Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace ★★★★½

Getting close to Rogue One time, so time to catch up on all my favorite Star Wars movies, AKA all of them.

Last couple times I saw this, the effects were noticeably poorer than I remembered, but this time I didn't really feel that way. It is very dated, but the animation on the individual creatures, aliens, robots, ships, etc are so well-done that it holds up, just like how Toy Story is still very watchable despite how it aged. The cinematography, lighting, and visuals in general are gorgeous as usual, anyway.

Jake Lloyd still will never grow on me and only continues to fuel my hatred for child actors, but I tolerated Jar Jar Binks WAY more than usual. I don't know if there's some weird reverse-cycled-nostalgia or something crazy kicking in fifteen years after I stopped being completely in love with this movie, but the silly dialogue, the convoluted political plot, the gags-- they continue to grow on me over time in a pretty weird way.

I haven't read the Ring Theory article on Star Wars recently enough to have watched Phantom Menace through that lens, but I think I will try for that next time. That's definitely been a goal of mine for a while.

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