In and of itself, EP1 was actually alright. I have never before dared to state this out loud because of the ridicule that would have been poured onto my head.
That being said, there were a bnumber of things I DIDN'T like about the film, even Jar-Jar was irritating but ignorable (and yes, rarely he was even funny). The kid...well, I thought his acting was a little wooden, but then I remember that he was exactly that - a *kid*. Never work with children or animals, as they often said in the BBC.
I won't start on the "midichlorians" stuff. I just won't.
But the worst thing about the film was, IMHO, Darth Maul. He said nothing of import. Wandered around, looked menacing, and had a cool fight at the end. I for one would have preferred a fight more like the one in ep2, where the opponenets TALKED to each other. Made threats, pummeled their chest saying how hard they were.
I wouldn't have minded if he'd had SOME character. It didn't have to be much, just enough to be more than a cardboard cutout with a funny face and two lightsaber blades. I am aware of his PURPOSE in the film, but that doesn't mean he had to have no ROLE in the film.
Am I the only one who thinks that perhaps some of his scenes got cut? The ones where you saw more of his character? That would make some sense to me, because otherwise he really did serve no purpose other than to turn up at the end, kill off one major character, and then die at the hands of another.
Finally mr. Kal, would you like to tell me, in your OWN words, what YOU think his purpose was? I notice you stated that I had no idea what it was, but you neglected to actually tell us.