Following the release of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, fans were given novels, comic books, and video games that furthered the adventures of the galaxy far, far away. In the late '90s, fans were given the opportunity to see the original trilogy on the big screen with the release of the Special Editions of the original trilogy, which built immense amounts of excitement for the upcoming prequel film, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. While the original sequels were massive successes in their own right, the series only grew more popular over the years, making the film's release one of the most-anticipated pop culture events of 1999.
The film was a big financial success, yet with the original audience now much older and with the new film being geared towards younger audiences, many elements of the film didn't connect with core fans, resulting in a backlash against the film. Luckily, with fans no longer having immense amounts of pressure for what the film needed to accomplish, Phantom Menace has earned a warmer reception, with those fans who were young when they saw it now seeing the prequel as their gateway into the saga.
In honor of the film celebrating its 20th anniversary this past weekend, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace fans took to social media to share their fond memories of the prequel.
If you were too young to remember, the lead up to #ThePhantomMenace was insane. Remember 2015 before The Force Awakens? Now triple it. We’ve had 3 generational pop culture seismic events caused by Star Wars in 40 years. Think about that.— Mark’s Forever Star Wars (@djmmarquis) May 19, 2019
It’s been 20 Years since The Phantom Menace was released.
It was a huge part of my childhood, and I thank George Lucas everyday for it♥️May 19, 2019
Happy 20th birthday to #ThePhantomMenace. I didn’t get to see it the night it came out but some kid in my class did, and he spoiled it for me by saying Darth Maul gets cut in half at the end.
If you’re out there somewhere, Keith, I want you to know that I still hate you, bitch.— (((Sᴄʀᴜ̈ᴇɢɢS))) (@scrueggs) May 19, 2019
One of the best things to come out of #ThePhantomMenace was the emergence of @ahmedbest. Not only did his performance in the film revolutionize special effects, but his propagation of positivity and friendliness since the film’s release is something to be admired #BestStarWars pic.twitter.com/1ZFUeX9Q7j— Star Wars Holocron (@sw_holocron) May 19, 2019
Wow. Has it really been 20 years? Seems like only yesterday I was taking my new Qui-Gon LEGO figure to the theater, having a lightsaber fight in the aisle, and buzzing with excitement from 12:01 AM until...well, now, I suppose.— Ryan Stormblessed (@DarthDuck415) May 20, 2019
Happy #ThePhantomMenace Day, everyone!!! pic.twitter.com/RhqnW5xd4e
Happy 20 year anniversary to #StarWars #ThePhantomMenace I was 15 and my dad took me at midnight to watch, and then let me skip school the next day to go again! Great memories😁 20 years later my son LOVES Maul, life is a trip 😂 Anyone think he pulls this look off?? pic.twitter.com/w4IERltyVB— Lil Uzi Curt (@Kodackbar_Black) May 20, 2019