How A Behind-The-Scenes Documentary Revealed All The Problems With 'The Phantom Menace'

At one point in The Beginning: Making Star Wars Episode I, George Lucas offhandedly remarks “You can destroy these things, you know?" The director is wondering if he made the right choice by deciding to add to what is one of the most successful film franchises in history. Unfortunately for Lucas, it's now no secret that he was making a huge mistake. 

This moment is brilliant because it features Lucas experiencing a rare moment of insight. Almost every other frame in the documentary paints the director as a billionaire boy who won’t be told which toys he can and can’t play with. In this scene, however, we see the glimmer of an artist, starring horrified into an abyss of their own creation. 

Jon Shenk — a documentarian who brought us the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth — directed the documentary about the making of The Phantom Menace, and his keen eye for the artist's self-destructive nature is on full display. Rather than acting as a collection of The Phantom Menace behind the scenes footage, The Beginning is a fascinating look into the illogical artistry that birthed the worst part of your favorite franchise.