I don’t remember movie going experiences from when I was 7. Except one. My mom, older brother, and I arrived late at a giant theater (movie theaters used to be bigger) for Star Wars. We arrived about 9 minutes in because I remember the images of C-3PO and R2-D2 walking on the desert sands of Tatooine. I was instantly in love.
Fast forward 22 years. I was very early for a midnight showing of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. I had arrived a few hours earlier to a group that had been in line all day. We were excited. When the movie began we screamed for the LucasFilm Logo. We screamed for the words “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” We screamed for the amazing John Williams music starting, screamed for even for the film’s stupid title as the opening crawl appeared.
Then it happened. I can point to it exactly. In the second sentence of the crawl I read, “The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute.” And I knew we were doomed.
I haven’t seen the Prequels since their first showing in the movie theater. So I decided over Thanksgiving weekend to check them out again and how they connected to the Original Trilogy. As I have seen the movies before, I didn’t need to use the Machete Order, which is the best way to show the movies to someone seeing them for the first time (i.e. your kid). I was looking for chronological flow.
Along the way I noted some of the best and worst moments of each film and I share them here.
Star Wars fans tend to be harsh. We love the franchise and characters so much that when near misses (Ewoks), true misses (most of the edits on the original trilogy by Mr Can’t-Leave-Well-Enough-Alone) and total abominations (Jar Jar Binks) show up we are vocal and even manic. Many are panicked over the Disney take-over of Star Wars and the coming episodes VII-IX. I’m not. I bet they surpass Episodes I-III and lead to great rides in the theme parks. But maybe that’s because I’ve already seen the lowest Star Wars can sink.
As an 8-year-old boy, a year removed from seeing Star Wars when it was first released into the theaters, I discovered true hell. On this day, November 17, in 1978, my family gathered to watch The Star Wars Holiday Special. The variety special that unfolded was so terrible, so ridiculous that I couldn’t even bring myself to watch it all again today for this post. I appreciated the YouTube commentator who said he was too high to watch this. That’s how bad it is.
Let’s share just a few lowlights of what’s been called “the worst two-hours of television.”