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Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Works Best When Seen Through a Child’s Eyes: ’99 Rewind

Welcome again to ’99 Rewind, our celebration of twenty fifth anniversaries of the movies, TV, and music from 1999. As we speak, we glance again at our youths with Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace. Additionally, take a look at this week’s straightforward mini-crossword, “Star Wars: The Puzzle Menace.”


Liz Shannon Miller (Senior Leisure Editor): Of all of the popular culture occasions that dominated 1999, a complete new Star Wars film was a singular one. Each element about it felt outstanding and history-making: director George Lucas stepping again behind the digital camera for the primary time since 1977’s A New Hope, a scorching new forged (together with Oscar nominee Liam Neeson, rising stars Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman, and Samuel L. Jackson along with his purple lightsaber), a trailer so common that it actually modified the sport for releasing film trailers on this new factor referred to as “the Web.”

To not point out the truth that at that time in popular culture historical past, the thought of a landmark franchise like this one cracking open its canon and exploring previous occasions had at the very least a bit of novelty to it. Folks waited in line for tickets for actually weeks on the streets of Los Angeles and New York. It was a complete factor. I

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After which the film got here out, and… Nicely. Rather a lot was mentioned then, and has been mentioned since. However Paolo, you liked it?

Paolo Ragusa (Affiliate Editor): Undoubtedly, however I used to be merely a four-year-old when it got here out! In some ways, I used to be the target market for lots of what The Phantom Menace featured — Jar Jar Binks, younger Anakin, the unimaginable lightsaber sequences…

In fact, it took me some time to actually see The Phantom Menace for what it was on the time, as a result of that prequel trilogy arrived at such an important childhood time, and I used to be already obsessive about the unique trilogy. However sure, I used to be — and nonetheless am — fairly connected to that movie. I believe lots of the actors now have seen the way in which my technology has defended these movies, and allowed there to be room for one thing past the frustration that so many felt when seeing it in theaters in 1999. I believe I noticed it three completely different instances. I used to be actually obsessed! Star Wars had positively grow to be my entire persona at that time.

Liz: Okay, a four-year-old whose persona is Star Wars is objectively lovable. Do you bear in mind what particular parts had been essentially the most thrilling for you, at the moment?

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Paolo: Undoubtedly the lightsabers and the inflow of Jedi content material. Maybe it was simply the shiny, acrobatic motion from Empire that basically set the scene for me — seeing George Lucas lean additional on the probabilities of Jedi motion and constructing out the lore was superb to me. I bear in mind getting the companion “encyclopedia” fashion e-book and simply poring by it, studying all concerning the Jedi council and different Jedi Knights. After which there was the podracing…

I used to be positively obsessive about that, and I believe lots of children like me liked seeing Anakin be the racer and hero of that second. Like I mentioned, I used to be the goal demographic for a lot of parts — and my mother says I used to like Jar Jar. I actually grew out of that although, as a result of I don’t bear in mind loving Jar Jar, plus his function was actually diminished sooner or later movies. However I used to be a child, and this Gungan was completely silly and foolish on all counts… so I’m not stunned!

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