Twenty years this month, which was a long time ago in a theatrical world far, far away, Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace hit theaters… and sadly Brian De Palma wasn’t on hand to workshop the opening screen crawl. I am pretty sure he would’ve taken George to talk over the whole trade negotiations bit. The movie itself was about a devilman with a double laser sword, borderline racist alien designs (did no one tell Lucas not to go forward with the Neimoidians in the year 1999?), and two-headed pod-racer announcers that was 50% voiced by Greg Proops.
On the positive side: Brian Blessed voicing a plus-sized frog.
And also John Williams. That guy is always on point, and Dual of the Fates is fantastic.
The reaction to the movie — positive or negative — is almost incidental to what the movie did: it made sure that Star Wars would never, ever go away. Later this month, the Galaxy’s Edge theme park is opening at Disneyland in California. The one at Walt Disney World in Orlando opens at the end of August.
Star Trek (2009), by the way, is celebrating a milestone anniversary this month as well (May 8). Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are 10 years older! So… feel ancient. I mean… we are roughly the same distance now from Star Trek than Phantom Menace was when Star Trek debuted. And the Phantom Menace to Trek timeline definitely feels like is was a much longer time.
Star Trek featured a drilling ship that had the ability to blow up planets. Honestly, the Romulans should have double-checked the specs on Nero’s ship. All those hanging ledges can’t be OSHA approved. Anyway, Spock blows up that ship with exploding red goo. So if you thought that battle at the end of Phantom Menace where Gungans sling around glowy marbles was ridiculous, just know it was less crazy than what Trek was going to get up to.
Surprisingly, this movie was also a prequel. Maybe.
Anyway, in honor of the dual anniversary of the fates happening in sci-fi land, a question for you lovely folks at the Avocado:
What is the best movie prequel?
And in the spirit of Star Trek, I’m going to include prequels that are also reboots. (Although… I guess Star Trek 2009 is technically a sidequel?) Maybe then you can answer this question: what in the world was Hannibal Rising?
As always, talk about your favorite movies!
Avocado Movie Reviews: