Star Wars: Phantom Menace opens 20 years ago

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

  1. Brendan K

    Brendan K Forum Resident

    Watch Star Wars Fans React to The Phantom Menace on Opening Night

    On opening day May 19, 1999, Star Wars fans turned out in droves to return to a galaxy far, far away for the release of George Lucas’ Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
    Southern California’s KCOP 13 News on opening night produced a segment interviewing Star Wars fans exiting first screenings of The Phantom Menace, the first prequel coming 16 years after 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

    supermd and Vidiot like this.
  2. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident


    Yep I still like The Force Awakens best of the "new" lot.
  3. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

  4. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

    Luray, Virginia
    20 years. Wow. Time flies.

    It was my first "new in theaters" Star Wars experience, so it holds a nostalgic place in my heart. Watched it opening day. I sorta liked it then but not as much as I wanted and still ended up seeing it twice that first weekend. Today some of it works well,but much of it doesn't sadly.

    Attack of the Clones I still feel is the nadir of the prequels. I still rate Revenge of the Sith the best prequel.
    bru87tr and neo123 like this.
  5. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    The kid as a kid, or his adult version in the later movies brought nothing to the franchise.

    Jar Jar was the worst character in the franchise.

    Qui-Gon Jinn, was one of the best SW character's ever.

    Natalie Portman was a good SW princess (Queen).

    The pod races saved the movie.
  6. Edwin Hawley

    Edwin Hawley Forum Resident

    Fans of the OT waited 15 years for a movie aimed at 5 year olds. It was ugly and I suppose some fans are still bitter about it. Perhaps the best thing to come out of it was the Weird Al song.
    Vidiot likes this.
  7. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    San Antonio, TX
    Darth Maul was awesome. They should have kept him around. I had trouble buying how young Ben beat him.
    moops and mmars982 like this.
  8. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

    Westerville, Ohio
    He certainly had the best lines!
    mmars982 likes this.
  9. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    My god, it was so bad.

    The article below is a hilarious and sobering look at Phantom Menace from 1999. I remember vividly how stunned hardcore fans were at seeing it, after a 16-year wait for the sequel. As we were walking from the theater after the end credits, there was a lot of "WTF was that?" conversations on the way to the parking lot. You can make a good case that George Lucas was (and is) one of the most brilliant filmmakers who ever lived, but screenwriting was not his strong suit on this film.


    1999’s most anticipated film was a childhood-ruining debacle
    guppy270, nosliw, mmars982 and 3 others like this.
  10. Rhett

    Rhett Forum Resident

    Cool City
    I was in my mid 20's when this movie came out. And I had hoped for the best. I seriously though at the time that it's a Star Wars movie - it can't be bad - right?!?
    Well - then I saw it in the theater and whew - what a stinker it was!
    I hoped the next one would redeem itself but it didn't. And the 3rd one not much better for me.

    The trilogies just did absolutely zero for me!
  11. ggergm

    ggergm E=mc² ±3dB

    When I saw Phantom Menace during its first run, about a third of the way through I realized it was a kid's movie. Having a preteen as its hero, the inclusion of Jar Jar Binks, dialog written for the comprehension a 12 year old, everything said to me this was a kid's movie. Once I realized that, I sat back and enjoyed it. I even admired Lucas' marketing savvy of bringing Star Wars to a new, younger generation with a movie made just for them. Sure, it's my least favorite Star Wars movie, but it wasn't made for me.
    Pines Brook likes this.
  12. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

    Luray, Virginia
    Whenever I see anyone say about a movie,TV Show,comic book etc, even in jest ,that "______ killed/ruined/destroyed my childhood!" I automatically roll my eyes and my first inclination is to not take anything they utter afterwards seriously.I mean,I've witnessed real "childhood destruction" first hand growing up having watched a friend of mine die of cancer at a young age and experiencing poverty myself.

    A movie that you don't like or doesn't match your own hype or expectations isn't anything that should " destroy" ones childhood. If it does ,you frankly don't have much going on in your life,and that should be addressed. Like,find a girlfriend/boyfriend or something.

    That being said, the hype for this movie was so beyond comprehension. Bigger than literally anything I've witnessed since. Bigger than any Marvel movie (Yes, including Infinity war and Endgame) bigger than even The Force Awakens . Even if TPM had been a great movie,regarded better than Empire Strikes Back, I doubt even then it could have matched the level of hype built up since Lucas had officially announced the prequels. The fact that the movie still did boffo box-office even after the word quickly spread that it was a disappointment was because of the sheer momentum the hype gave it.

    Still to this day,I can't bring myself to hate this movie. There are great grand ideas there and beautiful visuals and set pieces. Of all the prequels,TPM is the only one that does succeed generally with matching the asthetic of the original trilogy due to the fact that it was shot on film and Lucas had yet to overuse green screen and cgi in lew of building physical sets and model work. Heck,I don't think even the sequels thus far quite match the OT asthetic as closely as large parts of TPM.

    Where it falls apart is some poor decisions ( did Anakin HAVE to be a little kid? If you were already going to use R2D2 and C3PO, why did you have to create another comic relief character?), terrible dialogue (Star Wars had always and still does suffer from awkward dialogue,but this and Attack of the Clones were series lows) and poor direction of some great actors/actresses (Natalie Portman was wasted in all three movies.) It's all down to the execution and sadly this movie fumbled the execution.

    When I watch rant/hate videos or read posts about The Sequels so far, particularly The Last Jedi where the person making the rant states that they are the "worst movies evah!" Or "This ruined Star Wars forever!"etc , one has to wonder if they really grasp how disappointing TPM and in general the prequels were to a generation who went to the theater in 1999. Yeah,the sequels , particularly TLJ have their problems and they haven't yet reached the creative hights of the OT,but I can't believe anyone who will with a straight face can say TLJ was "garbage" and "not Star Wars" then turn around and say TPM is some underappreciated masterpiece,which has become the thing in fashion in some segments of Star Wars fandom.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. If Star Wars can survive the Holiday Special, that horrible new "music" number in the special edition of Return of the Jedi,Ewoks ,Jar Jar Binks and the crushing disappointment of TPM opening weekend , it can survive anything.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    BeatleJWOL likes this.
  13. polchik

    polchik Forum Resident

    for you guys, i offer up the 'auralnauts' version of the film .... which they pretty much redubbed (really well) into a totally different story lol .... they've worked their way and completed eps 1 to VI .... and i can't wait for them to start doing the disney ones ....

    here it is .... its called 'jedi party' and it's the only way i can watch the prequels now lmao

    and here is the playlist for I to VI
    Auralnauts Star Wars Saga - YouTube

    ymmv of course ...
    Pines Brook and Rhett like this.
  14. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    Never saw it. Never will.
    Rachael Bee and Hyacinth House like this.
  15. Hyacinth House

    Hyacinth House Active Member

    Vancouver, WA
    I envy you.
    Rachael Bee likes this.
  16. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    Same, can't believe it's been 20 years.
    I don't hate it, but it doesn't hold a candle to the originals in any way.
    I'm more interested in the story line, than the actual film.
    I do recall thinking how 'computery' it looked for a brand new film.
    It looked 'cheap' and I'm certainly no film buff.
    I still watch it, and it's follow ups.
    It doesn't hold up well just the same.
    BeatleJWOL and David Campbell like this.
  17. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    I saw it in the cinema. I didn't go the first day. I had beaucoups of fun with the Japanese Laserdisc I got of it. At the time it was the best sounding home video I'd heard.
  18. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    It's nowhere near as bad as the constant piling-on would have one believe. I find it entertaining, and love the casting.
    BeatleJWOL and Rick Bartlett like this.
  19. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I really liked Natalie Portman already from the performance in the Professional, so I was glad she was cast in TPM. I thought that Liam Neeson's character was one of the best "normal and intelligent" and his was on of the better performances in the saga. Ewan McGregor's part was good too.

    But between the annoying kid and the uber annoying Jar Jar, you just have to cringe, watching the movie.

    One would have thought that the reception of TPM would have woke George up a bit, but, other than diminishing Jar Jar in the rest of the prequels, they were poorly written and performed as well and every bit as stupid.

    Whatever criticisms there have been for VII and VIII, both are infinitely better in every respect than the awful prequels.

    Author David Jerrold, who wrote the Star Trek episode, The Trouble With Tribbles, doesn't seem to like J.J. Abrams and continues to refer to him now as Jar Jar Abrams.
  20. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

    Luray, Virginia
    So we have David Jerrold to blame for that childish name. Here I was thinking some butthurt redditor was responsible. Seems to be below someone like Mr. Jerrold's stature.

    Wonder if he's also responsible for "Ruin Johnson" too? :rolleyes:

    I agree with you about Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor. TPM if I'm not mistaken was Neeson's first action hero like role. That movie was responsible in part for his current career as an action/suspense actor. So basically it's very possible If not for TPM, we may have eventually never gotten TAKEN.

    Ewan's Obi-Wan was the best thing about the prequels. I know the prequels were framed as Anakin's story,but I think those films would have been better if they were reframed As Obi-Wan's story. No doubt Anakin still could and would have been a huge part of Ben's arc,but Ben Kenobi should have been the main protagonist of the prequels. He had the strongest arc and he was the one that had "leading man" potential.

    Plus,it would reframe the Star Wars saga in a way that while the Skywalkers are important to the narrative,they aren't the end all be all of Star Wars,which intrinsically opens up the story. That way it makes sense that you have Obi-Wan as the main protagonist of the prequels,Luke as the OT's main protagonist and Rey as the main protagonist of the current films. So instead of it being all framed as one long story about the Skywalkers,it's three trilogies set over the span of about 80 years that follows three generations of heroes and villains with some overlapping elements and side characters,but are three separate stories weaving a large tapestry about the Galaxy long ago and far away. It's not the saga of one small group of characters,but a universe.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  21. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    This is one of those things I will never get. Maybe seeing it years later is why I liked it, but I never went to the theatre to see the first one (or second if memory serves). I did buy the DVD, and it sat on my self for years. I had heard all the comments and I wasn’t in any hurry to see it. Finally, one day I watch it and loved the film. And maybe it was because I had no expectation. But I did end up liking the second one and then seeing the last installment at the theatre and also enjoying it. I will never understand all the hate towards it. It was supposed to be it’s own trilogy and I think if looked at from that basis, it does it’s job. But clearly I’m in a very small group! I still enjoy them to this day.

    I loved The Force Awakens, but all the other newer films I did not like in the theatre and I think that was based on expectations, and I’m guessing that is why the majority hate the second trilogy. However, in every case I enjoyed the later films when watched in my own home theatre, without expectations. Kinda interesting.
  22. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    To me, characters like 'Jar Jar' didn't bother me.
    I don't think the characters in the film are bad at all.
    As @SandAndGlass said, the inclusion of Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGreggor were
    'normal and intelligent' decisions.
    It's the plastic/CGI/cheap rubbish computer look to it all that obscures everything.
    The original films looked 'believable'.
    To add salt into the wound, all the follow up 'making of' documentaries that claimed how 'great'
    things were 'now' as opposed to what they originally worked with.....
    Advancements in computer this and that..... pfffft!
    A lot of bullocks.
    As a fan, I'm happier with hand models and man made props over anything computerized.
    Yes, I'm getting old.....
    SandAndGlass and Hymie the Robot like this.
  23. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    That is very debatable...
    Rick Bartlett likes this.
  24. keefer1970

    keefer1970 Metal, Movies, Beer!

    New Jersey
    I went to see Phantom Menace with my brother. We'd grown up watching the original trilogy, playing with the action figures, reading the comic books, etc., etc., so obviously we had high hopes for Phantom.

    However, I remember watching it and thinking "Damn. This movie isn't doing it for me at all."

    When we walked out of the theater my brother asked, "So, what'd you think?" and I replied, "I dunno, man... I thought it kinda sucked." He blew out a sigh of relief and said, "Thank goodness. I thought it was just me." :D

    I never bothered to see the other two "prequel" films, but I liked "Force Awakens," "Rogue One," "Solo" and "Last Jedi" just fine...
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  25. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I never had any issues with Abrams work.

    I would like to better understand why Gerrold is of this particular opinion?
    BeatleJWOL likes this.

Share This Page