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Yes, there are 'Phantom Menace' fans. It's all about when you came of age

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She could hold her own with a blaster, wore fabulous gowns, was kindhearted and wise, and was elected queen of a planet at the age of 14. As a young girl who still couldn’t legally drive a car, I thought Padmé Amidala, the ruler of Naboo in "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," was the most amazing thing I had ever seen on screen. I repeatedly voted for the movie’s most important musical theme, “Duel of the Fates," on MTV’s "Total Request Live." I bought everything from the paper dolls to the commemorative Pepsi can and made “Amidala” part of my AOL Instant Messenger screen name.

And then as an adult, I was informed that this was not an acceptable opinion, that the prequels were inferior in every way to the trilogy that came before. And to be sure, it’s hard not to rewatch the prequels and cringe at Jar Jar Binks or recoil at more than a few poorly conceived lines of dialogue. But as Star Wars fandom........

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