Star Wars Celebration is rolling out the red carpet for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. This year's celebration of all things related to a galaxy far, far away just so happens to be taking place roughly a month ahead of the 20th anniversary of the release of George Lucas' initial entry in his prequel trilogy. While the movie leaves behind a complicated legacy, if there's anywhere the movie should be honored, it's at this event.
The Phantom Menace will be honored with a 20th anniversary panel at Star Wars Celebration on Monday, April 15, the last day of the event. The news was announced via the official Twitter account for the event and they recommend that any fans who are attending the event should purchase tickets prior to February 27, or they risk having to wait in a will call line. Here's what they had to say.
"Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Phantom Menace Monday at Star Wars Celebration! Get your Monday tickets by February 27 and avoid the will call line"
Unfortunately, Monday is the only day with any tickets still available for the event, as full five-day passes and single-day passes for the other days have already been sold out. It was largely expected that Lucasfilm would do something during this year's Celebration to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of Episode I, which was originally released in the summer of 1999 and represented the first Star Wars movie to hit theaters in more than 15 years, following the conclusion of the original trilogy with 1983's Return of the Jedi. It also marked the first time George Lucas directed a movie in the franchise since the original Star Wars in 1977.
As such, and understandably so, there was a tremendous, unprecedented amount of hype for the movie heading into the summer of 99. Unfortunately, despite an initial wave of excitement, over the years, many have taken to looking upon The Phantom Menace with a great deal of negativity for a slew of reasons, from Jar Jar Binks to George Lucas' decision to kill off Darth Maul, just to name a couple. Despite the hate, the first entry in the prequel trilogy went on to gross more than $1 billion at the box office.
It hasn't been revealed who will be in attendance at the panel just yet. One of the biggest question marks will be Ahmed Best, who portrayed Jar Jar Binks and has since opened up about his issues with depression and thoughts of suicide that resulted from the media backlash over the movie. Will George Lucas pop up? What about Ewan McGregor? With any luck, he'll already be there to make a splashy announcement about that rumored Obi-Wan series. Jake Lloyd, who played Anakin, also faced a great deal of backlash for his role and has since left Hollywood. His participation would be a big question mark. We should be hearing more details in the near future. Feel free to check out the announcement from the Star Wars Celebration Twitter account below.