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15th Anniversary of The Phantom Menace

Discussion in 'Movies' started by DisneySwan1990, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. DisneySwan1990

    DisneySwan1990 Well-Known Member

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    On May 18th marks the 15th anniversary of the 1st film in the Star Wars prequel series: The Phantom Menace. I wish Disneyland California would do a cast reunion to mark this occasion, but anyway, what was your experience before and after seeing the film? I, for one, only watched it for Jar Jar Binks and Qui-Gon Jinn, becuz Qui Gon is sexy and he's my fave character in this film, sad to see him get killed by the despicable Darth Maul.
     
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  2. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Just to be nitpicky, The Phantom Menace came out on May 19.

    I'd like to think that people will have moved on from crying about the prequels after 15 years but there's little chance of that happening.
     
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  3. Chris Will

    Chris Will Well-Known Member

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    I haven't even thought about this, it doesn't feel like it has been 15 years.

    I saw it 3 times the day it came out; once at midnight, then the first showing the next morning and again later that night.

    Then I proceeded to hate the movie for many years but, now I've had a change of heart.

    The more I watch the entire series, the more I realize that TPM is the only prequel that really feels like Star Wars. Yes, Jar Jar still stinks and Jake Lloyd can't act but, the movie as a whole fills more like the original trilogy then either of the other prequels. I don't really know why, I tend to think the editing and pacing are more similar to the OT then Ep. II and III. TPM is also my kids' favorite of the 6 and the one they watch the most.

    ROTS is a better overall movie IMO, and my favorite of the PT but, it doesn't really feel like Star Wars to me for some reason. Maybe because of its darker tone. I still enjoy watching it and I love the ending, even with the "Nooooooooooo!"

    AOTC has not aged well and the story is just a mess. It is my least favorite movie of the entire series. It may have some fun action scenes but, outside of those it's just boring IMO.

    15 years, man how time flies.
     
  4. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    DisneySwan, did you get chills when you heard Liam's voice call out to Anakin in Attack of the Clones? :)

    Personally, my favorite part of the sequels is still the second half of AotC. The first half is very silly, though.

    Overall, the sequels are OK, but were a disappointment compared to the originals. In their defense, though, I was *exactly* the right age for the first two films to be utterly life-changing. (Return of the Jedi was, shall we say, not quite up to snuff.)
     
  5. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    So, why not go over to WDW on the east coast, where Mark Hamill will be appearing at the first Star Wars Weekend? :)

    I remember taking some friends VERY late in TPM's run, where the fan-fallout had already settled (the friends wanted to avoid the "crowds"), so we caught it in late June, and the modern-day kids in the audience were visibly bored silly. Lots of aisle traffic, with nothing onscreen to entertain them.

    I've always been "heretical" in feeling like Star Wars (I don't call it "Episode IV", because I was there in the no-subtitle-scroll days :cool: ) was the "true" Star Wars film in that it felt like old 40's serials, where Empire tried but didn't really, Jedi didn't even come close, and neither of the two had a sense of humor.
    Even so, felt like RotS felt a little more like the "story" of Star Wars, where they tried to bring the Prequel-verse back into line with the Original-verse, and try to atone for their shortcomings against what better individuals had made in a more civilized film era.

    (And I think the fan thing was summed up in that one news story about fans lining up in costume two weeks ahead for RotS at the Chinese--
    Namely, that they didn't find out until later that for once it wasn't going to open at the Chinese, it was going to open across town. :lol: Fans lined up anyway, saying "Yeah, well, it's not about getting tickets, it's about showing your fandom!"...Uh, I was IN those '77 lines, junior, and it was about getting tickets for the one screen showing it. The fans started petitioning Fox to open it at the Chinese anyway, since it was "tradition", but at that point, most of the new generation was saying "Dude, who stands in line anymore? Why did you not just reserve your tickets six weeks ahead online?")
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    When I saw it, there were people of all ages- especially kids- cheering, laughing at Jar Jar and clapping at the end and when I saw it in 3D a couple years ago, the same thing happened.
     
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  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I mainly remember buying the Japanese LD version at $90 plus shipping for TPM due to the Pod Race scene used to blow up HT subs back in the day.

    I also remember coming out of my initial theatrical viewing with some friends, and all were pretty disappointed by what we had witnessed on the big screen that night. :D
     
  8. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Premium
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    I saw Phantom Menace theatrically the week that it was released and I thought that it was ok, certainly not as disappointing as reviews portrayed it to be. When it was released for home video as a VHS exclusive I had upgraded 100% to DVD and I was content to do without owning it. Down the line when it was released on DVD I preordered a copy. After watching it a couple times I was able to sell it used on eBay for more than I paid for it, and haven't seen it since.Phantom Menace isn't a bad movie, but I feel like the only reason that I would sit through it is because it's part of the Star Wars franchise. I am a true fan of episodes II-VI.
     
  9. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    The Phantom Menace *is* a bad movie as far as I'm concerned. I can still remember walking out of the theater 15 years ago feeling like a huge piece of the Star Wars joy that lived inside of me had died. What a letdown. I've watched it several times since its theatrical run and my feelings about the film have not changed at all. Blech. To each their own.
     
  10. RobertR

    RobertR Well-Known Member

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    For me, TPM doesn't exist (much like the Matrix sequels).
     
  11. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Well-Known Member

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    1999 was an absolutely stellar year at the movies. Lots of interesting 15th anniversaries this year.While it may not be my favorite film of the year, TPM certainly dominated the pop culture in 1999. I absolutely enjoyed being in my early twenties and getting excited about Star Wars again.
     
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  12. SilverWook

    SilverWook Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about Episode III, but there were some fans camping out in line on the first two to benefit charity. Somebody even made a documentary about them.
     
  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Premium
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    I remember seeing The Phantom Menace as a teenager at the Syosset United Artists theater on Long Island - at the time, it was the only single-screen theater left on Long Island, and it closed before all the other prequels came out. I know some people waited on line but I never quite understood that in the modern era -- tickets went onsale via the 777-FILM phone service a month before, so I just bought my midnight tickets then, and then set out to talk my dad into giving me a ride to the theater.

    I didn't love the movie, but I really enjoyed it -- and it held up for me on subsequent viewings.

    Does anyone else remember the soundtrack coming out a week before the movie, and it having the track listing in promiment letters on the back? There's a track called "Qui-Gon's Noble End" followed by "Qui-Gon's Funeral" -- I really wished I hadn't seen that before the movie, even though it wasn't a huge surprise that Liam Neeson didn't make it til the end.

    I really wish the 3D version that was released to theaters in 2012 was available on BD3D. I'm glad that Disney bought Lucasfilm and is making new Star Wars movies, but I wish they hadn't canceled the 3D re-releases along the way.
     
  14. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Well-Known Member

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    It has always been a difficult film for me to watch because of the disjointed nature of the film, in terms of my enjoyment of individual segments. IMHO, some segments really work well and then the film cuts to scenes that just destroy any momentum; but if you wait another awesome scene eventually shows up. Very frustrating. I did love the sound design of the film. Like Pat, I purchased the Japanese LD (still have it) mainly for the audio. In addition to the Pod race the sound design of the Darth Maul / Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon showdown was a standout. Hated Jar Jar on the initial viewing and still wish that he had been cut up into kibble by a well placed light saber. :)

    - Walter.
     
  15. Cinescott

    Cinescott Well-Known Member

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    Well, I suppose there have to be anniversaries for bad things as well as good. :)

    I just watched TPM yesterday, coincidentally. My opinion on the quality of the film seems to go down each time I watch it, which has been 3 or 4 times now since '99. For me, it isn't even Jar Jar that ruins the movie as much as the convoluted plot. The whole "taxation dispute" idea was a bad one. It seems silly to me to hear George Lucas defend the film as "intended for children" when I can't even figure out what's going on.

    The whole notion of prequels was a risky setup from the beginning. It ties a writer's hands behind his back so badly with plot elements that have to be there eventually, that to maintain creativity becomes that much harder.
     
  16. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Premium
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    I felt the Star Wars prequels had, at times, a weird blend of being dependent on things we know and things we don't. Probably not phrasing that right, but... it's like they wanted the movies to stand alone so that you could watch and enjoy them if you watch the prequels before the originals, but then don't actually always work as stand alones or first parts of the story.

    For instance... We know that Palpatine is ultimately the bag guy because we've seen Return Of The Jedi. The entire audience knows it going in, but up until he's revealed in Episode III, the film acts as if Palpatine and Sidious are separate characters and expects us not to notice that it's the same actor or question it at all. The only reason we don't question anything, or feel that his motivation isn't properly explained, is because we already know he's the bad guy. If it had been a real reveal, would it have gone done as well, or would audience members be confused or feel there wasn't enough character or plot development to justify it? The first two and a half prequels have this "mystery" to be solved, and the characters spend a great deal of time trying to do so, but all of us in the audience already know the answer so there's no suspense. On the flip side, would it matter to anyone in the audience that R2-D2 and C-3PO were in the prequels, if they hadn't already seen the originals? Would you embrace those characters or wonder why so much screen time had been given to robots that don't really advance the plot? Those characters aren't needed for the stories being told, but they're there us.

    I'm not sure if I'm expressing what I'm trying to say particularly well, but hopefully that makes at least a little bit of sense.
     
  17. SilverWook

    SilverWook Well-Known Member

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    One potentially overlooked legacy of TPM is it gave birth to the fan edit. If anyone had done one for a movie before that, I haven't heard about it. The rise of the internet helped of course.

    I've probably watched a certain "ridiculous" edit of TPM more than the original movie at this point.

    Also, thanks to Lucas' continued revisons, this fellow has joined Sebastian Shaw's Anakin ghost on the cutting room floor.
    [​IMG]
    Once Spike Tv's rights to the films expire, we probably won't be seeing him again!
     
  18. SilverWook

    SilverWook Well-Known Member

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    That's still the only legal way to get the original theatrical cut, unless you track down the VHS. It was a low blow to not release it in the states, as Laserdisc was nowhere near being dead at the time.

    Whatever Lucasfilm's rationale was, it was more of an annoyance than an obstacle, as most dedicated LD shops imported it anyway.
     
  19. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Really enjoyed all three prequels, particularly the first two, once again excellent music scores from John Williams and despite what some say i still think Return Of The Jedi is the weakest film out of the six, i like it but it's still the weakest for me.
     
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  20. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    By 2000, laserdisc was as dead as disco. I assume the only reason there was a Japanese LD was because the format was still hanging on over there.
     
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