Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D Review

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The peaceful planet of Naboo is under threat from the manipulating forces of evil at work in the Trade Federation of a galaxy far, far away. The Queen of Naboo, the powerful Jedi knights and a young boy with intimidating promise endeavour to defend justice and the forces of good.


Fans of wrenches, prepare to get happy: this 3D re-release boasts a shot, mid-podrace, in which Anakin Skywalker thrusts some sort of space-spanner towards the screen. It looks fantastic.

But even as the extra D fizzes up the visuals — it’s a decent, if largely unexceptional transfer — George Lucas’ much-pilloried prequel remains as flat as Tatooine’s Dune Sea. This is still a tale with no clear point of view (Obi-Wan, the hero apparent, vanishes for a reel), both too juvenile for adults and too abstractly plotted for anyone who hasn’t majored in intergalactic finance. And then, of course, there’s Hesa Who Must Not Be Named. On the plus side, it remains a triumph of production design, three-way lightsaber battles and Warwick Davis cameos.

Thirteen years on, the lightsaber battle and podrace still thrill on the big screen, the rest less so. As for our first look at Star Wars 3D, the transfer is okay but less than stellar.