Look, no-one is saying these people are wrong. Maybe SOCIETY is wrong, yeah? But this 16-year-old clip of fans going nuts over Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace certainly jars with the contemporary view of the CGI-laden 1999 prequel to George Lucas’ epic sci-fi franchise.
Nowadays, of course, the three late ’90s/early-noughties Star Wars prequels are widely regarded as carbuncles on the faces of popular cinema, but this lot – interviewed by local news stations immediately after seeing the film for the first time – are positively effusive in their praise, with one fan even pledging allegiance to the universally loathed character Jar Jar Binks.
Anyway, only one solitary voice in the wilderness conveys disappointment, insisting that George Lucas owes him “a public apology”. Another, however, sums up the general feeling when he says: “There’s no way it’s gonna be a disappointment.” Then again, he is dressed as Darth Vader, a man whose judgement is notoriously iffy.
It’s worth remembering that, at the time, the critics were equally enamoured with the movie, as this round-up proves. Only time has altered the critical consensus. The lesson here: let’s all keep our heads and bear that in mind when we settle down to The Force Awakens next week.