Fridge / The Phantom Menace

Fridge Brilliance:
  • In The Phantom Menace, a lot of people complained about the submarine having force-field windows, including me. Then I suddenly realized "Wait a moment. It's a Gungan submarine. Gungans are amphibious, so for them those windows are a safety feature!" —Whitewings
    • Plus, considering that the planet's oceans go all the way through the core, there's the simple matter that the pressure at depths like that would be too much for any glass to handle.
      • There's no reason to think that "The Planet Core" is anything more than a nickname for a really deep cave, rather than trying to explain how a sea could go all the way through a planet big enough to have Earth-like gravity.
  • While I always liked the TPM, there was one thing that I think I completely misunderstood. At first, the Jedi Council is dead set against training Anakin, because he is too old, and there are all those Mommy issues... Then, in the end, the Council agrees, though Yoda still is against it. I always thought that they agreed because it was Qui-Gon's last wish and they maybe felt that they owed him. Or something. But, that wasn't the reason. At least, it wasn't the only reason. Anakin is the Chosen One (the Council never really doubted that after testing him) who is supposed to bring balance, that means, eradicate the Sith. First, when Qui-Gon tells about his encounter with Darth Maul on Tatooine and that he thinks Maul is a Sith, Mace Windu is incredulous. The Sith died out, he thinks. Without Sith, they don't need a Chosen One who is a potential loose cannon. But, when Yoda makes states the Council's decision in the end, he also explains that Darth Maul was indeed a Sith, they are sure of that now. And that is why the Council changed their minds. And, since there will be a second Sith, they will actually need The Chosen One. So he must be trained. It had nothing to do with Qui-Gon dying, but with realizing there actually was a Phantom Menace out there and they could not do without Anakin. - Liliedhe
    • Holy shit.
      • I second that. Holy crap on a cracker that's effing brilliant.
    • Yes, and if the Jedi Council took him in, then he wouldn't be out in the wild for the Sith to grab. But then Palpatine performs his simple workaround.
    • But the workaround failed in the end. Anakin ended up being the one who tossed Palpatine in the pit and, by returning to the Light Side, destroyed the Sith utterly. Even when Luke turned to the Dark Side, he did not become a Sith. Anakin's whole reason for existing was tied up in that one CMO; even to the point of making his EMO years integral to the end result - he had to cross over for a time to defeat Palpatine.
      • There's a school of thought on this, given explicit voice to in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, which postulates that the Chosen One prophecy was misinterpreted by the Jedi. The Jedi Order had become moribund and was allied with a corrupt government; the Jedi themselves were out of balance with the Force. The Choose One, who would bring Balance to the Force would have to destroy the Jedi Order, as well as the Sith before balance could be restored. So, the Chosen One did fulfil the prophecy, just not in the way anyone -Jedi or Sith- expected.
      • I realized, about the time of the third movie, when i was depressed utterly with Lucas' lost talent, that he wasn't as terrible as i thought. "Balance to the force" — how can it be balanced when there are two dark-practitioners and hundreds that follow the light? He manages to balance it on a fundamental, simple level: by bringing the Jedi in line with the Sith, only having a master and an apprentice (Yoda and Obi-Wan) remain. 2=2, thus balanced.
      • Except No. The Sith have much more power and influence than the Jedi; that's not balance, that's a power imbalance in favor to the Sith
      • There is a legitimate basis for arguing that the Jedi had become Lawful Neutral, not Lawful Good. For example, the Jedi Council was shockingly indifferent to what was happening to the people of Naboo and the only reason they kept Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan on the case was because the mysterious Dark Side warrior that attacked them on Tatooine caught their attention. Notice how having the population of a planet herded into concentration camps merits only two Jedi getting involved, and even then only because there is a "heresy" angle (somebody is using the Dark Side of the Force). In Attack of the Clones they dispatch a huge assault team of Jedi basically to rescue Obi-Wan, a single Jedi Master. So it could be argued that the Jedi had ceased to be a positive force supporting life, and had merely become an indifferent one committed to upholding the law. Thus the Jedi needed to be brought down as much as the Sith, since collectively they might actually lean slightly towards the Dark Side even though the Jedi nominally follow the Light Side.
      • This has been brought up before (in fact, I'm pretty sure it's mentioned somewhere on this page already), but that's not what he meant by "balance". It means destroying the Sith because they're, as Palpatine alluded to, unnatural.
    • The word 'balance' was poorly chosen. The Force and the Jedi religion are essentially Space Taoism. There is a natural order to things and the ultimate goal of a person's life is to fit himself into harmony with the universe, to find his path (his Tao) and walk it. The Sith are out of harmony, they are an unbalancing force. The Jedi seek harmony, balance with the will of the Force. It would have been better if the prophecy said that the Chosen One would bring harmony.
  • I realized the title The Phantom Menace is brilliant. It refers not only to the Sith, who are returning unbeknownst to the Jedi, and also to Anakin! Anakin is, or will be, a great threat to the Jedi, but nobody knows it yet!
    • You may be right, though I've always thought it to refer, in all likelihood, to the opening dialogue:
      "I've got a bad feeling about this."
      "Really? I don't sense anything at all!"
      "It's not about the mission, master: it's something...elsewhere...elusive...."
      • But those things could both be the same thing! The "something" could be the Sith and/or Anakin! That's how I always saw it, anyway?
  • At first, yet undisputed, that Darth Maul's duel sided lightsaber falls under Awesome, yet Impractical . However, it wasn't until I watched the movies recently and noticed that Jedi's don't typically swing the lightsaber as one would use a sword. Let me explain, against soldiers and droids, they seem to swing with little effort. Yet, against another Jedi or Sith, they fall into practical sword fighting and add a great deal of force. Why, you may be asking? Because a Lightsaber exerts such a great deal of force, that the only other weapon that could pose a legitimate threat and pose a fight is another Lightsaber. Since they cut through people like a hot knife through butter and bounce lazers off like nothing. Now, thinking back to Darth Maul, it's not so much as a duel lightsaber from this standpoint. It's more of a Light Saber Staff. With this revelation, I reviewed his moves in the movie, most of which is clearly inspired by Bo-Staff techniques and form.
    • Well, it would have to be, since swords with blades on both ends of the handle don't really exist in reality. Various forms of staff-fighting would be the best real-world analogues.
  • There didn't seem to be much reason behind the battle of Naboo (aside from providing action sequences) until I watched all of the movies back to back. Once the movies are seen in order, It is much easier to see the subtleties of the ultimate plot and how Palpatine really was manipulating everything from the very start.
    • The battle of Naboo planned by Palpatine, and a particularly cunning one at that; so well crafted was the gambit that the movie's viewers, who were privy to information that the protagonists were not, couldn't recognize the gambit for what it was until years later. That's right, Palpatine is such a Magnificent Bastard that his plans break the 4th wall!
    • That's my personal point of Fridge Brilliance with Star Wars. Whether or not he deserved it, Palpatine certainly EARNED his Empire. He orchestrated a war. He told the Trade Federation to blockade THE PLANET HE WORKED FOR, to force a vote to implant him as Chancellor. He urged the Separatists to separate, while urging the Republic to bring them back in, to start a conflict. He orchestrated wide-scale conflict — CONTROLLING BOTH SIDES — without being caught by authorities other than Anakin, ever. He made his own treason look like others' treason, thus granting him the final push he needed for the reorganization of the Senate, plus the PR reasoning behind Order 66. And once the Senate finally noticed what seemed to be going on, he had the power to destroy the organization itself, as Tarkin noted on the Death Star: "The Emperor has dissolved the Senate. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away." All Palpatine didn't control, in the movies, were the Rebels. Brilliant. —Aescula
      • Which, according to the (apparently) canon Force Unleashed was created by Vader. Which was a bit of Fridge Brilliance in and on itself -Arzeef
      • At the Emperor's order.
      • What better way to ensure control of the public and their opinion than through the creation of a "common enemy"? One that threatens to tear down the largely legitimate government with no real plan of what to do next, save to reinstate the corrupt Republic?
    • The Phantom Meance was really a Xanatos Gambit by Palpatine. No matter what happens, he wins. If the Trade Federation successfully invades and takes control of Naboo, he has the necessary sympathy vote to become Supreme Chancellor. If the Queen makes it to Coruscant to plead her case before the Senate, the accusations get that much more dramatic, the Trade Federation's allies have to step in more bluntly to spin the damage, and Palpatine gets a larger sympathy vote. If the Queen returns to Naboo and overcomes the droid army, Palpatine gets sympathy and badass vote. If the Queen returns to Naboo and gets captured by the Trade Federation, he still gets his sympathy vote. Nothing at all the heroes could have done could have changed the outcome to anything but a favorable one for Palpatine.
  • Kind of a small thing but... why is it that in The Phantom Menace it's Padme who calls for the vote of no confidence in the Supreme Chancellor? She is the Queen of Naboo, not the Nubian senator (at that point), technically she shouldn't have any official part to play except for serving as a witness to the Trade Federation's actions. Calling for the vote should have been Palpatine's responsibility.
    • Perhaps as the queen, she acts as an honorary senator?
    • She's speaking on behalf of her people, not as a member of the legislative body. She suggests a vote of no confidence and the Senate follows through. -The Paisley Chair
    • Palpatine invites her to "speak on our behalf," effectively ceeding his Senatorial power to her for that session. He'd already suggested the vote of no-confidence, so she knew he wouldn't be mad at her for using his authority to do that. On the other hand, since he suggests that she could call for the vote, maybe the politics of the Republic are so Byzantine by this point that Senators don't have that power, but planetary leaders do.
  • Panaka staying with the ship on Tatooine. At first glance, this seems like an odd move given that Panaka is a level-headed military-type. And yet, that's exactly why it would be better if he stays behind. Tatooine is a haven for criminals and shady figures — people who don't want to be found. Having Panaka along would make it much more difficult to interact with the populace because his demeanor screams law enforcement, and, given that Qui-Gon's a Jedi Master, any battle skills Panaka would bring to the table wouldn't add all that much more. Instead, an innocuous fool like Jar Jar is much more handy to bring along and this also prevents him from messing with the already damaged ship or accidentally sending a transmission (and thus alerting the Trade Federation of their location.)
  • I used to say that Jake Lloyd's Anakin was too sweet and too nice with no flaws to be a believable character, much less the origin of Vader. However, when I began to dig deeper, I realized there was a lot to this kid. While I still can't justify shoehorning C-3P0 into the mix, the fact that he built a droid is significant. Why? Because he stole the parts! And, bear in mind, Watto's not that bad a slave owner. He treats them respectfully, lets Anakin go home early, and lets Shmi stay at home and not work in the shop. So the fact that Anakin would still want to steal from the guy who, for all intents and purposes, is the only father-figure he has, is telling of his lack of respect for authority, which will became vitally important in leading to his hush-hush relationship/marriage, which will become incredibly important as it drives a wedge between him and all his friends except Palpatine.
    • Another point on those lines: probably not intentional, but when concentrating on pilotting, in the pod-race scene and perhaps in the fighter as well, he makes a face rather similar to the Emperor's in ROTJ while electrocuting Luke.
  • While looking at Phantom Menace's trope page, it's noted under Cowboy Cop that Luke has more of Qui-Gon Jinn's traits than either Obi-Wan or Yoda, the ones who trained him. That does, indeed, make perfect sense following Revenge of the Sith. At the end it's implied in the movie and outright stated in the novelization that Yoda has communed with the late Qui-Gon Jinn through the force. From there, he gave them both new ways to train (as Yoda tells Obi-Wan, "from your old master, and my new one"). With this in mind it's no wonder Luke took on Qui-Gon's traits. Luke's at the end of a Master-Apprentice Chain that features Qui-Gon at the start.
  • For all the Jar Jar Binks haters out there, consider this. If he didn't survive this movie, he would have never started the vote to put Palpatine into power, and Anakin would have lived his life as a Jedi. In other words, we have every right to hate Jar Jar, because he caused the rise of the Empire.
    • While I fully support Jar Jar hatred, I'm not sure we can say that without him the Empire wouldn't have risen. He was there because Amidala needed someone to act in her place while she was gone, and surely there would have been someone else there without him. I suspect that Palpatine would have been able to manipulate the replacement.
    • Not to mention Palpatine had already manipulated Amidala into putting him into power by calling for the Vote of No Confidence against Valorum. Once that was done it was just a matter of getting himself voted Chancellor.
    • More directly, in this film, if Jar-Jar hadn't been present, he wouldn't have mentioned the Gungan "Grand Army," which was critical to Padme's plot to retake Naboo.
  • The parade music at the end of the film is a jumpy enthusiastic tune in a major chord sung by what sounds like a children's choir. Put it in a minor chord, slow it way down, and replace the kids with a choir of depressed old men, and you get the Emperor's theme in Return of the Jedi. Consider that Palpatine (featured in the Parade sequence) and the Emperor are one and the same, and you begin to wonder how old and in what emotional state the kids in Phantom Menace would be at the time of the Battle of Endor...
  • "The Queen demands you take her handmaiden with you". Why would Padme risk leaving the safety of the ship to see what Tatooine is like? Because the Jedi Master is going, and he's the best protection for her, especially if the Trade Federation were to trace the ship's location. Better to get the real Queen as far away as possible.
  • There is a lot of criticisms towards Jar Jar's character design as a whole, among the criticisms being the way the Gungans speak. But one must keep in mind that the Gungans were the native populace of Naboo, and the Galactic Basic would be a new language to them. Their way of speaking is because the Basic was combined with their original Gungan language.
  • Why does Anakin have an American accent when his mother has a Swedish one and the other person he's always around, Watto has some kind of Italian/Middle Eastern accent? It's because he listened to the pilots who came into Watto's shop and admired and wanted to be like them. Most of the human ones likely were Corellian(like Han) and have American accents.
  • The way Qui-Gon and Darth Maul act during their duel while being separated by an energy gate is a summation of the Jedi and S Ith philosophies. Qui-Gon closes his eyes, meditates and focuses on summoning the best of his training to improve his skills. Darth Maul paces around, gathering anger and gaining a tunnel vision on his enemy he constantly glares at, focusing on his weak points.
  • A phantom is like a ghost, a specter that is physically not there... yet it stands before us in spite of that. A hologram is a virtual projector that makes a person appear before an audience as if he's really there despite the fact you cannot touch him for he lacks substances. Save for one scene, and all the scenes that featuring his secret identity, which character only appears as a hologram for the majority of the film?

Fridge Horror:
  • Queen Amidala has a decoy so any attempts at assassination would fail. Sounds bad, but it's just something that comes with such a high political position. Then you remember that she was 14 in the movie, so they would have to hire a similarly aged young girl to take any and all bullets intended for the Queen.
  • The Colo-Claw Fish was a mother protecting her young. What's going to happen to them now that she's dead?
    • They die and get eaten by something. That's kind of how nature works.
  • Realizing that every last character signed their proverbial death certificate in the ending. Anakin gets trained by a grieving, inexperienced Knight barely out of a Padawan braid, who is completely unable to handle the task of an unruly unconventional trainee who hasn't been confined to an enclave all his life. Obi-Wan, said grieving and inexperienced Knight, will be killed by Anakin later. Padme and Anakin have a Precocious Crush that will end in a tragic mess of a marriage and their mutual destruction. Palpatine has been elected Chancellor, starting his rise to power that will eventually destroy almost every other character present, directly or indirectly. Worse, it all looked like a victory at the time.

Fridge Logic:
  • After it was all over, why the heck did nobody think to go back to Tatooine and buy Anakin's mother? She would probably have sold for less than the cost of one of Amidala's fancy dresses; it would seem like a small price to pay to reward the kid who saved their world. (Why? Because without Shmi dying horribly several years later, there's no Darth Vader, that's why.)
    • But...they didn't *know* she was going to die and turn Anakin into Vader. Or if they somehow did, wouldn't that give them extra incentive to go rescue her?
      • Even without the forsight of her death it still seems like a dick move to forget about Shmi and have Anakin be chatised every time he confesses to worrying about his mother. Even if he never got to see her as often, knowing that she was safe and not a slave probably would have made Anakin less of an angry jerk and more of the noble jedi that he was supposed to be. That way, Anakin's story can actually be tragic when the character isn't a jerk.
    • Actually, none of it would have mattered. Shmi wasn't killed because she was a slave- she had been freed and was married at that point. While it still would have made sense to free her at the time as a reward for helping save Naboo, her being a slave ultimately had nothing to do with being kidnapped by Sand People.
      • But if she wasn't on Tatooine, she wouldn't have been kidnapped and killed by the Sand People. Problem solved, series over.
      • Yes, I'm sure Palpatine would have allowed her a long and happy life and not manipulate one of Anakin's strongest emotional ties to push him towards the dark side. It wouldn't surprise me to learn he was behind her ultimate fate anyway.
    • To be a Jedi is to live an ascetic life and completely devote one's life to the Force. That means letting go of one's family and forgoing intimacy. No doubt there have been countless Jedi before who have had to leave family behind with no certainty of their survival. One of Anakin's problems is that he can't fully let go of those passions and while it was exacerbated by this guilt over leaving his mother, his training would probably have been further retarded by his inability to let go of her. Shmi Skywalker was glad to have her son move on to something better than Tatooine even if it meant staying behind. On top of that, who's to say he wouldn't feel guilt about leaving all of his friends behind to live in slavery? He did say that he dreamed of becoming a Jedi and freeing all the slaves.
      • Except...unless you go back thousands of years, there aren't Jedi who've had to leave family. Anakin is "too old" for the NINE. By most standards, the only thing he's a bit old for is potty-training and kindergarten. Jedi children are taken from their families to the temple when they're literally too young to remember anything about where they came from. And this actually contributes to the Jedi's complete and total incompetence dealing with Anakin's crises—first over his mother, then over Padme. They seem to have absolutely no protocol in place for dealing openly with the kind of emotional stress he's under. Anakin doesn't even feel he can talk about any of it openly without risking discipline (we don't know exactly what, but possibly up to and including being expelled from the order.) The operating assumption is that Jedi just never have these problems, here's some vague platitudes, now stop having these feelings. Yoda can't in fact be anything BUT vague as treating it entirely as a discipline question means Anakin's holding back critical information. They reluctantly take this kid on from a horribly traumatic background and they never remotely consider that it might mean there are special issues that Standard Jedi Instructions won't be able to deal with.
  • Meta-example: George Lucas stated the film was intended for kids. Which explains taxation, trade federations, Senate hearings...
    • George Lucas stated the film was intended for kids. Which explains the several plotholes, annoying jokes, and Jar Jar.
      • Lucas meant that the intention of the movie was to get hold of kids' money. The sloppy writing was just a bonus.
      • The Phantom Menace, like all of the Star Wars films, is a family movie. They're targeted at kids (Mark Hamill himself said the original's target audience was 5 year olds in this interview [] at 13:09), but there's material there for preteens, teenagers, and adults to enjoy as well.
      • It just so happens that the original trilogy has far more for older audiences to enjoy.