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May 21, 2002 — 4 PM

Something’s Gunked Up the Force

I can’t very well not go. Not when it was the first great movie I remember as a kid. Not when my friends and I picked up sticks in the park and banged them together. Not while my name is still Luke.

Nevertheless, it’s reviews like this that make me hesitant:

Like weary Brezhnev-era Muscovites, the American moviegoing public will line up out of habit and compulsion, ruefully hoping that this episode will at least be a little better than the last one, and perhaps inwardly suspecting that the whole elephantine system is rotten.

Truth be told, I didn’t actually see The Phantom Menace, episode I, until last week, so nonplussed was I by the hoopla and the pitiful word-of-mouth when it came out. And after watching it, I thought what everyone else thought three years ago. It stank. It stank with many stretches of laughably bad filmmaking interrupted briefly by some neat special effects. It stank with sideshow characters whose ethnically-charged mannerisms and accents proved so embarrassing I grimaced in anticipation of their every next line.

But we’ve all gotten worked up again in anticipation. It’ll be better won’t it? George Lucas can’t muck up two films so badly, can he? (This is the same man who brought us Howard the Duck.) The critics, for their part, seem eager to take Lucas down a notch. My favourite headline so far in this celebration of mediocrity:

“Attack of the moans”


Previously: Fancy the Footy?

Subsequently: Lesson in PR: How Not to Handle the Media

May 2002
the Archives