Phantom Menace was bad. Jar Jar was bad. The pod race added nothing and almost made me hate racing and jet engines. The members of the Trade Federaton and Watto were bad caricatures that should be as inappropriate these days as James T. Crow from Dumbo (did you know Disney literally named the crow in Dumbo “Jim Crow”? Seriously). Anakin was... less annoying than in the next two movies at least.
But the climactic lightsaber duel, that was magnificent. The choreography. The music. The unique fighting styles of each combatant. The savagery and menace of Maul’s appearance (just look at that screenshot). The physicality of it all. Compare it to any lightsaber battle in the original trilogy and it’s a galaxy far far away indeed. I don’t like Phantom Menace, but I love this scene.
What other iconic fight scenes deserved to be in better movies?