May 26th 1999, New York City, UA Cinema Union Square, 5 minutes till midnight. I will always remember this moment, for it was when my innocence ended. At precisely midnight, they let us into the theater. I have not been the same since. Not because I realized that you would have to be a seven-year-old to enjoy The Phantom Menace, and a stupid seven-year-old at that, no, I was changed because I realized the futility of hope. Whatever you want in life you have to go out and take. You can’t wait for it to come to you. Which is exactly what I did with The Phantom Menace. I waited until George Lucas pulled down his pants and shat his pederast, sci-fi fantasies all over the big screen. That was the last time I have ever hoped for anything. My
innocence was over. I saw the world as it truly was, barren and cold.
Paradise, so to speak, had been lost.

Jonny, taking a cue from Martin Luther, presents…

95 Theses Against The Phantom Menace

  1. Everything blinks and beeps constantly.
  2. George Lucas is obviously a pedophile. Couldn’t Anakin have been 15 years old, instead of 5?
  3. Jar Jar Binks is lamer than anything you could possibly imagine.
  4. Making Anakin come from Tatooine is so lazy. Why wouldn’t
    Vader look for Luke on his own home planet? And why would Obe Won
    Kenobe live there?
  5. Why wouldn’t Obe Won have recognized R2 and C3PO if he hung out with them?
  6. Having Darth Vadar build C3PO is LAME! Wait, SUPER-FUCKING-LAME!
  7. One of Anakin’s friends had braces.
  8. Most of the creatures in the Pod Race look like Looney Tune
    disasters. One, sloppily named Arc “Bumpy” Roose looks like Howard the
    fucking Duck. Very poorly done.
  9. There is a fart joke.
  10. There is a gag where Jar Jar steps in shit.
  11. Much of the acting is not only stiff, but unnatural because
    90% of the characters are digital. In other words, they weren’t there
    for the filming. Plus, it becomes obvious at the end the real actors
    didn’t realize the height of most of the characters that were “on
    screen” with them. Watch the Princess hand off the stupid super glowing
    power ball to Boss Nass at the end. You’ll see she stares right at his
  12. Forget the fact that he is hardly potty-trained. If Anakin is
    a slave, how does he have the cash to build a Pod Racer and a protocol
  13. What the hell is up with Anakin’s immaculate conception? LAME.
  14. What the fuck is a midi-chlorian? Why can’t the force just be strong in Anakin? Stupid, ham-fisted and unnecessary.
  15. Why would the Jedi have a prophesy of a chosen one? Also, when
    Yoda, Mace Windu, Qui-Gon and Obe Won are standing around and
    discussing, “the one who will return balance to the Force,” I almost
    died of boredom. We know that he becomes Darth Vadar and that what they
    are discussing never happens. Next.
  16. Could the Jedi council look any less intimidating?
    Collectively they looked as tough as the 700 year-old grail guard in
    the last Indiana Jones movie.
  17. Could the Jedi council have been anymore boring? They had ten
    characters that said nothing at all. Then there was Yoda sitting next
    to Mace “Sam Jackson” Windu, both of whom were nothing more than old,
    stubborn, grouchy, devil’s advocates.
  18. The puppet they used for Yoda looks much worse than the one that was used 18 years before in The Empire Strikes Back. The new one’s eyes don’t emote.
  19. There is a digitized scene of Yoda pacing back and forth while he is talking to Obe Won that looks awful.
  20. Backwards speaks every sentence, Yoda does. Poorly written thinks I do. To no end, find it annoying, redundant.
  21. And if the force predicted a chosen one, and Anakin’s
    meta-chlorian count and Christ-like birth obviously showed that he was
    that chosen one, why would Yoda, Lucas’ admitted wisdom archetype, not
    want to train him in the ways of the force, etc? If a good Jedi doesn’t
    train Anakin, than who will? A bad one! Stupid oversight, just like the
    rest of the plot.
  22. Most of the scenes on the “grass planet”, Naboo, look directly ripped off from a Jurassic Park movie.
  23. Could Anakin’s mother have been any more wooden and boring? No.
  24. That little Greedo friend of Anakin’s is supposed to be the same creature Han Solo whacks in the real first Star Wars. I think I’m drooling now.
  25. If C3PO is from Tattooine, wouldn’t he recognize it when he
    lands on it in part IV? Especially Mos Isley, where he was fucking
    built? He is a God damn computer after all.
  26. If R2D2 had been to Tattooine, why wouldn’t he know it? Oh yeah, because the movie doesn’t make any fucking sense.
  27. Why wouldn’t Darth have recognized his own handiwork when he met C3PO in Empire?
  28. Why wouldn’t Darth have recognized R2D2 since he hung out with him and fought a battle with him?
  29. In the real “first” Star Wars, C3PO and R2 don’t know each
    other when they clamber into the escape pod. Of course, here in the
    prequel they hung out for a few days.
  30. R2D2 saved the day twice. Please…
  31. When Qui-Gon goes into Mos Isely looking for an engine or
    whatever, why would he take Jar Jar, a creature indigenous to Naboo, if
    he didn’t want the Queen to be found? All ten thousand of his annoying
    traits aside, Jar jar is certainly not inconspicuous. Especially since
    Lucas went out of his way to explain that Gugans are aquatic beasts and
    tattooine is a fucking desert.
  32. Since the Queen’s “loyal guard” obviously knew about the decoy
    Queen, why would Captain Panaka let the real Queen Amidala wander off
    into a spaceport filled with “gangsters”? Especially since Captain
    Panaka had been disagreeing with everything Qui-Gon had suggested. Oh
    yeah, because George crapped the story out rather than bother writing
  33. Why would Lucas make this movie half comedy?
  34. Could Lucas thought of a murkier plot than a tax rebellion against a trade federation. My cock is hard just thinking about it…
  35. Like the the rest of the movie, especially the animation, the sound effects are over the top. Nothing is quiet ever
  36. At one point in Watto’s shop, a droid kicks Jar Jar in the balls. I have mixed feelings about that part.
  37. The whole movie is over-rendered. My ADD can’t handle thirty
    characters in every scene. And why have thirty characters in every
    scene if only two of three of them speak? Because Lucas could, no other
  38. We know you and Spielberg are friends, but did you have to put
    a bunch of fucking E.T.s in the movie? Couldn’t you guys just hold each
    other’s dicks at the Director’s Guild or something?
  39. The big battle at the end between the Gungans and the Droids
    is LAME. The Gungans look like fucking hippies. There weapons look like
    beach balls you might have seen at a Dead concert. Balls of energy?
    Jesus Christ George, pull the crystal out of your butt and go somewhere
    besides Marin County. The world is a big place. That battle is a
    disgrace to every fighting man who has ever died at war. “Let’s redo Braveheart, but without all that violence.
  40. When the Gungans finally beat (of course) the battle droids,
    nobody cared. And what would have happened if the Gungans lost? And why
    were they fighting?
  41. Besides the Grateful Dead beach balls, the Gungans appear to be hurling hackie-sacks at the attacking droids.
  42. The dialogue is rigid and flat. Poor little Jake Lloyd cannot
    pull most of it off. Natalie Portman doesn’t fair much better. The two
    of them just bark their lines back and forth at each other. The actors
    should be at least as smart as the characters they are playing. Jake’s
    a chosen one like I’m a vegan. As for Portman, she can obviously act (The Professional), but her talents are largely wasted talking to the boring little shit kid.
  43. I hate talking crap about defenseless seven-year-olds, but it
    was cruel of Lucas to cast Lloyd in the role of Anakin, because the
    10,000 other people involved in the making of The Phantom Menace will forever resent the no talent kid for fucking up an otherwise only marginally sub-standard movie.
  44. If you watch the included making of documentary, Lucas’
    blatant pedophilia will disgust you. It was just gross to look at. Sort
    of like his neck. Oh, and the deleted scenes blow chunks.
  45. Every other scene is a cash in on the first movie. Nothing is clever, only derivative and easy.
  46. The Jawas were in the movie for no reason. Only to cash in.
  47. Jaba the Hutt was a cash in.
  48. Jar Jar constantly saying “How Wooed” is not only fucking LAME
    and gay, it is a cash in. Why would you take one character’s
    catch-phrase (In this case C3PO’s) and corrupt it for another?
  49. Being back on Tattooine is a cash in. The laziest plot screw up of all.
  50. The Sand people/Tusken Raiders were a cash in.
  51. R2D2 and C3PO just being in the movie is a fucking cash in. Stupid, lazy and sloppy as well.
  52. The ships buzzing around Coruscant are bad looking and
    redundant. We get it. The whole planet is one big city. The endless
    stream of ships in every scene on Coruscant completely distract the
    viewer from whatever is actually taking place on the screen.
  53. Having the bad guy droids constantly saying, “Roger Roger” is dumb. If a joke is funny, it should be repeated. Otherwise…
  54. Boss Nass is horrible, childish and insulting. That thing he
    does where he shakes his head and spit flies out of his mouth is
    particularly depressing.
  55. The animation of the super giant evil fish monsters isn’t that good. The rancor beast from the otherwise not so great looking Return of the Jedi looked good.
  56. Not using models for spacecraft and monsters was a terrible, terrible, terrible idea.
  57. The Neimodians not only have a stupid name, but they look and
    act stupid. They all talk in bad Chinese accents like Ming the
    Merciless. Which is probably racist or something. One thing that was
    really cool about the first Star Wars movies is that Lucas bothered to
    invent languages for all the different creatures he created. Now, they
    all speak comic book English.



    Not So Ming

  58. Jar Jar talks like a queer Amos and Andy. Nice cock, massuh.
  59. The “suffering of the people of Naboo” is referred to
    frequently. However, we are never even shown these “people” once. Which
    makes us care about Naboo’s plight even less.
  60. Why the hell does the Queen change her outfit every scene? Because George Lucas has $1,000,000,000.
  61. If Qui-Gon and Ben can just kill the battle droids with the “force,” why do they even bother drawing their light sabers?
  62. The fact that Qui-Gon cannot free mamma Skywalker is silly.
    He’s a fricking Jedi. He could of if he really wanted to. Of course,
    what would a grown man want with a woman when he can have a
    six-year-old blond boy?
  63. No sense of time is ever established. Did the whole movie take place in two days, or three?
  64. Fode and Beed, the endlessly annoying pod race announcer(s)
    are awful. Just because you can do something on a computer, doesn’t
    mean you should. Which is really the overarching lesson you get after
    watching The Phantom Menace. These two are Siamese twins, but
    one speaks one language and one speaks another. Get it? Get it? Lucas
    is aiming at four year olds.
  65. Watto is a flying blue piece of crap. I can just picture
    Lucas, “OK, good. We have one creature that can swim. So, check that
    off the list. Now what about a flying creature?”
  66. Watto speaks with a very strong Arabian accent and is greedy
    and stupid. Again, why couldn’t he just make some weird noises that get
    subtitled? Like Sebulba.
  67. The first scene with Watto was subtitled. The he starts
    speaking English in the next. To the same person. Why bother to go
    either direction? And why would Qui-Gon understand Watto’s language?
    That’s what protocol droids are for.
  68. Obe Won Kenobe doesn’t have an interesting thing to say throughout the entire movie.
  69. Sebulba is about as intimidating as George Lucas’ beard. Of
    course, he is the bad guy for the first hour. If you like Barney, he
    might scare the shit out of you. Otherwise, you realize what a dorky
    camel looking cartoon Sebulba actually is. The scene where him and
    Anakin stare each other down in the streets had me as worried as when
    the Jets were battling the Sharks.
  70. The Queens ship looks like someone dipped the SR-71 in chrome.
  71. The yellow ships at the end look like malformed bananas. Why not just put them in X-Wings, which were sort of cool looking?
  72. When Anakin accidentally launches the yellow spaceship and
    saves everybody from everything, plays clunkier than an episode of
    Mel’s diner. That fucking kid (Lloyd) cannot act at all. I quiver with
    every line he speaks. The whole sequence was lousy, sub par movie
    making with only a zillion dollars in computer effects keeping my eyes
    on the screen. George has gone past acting.
  73. While the Death Star scene at the end of the first Star Wars
    had tension and had been clearly laid out by the rest of the movie, the
    “epic” space battle in this film is rushed, pointless and lame.
    Visually, it never rises above the level of pretty good-looking video
    game. We’ve all played better.
  74. Not a single droid kills anything during the course of the entire movie. Yawn.
  75. The “life debt” plot-crutch that explains why Jar Jar is
    allowed to hang out with the two Jedis, Lucas stole from the writers of
    various Star Wars fan books. The idea of a life debt is supposedly why
    Chewbacca hangs around Han. If I was Qui-Gon, I would have killed
    myself. Also, if Qui-Gon is dead and the life debt is broken, why the
    fuck is Jar Jar going to be in the next movie?
  76. Why would Qui-Gon give a rat’s ass if Jar Jar came with him and Ben? Oh yeah, because it was in the script.
  77. Qui-Gon telling Boss Nass what the latter’s God’s demand is an affront to aboriginal cultures everywhere.
  78. The underwater city is just not that cool. It looks like that game Myst.
  79. All that talk of “Symbient” relationships is gross and inappropriate. LEAVE MARIN COUNTY MR. LUCAS.
  80. The big super celebrated light saber fight at the end isn’t
    even that cool. Half of it is Ben and Qui-Gon Jinn doing nothing but
    glaring at Darth Maul, who only scowls back.
  81. The Trade Federation Ships are about as interesting as the vehicles in Deep Space 9.
  82. Lucas is rusty as a director. Many of the scenes are shot and
    cut badly. Especially when Qui-Gon Jinn gets the knife at the end. It
    was so quick and undramtic, that I was surprised only five seconds
    after the fact.
  83. Unlike when Obe Won dies in the first Star Wars, I
    wasn’t all that shaken up when Qui-Gon Jinn got killed. His death was
    actually sort of pointless and boring. Why not just let him live?
  84. The middle of the movie flows like a Czech sewer. There is
    nothing smooth or elegant about what is on screen. Why are they in
    Coruscant? Who is asking for a vote of non-confidence for what? It is
    just big and blurry and beeping.
  85. The prison ship that takes the viceroy back to the senate to “explain all this” looks like a lady bug.
  86. The capitol city of Naboo looks like it came out of the game SimCity 3000.
  87. Boss Nass holding up the super, duper Marin County butt-fuck ball of gay-ass hippie light is enough to make you cry.
  88. Qui Gon’s funeral is the least-sad thing I have ever watched in my whole life. Pol Pot dying disturbed me more.
  89. How does Obi Wan go from Naboo to Coruscant and back to Naboo
    in time for Qui-Gon’s funeral? Actually, who fucking cares? Plot holes
    spice things up at this point.
  90. The zoom in on senator Palpatine after Sam Jackson and Yoda
    are trying to figure out who exactly the remaining Sith is, was about
    as subtle as the Houston 500.
  91. The victory parade at the end is just too brutally gay to
    watch. Everything is either colored lavender or powder blue. It was
    like the production and art crew took a bet to see if they could create
    something more boring and effeminate than the Disneyland Electrical
    Parade. They won. The marching Gungans are animated poorly in that
    final scene, to boot.
  92. The song at the end sucks. Not memorable in the slightest.
  93. The final scene is a blatant, cheap and poorly executed rip-off of the medal ceremony in the first Star Wars. Except instead of having characters like Luke, Leia, Han And Chewy, we have a snot nosed six year old and Jar Jar…
  94. The princess is wearing a pink fairy dress at the end. I bet Lucas dresses his hand-job boys up in similar garb.
  95. My biggest gripe of all is that nobody bothered to point any
    of this out to Lucas. And that Lucas had no idea he was doing anything
    wrong. What an asshole.
About Jonny Lieberman

Jonny was the site’s co-founder and helped carry the place in the early years. There was a falling out with Erich and he left the site for good, but a lot of his reviews live on. He has moved on to a successful career writing about cars. Look him up.