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PT Audience reactions to the PT in theaters

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Feelicks, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. janstett

    janstett Jedi Master star 3

    May 29, 2004
    I remember for TPM all the geeky anticipation. I was on vacation in Florida to see a Space Shuttle launch that got scrubbed and left town, on the way out we passed a theater with a line in front and, oh yeah, it's TPM's release day. The line wasn't too bad and I had time to kill, so I got on line.

    There were raucous cheers for the Lucasfilm logo as the movie started. Cheers through the prologue. And then a few awkward group cheers early in the film. And then the reality settled over the crowd that the movie wasn't very good and the disappointment that will never, ever leave showed its face.

    By the time ROTS came out people were laughing at things they were not intended to laugh at. Highlighted by "nooooooooooo". In 3 films the franchise became a joke, to be pointed at and laughed at by hipsters for its uncoolness. I think that was people's defense mechanism to deal with the disappointment of how bad the films were.
    KilroyMcFadden likes this.
  2. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2013
    Never heard any laughing at the films except for a few of Jar-Jar's antics that were supposed to be funny, even with the 3D release.
  3. Dranem

    Dranem JCF Banner Contest Winner star 1 VIP - Game Winner

    Oct 31, 2012
    Tough to remember some of those, but here are a few for me:

    Episode I - Roaring and applauding when the Star Wars log streaked across the screen. Lots of plastic lightsabers waving. When the Obi Wan and Qui Gon took off their hoods more cheering. Then it was all a blur until the Maul confronted the Jedi in the hangar. I was trying so hard to absorb everything. Still one of my favorite movie experiences.

    Episode II - Applause at the start as usual. Things really seemed to pick up again in the audience during the Coruscant chase. I also remember seeing the kid in front of me flinch when Jango headbutted Obi Wan and grab his dad's arm when they were sliding off the edge of the platform. And of course cheers when Mace put his lightsaber to Dookus neck and Yoda flipping out. The theater I was in at midnight stood up during that scene it felt like I was at a football game.

    Episode III - Another midnight showing. Cheers at the beginning and then the extended first shot of the two ships accompanied by a booming percussion really set the mood. I really enjoyed the first 2 but myself and the audience seemed to be instantly at home with Episode III in terms of story and that good old Star Wars "feel". I remember going in very spoiler free. The crowd laughed a lot at the beginning (Especially the "I think we lost something..." line), R2s antics, etc. and then after Anakin beheaded Dooku the theater was silent the rest of the film. Everyone was drawn in and I felt like a 5 year old again in 1983 sitting in a dark theater and feeling like I was the only one there. The twin sunsets at the end and the familiar Binary Sun theme music played and I didn't want it to be over.

    Flash forward to this year and I once again have a Star Wars movie to look forward to! And the best part is just like the young boy I saw with his dad for Episode II and my own memories, I get to experience it with my son when he will be 6. I absolutely cannot wait. And the only audience reaction I will be focused on is my and my son.
  4. Darth Dominikkus

    Darth Dominikkus Jedi Knight star 3

    Apr 5, 2013
    The one thing I remember when I saw TPM in theaters was during the Obi Wan vs. Maul scene. Right when Obi Wan sliced Maul in half, some dude in the back screamed "HOLY ****," as if he just saw someone get hit by a car. It was hilarious.
  5. bibfortuitous

    bibfortuitous Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 7, 2000
    You all sound like the girl in Scary Movie watching Shakespeare In Love. Guess what happened to her.
    DarthRelaxus likes this.
  6. SnakeWesker

    SnakeWesker Jedi Master star 1

    Apr 21, 2006
    The only one I saw at midnight was Episode III. There was a big reaction when R2 defeated the two Super Battle Droids in the beginning. There were some laughs with how Palpatine was saying stuff in the "Anakin kills Mace" scene. Yoda taking out the two Royal Guards drew some big laughs. And, when the credits hit, there was huge applause. It was a cool experience.
    obi-rob-kenobi4 likes this.
  7. obi-rob-kenobi4

    obi-rob-kenobi4 Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 17, 2007
    Too many to even list, but the ones I still remember most to this day are....

    Episode 1 in 1999: We couldn't even see it on opening day because everywhere we called was sold out. But me and my uncle grabbed great seats for the 7:00pm showing the very 2nd day of release. Lines were longer than any I have ever seen for a movie at that time. There were huge crowds around the 3 SW Trilogy Arcade machines (best arcades machines EVER!) that were in the lobby and EVERYONE wanted a turn before/after the movie, it was a big deal. It was little things like this that made it feel like SW was everywhere. We kept our cups and still have them from that night. When we finally got into the theater to watch the movie everyone clapped and slowly went nuts from the Lucasfilm logo to the start of the opening crawl. The shot (simple as it may seem now on a tv screen) of the republic blockade runner flying across the huge screen was amazing and even disorienting in terms of the sheer feeling of depth and scope that came over my body as the ship flew towards and landed in the mysterious, dangerous feeling Trade Federation ship. Best way I can describe it is that it felt almost as if the ship (or maybe the viewer!) was underwater rather than in space. That about sums up the feeling we had sitting there looking up at it all in awe. Like Roger Ebert once said "Watching SW in a dark theater on a big screen feels like an out of body experiences. He was right.

    From then on the reactions went as follows: When Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon turned around and took their hoods off revealing themselves to the audience (The same exact way Obi-wan and Luke took their hoods off in the OT) the whole place went nuts with a huge applause already satisfied simply at the fact (or feeling) that The Jedi Knights are here now! And when they Ignited their lightsabers both the first time and through the green fog people were going nuts! The applause was so loud that there were people letting out whistles and screams you could barely hear over the excitement. Seeing Two Jedi Knights with two blue and green lightsabers on screen at the same time (which was big back then!) cutting through battle droids defending the Old Republic from The Greedy Trade Federation was indescribably satisfying and exciting for any true SW fan because back then we all knew that this was exactly the backstory we have been reading about in beginning of the novelization of ANH and talking and hearing about in SW lore for DECADES.

    Everybody in the packed theater was mad amped up after that! When Natalie Portman showed up onscreen I remember some guy yelling out "Flash Gordan!" and never knew why until I saw the dvd with commentary years latter. The first shot of Theed sucked the air out of the room and it finally quieted down after that. The scope and detail was humbling it was so amazing! I had never felt such depth in a movie before and I grew up going to the movies twice a week. I remember a group of people all went "Ohh!" when Obi-wan said "Here master Tatooine!" The podrace was shockingly loud and dramatic and by the time Anakin crossed the finish line everyone was screaming and clapping. It was great. When Darth Maul swooped in with his red lightsaber to fight Qui-Gon-Jinn people were going "Yeeeaa!!" and the shot of him looking up at the ship turning off his lightsaber got a big clap. A good half of the theater seemed to get really excited when Senator Palpatine appeared going "OOoooOOOoo!!!" A lot of people clapped when Yoda showed up.

    Heres the best part. Everyone laughed when Jar-Jar got into trouble or had a little gag. As specially when Qui-gon caught his tung at the dinner table and at the end during all the chaos of the ground battle. When he hit his croch on the tank gun everyone went "Ooff!" as if they felt it themselves they were going nuts when the tank came towards the screen with him hanging from it. They loved it! We all thought nothing of any of it. Same thing with all latter public viewings. I still remember how shocked I was years latter when I got a computer and found out it was suddenly "a thing" to complain about jar-jar/say you hate jar-jar online.

    The Duel with Obi-wan-kenobi, Qui-gon-jinn and Darth Maul was breathtakingly dramatic and epic. People clapped at the beginning, when maul had his close up after he back flipped to the other ledge leading the jedi deeper into the generator room. People were shocked and making all kinds of fuss when Qui-gon got stabbed. You could hear little kids were sounding upset. The last fight with Obi-wan and Darth Maul was ******* awesome to the point where i still remember the goosebumps and electric reaction when obi-wan got force pushed down the bottomless pit. When Darth Maul got slayed by Obi-wan everyone went nuts with applause. During the funeral scene everyone was going "oooOOOOOooooooo!!!" when it showed the close up of Palpatines face with Anakin,Obi-wan and Padme in the background.

    I remember feeling exhausted during the celebration scene but happy at the same time when realizing the obvious ANH like curtain call ending.

    There was standing ovations and loud applause as the lights came up and the SW music started playing in the credits. Everyone was very slow to leave, people were sitting back down talking and watching the credits and just hanging out. Mad people and lots of kids were still running towards the SW arcade machines in the lobby. It generally felt like everyone was on cloud 9. People were having cigarettes outside talking only to come back in an hang around the lobby playing the arcade machines and eating from the snack bar buying SW cups and what everything else. It was great. I will never forget it.

    I saw TPM 7 times that year. 5 times in the big theaters and 2 times at a 3 doller theater near my street.

    SW was everywhere. In the national news, on the local news, in the local newspapers every other day, on soda cans, bags of chips, pizza hut, taco bell AND kfc, in school, on videogames and everyone who was anyone of all ages had at least one light up lightsaber. When the grumpy old ladys would wait for the walking groups of 17-20 something year olds to walk further down the street before steping out their front yards to get into their cars or whatever they were doing it becouse the groups of kids would 8 times out of 10 be jumping around swinging light up lightsabers around. The 12 through 14 year olds looked up to them and the 7-10 year olds looked up to them. SW was everywhere. You would see kids reading SW books at school and talking about SW during lunch, and being able to relate to older adults with it.

    And then came the vhs! ;) Oh what a time it was.:cool:
  8. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    I saw TPM five times in theaters and don't remember any specific audience reaction.

    I saw AOTC ten times in theaters; I remember two reactions. One was on opening day; when Anakin and Padme got out of the gondola at Varykino, the woman next to me said, "Sooo pretty." Another was at a later viewing, during the Yoda/Dooku fight. Some guy in front of me said, "Go go Kermit go!"

    I was giving my own running commentary with the people I was with, by the ninth or tenth viewing.

    Anakin jumped on Padme's bed to kill the worms: "Honey, I'm home."
    Coruscant chase scene, Anakin jumps on Zam's ride: "That speeder is having all the fun."
    Palpatine: "I love democracy! I love the Republic!" Guy I was with: " long as I am running it."
    Darth Chiznuk likes this.
  9. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
    Anakin beheading Dooku comes before "I think we lost something".
  10. mes520

    mes520 Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 3, 2012
    My viewing of ROTS

    I remember everyone in the theater laughing when Yoda slammed the Red Guards against the wall.

    Lots of talking after it was over

    I don't remember much else. Of course, it was first time seeing a Star Wars movie in theater so I was pretty excited

    Oh and I do remember there being three year olds there and thinking they were rather young
  11. KED12345

    KED12345 Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 10, 2012
    I remember seeing AOTC in theater for the midnight premiere and everyone lost their **** when Yoda threw out a lightsaber.

    I also remember the audience being dead, and I mean dead silent when Vader had the mask come on in ROTS.
  12. Zer0

    Zer0 Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 3, 2012
    I don't remember much really, I was pretty young.

    I do remember everyone cheering for Yoda, the audience for ROTS didn't respond much though.
  13. Dranem

    Dranem JCF Banner Contest Winner star 1 VIP - Game Winner

    Oct 31, 2012
    You are correct. I always like to assume Dooku's headless body fell out of the Invisible Hand as it crashed and is slowly floating around space to this day.
    bibfortuitous likes this.
  14. Darth Chiznuk

    Darth Chiznuk Superninja of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 31, 2012
    I don't remember much from my viewing of TPM except big applause before and after the film and a kid exclaiming to his father, "It's Yoda, dad!"

    I saw AOTC at midnight and again there was huge applause before and after the movie. There was cheering when Obi-Wan jumped out the window, audible gasps when the clone army descended into the arena, and cheers and applause when Yoda ignited his lightsaber. I also remember some guy whispering, "This guy is such a d***!" when Palpatine said, "I love democracy. I love the Republic."

    ROTS was pretty much the same. Big cheers at the important parts especially when Vader first appeared. Yoda knocking out the guards got a huge laugh.

    I think I saw TPM 3 times, AOTC 5-6 times, and ROTS 4 times.
    obi-rob-kenobi4 likes this.
  15. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2011
    Yeah I heard people laugh at the "Noooooo" at the end of Ep3. I didn't have a problem with the fact he says "no" (it represents that Anakin has finally metaphorically died at this moment) but it it's the delivery that could have been better. The force implosion Vader causes around him is a meaningful touch.

    As for my own reactions, I just remember saying pwnage to my mate when Anakin and Obi land on the Invisible Hand and clear the hanger of droids. I also was quite overwhelmed by Order 66... I don't know, something about finally seeing it honestly almost made me cry.
    Also, people laughed at Yoda climbing onto Chewbacca's shoulder during Order 66. It does look kinda silly in retrospect.
  16. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    No really bad reactions at any of the three films. People cheered when Yoda appeared in the hangar at the end of AoTC, and some laughs at the intentionally funny stuff, but otherwise nothing out of the ordinary for any film I've seen.
  17. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
    Only to be reanimated by the restless spirit of Darth Tenebrous... WE HAVE A SEQUEL VILLAIN
    Dranem likes this.
  18. StampidHD280pro

    StampidHD280pro Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 28, 2005
    Well, this is hardly a theater audience reaction, but it's not completely off topic, so I'll put it here.

    In recent months, friends of mine who have visited me have been in the position of being forced to sit through hours of Star Wars. Some people who THINK they have seen all the prequels have not. They'll go "Wait, I never saw this one." This is especially funny when they've only seen Episodes I and II, the Original Trilogy but not III. Episode III makes a big impact on these people. The type of viewer who may know that Anakin is Luke's father, and that Darth Vader is Luke's father... but never actually make the connection...[face_monkey] Yeah, THAT type.

    The best quote is from someone who THOUGHT he'd seen Episode III.

    Me: Are you sure you've seen this movie?
    Him: Yeah, man. I think so.
    Palpatine: Leave him. There's no time.
    Him: Why is the chancellor acting like such a dick?
    Me: LMFAO. I think you're going to like this movie.
    Rakeem D likes this.
  19. Padmes_love_slave24

    Padmes_love_slave24 Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 24, 2003

    Again a giant over exaggeration by PT haters on the internet. I saw Phantom Menace 5 times in the theatres, Attack of the Clones 7 times, and Revenge of the Sith 13 times and after many of the showings the audience applauded the films at the end. Yes a few times I heard a few moans and groans but I went to far more showings were the reaction was positive. Honestly most of the moans and groauns were from the so called "hipsters" who are not fans in the first place and just looking for something to watch
  20. Samnz

    Samnz Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 4, 2012
    That's actually a very accurate observation.

    Luckily, the wold does not only consist of hipsters who are looking for coolness and ROTS could be awarded for favourite movie and favourite drama at PCA 2006.

    Has anyone else noticed how audience reactions seem to correlate with the opinion of the posters?
    Selective perception.
  21. Jedi_Ford_Prefect

    Jedi_Ford_Prefect Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 9, 2003
    Yeah, wasn't there some talk about how the originators of the "George Lucas raped my childhood" meme were actually longterm fans of "Star Trek"? There is a vast Trek-wing conspiracy afoot...
  22. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
    Yeah, say what you will about TPM, at least it details an important segment of the overall saga. Not to mention having one of the best fight scenes.

    Can you say the same for Trek's offering in the same year TPM was released?

    As an aside, I know someone who saw TPM nine times in the theater. Nine!
  23. Jedi_Ford_Prefect

    Jedi_Ford_Prefect Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 9, 2003
    I'm not saying anything against Trek (I have an appreciation for it, especially the TNG period). I'm just suggesting that a good deal of the PT/OT schism has been blown up by people who were never primarily SW fans, to begin with.

    And there was a Trek movie in 1999? Wasn't "Insurrection" the year before?
  24. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
    Actually you are right: mid-December. Maybe I saw it in January, so I've always thought of it as a 1999 film. But close enough...
  25. janstett

    janstett Jedi Master star 3

    May 29, 2004
    No exaggeration, that's what I experienced. Sorry if you don't like hearing it.

    I don't remember any applause at the end of any of the films. And I'm a super geek who stayed until the last frame for easter eggs including the single Vader breath at the end of TPM. ROTS was like an autopsy. I remember people walking out after "Nooooooo" laughing, not even staying for the rest of the montage.

    I saw each film multiple times in theaters. Not 13 times each, but more than one. TPM on release day, AOTC on release day at midnight, ROTS on opening weekend.