I am an admitted non-fan of the prequel trilogy; I’ve never claimed otherwise. I’m not going to now.
But folks: It’s time to get over the prequels.
Revenge of the Sith 3D has a new release date, 20th Century Fox announced this week. Attack of the Clones is still set for its original date of September 20, 2013, but Revenge of the Sith has been moved up from October 11 to October 4, putting only two weeks between the rereleases.
AOTC will have some sisterly competition from The Little Mermaid 3D, which comes out only a week before, while ROTS will be facing Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and the Harrison Ford thriller Paranoia.
On vacation, but just rec’d okay to announce what’s already on Amazon: SW Storyboards–The Prequels. Cover TBA in 2 weeks… more or less.
— J. W. Rinzler (@jwrinzler) October 16, 2012
I spent weeks going through them in the archives–amazing boards: e.g., Jedi attack on Theed never filmed.
— J. W. Rinzler (@jwrinzler) October 16, 2012
As previously speculated… The Amazon listing gives Star Wars Storyboards: The Prequel Trilogy a release date of May 14, 2013. We know better than to set that in stone, but hey: The book itself is confirmed.
UPDATE: Rinzler has more to say on the storyboards on the official blog.
Last week, comic book writer Gail Simone considered the prequels, Celebration VI preparations were in full swing and Mercy Kill feelings were had. See it all below the cut.
Bryan Young’s signature panel returns to Celebration, and in a bigger venue. “Why We Love the Prequels” will take over the Behind the Scenes Stage on Sunday at 10:30, enlisting the help of Pablo Hidalgo. The rest of the panel lineup is mostly the same as the original, with Young, Kyle Newman, Tom Hodges and Eric Geller. Joining them will be Jesse Hildreth, Senior Lighter on The Clone Wars.
You know, in case you were wondering.
Untruths! An article about Jake Lloyd has been floating around in which claims he called his post-Star War childhood a “living hell.” Lloyd took to Facebook on Sunday to deny it: “The quotes in the article do not accurately reflect my feelings for the time I spent on Star Wars or the time I spent in high school.” The article says the quotes came from “a magazine” and also attributes comments from his mother to a (defunct) domain similar to Sci Fi Channel Australia, which did do an interview with Lloyd (though not his mother) in 2009.
Culture. In The New York Times, Matt Richtel takes a look at how Star Wars is still captivating kids. (Did no one tell him about The Clone Wars, which doesn’t get a single mention?) Last week in the NYT: The New York Jedi. Pity about the headline fail. (Jedi is the plural. Tell your copy editors.)
Randomly… Actor Topher Grace (That 70′s Show) edited all three prequels into one 85-minute film. The cut was shown only to “a private gathering of Topher’s industry friends.” There are no plans to show or release it publicly – Grace refuses to do so without permission, which seems unlikely.
Ewan McGregor spoke to /Film about his latest movie, Salmon Fishing in Yemen, his Oscar-winning Beginners co-star Christopher Plummer, the upcoming Jack the Giant Killer and, of course, the prequels:
Well I like them. I mean I saw them when they came out and I haven’t seen them since, but I was happy to be in them. I felt that it was great to be part of that huge legend of STAR WARS and you know I never involve myself in the discussion about it or the criticism of them or not. They are what they are and fortunately to the moment they’ve re-released the first one and there’s a whole generation of kids now who weren’t around when we released them before. Children love them, regardless of what the die hard STAR WARS fans from the 70’s think, kids love them to bits and I’ve always really enjoyed that with my discussions with them, you know when people’s kids who I haven’t met before come up and they see Obi Wan Kenobi. They’ve always got nice questions to ask and stuff.
He hasn’t seen The Phantom Menace 3D due to filming on The Corrections, but he hopes to go soon – and “take my kids along.”
Last week, three different sources pointed me to Rod Hilton’s blog post from last fall on the Machete order for watching the films of the Star Wars saga (especially for newcomers). While his overall proposed order (start with IV – A New Hope and V – The Empire Strikes Back, then go with the prequels, then show VI – Return of the Jedi isn’t new — Last year, we covered Drew McWeendy’s Film Nerd 2.0 showings to his two sons), Machete goes a step further by cutting out The Phantom Menace. Not because Hilton feels it is a bad movie, but because he points out that it is mostly irrelevant to the saga. Either a point gets brought up again in the other prequels or it isn’t needed at all in the larger scheme of things (Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn, Valorum, podracing). He points out how he thinks it makes the saga stronger, by preserving some of the big reveals, and relating whiny Anakin to whiny Luke as showing Luke on the same path to the dark side in Return of the Jedi as Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. He also points out some of the weaknesses of his ordering of the films, most notably about the Prophecy of the Chosen One, and Anakin’s return to rescue Shmi and pick up Threepio in Attack of the Clones. The Machete Order got me thinking, and also prompted a discussion among some Club Jaders, who looked at the notion of order and TPM‘s relevance from several angles.
The Phantom Menace is loose! Run for your lives! Or, chill out as we round up some of the press floating around about the movie. (And don’t forget that the new Her Universe stuff is now on sale!) Onward!
Reviews are in! MTV rounds up a couple from the pros. Our pal Bryan Young liked it. On the 3D, he says, “There was never a moment where I thought it was too overwhelming or too underwhelming.” Brian at Roqoo Depot is also favorable, calling it, “the single greatest post-processed 3D film that has graced the silver screen.”
Over at Entertainment Weekly, George Lucas talks about the 3D conversions came out of his efforts to get movie theaters to switch to digital, and why the format is beneficial to movies.
There’s also a photo gallery on their best and worst moments of the saga.
In today’s article, Keith Staskiewicz takes a look at how Episode I influenced special effects. Would we have Gollum if not for Jar Jar?
If you’re intrigued by some of the details Lucas mentioned in the EW video, learn more about The Phantom Menace’s 3D conversion from movieScope.
I’ve been looking at a lot of Phantom Menace stuff this week, and my favorite thing so far? Next Movie’s Eight biopics recast with Jar Jar. Yes, it’s total clickbait, but you certainly know by now that I love me some funny.
If you’re looking for something (sort of) serious, they also have an item about why Millennials (you know, those kids people us GenXers and GenCatalanos yell at to ‘get off our lawns’) don’t hate the prequels. But it’s in the form of a one-act play, so it’s not that serious.
CNN has a more straight-faced look at Star Wars, fandom and the reaction to Episode I. You know it’s serious because they enlisted Henry Jenkins.
The Dearborn Press and Guide highlights Steve Mitchell, a Michigan 501ster. The Great Lakes Garrison will appear at a Detroit Pistons game tonight and several Phantom Menace showings throughout the state tomorrow.
What’s TPM going up against at the box office? I don’t think it has much to worry about from The Vow, a romantic drama starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum… But the kid-friendly Journey 2: The Mysterious Island may also be a draw for the action-adventure crowd, not to mention the 3D big bucks.
Coming Soon is projecting The Vow to take the top spot, but has Episode I beating Journey by several million. Entertainment Weekly projects the same, but with a few more million between TPM and Journey.
And finally, for the bitterest kittens, here’s a little piece from my hometown paper: 10 reasons why not to see The Phantom Menace. (I’m rather partial to escaping to a more civilized age.) Or, swing over to see MTV’s Josh Horowitz argue TPM with Simon Pegg. Prequel-lovers, for you I have 10 reasons to love Jar Jar and MTV’s list of six underrated TPM characters.
We’ll be adding links to this post throughout the day, so check back!