Currently in theatres, The Last Jedi is maintaining to decimate the Star Wars fanatics. Meanwhile, The Phantom Menace up to this day is somewhat shunned globally by both critics and fans. Ironically, George Lucas accepted in the past that it was to his knowledge that the movie was washed up, commenting this right after an advanced screening done for the first prequel.
The director was unsure of his editing in The Phantom Menace. The fans too shared the same impression as the movie was released. The fact of George Lucas wiping out Star Wars, as well as childhoods was topping headlines during that time, and quite a number have not moved on from the emotional wound that the Star Wars prequel laid upon them.
During The Phantom Menace’s closing it was obvious George Lucas wasn’t all that thrilled with the final cut and admitted to the crowd who were present that he might have “gone too far in a few places.” This has been incredibly obvious to most fans and during an interview admitted:
“It’s a little disjointed. It’s bold regarding jerking people around. I may have gone too far in a few places… It boggles the mind. I have thought about this quite a bit, and the tricky part is you almost can’t take any of those pieces out of it now, because each one takes you to the next place. And you can’t jump because you don’t know where you are.”
Editor Ben Burtt of the film The Phantom Menace mentioned that pacing matters, particularly one dark scene implicating the end of Qui-Gon Jinn, Queen Amidala, her army, and later of Jar Jar Binks on the battleground. George Lucas had agreed with Burtt’s annotations but reasoned it was in their best interest to go in and then recompose and edit to make it sensible.
Lucas tried to defend the movie he was making, but eventually, in truth, The Phantom Menace is challenging to supersede. Also, Lucas conceded in overdoing it the second time around. He further explained:
“I do a particular kind of movie of which this is consistent. But it is a very hard movie to follow. But, at the same time, I have done it a little more extremely than I have done it in the past. It’s stylistically designed to be that way, and you can’t undo that, but we can diminish the effects of it. We can slow it down a little bit, so if it’s intense for us, a regular person is going to go nuts.”
Pundits could not care less for The Phantom Menace as it earned a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes and to this day you can still read comments from fans who disliked the movie. Some of the prequel concepts were exemplary but were not executed correctly, which George Lucas admits. You can check out the making of the Phantom Menace below and tell us where you think he went wrong…besides Jar Jar Binks (we all disliked that). Hint: Check out the featurette below. The screening portion starts at the 54:42 mark.