Movie News

Good News For U.S. Enlisted Men Overseas RE: Early Screenings of THE PHANTOM MENACE this month around the world for you

Published at: June 1, 1999, 3:36 a.m. CST

Ok enlisted men and women, your wait is coming to a close. It seems STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE is coming to a Military Theater near you! Here's all the details we have so far. Here's what Private Snafu had to say about it!

I live on a U.S. military installation in Europe. This bit of information may be of interest to any U.S. Military personnel living overseas who read your website.

Lucasfilm has released "The Phantom Menace" to theaters located on overseas U.S. military posts/bases. Basically, this means that the only places overseas where TPM will legally be shown BEFORE the overseas release dates are in AAFES theaters (AAFES is the entity which manages the military installation theaters, as well as the P/X and B/X stores). This is also an apparent exception to Lucas' strict sound system policy for showing TPM, since most AAFES theaters, if not all, do NOT have THX sound systems.

According to my local theater manager, Lucasfilm only agreed to this after AAFES agreed to some strict security measures. Each theater is not getting its own copy of TMP. Apparently only a few copies are being released to AAFES. TMP will be shown for approximately one week at each theater, then it will be transported by armed guard to the next theater, and so on. Also, they will be searching bags, purses, etc., at the door for any kind of recording equipment, and there will be heavy duty checking of U.S. military ID's to be sure only authorized people get into the theaters. For those who don't know, all military members, employees, spouses, and dependents 10 years of age and older are required to have a U.S. military I.D. So, if you are near a U.S. military installation with a theater, and you don't have a U.S. military I.D., the only way you could possibly get in is if you can pass for a 9 year old kid, and are accompanied by an adult with a military I.D. ;>

One last tidbit: our men and women deployed in Bosnia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will get to see TPM free of charge sometime this month. :)

Private Snafu over and out!

Readers Talkback

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  • June 1, 1999, 3:45 a.m. CST

    Any info on the overseas box office yet?

    by Darth Cartman

    Yah, I heard that this would happen...seems like a good story. Am I first??

  • June 1, 1999, 4:26 a.m. CST

    AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHGHHHHHHGHGH!

    by gg

    Us normal people overseas wanna see this movie right fucking now, mr Lucas, you asshole!!!!! Can

  • June 1, 1999, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Irish and seen it

    by Spud

    Yup, I flew over to the wilds of Boston and caught a screening the first week it opened. Some say I'm a sad git, but the trip cost me nothing, so who am I to complain. But, and listen carefully non-Americans, the film sucks. I went in with low expectations after reading the reviews and it was STILL worse then what I imagined it would be. So don't waste the next two months worrying about seeing a crap movie late, go see The Matrix lots and lots of times instead. Far more rewarding. Slan!

  • June 1, 1999, 6:28 a.m. CST

    S I T H S L A Y E R SEZ......

    by Sithslayer

    I spent 6 years in the military and I can tell you that without a doubt, watching TPM in a military theatre is going to be a miserable experience for those sorry souls who won't be able to experience it the way a film SHOULD be seen. That was how I saw ROTJ in 1983 for the first time was in a military theatre, along with all of my cockroach buddies. The funny thing about watching a movie in a military theatre is that everyone must stand and salute the screen while they play a picture of a waving flag and sound off the national anthem. I can assure you that NO theatre has anything REMOTELY close to a THX system. I dare say that the majority of military theatres still have MONO sound systems yet. But, I guess it's better than not seeing it at all. ............"F JACKIE"

  • June 1, 1999, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Armed Guard??!!?

    by Mean Ween

    what is this, the original draft of the declaration of independence? gimme a f@#king break. taxpayer's money is being spent on armed guards for the pharting menace? are these guys supposed to be willing to take a bullet for a reel of this p.o.s?

  • June 1, 1999, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Darth Cartman...

    by Jonte

    ... I'm happy to inform you that there is no box office at all for TPM overseas. Yet.

  • June 1, 1999, 10:01 a.m. CST

    This compromise on sound sucks...

    by Tangent Z

    ...and it is totally unnecessary. For the last two years, the largest screen at the SXSW Film Fest is a temporary screen at the convention center - a screen with a kick ass sound system and folding chairs, all temporary. If they can do this, the military can do the same and shame on Lucas for shortchanging this experience!

  • June 1, 1999, 10:04 a.m. CST

    The hell with pacificm !

    by RobinP

    So, if I join up, I won't have to wait another six frigging weeks ? Where's the damn form ?

  • June 1, 1999, 12:38 p.m. CST

    TPM Overseas

    by General Kenobi

    I think that it is pretty cool of Lucas to allow TPM to be released overseas now for the military folks. I used to be in the military and I can tell you that it will be a welcome treat for the guys overseas, even if it isn't shown in a THX or SDDS theater. Most movies shown in AAFES theaters are a year old by the time they get there and the prints are used and abused. So all I got to say is Bravo! George Lucas!

  • June 1, 1999, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Lucas' strict sound system policy for showing TPM???

    by bruce le

    That is news to me since the two times that I saw TPM it was in a non-THX auditorium,even though it was advertised in the papers as such.But I don't have any grudges against mr. Lucas since even the best sound system can't save this movie.

  • June 1, 1999, 2:20 p.m. CST

    hey bruce le

    by Doctor Zaz

    If you think TPM sucks then why see it twice? Unless you were doing a favor for someone, there was something drawing you back to your shithole theater. An btw Star Wars rules!

  • June 1, 1999, 2:28 p.m. CST

    TPM release dates-Europe

    by Jedi Quinner

    i think this sucks!!!! its so unfair that english parts of Europe like ireland and the uk have to wait 2 months while the americans here get to see TPM i think something has to be done about the lenght we have to wait for movies over here

  • June 1, 1999, 2:34 p.m. CST

    TPM sound system quality standards???

    by Shadowdancer

    They are enforcing the standards everywhere. The small city I live in has two small cinemas built in the late 1970s. One has six screens and the other has five. They are owned by the same company. NO improvements have been made since they were built except to replace a few broken seats. The projection and sound systems suck. The sound isn't even Doby; it's barely in stereo. No one who has the means to drive to another city goes to see movies at these cinemas. Yet they are showing TPM on one of the screens.(I drove 45 minutes to see it at a quality cinema, btw.) These theaters are so skanky, I'd bet the audience from the first showing of TPM is still there, their feet glued to the floor by years of sticky buildup.

  • June 1, 1999, 3:11 p.m. CST

    fuck all of you

    by weedo

    star wars rules stop bitching its just a fucking movie. why do people put so much into it

  • June 1, 1999, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Hey Doctor Zaz

    by bruce le

    First of all,I never said that TPM sucks.reread my original post.My point was that Lucas is more interested in selling the greatest number of tickets than in the quality of the presentation as confirmed by Shadowdancer's post.In case you're wondering,I liked the movie the first time I saw it,and went back with my friend who hadn't seen it.I just think that it doesn't work on the same level that the original trilogy,it is more "kiddie" oriented.

  • June 1, 1999, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Reality Check.

    by RobinP

    Yep, it's only a movie, so why does George (king of the control freaks) Lucas insist that theaters take a certain sound system (coincidentally, his own) in order to play the damn thing ? When TPM appears on home video, will he be coming around all our houses to check our equipment in fit to play his film ? It's a film fer Christsakes.......NOT, and I repeat that NOT the second coming !!!!!!

  • June 1, 1999, 3:33 p.m. CST

    What's up, Doc ?

    by RobinP

  • June 1, 1999, 3:35 p.m. CST

    What's up, Doc ?

    by RobinP

    Hey, Doctor Zaz, you need to unclench there, buddy. Relax, try some stress management or you'll never see the other side of puberty !

  • June 1, 1999, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Why not Brendan Frasier as Anakin?

    by JASPER

    He looked pretty good with a sword in the Mummy!

  • June 1, 1999, 4:20 p.m. CST

    What is everyone talking about

    by observer

    IT was never said that a theater had to be THX to see it. They said it had to have DIGITAL sound, but there are many non THX theaters that have digital sound. If it was only in THX theaters, it would be on less than 1,000 screens.

  • June 1, 1999, 4:29 p.m. CST

    mission: infiltrate base

    by El-Jipi

    So does anyone know if there are any military bases in Costa Rica where they are going to release this thing? I have absolutely nothing to do with the US military, thank jesus, but I just might have to try some James Bond stuff to infiltrate a base. Otherwise, still waiting for July 2, dammit . . .

  • June 1, 1999, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Military Serving in Hardship Duty Areas Should Get Free Admissio

    by Trader Vic

    It's a good thing that those military personnel stationed in Bosnia will be able to see "The Phantom Menace" for free. If anyone deserves a treat like this, and even if the film turns out to be a bomb (No pun intended AND I haven't seen the movie yet), those folks that are serving away overseas, many of them away from their families, I can't think of a better way to say, 'thanks for the work that you're doing over there'. What a better way to enjoy themselves for at least a couple of hours and forget where they are at than to give them free admission to see this film, or any film that may play over there. Think about it - you are in the military - you don't have a choice, because you have to go where you're told to serve, why not give them some compensation? When they are stateside, they have to pay regular ticket prices in order to see movies at military theaters anyway. I think that's good they'll get to see it for free. I work overseas in Korea, and "Star Wars Episode One" will be coming to one of our base theaters next week on the 9th and 10th for sure, and probably a whole bunch of other play dates after that as well to come later on. Of course, I will have to pay the 'old fashioned way' to see it, but nonetheless, when it comes, I will go to see it. I too wish our theater had a better sound system, but to me, it will be adequate the way it is, because at least I'll finally get to see this movie then again, I don't have one at home, and when this film eventually finds its way to videotape rentals, and if I decide to rent it, or buy it outright, I'll just have to settle for a little bit of degraded sound. Again, good for soldiers stationed in Bosnia.

  • June 1, 1999, 5:04 p.m. CST

    TPM in Sub-Mono

    by Prince Argon

    I was stationed in the far east and saw many 'talkies' in the theatres.. by the time Ewan says 'I have a bad feeling abo..' the film will skip forward 20 frames turn yellow and burn, then a speaker will fall off the roof breaking its duct-tape seal.. those theatres suck.. but its better than playing hearts all day..

  • June 1, 1999, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Predjudice, thats what it is!!!..

    by letseatcheese

    In favour of you yanks anyway!!...It's not fair. I'm not ripping my hair out in anticipation for the bloody thing, but I think they should have to wait with the rest of us!! I don't understand the gap in release dates anyway for this film. Leaving gaps is just to see how well a film does in the US before they decide whether to release it here, but with Star Wars?? Come oN!!! We all know it's NOT going to flop!!! Sheesh!! Oh who cares?? I'm off.....

  • June 1, 1999, 6:03 p.m. CST

    STARWARS EPS 2 Scoop!

    by lalapoo

    SCOOP! SCOOP! SCOOP! -Title is STARWARS, JEDI DESTINY -DeCaprio was never at the ranch -Concept drawings seen -a page from the outline mentions a dead planet called MOUDARA (moo da raa) -this planet has something to do with the SITH! Source comes directly from the ranch. SH-sh-sh-sh

  • June 1, 1999, 6:35 p.m. CST

    TPM in Singapore

    by Pancho

    TPM opens in Singapore midnight tonight. The company I work for has booked up the whole theatre for tomorrow's 6.45pm showing at one of hte local coneplexes. It should be a blast. Bootleg copies of the movie are available all over Singapore now and in fact I have a copy on VCD. Nothing beats watching this movie in the cinema though.

  • June 1, 1999, 6:53 p.m. CST

    What is everyone talking about

    by observer

    IT was never said that a theater had to be THX to see it. They said it had to have DIGITAL sound, but there are many non THX theaters that have digital sound. If it was only in THX theaters, it would be on less than 1,000 screens.

  • June 1, 1999, 8 p.m. CST

    Excuse me...

    by NaturalSelection

    So, Lucas has decided that "A BUNCH OF FUCKING HIRED KILLERS " can view Episode 1 weeks before the rest of the world? Hmmm. What WOULD Bill Hicks have to say about that?

  • June 2, 1999, 12:43 p.m. CST

    TPM for the military

    by HNOTA

    First, I want to get something out of the way... "hired killers"? I'm not sure if you are saying that yourself, or quoting someone else (facetiously, I hope) but those "hired killers" are the reason you have the freedom to say the phrase "hired killers". (I dI'd like to request that whoever made that statement, they remember that there are actually people out there is willing to catch bullets with their bodies to protect that freedom. Now, on a much nicer note, I'm incredibly happy to see that Lucas has done this. I've got several friends in the military, and one of them is a pilot flying off of Teddy R. over in the Adriatic. He is one of the biggest Star Wars fans that I know (he'd have been in "the line" if he hadn't been a wee bit busy), and has been waiting with baited breath for 16 years. My wife sent a 3 page letter to Lucas asking him to do this for the men and women in Operation Allied Force. I'd like to think that her letter may have had an effect on his decision. That being the case, perhaps some well-written, eloquent letters concerning our feelings about TPM might have an effect on what we see in Episodes 2 and 3?

  • June 3, 1999, 3:17 a.m. CST

    Nobody is a threat

    by NaturalSelection

    Sorry to deviate from movies for just a second. There is absolutely no need for the military. All that they do is lay in wait for some country to have a pissy argument with another country, let their superiors decide which country will get US military help, then take orders and make land, air and sea assaults and fight another persons argument for them. Ground Troops and the like are unnecessary. The US government could bullseye Slobodan from the comfort of their armchair. The US is too well equipped and the military is just there to make them LOOK like they are doing something. The military is set dressing. So don't give me this "fight for freedom" shite. "Nobody is a fucking threat to us"; Bill Hicks. ("I'm talking only of countries we don't ARM first, if you wanna split hairs, you got a point")

  • June 3, 1999, 5:03 p.m. CST

    SCOOPS!

    by lalapoo

    Scoop! Scoop! Scoop! Here's a recap - *Episode 2 titled STAR WARS, JEDI DESTINY *Portion of the film takes place on a planet called Moudara -a dead planet that has something to do with the Sith. That's all for now. Sh-sh-sh-sh...

  • July 28, 2006, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Support our troops by exposing them to Jake Lyod.

    by Wolfpack