A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Dungeons & Dragons came along and helped save Star Wars. From a certain point of view, anyway.
In 1999 the world was perhaps more hyped for Star Wars than it had ever been. In the months leading up to May 19th, theatres around the world were inundated with trailers that began with words that evoked a distant galaxy and a time full of childhood wonder: Lucasfilm LTD.
The lead up to Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was a wild roller coaster of hype, anticipation, and fast food tie-in products, all backed by John Williams' finest work to date. But, when the movie came out, reviews were... mixed. To this day The Phantom Menace has only a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it about as well received as The Rise of Skywalker. By the critic and audience ratings, these are the worst Star Wars movies in the franchise--contrast with A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, The Force Awakens, and notably The Last Jedi all of which boast scores of 91% or higher on various ratings aggregate sites, including Rotten Tomatoes.
Phantom Menace left a foul taste in the mouth of the generation that had grown up seeing Star Wars in the theatre in 1977-83. They had perhaps not realized that Star Wars, like most things in life including gender and sexuality, is a spectrum--and in this case...