Originally posted by Bakudo:
Zanzibar, tell me how it felt when you guys got the Episode 1 script before everyone in the world? What were your reaction to it? Did some of you didn't like the story? Or were you reading it kind of "Wow, this is amazing!"
Oh yeah, and did it spoiled the movie for you?
I didn't actually get to see the script, but our project leaders got to spend a total of four hours or so with the script during the summer of 1997. They conveyed the storyline to the rest of us, and we were really concerned about the Midichlorians and Anakin's virgin birth and all that. Truthfully, we thought that church groups were gonna go absolutely bananas over that and make demonstrations, and so we decided we were gonna ignore all that, because we thought Lucas would come to his senses and amputate all of that stuff out of the movie.
We did get to see rough cuts and animatic sequences. In fact, one of the first things that we did was go to Skywalker Ranch, and they sat us down in this big conference room, turned out the lights, popped in a tape, and lo and behold, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." BOOM. Music. "Star Wars." "Episode I." (No 'Phantom Menace' official name yet, tho.) Text scroll. I looked over at my friend John, who I've known forever - to the point where he and my brother spent the night in line for "Return of the Jedi" - and he looked at me, and we both started grinning and shaking our heads, like "What the hell are WE doing HERE?" I'll never forget it.
Did it ruin the movie? I wouldn't say 'ruin,' but we knew the plotlines and all that, but it was still interesting to see the finished version of the movie after we had seen the rough cuts.
As for the story itself, it kind of meandered along, we knew Jar Jar was going to get longtime SW fans angry at his insipid cuteness, and Anakin firing one single proton torpedo to demolish the entire Trade Federation ship? Whooooo boy. (Why couldn't it just disable the shields, letting the rest of the squadron destroy it? Or the torpedo knock out the communications array itself?) So yes, we had problems with the story, but behind it all, we knew it was going to be visually incredible, and so we had a lot of work to do to attempt to match the locales in the game.