Retronauts Episode 473: Star Wars Episode I
Yousa thinking yousa people gonna podcast?
Short of the second coming of Jesus, no event in 1999 was more anticipated than the arrival of a new Star Wars film twenty years after the original sci-fi space opera became a phenomenon. In a pre-streaming world, people ran to theaters and bought tickets just to see Episode I trailers that ran before other movies, and dedicated fans started lining up for the premiere weeks in advance. If hype had a midichlorian count, Phantom Menace would have been The One prior to its release.
Once the movie actually came out, well, things got weird. Some fans loved it. Other fans treated the film as a betrayal of their childhood or viewed Lucas as a filmmaker who had lost his touch. Episode I's reputation remained in flux for years as two more episodes followed, going through an extreme reappraisal once the Disney era began with The Force Awakens. Many viewers who derided the film at the time now see it as a purer vision of Star Wars than anything released since, while others remain dead set against any redemption for Jar Jar Binks.
This week on the podcast, the crew formerly known as Retronauts East (host Jeremy Parish, Benj Edwards, Ben Elgin, and Chris Sims) reunite remotely to dive into Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, eyeing the 90s blockbusters that likely influenced its creation and examining the volatile breadth of reactions Episode I received post-release. They also find time to actually talk about the movie itself, but not the games based upon it; stay tuned for a future episode covering Star Wars prequel games, for there were many. What, you think you're some kind of Jedi? Mind tricks don't work on us, only podcasts!
Description: A Retronauts crew from far, far away (Retronauts East) gets together to revisit the topic of Star Wars for first time since a long time ago (99 episodes ago!) to talk about the first prequel—1999's The Phantom Menace—and its impact on pop culture. You would not believe Jeremy Parish, Benj Edwards, Chris Sims, and Ben Elgin's collective midichlorian count!
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Artwork for this episode by Shaan Khan and editing thanks go to Greg Leahy.