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Entertainment Media Analysis Report

MAR06999 - Revised 6/5/99
Star Wars: Episode 1
The Phantom Menace
(1999), PG
CAP Score: 79, CAP ID: 0.37

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President
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Executive Summary / Commentary
Findings / Scoring

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"Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (PG) -- Not one. No, not one single instance of foul language or nudity or sexual activity was noted! And no drugs/alcohol! And not one instance of God's name in vain with or without the four letter expletive! Good job, Lucas! But maybe that is not enough.

As in the three previous episodes of Star Wars (visit "Star Wars: Special Comparative Study"), the strongest presence of negative influence in "The Phantom Menace" was in Wanton Violence/Crime and in Offense to God. Though Episode 1 earned the best Wanton Violence/Crime score of the four episodes , it was indeed a violent movie with orders to kill, child slavery, animals chomping on other animals, deaths in a race, deaths in battle, and a graphic cremation of a human body.

The matters incorporated into Offense to God, including issues of counterfeiting and mockery of the Scriptures, were unfortunately quite serious. Among other issues, the script presented a claim of Anakin being a virgin birth thus equating him with Jesus, multiple implications of the "will of the force" being equatable to the Will of God and His Control, foreseeing into the future, and calling Anakin "the chosen one" to bring reconciliation of the universal forces of good and evil, again equating Anakin with Jesus. The Episode 1 apprentice for the emperor, Darth Maul was truly an evil character and your kids may need your arm around them the first time his face appears in 15 x 30 foot larger-than-life, in-you-face grandeur.

For 22 years George Lucas has admirably resisted the immense trend to progressively incorporate bitterness of new age "up yours" freedom from authority and consequence, the blatant sex, and the gore typical of many movies generated during the same time frame -- even and sometimes especially in movies made for kids. Congratulations, Mr. Lucas and thank you! But I challenge you to keep matters of unholiness out of the next one, which I hope you will make. See if you can make a CAP score of 100 in the Offense to God Investigation Area.

Except for the matters of unholiness, the ignominy in the movie should clearly be fantasy to the young and impressionable and should thus be easily redirected by caring, *participative* parents. If you do go, please talk it over with your kids, ESPECIALLY about the unholiness.

For the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie, visit the Findings/Scoring section below.

FINDINGS / SCORING: Star Wars: Epsidoe 1 - The Phantom Menace (YEAR) CAP Thermometers

NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below are likely.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • orders to kill
  • eating of animals by animals
  • child slavery
  • multiple deaths in a race and in battle
  • "sword" fighting
  • exceptionally evil character
  • Darth Maul being cut in half (non-graphic, no blood/guts)

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • lies to deflect accountability
  • a small issue of a little boy's arrogance against mother's authority re: going to bed (sound familiar?)

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • Scant clothing
  • statue nudity

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • repeated talk of subservience to gods
  • calling on a nonholy force for direction, protection, and strength
  • claim of a virgin birth
  • foreseeing the future
  • repeatedly equating "the force" with God's Will and His Control
  • repeated references to a human as "the chosen one"
  • levitation/psychokineses

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • graphic murder by sabre (impalement through body)
  • murder by Tuskan Raiders shooting racers

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment industry.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

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