Finding the Joy in The Phantom Menace

Finding the Joy in The Phantom Menace | Anakin and His Angel

Welcome! This is the second part of a new series here on Anakin and His Angel where I will share my favorite moment in which one or more characters experiences joy from each of the Star Wars films. I started off with Solo: A Star Wars Story and I'll be continuing with the Prequel Trilogy beginning with The Phantom Menace.

I think it's safe to say that the celebration on Naboo at the end of The Phantom Menace is one of the happiest scenes in all of Star Wars and that the moment in which Anakin wins the Boonta Eve Podrace is quite a memorable one. But there is another scene that takes place before any of these heartwarming moments that really strikes a chord with me.

Finding the Joy in The Phantom Menace | Anakin and His Angel

Finding the Joy in The Phantom Menace | Anakin and His Angel

Anakin works diligently to get his podracer running to enter (and win) the Boonta Eve race in an effort to earn enough credits for his new friends Qui-Gon, Jar Jar and Padme to purchase the parts they need for the Queen's Naboo Starship after it left them stranded on Tatooine. His generosity, determination and skills at such a young age don't go unnoticed by the Jedi and his companions, and they are hopeful that he can help them with their situation. However, his neighbors Kitster, W. Wald, Amee, Melee, and Seek aren't as encouraging as they came around to tease him while he worked hard to place the finishing touches on his podracer. Anakin doesn't seem to be phased by the discouraging remarks and continues tending to his work. Finally, his time and energy pays off! The engines roar and, with a smile that beams across his entire youthful face, he exclaims "It's working! It's working!" Qui-Gon and Padme are nearby with thankful and relieved expressions as they watch Anakin who is filled with pure delight. Shmi, Anakin's mom, witnesses his accomplishment from afar. She knew he could do it and was undoubtedly proud of him but the fear of losing her son in the dangerous race prevented her from outwardly expressing it.

Finding the Joy in The Phantom Menace | Anakin and His Angel

Finding the Joy in The Phantom Menace | Anakin and His Angel

I chose this scene because it makes me so happy to see how proud Anakin is that he got his podracer up and running. Most of the time I get teary-eyed as soon as he proclaims that the podracer is working because I feel overwhelmed with joy. He feels accomplished, much like a child would feel when they've finally learned how to ride their bike for the first time without training wheels. The journey to get there might have been frustrating but succeeding in such a way is one of the best kinds of rewards there is. That feeling of joy is almost indescribable!

Mom, you said that the biggest problem in the universe is no one helps each other. - Anakin

I also love this scene because it shows just how much Anakin cares for people. He was willing to risk so much to help people he just met! Imagine what life would be like if we all treated people this way more often - if we stopped to listen and help one another.

I've always thought this scene was executed in a really beautiful way and I couldn't imagine it without John Williams' magical touch. The emotion it adds to watching Anakin's path unfolding is profound and definitely one of the highlights of Anakin's story. It can be difficult to digest, knowing where his journey takes him but there is comfort in reminding myself that he made the right choice at the end. Though his inner turmoil would soon take him to a place far removed from his innocent beginnings, a spark of the good within him survived just enough to keep the darkness from destroying him completely. How fitting that the thing that would ultimately save him was the act of rescuing, itself. First, his friends on Naboo... And, last... his son.

The circle is complete. - Darth Vader

In your opinion, what is the most joyous moment in The Phantom Menace? Leave a comment below or get in touch with me on Twitter or Instagram.

Thanks to: for the photos.

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