Episode 1: a long, long time ago, in a fandom far, far away

Today, May 19th marks the ten year anniversary of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

It’s been ten years. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe the excitement and the thrill and the magic of anticipation I felt back then. My friend Eric and I waited in line, for how long I don’t even recall, to get in on opening day at the Cinemark Theater in Katy on I-10, which will forever be my Star Wars theater. The months leading up to the release were amazing, with tidbits and screen shots leaking out from sites like TheForce.net, sites I reloaded obsessively. To this day, this teaser image still gives me the chills:

Episode One: The Phantom Menace
Episode One: The Phantom Menace

And of course the pod race and the final battle with Darth Maul – the greatest star wars villain ever – were pure-adrenaline amazing enough to make all the annoyances worthwhile – even Jar Jar. Mostly.

In a lot of ways Episode One let us all down, but the anticipation was something special, and an experience in and of itself. So, rock on Star Wars, with your Clone Wars and your CGI and your toy lines and your Anakin backpacks. Someday someone is gonna come along and pull a JJ Abrams on you, too.

4 thoughts on “Episode 1: a long, long time ago, in a fandom far, far away”

  1. The Clone Wars cartoons and film are lovely. Lovely. Lovely.
    Jar Jar and the droids are annoying, but the Jedi, lovely. I am now doing a little dance of Clone Wars loviness. Have I mentioned i think it is lovely?

  2. Sigh.

    At the time, I was working for a company that was trying to do some sort of video conferencing thingie entirely in software on the upcoming G4 macintoshes. We used the Episode I trailer as a kind of test thingie; we had piles of blue&white G3 macs with G4 upgrades in them looping the trailer. The CTO took all the engineers out to see the film (during the work day!) when it came out.

    Then came the midichlorians. With luck, that’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

  3. i know. i can remember thinking furing that first viewing, well, ok that kind of sucked but its just starting slow… of ocurse the pd race then came and i thought, ok now we are cooking, but then the movie didnt sustain it. it just was limp overall.

    midchlorians. jar jar. even QWui Gonn’s absolutely horrible, horrible statement – “the ability to speak does not imply intelligence”. ugh ugh ugh.

  4. Given that the movies were coming out every 4 years or so, I thought that, since after 4-5-6 the story would go back to 1-2-3, so since Ep 4 came out in what 1977-78, then eps 1, 2, and 3 should be MADE using the SFX tech-levels available in 1967, 1971, and 1974. Also, since most movies use hairstyles of the years they are made regardless of the timeline of the story itself, then the actors need late 60’s beehives and 7/3 Fred Flinstone hair parting lines for men,

    So you should be able to watch Episode 1 alongside an original Star Trek TV series episode and feel some sort of continuity. Ep 2 should feel ‘right’ alongside ‘2001: A Space Odessy,’ and Ep 3 should feel like Zardoz (Or NOT! – Ghaa, 1974 was a poor year for SF movies, though…)

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