Why do we have to talk about Jar Jar so much? He was terrible, but he was also phased out of the subsequent films so his damage was successfully limited. However, he is such a large part of The Phantom Menace that you can’t ignore him, so let’s scrape the bottom of the barrel one last time before we move on to Episode 2.
No transcripts this time, just some additional thoughts in the post.
Jar Jar Binks
I think the problem with Jar Jar is that he’s just too extreme. In the original trilogy we had C3-PO for our light relief, and he always had the plot-important snarker R2D2 to bounce off. Jar Jar is a massive clown, shouting and capering and getting in the way — and even worse, we then drag C3-PO into this film where he doesn’t really belong! Jar Jar should have had C3-PO’s role as a less in-your-face comedian.
At least having R2D2 in these prequels makes sense, because even in the original trilogy we get the feeling that R2D2 knows far more than he lets on. To jam C3-PO in, and them memory wipe him later!, is just a bit unnecessary.
The planet core journey is pretty hilarious. Rathern than emphasising it as being the fastest route, couldn’t they just have said it’s the best route to avoid tipping off the Trade Federation? In terms of action sequences it’s actually another trench run, canyons and ducking and diving while under pursuit, so there is a point to it — arguably more of a point to it than the podrace — but the way it is framed is quite lame.
Oh, it all could have been so good. But that’s why we’re here — Chris might be a raging lunatic and maybe my thoughts were losing focus during this… uh… late recording session, but I will stand up now and say that The Phantom Menace really is Close… But No Biscuit.