Naturally, 13 years on, expectations have been recalibrated significantly and there is still a lot to still like about The Phantom Menace. The score by John Williams is extremely good and the Duel of the Fates track played during the climactic lightsaber battle is one of the best contributed to the entire series. The casting of Ewan McGregor as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi was perfect. The special effects have held up reasonably (albeit not nearly as well as the original series). Darth Maul is a seriously great villain and it's the first time in the series that we've seen some real ass-kicking lightsaber battle action. The fight choreography by Nick Gillard was extremely well done and much was done to emphasise this in the re-release publicity campaign.
The 3D conversion is for the most part quite successful. Obviously, none of the film was made with 3D in mind and the firm tasked with the conversion, Prime Focus, have walked a very fine line and erred on the side of subtlety. There are times when I wished they had pushed foreground effects just a little more. The floating seeker droids dispatched by Darth Maul and some of the lightsaber scenes gave the potential for some good stereoscopic effects that I don't think were fully capitalised on. However, I was pleasantly surprised that there were very few errors introduced in the process. Hardcore fans that have seen the films more frequently than I who are focusing more on the 3D effects rather than watching the films may be a little more critical.
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