Entertainment

Halt 'Star Wars' Hysteria With These 'Phantom Menace' Premiere Photos

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On Monday night, Los Angeles hosted the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and a decentnumberoffamousattendeesgotexcited! We don't blame their joyful faces: 10 years is a long time to wait for a new Star Wars film. Of course, an even longer interregnum occurred between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, and the celebrities who flocked to see the 1999 prequel were proportionally even more stoked. And you can learn from them!

To help keep your anticipation for Episode VII in check before heading to the local cineplex this weekend to have your mind properly blown by The Force Awakens, let's look back at the New York and LA premieres of The Phantom Menace and note how excited Donald Trump, Al Roker, and other 1999 celebrities seemed to be about the cinematic masterpiece they were there to see.

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15. Kevin Spacey

Whoa, there, Keyser Söze -- you’re not fooling anyone with those too-cool-for-the-Jedi Academy, “I’m a celebrity on the subway, don’t talk to me” outfit! Are you embarrassed to be seeing this movie? In talks to star in K-PAX? What's behind that smile? Tell us what you know, Spacey!

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14. Walter Cronkite

This is the face of someone who will have no patience for this Trade Federation bullshit. He’s been to Vietnam. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Gungans or Naboo. Get a clue, George Lucas!

Steve Eichner/Archive Photos/Getty Images

13-12. Liam Neeson and Natalie Portman

Besides looking like attendees at the world’s most uncomfortable daddy-daughter dance, these two seem uncharacteristically nervous. Is it the creepily large Qui-Gon head on the poster behind Natalie? Maybe.

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11-10. Rachel Miner and Macaulay Culkin

Are these kooky kids excited to make out? Probably. Are they excited for this movie? It's unclear!

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9-8. Drew Carey and "Weird Al" Yankovic

The pair answer the burning question: what would Drew Carey look like with the hair of "Weird Al" Yankovic? Yankovic's choice of shirts remains still a mystery, but either way, the saga begins.

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7-6. Dakota Johnson and Melanie Griffith

Melanie looks thrilled, but her daughter, future Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson, has a sly grin that says she knows Darth Maul will have very limited screen time.

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5. Mila Kunis

Very psyched to tell the rest of the That ‘70s Show cast how fun the pod-racing scenes were!

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

4. Christian Slater 

Christian Slater saw photos of Ewan McGregor with his sweet Padawan braid in the trades, and ever since he's been talking nonstop about Star Wars. But he also seems pretty confident this movie will not be better than Broken Arrow.

Steve Eichner/Archive Photos/Getty Images

3. Donald Trump

Oh, look who it is! Just a human-shaped trash heap ready to take copious notes on Emperor Palpatine’s cartoonish rise to power.

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

2. Al Roker

Al Roker is fucking pumped for this shit. Seriously, bring on Boss Nass. Let's see some of that rich, complex backstory with Shmi Skywalker on Tatooine. Hopefully Captain Quarsh Panaka, head of the Royal Naboo Security Forces, is as cool as his action figure. There's no way this movie will disappoint. It'll be better than the originals. 

Steve Eichner/Archive Photos/Getty Images

1. The Backstreet Boys

This photo of Backstreet Boys Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, and socialite Denise Rich is what pure joy looks like. If you could harness the positive energy in this photo as a renewable fuel source, you could power Otoh Gunga, otherwise known as the Gungan city, for generations of Jar Jars to come. Praise the Backstreet Boys for their optimism in the face of impending doom! May we all find cowboy hat-filled moments of bliss like this in our own lives and cherish them like a child with a high midi-chlorian count. 
 
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Dan Jackson is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment and he loves pod-racing. He's on Twitter: @danielvjackson.