Throwback Thursday: What Were You Doing May 19, 1998?

So some people are posting selfies on Twitter today to mark the 365 day mark before TFA is released. I posted a photo taken at an office lunch today with my hair blockading most of my face. Like I’m going public now, heh heh.

But it got me to thinking…does anyone remember what they were doing one year to the day before the prequel trilogy got off of the ground? I don’t recall what exactly I was doing on that day, but at the time I was on the law firm temp circuit, working several months at some white shoe firm in Washington, D.C.. How white shoe was it? One of Mia Farrow’s sons worked there as an associate, the name partners were counsel to presidents and one had even been on the SALT treaty negotiation team, the weekly partner meetings had fully catered fancy lunches complete with champagne (you could take home the leftovers), pricey original artwork decorated the hallways, and the Christmas party was more extravagant than most weddings and bar mitzvahs I’ve been to: open bar, ice sculptures, a live band, and a “raffle” with a grand prize trip to Europe. Where I was toiling away was a little less glamorous, hidden away from the world but that was okay, since I could listen to the radio or my disc player without bothering anyone.

The last episode of “Seinfeld” had just aired a few days beforehand and “The X-Files” was my other big t.v. obsession. My favorite radio station was WHFS, which was the only way you could escape hearing “My Heart Will Go On” 500 times a day since “Titanic” mania was still in full swing. I’d just been to the short-lived Virginia Renaissance Faire near Fredericksburg and was looking forward to the small, regional cons that were held in the spring and summer. I was still an ardent collector though at that time it was just Eps IV-VI stuff.

I kept up with a lot of news surrounding what was going on with TPM both online and in entertainment mags but without reading the spoilers. At times the movie seemed a hundred years away but shortly thereafter, the Insider and the official site started posting more images from the film. The title announcement was still four months away and the first trailer six months away.


4 Responses to “Throwback Thursday: What Were You Doing May 19, 1998?”

  1. BansheeGun Says:

    I just turned 2 years old a month prior (April 2nd)! So, obviously, I’ll never have any clue what I was doing on that day. I do remember, however, asking my dad to take me to see ‘The Phantom Menace’ when it came out in 1999. I don’t know why, but that little memory is one of the few I have of my toddler years. I didn’t get to see it, though. As I recall, my brother said I would be “scared”. I’m assuming he’s referring to Darth Maul. It’s actually ironic because 2 years later I was at the theater and didn’t flinch at the sight of the Nazgul from ‘The Lord of The Rings’. What a difference 2 years makes! 😉

  2. Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

    I was just ending 5th grade, which means that Bad Things(tm) were happening with my Hebrew school beurocracy and, without much detail, it was the end of my time at that establishment and I blocked most of it out.

    Ironically on a number of levels, it was also that summer that I went to Disneyworld for the first time.

  3. Tarrlok Says:

    Probably kindergarten. Star Wars was far from my mind at that point.

  4. Keith Palmer Says:

    I was on summer break between my third and fourth (and last) year of university. Up until the release of the first trailer later that year, I was trying to keep clear of “advance reports” about “Episode I,” but I can admit to a certain amount of apprehensiveness about whether it would “work out.” At some point before the trailer I’d managed to overhear Anakin would be a child in the movie, and with general impressions about “child actors” I suppose that added to the apprehensiveness…

    While looking back I can realize my interests weren’t that different then than they are now (although I may have been “reading about visual works” more than I have to now), I’m conscious there was a difference when it came to Star Wars. I was still reading the broad-community Usenet newsgroup and visiting fairly regularly (staying away from its “Episode I” reports, of course), perhaps not as inclined as everyone else seemed to be to condemn Return of the Jedi but not quite able to articulate why I felt that way. The Star Wars novels were still being published by Bantam, but the complaints about how everything that had followed “Zahn’s trilogy” outright refused to live up to his example (including admitting Mara Jade to be Luke’s destined soul mate, as numerous fanfics were insisting) weren’t so much making me cling to those “originals” as getting me to think perhaps they weren’t quite agreeing with me either. I was interested in online sites that looked at the movies from a very “technical” viewpoint, the kind of viewpoint that could try to calculate from film footage alone just how much energy a Star Destroyer cannon could put on target but might well just stare blankly when asked about “themes” and “composition.”

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