The Phantom Menace Hits 20

Episode I: The Phantom Menace at 20 | Green Card Back

A long time ago…

Cast your mind back to mid-May – hasn’t the time flown since then?

Well, way back in 1999 that same period of time we’ve just traversed felt endless. While our US friends celebrated this milestone back in May it’s today, July 16th 2019, that marks 20 years since the UK release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace!

For a film that’s been mired in disdain for the last two decades it sure has been great to see the outpouring of love over the last few months. We’ve seen re-appraisals, month-long retrospectives and a general consensus that informed viewers reached years ago – The Phantom Menace┬áisn’t perfect, but it is a bold, ambitious and creative first chapter for the saga. It’s brim full of ideas even if it does fall a little short of its potential due to some flaws in the execution.

At the time you would have been forgiven for thinking that George Lucas had made something far, far worse.

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Positive Fandom #2: The Games

Positive Fandom #2: Star Wars Video Games | Green Card Back

By 1993, Star Wars was back.

10 years after Return of the Jedi the Star Wars renaissance was in full swing. Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy had launched the Expanded Universe to great success, a venture continued with gusto by Dark Horse Comics.

Yet something equally epoch-defining was happening on a brand new medium for Star Wars – home PC. 1993 saw the release of X-Wing and Rebel Assault, games by the soon-to-be legendary LucasArts, and for this young fan life would never be the same again…

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Find of the Millennium

Star Wars Vintage Kenner Millennium Falcon | Green Card Back

There aren’t many stories about the vintage Kenner Milliennium Falcon that start with a potentially tragic story about a baby bird… But then this isn’t really a normal Star Wars story.

After a session of gardening at home this lunchtime, my wife and I started the process of clearing up. As I raked across the driveway gravel something caught my eye and made me jump in shock – a tiny baby bird, covered in down and wriggling on its back.

After a quick Google and a phone call we made a makeshift nest for it out of a shallow tub and grass clippings, covered it over with cotton wool for insulation and hit the road to the local vets.

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Star Wars: Scene 38… Re-Imagined

Scene 38 - Vader vs Obi-Wan Re-Imagined | Green Card Back

From the breathtaking finesse of the Theed Hanger Duel in The Phantom Menace to the epic theatrics of Anakin vs Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith, there’s no doubt that the Prequel Trilogy introduced a greater level of visual spectacle to the Star Wars saga.

If you remove the rose-tinted glasses, at 42 years old A New Hope is starting to show its age – and nowhere is this more obvious than in the rematch between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader.

Slow and stilted, for years we convinced ourselves that this was due to it being a duel between an out-of-practice old man and an amputee cyborg. Yet from Yoda vs Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones to Vader’s onslaught in Rogue One, it’s increasingly hard to countenance that Kenobi’s final fight was restricted by anything other than available film production techniques.

This is where VFX artist Christopher Clements, better known by his YouTube handle FXitinPost, has come to the rescue…

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