Of course I have. But this is what my fiancée Aimee said to me a while back when I was enthusing maniacally about set images from J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII. So I pledged there and then that we would sit down together and watch the existing trilogies through in their entirety and in story order, not order of release. This, I think, was my first mistake.
It took us three sittings to get through Episode I: The Phantom Menace, with me explaining bits and pieces as we went. By the time we reached the Pod Race Aimee had fallen asleep, so we picked up from there the following night and, lo and behold, she was asleep again by the time the Queen head back home. Then today, when she got home from work, we watched from there on. Finally we saw it through to the end, although the Gungan v Droid Army battle scenes didn’t hold her attention one bit.
“I have the same issue with Star Wars as I do with Doctor Who finales” she said, “once everything gets too big, or there’s a massive war over something, I lose interest – just tell me how it ends and let me see what effect it’s had on the characters!” And I think that’s about right. It’s definitely fair. When the end came about and Windu and Yoda have their little chat about there always being two Sith (“no more, no less”) and the camera pulls back to sledgehammer home the fact that Palpatine is probably Sidious hint hint she was off doing something else. That “reveal” was lost on her.
It seems, overall, the whole thing left her feeling a little unimpressed, a little “meh”. She did take to the characters though, and didn’t hate Jar Jar Binks. I know it’s not the greatest movie in the world but I had hoped it would at least whet her appetite for the other five movies. If possible I’ll still tie her down and force her to watch them some time soon. But until then, she gives Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace a surprisingly generous 6/10!