Star Wars: Phantom Menace opens 20 years ago

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by mmars982, May 20, 2019.

  1. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Pittsburgh, PA
    I didn't realize yesterday was the anniversary of the opening of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace until I saw this article.

    20 years ago, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace changed movies forever

    How many of you saw it that first day. I remember taking the afternoon off so we could all see the first showing (If I am remembering correctly they didn't do midnight openings yet - but that must have changed shortly after because I remember seeing the premier of Episode III at night).

    How excited we all were that morning!
  2. deadbirdie

    deadbirdie Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    I think I saw it opening day, but I can't remember 100%. Definitely saw it opening weekend though. I loved it when it came out, and I still like it a lot today.
  3. Binni

    Binni Forum Resident

    I remember seeing the trailer for the first time and thinking, oh my fvcking god, what an awesome trailer. Then I saw the movie. :thumbsdow
  4. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Senior Member

    I was invited to the pre-release screening in Philadelphia. It took place at a mall in the Northeast of the city that took me forever to get to, but as it was a premiere of a STAR WARS movie, I wasn't going to miss it. I remember lining up outside the theater and awaiting our permission to enter. It was a smallish theater and we sat not too far back. Needless to say, every seat was taken.

    I know a lot of fans really don't like the movie. I always thought it was pretty much OK as a STAR WARS movie. Jar Jar Binks never bothered me at all, and I liked Liam Neeson in his role as Qui-gon Jinn.
  5. Rhett

    Rhett Forum Resident

    Cool City
    I saw it in the theater back then. I was excited for a new Star Wars and then I saw the movie. :sigh:

    I found it dumb and boring.
    bru87tr and audiomixer like this.
  6. mj_patrick

    mj_patrick Forum Resident

    Elkhart, IN, USA
    There were times I felt Phantom took itself way too seriously (Padme's monotone voice, all the drama with the senate), but it was a blast for 1999.

    The prequels were movies built for a new generation of kids. You may not like Jar Jar Binks, but his role was comedic relief for children just like the droids and the Ewoks were in the original Star Wars films.
    ianuaditis likes this.
  7. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Senior Member

    I saw it at the premier midnight screening in my area and was pretty disappointed... The Pod Racing scene was pretty cool, though.
  8. neo123

    neo123 Forum Resident

    Northern Kentucky
    Yep. That scene and the Darth Maul fight were 2 best scenes. Though, some say the pod racing scene was a little too long and should've been edited down some. The Lucas Arts Pod Racing game was fun as hell and I still play it once in a while. I have the PC version. Graphics are outdated of course, but with minor tweaks, it runs on Window 10, even though it was a Windows 95/98 game. Easier to get the Steam version for few bucks and it runs from the git-go without any tweaks after downloading.
    razerx likes this.
  9. razerx

    razerx Who me?

    The East
    I was already pretty cynical about Lucas at that point and said to myself the pod scene was a set up for some video game to be released a month later.
    Jack Lord likes this.
  10. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    You will never find a more wretched day of scum and villainy.
  11. Vahan

    Vahan Forum Resident

    Glendale, CA, USA
    They made a few video games out of that.
  12. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    I’m a big Star Wars fan. Saw it on opening day at Mann’s Chinese Theater on a whim as I was vacationing in LA that week. It was a blast! Watched it last month with my kids, ages 6 and 8. They were engrossed, but the CGI didn’t age too well for me.
    scobb, longdist01 and ianuaditis like this.
  13. Jimmy Mac

    Jimmy Mac Zooropa... better by design

    Saw it twice opening day and a third time the next day. Remember taking my three year old to the store every day or so to buy him all the toys for a movie we hadn’t even seen yet. His room was decorated in Episode 1 pod racing wallpaper, again before the movie came out. We also wrongfully called him “Key” Gonn instead of “Kwai” Gonn before the movie came out. I still have a great affinity and fondness for Episode 1...Episode II and III, not so much.
  14. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    I got good and drunk and saw it at the midnight premiere. Saw the other two in the same manner, though by that point I was mostly only there for the alcohol and spectacle. Horrible films. I just remember taking a leak in the mens room and cackling like the Emperor. "Goood.....goood!"
    supermd, Crimson jon, bru87tr and 4 others like this.
  15. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    detroit, mi
    I saw it on the first day.

    It was a big event they had live coverage from the tv station covering it and the theater was packed.

    Ok movie.

    GLUDFSSR Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    The best thing about this movie was the teaser poster with the Darth Vader shadow.
    Leviethan and Jack Lord like this.
  17. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Senior Member

    I remember thinking "This is a great star wars movie where a boy gets to see what happens when his mother is slowly tortured to death."
    Encuentro likes this.
  18. ianuaditis

    ianuaditis Evil Twin

    Long River Place
    I didn't go opening day, but I did see it in the theater, I thought it was pretty good at the time.

    I watched all the star wars movies with my kids (7 and 4) last year, including the new one with Ron or whatever her name is, and the original Star Wars and Phantom Menace were the only two they wanted to see more than once, and my son made me keep Phantom Menace on the DVR, he watched it a bunch of times.
    Encuentro likes this.
  19. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident

    I don't remember that scene in The Phantom Menace. Might you be thinking of Attack of the Clones?
    Lucas said that he wanted to make a film for kids. Mission accomplished. I suspect that most of the movie's biggest fans were kids when they saw it in 1999. And I suspect that most of the movie's harshest critics are older Star Wars fans who grew up watching the original trilogy.
  20. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    All I wanna know is, now that we know what we know now...why are we commemorating it...:confused:

    Shall I start a thread on the 20th anniversary of my first root canal...? That's coming up in a bit, and I can guarantee you, it was just as momentous an occasion, for all of us.
  21. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

    Westerville, Ohio
    I was 7 when Star Wars came out, 29 when The Phantom Menace came out. Although you could say The Phantom Menace was NOT made for a 29 year-old, I was jazzed about a new Star Wars film, especially after the 20th anniversary theatrical re-releases of the Original Trilogy in 1997/1998.

    Had tickets to the nearly SOLD OUT midnight opening day (night?) showing.

    Saw Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon swim/breathe underwater with Jar-Jar and thought, "This isn't Star Wars."

    Saw Queen Vidalia-Onion's sleek silver ship and thought, "This isn't Star Wars."

    Saw Qui-Gon discuss how Anakin's midi-chlorian count from his BLOOD TEST was OFF THE CHARTS and thought, "This isn't Star Wars."

    Saw a low-rent Cousin Oliver climb into a cockpit and yell, "Yippee!!!" and thought, "This isn't Star Wars."

    Saw a rather protracted laser sword battle with a villain hell bent on killing two honorable security guards, I mean Jedi, and NOT ONE WORD was exchanged during the entire fight, and thought, "This isn't Star Wars."

    Within the first ten minutes of The Force Awakens I thought, "THIS is Star Wars." Because, you know, they just remade the same film, but it at least it had the dirt and grit and LOOK of the Original Trilogy.
    guppy270, Rhett, SandAndGlass and 5 others like this.
  22. daglesj

    daglesj Forum Resident

    Norfolk, UK
    Went to see it on the Friday night (opened on the Thursday) at a special midnight screening. Which gave me and my 'very new' (and still current) GF plenty of time to have 'fun' before having to walk (literally) next door to the cinema (yes I lived next door to a cinema) to see the movie.

    Let's just say the hours before we went to see the movie were much more enjoyable and memorable than the movie. Never seen TPM since.
    bru87tr likes this.
  23. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Saw it maybe 2 weeks after its release so the word was out. Found it rather dull and stiff, although it had a moment here and there. I rated it a C or C+. It was clear to me then and now that Lucas had lost his ability to direct.

    I actually saw it once more with a few cousins. My verdict did not change and I have never watched it in full again. Same for the other 2.

    You can't go home again. The prequel idea might have worked better as one of the Anthology series.
  24. Wow! 20 years ago...
    I remember this was the very last picture shown in my local film theater before it was closed forever.
    Also, I remember that to me it felt like the film was too short, really felt like 30 or so minutes, obviously I slept half through it.^^
    daglesj likes this.
  25. Ty D. Tatman

    Ty D. Tatman Forum Resident

    I've never tried so hard to convince myself I liked a movie like that in my life, lol. I watched it that first weekend and was stunned at how boring it was. As I recall, they gave it a limited re-release theatrically that Christmas, so I saw it again. Also, more than a decade later, it was given a 3-D release. That's 3 times I saw it and it was just ok. I don't hate it. It has its place. The next one was a tad better and third the best of the prequels. One thing, I recall getting it on DVD years later and I remember thinking the deleted scenes would've helped the narrative. The whole trade war/clone war/Palpatine is really the emperor was really done too clumsily for something Lucas had 16 years to get right.
    guppy270 and Jack Lord like this.

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