“10 Continuity Errors In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”
There are a fair few people might say that making The Phantom Menace was the biggest continuity error in the Star Wars franchise itself. While it hasn’t had the best response from fans and critics, it certainly introduces a few cool characters and takes us to some interesting places.
The film introduces midichlorians as an explanation for the force and we find out that C3PO was built by Anakin (even if the pair having no recognition of each other when they meet again many years later). On top of these two major retcons, there are many issues with the film’s continuity, ranging from certain sections that make no sense, to errors in filming. Here are 10 continuity errors we spotted in The Phantom Menace.
10 They Forgot To Animate Sebulba In
Considering the Pod Racing scene is twenty minutes long, there were bound to be a fair few issues buried within it. Sebulba, the weird alien who seems like a bad guy and then never shows up again, is featured heavily as Anakin’s main rival.
There is one shot in which Sebulba’s Pod is behind Anakin, but Sebulba himself is nowhere to be seen. This isn’t the only issue with the character, as there is another shot just a few moments later in which Sebulba instantaneously switches from Ani’s left side to his right.
9 Where Did Darth Maul’s Lightsaber Go?
There are a couple of scenes in which Darth Maul seems to temporarily lose his own lightsaber. The first is a blink and you’ll miss it moment, in which only a small portion of the blade is visible for a few frames, but the more glaring error is when Maul’s (supposedly) dead body is falling into the pit.
He was holding his broken lightsaber when he began to fall, but as soon as the camera cuts to the shot of him actually falling, the weapon seems to have disappeared entirely.
8 Who Is This Teleporting Girl?
In the final scene of the film, there is a mysterious, unnamed girl standing behind R2-D2 and Anakin. We never find out anything about her, but she seems to have some sort of magical teleportation ability (that, or she simply finds herself slap bang in the middle of some big continuity errors).
When the shot changes, she is at the front of a group of children throwing confetti, before returning to her position behind R2-D2 and Anakin. It seems weird that with all of these extras available to them, they’d reuse the same prominent actress and throw off the continuity of the scene.
7 Obi Wan’s Blink-And-You’ll-Miss-It Force Ability
They obviously filmed the death of Darth Maul from a few different angles using a few different shots, because there is one shot in which Obi-Wan makes an aggressive move towards the Sith apprentice while holding Qui Gon’s lightsaber with his right hand, while shots either side show it to be in his left.
It makes you wonder what their approach to filming scenes such as this one is, and how big the gap between takes is. Surely if they filmed them relatively close together, then Ewan McGregor would simply be able to remember what hand he had the lightsaber in?
6 Anakin’s Pod Racer Shouldn’t Really Work
The engines of Anakin’s pod racer turn in the completely wrong direction, meaning that air is pushed away from the engine, rather than sucked in. In terms of mechanics, only an engineer will know the exact implications of this, but it would have been funny to see a scientifically accurate representation of Anakin’s flawed design.
Perhaps it wouldn’t have moved at all. Or maybe it would have sent him flying in reverse. Or, better yet, maybe his Racer would have just blown up as soon as he tried to move off of the starting line.
5 R2-D2 Doesn’t Work So Well When He’s Animated
One of the biggest problems with the prequel trilogy as a whole is its decision to replace many of the practical effects and realism of the originals with non-stop animation and a pathetic looking green screen. During the film, there are many issues with R2-D2 that wouldn’t have been there if they’d used his physical form throughout.
Firstly, a couple of shots in which he is on top of various ships simply don’t have him there. There is also a close up when Anakin is flying out of the hanger in which his lens is on the wrong side, and one particularly bad animation during the pod race, in which the top of his head just lifts up slightly.
4 The Droidedka’s Guns Don’t Really Work
One of the more interesting villains introduced in The Phantom Menace is the shielded, ball-shaped droids called droidekas. They might not have been given the most interesting name in the world, but they’re certainly one of the most unique concepts the prequels introduce.
They spend a lot of their time rolling around in creepy spider-like balls, and when they reach their target, their canons alternate blasts as they shoot. During the fight in the hanger on Theed, many of the obvious shots don’t actually produce any laser fire, despite moving and making their shooting sound effect.
3 Shmi’s Changing Screen
Despite the fact that, as a Jedi, Qui Gon is more powerful, than most, he makes little to no effort to free Shmi Skywalker from her slavery. Despite being a slave, Shmi is given a surprising amount of freedom, such as the option to watch Anakin’s pod race.
From a distance, we see her watching him on a screen that has handles on either side. When the shot zooms in, the screen no longer has these handles. This would imply that they made two different props to fulfill this one purpose, and then for some strange reason decided to alternate between which one they used.
2 Anakin Doesn’t Know When His Own Race Is
Considering Anakin has spent most of his childhood building a Pod Racer and gearing up to enter competitions when the day finally comes around, he seems weirdly misinformed. He tells Qui Gon that “there’s a big race tomorrow” (which he could use to pay for their parts). The problem with that sentence is that there isn’t actually a race tomorrow.
The next day, Anakin spends his time fixing up his ship, and then the race begins the day after. Why doesn’t Anakin know all the details about something he’s clearly obsessed with?
1 The Traffic Is On Loop
This isn’t exactly an error, because I’m sure George Lucas knew exactly what he was doing when he copied and pasted loops of traffic passing the windows in Coruscant. However, looking into the background of each scene and watching the same ship fly past every few seconds really takes you out of the moment.
You’d think that in a big-budget entry into a huge franchise, they’d simply take the time to fill it will cool detail, rather than take the much lazier alternative option: animating a few seconds and then looping it.
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