Tag Archives: the phantom menace

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 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!

Star Wars raked in $3B in 2011 and Han never shot first: George Lucas in The Hollywood Reporter

The Phantom Menace is coming upon us yet again, and the press has been piling up. We’ll have more of a roundup tomorrow, but for this afternoon let’s start off with The Hollywood Reporter’s feature on Star Wars George Lucas. In it, we learn the franchise raked in $3 billion in licensing revenue last year. (That’s a lot of lightsabers – in the accompanying photo gallery, they say the franchise has raked in $20B in licensed goods alone.) Overall though, the feature doesn’t hold much for informed fans – merchandising rights, The Clone Wars, etc. So what’s really making waves among the geeky internet is a Q&A sidebar, where Lucas talks reaction to his Star Wars tweaks (“…when I make the slightest change, everybody thinks it’s the end of the world.”) and Han not shooting first:

Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie. The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.

He also talks about CGI Yoda, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and SOPA, but you know what’s getting passed around the internet for the rest of the evening…

Poll: Will you go see The Phantom Menace in 3D this weekend?

So Friday sees the release of The Phantom Menace 3D. Drew McWeeny praises the conversion, and his kid loved it (and he has a funny story about being banned from Skywalker Ranch.) Coming Soon’s Chris and Benjamin Mason were “blown away” by the conversion, though Richard Gray of The Reel Bits is less impressed, calling it “disappointing” and “murky.” But it’s The Phantom Menace, so of course the reviews are mixed.

In any case, our pal Bryan Young really wants you to see it. Others… Not so much. (I’m debating, but… Well.) Of course.

But the real question…

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