|Thanks to the folks at C/NetUK for the image!|
As he and I planned for... well, a year (or since the official announcement of it's release), DrthGeek Jr. #1 and I went on opening weekend. It was that Saturday afternoon and, since there was a planned birthday party, and I had a work event later that evening, we organized our day around a matinee showing. That morning we donned our make-shift Jedi robes (SW t-shirt and jeans...) and fortified ourselves with a hearty breakfast and helpings of the Clone Wars animated series! DrthGeek Jr. #2 gladly joined in the morning merriment. After a few lightsaber battles with no clear victor, our time of departure arrived.
DG Jr. #1 and I headed out in our own Falcon (making the sound effects ourselves!), he as Chewie to my Han. To add to the fun and fervor, we swing by Target looking for various Star Wars merchandise, and other stuffs. With the window shopping adventure completed, and after the aforementioned lightsaber battles, we had worked up a mighty hunger that only high-caloric, low-nutritional value food can sate.
We pulled into the nearest McDonald's, and lo-and-behold, they had Star Wars Happy Meal toys!!! That was truly not planned and a very welcome surprise! Being the (hopefully) good Dad that I try to be, I procured an extra toy for DG Jr. #2, who stayed home on this adventure. Fed and watered, and extra Star Wars toys in hand, we headed to the nearest cinema that had our beloved film in 3D.
Warning: Minimal Spoiler's ahead!!!
Even though this film, originally released in May of 1999, was this Geek's most anticipated Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace is not, by any means, the best film in the saga. In my opinion, the saving grace in the Prequels is Natalie Portman (sorry honey... you are still my No.1, though!!!) and Ewan McGregor's portrayal of Obi-Wan. We'll go more into that in future posts....
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is a great film for the saga because it tells the story of how Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padme meet. Oh, and it has a couple visually stunning scenes in the podraces and the epic (and obligatory) climactic lightsaber/space battle(s). Those two scenes were, arguably, served the best by the 3D enhancements. If you've read previous, and other, reviews, that statement is not anything you haven't heard before. I will add to those scenes the one where Jar-Jar is leading Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to the underwater city where the Gungans live. Visually, that particular "reveal" of the city was pretty darn cool.
As a whole, it was great to revisit the movie on the big screen. The 3D did not do too much to enhance the experience, save for a few key scenes. The best experience of the event, was getting to share the whole trip with my son. When asked his favorite part of the movie, his answer was, "when Anakin won the race, Dad! Oh, and when the young Jedi (Obi-Wan) cut the bad guy (Darth Maul) in half!" What can I say... we all sorta cheered for Obi-Wan the first time we saw him defeat Maul.
Honestly, I am looking forward to the remaining 5 films to be released with the 3D treatment, but I'm not holding my breath. I realize 3D is not for everyone. It is a novelty that adds another dimension to the fun of my favorite Saga. For all the good and bad, if you are a die-hard Star Wars fan, I say check them out.
'Til next time....