Tag Archives: the phantom menace

McGregor on the prequels: “I was happy to be in them.”

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.”

The Machete Order and watching the entire saga: Does The Phantom Menace matter?

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.

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In the news: Reports of 3-D Blu-ray coming in spring

Rumor! Pocket Lint report that sources at the Panasonic conference in Hamburg are saying that The Phantom Menace 3D will be coming to Blu-ray in the spring.

Being Ackbar. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Peter Hartlaub catches up with Erik Bauersfeld, the radio dramatist who provided the voice of Admiral Ackbar and Bib Fortuna.

Sports. Sports Illustrated features Amanda Lucas. She claimed an open-weight women’s championship Saturday in Japan.

Honors. George Lucas accepted a Vanguard Award from Samuel L. Jackson at Saturday’s NAACP Image Awards. In his presentation, Jackson talking about lobbying for a role in the prequels: “I’ll be a Storm Trooper and just run across the screen. Nobody even has to know I’m in it.”

The Phantom Menace drops to #6 at the box office, but moves past Star Wars on the all-time list

The Phantom Menace had a 65% drop at the box office this weekend, coming up at #6 with $7.9 million, but it did pass one very big milestone – the first Star Wars. The Phantom Menace is now beating the original in all-time domestic grosses. Will A New Hope earn back top placement when its 3D turn comes around? Stay tuned…

In the meantime, there’s a rumor going around that we may see Attack of the Clones 3D as soon as August. Curious…

In the news: George Lucas takes in some fashion

Random… George Lucas at Fashion Week? Yes, indeed: Lucas was spotted at the Rodarte show on Tuesday with girlfriend Mellody Hobson. According to one report, Lucas is “obsessed” with the work of the women behind the label, sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy. (Maybe George is thinking about costumes for one of his art films?)

Also at the show was Natalie Portman, who was wearing Rodarte when she got her Oscar for Black Swan last year – they designed the movie’s costumes.


Sith strategists? Forbes’ Alex Knapp looks at five leadership mistakes of the Galactic Empire.


It’s an industry. In his latest Film Critic column, John Scalzi looks at why Star Wars just won’t go away.


Haters gonna hate. Has-been mouth-frother Glenn Beck went on a rant about Star Wars this week. In addition to hating on The Phantom Menace (so last week) he also hated on… Red Tails? Really? For what it’s worth, Rick McCallum is thrilled.


Listen. Geeky band The Board of Education has a cute song about Star Wars called ‘Why Is Dad So Mad?’

Phantom Menace comes in #4 for weekend with $23M

The weekend box office estimates are in, and it looks like the 3D rerelease of Episode I came in with a respectable $23M. Fox isn’t saying anything about further Star Wars 3D rerelease plans yet, but I’d bet that we’ll be seeing Attack of the Clones this time next year.

As predicted, The Vow and the Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds thriller Safe House were the top movies this weekend with $41.7M and $39.3M respectively. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island came in #3 with $27.6M. Overall, theaters took in $190M this weekend, an almost 30% increase over this time last year.

Reflecting on The Phantom Menace 3D

So I’ve been out to the theaters now twice to see Star Wars: Episode I -The Phantom Menace 3D and what do I think? It had been a while since I had popped in this episode to watch at home, and seeing on the big screen in 3D with my friends and fellow Star Wars fans was the thing to do. I took in both a midnight show and a regular evening show on opening day, and got some popcorn and a great seat and enjoyed. Here’s are my thoughts on seeing The Phantom Menace in 3D.

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Roundup: It’s Phantom Menace 3D day

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.

They also have some neat remembrances on Star Wars from Jeff Jensen, Marc Snetiker, Anthony Breznican and Stephan Lee. (Apparently EW has no lady staffers with SW memories.)

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!