Friday, December 6, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 159 - Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace is both a bad movie and a bad PS1 video game, but back in 1999 I thought both were kind of okay-ish. I was starved for new Star Wars and I didn't know any better. Of course, now I'm a bitter old man instead of a bright-eyed optimistic 16-year old, so now I just expect everything to be a letdown so I'm never disappointed. Thanks Disney. Keep reading for more about The Phantom Menace and to watch gameplay.

Back in 1999 it was the height of my Star Wars fanboy-ness. I got the Star Wars Trilogy in VHS for Christmas in 1995. I watched the Special Editions in the theater and got them on VHS for Christmas 1997. I read every expanded universe Star Wars book. I was totally hooked on Star Wars. In Spring '99 when the Episode 1 trailer was released I recorded it off of the local TV news and watched it over and over and over again. I loved it and was hyped and couldn't wait to watch the real deal.

Back then people were so excited that they camped out in line for weeks at their local theater so they could be the first people to watch the new movie. It launched in Wednesday May 19, 1999 with midnight showings starting at 12:01 AM. When I went to school that day I was so excited. My math teacher went to the midnight showing and wouldn't shut up about it. I was so desperate to see the movie that a friend and I convinced my sister, who didn't care about Star Wars at all, to haul us to the next town over (because we didn't have a theater any more ...) to see it that night. Yeah, we went to the movies on a school night.

At the time, I loved it. It was Star Wars. It was lightsabers and great music and Jedi doing Jedi stuff and the pod race scene was awesome. 

Honestly, I'm not sure when my opinion changed on it. I pushed back for a long time against the Internet hive mind that hated it but at some point even I couldn't look past the myriad of flaws. I think it was probably after Episode II and III came out that I looked back on Episode I and didn't like it anymore. I hated Jar Jar. I hated whiny poo babby Anakin. It was such a boring movie outside of the pod race and final battle sequence. 

Now I look back on Episode I and feel kind of embarrassed. It's such trash, but I was so excited for it all those years ago. It's by far my least favorite Star Wars movie now. Yeah, even worse than Episode VII and VIII. 

And, uh, the PS1 game is crap too. Like, really, really crap. Barely playable crap.