Watch: Hyped 'Star Wars' Fans' Reactions to 'The Phantom Menace'

December 8, 2015

Star Wars' Fans

"Couldn't get enough of it, I want to see it again!!" The new Star Wars movie is just about a week away from opening, and pretty much everyone is excited. As hyped as we all are, don't forget that no one knows (yet) if it will actually be any good. There's some extremely high expectations and most people still think of the prequels and how mediocre they were, worried about how this will turn out. Which is why it's time for a fun trip down memory lane with this video going around the web. It's a collection of local news station clips interviewing fans before and after they saw Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in 1999. As you can expect, pretty much everyone says that it was the best movie ever made. Except for the very last guy.

Thanks to Kyle Newman for the tip on this video - from YouTube. So what have we learned from this? Let's keep our expectations in check when Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens everywhere next week. And let's give ourselves a moment to actually process and think about the movie before we dive in with these hyperbolic claims that it's the best movie of the decade. Maybe it is that good, maybe it is. We'll know soon enough. In the meantime, I still remember the lead up to The Phantom Menace and how crazy Star Wars mania was. I was one of those kids who was hyped beyond belief, buying every magazine and toy I could get my hands on. Now we're back, 16 years later, for another Star Wars. Are you as excited as these fans?

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Reader Feedback - 56 Comments


Lol, that last guy.

CoolwhipSpecial on Dec 8, 2015


Damn, I can remember the hype for EPISODE 1. Maybe the biggest disappointment in cinema history.

DAVIDPD on Dec 8, 2015


Until Episode II came out.

capitandelespacio on Dec 9, 2015


I don't get all the hate on these movies. Lucas definitely made some terrible choices, but I never felt they deserved all the savage hatred that most people threw at them. Oh well. Damn I love Star Wars.

grimjob on Dec 8, 2015


Same here. I love the prequels, flaws and all.

David Diaz on Dec 9, 2015


Agreed. Make no mistake--the prequels are flawed films, but I do not feel that they deserve so much hatred.

Scopedog on Dec 9, 2015


They made me realize Palpatine is my favorite villain.

grimjob on Dec 9, 2015


It just means you are ok with mediocre films. Nothing wrong with that. Personally I think Lucas deserved every bit of the backlash and when you watch the EP1 making of on the bluray, the reaction of the core teams first rough cut viewing of the movie says everything. Depressed faces and a concerned Ben Burtt. They knew it sucked but Lucas ignored em. And now he is butthurt. Surely he would never say that TFA is awesome. Glad he sold the rights and I respect him for creating SW but the prequels are still (as you can tell) a sore point in my movie life.

Sascha Dikiciyan on Dec 10, 2015


Fair enough. Haven't seen that making of you're talking about. I'll have to check that out.

grimjob on Dec 10, 2015


I didn't like jar jar binks and i still don't understand why George Lucas put him in story, but i did like Darth maul and he is my favorite Star Wars character to date. I think it's a iconic marvel and should get his prequel. My son likes the pod race and alott of children do, and thats the problem. To many children love the phantom menace, and older ones think:its a child movie!!!

ari smulders on Dec 9, 2015


Yeah my son and I have been watching them all as a lead up to Force Awakens starting with the original trilogy. His favorite one of those was Return of the Jedi ... why? He loved the Ewoks. After we watched Phantom, he asked me why people hated Jar Jar so much? He liked him. As much as we adults can't stand him, we have to remember Lucas made the prequels with kids in mind as much as the older fans. So obviously those elements wouldn't appeal to us. But there is enough to love about those films for me that I can forget about Jar Jar and the wooden acting and love story in Ep. 2 which are the worst parts for me. I don't expect Force Awakens to be perfect and I'm sure I'm going to love it. I think we could see Maul again Ari. He's still kicking around as far as we know. He's way too cool not to use again and now he has robot legs!

David Diaz on Dec 9, 2015


I think it's the biggest mistake to kill him, but if they are wise they will use him again. He has a big fan base all over the world ,so he made a hugh impression on people...

ari smulders on Dec 9, 2015


The only redeeming thing about Jar Jar Binks is the fan theory that Jar Jar Binks is the equivalent of the Dark Side's Yoda. Google the video. It's awesome. The catch is the fans hated George's rendition of Jar Jar so much that George chickened out on the big reveal.

redtie on Dec 9, 2015


Wrong. Most kids I knew back then thought it was boring and JJ was stupid. This is like beating a dead horse.The prequels are unwatchable. I will put in the blurays from time to time thinking oh maybe they weren't that bad but nope. After a few mins i am reminded of that terrible dialog, crappy narrative, horrid acting and worse WTF is up with Obi Wan's Mullet in AOTC? Wow.

Sascha Dikiciyan on Dec 10, 2015


Allot of kids without knowledge of Star Wars like it. My son does, he is 8 and his friends also. They haven't got the history of Star Wars in there bags, so they watch without any prejudice... It's a big big difference!

ari smulders on Dec 10, 2015



Ry on Dec 9, 2015


"it'll be a great movie 20 years from now" No.. No it will not, it wasn't then and it certainly isn't now.

Ry on Dec 9, 2015


That last guy.. he get's it. Hope he's there opening night for The Force Awakens!

Ry on Dec 9, 2015


"Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" was the most disappointing thing since my son.

capitandelespacio on Dec 9, 2015


...at least your son hanged himself in the bathroom of the gas station...

TheOct8pus on Dec 9, 2015


Yes. But, the unfortunate reality of the Star Wars prequels is that they'll be around... forever... they will never go away.

capitandelespacio on Dec 9, 2015


The memories of your son can go away with LOTS of drugs.

Bibowski on Dec 11, 2015


Dark...I love it.

Xerxexx on Dec 9, 2015


About the new movie, Lucas just saw it recently and said, "The fans are going to love it," which to me means that JJ and Kasdan really put all the best Star Wars elements in the new movie, unlike Lucas who put so much bullshit into the prequels....

TheOct8pus on Dec 9, 2015


Yeah, I thought the same. Or he's just the biggest troll ever...

capitandelespacio on Dec 9, 2015


I always thought of him as a giant Ewok

TheOct8pus on Dec 9, 2015


Rick McCallum saw it aswell.

capitandelespacio on Dec 9, 2015


Fuck you, Rick Burman! You ruined this too! Stop ruining....wait a minute....that's not Rick Burman. What is it with Ricks?

TheOct8pus on Dec 9, 2015


Ahh... Mr. Plinkett...

DaveLister_JMC on Dec 9, 2015


I just had a hard on for Darth Maul when I walked out. His first appearance was epic and the double bladed lightsaber reveal made everyone gasp.

Xerxexx on Dec 9, 2015


Then they killed him off and lucas tried to bring him back with robotic legs. Sorta like the biggest cop out ever.

Chrisscros on Dec 9, 2015


In the clone wars he is alive with robotic legs and its Canon now.

Xerxexx on Dec 9, 2015


"...and it's Canon now." Quite possibly the geekiest phrase ever invented, in any language.

DaveLister_JMC on Dec 9, 2015


Aw shucks, thank you sweetie.

Xerxexx on Dec 9, 2015


Just to be clear... It was *not* an insult.

DaveLister_JMC on Dec 9, 2015


Ha-ha, wasn't too sure which direction to take your reply, so I decided shotgun some snark...my apologies good sir.

Xerxexx on Dec 10, 2015


You can never be too sure on the intertubes...

DaveLister_JMC on Dec 10, 2015


Absolutely, anyway TFA is next week!

Xerxexx on Dec 11, 2015


Did you not read my comment at all?

Chrisscros on Dec 11, 2015


Could be wrong, but I don't think Lucas had anything to do with that. I think that's all Disney. And I'm glad, GLAD I TELL YA!! He was way too cool to be nixed that quickly.

grimjob on Dec 9, 2015


I agree he was too cool to be nixed that quickly but bringing him back with robotic legs was sorta a cop out i feel. Like "oh shoot we killed the coolest thing the prequels..... we could always just bring him back?"

Chrisscros on Dec 11, 2015


I hear ya. To me, it feels like they were trying to right one of Lucas' mistakes. Which I appreciate. It's not so much "WE killed the coolest thing", it's more HE killed the coolest thing. But, he was dead. So I know what you mean. Although, they actually made him more than a one-dimensional character when they brought him back, by exploring his mental state after all that, which I found very interesting.

grimjob on Dec 11, 2015


"My favourite part was the part with the midichlorians"

eurogibbon on Dec 9, 2015


I can think of one edge the new movie has over the prequels...Han Solo 😀

theslayer5150 on Dec 9, 2015


It would be awesome to use the power of today's internet and find all these people again. I wonder what Darth Maul fanboy is up to. I especially would love to see sourpuss dude at the end nowadays. He's probably an associate professor of psychology and I bet you he still grades his students paper like that... "Thumbs way down."

Huck PS on Dec 9, 2015


I was working at a movie theater at the time this was released....so I remember all too well the fan chaos...there was no fandango or pre-sales back then...wow

Trey on Dec 9, 2015


I hear that... We stood in line outside the building a week before the release day to get our tickets. Actually a couple of friends of mine who worked third shift spent the entire day out in the line... I showed up after my shift, around 4:00 pm, talked to those guys for a minute gave them my ticket money and then got a table at the bar next door and drank beer until they joined me... and then I drank more beer... Come to think of it... Who needs Fandango?!?!?!

DaveLister_JMC on Dec 9, 2015


Sounds like a nightmare to me. The equivalent of working retail on Black Friday.

grimjob on Dec 9, 2015


I hate to break reality once again: TPM sucked. It's unwatchable.

Sascha Dikiciyan on Dec 10, 2015


The hype had me going that opening night and I was going along for the ride up until Darth Maul was killed off. That's when I realized the entire movie was basically 2 minutes of actual plot in the overall series. Nothing that happened actually mattered.

bumboclot on Dec 10, 2015


The last guy wasn't drinking the hype kool aid. The Phantom Menace was awful.

Firefly15 on Dec 11, 2015


The problem is, he was probably the only REAL diehard Star Wars fan out of all the people interviewed.

Bibowski on Dec 11, 2015


About the only cool thing from TPM was these guys

Bibowski on Dec 11, 2015



ragethorn on Dec 15, 2015


Do these retards in the video know that movies are actually fake?

ProWrestlingNO1 on Dec 22, 2015


And then it happened all over again with TFA! Except for as bad as Episode 1 was, Episode 7 was even worse and made even more! The hype was considerably less than Phantom Menace though.

Bill Turkeyburger on Feb 13, 2016

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