20 Years Ago Today . . . Filming Began on Episode 1!
In 1999, sixteen years after Return of the Jedi's 1983 release, Star Wars fans of all ages were finally going to be able to see a new film together. That movie, which changed the course of Star Wars's history, began principle filming on this date in 1997 - TWENTY YEARS AGO.
We did not know that that film, The Phantom Menace, would bring so many controversial changes to Star Wars: Jar Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd, midichlorians, and the beginning of the end of George Lucas's hold over the franchise. We did not know then that the movie would become one of the most hotly debated in the series, and likely one of the least liked.
The Phantom Menace wasn't all bad. It gave us Ewan McGregor as young Obi Wan Kenobi, which may provide us with another anthology film. It gave us a look into the Jedi Council. And, most importantly to me at least, it gave us amazing music. I will never forget how it felt to be in the theater during the epic battle between Qui-Gon, Obi Wan, and Darth Maul listening to Duel of the Fates for the first time. It still gives me chills!
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