May 16, 2023



How does the first prequel hit almost 25 years later?

The most-anticipated movie of all time came out almost a quarter of a century ago, and we, like the all-powerful Sarlacc, are still digesting. Josh, Chris, and Jonny are joined by the famed fan editor HAL 9000 as we reminisce about Episode I - THE PHANTOM MENACE and discuss how it works as a film and its legacy in the Star Wars universe.







[00:00:00] JOSH: Welcome to Trash Compactor. I'm Josh, and joining me today is Jonny Chris,

[00:00:08] CHRIS: Hey.

[00:00:09] JOSH: And returning guest, the illustrious fan editor extraordinaire, HAL 9000. Welcome back to the podcast Hal.

[00:00:17] HAL9000: Hello.

[00:00:18] JOSH: Today we are talking about Star Wars Episode One, The Phantom Menace, the first of the prequel films from 1999, uh, the fourth Star Wars film ever made. yeah, these movie episodes are, kind of daunting, I just wanna give myself, permission here at the top.

This is not the definitive word, on this movie, I'm sure while we're gonna say a whole lot of stuff about it, there is always more that can be said. I mean, that's again, mostly for me, because every time we do one of these movie podcasts, I'm like, oh, I didn't even mention the thing.

Ah, So this is not a definitive, document. is my point. Um, I wanna start out, cuz now we're entering the phase of Star Wars, where, we were there for the first run. So we have some personal experiences of when these things came into the world and they weren't just received, myths that looms, larger than life, preexisting in the world. so, I'm just curious, what your relationship is with the movie, what your memories are of seeing it for the first time. h if you don't mind, could we start with you? What was the first time you saw Star Wars? Episode one, the Phantom.

[00:01:27] HAL9000: yeah. Phantom Menace was my introduction to Star Wars. I remember seeing it in the theater. I. Nine years old. I was the same age as Anakin Skywalker. I didn't really grasp the intricacies of the plot, but there was an enormous marketing push like the world had never seen and certainly like I had never seen.

And so that made it lots of fun. There were, there were lots of just colorful characters, things to collect and all that kind of stuff. So, uh, Phantom was the first Star Wars movie for me, and I think. all the fun and exciting parts about it really landed for me. There were a lot of the, you know, kind of the choson part of the movie that, uh, just went right over my head and didn't really get, but there was plenty of, uh, ancillary material to keep me plenty entertained for, you know, summer in 99.

[00:02:14] JOSH: Well, that's fascinating. I actually, I think I knew that actually now that I'm recalling our last conversation, but I'm sure all three of us have a bunch of questions for you.

[00:02:23] HAL9000: I'm a little bit younger than I, I think at least you


[00:02:25] JOSH: yeah. Yeah. before we get to that, Jon, uh, what are your memories of the Phantom Me.

[00:02:31] JONNY: Uh, like Hal I remember the big marketing push, I was 16. 90. Yeah, I was, I was still 16 and, uh, we took the day off from school. My grandma took me and a bunch of our friends and a bunch of our parents got together and brought all of us to the movie theater. My, uh, girlfriend at the time and everything. Uh, some of us had some lightsabers with us.

We saw the first showing we could, which was like 10 something in the morning. It was kind of rainy and. I remember the trailer for, at the time was like one of the best trailers I've ever seen. And having grown up only watched Star Wars on VHS too young to see, like I was like barely a year old when we, when Return the Jedi came out.

So I couldn't see that. And then I saw the special auditions when they came out. Um, cuz I had to, and then with this one it was like, I, I remember a lot about that day and I remember it being completely. Psyched out of my mind when I was watching the movie. So like, I couldn't quite like, absorb, um, I couldn't quite absorb, uh, I, I guess like a objective sort of whatever view of the movie because I was just so excited to be seeing Star Wars.

So I just remember. Leaving the theater being really high on Star Wars, and I think I saw it in the movies theater, like at least three or so times, like when it was out. So I actually have really fond memories of seeing Phantom Menace and watching it again today. It kind of brought back a lot of those memories.

[00:04:08] JOSH: Yeah, I think a recurring theme, at least for me, , that I'm gonna be returning to is that it's very difficult for me to be objective about this movie. Like I can be objective about this movie, , but there are parts of me that, , don't really want to be. you know, and then when you realize that it's like, it's like kind of up to you actually what you, think about it.

And when it comes to movies, you have no obligation to be objective. So when you realize that, you kind of get to decide you like something or not, regardless of its quote unquote flaws. That's actually kind of freeing. I'm not necessarily, tipping my hand here.

Uh, My feelings about this movie are quite complicated. But, Chris, what are your memories and associations of seeing Star Wars episode one?

[00:04:51] CHRIS: uh, I feel a little badly, uh, sharing these just because I feel like I'm poaching you, Josh, since we saw it together. Um, well actually that's not entirely true, but I don't wanna tip that. So my first experience watching it, we had set up Josh, um, I think Dave and there was a fourth with us, wasn't there?

[00:05:11] JOSH: I don't remember who was there.

[00:05:13] CHRIS: Okay. I know it was you, me and Dave. I was pretty sure there was a fourth, but I know that we went and we saw the midnight showing of Phantom Menace, and it was, it was something we really, really enjoyed. Wait, oh man. Now, no, I'll be honest. I, I, I can't, no, it, it, it wouldn't have been the midnight showing, would It


would've been earlier than that.

[00:05:31] JOSH: so I don't remember exactly who was with us. We were online. We lined up for the Midnight show. Uh,

[00:05:38] CHRIS: And we were just there super early. Cause I remember it was day.

[00:05:41] JOSH: Well, we were there super early , because, you know, one of the things that some of our younger listeners may not remember, there were people lining up for like months beforehand around the country and, there was all this craziness and there was like a live, webcam where like you could watch the various lines and stuff.

So like, so we weren't. lining up months ahead of time, but we lined up, I think we went right to the theater after school, so it was

like late afternoon. We were lining up for the midnight show, and I don't know if you remember this, , but one of the employees, I guess saw us outside and it was just us

[00:06:17] CHRIS: Yeah.

[00:06:17] JOSH: who were lining up this early and they were like, are you here for Star Wars?

This is like eight hours. Like, whatcha are you

[00:06:22] CHRIS: and. . it was a joy too because, well, it was joy because I remember my dad saying, my dad, dad and mom, they both said, cause we were freshman in high school. And so, uh, both my mom and my dad said, you don't need to be there that early. And I was like, no, no, no. You don't understand. There will be a line.

there will absolutely be a line. And they like, to their credit, they really didn't fight me much on this, even though they knew I was wrong and I was certain that I was right. Um, and we a hundred percent, we got there super early. Cause I remembered it was daytime that we were lining up. And I, we had lightsabers because the, the movie theater we went to go see, uh, go see it.

Was, uh, was in a plaza and there was like a pizza place right there. There was a, uh, carve ice cream right there. And so we really had everything we needed, including KB toys at the end of the plaza, which I absolutely went to because we weren't gonna light Saul the entire time I had brought my game boy.

And I went and I brought, bought a Pokemon Red. At KB Toys brought it back and alternated between lightsaber, dueling and the plaza and, uh, and playing Pokemon red. I remember that very, very distinctly.

[00:07:30] JOSH: Wait, wait, but you're leaving out the best part though.

[00:07:33] CHRIS: I'm, I'm letting you, I'm letting you share the best part. This is like my specific experience. Yeah, go for it.

[00:07:38] JOSH: oh, okay. Well,

[00:07:40] CHRIS: Because you started, I feel like you should end that. I was filling in some color stuff on my own personal experience.

[00:07:45] JOSH: No, so the, the, um, one of the employees, sort of was incredulous that these four kids were lining up outside and he was like, you know, we are about to screen it for the employees right now. Do you guys just want to come in and see it? And we were like,

[00:08:00] JONNY: That's amazing.

[00:08:01] JOSH: do we ? So,


[00:08:03] CHRIS: we say.

[00:08:04] JOSH: So, yeah, so we got to see it a little bit earlier.

I mean, I'll beit a few hours early, , so you can tell your parents or maybe you did, 25 years later, however long it was,

[00:08:11] CHRIS: I am sure I

[00:08:12] JOSH: it paid off?

when the movie was over, we, of course we went outside and got back in line

[00:08:16] CHRIS: yeah. Cause there actually was a line at that point.

[00:08:19] JOSH: Right at that point there was a line, Chris, do you wanna, tell the, most embarrassing part, at least from my perspective,

[00:08:25] CHRIS: There was literally nothing embarrassing about this experience. Josh, I I, no, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm gonna, I'm gonna take a guess at what you felt was embarrassing and I think in the moment maybe, I think I was just, I was, I was riding too high on. the Indepe because here's the other thing that people I think need to know ahead of time.

We absolutely bought tickets for 12 consecutive showings of this movie, y'all 12. 12. So we knew going into this that we had gotten off of school,

[00:08:54] HAL9000: That's absurd.

[00:08:56] CHRIS: midnight showing, we gotta see it early. And then we knew we were coming back first thing the next morning and they had it because movie theaters were expecting those sales.

So we were there first thing in the morning and we watched every showing. Just back to back to back to the point where like we, I mean, we knew the movie backwards Forward, sideways by the time, but I also fell asleep during one of the songs. I.

The, yeah, I think I, it's, that's either the embarrassing thing or it is that

[00:09:24] JOSH: Well, no, no, no. Stop, stop, stop. Because that's the embarrassing thing. I don't know what this other embarrassing thing is that you're about to say.

[00:09:29] CHRIS: I, no,

[00:09:30] JOSH: I'm sorry. Go ahead. Go ahead.

[00:09:31] CHRIS: no, I gotta share this now. Cause I don't think, I don't think you necessarily did it. No, you must have, because there were only so many of us, but a hundred percent because we had seen the movie already. We still had our lightsabers and we absolutely did lightsaber dueling in front of the rest of the line.

I remember like not at all being mortified by that. I think I would've been like just a year later. I was just, just at the right age to

not be mortified.

[00:09:57] JOSH: Yeah, we were just at that. age where like we were.

[00:10:00] CHRIS: cor Yeah, my choreography looked really good. Like I'm certain of it, it looks great. Like it was impressive. So I was glad other people were there to witness it. It spoiled alert. If you can't tell me from my voice since you can't see my face, it wasn't, um, but . But that was, that was my, I also, cuz I feel like I've been going on and on here and I wanna throw it back to Josh since Josh also like shared in that experience.

But for me, Um, I loved it. I remember our friend Andrew did not see it, but he was in love with the Matrix at that time, and I insisted Episode One was absolutely better than the Matrix. Absolutely. I really, I just, I really enjoyed it. It hit for, at that age, for somebody who had not gotten new Star Wars for a really long time outside of reading the books, um, for somebody who also hadn't really experienced it in theaters outside of, as you said, the special editions, Jon.

Um, and even one of those, I think I. . Um, it was, it was just, it was magical in a lot of different ways. And I was meeting, and at that age I was still enjoying seeing characters like, oh my God, three po. Three po was part of this spoiler alert for anybody who hasn't seen it, they're gonna be spoilers here.

Um, but oh my God, like it turns out Anakin built three po. Like those things all landed for me at that age. . And also, honestly, this is also before I was like much of a writer or anything either. So I didn't, I didn't see it as heavy handed, so it hit all the right spots for me. Um, I did, I love that movie and really, and still, uh, that score, that score dual the fates,

[00:11:27] JOSH: Yeah, do.

[00:11:28] CHRIS: absolute, magic.


[00:11:30] JOSH: Yeah. No, one thing I don't think that anyone can argue with or that anyone would argue with is the score for this movie is, Fantastic. I think Jon Williams, , it's among the best work he is ever done. Uh, do

[00:11:41] CHRIS: you? Yeah, I, no, I agree. You should. You could imagine my horror, I used to like blare, dual the fates in my bedroom with the window open and my mother was very, very worried. The people on the street might hear it and think I was listening to, I think she called it demonic music, . And I was like,

[00:11:59] JOSH: Well, so, you know what's crazy, like, the dual of the Faiths music video was played on, T R l, on m T V was like voted number one. And, like it was played on loop like a million times on M T V, like, like this movie and the marketing around it.

And the excitement was like the, like this was maybe the most anticipated movie of all time. And I think, I don't think there will ever be another movie that is as anticipated as this movie. I still think it's the

[00:12:30] CHRIS: I, I think, I think the world has also

[00:12:32] JONNY: I agree.

[00:12:32] CHRIS: so it's really,

[00:12:33] JOSH: but that's my point.

[00:12:34] CHRIS: Yeah, so I agree. I

think that's set in stone. It's done.

[00:12:37] JOSH: I don't ever think you're gonna get a bigger movie than this. Uh, just really quick, before we move on, Yes. I forget now how many showings of this movie we saw, but, what are the reasons why it's very hard for me to be objective about this? Is because, you know, growing up with the three Star Wars movies, the original trilogy, like we knew those movies like the back of our hands. Like we knew the lines, we knew the sound effects. so the idea that there was a new Star Wars movie coming out, like really was like saying, Hey guys.

Uh, Moses just came down with another tablet and there's another commandment here. so I think what we were doing, , by sort of like marinating in the movie for the, that entire day or however long it was, was like, we wanted to, I think, get the rhythms of this movie down the same as the other ones.

like even now, like when I was watching. , like I remember where, the cigarette, burns were for the real changes. It's like, you know, like, I remember like when the reels, changed, because we saw it so many times. Um, for any of our listeners who don't, know what that is, movies used to be screened on, five or six physical reels of film and, they would have to switch reels, to keep the movie going.

And, uh, there was, um, like a little circle that would appear on the screen to cue the projector to switch over to the other projector. And that's what that signifies, Which actually reminds me actually the trailers for this movie, that played. This movie were for Fight Club, for Titan AE and for Mystery Men.

[00:14:05] HAL9000: I have those memorized too.

I tempted to ask you to recite one of those trailers. I bet you. I bet you

just about

[00:14:10] JOSH: probably could. Yeah. Wow. A whole, a whole flood of, a whole flood of memories are coming in. But, um, I wanna ask you guys, I could be crass and I could ask you if this is, if you think this is a good movie or a bad movie, but I'm not gonna ask that

[00:14:22] CHRIS: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Hang on, hang on. Because Josh, I also, you have not yet shared your first viewing of the movie

because I No, you didnt.

[00:14:31] JOSH: I

[00:14:31] CHRIS: That was

[00:14:32] JOSH: was yours.

[00:14:33] CHRIS: mm-hmm. . You saw it before? I did.

[00:14:35] JOSH: Oh, were you not there for when they let us see the

[00:14:37] CHRIS: No, I was there for that. You saw it before then.

[00:14:40] JOSH: I did.

[00:14:42] CHRIS: You did. You didn't, you didn't tell us because you didn't want us to be like, you, you, you wanted to be there for like our first time too.

[00:14:51] JOSH: I swear to God, I have no memory of what you're talking about.

[00:14:54] CHRIS: You saw with Jordan.

[00:14:56] JOSH: How did we see it?

[00:14:58] CHRIS: I, I don't remember. I just remember this was something that we had discussed because we had a big debate. You and Jordan were on one side. Dave and I were on the other side, and the argument went that you can't kill somebody by stabbing them with a lightsaber, because as long as you didn't have anything vital, it would

cau everything. Everything on the way out and you and Jordan were insisting and Dave and I were like, no, this is quote the science of it. And y'all were very, very confident. And the reason you were confident was because you knew how Qui-Gon died.

[00:15:27] JOSH: This is ringing a bell.

[00:15:28] CHRIS: This was very, very specific. Now I remember Josh, you and Jordan went to a a Star Wars weekend. A Star Wars thing, which I think you talked about on another

[00:15:37] JOSH: but no, but they didn't show it at Star Wars celebration in

[00:15:40] CHRIS: Then yeah. I'm not, I'm not sure when you, I just know that you,

like, you were both very secure in that argument and Dave and I kept insisting otherwise, and you were like, You, you couldn't be swayed.

And then we saw the movie and you were like, you guys were both like, yeah, that's how Gugan dies. And that's how we knew that like a stab with a lightsaber will kill

[00:15:58] JOSH: Are you sure that, wow. Okay. How, how did,

[00:16:02] CHRIS: I don't know. I don't wanna, I, I don't wanna hijack.

[00:16:05] JOSH: No. What this means is that I literally don't remember the first time I saw this movie

All right. I'm gonna have to make some phone calls after this, but, um, okay. Anyway, um, so is this a good movie or a bad movie? I'm not gonna ask that question because I don't even think I can answer that. but I'm curious now. So it's 24 years later,

[00:16:24] JONNY: God damn.

[00:16:25] JOSH: yeah.

Sorry guys.

[00:16:26] CHRIS: Yeah, I'm right there Jon I, hurt. It literally pained.

[00:16:31] JOSH: Um, what are your feelings About this movie. I'm not gonna ask you if you think it's a good movie or a bad movie because as we've established, it's, it's more complicated than that.

[00:16:39] HAL9000: Mm-hmm.

[00:16:40] JOSH: Hal, I want to ask you, because obviously you've done a very. Very good fan edit.

I want to say that your fan edits are my, go-to versions of these movies whenever I have a hankering to the point where when I sat down to watch the theatrical cut to prepare for this, it threw me a little bit because I'm so used to the rhythms of your cuts. I was like, oh yeah, the scene does keep going.

Oh yeah. Or like, oh yeah, this scene, I forgot

[00:17:04] HAL9000: It's interesting to hear you say that when I rewatched it to prepare for this, I found it a little bit refreshing cuz it's just the pure uncut up, you know, just the way it was. I didn't have to worry about anything in my head, you know?

[00:17:16] JOSH: So I love what you just said, recounting your memory of it, how it was your first Star Wars movie and you just ate it up with the spoon, but at some point you. Realized that there were things in it that maybe warranted a little finessing. so I'm curious, especially with you, when you think about this movie, it a good movie? Is it a bad movie? Like, what's your like feeling

[00:17:37] HAL9000: it's, it's a very, it's very nostalgic, I think is the, the biggest thing about it. It's, it's interesting, especially when juxtaposed with, seven, eight, and nine, you go back to one and it's just kind of, um, you know, just a refreshing bit of contrast. Like, you know, those sequel movies seem to be kind of averse to taking any time to get into the politics of it.

And, uh, I think watching Phantom Menace, as an adult, especially after the last several years of just political turbulence in the United States. Anyway, you really kind of appreciate the political messages and just the, the intrigue in Phantom Menace. I dunno, it kind of elevated the straightforward, simple story politically anyway of.

just the state of affairs and the original trilogy. And so I, I, I really appreciate it for that anyway. yeah, overall it felt nostalgic. it felt like kind of a, a link to a little bit older Hollywood kind of production. for example, when they go to the underwater city, you know, Otoh Ganga, you see.

several establishing shots from the outside. They go inside, you see a few establishing shots. The camera pans a little bit. It doesn't really go into an explorer. Like, it's not like they had the whole thing mapped out, rendered. It's like, we did all this work so we could have a few shots, and that just, I don't know, something about that just feels a little bit old fashioned or just old fashioned in the, in the style and sensibility about how it's all put together that I, uh, I appreciated this time watching.

[00:18:59] JOSH: Well, that is super interesting because obviously, This movie at the time and even, you know, viewing it through an historical lens like really represents sort of a change in the way

[00:19:11] HAL9000: I feel episode one has a lot more of what I'm talking about. What I have in mind when I say that than two and three. Uh, may. Maybe it's just because it's shot on film and, and things like that, but it maybe it's just that the effects just simply cohere, by virtue of that. But I feel like episode one, it's like, just like a a sound of music singing in the rain, like, you know, just big production.

Like we're, we're trying so hard to make the audience happy and engaged and, and, and do something. I dunno, it just has a sense of freshness that, I don't know, I just don't feel two and three have

[00:19:41] CHRIS: Can I ask really quickly just Hal, I'm curious, did you ever, because of your experience with it, because of. Yes, the nostalgia and, and it being your first Star Wars movie or introduction to the the universe. Do you ever. , whether then, now, whatever. Did you ever find yourself like defensive of the movie when met with, when it met with criticism, or is that not something that ever bothered you or, I'm just curious because I, I did, I found myself fiercely defensive of it for a while.

But I'm curious with the attachment, the, the, the different attachment that you had, uh, based on your age and your experience, did you ever have that experience or, or not really? That was not

[00:20:16] HAL9000: Yeah, I mean, I wish I had a more answer to give you than not really.

[00:20:19] CHRIS: That's valid. That's valid. I was just,

[00:20:21] HAL9000: no, I mean, it, it's divisive. I feel like if, if somebody is you know, with, with humor and with style poking it in the face, I can appreciate that. If someone's, praising it for its artistic achievement, then I'd appreciate that and

[00:20:34] JOSH: Well, you know what's interesting Hal, because like, hearing you were nine years old when this movie came out and there was your first Star Wars movie, like you were the target audience, like bullseye, like you were the target audience for this movie.

I think, that even the three of us, were like right on the edge of when we may have been much more cynical about it.


[00:20:51] JONNY: I feel like, uh, with our age, we were, we were the guaranteed money and, uh,

but we weren't

exactly, but we weren't the target

[00:20:59] HAL9000: would've been like maybe pushing the, the lower end of that. Um, I mean, I feel like there's a lot of the movie that, certainly would've gone over my head and did,

[00:21:07] CHRIS: that doesn't, but I don't think that necessarily means you're not the target. Like I know that like there were some films that I absolutely did not appreciate when I was younger. Their full extent, but I was definitely the target audience. It's just we sort of had to grow into them a little bit.

Cause I agree with Jonny was saying, like we were, we were the guaranteed money, you're right, we were always gonna buy tickets whether we ended up liking it or not. But I,

[00:21:28] JONNY: we weren't necessarily the target.

[00:21:30] JOSH: Well, so, because it's also interesting Hal like, just because you know, maybe some of the Senate stuff, , went over your head, that doesn't mean that the movie wasn't for you. I think that what a really good movie for kids does is it has a few things in there that. younger kids have to reach for, or it does go over your heads, because even though you don't know exactly what they're talking about in the details, even though you aren't getting it 100%.

you're reaching for it and you're getting the gist. It's like you get the gist that something important is happening. You get the gist of like what the characters are feeling. And it has to do with this thing, even if you don't, if you couldn't explain exactly what it is. know, it's weird, I'm being reminded of, um, in the original Star Wars. and I may be, conflating this with, something else, but, , the studio wanted the aliens who were subtitled in the movie to, , say their lines in English. So kids could understand them. Their argument was, is a movie for kids and kids don't know how to read, so they're not gonna understand the subtitles.

And George Lucas said, well, maybe this will encourage them to wanna learn how to read.

[00:22:36] HAL9000: Nice.

[00:22:36] CHRIS: Yeah. See, and that's. Was actually, I, I agree with that assessment. I think that when story, when we don't have to, especially as kids, when we don't have to work to understand a story, we drop it more easily than the stories we sort of have to puzzle through and, and concentrate on. This was, this is a different medium, but my experience with like kids theater is that when the kids start talking to one another, they're trying to figure something out and they're trying to do it.

And so then they get, you know, they get to solve that sort of mystery on their own. They get to figure it out. And then of course, like puzzle solving is always a dopamine hit, like instant dopamine

hit. So if you don't have to, if, if you don't have to solve anything, it's everything. It's just presented to you.

It's just, it's too easy. So I, I agree. I like that. I think that good storytellers. Make audiences no matter what the age, reach a little bit, and like you said, you know, maybe this will encourage them to learn how to read or maybe we need to watch it again and talk through it with our friends to figure out what it really means.

[00:23:34] HAL9000: I find that hard to argue with. I mean, that certainly was my experience in the end as a kid and taking in the movie and having time to digest it,

[00:23:41] JONNY: Uh, it's kind of funny because, uh, having seen the movie, I don't know how many times, , now at the age of 40, I was watching it again today and um, I forgot that like even late in the movie. , they're like, so you're gonna sign this treaty? Right? And I was like, has that always been a central plot point that she just needs to sign a piece of paper?

And like, I just totally overlooked that. Like, I just like, cuz it gets kind of lost in the shuffle of everything. But I'm like, wait a second, wait a second. . The big, bad evil wizard is like, sign this paper . It's just like, and I'm like, that's kinda absurd of a plot point. They're like,

but that's, but I didn't realize it.

Like even late into the movie, they're still talking about signing a piece of paper

and I was

like, this is

[00:24:24] HAL9000: the emperor throughout the original trilogy had some, you know, there's a legal, everything he's doing is technically, you know, legal and all

that. So just further explor.

[00:24:34] JONNY: point of it, it has to be legal. He has to make it legal.

[00:24:37] JOSH: I mean that's kind of the, the story of the prequel trilogy writ sMaul, like, at least in terms of, how the Republic becomes the empire like, everything that Palpatine does, everything is quote unquote legal,

[00:24:51] JONNY: And voted upon and supported by the

[00:24:53] JOSH: Yeah. Yeah. So, getting into the movie a little bit here, you know, starting with, , the opening crawl, which, you know, over the years has gotten a fair amount of shit, it seems to me. It's like, They're talking about, taxes and trade routes, and I will, I will admit that.

Maybe, some wording could have made it a little more digestible, but really what it's saying is a very provocative idea. The corporations are running the galaxy and. When this greedy corporation is trying to, push this sovereign planet around, because they don't feel like they're making enough money or that their taxes are too high The planet goes to the government for help and says, please help us. These people are invading us. And that go, Is completely impotent and does nothing.

[00:25:37] JONNY: Yeah, because, uh, they're getting, they have lobbyists in their ears and they even pointed out, he's like, he's like, that's where the lobbyist comes in and speaks, says to his ear. And then I think he says after that, he's like, well, we'll put this to a committee

[00:25:52] CHRIS: It's, it's

[00:25:53] JONNY: we'll decide. And this is like,

[00:25:55] CHRIS: actually happening. That's what it is. He, he says, well, we'll, we'll put it, we'll put it to, to, um, a commission

[00:26:02] JONNY: That's

[00:26:02] CHRIS: investigate your claims.

[00:26:04] JONNY: Exactly. Investigate your claims and you know, they're

gonna come back and say, your your claims cannot, you know, be validated or whatever. And it's just,

it's just like them, like spinning wheels and

spinning wheels.

[00:26:15] JOSH: like by the time they find out

[00:26:18] HAL9000: your planet's destroyed, but I mean, you know, you were right, so You that'll go

down as being

[00:26:23] JONNY: but at that point,

[00:26:24] CHRIS: Here's 2000 credits and reparations.

[00:26:26] JOSH: Yeah, something that really went over my head that, um, you know, I didn't really realize, how kind of radical it is until a couple years ago. The idea that the trade federation, this, this corporation has representation in the Senate. They have their own

senators. So, so, it, so it would be like if,

[00:26:46] HAL9000: district of Walmart or whatever.

[00:26:48] CHRIS: Yeah, that's exactly.

what it would be like.

[00:26:50] JOSH: That's exactly what it would be like. And I mean, I'm gonna try to get ahead of the jokes. I mean, I mean, you know, arguably you could say that like, you know, Walmart has a senator and, but to be so like naked and explicit about it, that like, you literally deserve as much representation as this planet of citizens.

[00:27:06] CHRIS: Well,

yeah, and

[00:27:08] JOSH: like a profit making enterprise

like that is,

[00:27:10] CHRIS: it's different than cuz like, you could draw, try and draw a parallel to the way that Disney World. Had in, you know, down in Florida, they had their own jurisdiction until very recently, right. They had their own jurisdiction so they could make their own, they made their own laws in that space and they controlled it.

And that obviously has changed, but even then, like it's not something they flaunted, right? It's something they may have used as leverage, but they didn't flaunt it the way that, like you said, this is all out in the open that the Trade Federation has, has representation and has an equal voice to planets and people.

Corporations are people. my friend.

[00:27:44] JOSH: that's a very provocative idea I think the movie doesn't make it clear enough. Or maybe it's just because I'm so used to the lens that I saw it with when I was 14 years old. But I do think that the politics of this movie are kind of muddled.

I don't think

[00:28:00] JONNY: They are because, because I having just said like I've seen the movie, I don't know, I had like dozens of times and I'm 40 years old and I had it on VHS and I saw it three times in the theater and all these things. And I'm watching the movie now and I'm like, I always knew it was about this stuff, but I was like really just having gotten so used to all this spectacle and the adventure of the movie, that I know, but like listening to just the politics this time, I was like, there's a lot of things I'm picking up on, on this viewing that like just, just kinda like fell flat for me or was like lost because they'll say something like that and before you could think too much about it, they kind of go back into the meesa Jar Jar Binks thing.

So it, it's just being like, it's, it's like it's different modes of, um, thinking and consuming. And I think that's one thing that. , this movie, I think of all the Star Wars movie. This is the movie that has like, it's like four different movies in one, and it's just like, and, and the tones are kind of all over the place.

And um, so I think because the tones keep shifting, we keep, I'm changing the way I'm focusing on the movie, if that makes any sense. You know,

[00:29:14] HAL9000: Certainly that's kind of one of the criticisms of it,



[00:29:17] JONNY: Yeah, it's like if they're going into so much detail about the politics, but they're not going into that much detail about all the other things.

So it's like, what am I supposed to pay attention to? What am I not supposed to pay attention to as a film? what is it? Behind the scenes clip with like Ben Burt, where he's like, well, you have the

death of the master here. And then you have watch the comedy here, and then you have this there and like it's.

I don't


what I'm

[00:29:39] HAL9000: And, and the pieces are all put together too intricately. You can't, you can't take it back apart, but you can diminish the effects of

what, whatever.

[00:29:46] JONNY: so I, I feel like from start to finish, the whole movie's kind of like that. It's just

like, wait, what's going on? Oh, this is happening. Okay, well, I, oh, what?

[00:29:54] CHRIS: Uh, I've got a bit of a question for all three of you actually on that note, because like, it sounds like we're so all sort of talking around the same thing here, but I'm curious now, like you said, Jonny, 40 years, you know, 40 years later you're, well, when you're 40 you're looking at it going like, oh my, well I didn't notice these things before.

I'm curious, does it feel messy or looking back on it now and it made more sense then, or was it that just that you didn't think about it or like, like how do you feel about it then versus now

in terms of.

[00:30:22] JONNY: well, okay, so overall thoughts in the movie is that even back when I was 16, the more I watched it, the more I was picking up on things. They were kind of like, wait a second, and like, because, uh, and uh, and so I think, I think back then I had the same feeling, , as like an kind of like as objectively as possible as I do now.

It's just that, now because I know the other things I can just ignore that and just concentrate on the politics. And since I'm concentrating on the politics, cuz back then it's like, fucking lightsabers, let's go. And now it's like, now that I, now that I'm taking all that for granted, I'm like, just concentrate on the politics.

It's like, oh, now I know exactly what this movie is saying and what it's trying to do. And it's there. It's not that it's missing the info. The info is there, but. , I don't know necessarily if it lands because of everything that's around it. You know,

[00:31:17] HAL9000: it's

built in a way where you can keep getting things out of it as you, as you keep going

back. Like it wasn't just an alleg, uh, political allegory about whatever, you know, contemporary events or anything. It's, it's, it's true enough that, you know, can keep seeing new

things in it.

[00:31:33] JONNY: and it's, and it's

also true that like in 19 nine, in 1997, when they shot it, '99 it came out and that it's 2023. And we still have the same problems. That they talk about in government, like it is a universal thing, but they have that little West Wing nugget of wisdom, this West Wing episode, and like a Ren & Stimpy cartoon in a GI Joe cartoon in a Battlestar Galactica episode.

And so it's just like, there's a lot of layers that like have nothing to do with it, that you have to kind of like peek past to get that, if that makes any sense..

[00:32:03] JOSH: Well, you know, Chris, to answer your question, I would say that this was something that I felt at the time, even as a 14, 15 year old, you know, , like the fart jokes,

[00:32:13] JONNY: Yeah.

[00:32:14] JOSH: R steps in shit. And like, the tonal whiplash was like very extreme and I don't think it's helped, by the amount of computer generated imagery that kind of gives it this like, cartoonier feel you know, and you could argue, this point, I heard somebody, who saw the original trilogy when they were originally in theaters. And, he derisively refers, to Return to the Jedi as the Muppet Movie. So, you know, so maybe this is something that's.

you know, whatever age you're at. But I do think that, there are some aspects of this movie that are intentionally childish or child friendly, and some that I think are inadvertent. You know, for example, the Jar Jar character. I think the idea of an alien character that's, paying homage to Buster Keaton and stuff and is doing a lot of physical comedy is not a, bad idea necessarily, but like even as good as the CGI was, and I know that it was revolutionary.

you know, when I was watching it, there are ways that jar jar moves that do look like a cartoon

[00:33:21] HAL9000: Mm-hmm.

[00:33:22] JOSH: certain points, I think when you have the fart jokes and the poop jokes sitting alongside details of like, tax policy and stuff like that, you need a deft hand to, you know, ride that line and thread that needle to kind of make it all feel like it's of a piece, you know?

Uh, but that said, one of the things that I appreciate about this movie, kind of is how ballsy it is. like, it's not something you would see from a Star Wars movie now. I don't think it, it definitely doesn't play it safe in that regard.

[00:33:57] HAL9000: to pick up on the politics a little bit more. You know, it, it, it's got a real kind of cen, it's got a cynical outlook that doesn't get resolved neatly and, you know, kind of ends in tragedy by the time the, I was gonna say the Trilogy's over, even though just the movie's over

[00:34:10] CHRIS: totally.

[00:34:11] HAL9000: And it, it's hard to imagine that coming from anywhere other than kind of a, you know, indie filmmaker like George Lucas rather than, you know, a studio's not gonna like write and produce that script with just that kind of outlook.

[00:34:23] CHRIS: Well, and I, I really struggled with what you're talking about. This, this, I watched it last night and the, I was, I was talking to Jonny about this before the podcast. The last time I had seen the movie before last night was probably pre pandemic. It was just before, or just at the beginning of the pandemic, because I was, I was play testing Star Wars Armada and they were gonna be dropping the ships from the prequels and I didn't remember enough.

So I'm like, I better go back and like, you know, watch for like flavor and how does this feel and blah, blah, blah. Um, but the thing I'm really struggling with, or I really struggled with last night is I was watching it, is like, I love the idea of the Trade Federation. Like, looking back now, it's like all the money, all the power, I love the, it makes sense.

They have all these droids. Like it all really worked for me. It's so close when I look back on it. , but the, but the bad general Asiatic impression that they do, you've got the, you've got the slit eyes, you've got the bad accent, like the general quote, Asian accent. There's just, there's a yellow peril thing that's happening and it's like, oh, y'all were so close.

Like, you literally could have changed the voice and everything else would've worked. But instead you end up with this like very, like the low cunning, the, you know, these trade federation types or cowards says the white guy about the Asian people who are interested in money and won't confront them. Like there's, like, there's a layer there that I, I, I genuinely, sometimes this stuff is intentional.

I genuinely don't think it is. But a voice was picked, an accent was picked for this race. And it's just, it's, there are times where I'm like, am I projecting? And then they pronounce a certain thing and I go, no,

[00:36:05] JONNY: No. Yeah. You're

[00:36:06] HAL9000: to give it a pass and it just won't let you

[00:36:08] CHRIS: It really doesn't.

[00:36:09] JOSH: let's talk about this for a second. because, this is an issue that does deserve to be addressed. It's not just the Trade Federation guys. It's also, uh, jar, jar and Wado.

[00:36:20] HAL9000: George Water gets to like, uh, you know, I don't know, stereotype, I don't know, three or four groups at once.

It's just so vague where it's like,


being said

[00:36:29] JOSH: so here's what I think is going on here. It's certainly not intentionally racist, but what it is doing is an intentional homage to things that had racist, that, had racist,

[00:36:41] HAL9000: old school serials

[00:36:43] JONNY: like Fu Man Chu sort of stuff. Yeah.

[00:36:46] JOSH: fumanchu stuff. And like, I don't think that there is, any intentional racism, but when you import the tropes of something that's a product of another time and you fail to, you know, examine what maybe is behind some of those tropes and some of those, things, you are also importing the racism.

Whether or not you're aware of that So, so it's a problematic

[00:37:09] HAL9000: well, not necessary, but is that just kind of a part of it being, you know, from indie filmmaker like George Lucas rather than a big studio kind of a thing where that, that probably would've been more under the microscope.

[00:37:21] CHRIS: I don't think it would've been at that, at that time. It was absolutely not more under the microscope because they weren't, people weren't talking about it on a, on a large scale until later. Anyway, so I think

[00:37:31] JOSH: I No, no, no. That's actually not true.

[00:37:33] JONNY: it

was noticed though when the movie came out though. I remember

[00:37:35] JOSH: yeah, like a lot of people, there was a lot of talk about, the racism in this

[00:37:40] JONNY: And minstrel stuff with

[00:37:41] CHRIS: I, I missed that talk, so I'm, I'm kind of glad that it was happening, but yeah, I was unaware that that was like, that was happening at the

[00:37:47] HAL9000: I think that was, yeah, from, kind of in the immediate, I remember just the, you know, earlier days of the internet, you know, Force.Net forums and things like in the early 2000s. And, and certainly hearing about that plenty as a criticism of, Phantom Menace

[00:38:01] CHRIS: that's


[00:38:01] JOSH: Yeah,

[00:38:01] JONNY: it's it's one of those things where it's like, um, I think he just had like rose tinted goggles on with his own nostalgia to put those characters in.

Cuz sometimes people don't understand where the things they like come from, you


and I

[00:38:15] CHRIS: have the other viewpoints there either. So I'm right there with you, Jonny. Cause like, it's not like he had other Asian actors and the one black actor he had, you wouldn't know he was other than, other than Samuel L. Jackson, his Mace Windu. You don't know. He is black because he's Jar Jar Binks. He's an alien. Right.

[00:38:31] JONNY: Well, yes, I have uh, uh, captain, uh, Tanaka as well.

[00:38:35] CHRIS: oh, sorry. You're right. You're right.


[00:38:37] JONNY: Yeah,

[00:38:38] JOSH: what's interesting about, jar. Jar and, the accent is, um, I believe Amed Best is also on record, saying that he doesn't find there to be any racism in. The performance. Like I think there are like levels of racism here. I mean, not for me to be the arbiter of that as like a white guy, though I am Jewish.

so I suppose I could have something to say about the Watto depiction, even though he's also caricature of Italians and Middle Eastern, people in general. so I mean that I think is the defense. The defense is these are

[00:39:06] JONNY: He's Penn racist.

[00:39:09] JOSH: I'm not saying that it holds

[00:39:10] JONNY: Yeah.

[00:39:10] CHRIS: No, no, of course. It's like, the goblins, it's like the Harry Potter goblins where it. Yeah, I, I know they're, they're mythological creatures. We also know what you're doing.

[00:39:20] JOSH: no. And also like, where does that myth come from, guy? I mean, jk, where does that, where does that come from? Um, so yeah, so I mean, I think, George Lucas took that to heart on some level. because obviously when, um, Nute Gunray shows up in Episode Two, he has the same voice cuz it's the same character.

But the next time we hear sort of the rank and file Neimoudians in, uh, revenge of the si, they speak with like a neutral

[00:39:45] HAL9000: That's true even in Attack of the Clones. There's a brief line from, uh, a different Neimoudian who I, I think was a character in Episode One as well. He just has one line about getting the ships into space and it's a notably different voice. But I think

I, I think that I, I think that example though, come to think of it I recall hearing somewhere that like, it was just the person not being available who originally voiced him or


So that

might be reaching too.


But Yeah. they, they just turned surfer dude in Episode Three.

[00:40:14] JOSH: right? Yeah. . Um, yeah. But let's talk about the, uh, the Gungans here and, jar Jar and, and oto Gunga that whole sequence that, um, you know, the underwater world. I like this idea that is all throughout the movie about, you know, symbiosis and how, how everything interconnected thematically.

I really like that idea.

[00:40:36] HAL9000: nice

counterpoint to the political cynicism is just, you know, balance of nature and cooperating or whatever.

[00:40:42] JOSH: Yes, exactly. And I like the idea of the gins and the nabu are sort of these two civilizations who, who call the same planet home, but sort of have antipathy for each other at best or outright hostility for them at worst?

[00:41:00] CHRIS: Over perceived mis over misperceived slights, which I like. like Boss Nass saying You don't think you're better than the Gungans. And she just doesn't answer. And he is like, oh, okay. But the lack of contact, it was implied that you thought you were better than us.

[00:41:15] HAL9000: Mm-hmm.

[00:41:16] JOSH: Yeah. I mean, I think that's cool. I like that I don't know that the Gungans work as well as maybe they were intended to, and I think it's for many, many reasons. But Hal, I'm curious, in your fan edit, correct me if I'm wrong, you cut out that entire sequence, the OTO gunga sequence, isn't that right?

[00:41:34] HAL9000: right. Yeah. Uh, and I, I think, um, even as a kid watching it on vhs, That little clock wipe clock wipe transition to go from, them arriving at Otoh Gunga into like the little council chamber where they're meeting with Boss Nass. That was always the part of the movie. As a kid, I remember getting bored, like, all

[00:41:53] JOSH: bored? Yeah, it kind of dips.

[00:41:56] HAL9000: yeah, it, so, I mean, yeah, to answer your question, yes, my fan edit of the movie goes right from, uh, them meeting up with Jar Jar to city being invaded and, rescuing the queen from there. but you do lose, you know, kind of the setup for, uh, it doesn't mean quite as much when you get to, uh, Boss Nass coming on board and theGungans helping, you know, and all that.

It, it, it still kind of pays off, this is why we met Jar Jar is to, and we, we, you know, all thought he was a pathetic life for him. And then, you know, it still works, I guess, but yeah, it just, it just slows the pacing of the opening that just needs to get going and the movie just needs to coalesce around, , a plot if you ask me anyway, that's why I.

[00:42:35] JONNY: when I watch this movie, I, had so many questions about like, aesthetics and stuff like that and di and direction choices, which I want to get into later, but one of the things I, I kind of see is like, , I feel like it's almost like kinda like a first draft sort of thing where it's just like, it's almost like, you know this, this probably would've landed a lot better if he just did this one thing or if he just did that one thing.

And there's even a precedent for something like this with like the story of like Dune, where there's like locals who live in the desert who have nothing to do with the universe empire. And they come in. Yeah, exactly. And then, so the Gungans are basically like Nabu Freon, but, and they live in the water, but they're not, they're just kind of like, oh yeah, we're underwater.

And it's like, why aren't they talking to each other? And like as the audience, like they get so into the minutiae of her signing a treaty, but they don't get into the minutiae of that, which is like a huge part of the story.

And it's

[00:43:31] JOSH: like why don't they talk to each

[00:43:32] JONNY: why don't they talk about that? And it's like, and why are they like, like it's this, like I just feel like if he just had like another month of writing, like it's kind of like when we talk

about the prequels in the


[00:43:43] HAL9000: just, they just gotta get some shorthand in there of just, you know, like they, you just have to import that as a trope and

just, move on with the

story, I

[00:43:49] JONNY: he's just like, here's what it is. It's not important. But I'm like, isn't it

[00:43:53] CHRIS: It's because it's a means to an end. It's used as a means to an end. That's the



[00:43:58] HAL9000: Hmm.

[00:43:59] JOSH: super interesting about that though, Jon, is that this is not a first draft. There were

several drafts. So, and actually the, the earlier draft loses a lot of really interesting concepts. Like the Queen is kind of racist toward the gungan. She, herself sh she's like, what is this Gungan, aborts the ship for?

[00:44:19] JONNY: by the way, uh, slight observation over all of Star Wars. everyone's racist against droids, but even in this movie, like Obi-Wan Kenobi's, like why do I think we have the impression we picked up another pathetic life form. It's like, dude, what is your fucking problem?

[00:44:32] CHRIS: yeah.

[00:44:33] JONNY: It's like, aren't you a Jedi Knight?

[00:44:35] CHRIS: I picked up on that too, between him and Qui-Gon, there's a lot of like, dismissiveness, there's a lot of, I don't have time for this. And like, I think there's the possibility of saying like, well, it shows that like how the Jedi have gotten to a point where they're just, they're too full of themselves and it's easy to see how they're blinded to

the dark side. But I also think that's a giant stretch.

[00:44:53] JONNY: exactly as I was gonna say, how much is that is a giant stretch? Or just like George Lucas being like, this is a joke. Isn't it funny? Instead of it just being like, whoa, what are you saying with that joke, if you really think about it, , you know, like

like that type of thing. And I feel like he

[00:45:08] HAL9000: and it's hard to tell it.

[00:45:09] JONNY: not think about that.


[00:45:11] HAL9000: yeah. Everything's delivered in such a way that if it's not very obvious, you're really gonna have a hard time telling, like, you know, uh, Chris, your comment about, reading a lot of these things as well, it's the Jedi are supposed to be flawed, and that's part of it.

And it's like, I don't think that they were necessarily intended to be portrayed as being so flawed. I think that it was like, no, they were right overall in what they were doing. It wasn't

like, you

[00:45:33] JONNY: like,

[00:45:34] HAL9000: like

[00:45:34] JONNY: like Obi-Wan?

[00:45:36] HAL9000: Like, you know, that, that, I don't think that was supposed to be pitched as like, this is a bad thing, but that, that, that's oftentimes used to, defend things.

[00:45:44] CHRIS: No, I think you're right, Hal. I think it's used as a, justification or a, an attempt at a attempt being defensive of a thing. When I was younger, I, I hear some of these arguments that are being made and I could hear like, no, that's an argument I might have made when I was younger in defense of a thing.

I so closely identified with that. Like an attack on that. An

attack on that is an

attack on me.

[00:46:05] JONNY: aesthetic choice too. Uh, in regards to acting. It's like, um, I understand if Jedi at, at their peak dogma, whatever, maybe can be less emotional. And so I could see them kind of acting in kind of like a reserve sort of manner. But why is everyone acting in reserve matter and why are some people not?

So it's just like, it's like, why is like,

[00:46:27] HAL9000: Yeah.

[00:46:28] JONNY: Some people are like, oh, they're kind of emotive. And then a lot of other people are like, well, why is Anakin's mom acting reserved? And why is like, but

anakin's not


[00:46:36] HAL9000: with portrayal. If you're reading the novelization, it's fine.

[00:46:39] JONNY: but yeah, but it's just like, but it's one of those things where it's like, it's not like it's, I, I know these actors are good because they all come from good film in good theater and they're in this movie.

And you can tell it's a distinct thing, like watching like a We Anderson movie, how they all kind of have this,

we Anderson direction, it says George Lucas thing. But, but to go from the original trilogy to this, it's like, why the change? Like, it's funny because if you watch like all the way through the Return of the Jedi and then you watch this, you're like, why is everyone acting

this way?

[00:47:12] HAL9000: not that big of a from Return of the Jedi. Go What? Take, take the scene where Luke Invader are talking before they go up to the second death star. They're, you know, um, come with me. That, that scene,

uh, it's, it's, it's,

[00:47:24] JONNY: But Luke, Luke is calm. Cuz I can see he's getting into that sort of zen sort of Jedi thing. But Leia and Han and Lando, they all, they all have like this, this like these emotions and everyone else is like,

[00:47:35] HAL9000: You're right about that. If, if, if, uh, if Natalie Portman and , Ewan McGregor say, just to pick two actors from Phantom Menace specifically, since that's what we're talking about. If they were acting out for Phantom the scene, just like the one between Luke and Lea, where they, you know, revealed that their siblings,

uh, you're not gonna get a emotion out of it.


[00:47:51] JONNY: Yeah.

Like, it's like, why are they, why are they acting this way? It's we, and like, it's, it's, it's, to me it's like, it was just a direction choice where it's like he's trying to do something here, but I couldn't quite figure out what it was he was trying to do with

[00:48:03] HAL9000: or is that your read of it? Because that's just the way it's being pitched. But, but really behind the scenes, it's just, he just wasn't that great at directing the actors. I mean, just to be blunt.

[00:48:11] CHRIS: No, no, I mean, that's, that's valid. And I,

[00:48:13] JONNY: But they were actually told to take it back a notch. I've heard some of the actors saying that the interview's like, no, like a little bit more, like, it's weird, you know, it's like instead of faster, more intense, it's like, uh, not as fast, less intense , you know,

[00:48:26] CHRIS: well, and the Vader thing in Reg Jedi, what you're talking about, Hal, it's funny, I, I'm gonna have to go back and re-watch it now having talked to you about this, because the way I always perceived it was always in the context. And maybe I'm not dumb, just not able to extricate and that, and that may just be the case, but I always saw it in the context of all three movies and seeing Vader Mellow from New Hope into Return of the Jedi.

There's a sort of acceptance there, and there's a sort of like mellowness there that indicates that like, no, Luke is right. There's something there besides anger. And we're seeing it now while he's with Luke. Um, which I, which I found interesting, but now I wanna go back and I wanna re-watch him, wonder if I'm just projecting that arc.

[00:49:08] HAL9000: I, I guess you'll have to see, but I, I sure imagine if you watch the scene with, with it in the back of your mind of like, okay, imagine this as being in the prequels. And you'd be like, oh, well, yeah,

[00:49:17] JONNY: yeah,

[00:49:18] JOSH: Well, let's go broad for a second. two things you brought up, Jon. There's the acting, the performances and , the aesthetics in terms of the design and the visual style of the movie. let's just talk about the acting first.

The performances first. We know, because we've seen a lot of these actors in many other things. uh, these are all very good actors. there is kind of a, um, I mean, I want to describe it accurately, but not be unkind. there is, kind of a stylized quality, sort of a reserve quality, and before you said what you just said that you've heard some of the actors say that they were told to bring it down a little bit. Like, you know, my, my read is, you could argue that this movie so far of the four Star Wars movies is the most pure uncut George Lucas that we've gotten so far.

He, um, he directed the original Star Wars, but under, you know, sort of, very stressful circumstances and limitations. . and there were other directors who directed Empire and Jedi and there were other, you know, sort of things going on. And, you know, this is the movie where he had full control for the first time.


[00:50:24] HAL9000: Yeah.

[00:50:25] JOSH: he could, could, yeah. so, my read of the performances was always, I think there are certain things that are priorities or preoccupations of George Lucas's over other things. I think he wants the performances to be good, but I don't think he's as interested in crafting a performance in, refining a performance, to the degree that someone like say Irvin Kirchner,

[00:50:52] JONNY: was just gonna say, Irv Kirschner

[00:50:54] JOSH: was.

so my read was always, okay. he got the component like, you know, there's a very, um, there's a very interesting quote from Rob Coleman who's, one of the visual effects supervisors and the Attack of the Clone special features where he says, I've never seen a filmmaker work the way George works

when we're shooting a scene with Ewan McGregor, as Obi-Wan Kenobi, he's getting the Obi-Wan element and then the rest of the post-production process is getting all the elements and putting them all together to create this scene, this world that never existed before.

Whereas, more traditional filmmaking is like, a lot of what happens on the day. Like you get what you get and that's sort of what it is. you know, you try to get as much magic as you can on the day, and that's where the movie is made is on the set. Where for George Lucas, it happens in the editing room.

so I think what I'm trying to say is, I think, or I thought that it's not so much that he was choosing this style explicitly as it was, you know, he was getting them to where he needed them to be. And no further

[00:51:56] JONNY: Yeah,

[00:51:57] HAL9000: I agree. I,

[00:51:57] JONNY: to, you don't wanna say the bare minimum, but it's kind of just like, just get it done. You have the element, and then edit that to make the scene without actually seeing the, uh, the back and forth that most acting is, which is like, listen, respond, react,

[00:52:13] HAL9000: Mm-hmm.

[00:52:14] JONNY: like, okay, now you're angry.

Okay. Okay. And then whatever, you know.

[00:52:18] HAL9000: I think you're right Josh. And I think it also, I think that there is a style choice that is kind of, older Hollywood, kind of a a Like, just stuffy old black and white movie, you know, where, I dunno, it just isn't a certain register as well. So those two things put

together, I think gets you what we


[00:52:37] JOSH: that is, true, like there definitely was an intention to make it, I think, a little more, um, , arch, is that the word? It's, it's a little


[00:52:45] JONNY: what you're talking about.

[00:52:46] JOSH: it's more formal and restrained. And I think that's supposed to go along with the, um, the different, , moment that we are in the Star Wars universe.

I think, you know, things are a little more refined. I think things are a little more, you know, restrained. I think, that's kind of the idea. But that said, It still has to feel alive. It still has to work as a movie. Right. And I think, you know, sometimes, maybe there's something that could have been there that, had a little bit more spark of life.

[00:53:16] JONNY: Well if you talk about the characters, the characters are kind of like, uh, which one is Obi-Wan Kenobi? He's the younger Jedi Knight with the blue lightsaber. You know, uh, which one is Darth Maul? He's the guy with the red face paint and the double lightsaber. It's not like he's the sarcastic one.

This's got a chip on his shoulder, da da da. It's just like, it's just kind of like, who's Amidala? She's the queen of Nabu. Like, it's, it's, but like, who is Padme?

Like who, what is, like, who is that person? And it's like, she's the queen of Nabu. Oh, okay. Like, that's, that's all you get, you know? Uh, Anakin you know, he's the kid.

No, he does show a lot of emotion in compared to everybody else, you know.

[00:54:00] JOSH: Y Yeah, no, that's true. The, the other thing that I just wanna touch on, briefly is, the visual style, the aesthetics, again, I think a lot of it is kind of, um, not that it's unintentional, but it's sort of, it's sort of incidental. the fact that there's so much reliance on computer generated imagery, when it was still a new tool.

It's still, it's, it's still the 1990s. It's only six years out from Jurassic Park. it's like, you know, not what it is now. and I do feel like, you know, it, it, it kind of gives this movie this weird, uncanny valley quality. sometimes it gives it, uh, cartoonish quality that I don't know serves it well.

[00:54:41] HAL9000: Well, let me jump in there to kind of, uh, disagree with you a little bit. I, you know, as I was watching it last night, I, I felt, That, that the effects really coherent, pretty well at, at least, at least relative to, to two and three. And maybe again, maybe that's because it was shot on film, but, there were certainly, you know, the, the CG elements, you know, you could tell, okay, if, if they were being generated today, they would be a higher resolution or there'd be more layers or be more complex or, or what have you.

But, I don't know, maybe that kind of thing just doesn't tend to bother me in general. But

I really, I felt like it, it, uh, it coherent, you know,

well enough. It, it had an old Hollywood feel, like I said before, like you, you kinda like, you know, oh, and the, you kind of see how they're making the movie a little bit, but you kind of appreciate it for that rather than, this has just been so thoroughly vetted with, so many layers of everything.

Like there might be today. I kind of admired

it for it. I guess. It worked. I didn't have a

problem with


[00:55:30] JONNY: I watched it kind of like, it's like looking at 1940s matte paintings a little bit where it's just like, to me, like as this is coming from a guy that like, is totally not into cgi, I as much as practical, but even watching all this today, I just like, it didn't really bother me.

[00:55:47] HAL9000: it's a good blend. it it's, it's it's far from all

[00:55:49] JONNY: it, it's, there's a lot of great sets.

There's a lot of great, there's a lot of great things going on that's actually very practical and um, and some of the c g I thought was kind of impressive specifically like spaceships and stuff like that. But, but even when it came became cartoony for me, I was just like, it didn't bother me. Like I just kind of saw, it's like a dated movie that's like, well that was what they had at the time.

And then I just kind of moved on from it, you know?

[00:56:11] HAL9000: A bit like a Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies where, you know, you're like, you know, yeah. That it,

[00:56:15] JONNY: Back

then it was great.

[00:56:16] HAL9000: doesn't look photorealistic or anything, but it, it didn't at the time either. And it, and it, it works. I'm, I'm watching a movie. I'm, I'm . It's not what it's

about. I mean, you know,

[00:56:25] JONNY: Exactly.

[00:56:25] HAL9000: I'm looking through the window.

Doesn't see, it doesn't hurt to see a few little layer of, uh, film or, or smudge or something to remind you that there's a window there because you're not looking at the window.

[00:56:34] JOSH: I broadly agree with what both of you are saying. And don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that if it were made now, because the technology is, better now, that it would,

[00:56:43] HAL9000: Sure. I, I went

off wasn't just purely reacting to what you were saying. Yeah.

I won't hold you

the opposite of everything I was just saying.

[00:56:50] JOSH: you know what I'm saying is like something that I think sort of the trademark style of the original trilogy is the fact that it felt real, that it felt like a lived in used universe.

That it felt

[00:57:05] CHRIS: phrase.

[00:57:06] JOSH: Yeah. that it felt, you know, Really tactile, but it seemed like, you couldn't quite explain why, but it really felt like this was a real place

[00:57:16] JONNY: was dirty, dinged up, had grease on the walls. It could just like you,

[00:57:20] HAL9000: I mean, if, if, if you're aware of, you know, model making and rigs and all that kind of stuff as you are about cgi, I mean, I, I don't know, I pushed back a little bit on you there. I mean, you watched the original movies and especially the original versions of the original trilogy. You know, you, you see plenty of Okay, I see.

I see how they're putting this together and I, I just, you know, it was the same with Phantom

Menace and

[00:57:39] JOSH: Well, what I would argue is I'm not saying that, the effects are invisible. my sort of working theory here, and I don't want to get, too deeply

into this. Uh, yeah, like the shorthand I've been using it's like seeing the human fingerprints.

Like there's something about, even though it's not photorealistic, it's not quote unquote realistic,

[00:57:59] HAL9000: mm-hmm.

[00:57:59] JOSH: the, at eighties in, the Battle of Hath and Empire Strikes Back, they don't look real. but, they do look like they're tactile and I think on a subconscious level, you know, that, they were manipulated and constructed by human hands.

Going off that something , just in the design choice that the technology allowed for. you have these like sleek, clean chrome designs, especially on Nabu. we're seeing, sort of the height of the galaxy. And I get from a story, point of view. It's, it's trying to say something about how the state of the galaxy is so grand, so opulent it's, it's not a world that has been, you know, war torn and a sort of fraying at the edges.

I get that. but I feel like, there's something inherently Star Wars that used universe, that, sort of hot rod feel of like the Millennium Falcon and stuff like. To me is, such an integral part of the Star Wars vibe, the Star Wars aesthetic, and maybe that's, just my own, bias I have,

[00:58:59] CHRIS: Well, I think some of this too is an age thing, right? We've already sort of established that like, you know, because I, I found myself having sort of a similar reaction of like, the ships look newer and faster and sleeker, and I don't understand why they would make that technological jump from the Republic to the Empire.

It feels like they're going backwards in a lot of ways in terms of design. But some of that too is that my experiences with four, five, and six first, and then one, two, and three, and from a chronological standpoint in terms of effects and stuff, they can make it look nicer. Um, so there is a lived in element, but also, you know, how you had talked about this was your introduction to Star Wars, and I think just, you know, experiencing that time forward through Star Wars versus experiencing it backwards through Star Wars absolutely informs what we think from a design po standpoint, from a technological standpoint, what makes sense?

I think you can try and argue it both ways. I do think that it's, it can be tough sometimes without the supplemental material, like the clone worst cartoon, like some of the books, like the comics. It can be tough sometimes to draw the through line because there are gaps in terms of aesthetic. For me, again, the aesthetic is often the technology.

It's the ships that are used more than anything else, and the weapons like those energy. Cool energy things. The Gungans have that we've, we never see obviously in 4 0 5 and six, the, um, that seem really effective against machines. So why wouldn't you keep using them? The droids, the tanks, like the tanks are look more advanced and more powerful than the 80 eighties, other than the, than the ad adss can take a hit.

So I think it's, it's interesting. I think it's, it's tough sometimes to live in that world because I don't, I think a lot of consideration was put into the story and not as much into some elements of the world, which is why we end up with the Gungans as a placeholder. Anybody could have been the Gungans.

[01:00:54] JOSH: I actually think it's the other way around. I think there was so much emphasis on the design. And I think that, one of the problems this movie has, I think it's a problem inherent with, prequels is that, you know, it's supposed to be the first one, but it's really the fourth one.

[01:01:07] HAL9000: Yeah. It's a problem common to all prequels. It's not,


just a

[01:01:10] JONNY: Yeah, it happened in Prometheus, which I just watched again recently, and it's like, look at all this advanced tech and Prometheus that does not exist in


[01:01:17] JOSH: yeah. So, but I mean, so, but I mean, it's not just technology stuff. Like, it's even like, you know, I said in a Return to the Jedi episode that I consider in a lot of ways, in retrospect, Return of the Jedi, to be the prequel to the prequels.

[01:01:29] JONNY: Mm-hmm.

[01:01:30] JOSH: And to kind of reverse that a little bit, I consider the Phantom Menace, to be a, the sequel to Return to The Jedi in that.

[01:01:36] JONNY: which it is

[01:01:38] JOSH: Well, yes, but all of the stylistic things that were, begun in Return to the Jedi in terms of what a Star Wars movie was, how it was constructed, how it worked,

[01:01:48] HAL9000: Yeah.

[01:01:49] JOSH: are sort of double down on and exploded in the Phantom Menace. Like, in the original Star Wars, the End Battle over the Death Star.

It's amazing in, the end sequence of, the Empire Strikes Back, your intercutting between, the dual between, Luke Invader and the escape from Cloud City, uh, return to the Jedi, your intercutting at the end between three Action set pieces, The space battle over the Death Star, the battle on the surface of Endor and the dual between, Luke Invader and now in the Phantom Manners, the fourth movie, uh, you're intercutting between four action set

[01:02:19] HAL9000: You gotta list them now,

[01:02:20] JOSH: yeah, the Raid on the Palace, battle between the Gungans and the droids, the space battle and space to destroy the droid control ship, and the dual of the fates, between, Qui-Gon Obi-Wan and Darth Maul. So you are seeing this progression in style and, while you can make justifications and like, it kind of works, nobody watching this thinks this movie was made first.

[01:02:45] HAL9000: right? Yeah. In a vacuum with no other zero context, somebody would be able to, just inevitably conclude that.

[01:02:52] JOSH: Yeah. , one of the reasons George Lucas made these movies is because he wanted to make more movies. He wanted to, use all the new tools that he had spent years developing. I mean, you're not gonna tell him that for, Stylistic cohesion.

You need to make this movie seem like it was made in 1968,

[01:03:11] HAL9000: Yeah,

[01:03:12] CHRIS: I don't think, yeah, I don't think you need to keep trying to convince him that it needs to look like it was made in that year. I think it's, I think it's looking at, you know, it's, it's, this is a little bit, and, and, and please forgive me if it's not a good parallel. But I, I went down a rabbit hole of, of, because I enjoyed watching Rings of power.

I did, I liked it. But I was reading somebody who, who, somebody had written that they really didn't like Rings of Power and here's wine. And I was like, okay, I'm curious. And they talk about it's not as well considered and not as closely considered as Lord of the Rings were. When it comes to things like travel time and the timing is like too convenient.

That stuff is not set up in rings of power very well. And the more I was thinking about it, I was like, yeah, no, I can, I can hear that, I can, I can still enjoy rings of power. But you're right, the, the con they did not consider as closely what the

[01:04:04] HAL9000: In talking like extremely considered,

[01:04:08] CHRIS: Right. and in the first three movies, you know, Peter Jackson also strongly considered like, okay, how long does it take to get from A to B if we need them to get there in time?

When do they leave? Like, and also the way they told the story, you know, when Rings of Power, it seemed like some of this stuff was happening simultaneously. and then suddenly they're there

[01:04:26] HAL9000: Elron takes a morning stroll to Ka.

[01:04:28] CHRIS: right. Like it, it was, it was, it wasn't just, even, even if you argue, well, this was happening before, right?

But the way that you cut it together made it seem like it was simultaneous. And so it wasn't as well considered. And I think that's my thing with, with where my head is at and why the technology, it doesn't like, it doesn't drive me outta my mind. It doesn't make it unwatchable for me. I also found myself, when I watched the movie last night back to Phantom Menace, when I watched it last night, I was way less critical of it.

And I enjoyed it more than I have probably since it first came out in theaters, honestly.

[01:04:57] JONNY: Had the same thing today,

like I

was, way less critical of it today.

[01:05:00] CHRIS: yeah, I was just enjoying it. It, there were things that I, like, there were, but, and there was even less that I rolled my eyes at, not because it had gotten better over time, but I just didn't care as much.

But the technology stuff, I just didn't think it was well considered. I think there are ways to make, even if the ships look decadent at the, in the Age of the Republic, maybe technologically inferior to some of the bulk we see in the X-Wing and the A Wings. Um, and we, and for me, we sort of don't, don't get that.

I don't know. That's, that


[01:05:33] HAL9000: George. George doesn't, he never, I, he doesn't seem overly beholden to strict continuity anyway. Like I, I mean, I don't even need to side examples. I don't feel like, , anybody's listening to this podcast knows what I mean.

So I think that just kind of fits under that.

Like, I'm not, if he, if he, if he can make the ships look better, he's gonna, he's gonna make

'em look better and that, that, that's gonna be better.

[01:05:53] JONNY: and this is like, he wants to make a new Star Wars movie, so of course he's gonna go Big

[01:05:57] HAL9000: If anything, I'll get back around to the revise, the older ones to fit it maybe.

[01:06:02] JONNY: Yeah.

[01:06:02] JOSH: Yeah. Maybe. Um, Hal, just before moving on, out of curiosity, at and at the risk of opening a whole new can of worms here,

[01:06:09] JONNY: Do it.

[01:06:11] JOSH: of the not really carrying about continuity

[01:06:14] HAL9000: Oh, I mean, like, you know, he felt like, um, Revenge of the Sith was gonna be a stronger story for having padme, die

toward the end of the story and give it that kind of arc rather than, well, it's pretty unambiguously just, told to us that she does survive that, that point in the timeline, you know, in the, in the earlier movie.

But, you know, it's like, well, eh, well, I, I shouldn't say that sounds dismissive. I mean, he, he, it's not like he didn't know that or remember it or forgot or something that was just a creative choice. you know, I understand. He almost forgot to, to record, Obi-Wan picking up Anakin's lightsaber after their duel on Mustafar.

It's like, oh, right. He has to pick that up cuz you know it has to get there for, so he's not, he's not saying that, okay, how do I reverse engineer the story and make something that's going to connect all the dots? He just, he wants to tell new stories and hope that it connects well enough.

[01:07:04] JONNY: I think a bright, shining spot which I really love is Liam Neon. I think he really does carry the movie. He has a lot of gravitas and I was talking about the emoting thing, and I think he's the one that does it the best with the role that he's given. Like you can get, you could actually see a personality in him.

And, uh, I think

he, and watching it again, I was like, I was like, He's making some choices here as an actor that's like, that's interesting. give him the confines of what he's doing. But that to what you're talking about with continuity, he shouldn't even exist because you know, Obi-Wan's like, you'll be taught by Yoda who taught me.

And then when Yoda's talking to Luke, he was like, I wasn't much older than Luke when I started, or something like that. And

[01:07:47] HAL9000: Mm-hmm. ,I took it upon myself to train Anakin as a Jedi.

[01:07:51] JONNY: Yeah.

yeah. And then he's just like, oh, by the way, I was taught when I was a baby. And it's like, well that kind of, this is so George Lucas clearly doesn't care about continuity, but like these movies, continuity is kind of willynilly anyway, so it's

[01:08:03] JOSH: edit, Hal's edit of Empire strikes back, takes care of that little

continuity point.

[01:08:07] JONNY: no shit.

[01:08:08] JOSH: right.

[01:08:08] HAL9000: I, I, mean, just a very, very slight split second thing. when, Ben Kenobi appears on Hoth, you know, , you'll go to the Dagobah system, and, I just changed the line. He's, rather than saying, you know, in reference to yo, instead of saying the Jedi master who instructed me, he just says, A Jedi master that instructed me.

It's a just clipping the beginning of the syllable.

[01:08:29] CHRIS: No, that's, that's helpful. Like,

[01:08:31] JONNY: Yeah.

[01:08:32] CHRIS: no, but I mean, but it does, it makes a difference because I have to admit that like, you know, there's, there are things, the things that they, they still bother me. They don't necessarily stop me from enjoying. But like, one of the things that always drove me nuts about the prequels is that the way it's written in the original, in, in, in, you know, the original movie In, in a New Hope, Obi-Wan talks about the Clone Wars.

Wars plural. And like, this sounds like a really, like, ongoing, like multiple wars, multiple conflicts. Like it really sounds epic. And then it's just kind of not in terms of its scale. Like if, I don't know if he necessarily changed his mind or he didn't know what he had in mind, or this is what he always had in mind and I projected.

, but there was, for me there's that missing that even if you drop the s in the first movie and you say the Clone war, I'm more likely to go, okay, this is a clone war as opposed to the clone war is sounding like this epic series of

[01:09:26] HAL9000: all these continuity things that drive us crazy, like it may be kind of inadvertently is part of the fun, like a, a significant part of the fun, I feel like, for people that contin, you know, like, like us, people like

[01:09:36] CHRIS: No, you're absolutely not wrong. I, I agree with you, Hal. Absolutely. I think there's, there's something that I enjoy about picking it apart only to put it back together and, and there is something to be said too about the fact that like, I can pick this the hell apart. I'm still watching it.

I'm still happy to talk about it. And like I said, for the first time and like quite some time, I watched it last night, watched Phantom Menace and enjoyed it more than I had in years. I don't think it's necessarily like a good movie, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it guilt free and it was, it was an interesting experience.

If nothing else, I mean, I'm enjoying this conversation, but if nothing else, it was interesting to like go back and enjoy the movie that I haven't enjoyed in a very long

[01:10:13] HAL9000: That was, that was close to my experience too. By the time you get to it, you're just like, you know. Yeah. Step in that shit.

[01:10:21] JONNY: but like also to

get to to the Qui-Gon thing,

even though I said, you know, Qui-Gon probably shouldn't exist cuz of continuity. I'm glad he does because when it came out, he was immediately one of my favorite characters and watching it. Now again, he's still one of my favorite characters.

And I think, and I think that says a lot to, like, that's a level of like Alec Guinness, presence where it's like Alec Guinness was, yes, he's in all three of the original movies, but he's ostensibly the star of only one of them. And he only only shows up for a couple of scenes and the other ones, and Liam Neeson's only in one movie.

but his presence is as such where I feel like, I remember thinking that the, the, the next two movies were like, we're just lacking it, which. actually goes for the story because it's always good when somebody is like, like veto corleone. Once they're gone, you just feel that they're gone, you know?

But I, no, long story short, basically like it, it was nice to just be refreshed and be like, oh yeah. Like he really is as, as cool as I remember, it wasn't just like a 16 year old thinking he was like a cool Jedi lightsaber dude. He was like, oh, he's actually like a good character.

[01:11:24] JOSH: No, it is interesting and I think actually you hit on something really important and interesting. Um, you know, Qui-Gon really sums up this movie. It's like he shouldn't exist strictly speaking, but he's, know, one of the more successful, aspects of the movie. you know, you can argue, I've seen it argued. Qui-Gon, like if you're watching this movie cold, like if you're watching this, movie without having seen any Star Wars,

[01:11:46] JONNY: He's the main character.

[01:11:47] JOSH: he's the main character.

[01:11:49] JONNY: Yeah,

[01:11:49] HAL9000: Yeah,

he's the one trying to accomplish something and, and who? You, you, you just intuit that what he wants to have happen. It really is what should happen and is for best.

[01:11:58] CHRIS: He's the engine. He's the engine that makes the whole thing go. All the action ends up being more or less based around him and his

[01:12:04] JONNY: yeah, he, he is literally the main character I think, of this film alone. But

[01:12:09] CHRIS: and he's also the, he's the reason Anakin gets trained, right? Like this whole, this whole thing leads up to, it's interesting, but like Qui-Gon is really, he's the linchpin of Anakin's rise and fall.

[01:12:21] JOSH: well, yeah, there's that, Dave Fallon, quote, it's actually more than a quote. It's more like a little soliloquy where, um, in the behind the scenes, uh, uh, Mandalorian I think is where it appeared, where he was talking

about the dual fate. Yeah, the round table discussion with all the directors.

He was talking about Duel of the Fates and how, this duel is really over is the fate of Ana and Skywalker. Like, is he going to be trained, by Qui-Gon who you know, in theory, may have steered him clear. Of turning to the dark side may have, given him what he needed, uh, because he was sort of a, um, you know, a rebel Jedi who didn't adhere strictly to the Jedi teachings.

And maybe that's exactly what Anakin needed, or are the forces of evil gonna win and, come to dominate Anakin's Destiny. And when you read it that way, this movie is actually super effective and really clever. because what it's doing is that, that it's presenting you with main character who you assume is the main character.

And, you know, like you said, Hal is the voice of like what is supposed to, to be happening. He's the guy who's right and he's the guy who's who's telling it like it is and saying, what's

really going on. He's


one that's listening to Yeah.

And he dies, and now there's a gaping hole. And what ends up happening is thing he was trying to do, which was train Anakin turns into the biggest disaster that the Galaxy has ever seen. Right.

[01:13:40] HAL9000: because it it's, it's outta obligation. It's not coming from that

just original, organic place from Qui-Gona that came from.

[01:13:47] JONNY: Yeah,


[01:13:48] CHRIS: and there's there that element too of like children raising children, right? Because Qui-Gon does say like, you know, Obi-Wan is ready for the trials, he's ready. And they're like, Hmm, but are you, and that's the council. The council does not think that necessarily Obi-Wan is ready. And even if he's ready for the trials, he's not ready to be someone's Jedi master.

He's ready to be a J Knight, not a Jedi master. And there's a difference, right? So like, it's interesting because it is for me, because, because Obi-Wan does say Anakin, you are a brother to me. And so it's, it's a child raising another child when he isn't quite ready to be raising a

child, whereas why

God was ready to,


[01:14:25] JONNY: Josh, there was something that we used to agree upon in the past that my opinion of actually changed while watching a movie, which was, um, they always set up the, the downfall of Anakin as being sort of like, , the tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi and what The Phantom Menace, what we used to argue was that like, oh, it kind of takes away some of the guilt from Obi-Wan Kenobi because he's like, I never wanted to train him anyway.

my opinion of that kind of switched because it's like, I, I think it still puts some blame on NObi-Wan because Qui-Gon is the only one that sees the potential for Anakin that has to be trained. And what I saw with Qui-Gon, it's like whether or not, whatever, whatever they thought of Anakin, it didn't matter because his potential was so crazy that he has to be trained.

he might be too dangerous to be left alone. Like he has to be trained. And then, so by Obi-Wan, going with the council, Obi-Wan is reflective of the old ways that Qui-Gon was a maverick two, therefore, Anakin was trained by the old ways, which allowed him to be easily more corrupted by the emperor.

So and so, in a sense like Obi-Wan still has that guilt that I think he should and as a character have,

[01:15:39] HAL9000: that he, he substantively hasn't returned the Jedi. And it's to your point earlier, Chris, about, the thought that the Jedi were supposed to be corrupt. You know, that they're supposed to be depicted as being corrupt. You know, not so much. They were, they were certainly, they were right in this case, Qui-Gon was right.

And they were right. Cause Qui-Gon came at it with that kind of insight about Anakin's potential. And he would've presumably given Anakin's, the anakin, the conditions he would've needed to thrive or do well, or something like that. And the Jedi order were, uh, correct in their gatekeeping role there too.

[01:16:12] CHRIS: Well, I

think it's tough because you're right, Jon, when you say about Obi-Wan teaching him in the old ways, what I'm often thinking about, and I, and I got some more of it last night while I was watching Phantom Menace, because Obi-Wan can be so dismissive and so judgmental, he gets some of that from Qui-Gon.

And the way Qui-Gon can sometimes seem dismissive and sometimes seem judgmental. I don't know if this is just me projecting, I don't know if this is me digging for layers that aren't there. And it's possible if that's the case. But like I think a lot of times it's sort of like looking at a first year psychology student or somebody who graduated with an undergraduate degree in psychology.

They know just enough to be dangerous. And I think that's where Obi-Wan gets off. Obi-Wan does he emulates some of the things that Qui-Gon does as a, as a teacher, but I don't think Obi-Wan understands why Qui-Gon does those things

[01:17:01] HAL9000: Yeah, the o the only mistake was for them to not be sure and to have, have him try it anyway.

[01:17:07] CHRIS: Right. Right. And he ends up doing these things like the things that he does, even if they're similar to what Qui-Gon did, rather than endearing the Master to the Apprentice, the way that Qui-Gon endeared Obi-Wan to him, it alienates Anakin in a lot of ways because he doesn't understand this is what this tool can be used for.

I don't know, it was just something that I was thinking about is like he, he teaches, but since he doesn't know w what the tools do, he's misusing.

[01:17:34] JONNY: he's, he's learning how to be a teacher as he goes.

[01:17:39] CHRIS: Yeah.

There you go.

[01:17:40] JONNY: yeah,

[01:17:40] CHRIS: Because he is a Jedi night, not Jedi

[01:17:42] JONNY: yeah, exactly. He shouldn't be, like you said, it's like the older brother taking care of the younger brother. That's basically what he was.

[01:17:47] JOSH: going back to the Jedi and the Jedi Council, what do we think of the idea of the Jedi Council? Because, here, it sort of seems inevitable that, this is how the Jedi would organize themselves. but it wasn't a foregone conclusion. I do think it is interesting that the Jedi have this council in the capitol of the galaxy next to the seat of government.

[01:18:07] CHRIS: Hot take incoming hot. Take incoming. That's absolutely on par with what you're saying. I think Josh, I think Palpatine is right when he says the chancellor never should have brought them into, into this, killed him immediately. Like he's right. The chancellor never should have brought the Jedi into this, this trait dispute.

[01:18:24] HAL9000: or the Jedi? Or do you think the Jedi shouldn't be involved in politics so int intimately in the first place

too? Or,

[01:18:29] CHRIS: yeah, like this is not their role in the galaxy. Their role is not necessarily to, cuz they're not there to mediate, they're there to break down what's

[01:18:38] HAL9000: Should they upset the balance or should they maintain it? Balance being this delicate, complicate, intricate political mess that it is.

[01:18:46] CHRIS: I think the problem is that they don't, they do exactly what you were saying earlier. They don't commit either way. They're so non-committal that they end up doing the middle of the road thing, where like they interfere in some places. They don't interfere in others. I think they do. What oftentimes we see, this is my opinion, what we often see the US do.

Whether you believe that we should be in another country or not. We use a justification in one country that could be applied to another country and then we don't do that. So we use it as a defense in, it's just, it's not consistent. And I think that's what we see the Jedi do when they get involved here.

And the chan, they, they come in not in an open way, like the chancellor puts it to a vote and the Senate agrees that like, yeah, the Jedi need to be a mediator here. No, it's done totally in secret. So the Jedi really, what are they doing there? And so like I struggle with like, I, I think the, you know, obviously Palpatine's the bad guy.

I'm not saying he's secretly the good guy, but I do think there's an element of what he's saying with regards to what relationship did Jedi have? And then we see them fall even further when they get involved in war, which the fuck are they doing there? Um, so I think there's an element of like, no, he's right.

The chancellor certainly not secretly, I'll add a word there. The chancellor never should have secretly brought them into.

[01:20:01] JONNY: I feel like they were gonna get involved anyway, because kind of like, even if you take the inspiration of other movies like Seven Samurai and stuff like that, like if they are the guardians of peace and the galaxy, they're gonna catch wind of what's happening in Abu. And then AAD would be like, like if I'm not gonna, if, if you politicians are gonna do anything about, I'm gonna find myself a Jedi Knight.

And then they would've gotten

[01:20:21] HAL9000: And they're also gonna get caught up in the, and not be able to do anything in the end. No

different. It's like, this does a good job of just like, you know, you think that something, something needs to happen and, and someone needs to jump in there Batman style and just fix things up. And it's like, well, it, it's

just not

gonna happen.

[01:20:36] CHRIS: Yeah, that's not how


[01:20:37] HAL9000: You gotta go back to yourself.

[01:20:39] JOSH: Well, so, but it is interesting too, like the relationship between the government and the Jedi, like, you know, this is a plot point in the next movie. the Republic has no standing army. They don't have an army and, the Jedi sort of, I guess fill that, peacekeeping void, right?

But what is interesting is that they're not supposed to be an arm of the government, but they kind of become one. I think it's very interesting that their council is in proximity to the Senate Chamber and the capital of the galaxy and the seat of power and the galaxy.

I don't think, and again, I don't know the lore, you know, in the expanded universe, but it seems to me it wasn't always like that

[01:21:19] JONNY: Hmm. And also, uh, aesthetically speaking, they're towering over everything around them. And they're not on the

ground level with Yeah, they're, they're not on the ground level with the people. Cause I always thought if they were to have some sort of gather. and then probably the way that maybe Qui-Gon would even want it would be informal gathering at a local pub among the masses, ,

[01:21:41] HAL9000: Mm-hmm. , but they wouldn't be so

centralized. But we didn't know a lot about the Jedi at all coming into,

[01:21:47] JONNY: exactly. And, and,

[01:21:49] HAL9000: more

[01:21:49] CHRIS: we didn't.

[01:21:50] JONNY: and so

it's an interesting choice to just kind of telegraph to the audience. Like, these guys are outta touch by just having the aesthetics of where they are at, you know?

[01:22:00] JOSH: now whether or not, that's what George Lucas actually I don't know.

I don't know how, what do you think? Yeah, I mean like, I think he intended some of this. to your point, how, like, you know, stuff like

the, um, no, no.

Yeah, it's still in there. Like I do ultimately think that George Lucas feels that the Jedi were and are, righteous.

[01:22:24] HAL9000: Maybe it's just paradoxical. And that, that's just part of it. I mean, I, I don't know. I I, I appreciate that it, that phantom Menace especially, gives us just this rich room to ruminate and, and think about all these, these intricate complex things for which the human race is still, you know, hashing out long-term, viable solutions for anyway.

[01:22:42] JONNY: I will, say this. , there's a lot of things that, , happens in all the prequels, but it's also evident in The Phantom Menace where like things happen because they have to happen.

And, and like, and that's still like, I I, I still can't get my head around certain things where they're like, uh, yeah, Watto will free Anakin, but he's not gonna free your mom so bye.

And it's like, he's a Jedi master with a Jedi knight with these people, and they're gonna go to like the Republic anyway, where the republic has like infinite amount of money. It's like you can take his mom

[01:23:12] CHRIS: But I did know. But you know what

I, I did hear a counter-argument to that actually, incidentally, I heard it today, uh, from somebody I share my office with when I was talking to her about it. And I was like, and I'm not necessarily sold on it, but I thought it was interesting cause I hadn't really thought too much about it before.

Although it does make me think less of the Jedi is that the reason Qui-Gon does not take, , Shmi Skywalker

[01:23:35] HAL9000: Is it a slippery slope?

[01:23:37] CHRIS: no, it's not the slippery slope argument. It's that, it's that then Anakin can't be trained properly because now he still has that attachment to his mother. And the question also becomes, if this is how Anakin gets out of a life of slavery, his mother will let him go.

But if they're both, if they both leave together, would she really let him, the only family member that she has, would she really let him be taken away by the Jedi to be trained? And that's also ultimately why he comes back to, is because he's always looking back. She tells him not to look back, but he does when he comes back again, I'm not saying I'm

necessarily sold

[01:24:12] HAL9000: yeah.

And I,

think, you know, like it's mythic story language, it just, it's, it has to be understood that if he, if he leaves, I guess that's kinda your original point. Just that, it had to be that way. And so like

the, the, it

raises questions though.

[01:24:26] CHRIS: to

[01:24:26] JONNY: like it had to happen, but, or, but the way I see it too, it's like she doesn't have to go with him on his adventures


[01:24:33] HAL9000: she just goes to live on Hawaii

[01:24:34] JONNY: a condo and Yeah, they could have put in like an

Hawaii planet or Exactly like a condo and


and be like, look, you might not, you might not see your, your kid again for like, maybe 10 or 15 years, but like, put her in a nice, comfortable place, like an alder ramp before it blows up,

you know?

Like, and they would've, they

[01:24:52] HAL9000: But she has

to be just another person. Like the Jedi don't,

[01:24:54] JONNY: But then, but then that kind of goes into like, well, how much of a maverick is Qui-Gon? How much is, is dogma? How much is, and since it's not really there as an audience, I'm like, dude, there's no one stopping you from taking his

[01:25:06] HAL9000: Why


just take

out a gun?

[01:25:08] JONNY: Yeah.

[01:25:09] JOSH: could have lived next door to, uh, Cyril's mom in that,

[01:25:11] JONNY: know, with the, with the, cereal and all that.

[01:25:14] HAL9000: It turns out Watto is willing to give up. If he brings a gun,

[01:25:17] JONNY: Mm-hmm.

[01:25:18] JOSH: well, here's the thing. I mean, lemme tell you one better. why doesn't Qui-Gon free all the slaves

[01:25:23] JONNY: Yeah.

[01:25:24] JOSH: on

[01:25:25] HAL9000: why doesn't everybody do everything?

[01:25:27] JOSH: well, no, I mean, I'm being serious.

[01:25:28] CHRIS: This

is what I mean. The Jedi, they pick and choose.

[01:25:31] JOSH: well, the same thing with your, uh, your analogy to like us foreign policy, Chris, is that like, know, if we're really gonna walk the walk here, you know, if we use the thing as a justification here, not there, like, There's nothing really stopping Qui-Gon from freeing all the slaves on Tatooine. He even says, I didn't come here to free slaves, but the thing stopping him is he doesn't want to upset the status quo.

[01:25:54] HAL9000: Mm-hmm.

[01:25:55] JOSH: You know, which is, I mean, feel about that, how you feel, but that's really what it is. I mean, like you

[01:26:00] JONNY: But also, he doesn't take her is because of the money or whatever. And it's like, okay, fine. Leave her there for like, I don't know, a couple weeks. Go get the shit that Watto likes, get like 10 times the amount, bring it back and be like, this is enough

Like, like give,

give Wato enough money to retire. Yeah. But like, but even then, like he could have like, like even Obi-Wan, like all of 'em, like even even Padme at some point be like, Hey, hi, I'm a queen. We should just go back and give

Watto whatever he wants and bring, and bring, bring Shmi to Naboo. Like would've been told.

[01:26:32] CHRIS: Like,

[01:26:32] JONNY: and they never do that.

[01:26:33] CHRIS: Qui-Gon feels, he feels confident enough in what he feels he needs to do to cheat when the, when the chance Cube is rolled.

[01:26:39] JONNY: Yeah. Yeah. remember when the huts tried to stop Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi from doing whatever the hell he wanted to do?

[01:26:48] HAL9000: He killed everybody.

[01:26:50] JOSH: Chris, you're right though. I think what your coworkers said was right. I think maybe Qui-Gon, had he lived, I think he may very well have fled some way to free,


[01:27:01] HAL9000: Obi-Wan's a

[01:27:02] JOSH: I,

[01:27:02] HAL9000: company man

[01:27:03] JOSH: no, I mean, seriously, this is

[01:27:05] JONNY: but even still, like his mom's

[01:27:06] JOSH: we just learned

[01:27:07] JONNY: his mom retire. Not be a slave.

[01:27:10] JOSH: No, I mean, like, we just learned, you know, last summer, whenever it was in the one show, he was, he was taken away from his family. He, he had a brother he thinks


[01:27:20] HAL9000: name

[01:27:21] JOSH: you know,

[01:27:21] HAL9000: I have to assume

[01:27:22] JOSH: named Owen. I have to assume it's a different Owen , Um, . but yeah, I mean, this is how it's done. . I think it's as simple as that.

And, you know, do with that information what you will, I think it has, it has implications

[01:27:36] HAL9000: I think that's the best answer. Cause that that's exactly what Anakin would, you know, kind of reacts to it in, in part anyway is you know, that, that it's just part and parcel. It wasn't a circumstance thing, it was just characteristic of the Jedi to let that go. And, she dies. She dies.

[01:27:51] JOSH: And I don't think that that, critique is unfounded.

[01:27:53] HAL9000: certainly

not from mannequin's perspective, at

least in the


[01:27:56] JONNY: But it's just one of those things where it's like, uh, there, whatever the, whatever explanation that was given to us in the movie, I just felt like, I don't think that's strong enough given the

righteousness of these characters.

[01:28:07] JOSH: yeah, it's a fridge

[01:28:08] JONNY: Yeah. It's like, Hey, can we bring the slave? And it's like, uh, no. I'm like, okay, fuck it.

Let's go . It's just

like, it's like, wait, wait, wait. Whoa, whoa. Push back a little


[01:28:16] HAL9000: You think Yoda's worked up enough of a pension by then to just give somebody a break?

[01:28:21] CHRIS: It's in Republic Credits, man, don't you? Listen, why don't Republic Credits don't

[01:28:26] HAL9000: An infinite amount of them would not be enough. Yeah.

[01:28:29] JONNY: know.

[01:28:29] JOSH: do we think so the whole. Being separated from his mother is the whole reason why, according to George Lucas, he made Anakin nine years old instead of, you know, maybe closer in

age, uh, to Luke. Because, because that was so fundamental in his mind to Anakin's downfall, right? Like his attachment

[01:28:49] HAL9000: Yeah. I wonder sometimes, like if, maybe Shmi's character could have just been like sick or needed, like dependent on him or something, but he could have been

[01:28:56] JOSH: Yes,

exactly. He left, He he, left, she needed him, and then she dies without him. He feels guilty. It

[01:29:03] JONNY: Mm-hmm.

[01:29:04] JOSH: seems

[01:29:04] CHRIS: There's any, number of other things they could have done other than

[01:29:07] JONNY: Well, also, pat, pat May is also the real, real, real reason why he kind of goes ballistic from the

[01:29:14] CHRIS: Well, no, the

[01:29:15] JONNY: well, no, no, no, no. no. Episode.

[01:29:17] CHRIS: he slaughters. He

[01:29:18] JONNY: Yeah. I I, I, I know I was gonna say episode two, I totally forgot about that. But like, in the end, like it's, it's not just they, they give him multiple attachments for him to, to latch onto,

[01:29:27] JOSH: Yeah. But also the thing with the mother though, like losing his mother is why he sees that he can, he can lose them. And he's, he's

determined not to

repeat that with Padme.

[01:29:40] JONNY: That's just true.

[01:29:41] JOSH: so it seems like we all kind of feel like maybe Anakin could have been older without.

[01:29:47] CHRIS: we all have, we all have attachments that we develop. And I think that you could make the argument, especially cuz it's a fictional character. Absolutely. If you wanted to go a different route and say Qui-Gon lives into the second movie and he lives long enough that when he, that when Qui-Gon dies, that's the attachment that sends Anakin over the edge.

Like he lost his father figure. He could've, like, I think there's any number of ways to say he maintains an attachment, he realizes that loss is imminent and he doesn't want that to be the case, especially when somebody says, Hey, loss is not imminent. Um, I don't, I don't think the age thing, I, I think you can do it that way.

I don't think you have to do it that way. To use that as sort of a justification. He needs to be this age because it just feels a

[01:30:35] HAL9000: And I think that this, the only reason it's a problem is, well, to put it one way, it it's not a problem if you read The Novelization. Cause if you're just reading the Novelization as a book, then you can imagine him as, as being a mature nine year old, you can imagine, you know, queen Amidala as being like a, a true like child queen or whatever.

Like she's kind of specified to be, but just doesn't come across that way in the movie itself. Like story-wise, I don't really have a problem with it. It's just kind of, it's just kind of a stretch to imagine Queen Amidala and, you know, Jake Lloyd, nine years old as just being

[01:31:07] JOSH: Future lover. Yeah. Uh, now the, uh, the whole thing with, you know, queen Amidala is, uh, is the ruler of this planet at 14 years old is also something that kind of strains

[01:31:17] HAL9000: at

[01:31:17] JOSH: to me.

Yes, yes.

Elected at

[01:31:20] HAL9000: Mm-hmm.

[01:31:21] JONNY: actually, uh,

[01:31:21] JOSH: interesting

[01:31:22] HAL9000: don't vote for.

[01:31:22] JOSH: elected.

[01:31:23] JONNY: with the way that she, uh, talks to literally everybody in and out of costume, I was picturing her like campaign commercials, just like, like, please elect me for, you know, it's just like how, and then people were like this 14 year old that, that this is the one ,

[01:31:39] JOSH: Yeah.

[01:31:39] JONNY: it seem like an odd thing.

[01:31:41] JOSH: Well, let's talk about, Padme slash Queen Amidala. as a character.

[01:31:45] JONNY: I think on paper there's a lot of potential for someone to be really interesting. She's living a double life. she's very curious. , she has a big heart, but these are all things on paper that the movie's telling me. But like, it's nothing that I'm seeing in the actual. , portrayal of the character, not because of Natalie Portman, but because of the choices that that was put onto the character, that this is like, she now does A, B, C, D, and E, but like, it, there's just no, like

[01:32:19] HAL9000: She needed a

real spark of just,

of, of something there. There needs to be a twinkle in her eye at some point, and there just never is.

[01:32:25] JONNY: and as I said before,

[01:32:27] CHRIS: told me you didn't show.

[01:32:28] JONNY: exactly, like, it's one of the scenes where it's like Obi-Wan's the guy with the blue lights here. That's how I know he's Obi-Wan, like pad MA's the

[01:32:34] CHRIS: Signifiers, they end

[01:32:36] HAL9000: she's an active character. It, it just, there, there needs to be some like, and, and this maybe it's not

fair to expect of the actor Of course, you know, but, uh, you know, the, the same thing that you said, Liam Neeson really pulled off. Natalie Portman just, you know, wasn't in a position to, but maybe it was just kind of needed.


[01:32:53] JONNY: She's the most constrained one in the whole movie, more than the Jedi Knight. She's very, very constrained in her acting. And I know that's a choice from Lucas to make her do that, but it's like, to what end, because all I see is someone who's very constrained. And then when she, even when she sees Anakin, she's like, Hey, how are you?

Are you cold? Oh, okay. And it's just like, are you connecting to Anakin or are you pretending to be someone so you're not getting

caught? And then she's pretending And and, yeah. And then she's pretending to be someone to not get caught. You're not allowing her to breathe to just be vulnerable, you know?

[01:33:27] HAL9000: Or at least when she's in her handmade and mode, let her, let, let the style change, you know,

[01:33:32] JONNY: Exactly. Let her be like a totally different person when she's a handmaid and not the queen, but she

acts like the

[01:33:36] JOSH: I think it

[01:33:37] JONNY: handmaid.

[01:33:38] JOSH: does change a little, ,

but just maybe not enough.


[01:33:42] HAL9000: a few times, I guess. But

[01:33:44] JOSH: Yeah.

[01:33:44] JONNY: a couple of smiles.

[01:33:45] JOSH: Well, let me throw something else at you. because how, you're right. She is an act of character. but like one of the things, under the heading of telling, not showing that I think this movie is guilty of is we hear about how her people are suffering and dying, but we see none of that.

[01:34:00] HAL9000: it's not about the people. We don't, we don't care about them. Star Wars has never been about the, the al, the people on Al Deron. Nobody cares. It doesn't matter. It

matters for


[01:34:08] JOSH: well, that is very true except for the fact that this is her motivation. She talks about it being her motivation and for us it's a very abstract.

kind of idea actually how, what you just invoke is actually I think, very apt.

Like, in Star Wars, by Star Wars, I mean Star Wars are new hope. Um, we just take as red, that blowing up a planet is really bad. Right? So, so, but we don't see it because,

[01:34:30] HAL9000: We see it in Leah's eyes and, and, and, and that her performance that that's allowed to react that way, you know, but,

you know, Amidala on screen, just doesn't really, convey that you understand that. Of course, she's the queen of the planet. Her people are being killed. She, and, and she's taking action and everything.

But I don't know, there's just something

[01:34:49] JONNY: also,

[01:34:50] HAL9000: uh,

[01:34:51] JONNY: I, I, I noticed in this viewing, I don't think that people are getting killed until the battle because Obi-Wan says it's a bluff. They're doing this. So because they said, don't make radio contact, and they're saying, we're dying, we're dying, we're dying. He

said they're, he's like this. He said, you're being used as bait, don't respond.

And she keeps watching the same message of them

saying They're dying, but they're not actually. Exactly. Cuz they're not actually dying. It's under the threat of getting killed. Because if they start killing them, they're not, she's not gonna sign a treaty.

So it's the threat of it.

[01:35:22] JOSH: point.

[01:35:22] CHRIS: as long as we're talking about that, do we actually ever, cause I watched it last night and I had like a, a little bit of a Scooby-Doo like moment. Um, do we ever figure out who it is that answers the communique so that Maul can find them?

[01:35:36] HAL9000: no, I don't, I

[01:35:37] JONNY: even know.

[01:35:38] CHRIS: Because Maul, because Maul and Palpatine when they're talking, um, you know, the sig they say that the signal is traced back, back to Tatooine. So like somebody answers, but I don't, and I was like, did I just miss it? Because I was like

[01:35:51] HAL9000: No, I don't, I don't think you missed it. I, I

[01:35:53] JONNY: Oh, well there was a scene where, um, when she finds Anakin in the cargo hold, she's watching the message again.

So, but I wonder if, I wonder if maybe it's implied that she responded in like behind the

[01:36:07] HAL9000: she was off the

ship by that

point. I don't see how she could have

[01:36:09] JOSH: actually, yeah, that's a good point. I don't really know. Maybe unless they had a, like a tracker that he's referring to. because he says, when Nute Gunray is saying, they're out of a range. Citius says not for a sth, and then that's Maul's introduction and he says he will find your lost chip.

So maybe he had some way of

[01:36:28] JONNY: Nefarious fifth

[01:36:29] HAL9000: he says Trace and they set that up. I don't know. I

[01:36:32] CHRIS: that's, that's my

[01:36:33] HAL9000: logically, I think that there's a, I think that there's other possible ways technically or whatever, but like the movie really seems to give us all the pieces

[01:36:40] JOSH: of gloss over

[01:36:40] JONNY: Yeah. They, they do stuff like that. Like, like Mace, Windu, uh, like, Qui-Gon says to the council, like, I fought a bag guy with a lightsaber. I think he's a Sith. They're like, oh, we'll investigate that. And then they fight him again, and he dies and goes, yep. He was a Sith. It's like, it's the same evidence that you had before

[01:36:57] CHRIS: right? no,



[01:36:59] JONNY: new development in this ,

you know? It's like, I know. It's like, no. It's like, you know, they fought him twice the first time, like

maybe the second

[01:37:07] HAL9000: had a red lightsaber.

[01:37:09] JOSH: well, Like to be, fair, I think the second time I think they had No, yeah, you're right.

[01:37:15] JONNY: Yeah.

[01:37:16] CHRIS: No. Yeah.


[01:37:17] JOSH: say, I was gonna say

that, uh, they had

[01:37:20] JONNY: There was

this, like there's nothing new.

[01:37:22] JOSH: with the second encounter, like they had the more extensive encounter with Obi-Wan who, may have

given them.

[01:37:28] JONNY: might have just been like, yeah, he's right, but like, why

[01:37:30] CHRIS: I, I'm just gonna say this. I'm just gonna say this. Josh, please don't hurt your back reaching for that one,

[01:37:36] JOSH: Well, okay,

[01:37:39] HAL9000: They could, they could just tell.

[01:37:41] CHRIS: They could just, they just knew.

[01:37:43] HAL9000: Darth Maul told him with his mind using his

mouth off screen.

[01:37:48] CHRIS: survived. He survived. So there you go.

[01:37:50] JONNY: didn't, they didn't. .Well, didn't they also add the shot of him falling in half? As, as George Lucas is telling the audience that he's definitively dead and then

he just changed his mind like

[01:37:58] HAL9000: There's no way. There's

no way around it. There's, you do not come back from that. He is unequivoc. Une unequivocally. Undeniably certifiably dead.

[01:38:07] JONNY: In this movie, that's true because I think in, there's an interview that George Lucas said, like, after the movie came out, goes, oh yeah. Like I added that shot. So people didn't, didn't think that he would ever come

[01:38:16] CHRIS: That's hilarious. I

[01:38:17] HAL9000: I remember rolling my eyes so hard when hearing, cause I wasn't watching Clone Wars at the time, but hearing that, oh, we resurrected Darth Maul. And it's like,

okay, this

cartoon show really sounds like, come on. The movie told me

he died.

[01:38:30] CHRIS: I will say, as a quick aside, it does set up a really, really nice, um, finale of nice final confrontation between Maul and Obi-Wan

in the

[01:38:40] JONNY: really

[01:38:40] HAL9000: That is nice. That is

[01:38:42] JOSH: It's

very cool.

Yeah, no,

it's very cool. no, I mean, look, I think, I mean, let's talk about Darth Maul for a second. I think a lot of people were really bummed out that he died because he was such a cool character his, uh, his potential wasn't explored.

[01:38:55] JONNY: He was the boba

[01:38:56] JOSH: George.

[01:38:57] JONNY: the prequel trilogy. Like people are like, who is this guy? And then he's gone.

[01:39:01] JOSH: Yeah.

I mean, arguably it's like a real triumph of, , design

[01:39:05] HAL9000: Nowadays, maybe they would've just brought him back for a little limited mini-series prequel to Phantom or something, but it's like, oh, we want more of him and we're doing the Clone Wars.

[01:39:12] CHRIS: he reminds me of Vader. He reminds me of Vader in that like, you have this, he has this Bastille presence, this rage, this, this unstoppable. He just keeps coming. Right? Because we see that with, with Qui-Gon and he just, he just keeps coming. I really, but it's a different design. They didn't just redo Vader.

It's a different approach. And I, and I kind of dug that. I really liked the Maul character.

[01:39:37] JONNY: that's actually, uh, uh, one moment. I mean, I think everyone's in agreement that the, the, the highlight of Phantom Menace is the Duel of the Fates duel. But, um, and that's the one thing everyone comes to, like, like all movies aside, like Duel of the Fates has like that awesome duel, but that one part where they're in the force field hallway, that's a great moment of showing and not telling because that's North Maul, walking like a Panther.

He's like, ant, and then you see Qui-Gon sitting there, meditating,

getting centered, and then you see ob Yeah.


[01:40:06] HAL9000: almost.

[01:40:07] JONNY: yeah, and, Obi-Wan is like anxious cuz he's so far away and he's like, he's like, he's like, I gotta get there. I gotta get there. And like, that's really good. showing, not telling.

[01:40:17] HAL9000: you, you, you you can take that and, and make, illustrate our point earlier about the, you know, Qui-Gon was the, the one that was just zen and focused and was presumably gonna train Anakin Wright Anakin's or Obi-Wan is, uh, anxious about the task when it comes to him and, and, and, and fumbles it or whatever. And Maul was just

going to kill everyone anyway if he got the

[01:40:35] CHRIS: no. And yeah, no. And Maul. And I really, I really like looking back now, I like that moment because when I was younger, I liked when, when Obi-Wan comes through and it's nonstop action until he is knocked into the pit. Right. Until he's actually, he's got the upper hand.

[01:40:49] HAL9000: his balance is upset, but he's, he's, he is in the right, as far as our sensibilities as the audience, we want

[01:40:54] CHRIS: Yes. But I, right, and I love that, that actual, that moment now that I'm a little older, that moment when Qui-Gon gets through, he's dueling and then Obi-Wan gets stuck and there's like this, like the music is almost non-existent.

There's this, like, this, whispering sound that we hear, this whispering effect as the two of them duel in silence.

and then Maul gloats with his face. He doesn't say anything to Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan yells. No. But that's it. I like the sort of almost absence of sound. It's so sinister and it's so inevitable that Qui-Gon is going to lose this duel. Um, I just, I, I actually, that's my favorite part of the duel and it never was.

[01:41:39] JONNY: Yeah. And like, just like as soon, like the millisecond, the door opens, like the way that Liam Neeson's eyes flash open to complete attention and he runs in and I think as a character, he kind of knows that like he has to keep the attack on him because Darth Maul is better. And then there's this cool moment, like right before he even dies, where they're both like not doing anything, but they're both just kind of like checking each other out.

Like, what are you gonna do next? And then, uh, unfortunately Qui-Gon's the one that Fal throughs cuz he gets, you know, knocked in the face. But like it's all in that quiet moment

we are Obi-Wan watching it just being like, oh fuck. Oh fuck. Oh

[01:42:18] CHRIS: there's, yeah, there's also, there's also that moment where like, he doesn't wait for Obi-Wan, just goes on the attack and he Absolutely. You see the more

[01:42:26] HAL9000: I guess he could have run toward one, couldn't he? Let, let's regroup. I mean,

[01:42:30] CHRIS: he could and

[01:42:31] JONNY: But I think he knew

he couldn't turn his back on him. Yeah. Like, I think he knew that like, that Darth Maul was like, was gonna out, was out matching both of them. And I think he knew that like, he just had to be relentless

[01:42:42] CHRIS: but the,

[01:42:43] JONNY: Obi-Wan could catch

[01:42:44] CHRIS: but the other element of this though is that the other thing Qui-Gon could have done, and I'm not saying you're necessarily gonna do this in the moment, but like, why are you fighting Maul in the first place?

[01:42:52] JONNY: Mm-hmm. , why not talk

[01:42:54] HAL9000: He had a red lightsaber.

[01:42:55] CHRIS: Because he had a red light

saber. Because you need to, you need to be

able to, he's,

[01:43:00] JOSH: sided

[01:43:00] HAL9000: We ran toward them with our blue lightsabers because

[01:43:02] CHRIS: he, right? He's, he's a Sith. You're fighting him because you, you need to know where he came from. You're fighting him so that everything else can happen. Because whatever Maul does, as long as he doesn't stop the rest of the battle from happening,

he's inconsequential. You

have him trapped. He's trapped. You have him in a fucking cage that his lightsaber can't get him out of. If you back up, then you can either, he's gonna come out and fight you together on ground you're already aware of, or he's gonna stay in there and be hole up. Like there are other things you could have done.

I'm not, this is not a criticism of the way the movie is written or anything. I like that. We see there's, I think this is, for me, there's a connection between Qui-Gon and Obi. One Qui-Gon can see in Obi-Wan the kind of impulsivity he had that was younger, that sometimes made him a rebel. Or a renegade. Or a maverick.

And we finally get to see some of that, um, impulsivity besides when he stays in the Jedi council chambers and disagrees. And Obi-Wan says, why do you do that master? You know, and it's like the, we're seeing these, this little bit of insight into who Qui-Gon sometimes is or maybe was when he was younger. And I think we get that here when you're right.

He does need to press the attack only if he's going to defeat Maul, as opposed to No, he's trapped. Let him make the move. I have the high.

[01:44:27] HAL9000: And this, this movie better than two and three. I, I. well, at least better than three, is good at, at least enough of the time, even when it's telling you, rather than showing you, it's still showing you by telling you, rather than just telling you so that you can read all these things out of it.

[01:44:42] JONNY: Mm-hmm.

[01:44:43] JOSH: mm

[01:44:43] HAL9000: that

sequence especially maybe,

[01:44:45] JONNY: yeah. That, that sequence. I wonder too, like, cuz there's a, there is a language to choreography and Nick Ard, the guy that, uh, choreographed all that, like he said, he put a lot of thought into, um,

their motions and styles and stuff like that. And I, I feel like, I wonder if that's, that was an arena where George Lucas like, just stepped back and like allowed the stunt choreographer just kind of do it.

And he was like, that looks good. That

[01:45:13] HAL9000: yeah. There's no


[01:45:14] JONNY: that.

[01:45:15] CHRIS: good choreographers use combat to tell a story.

[01:45:18] JONNY: Exactly. You know, like, I've heard stories about how when they were doing Rise a Skywalker and they had a, a, a thing, like a different choreographer and they were trying to tell, uh, Adam Driver to do this and that, and he goes, no, Kyla wouldn't do that.

He would do it this way. And like, but that's all about showing and not telling. And so, I, no, I just find, I just think it's a, it is a cool example how that dual, the faith is the one thing in the movie. Whether people hate the movie or love the movie or older generation,

[01:45:45] HAL9000: Yeah. Yeah. Since, since you brought up Rising Skywalker, I wanna just, Just highlight just for a second. Uh, just the, the real opposite portrayal of Palpatine that we get in Phantom Mena and Rise of Skywalker, where it's the dastardly behind the scenes, you know, political machinations and, and everything to, to rise to power versus, you know, the return of Mecca zombie Hitler in a


[01:46:09] CHRIS: Yeah.

No. It's funny

[01:46:11] JONNY: is a journey.

[01:46:13] CHRIS: actually though, you know how you mentioned something too that I wanted to just really quickly bring up. You mentioned earlier that we're seeing some of this battle through the eyes of, of Obi-Wan, uh, some of this dual, and it, it struck me, I don't know about the rest of you. It struck me as kind of super odd in this like viewing that the only time we actually see anything happening, literally from a character's eyes is when three PO is As Anakin says, you're great, I'm gonna tell mom not to dismantle you. Bye.

And like

[01:46:41] JOSH: that is very bizarre.

[01:46:42] CHRIS: it's a

[01:46:43] JONNY: shot?

[01:46:44] JOSH: It is a very bizarre, , filmmaking choice. I don't know why,

[01:46:48] HAL9000: the droids are supposed to

show us the whole story. Uh, it's supposed to be from their point of view all along. Anyway,

that's just a literal instance of it, maybe.

[01:46:55] JOSH: That's it.

[01:46:56] JONNY: But like I, I feel like when they shot that, I feel like when they shot that, they're like, yeah, maybe in the edit we'll put some filters on it with some data of readouts, like in the Terminator or something like that. And then they're like, ah, fuck it,

[01:47:07] CHRIS: Fuck it. It's fine.

[01:47:09] JONNY: They're

like, it's fine. Yeah, it's fine.

[01:47:10] JOSH: you're exactly right though. That's why that's there.

[01:47:12] HAL9000: I don't know

if that's deliberate. That's just Snarky

Snarky take on

it, but, but I

[01:47:16] JOSH: No, but that's the kinda thing. That's the kind of thing. because, so let's talk about three P for a second and then I have uh, one last thing I wanna cover. three PO has no role in this movie, but


has to be in it, uh, uh, uh,

[01:47:28] JONNY: He looked really cool.

[01:47:29] JOSH: no, yeah, he looked really cool.


[01:47:30] HAL9000: why did he build, I think three PO and R two should have switched places. Three PO should have been the stuffy, you know, Queens droid or whatever. And R two's the, you know, gadget thing, you know, that can do everything. Help with the pod racer that Anakin would've wanted to build. Or soup

soup up or whatever.

[01:47:46] JONNY: have been in his pod helping him out.

[01:47:48] JOSH: I think that's a really good idea. Um, my thing that I was gonna say was that, I think three po should have been TC 14 at the very beginning of the movie, and instead of Jar Jar, they're stuck with this, you know, droid servant who sneaks down to the planet with them by accident and like, he becomes the sidekick.

I mean, that's my sort of rewrite if we're gonna doing that. but Hal, like, you're right, the like hot rod droid, that would've been more useful to his mother,

[01:48:16] CHRIS: Yeah.

[01:48:17] JOSH: reason why

[01:48:18] HAL9000: Oh, great. A protocol Droid. Thanks,

[01:48:20] CHRIS: Right. Yeah. As a as a slave,

[01:48:22] HAL9000: I made you this macaroni sculpture.

[01:48:25] JOSH: Yeah, thanks Annie. I'll have a lot of use for learning decorum and communicating

[01:48:30] CHRIS: Yeah. I, I, I entertain a lot of, a lot

[01:48:33] JOSH: with.

[01:48:33] CHRIS: dignitaries.

[01:48:34] HAL9000: it's the only thing. I mean, come on, I pulled it out of the trash. Like I didn't, I don't know. by the way, I wanted to point this out. Did you guys ever notice in your million times seeing it in the same day in the theater, that in the background of Wado shop, there is a, a set of, you know, three p ar or, you know, plating that has, it's all there except for the one lower leg,

just like, just like three PO in the original trilogy.

Where has that one silver leg?

It's just, it's, it's just there. If you go back and look like when jar's knocking stuff over, you can see it. There's

just this three po suit of armor. And so as a kid, it's like, you know, we have episode one and I have episodes four, five, and six. So it's like, okay, that's where his armor comes from.

Why else would

it be there?

[01:49:17] JOSH: No, well, that, well, no, I'm sure that's true. You know what sucks though, is that like, and they tried to recapture this a little bit in the force awakens, but you know what's cool about his one silver leg is that it suggests this, this large history backstory. So, I mean, so I mean, like, while it is super cool that that's like a little Easter egg there that, I mean, has actually never really followed up on, because next time we see him, he's, he's not wearing gold armor, right?

He's wearing

[01:49:43] HAL9000: Silver. Yeah. It doesn't work.

[01:49:45] JONNY: he, it's, it's,

it's just like rusted metal sort of.


[01:49:49] HAL9000: that It is. But yeah.

[01:49:50] CHRIS: Right.

[01:49:51] JONNY: one thing I did notice, from the theater days to now, is that when the Jedi arrive on Choson, after everything's done and the emperor is talking to them, and in the background you see them walking down the, the ramp,

there's a stand in from Mace Wedu who's not, who's not Samuel Jackson and Exactly. And he's in like two shots. And you see the clearest days like that is not Samuel

[01:50:14] JOSH: No, no.

[01:50:15] JONNY: they never did anything about it.

[01:50:17] JOSH: by the way, just outta curiosity, what version of the movie, ,did you guys watch? Uh, you watch the theatrical with, the Puppet Yoda or the one with the cg Yoda that's on Disney Plus?

[01:50:26] JONNY: on Disney

[01:50:27] CHRIS: Same here,



[01:50:28] HAL9000: I meant to watch the HDTV version, which would've, I say that, I mean the, the same transfer that we got on the original D V D, but in high definition, and I didn't, I thought I had a copy of it saved, and I, I didn't, so I just had to watch the regular, kind of modern official version like everybody else did here.

[01:50:46] JOSH: Yeah. Like, that's not a change. That really bothers me that much. It, it gives the prequel trilogy some

[01:50:51] HAL9000: Or the go to CG Yoda.

[01:50:53] JOSH: Yeah. The CG Yoda, and

[01:50:55] JONNY: Well, the, the,


[01:50:56] HAL9000: sense to do.

[01:50:58] JONNY: I don't, I don't, like it for the standalone movie of the Phantom Menace, but if you're gonna give the continuity of one, two, and three, it makes more sense for him to be cg. Cuz


[01:51:08] JOSH: the Puppet, the puppet was a little

[01:51:10] HAL9000: It was a weird

puppet, but

[01:51:12] JONNY: yeah,

[01:51:13] JOSH: So,

[01:51:14] CHRIS: I think the puppet is tough to do younger.

[01:51:17] HAL9000: he was, he was still getting his blood transfusions every week at this point. He didn't go to Deba for 20 years to get stale.

[01:51:23] JOSH: right, right. Um, okay. Well the last thing I wanna talk about, um, midichlorians discuss

[01:51:32] JONNY: no

[01:51:32] CHRIS: no pass.

[01:51:34] HAL9000: I, it's interesting watching this version cuz this is, I mean this is the, this was the first time I'd actually watched the Phantom Menez proper in a very long time. you know, as opposed to a fan edit version And getting to the midichlorians, I was prepared to think they were okay and Qui-Gon kept talking about them and kept talking about them and get really hammered home how, Nope, this is the technical mechanism that this mystical, spiritual thing.

Takes place within. And I know you can behind the scenes, or Davey probably said something about whatever, but me watching the movie, that's what it's telling me. And I, I, it, it just wa the only thing I can think of is that what two things. It gives a quick, easy way to just tell us that Anakin is just supercharged virgin birth, Messiah, whatever, which is kind of weird.

Anyway, and it ties into the, the symbiosis theme. Cause uh, I mean, since you brought up my fan edit my fan edit kind of elegantly, just removes the, the symbiosis thing almost completely by not setting it up early in the movie and not having midichlorians either. But the midichlorians I vote no on Midians for the same reason why everybody's talked about it for, you know, 24 years.

[01:52:41] JONNY: it, it's, it's interesting because like, it, it's all kind of unnecessary. We don't need midichlorians to know that he's strong in the Force. All he has to say with his magical Force powers is like, I have never sensed anyone more powerful than

[01:52:53] HAL9000: Yeah, sure. If, if it were developed further and it was good, that'd be

a different question. But like,

[01:52:58] JONNY: Yeah. But

[01:52:59] HAL9000: anywhere, so what we

actually get from 'em, I don't

think are worth whatever,

[01:53:03] JONNY: a barometer. And then, and then the, uh, the, the virgin birth, also not necessary. The whole prophecy is not necessary. Like, it's

[01:53:10] CHRIS: Right?

[01:53:11] JOSH: the prophecy,

[01:53:12] HAL9000: don't mind the

prophecy as much as the virgin birth aspect. It's like,


is, what is this?

Prophecy is vague and can be whatever, but First of birth is just, just plain weird.

[01:53:21] JONNY: But The literal Jesus thing, it's like, oh

man. Like,

[01:53:25] JOSH: Yeah. It's very, it's very heavy handed and I don't think it's necessary. I think it would be very interesting if they just said, um, yeah, his

[01:53:34] JONNY: His father

yeah, a long

time ago he died when he was a little, when he was a baby or something

[01:53:39] CHRIS: Josh. I know you don't like, I know you don't like the phrase lazy writing, so I'm just gonna say I think it's bad writing. I just think it's bad writing. I think we have, because we already

[01:53:47] HAL9000: It's just one

[01:53:48] CHRIS: like when they're,

[01:53:49] HAL9000: many. And

[01:53:50] CHRIS: when they're, when they're sharing a meal, you're right.

We don't need the midichlorians when they're sharing a meal. He's like, I'm the only human who can pod race. And he says, wow, you must have reflexes like a Jedi. If you could do that and catches jar jar's tongue, it's like, great. And then he sees the kind of reflexes. They could have just done a couple of cuts to Qui-Gon watching Anakin if they, the pod race had maybe been a little more impressive in terms of like reaction time and everything.

And it's like,

no, there's some, yeah. No, I'm, I, I just, you know, I, I agree. I think

[01:54:19] HAL9000: is the prophecy just a real world bleeding into the, the story of this being a prequel and we know this character and everything

[01:54:26] CHRIS: just bad writing.

[01:54:27] JONNY: Yeah, he could've

just been like I have never seen a kid with more potential in my life. We have to train him. And then that could, there doesn't need to be a prophecy because it's also inconsequential to the story. Cuz you keep talking about the prophecy, but like the, like if you take out the prophecy, it's the same story with the same consequences.

[01:54:44] JOSH: I think though the prophecy intended to be the justification for why the Jedi ultimately relent and allow Anakin to be

[01:54:54] CHRIS: Yes. I, I agree

with that.

[01:54:57] HAL9000: I will say I found it good food for thought. The, the props, the analogous way to, uh, some of the political stuff is food for thought, for other things, you know? but at the same time, even by 1999, I feel like chosen one prophecies are

[01:55:10] JOSH: Play it out.

Done. yeah,

[01:55:13] JONNY: And then

that same year, the Matrix did it you know,

[01:55:17] JOSH: Yeah. Well, so, so that's something interesting too I remember thinking this in 1999. Oh, when I was watching it, the, the climax of this movie, their whole plan at the end, battle is exactly the same as Independence Day. It's like they knock out the droid control ship and it knocks out all the droids.

And I get that George Lucas is trying to set the stage for the necessity of the clones and how like they can take independently and they don't have that sort of weakness. But it's so similar and it was in such close proximity. I mean, at least in my mind, as a 14 year old, having seen a few summers earlier, independence Day, I gotta wonder, do you think, I know that George Lucas started writing this in 94, but do you think that he saw Independence Day and was influence.

[01:55:58] JONNY: I mean, maybe, but I also think that if we're talking about Jesus Prophecies and Samurai movies and westerns, I think he's just trying to,

[01:56:07] HAL9000: I think it's just

convergent evolution.

[01:56:08] JONNY: yeah. Yeah. I was just gonna say, I don't think George Lucas is too high concept with like, McGuffin, you know, , like I, I think he's. I think with him it's more about the world.

So like with him, it's like everything's been done to death. Saving the princess done to that. And so with the, I think it's just kinda like coincidental and for him it's like while they're robots will just take out the, their brain and then they all can't move that, that,

[01:56:31] JOSH: Yeah.

[01:56:32] JONNY: he put much thought into it, you know?

[01:56:34] CHRIS: I don't even, yeah, I, I, I agree with that. I think it was just like a, Hey, this is an

[01:56:38] HAL9000: Yeah. And it's one fourth of what's going on in the climax

[01:56:42] JOSH: Right. Well though, though, but everything is sort of in support of that. It's like Jedi

[01:56:48] HAL9000: really. I mean, they, they have to get the Viceroy and they, they get, they capture the Viceroy, which is the in told where they got a gun to his head that they've won. And then this rogue, uh, fighter decide to just blow up a ship and just, kill everybody on board anyway. For no, for no

[01:57:03] JONNY: I, I, I, think the fighters were just kind of keeping the other fighters at

[01:57:07] HAL9000: If it wasn't a

[01:57:08] JONNY: bombarding or

[01:57:09] HAL9000: he might be like culpable for like a war crime by that point.

[01:57:12] JONNY: Also the, uh, the whole thing of like jar Jar doing everything by accident and Anakin doing everything

by accident, ,it was just like,

[01:57:19] JOSH: well, do you know what drives me nuts about the antic and stuff is that if you remove the dialogue, it's totally fine.

[01:57:26] JONNY: Yeah. Cuz he is a

[01:57:26] JOSH: Like if you remove him saying like,


uhoh and you know,

[01:57:32] CHRIS: Spinning is a fun trick.

[01:57:33] JOSH: Yeah, like all that stuff. Like if you take that stuff out, which Hal, I know you did.

[01:57:38] HAL9000: Literally every fan edit from the phantom edit onward

[01:57:41] JOSH: yeah. yeah. which is super interesting. It's like, the way that you, not just in this movie, but in all three other movies, the way that you are able to quote unquote fix certain things just proves that the material is there. There's a,

[01:57:57] HAL9000: Yes, absolutely.

[01:57:58] JOSH: there's a more effective version of these movies living within,

within each one of these movies, and it doesn't take that much to bring it out.

which I think is the most frustrating thing for me as a viewer and as a Star Wars fan. Like, there are these things that are kind of incidental, that really have a dragging effect on the quality or

my subjective enjoyment of the movie.

[01:58:24] CHRIS: I think George Lucas sort of does what CS Lewis does, which is he needs to make sure that he says all the things. And in saying all the things, we end up hearing all the things. Like, I don't, I don't think, I think that's why we end up with some of the heavy handed stuff that, we don't need.

That doesn't necessarily add. I know that we talked, Josh, we talked about this a while ago. I wanna say it was, gosh, I wanna say it was, um, we were talking about, a new hope and we were talking about something that like, it was a little bit of a plot hole, and we were like, wait a minute. Why did they even say this line, this line doesn't need to be in here.

It just sets up the plot hole. I, I'm sorry, I can't remember exactly what it is now. I probably shouldn't have been brought it up, but there was something that we had talked about and it's like, yeah, you didn't, you didn't have to say the thing.

[01:59:06] JOSH: No. The thing about, um, hold your fire. There's no

live forms that must closed circuited. It's like, why even, why even say that? it's a silly idea. It's like you just like shot a zillion million times. Like just shoot one more time. Like,

[01:59:18] CHRIS: And, and, and no droids are a

[01:59:20] HAL9000: Well, someone, someone, uh, you know, takes a lifeboat away from the naval destroyer. They're, they're gonna see it. I, I don't know, it's just like a way to explain why they're letting it go or

[01:59:29] CHRIS: But that's just, but that's just, it is like, you could just, you could have also just said like, several escape pods were fired, maybe in malfunction, but they made it to the surface. We should check it out

[01:59:38] JONNY: just, just cut that scene of the two guys talking. Just have the

[01:59:42] CHRIS: like that's, that's what we had, like there are a couple of ways to address it and you end up, he ends up trying to explain a little too much because like the empire knows droids are a thing.

There's no reason to believe that the plans

[01:59:53] HAL9000: Yeah. There's a good oral knots parody where Vader, uh, you know, he says, oh, there, there were no life forms or whatever, and he. Vader just goes on and on grilling them about exactly that. Like, you know, you, what is wrong with you guys?

[02:00:04] CHRIS: No, like it's, it's, it's a valid

question given The time and

[02:00:08] HAL9000: I am very displeased with this

[02:00:10] JONNY: The Phantom Menace, starts, starts the movie doing that too, because, I think that's some of the first lines of dialogue's, like permission to board and like, hi, uh, captain, we're we're asking permission to board your ship. And he's like, yes. As you know, this trade embargo is perfectly

[02:00:23] HAL9000: Yeah. I like that line

this, this time. Looking back on it as an adult. Cause it, it, I mean, it, it's very realistic, you know, of, of foreign dignitary or whatever. Who's doing all this kind of stuff somebody would just about literally say exactly that.

[02:00:37] JOSH: I don't have a problem with the opening of the movie. I do love that. Um, that Wan's first line is, I have a bad feeling about this. I remember in the

[02:00:44] JONNY: Yeah. that, guy. A cheer.

[02:00:45] HAL9000: versus anxiety. Again, a little bit there too. I mean


an, about anakin foreshadowed.

[02:00:51] JOSH: Oh yeah. That reminds me of another thing. And that, Qui-Gon, I think in, I think, right after that he mentions living force.

[02:00:58] JONNY: hmm.

[02:00:58] CHRIS: He does. It's because Anakin, it's because, um, Obi-Wan says, but Yoda, master Yoda says to be mindful of the future.

[02:01:04] JOSH: the future.

[02:01:04] CHRIS: but not at the expense of the present.


mindful of living force. My young p.

[02:01:09] JOSH: Yeah. It's interesting cuz these are ideas, like a lot of the stuff in this movie, seeds of it, the origins of it are really in the very early rough drafts of Star Wars. Like you can trace, not just the names, but even like this concept of like, you know, different kinds of the force, there's like the living force and all that. a lot of that is, is really spelled out, very explicitly in the rough drafts. And I think, you know, it's interesting, like a lot of people are like, you know, where's this politics stuff or what's this this is a bad idea. That's a bad idea. Or what's this, doing there? It's like a lot of it was, there from the beginning.

It, was in his head in the seventies. Um, just to wrap up the midichlorians thing in a bow, Hal, I agree with you. Like, I thought that it must have been going somewhere. That's the only reason I could think of in my mind to justify demystifying the force with some, biological quantifiable, like, scientific explanation.

so I was like, okay, well that's gonna factor into the plot. Like either that's how they identify who the Jedi or the four sensitives are, to eradicate them later, or like eventually, I think what it is, and it's actually also pays off the virgin birth thing this idea that, Sidious created anakin by influencing the

[02:02:15] HAL9000: Mm-hmm. ,which I'm glad that they dropped and didn't, do. But Yeah.

that would, that would be something from the build to if that

was there.

[02:02:22] JOSH: but then ultimately, as you say, it just goes nowhere. And it's like,

why, why is that in there?

[02:02:28] CHRIS: Yeah. Now it's just we can figure out who's four sensitive with a blood test.

[02:02:32] JOSH: Yeah, I mean, there's a real stretch, Chris, I think I mentioned this in our fan film episode, like there's a real stretch where you could, view it as like just something that the Jedi think is an accurate measure of one's forced potential, but it could be, it could be incidental.

Like my thing is that when an institution or like a belief system becomes institutionalized, it like has to become rigid and like measure things and

[02:02:56] CHRIS: Yeah,

[02:02:57] JOSH: And like, you know, maybe this is their

misguided way of Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Like maybe this is their misguided way of like trying to, you know, really wrap their arms around this whole force thing so that, they can be the authority on it.

That's a huge stretch. So I really hurt my back on that one, Chris,

[02:03:11] CHRIS: right? Yeah. I I kind of think like are there places they could've gone with it? I don't know if there's anything they could've done that like, would make me feel good about it necessarily. But I don't feel like, okay, you tried a thing and it didn't work for me. It just, it doesn't need to be there.

It just, it's a shortcut to, to, this is, this is the problem. One of the problems I ran into with the sequels. When you, when you have, and as much as I love Rogue One, they do it and unnecessarily in order to escape the, um, in, in the U Wing. They do it to escape the planet after it's been hit by the, by the death star, they jump into hyperspace from inside the atmosphere.

And you didn't, you didn't need to do that. Like, there's a gravity. Well, there, like your hyperspace drives don't work there. And like you are the ones who set up these rules, but now they're being broken and it's not, and they do the same thing with like hyperspace jumping in, in, again, as much as I enjoyed Last Jedi, the hyperspace jumping like, no, you're not able to track through hyperspace.

What are, what are we doing? And so I, I kind of run into that same problem with the medic chlor. . Okay. Well, you, in my opinion, you, you wrote yourself into the corner a little bit. Can you write yourself out? No. Okay. Well, here we are now.

[02:04:23] JOSH: See, I don't mind shit like that, but.

[02:04:25] CHRIS: No, that's, and that's fair. And it doesn't, it doesn't bother me enough that I don't enjoy Rogue One. It just feels like this is stuff you could have done differently. So why'd you do it this way if you didn't have something in mind?

like you said, like if we had gotten to something different with the midichlorians and I just went, Ugh, I didn't like it.

Okay, that's fine. That I didn't

[02:04:46] HAL9000: it.

was established in the movies themselves. You know, when, when things like that happen where it's

substantively a,

a change of

[02:04:53] JONNY: I, guess it's just one of those things where the midichlorians were there too on a surface level for the obvious reason to just show the characters how special Anakin was. But as you guys were saying before, that like there was a possibility of the emperor actually created Anakin, but they don't go too much into that a little bit.

But I think it's like, that's the, I think that's the only reason that I could think of is that maybe he thought down the line that that's where it was gonna go, and then he just kind of like veered away from it as he got closer to it, if that

[02:05:25] JOSH: well, the other thing though too is that now that we know these, tantalizing glimpses into George Lucas's, plans, his concepts for his, his sequel trilogy, like whatever's going on at this like, microbiotic level was a big part of the story.

So, so I, you know, a part of me is actually sad that we'll never see what those movies would've been, because whatever they would've been, they would've been totally bonkers.

And, you know, I think, you know, as long as we're six movies in here, like, I want this guy to get his full thought out. and like you said, Hal, this isn't a kind of movie. The Phantom Menace is not the kind of movie that you expect from like a big studio franchise. it seems like very idiosyncratic, very not, um, you know,


[02:06:17] HAL9000: It does have something to say for better or or worse.

[02:06:19] JOSH: Yeah.

For better or worse. And like, I feel like we've seen six of these already, so if you're gonna make three more, I would like to, as bonkers as it may be, I want you to pay off the midichlorians. brought them into this. Maybe you never should

[02:06:31] HAL9000: Mm-hmm. , maybe the, maybe the medic are a stutter and you can, uh, you can make a case for editing it out or just watching the whole thing.

[02:06:40] JOSH: ah, yes.

Okay. Well,

[02:06:43] CHRIS: I'm, you know, I am, I'm, yeah. I just, I think if you're gonna do the thing, just do the thing.

[02:06:48] JOSH: It also sucks because, you know, like you said, Jon, like we've talked about, there's this idea present in the original Star Wars that anyone could be a Jedi. You just have to believe it. You have to work at it. Right.

[02:06:58] JONNY: Exactly. Everyone has a potential to be.

[02:07:01] JOSH: yeah, and I think by reducing it to this level of little critters that are living in your cells, like when you've reduced it to, like a quality of somebody's blood, I mean, basically it's like, you lose so much more than you

[02:07:17] HAL9000: Mm-hmm. ,they do sort of establish like, you know, like if, if the force is strong in someone's family or family line, like, in Return of the Jedi or I suppose,

I suppose even the original Star Wars father to son,

[02:07:28] JOSH: I mean like you can fudge that away. It's like saying like, Bruce Lee's son will also, have the

[02:07:34] HAL9000: right. There's not a super specific,

[02:07:36] JONNY: yeah.

[02:07:37] JOSH: yeah. I mean, it's like, you know,

[02:07:38] HAL9000: it still implies it's genetic, doesn't it? Sort of. I agree. I don't, I still don't like it even so,

[02:07:44] JONNY: Well, to take the Bruce Lee example, it's like, you know, Bruce Lee's son can be just as good as Bruce Lee maybe. But that doesn't necessarily mean that like people who don't have the same body types or backgrounds

as Bruce Lee can do, can't do like kung fu. And it's just like everyone can do kung fu. We could all do kung fu if we just devoted our whole lives

[02:08:06] HAL9000: Mm-hmm. ,but they would probably say too, like, you know, everybody does have midichlorians. It's necessary for life. Uh, just, it may not reg, it may not take you up to the point where you can do cool telekinetic things to use to police the

[02:08:20] JOSH: Yeah. But that's still saying though, that it's something immutable. It's something

that you're either born with or you're not.

And like, that's just kind of a bummer and it just seems unnecessary

[02:08:30] JONNY: Yeah.

[02:08:31] JOSH: it just unnecessary. It seems the opposite of something aspirational and something inspirational.

It just seems like, oh, you're either born special or you're not.

[02:08:39] JONNY: Mm-hmm.

[02:08:40] JOSH: other issue with the chosen one prophecy. It's like,

[02:08:43] JONNY: Yep.

[02:08:43] JOSH: cuz you were born that way. Okay,

[02:08:45] JONNY: Yeah. That was my problem with also like Harry Potter, whereas is like, oh, like he's special because he's born that way. He didn't

[02:08:51] CHRIS: No, but I can, I, I, for as many issues as I have with JK Rowling, I like the way that it's dissected in Harry Potter because it's not just that he's special because the prophecy said he was special. The prophecy said that he would be made special, and it didn't even have to be him. It could have been somebody else, but

[02:09:09] HAL9000: Well that rings with Star Wars too. I mean, it, you know, it's not nailed down home. You could walk away from the movies and think, okay, maybe Luke was a chosen one, or I suppose really nowadays you say May, maybe it ended up being Ray, or maybe it was,

the prophecy kind of picks itself

apart as the nine movies go on chronologically.

[02:09:23] CHRIS: and I, actually don't mind the prophecy because in general I am okay with prophecies if they are used to, I think there's a difference between bad writing and good writing when it comes to something like prophecy. And I like the idea of, because the way that I've looked at it, when it's said that Anakin will bring balance to the force, he does, he sp I mean, we can break it down to no, Luke does

[02:09:44] HAL9000: But it's it's in retrospect, which isn't keeping with real prophecy, I would,

[02:09:48] CHRIS: Right, but Anakin Anakin does bring balance to the force.

The Jedi just assumed that means that for whatever reason, because the Jedi are dumb, I guess they think that means the Sith will be eliminated.

Well, all light, no dark is not balance. So it makes sense that Anakin like, yeah, Anakin wipes out the Jedi and now you have a couple of Jedi and a couple of Sith.

And now for the mo, if you, I understand that Palpatine is running things as, as the Empire, and, and it could be argued like the Empire doesn't exist without Palpatine fine. But if you bring in somebody to be Palpatine and run the Empire, the galaxy gets along without Force users in a big way. So like, I think the argument can be made that like, yeah, he brings balance just not in the way that's anticipated.

And I'm okay with that. I like the idea of exploring prophecy in the way that, like, the prophecy is made, and this is, this is different in Star Wars and in Harry Potter, but in Harry Potter it's, it's clear like, do you know how many prophecies don't come true? And I like that idea of like, yeah, humans do this sort of shit all the time.

We, we predict the thing and then we go, huh, well that didn't happen. Do we reschedule? Like

[02:10:59] HAL9000: Yeah. Future generations in the Star Wars world would, uh, have their little, uh, you know, Jedi scripture book or whatever, and, and look up the, the chosen one, prophecy. The little footnote say like, as we all know, of course this unambiguously meant that this was gonna, how it was gonna be all along.

[02:11:15] CHRIS: And I like the idea of him being the chosen one in that like cosmically, he wasn't the chosen one, it's that Qui-Gon decided he was the



[02:11:24] HAL9000: such thing. Yeah.


[02:11:26] CHRIS: and there Right.

[02:11:27] HAL9000: And and these movies like they're, they're, I mean, Yoda, Yoda gives us that little line, you know, a prophecy that misread could have been. And that gives us all the window room we

need to be able to

let it pick itself apart. Bring back to the balance Ray, as I did Like it maybe the chosen, it, it de mythologize itself as you go through the movies.

[02:11:45] CHRIS: I like, my problem was with the midichlorians, because that really does say you're born special or not the chosen one, prophecy doesn't necessarily say that. It just makes us

believe that cause

[02:11:54] HAL9000: put under a microscope,

[02:11:55] CHRIS: Right, I can count, I count, the midichlorians and Go, force is strong with you because you have this number of

[02:12:02] HAL9000: uh

[02:12:03] CHRIS: microbes.

And that's, that's the problem I have with that is this idea because like, and this is admittedly you're talking about episodes, uh, four, five, and six versus episode one, if you're gonna go through chronologically, but in four or five and six, the Force exists between all things. And I like that it's more nebulous.

I like the mystery of it. I like that we don't always know. Like it's surprising that some people might be more Force sensitive and it makes sense kind of in this world that it's genetic, but now it's not just like, oh, you're the, you're a Skywalker, so

you're strong with the

force. It's midichlorians. so I, I, I, I hate how binary that is.

I think that's what I hate. I hate that it's binary.

[02:12:46] HAL9000: And it's, it is just a, you know, it's just left hanging. And so when you look back at it, when nothing came of it, it's like, uh,

[02:12:53] CHRIS: There's.

[02:12:54] JONNY: it did drive me nuts though, Hal, and the entire prequel trilogy, they're like, you're supposed to bring balance. And like you said, there's like 10,000

Jedi and Sith, and it's like, and at the end there's two Jedi and two sth. And it's like, that's balance. But yet didn't George Lucas say in interviews that that's not what he meant?

He meant for the, like, the Jedi to

win. That was


[02:13:16] HAL9000: Well, yeah, I think the movie, the, the, the story sets up that like, uh, balance is when there are, no Sith like balance is when there's just, just the light. it's not like, you know, oh, half

food and half crack, you know, it's,

[02:13:28] JONNY: Yeah, but like, but but what,

why why haven't they looked up the word balance

[02:13:32] CHRIS: He specifically, he has specifically said in the past

that like, and this is,

this is the, the problem with Gray Jedi from a Lucas standpoint is Lucas has specifically said that you can't open the door to the darkness because it's the slippery slope argument.

I vehemently disagree with that, and I don't think that's balanced. I think one of the problems with the Jedi is that when they say that the Sith see things in absolutes, it's like, yo, you looked in a



[02:13:59] HAL9000: sentence

[02:13:59] JOSH: Well, but, well, but that's kind of the tolerance paradox though, isn't it? A little bit. It's like, you know, you don't tolerate intolerance, therefore you are.

[02:14:08] JONNY: intolerant

[02:14:09] HAL9000: And so Obi-Wan really is kind of in the right position there of, not tolerating the intolerance like

[02:14:13] CHRIS: but, well, I don't, I don't. But I think there's an element of that when you're dealing with the Sith period, but like, that's dealing with the Sith that's not dealing with the quote unquote, the dark side. Right. Because there's anger there, and I think there's an element of like, you know, again, it's not just, it's stigmatizing feeling in general in general because like really a lot of the Jedi religion is based around stoicism and stoicism is not about balance.

It's just

[02:14:38] HAL9000: would you, would you, uh, maybe. , would you be okay with kind of roughly equivocating, Obi-Wan's perspective on the Jedi with George Lucas' himself? Overall in, in the sense of like, you know, yeah, we, we can interpret and, and talk about this stuff, but Jor, you know, himself is like, no, the Jedi were good. And, and

yeah, Luke, Luke, Luke and Last Jedi kind of maybe embodies some of those criticisms of it.

Like, well, they were supposed to be flawed or whatever. And it's like, no, no, no balance. All these, all these stuffy, no attachments, balanced things like, you know, it's in the books that, that they were based on it, it's not supposed to be framed as a bad thing here. And so Op one's a real company man, and

[02:15:15] JONNY: I, I, I think he, I think he does see him being a company man as a flaw. And I think he, I think he is trying to show that the Jedi are out of

[02:15:23] HAL9000: when was

it a flaw? When did it, when did it,

when narratively

would you

[02:15:27] JONNY: being out of touch,

the Jedi being out of touch in the


everything goes downhill.

Oh, No,

not, No,

no, no, no. no. Uh, I,

[02:15:35] JOSH: Anakin from, from falling to the dark side.

[02:15:37] JONNY: everything goes bad because of the Jedi.

And, uh, like even when you think, think of like order 66, like they just didn't see it coming. And it's like they should have, and, uh, if they were paying attention and cognizant of their, uh, surroundings and not denying everything because of their dogma, which going back now we're kind of on a tangent, but also going back to one of the reasons why I loved, Luke so much and the original trilogy was that it was his attachment to his friends and his family that kind of allowed him to succeed.

And it's like, it kind of goes against the idea of what the Jedi dogma was, you know?

[02:16:10] JOSH: I have one final question for everybody. what's something you think, Works about this movie or, what's your favorite thing about the movie? And if you could change one thing about the movie and just one thing, what would you change?

[02:16:23] JONNY: One of the things that I did love that we didn't really talk too much about, we, we, uh, I mean Jon Williams never really misses, but, um, we were talking about Duel of the Fates before, but Anakin's theme, which is on the soundtrack, is like one of my favorite Star Wars songs of all time, and I, and I have it on my classical music list.

And this is really nice, sort of beautiful, , both optimistic and slightly tragic sort of song. besides the music, Liam Neeson, as Qui-Gon Jinn, Duel of the Fates, all that stuff is my favorite. I kind of like what you were talking about, Hal, with the old Hollywood ness, even though it's 1999, but I guess it's old now, but like, actual sets and stuff like that.

Like watching it again now today, I was like, there's a lot to like about The Phantom Menace. It just doesn't hit all of the marks in my opinion. So what would I change? I would just think, I would have it choose more or less one tone and have it stick to that. That's what I would basically change, like, like whatever it is that you wanna do, if you wanna be all politics, if you wanna be all slapstick or if you wanna be all swashbuckling adventure, just choose kind of one of 'em and lean into it instead of trying to do three, four, or five different things at the same time.

[02:17:37] JOSH: Hmm.

[02:17:38] HAL9000: Yeah. As far as what works well, I mean, looking back on it at this viewing anyway, like I kind of already talked about the political food for thought and the, the. A reflection on kind of what I was thinking of as kind of, you know, Batman versus, you know, maintain balance. Kind of that kind of what that deleted scene in Last Jedi was kind of getting at with Luke and Ray where he's saying, you know, hey, the Jedi texts would say, don't go in there and stop this terrible thing.

It's about to happen. Just maintain balance and being critical of it, you know, that found that kind of a interesting head space to be, you know, kind of grapple with. And the movie just doesn't like this, this movie doesn't have a Poe Dameron and character who's gonna just relentlessly tell you what what's going on exactly, and suck all the air outta the room.

You get to really kind of just sit in it and, think about whatever you brought in with you.

[02:18:21] JOSH: I like that

[02:18:22] HAL9000: and as far as if I could change one thing, there's a little snippet of a deleted scene that I would like to put back in when they're preparing for the pod race, I want the full extended version of the, the creature farting in Giros face.

And I, I want to, quote, original user Chase Adams. Uh, when he says, in the case of the eopie there's a distinct sense of mystery surrounding the theatrical cut of the fart. We're calmly watching Jar Jar toiling away at the pod when suddenly he is bombarded by an overpowering odor.

We're surprised by this as we had never suspected such a thing to occur beforehand in the extended cut of the fart. We see the eopie from the very beginning. We watch with suspense as he snorts an agony waiting for something to happen. We know more than Jar Jar at this point and are the only ones aware of this approaching storm.

So I ask you, which is more effective. Otherwise, I wouldn't dream of changing a thing

[02:19:21] JONNY: We've lost Josh

[02:19:22] CHRIS: uh, yeah. Yeah. Josh. Josh is gone. Byebye, you gone.

[02:19:28] JOSH: What have you got left? Chris?

[02:19:31] CHRIS: one thing I would change, it's a consistent thing that just, it just bugs the hell outta me. I would change, I would change the aliens so that they're more alien and less again, yellow parly trophy.

[02:19:45] HAL9000: you and anybody else who, feels that way and even really just anybody in general, CH Google, uh, MagnoliaFan. Has two fan edits of, you know, episode one and two. From, from like, you know, I don't know, way back in the day, like 2003 or something like that. He never did one for episode three.

I dunno what happened to him, but, um, they, that that's the best one that, overdubs the Ians and, and the Gungans and gives them subtitles and different things like that,

[02:20:10] CHRIS: No, that's, that's, I appreciate that. That's great to know. Cause I, no, no, no, no. I appreciate that because I think that's, I think aliens in general are really difficult to do because we're humans and so it's easy to assign human motives and things to aliens. It's one of the things I think the Expanse does really well is it's an alien intelligence.

And so there's a lot we don't understand, I think. But I do think that George Lucas does aliens better in the original trilogy, so I, so I appreciate that, that suggestion. You said Magnolia fan? Is that

what you said? Okay, cool. Thank you. Um, that's one thing that I would change, um, is make them more alien and less recognizable.

something that I liked, you know, I gotta, I had the realization, but I hadn't quite articulated it. Probably like a second before you said it out loud, Al, I think I liked and wanted to see more of the political intrigue. I wanted to see that really play out because I hadn't really seen much of that in, in Star Wars.

But I think it's interesting, especially, and part this is just me as I get older, I like seeing that unfold. And I like the idea of someone like, and this sort of happens in the second movie where Obi-Wan really struggles. He really struggles in, um, Attack of the Clones to navigate all these things that are happening in the shadows.

He is not, that's, that's not his thing, right? He's not a, a secret spy man. Um, but he's forced into that role. I like the idea of the Jedi realizing that, that things are out of control and they don't have the handle on this that they thought they did. Trying to keep up with the politics of it and being an out, being out, out maneuvered.

It's a thing that I like. Are those machinations? I, I'd like to, I'd like them to have doubled down on that a little bit more.

[02:21:52] JOSH: Yeah, I agree with that. I think I, I think the thing that works the best is really Qui-Gon and Duel of the Fates. I think you've made me realize that Jon, you know, of the Fates, the music, the choreography, the, the tension, those little like nuances of performance that, you noted before.

It's like, It really is worth the price of admission on its own. It's, it's, a peace day resistance. though, you know, something again, like you said, Chris, you know, what was for a long time was really lambasted as this movie's fatal flaw. the politics and the, the taxation of trade routes, is sort of lampooned in the, um, the opening crawl.

I think, that is core to what this movie is trying to do, and I think it is really provocative and really, you know, radical in a lot of ways. And I think it would have taken, you know, 5% more little refinement to really make it clear. So I would say that what works is the ideas that are on display here.

if I could change one thing, I think it would be the humor. I think I would make the humor less. Um, I mean, I would really just get rid of the fart joke in some of the, You know, cartoony stuff, because I feel like it's just, it's very dissonant.

Like, not to say you can't have, you know, a range of tones or moments of lighthearted silliness. It's just, there's just something about, I mean, again, like I said before, like I think you need a really deaf hand to incorporate all of these, varying, tones and styles and make it still seem like a cohesive hole.

And I don't know that this movie threads that needle

as well as it,

[02:23:27] JONNY: Yeah.

there's one thing that's I think that's kind of unique about this movie is like, whatever we're talking about with like showing and telling and vice versa and stuff being on the surface. Like I, I wouldn't necessarily call this movie vapid. I

think there's a, it's, it's the opposite.

There. There's, there's, there's a lot, there's a lot there. I'm not saying you're saying that at all, but this is just something that I've, I'm think I just came to my head while you were speaking about it. I think it's one of those things where it's like, the analogy of like making like a, a marble statue, you have to keep chiseling away.

I just think this movie needs to be chiseled more. There's more to be chiseled off, and he just kind of left it on the statue.

[02:24:06] CHRIS: Dialogue. It's the dialogue

[02:24:07] JONNY: There's a lot. There's, I think there's just like a lot where like, like whether it's fart jokes or this or that, there's like, there's, there's a lot that like if he just got, got rid of this, got rid of that, like the, the political stuff is there.

If he spent 5% more, like you said, to refine it, like there's just like, it's there. It's just buried underneath a lot of other stuff, you


[02:24:27] JOSH: might I recommend, Hal nine thousands fan at, at the

cloak of deception?

[02:24:31] JONNY: Here we go.

What's it called?

[02:24:33] JOSH: cloak of deception, right?

[02:24:34] JONNY: Cloak of deception.

[02:24:35] JOSH: Yes. I think It goes a long way to revealing the chiseled David in the marble that that is

[02:24:44] HAL9000: Well, and, and of course even then it's uh, it's downstream of, uh, you know, 24 year, kind of textual history of, people endeavoring to do just that. But, yeah, it's got a commentary track too, if you don't feel like you heard enough of me already

[02:24:59] JOSH: no, which is, which is very informative. That's, that's half the reason why I invited you to come on that podcast cuz I, I enjoyed listening, to your commentary track

[02:25:07] HAL9000: heard six hours of me and wanted more. Okay. But

[02:25:09] JOSH: yeah, I, I, I need, I wasn't satisfied, Hal.

[02:25:12] HAL9000: But anyway, though, I do feel, like, you know, desert island kind of thing, you know? I would feel good about having. my own fan edit that ostensibly I'm making, so that I have a version of it that is closest possible that, you know, what I would want to have it be like, and have the, the novelization as well.

So you do get all the, content and even more than what was in Phantom Menace anyway, It's a good novelization. did, you know, count DKU years old

[02:25:37] JONNY: What,

[02:25:38] JOSH: I

did not know that.

[02:25:39] HAL9000: Well, in the novelization, uh, it says that, Qui-Gon's instructor was 400 years old.

So I, I have

[02:25:47] JOSH: interesting. Interesting.


of, of course, of course. Because we would never change a, continuity point

like that. right. right. it

[02:25:55] JONNY: speaking, speaking, of which, I did a quick little wiki on Qui-Gon just to see like how they came up with the character or whatever. And, uh, they stated something about his age that I remember from the expanded universe that they. when the movie came out up until Disney bought Lucas film, Qui-Gon was supposed to be 60 years old.

And then now after, so it got Reccon. Now he's 48 years old, and it's like, why did they make, why did they make that arbitrary change , like, it just like, like it was, I don't know. I just thought it was totally weird.

[02:26:28] CHRIS: Because it doesn't make sense otherwise, Jon, it just doesn't make

[02:26:32] JONNY: you're right. What was I thinking? What was

I thinking?

[02:26:36] HAL9000: age quickly in Star Wars,

[02:26:38] JONNY: I guess they just thought that he should reflect Liam Neeson's, like actual age. So they just changed it to like Liam Neeson's Liam Neeson's,


[02:26:44] CHRIS: Yeah, that's, that's the thing that'll stop me from suspending my disbelief. That

right there, that that'll do it.

[02:26:50] JOSH: As I always say, Hal, the twin sons of Tatooine age you twice as fast.

[02:26:54] HAL9000: Yes,

[02:26:55] CHRIS: as you, as


[02:26:56] HAL9000: of sense. If you spend significant time on, then you are just cursed

[02:26:59] JOSH: Yeah.

anyone have any closing thoughts before I wrap it up here?

[02:27:03] CHRIS: Yeah. No, actually I do. Really quickly, I, and I kind of hit on this earlier, this was fun. I'm really glad I did it. I, this feels the, the last time I did something like this was going back and rewatching A New Hope completely all the way through undistracted for the first time. And I don't know how long and realizing like just how much magic was there and I didn't feel exactly the same way, but like it did bring back a lot of nostalgia for me.

I enjoyed it more than I have in years. And, uh, and it was a fun exercise to go in to just watch it, just watch it undistracted and, and it was, uh, it was fun. So thanks for the opportunity. Like that was something that I don't know, I would've, done on my own. The last time I watched it, as I mentioned, was for a play test.

So I was like taking notes on stuff. It was like a working of, working viewing instead of just watching. So, um, so yeah, that was, that was more fun than I anticipated.

[02:27:53] JONNY: Yeah, I, uh, watching it again, like, it just kind of brought back like personal feelings of nostalgia. I've seen it in the theater and I was like, it kind of left me on a note where it's like, what, whatever I said about the movie and his critiques, like, I kind of left out a more positive note of just like, oh yeah, like, this is a, this is a solid movie.

Like, and, and I would imagine if I were seven years old, it would've been the best movie ever made, but I'm not ,


[02:28:18] HAL9000: close and I felt that


[02:28:20] JONNY: exactly. Exactly. So that, that realization kind of made me happy.

[02:28:24] HAL9000: Yeah, I, I agree with the two of you that, watching it again this time, it just, the whole thing as is and not thinking about anything other than just, here I am watching this film, enjoyed it more than I expected that I would, and I did expect to enjoy it.

I guess last closing thought, I would just suggest. Perhaps dedicating a future podcast episode to maybe just the, the marketing and the ancillary material itself around this movie. I think you'd have enough to talk about. I didn't even get

[02:28:50] CHRIS: Damn it, Hal, that's a really good idea, but I'm really mad. I really thought you were gonna go with an entire episode dedicated to the novelization. I really thought you were.

[02:29:02] HAL9000: Mm-hmm.

[02:29:03] JOSH: Actually, both of those are good

[02:29:04] HAL9000: I still associate

Taco Bells, but lemme let me, okay. Here's my closing thought. Um, I, I lived close by at the time to, uh, a conglomerate location that had Taco Bell, kfc, and Pizza Hut under one roof.

And that place was fucking lit in summer in 1999.

Think it was

a sensor, a sensory overload.

[02:29:24] JOSH: imagine.

[02:29:25] HAL9000: was a site to behold. Doesn't


[02:29:27] JONNY: God.

[02:29:27] HAL9000: but.

[02:29:28] JOSH: Yeah. You know, one of the things I do associate with this movie is like the bargain bins of likeJar Jar merchandise and stuff. Like, you know, like, I mean, it's really interesting. Like I mean, like you guys, I have a real fondness for this movie and, you know, watching it almost 25 years later, without any pretense, without any, you know, expectation of it.

It was a really, you know, it's a fun, solid, lovely, good time and I'm glad that it exists. Um, maybe they'll make a sequel.

[02:29:59] JONNY: Yeah, maybe they'll make more Star Wars movies.

Who knows?

[02:30:02] JOSH: on that note, I wanna thank my guest, Jon, Chris and Hal 9,000. Hal 9,000 can be found on the original message board, where, um, you can, track down links to some of the fan edits that we have been referring to. if you like what you heard, you can find transcripts of this episode and all our other episodes at trash com,

And we are trash com pod across all social media, and we will see you on the next one.


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