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Friday, 19 May 2017

Why I Love The Phantom Menace

Dearest hearts,

#didyouknow that this very day, 18 years ago - on the 19th of May 1999, the Star Wars: Episode I was released in the cinemas? That's "The Phantom Menace", directed by none other than George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor as young Obi Wan, Natalie Portman as Queen Amidala of Naboo and Liam Neeson as Qui Gon Jinn (Obi Wan's Master Jedi).
In case you are not a Star Wars fan you might not know this, but the prequels to the original Star Wars trilogy were not quite well met by the public, nor the critics. I don't know about that, but I can tell you that 18 years ago, a 12 year old teenager ran to the cinema to see the next Star Wars movie after a big gap. I saw my first Star Wars movie when I was about 6 or 7 and it was love at first sight! I believe the world is mainly split between people would love or hate Star Wars. For me there was no choice but to love it. The moment I set my eyes upon Princess Leia I knew she was a definite role model - feisty and smart and kick arse and a match for even the Dark Side. And whom wouldn't like to have an R2 Unit as a friend? There is so much spark in that little body of circuits and plugs! So... when I heard a new one was out, I just HAD TO get to the cinema and watch it on the big screen. And I loved it -  screw the critics, even today when I watch it is feel as a small child again :) So here are my reasons for loving "The Phantom Menace":
1) Small Ani - sheding light upon Anakin Skywalker and his family background, paired up with the notion of "midiclorians" and the fact that he was created by them, there was no father... it was... immaculate conception. For me Star Wars has so many links to the Bible and connections to the Saviour, that's lovely to watch the influence.
2) Padme Amidala, Queen of Naboo played by Natalie Portman and her #feministic ways - I don't know what you think of her but I believe she's an amazing actress. I loved her tremendously since I first saw her in Leon, but in The Phantom Menace (and the other 2 trilogy movies) she steals the shots she's in and as Ani puts it nicely, she does look like an Angel. Also, it's not hard to see from where Leia has her #girlpower ;) Padme is a strong and smart ruler at her age, and she understands politics but loves her people above all. She would put herself to risk only to know they are safe. She doesn't mind getting her hands dirty and playing the handmaid - I've always loved that!
3) Darth Maul and his badass lightsaber! One of the greatest lightsaber scenes in the Star Wars Universe is the scene at the end of The Phantom Menace, when Darth Maul faces Qui Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi - that's a Master Jedi and a trainee ;) and he definitely kicks their arse bad enough, before he gets cut in half... but wait! If you are a hard core Star Wars fan you know that he actually makes it through! To be mentioned that a) this was the first kick arse fighting scene with lightsabers in the history of Star Wars, with real choreography and amazing moves & b) that was no regular sabre! It was two-blades, long staff and the actor was trained extremely well in the art of handling both himself and the said lightsaber. Epicness!
4) Liam Neeson as Qui Gon Jinn - we were robbed of his presence way too soon! I got so excited seeing him join the Star Wars universe, especially as the mentor of Obi Wan, that I could not forsee the ending scene where he dies... Liam totally nailed the role and probably channeled some of his Rob Roy mood and looks and sword skills. He was perfect as a Jedi Master, wise and thoughtful and kind and I cannot keep thinking that maybe if he did not die and he would train Anakin, he would not have joined the Dark Side.  I know in the Canon Star Wars there is no such thing as a Grey Jedi but if there was, I think Qui Gon Jinn would be the embodiment ;)
5) The clothes ❤ - can we just take a moment to stand in awe of the amount of time and care the team put into creating such wonderful costumes? I remember watching Queen Padme in her glorious velvety red dress, with her red-white lips and her one-bun hairdo... I remember being in awe, wanting to try that out myself. She looked royal in every piece that she wore, and everything was so perfectly tailored! Even for that dress alone people should grade The Phantom Menace at least 9/10. Not to mention other people/characters wardrobes - so much care and precision ❤ way to go #starwars team!
6) Touching hard subjects like slavery - when I first watched this I could not understand how a human being could be bought and sold. These things were illogical to me... growing up in a country were human traffic was not happening. When I grew older and could read more and search more for the information I needed... I was horrified to learn that human traffic still exists. I feel sad when I think that at this very moment a girl is being sold somewhere in this world. Ani and Shmi (Anakin Skywalker's mum) were sold like cattle, without a care in the world. Watto even bets with their life, as if they are nothing but dust. How horrid! And yet... how true, how much that shows how some people think of others.
7) Showing a bigger picture of the Star Wars universe - how did we get to Ground 0: A New Hope? Where did it all start? What was the Senate, how did it work? What are the connections to the Trade Federation? How much power did the Jedi's have? What was the Jedi structure? How could one become a Master Jedi? So many questions that I had as a child, were answered by The Phantom Menace. How can I not love this movie?! And if you ask about the order... nope! I will not let my small one watch this one first - it's too rough and touches many controversial points. The right order for me is Episode 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, Rogue One and then Episode 7 - just FYI :)

P.S. So oooooo looking forward to the new Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi, this year! It's the perfect Christmas gift ;) for all the fans out there, in this beautiful blue world :) #MAYTHEFORCEBEWITHYOU 

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Star Wars Ever Since She Was A Wee Lass 

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