While I am mulling an entry about the prequels and Star Wars fandom, it’s not one that’s going to be ready (or, perhaps, appropriate) to post tomorrow as we come to the 15-year anniversary of The Phantom Menace. And about TPM itself, I don’t really have much to say, so instead I’m sharing something I originally wrote for the film’s 10th anniversary in 2009… Now with commentary!
So now we’re in the runup to the 10th anniversary of The Phantom Menace, the film that changed Star Wars forever, and I barely remember a thing about it.
Actually, the one thing I DO remember was feeling a little guilty (way back in ’98) that I was way more interested in Zahn’s Vision of the Future than in an actual movie. The more things change…
(Oh, the irony. )
TPM is the only Star Wars movie that came out while I was in college, the end of my second year. I had other things on my mind… Like roommates who wouldn’t do the dishes and left Diet Coke cans sitting around filled with cigarette butts NEXT TO MY COMPUTER and, uhh, classes. And stuff.
(Ugh, college. My freshman roommates were no picnic, but cigarette-butt roomie is a big reason why I had a single the next year. I’m not sure what I was thinking going from an only child to a dorm with four roommates two years in a row, but at least sophomore year it was approximately 50% fun, butts aside.)
In and around my freshmen year, I had shut down my first website, spent about two seconds on the staff of Jedinet’s prequel site, tangled with my first power-mad fanboys, and learned the ever-so-valuable lesson that FANDOM IS INSANE. Oh, and Jeff had handed me the keys to the Club Jade site. (We didn’t nab clubjade.net until about 2000, I think, so it was one of our many odd long URLs.)
(Blah blah blah, I told this story.)
So I was still in fandom, but staying away from participation in the more general aspects. I remember reading TheForce.Net and their spoilers (The visual edition!) but pretty much my only fannish socialization was with CJers, #cantina, and fanfic people.
I know I saw The Phantom Menace that Friday with the same high school friends I saw the Special Editions with, but the only clear memory of the experience is that Brian and Rick had some kind of boring ticket issues. I saw it again with my parents later that weekend. (No midnight shows here.) I remember being kind of underwhelmed. And then not seeing it until it showed up Fox years later, when I was out of school and an intern. I don’t even remember the discussions on the list, though I’m sure there were some lengthy ones.
In short, TPM: One big red-and-sand blur. I have clearer memories of the Entertainment Tonight where George announces he’s working on the screenplay, FFS. That’s the magic of college!
Now Attack of the Clones, that I remember…