Fans Reacting To ‘The Phantom Menace’ In 1999 Will Keep Your ‘Force Awakens’ Expectations In Check

It’s practically a foregone conclusion that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will wipe away the sins of the prequels, win every Oscar, and vanish Voldemort, er, Trump to the red waste that is Tatooine. No pressure, J.J. Abrams.

Okay… but what if it stinks?

Every indication is that Episode VII will be the best Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back — even George Lucas liked the film, although he has four billion reasons to say nice things. But there’s always the chance that Force Awakens, which comes out next week, will be, well, the next Phantom Menace.

Funny Local News Bloopers compiled grainy interview footage from 1999 right before and after naive Star Wars fans saw The Phantom Menace for the first time. Ah, we were so young back then, and very dumb. The positive reactions far outnumber the negative reviews. Not just among children, either. It’s one thing for a kid to think Jar Jar is fun — it’s another when someone thinks The Phantom Menace is going to be the next Wonder of the World and a grown man praises the film for its noise. Throw some rocks in a shoebox and shake the thing. That’s noisy, and doesn’t have Watto.

There’s only one guy at the end of the video who “gets” it (hint: it’s not Shaq). May the Force be strong with him.

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