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Parents' Guide to

Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace

By Matt Springer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Kid-centric but violent prequel lacks originals' energy.

Movie PG 1999 133 minutes
Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 51 parent reviews

age 8+
age 9+

Awesome movie!

It is a great movie but if you want to watch the whole movie I recommend you are 9 years or more because there are some violent scenes. For example, the battle of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon V.S Darth Maul, when Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Jar-Jar Binks are in a submarine and when some guards get shot. Though you do not see any blood or people being burned by the gunshot because their hands are covering were they got shot. Also, if you are scared of aliens do not watch this movie!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (51 ):
Kids say (204 ):

With its 8-year-old lead character, bright and imaginative design, and never-lets-up plotting, this prequel is perfectly suited to kids' attention span. It's a shame that The Phantom Menace doesn't hold up to adult standards as well as most of the original three Star Wars films did. It could be a generational thing, and maybe 1977's Star Wars is as clunky and leaden to older viewers as The Phantom Menace is to most twenty- and thirty-somethings.

But director George Lucas seems to make some of the same mistakes here that he narrowly avoided in the original trilogy. Technology trumps storytelling, plot trumps character, and hollow exposition trumps clever dialogue. There's little doubt that Lucas and his team accomplished some amazing visual feats with Menace, and there are a few sequences (the opening 10 minutes, the Tattooine pod race) in which that old Star Wars feel returns once again. Overall, kids will probably love Phantom Menace, but parents will be wishing it were over so that they can put the kids to bed and watch the classics again.

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