The Secret Origin of The Phantom Menace 3-D Movie Poster


?Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Mr. Lucas? (knocking on door)
George Lucas: Come in.
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Sir, the marketing team is having a hard time deciding on a movie poster for the 3-D re-release of The Phantom Menace.
George Lucas: What’s the problem?
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Our research team indicates everyone hates The Phantom Menace.
George Lucas: Really?
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Very much so.
George Lucas: I had no idea.
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: …really?
George Lucas: What don’t they like?
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Everything, really. Jar Jar. The story. Jake Lloyd. The borderline racist aliens. Natalie Portman macking on a 10-year-old. “Yippee.” Jar Jar. Anakin building C-3PO for no reason whatsoever. Midichlorians. All the dull political bullshit. Jar Jar. T–
George Lucas: I think you said Jar Jar a couple of times already.
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: People really don’t like Jar Jar.
George Lucas: I had no idea.
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: (stares flatly) Anyways, we were planning on just using the old Drew Struzan poster, but it features Jar Jar and Jake Lloyd and a lot of other things that test poorly.
George Lucas: Well, people can’t hate everything about the movie. I’m not Michael Bay, for fuck’s sake.
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Well, that’s true. In our polling, we found two things that people didn’t actively dislike about The Phantom Menace.
George Lucas: What are they?
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Podracing and Darth Maul.
George Lucas: They like podracing and Darth Maul?
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: No. They like Darth Maul and his fight scene. They simply don’t hate podracing.
George Lucas: Okay. Well, just put a big Darth Maul on the poster and a couple of pods.
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive:
George Lucas:
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: …really?
George Lucas: Yeah, why not?
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Well, because it makes no sense. No Anakin, the ostensible protagonist of the entire Star Wars saga? No Liam Neeson or Natalie Portman or Ewan McGregor, the stars of the movie?
George Lucas: Put a tiny one of them in there in a corner or something, but it should basically just be Maul and a pod.
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Sir, with all respect, Darth Maul has three lines and maybe three total minutes of screentime. Watto is a more prominent character.
George Lucas: Do people like Watto?
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Not even slightly.
George Lucas: Then just put a big Darth Maul and a podracing pod.
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Sir, with a decreasing amount of respect, this would be like marketing the Harry Potter movies with a poster with no Harry, Ron or Hermione on it, and maybe just one of the Weasley Twins.
George Lucas: I see no problem with that.
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: Fine, fuck it. Whatever. Darth Maul and some pods. I’ll tell graphic design.
George Lucas: Thanks, Barry.
Lucasfilm Marketing Executive: (mumbles) My name is Jonathan.
George Lucas:  (turns to desk, presses intercom) Sally, get me the douchebag with the hat that does Clone Wars.
Lucasfilm Receptionist: You mean Dave Filoni?
George Lucas: Yeah, Midnight Cowboy. Whatever his name is.
Lucasfilm Receptionist: Yes, sir. (30 seconds pass)
Dave Filoni (via intercom): Yes, sir? You wanted to speak to me?
George Lucas: Hat guy?
Dave Filoni: (sighs) …yes?
George Lucas: You’re wearing the hat right now, aren’t you?
Dave Filoni: (sighs) …yes.
George Lucas: I knew it, you douchebag. Anyways, I want you to put Darth Maul in Clone Wars.
Dave Filoni: Sir?
George Lucas: You heard me. Put Maul in the cartoon. I’m putting him on the Phantom Menace 3-D poster, so the poster can promote the cartoon and the cartoon can promote the poster. I mean movie.
Dave Filoni: Isn’t Darth Maul dead, sir?
George Lucas: Isn’t it ridiculous to wear a cowboy hat after 1898? Just do it.
Dave Filoni: But sir… we specifically created Savage Opress, Darth Maul’s brother, because you wouldn’t let me use Darth Maul last year. In fact you said it was a stupid idea.
George Lucas: Well, now it’s a good idea.
Dave Filoni: But now there will effectively be two Darth Mauls in Clone Wars.
George Lucas: Exactly! And we’ll market them both! So shut up and do it before I hire some idiot with a sombrero to replace your ass.
Dave Filoni: Y-yes sir. (hangs up)
George Lucas: Goddamn I’m good.