I loved battle droids when I first saw TPM. Their “Roger, Roger”s were so fabulous and when I was younger, I thought it was hilarious. I watched TPM again this past weekend and I was brought back to all these sentimental memories I have of playing games with my two little brothers.
I would go, “Activate the droids!” and my brother would say, “Yes, Sir!”
Then all three of us would huddle collapsed together, just like the scene before the battle against the Gungans, and I would sing the battle droid/Trade Federation music. We’d three of us rise together in that mechanical motion, grab our blasters from our back, and start marching.
That’s where the game would end because we couldn’t do much else other than march and “pew, pew!” occasionally. We’d just start all over again.
Another one of my favorites was when two of us would be Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan (I was always Qui-Gon) trying to get through the federation doors in the beginning of the movie. One of my brother’s would go, “Master, Destroyers!” and the other brother would roll into the area and start blasting. After deflecting a few shots, we’d super speed run away.
I love TPM. As I get older, I realize why people don’t like it. The scenes are short and clipped, there is not a lot of emotional connection to the characters, and Jar Jar can get annoying. But I think for a lot of the people who were young children when TPM came out, it was quite good. The faster pace was closer to what we were used to when watching TV. There were enough planets and ships to keep our attention. The talking got boring but I remember just ignoring that in the theater.
As for the characters, I loved Amidala (not so much when she was herself as Padmé, I found her annoying) and thought she was a strong role model to look up to. I also adored Qui-Gon and the whole system of the Jedi Council. I liked how Qui-Gon disobeyed the Jedi Council and must do what he thinks is right, but was still a good person. It taught me that you can go against the grain of what everyone is telling you to do, but still be an alright person. It doesn’t mean you’re evil. It was fascinating to see the Jedi before Luke Skywalker. There were lots of Jedi and there was Yoda again! Yoda remained unchanged other than he didn’t live on a yucky swamp planet anymore.
So for those who like to hate on TPM, just remember that it was (and still is) a wonderful movie for many of us who grew up with it. And didn’t George Lucas make Star Wars originally for children?
(P.S. An online syllable counter says “hardened” is 3 syllables, but I don’t know anyone who pronounces it ‘har-de-ned”. I say ‘har-dend’.)