the 20th Century Fox logo and the iconic music and words…



Fans got so excited at that moment. Pure entertainment was about to fill our galaxy, our universe, our lives.

WTF happened? The Phantom Menace turned into the largest disappointment in cinema history and I am including the Matrix sequels.


Beer Two

The plot. Did George Lucas suffer a mind fart when he wrote this? I don’t even know where to start.

1)      The robots, aka R2-D2 and  C3PO! What the hell! Anakin, approximately 8 – 10 years old, makes C3PO in his spare time. Forgetting that Anakin is a slave AND he also pod races, he must NEVER sleep.  No wonder he grabs onto the first person he sees to talk nonsense to them!

2)      The Force.  For some unknown reason they try and explain it in this movie!! Don’t!!

3)      Anakin’s father?!?! IS he supposed to be like the Jesus of Tatooine?

4)      The Lightsabers doing more than just lopping off body parts. Since when did they do that?

5)      Jabba The Hutt! In an entire galaxy, they couldn’t find another Hutt. It had to be the one we heard of!

6)      Palatine’s disguise!! Must be where Clark Kent got the idea for crap disguises.

I would continue but I am getting so angry my nerd brain just exploded!!


A little humour to calm me.

Beer Three

Jar Jar Binks. This character alone made me visit the cinema only once!!! I cannot explain Jar Jar enough so people can realise how much one character can ruin a movie franchise as much as he did. He is the character that is the most fast-forwarded in movie history.


A waste of a carbon freeze chamber.

Beer Four

The special effects, space craft, etc. Now this I know is petty, but it really grips my shit when films do this. It’s supposed to be set in the past and the space craft are better, the effects are better. Movie makers should be true to the original movie and not think, “oh look, new toys”. Before you all get nerd-tastic about it, I said I know it’s petty, but there you go.


Many a man had to polish that! Did they not want it in a darker, less obvious colour?

Beer Five

They killed the best character in the movie. A character more awesome than Bobba Fett, more awesome than stuffed crust.  A double-ended lightsaber, wielded by an actual alien from a race we haven’t seen, kills Qui-Jon, who could quite easily have been grooming Anakin for the child sex trade! There is a lot you can forgive, but not killing Darth Maul!


Bet there were a lot of tears at his funeral. But who did he leave the lightsaber to?



A truly, truly terrible 1st episode to a beloved classic. There are a lot of fans that will never forgive George Lucas, I would if I could mount Jar Jars head on a stick outside the 20th Century Fox studios. What I believe they should have done is what Bon Jovi did, ask the fans before you do anything too rash like make a film for money, not for love.


It’s ok, if the film doesn’t make enough money, there is always merchandise.

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: when you see someone famous, who is only there to play with lightsabers.

Take a Drink: when someone looks far too serious

Take a drink: every time you see Jar Jar and think, is Star Trek better?

Do a Shot: that Brian Blessed has fallen so far!

Do a Shot: ending credits… only two more movies til the real ones.

About Katherine Balestrini

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