If you don't know me or haven't figured out from various parts of this website, I am a huge Star Wars fan. I do not shy away from wearing it proudly on my sleeve (and socks, ties, shoes, belts, watches, etc.). With the final episode in the Skywalker saga coming soon, I of course have to celebrate somehow. AMC Theatres are doing a 27 hour marathon starting the day before release day, but I am getting too old to sit through that much time in a theater, let alone go through the pain of taking a day off of work. What I can do, however, is an 8-week movie marathon, starting with Episode I and working my way one movie per week leading up to release day. On this space, I will share some of my thoughts and memories associated with each movie at the end of the week.
All images are courtesy of www.starwarsscreencaps.com
First up: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
A Few Thoughts:
-The design work on Phantom Menace is incredible, and I really enjoy the visuals on a lot of the scenes that involve the juxtaposition of the technological Trade Federation with the idyllic green scenery of Naboo.
-All of the establishing shots of Naboo and the capital city Theed are a fantastic use of CG animation.
-Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor are a great combo and make this movie watchable.
-Harrison (5 yo) watched this movie for the first time with me, and I noticed that the pacing is strange for a supposed kids movie. The beginning and end are action packed, but the middle is full of politics and lots of talking. He was definitely starting to check out in the middle of the movie.
-Jar Jar Binks is still goofy and kind of annoying, but I respect the actor for doing the best he could with the role.
-The podrace is still one of the best scenes in the movie, especially as I see more and more direct correlations between this scene and the chariot race scene from the original Ben-Hur movie.
A Few Memories
-I mostly remember that I got the privilege of seeing this movie before the rest of the general population. A friend of mine worked at a movie theater and invited me to the employees and family preview show a couple hours before the first official show. I was his "brother." As we walked out of the theater, the line to get into the midnight show went the length of the whole parking lot.
-I left the theater feeling mostly positive about the movie and did not see all the negative reaction until later. The internet was still in its very early days and news/reviews did not travel as quickly as today.
-I was very excited for Star Wars merchandise to hit stores again, and I have distinct memories of eyeing the pre-movie release Battle Droid and STAP deluxe action figure. I still have that toy.
Next week: Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Is it good? Have my thoughts on it changed? Check back to find out!
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