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10 Years of Jar Jar Binks

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Today marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace". There have been few movies I had been more excited about seeing -- and few that have left me feeling more disappointed.

You can't help but wonder if George Lucas would do anything different if he had to do it all over again. I know I would...

For starters, Jar Jar Binks should have been aborted from Star Wars lore with a rusty wire hanger. It's hard to believe that there wasn't another person involved with the making of "Phantom Menace" who could have alerted Lucas to this disaster in the making. It's a shame that Binks wasn't the one ordered to live out the remainder of his days frozen in carbonite.

Then there's the tragedy of Darth Maul. What did Maul have -- maybe 3 lines of dialog in the entire film? While they marketed the shit out of him, he sure wasn't the next coming of Darth Vader. More like the next coming (and going) of Boba Fett. To take the coolest character, make him have zero significance to the overall story and then let him die like a total chump was a mind-bogglingly bad decision.

No, what us Star Wars fans were really hankering to see was a 60-minute pod race featuring some annoying little kid.

And then there was the unimaginitive dialog, a host of uninteresting supporting characters, not one titillating glimpse of The Emperor and the unnecessary death of Qui-Gon Jin -- the best character (and actor) in the movie.

Saying all of that, I don't hate the film. As a Star Wars geek, I still watch it occasionally, but the fixable flaws are so obvious and you can't help think about what could have been. The missteps in the making of this movie will piss me off to the day I die.

Even this concept may have worked better in hindsight...


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