6 changes that could’ve made The Phantom Menace Great

Photo: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /
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SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 1: Television cameraman Ron Sharek, dressed as Star Wars’s Jar Jar Binks, walks on the field before a baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers at PETCO Park on September 1, 2017 in San Diego, California. The costume was part of Star Wars Night at the baseball game. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Less Jar Jar Binks

Jar Jar Binks was supposed to be the comic relief in The Phantom Menace. The completely CG character was intended to be a loveable doofus but he turned out to be hard to understand, annoying and unfunny. Jar Jar Binks became one of the most despised characters in the history of cinema and it’s too bad The Phantom Menace will forever be linked to this horribly conceived and overused character.

Jar Jar Binks just needed to be toned down. George Lucas was so excited to be able to create a completely CGI character that he used him much more than was needed. Jar Jar is necessary to the plot of the film, as he introduces the Jedi to the Gungans and ultimately unites his people with the people of Naboo. While his role is essential, it could’ve also been trimmed. There is no reason that Jar Jar needs to go with the Jedi and Padme back to Coruscant. They could’ve just left him on Naboo and eventually meet back with him later. This would’ve cut out a few extremely unfunny scenes that Jar Jar was in on Tatooine, and saved the audience from more than one eye roll.

This is where Rick McCollum and anyone else working on the film can be blamed. Someone in the production should’ve had the balls to stand up to Lucas and tell him that this character was not only unfunny but hard to understand and is ruining the film. They should’ve pushed until George made the necessary cuts to his role, but sadly that didn’t happen until Attack of the Clones when the fan backlash was too loud to ignore.