Party Like It’s 1999

Two days from now, “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” will be re-released in theaters in 3D and everyone seems to have an opinion about it.  Some people are excited, most people are complaining about it.  Yet I never understood why people have such venom towards the first installment of this epic saga. 

Sure, is it my favorite film in the series?  Absolutely not.  It’s actually my least favorite, but not for the same reasons why fans and non-fans of the series give.  From Episode II and on, you get the entire story of how the Republic crumbles and an Empire emerges and eventually falls.  Episode I is a distant prequel that gives back story on the major characters and fires the first shot of things to come for the saga.  I will give credit for this film having the second best lightsaber duel in the entire saga.  The two-on-one lightsaber fight is still as exciting as it was to me upon first viewing.

Still most people’s complaints center around one specific character known the world over as possibly the worst character in film history:  Jar Jar Binks.  Now I won’t defend him in my blog because I think he’s quite annoying too.  He gave moments of slapstick comedy when it wasn’t needed and had the most awful voice ever captured in a recording booth.  Still, he doesn’t ruin the film for me because he’s just a character in a two hour film.  I have more important things in my life to direct my anger at than a CGI character.

The film’s re-release in 3D has only raised the ire of some people all over the world.  Super geek and Star Wars fan-boy Simon Pegg has even voiced his disdain for the upcoming re-release with “Why would anyone want to relive the worst two hours of their lives?”  I think that’s a bit harsh in some ways, because I’ve spent time in several two hour long movies that I would have preferred getting a route canal instead, i.e. “Predators.”  Still I get it, it’s not for everyone and I respect that.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the films in 3D as I feel it’s a unique take on the best saga in film history, but I’m looking forward to just seeing them again in theaters.  No film series is more immerse and meant to be seen on the big screen than the Star Wars saga.  Even if they weren’t in 3D, I would gladly see a standard re-release of all the films just because they are meant to be seen and experienced in theaters.

Seeing them all again over then next several years in theaters will be an absolute treat.  I’m hoping seeing them in theaters again will bring back the nostalgia of when I saw all the prequels on opening weekend back when they were first released and the Special Edition re-releases back in 1997.  Every time a Star Wars film has hit the big screen whether new or old, it usually brings out the spirit of being a kid again in me and brings me immense joy.  I have nothing but admiration for all these films and not one thing made me gripe about them or fell short of my expectations.  It’s Star Wars, enough said.

What I also love about this re-release is the marketing campaign built around it.  Seeing a display in the toy aisle at my local Target store or pictures of Episode I offers on cereal boxes brings back memories of a simpler time from when I was 13, going on 14.  Episode 1 mania swept the country and products were everywhere.  I had my fair share of them and still do to this day.  It really is pretty cool to now be at an age where I remember phenomenons like this and recall where I was and what I was doing in 1999.  Hell, I remember when I saw the trailer for the first time and seeing the extended preview music video on Total Request Live after I came home from school.

In closing, I’ll be at the theater in the next week or so to experience this all over again.  I look forward to the other re-releases, especially in three years from now with the release of “A New Hope” in 3D.  Why?  Because my Godson will be just over five years old at that point and what better way to convert him have him experience Star Wars for the first time ever on the big screen and in 3D?

May The Force Be With You