The Real Reason You Hate "The Phantom Menace"

That reason?

Qui-Gon Jinn is a dick.

I saw “The Phantom Menace” on Friday night, in 3D (the 3D looks good, by the way, one or two bad moments excepted), the first time in thirteen years. Oh yes, like many of you, I was there on opening night, and like a lot of you, I walked away disappointed. More than ten years later, I walked out disappointed again, but for entirely different reasons.

I could rip the script, the editing, the filmmaking, but everybody’s done that. Underneath all of that is one simple decision that quite frankly says far too much, intentionally or unintentionally, about George Lucas, and probably stuck in your craw without your even realizing it.

First, let’s look at Star Wars. The rebels, the guys fighting a presumably oppressive and restrictive regime, are in the right. Sure, they screw up. Before I worked here, I wrote an entire article for Cracked about how they screwed up. But knocking over the Empire is in no way a bad thing.

Now look at Qui-Gon. He’s the unconventional guy in the script, the hippie, the one who takes risks, thinks with his heart. He stands up and tells off the obstinately bureaucratic and oppressive Man…and he’s wrong. So, so incredibly f**king wrong he triggers the fall of the Republic, killing untold millions and putting everyone else firmly under the boot of a guy so evil, his chosen name is Sidious.

Stop and think about the implications of that for a minute. To the extent the original trilogy of Star Wars has a message (and that’s debatable), that message is “it’s OK to rebel against oppression, and the people in authority don’t necessarily know better than you.”