So I’m sitting at work, minding my own business and watching YouTube videos when the question I had been long dreading is raised by none other than my attractive but truly mindless co-worker.
“Heyyyy, so did you end up seeing “The Phantom Menace” in 3D yet?”
I twitched slightly, but maintained my composure to the best of my abilities. “No. No I haven’t.”
I was hoping that my less than enthusiastic reply would deter further prodding into the matter, quickly pretending to be incredibly interested in the “Fails of 2011” compilation video in front of me. This was a strategy that ultimately failed.
“Oh my gosh,” she said, “why haven’t you seen it yet? It’s supposed to be sooo great!”
Sensing a rant coming on, one that would have flew right over my co-workers head faster than a cheetah on meth, I stood up. Walking slowly and saying nothing, I took a trip to the drinking fountain to clear my head, trying desperately to disassociate the word “great” with flashbacks of that god-awful film.
When I first heard that George Lucas was going to be releasing the grunt of the “Star Wars” franchise in half-assed 3D, I laughed uncontrollably. After all, it’s pretty amusing that Lucas found the need to give such a catastrophic failure of a film another chance to outdo itself. In George’s defense, he may be on to something: The re-released version does contain a newly-added dimension, one that will serve to further emphasize the horribly written dialogue, poor character development, and lack of any coherent or meaningful plot.
“Episode I” was a slap in the face of anyone who considered themselves even a casual “Star Wars” fan. Truly, I would consider myself a casual fan at best, and I can appreciate the brilliance that Lucas achieved in his first three “Star Wars” films. That being said, I don’t know what horrible trauma Lucas endured during the time between “Return of the Jedi” and its prequel to lose so much raw talent as a director and producer. As far as I can tell, he didn’t convert to Scientology or have any form of major brain surgery during this time, so what’s the deal? We may never know for sure, but whatever happened to him was enough to warp his brain into believing that Jar Jar Binks was truly a fun and lovable character.
Jar Jar Binks represents everything that is wrong with the newest “Star Wars” movies. His unbelievably aggravating voice, atrocious dialogue, humorless antics and stupid grin are enough to make me gnash my teeth at the sight of him. His mere presence in “The Phantom Menace” shows that Lucas either truly lost his marbles, or, that he actually believed that the “Stars Wars” saga has been reduced to a children’s series. Though, I think that to admit that most children would enjoy JarJar’s antics might be going a bit too far.
Overall, “The Phantom Menace” failed to achieve tolerability in almost every category. Sure, the special effects were great for the time. Big fucking deal. These days, I think Lucas cares so much about delivering a “technically sound” film to the screen that he is willing to throw every other aspect that makes a great movie right out the window. Don’t believe me? Go see the newest “Indiana Jones” movie.
So why, Lucas? Why continue to make mistake after mistake to the detriment of your life legacy?
My theory is that our good friend George has developed some form of sadistic personality disorder, and is now taking immense pleasure in slowly and systematically butchering all of his prior masterpieces, one by one, until his fans are left with nothing more than broken hearts and empty wallets. All the while, he sits, grinning an evil grin, just waiting to ruin a perfectly good cinematic opportunity. May the force be with us all.