Gadzooks, We’re Getting Shakespeare’s Version Of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

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PhantomMenaceShakesWhen it released in 1999, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace caused a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of fans cried out…and then kept crying out, turning the Internet into a collective therapy session where we bemoaned the besmirching of our fond childhood memories. Over the years there have been several attempts to re-edit the movie into a “good parts only” edition, but maybe what The Phantom Menace really needs is a touch of the Bard.

Author Ian Doescher first got our attention last year with the publication of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. Cashing in on the literary mash-up trend that began with books such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars re-imagined George Lucas’ classic space opera as if written by Willy Shakes himself. And yea verily, we quite enjoyed the results, so we were tickled pink when Doescher soon followed his original book up with William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return, both published this year. Now, continuing to follow in Lucas’ footsteps, Doescher will go the prequel route with William Shakespeare’s The Phantom Menace, due out on April 15, 2015.


Star Wars Prequel Storyboards Reveal A Younger, Mohawked Qui-Gon Jinn

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Qui-Gon HawkEvery once in a while there’s a story that flies under our radar but which simply must be given its moment in the spotlight. The release of more Star Wars concept art is an interesting but hardly earth-shattering semi-regular event these days, and it’ll only become more prevalent in coming years as new Star Wars movies roll into theaters. But for this story we’re looking back, not forward, back to a time before the prequels had erupted through our collective childhoods, covering everything in a sickly sheen of too-pristine CGI and Gungan poop. Because while I’m not sure if The Phantom Menace would have been any better if Qui-Gon Jinn had been sporting a mohawk, that’s an unrealized reality I would totally be willing to take for a test drive.


How The Phantom Menace Should Have Ended (And Yes, Jar Jar Dies)

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The team behind the parody-minded YouTube channel How It Should Have Ended have been cranking out their humorous versions of hindsight editing for almost seven years now. Long-time viewers will notice that their videos are more assuredly animated now, with tighter scripts and longer runtimes. But they’ve still somehow never tackled one of the most notorious films in existence: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Until now, that is. To make up for the long wait, they don’t just offer one alternate ending, but two. I’d actually forgotten exactly how the film actually concludes, but this video reminded me of that pain. I’d have written this a little earlier, but it took another half-hour to calm the suicidal urges that the memory provoked.

The video starts in what is possibly the smartest way any video has started in the history of video starts: Qui-Gon Jinn first tries to get rid of the bastard devil that is Jar Jar Binks through words. When Jar Jar refuses to leave willingly, Qui-Gon just uses his light saber to reflect a bunch of lasers into Jar Jar’s stupid mortal body. I’d actually pay money to see this movie in theaters again if this scene was inserted into the final cut.


Star Wars Prequels Might Get A 3D Release After All

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Star Wars 3DBefore Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm back in October 2012, George Lucas’ company was planning to re-release the prequel trilogy in theaters with a brand new 3D up-conversion. The Phantom Menace had already seen its way back into theaters and took an additional $102.7 million to Episode I‘s now impressive $1 billion worldwide box office. With the promise of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith seeing their own 3D up-conversion re-releases just around the corner, Disney instead canceled the prequel re-releases to focus on the new Star Wars: Episode VII. It seems that Disney is now reconsidering a 3D re-release for Episodes II and III.

According to Jedi News, new theater showings in the Netherlands suggest that Disney might actually re-release Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in 3D next year. According to the source, the prequel films would open on December 31, 2014 in the Netherlands.

It was something I haven’t come across anywhere else, so the first thing I did, was call to confirm it. And they did. On the website they have Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith listed for December 31st, 2014, both movies in 3D!


Star Wars Fans, Witness The Death Of Jar Jar Binks

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By my calendar it’s only the beginning of November, but for Star Wars fans, Christmas has come early (or Life Day, or whatever). There was no shortage of reasons why the Star Wars prequels were, for the most part, godawful, ranging from anemic scripts to poorly directed actors to a seemingly terminal inability to understand why all of us fell in love with Star Wars in the first place. But if there is one glaring worst offender, one totem that single-handedly sums up everything wrong with the prequels — and if that thing is not named Jake Lloyd — then it has to be Jar Jar Binks. Where to even begin with his sins? He’s a crass bit of kid-pandering at its most obvious; he’s comic relief that is never funny; and he causes you to lose respect for Qui-Gon and Anakin when they don’t immediately slice him in half with a lightsaber the first time he says “meesa.” Thankfully, Jar Jar has finally done the one thing we all wanted him to do from the very start: die.


Eli Roth’s Newly Discovered Scathing Review Of The Phantom Menace

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Eli Roth

Back in 1999, Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace was going to be one of the biggest movies of the year. While it ended up breaking box office records, there was a stinging sensation that The Phantom Menace was not the same Star Wars we knew and loved. The film is arguably the most disappointing movie of all time, with characters like Jar-Jar Binks and lil‘ Ani Skywalker a far cry from classics like Han Solo and Chewbacca from the original.

Before the movie was released in theaters, there were already a few reviews of the film floating around the Internet. Director Eli Roth, who hadn’t broke into the industry yet, anonymously wrote one of those early reviews,  for the now-defunct website LeisureSuit.net. It was recently unearthed by Jordan Hoffman from Film.com and the New York Daily Post, who was an editor at Leisure Suit at the time. “So here’s the kicker: IT SUCKED,” Roth said of The Phantom Menace, back in 1999.

Mike Ryan from the Huffington Post recently contacted Roth and asked him about the review. Roth remembered writing the review and played it off as a “style piece,” comparing it to Steve Martin’s rejected New Yorker submission review for Ridley Scott’s Alien. He also views The Phantom Menace and the prequel trilogy in a new light. He accepted that George Lucas didn’t make these films for the older generation, but rather he made them for a newer one. Roth wrote the Huffington Post: