OK for kids 8+
Kid-centric but violent prequel lacks originals' energy.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this prequel to the classic sci-fi action trilogy does have a few scary and surprisingly violent moments, although there's no explicit gore. The humor and plotting are aimed at children, but very young kids may not be ready for the movie's darker moments. Widely considered to be the weakest of the films in this franchise, the film will likely entertain children with its straightforward story and imaginative design; though it may also confuse those who've already seen the original films and aren't yet old enough to understand the concept of a prequel. Note: The 3-D version of the movie renders some scenes (like the pod race) more exciting and others (like lightsaber battles) more intense.
- Families can talk about The Phantom Menace's moments of violence and threatening behavior. Is the violence shown in the film important to the story? Why or why not?
- How did you feel watching Anakin leave his mother? Why do you think so many kid-oriented movies involve parents leaving or dying?
- Have you noticed Star Wars merchandise? Does seeing the characters on products make you want to buy them?
The good stuff
Educational value: The film is intended to entertain, not educate, but there are some clear messages around good and evil.
Messages: The film's story and characters emphasize personal sacrifice for the greater good. Positive traits like bravery, thoughtfulness, and inner peace are demonstrated throughout by the heroes. A key element of the film's plot hinges on racial acceptance between two alien groups. The villains are sharply defined, and their behavior is cast in a purely negative light.
Role models: Characters generally exhibit positive character traits throughout. One of the lead heroic characters demonstrates a disregard for authority, which is the only poor example set by the heroes in the film.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: Heavy sci-fi violence, although none of it is especially gory or detailed. Viewers see the deaths of at least two major characters on screen, one of whom is sliced in half by a laser sword. The movie's climax cuts together a sword duel, two separate ground invasions, and a space sequence, all of which feature frequent lasers, explosions, and the deaths of minor characters and creatures. A key moment in the film involves the lead character, a boy of about 8, leaving his mother forever; the moment is played as bittersweet, and the character recovers quickly. The film's chief villain is a menacing, silent figure with a frightening appearance.
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Though there are no curse words and very few moments of derogatory language, there's a bit of potty humor -- for example, a lead character stepping in the droppings of an intergalactic creature, or another creature passing gas.
Consumerism: The film takes place "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away," so there are no real-world product placements. But the Star Wars film franchise is perhaps one of the most heavily merchandised in the history of film, with action figures, kids clothing and accessories, and every other type of product available even today.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue
Fan Reviews provided by
It's been 13 years since it first came out! by frogjunk65
My daughter was only a year old when it came out. She was very excited, didn't matter if it was 3d or not. I come from the generation who saw all of the OT films when they we're first released. I say that only because I don't understand all the hate for the prequels. Yes I could give you a long list of all the things Lucas did wrong. But going with my daughter and a new generation of fans made me think. They we're all so excited when the SW music starts blasting, inviting us to take a journey. The show was sold out. I was very happy about that because I think it's important for Lucas to know he has fans who want more SW. When the movie ended everyone was cheering and clapping. I never hated this movie but found some new found respect for it. The ability to introduce a whole new generation on the big screen. So any minor issues aside Mr. Lucas, thank you for giving me a chance to share this with my daughter. On a side note, the 3d conversion was great but not neccesary. Enjoy!
The Best Conversion Yet... Lucas Blows the Doors off 3D! by bubien
Amazing! Absolutely, shockingly amazing!
By now, everyone knows Lucas tinkers with his masterpiece, but he's also a technical perfectionist. If anyone can do a 3D conversion right, it's Lucas. And OH EM GEE, did he EVER do it right! This 3D conversion was better than many "native" 3D movies.
When I say done right, I don't just mean great space battles and lots of additional background elements brought out. Yes, he did that, and did it well. But the make-it-or-break-it of 3D lies in the subtlety, particularly people in the foreground, most noticeable in the depth of their facial expression. If it looks like puffy cardboard cutouts, it's wrong... like most 3D conversions. In Star Wars, the facial and bodily depth was so natural, that I would have sworn it was native.
Many scenes were re-framed, and this was a bit disconcerting, and over- heavy 3D in places could be distracting. But overall it played well, and was a truly exciting and fun experience!
Our audience loved it!
Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace 3D - Mr. Lucas, thanks for the memories. by Nightrunner68
The storyline was unchanged, Yoda was rendered in CGI and, oh yeah, it was in 3D this time. The sounds was fantastic! Better than the first time I saw it. The crowd was really into the whole Star Wars genre. Costumes and lightsaber abound.
As for the 3D effects, since the movie was not originally filmed in 3D it can be forgiven for the lack of excitement or the thrill of items or people appearing more real.
Overall, it was nice to see it again on the big screen and enjoy the full surround sound a digital experience has to offer.
Mr. Lucas, thank you for the memories. Please take the $40 million you are going to make on this movie and start making Episodes 7,8 and 9. Oh, and let someone else direct them. Or co-direct them.
Disappointing 3D by vinsim
Of course the movie is awesome...its STAR WARS...but was sooooo disappointed with the 3D. I couldnt imagine how cool it would be to see STAR WARS anything in 3D and it was just boring and really not that much different from the original. I hated the new YODA too....he looked wierd. The movie is great but not worth the ton of money to see it in 3D....it could have been really cool with all the fights and lasers zapping out at you...but there wasnt!!
SOO Worth it!!!! by vamps29
My husband & myself are Star Wars buffs from way back & were so looking forward to watching Episode 1 in 3D! I suprised my hubby by purchasing the tickets in advance on my I touch (BTW I love that app..no more long lines..they just scan the barcode off my I Touch) for our pre-Valentine's date. After I told him what my present to him for v-day was, he was excited! We were definitely not disappointed!!! I had found myself seeing things that I had overlooked the hundreds of times I replayed the movie at home. Though we aren't allowed to keep the 3D glasses, it was definitely worth every penny spent! I fully encourage any of you Star Wars fans to see this in the theaters, you won't regret it! ;)
Teenager by AbbiR
I sent my teenage daugher and her friend. They love Start Wars and were extremely excited when they returned home. They can not wait for the next episode in 3D.
You wont like what i have to say by ryansebrasky
First off go, solely because you don't often get to see a big box office movie twice in a theater like you do here. That said this film being in 3D was not a good idea. Now It was nice to see a greater depth of view when it came to the space scenes but that's about it. 1ST the film is instantly darker due to the glasses. 2ND you lose a lot of the color vibrance as well also due to the dark tint of the glasses. 3RD the actual 3d conversion itself at times looks sloppy and really pointless. Areas of screen were over blurred when areas further back seemed to be clearer. I mean I'm used to viewing this film in 1080p on my DLP. So I was shocked that most of this film was blurry. Sometimes it was crystal clear so I moved to different areas in the theater with the same result. Sadly it would have been better to just view the film the way it was intended to be viewed. They have 2 years to get the next one right.
3Dwasweak by mccolginaz
Some buddies and I took our nine year olds to see this movie. My kid had never seen the film before. The 3D effect was not very good. Compared to other recent epic 3D films, the 3D in this film was bad.
Not The Best, But Still Fun by BTownBoiler
This film has its share of haters, but I've always enjoyed watching it. 3D looked impressive, but was not over the top. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the series in 3D.