Twenty years ago today marked the debut of the trailer for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It was our first “new” Star Wars (not counting the addition to the Special Edition versions of the Original Trilogy rereleases) since those Ewoks mini movies on ABC in the two years following Return of the Jedi.
I thought it would be nice to get the Outer Rim News Executive staff together to give their thoughts on where they were when this trailer debuted.
I remember that I had just started working at a new job and I was fairly excited because my company had a T1 line for our Internet connection. Yep we were getting a full 1.5 Mbps and I new that I would be watching this trailer as soon as it debuted. To download it, we had to go to an Apple trailers site (if I am recalling it correctly).
I waited with baited breath as I watched the little blue progress bar slowly, but surely make its way to the right of the window. You could actually start watching it as soon as the bar got a little ways over, but then it would inevitably stop as the video caught up with the progress bar. I was determined to watch this with no interruption, so I waited until it was completely through downloading.
I must have watched it twenty or so times before continuing my work day. I was absolutely mesmerized by the visuals and the thought of new Star Wars. It was absolutely an incredible time to be a Star Wars fan.
Our Co-Founder/Social Media expert Butler Raines recalls his memories of the trailer…
I was a senior chemistry major at Georgia College. My professor Ken McGill and I had worked all summer to setup, at the time, one of the most technologically advanced classrooms on campus. Every desk had an embedded personal computer that connected to a SmartBoard in the front of the room. I remember being so excited about the upcoming film and the Internet brought a new wave of fandom for me. I would read fan sites daily, and one of my favorites was Rebelscum.com.
We knew the day and time of the trailer’s release, so Dr. McGill, Bruce Salter, Rayman Stanelle and I all gathered in from the the SmartBoard. Then it happened, insects chirping, and the sound of Kaadu feet stomping the ground came from the fog, and a new era of Star Wars began for me.
Fellow Co-Founder and Host of the Outer Rim News Podcast, Austin Gordy had this to say…
I was in middle school and that whole spring semester had me finishing my schoolwork ahead of everyone else, JUST so I could get computer time. Of course, the whole time I’m on the computer I’m browsing the Star Wars website and watching the trailer to Episode One over and over and over and over…
I couldn’t begin to tell you how insanely joyful I was, watching as we got to see Naboo and the Gungans for the first time. And those lightsaber battles! Oh God, those lightsaber battles had me drooling. I still get chills thinking about it. This was a whole new Star Wars and I was 100% in.
You can check out that original trailer below! Do you remember where you were and what your life was like when that trailer debuted? Tell us all about it either in the comment section below, or on our various social media sites.