Tag Archives: The Phantom Menace


Then And Now, The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens


The Force Awakens inches ever closer with each passing day, and we the fans attack each piece of news like a ravenous wampa.  It’s surreal to see how much the hype and build-up for The Force Awakens is similar to the build-up to The Phantom Menace 16 years ago.

Right now we are all anxiously awaiting a new trailer for The Force Awakens.  Of course, in 1999 we didn’t have YouTube and internet video was still in it’s infancy.  I remember the agonizing wait as the trailers downloaded via Quicktime.  It took nearly 2 hours to download the 2 and a half minutes of Star Wars goodness over my dial-up connection and it was a video clip about the size of a postage stamp.  It was a great way to analyze the shots frame by frame though as we played each few seconds as they became available.

Most everyone went to go see the trailers in the theaters.  Didn’t matter what movie they were attached to, that was the film we were going to see.  Countless Star Wars fans helped boost the box office numbers for such cinematic classics as Meet Joe Black, Wing Commander, and the Waterboy.  Personally, I saw it as paying for the trailer and staying for the movie.


The Phantom Menace is a movie that has a lot of sentimental connections for me.  I remember coming home from class on the day the first teaser for The Phantom Menace premiered on TV.  My brother had recorded it while I was at school.  As soon as I walked in the door my brother said before I could even sit down “You want to see it?” and hit play on the VCR.

As I write this I’m jumping back and forth between this post and twitter, as my fellow fans and I wait for the new trailer to go up during Monday Night Football.  I am getting the same feelings and chills that I got from waiting for The Phantom Menace in 1999, except this time I can be much more comfortable on my couch as opposed to waiting for hours on an uncomfortable sidewalk.


One thing that has not changed is the sense of community.  In 1999, we all gathered in line at our local theaters a week before the movie opened to get our tickets.  Today, we are gathered together virtually, sharing our stories over twitter and facebook.  Online or in person, it doesn’t matter, the connections are still there.  We are all one big Star Wars family.

Bridging the Gaps in the Saga


With the release of the new novel Aftermath, we have begun the journey to The Force Awakens.  This is a multi-part plan to tell the story of what happened after the destruction of the Death Star over Endor and ultimately set the stage for The Force Awakens.

This is not the first bridge story that we have in Star Wars.  The Clone Wars animated show expertly bridged the three-year gap between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, telling us the story of a galaxy at war during the tumultuous Clone Wars.  Following in the wake of the Clone Wars we have the new animated show Rebels and the comic book, Kanan.  Rebels explores the rise of the Empire and builds into the events of A New Hope.  While, Kanan gives us the story immediately following the events of Revenge of the Sith and Order 66.

However, there is still one large area of the timeline that is yet unexplored in the new canon and was not well touched upon in the Legends era Expanded Universe either, the 10 year gap between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.  This era seems rife with stories to tell, but there are only a few that have been told.  It strikes me as odd to leave such a large stretch of the story untold.  The Legends era only had 3 novels and the Scholastic Jedi Apprentice series to cover those 10 years worth of story.  The current canon has no stories about the Jedi’s reaction to the Sith’s return, or what adventures a young Obi-wan Kenobi and his new padawan Anakin Skywalker went on together.


I know these are stories that I want to hear.  I want to see Obi-wan training the young Skywalker, his successes, and his failures.  What adventures bonded the two and what threatened to tear them apart?  When did the Jedi begin their search for Darth Sidious?  Were there clues on Naboo to lead them in their search?  How did they react to the death of Qui-Gon Jinn?  What changes did Palpatine make in the Senate?  What more can we learn about Syfo-Dias, Count Dooku and the clones?

I’m sure that Lucasfilm has a plan to tell stories in that corner of the timeline.  However, it will most likely be several years before we see anything since the current focus is moving away from the prequel era and on to the original and sequel trilogies.  From a business standpoint, of course, this makes perfect sense.  That is the era where the future movies will be set, and let’s not forget that Star Wars first and foremost is a film franchise.

As a fan, I can hope that Lucasfilm will make plans to explore every part of the Star Wars timeline, past, present and future.

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