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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (Movie)

Not Playing with Lex and Dan 3.1: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

You’re not seeing things! We’re back with a very special season three of Not Playing with Lex and Dan. Right on schedule, as we promised. Go about your business. Move along.

Regular listeners of the show know that among the most egregious holes in Lex’s movie-watching history are most of the Star Wars saga, so in season three, we’re out to correct that oversight. Join Jedi Master Dan Moren as he takes padawan Lex under his wing and shepherds him through the entire eight (soon to be nine) movie saga.

Hot topics for this debut episode, which covers the 1999 travesty installment, The Phantom Menace, include what to do about really uncomfortable portrayals of aliens, why some droids can’t speak English, whether or not Queen Amidala is currently Natalie Portman, and what the hell planet we’re on now.

Programming Note: In addition to this capsule episode, which contains our discussion before and after the film, members can watch along with Lex and Dan in a full-length commentary track, available in the members-only First Class feed. If you’re not already a member, why not sign up? And if you are, now’s a great time to update your membership allocations and maybe throw a little support in the direction of Not Playing. Thanks!

Lex Friedman and Dan Moren

Defocused 73: Quantify His "Forciness"

It didn’t have to be this way, George.

Joe Rosensteel and Dan Sturm

Unjustly Maligned 10: "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" with Erika Ensign

Podcaster and handwavium aficionado Erika Ensign joins Antony to explain why “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” is unjustly maligned, that audiences should judge a movie in what it’s trying to be rather than what it’s trying to live up to, and how George Lucas never grew up.

Antony Johnston with Erika Ensign

The Incomparable 137: Go Wash a Droid

We conclude our discussion of “Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.” We discuss the merits of podracing, debate who the Jedi’s version of Fonzie is, and grapple with tricky euphemisms. Plus, is the final lightsaber duel cool or just over-choreographed? And why is there a hall full of forcefields, next to a room with no guard rails? Party on, Darth! (Part 2 of 2.)

Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Greg Knauss, John Siracusa, Serenity Caldwell, Steve Lutz and Monty Ashley

The Incomparable 136: We Waited 16 Years For This?

They said it couldn’t be done! They said it shouldn’t be done! But here we are, talking about “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” Why are the Jedi such jerks? A little Jedi goes a long way. Also, the biggest letdown of John Siracusa’s life to date, stupid droids, good actors being boring, text versus subtext, the merits of prequels in general, and why this is a movie that makes us dream… of a better movie. Exqueeze me? (Part 1 of 2.)

Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Greg Knauss, John Siracusa, Monty Ashley, Serenity Caldwell and Steve Lutz