The PhanDom Menace - the documentary


* CRAIG appeared on SBS's The Movie Show on May 18th, 2005.
You can stream the story here or listen to Craig's full interview here.
* The Special Edition DVD NOW ON SALE - AU$12.95 incl GST!
* A new section on the site: the press - containing reviews and interviews
* Watch an excerpt from the doco here!


* Check out some photos from the DVD LAUNCH, held at Cinema Nova, Melbourne, May 1st, 2002.

"This fascinating doco... is a must for anyone interested in Star Wars or popular culture in general" - Filmink

(LEFT: The Dark Side: Jango Fett, Craig E. Tonkin, Darth Vader, Warwick Holt, Darth Maul.)
Photo: Alison Barton.

"This doco is a rare treat, not only for fans of Star Wars, but for those who just love a good mind-altering anthropological experience." - Sydney Scope

(RIGHT: Members of Star Walking Inc. present their summer collection.)
Photo: Charles Caldas.

George Lucas's Star Wars saga may well be the work of art by which future generations most judge the late 20th Century. His original trilogy of movies released between 1977-83 not only shattered all box office records, they spawned a social phenomenon even now being studied on university campuses. It was not merely Hollywood that was changed forever by Star Wars, but many lives a long way removed from the glitter of Beverley Hills.

In 1994, Lucas announced he was to return to the Star Wars universe, to complete the life story of Darth Vader by making the "prequel trilogy". Episode 1: The Phantom Menace was to be released in 1999, and for Star Wars fans the world over, it was time to prepare for the second coming.

Throughout 1999, armed with a Betacam SP, Craig E. Tonkin and Warwick Holt explored the phenomenon that is fandom, resulting in a series of compelling and often profound interviews and hours of rare, personal, privileged and intimate footage of key members of the Star Wars galaxy - in particular the lives of the core members of the Australian fan club, Star Walking Inc.

The PhanDom Menace stands as a triumph of 21st century low-budget documentary making. Like the fans themselves, starwalking into space while still tethered to the earth, the film features an alien surface surrounding an indisputably human core. It's a heady combination of images, music, and opinion, yet for all its flashy laser backdrops and pulsing synthesisers, the heart of The PhanDom Menace is a simple story of passionate people. From Star Wars fanatics through to those who have never seen the movies, this is a story everyone can identify with.

The documentary is broken down into 14 smaller "sub-docos", 2-8 minute sections concentrating on Collecting, Costuming, the Opening Night, etc. Viewed independently, each section stands alone as an examination of an aspect of Australian Star Wars fandom. Viewed in toto, the sections bind into a compelling tale of how the fans' lives are changed by Episode 1.

The PhanDom Menace is not a film about Star Wars. Rather than drawing slabs of reference from the movies, The Phandom Menace offers the fans themselves the opportunity to explore, discuss, dissect, and ultimately celebrate their devotion. It is as a result of its sweeping vision that The PhanDom Menace rises to become a fascinating piece of socio/political observation.

Part 1: opening
Part 2: fandom
Part 3: the collectors
Part 4: "...I haven't out-grown it... I've grown with it..."
Part 5: 16 years...
Part 6: this is only a movie
Part 7: may the fourth be with you
Part 8: a leap of faith
Part 9: heirs to the empire
Part 10: Catwalking Inc.
Part 11: cellophane and celluloid
Part 12: grammys. emmys. obis.
Part 13: a short time later in a suburb not far away
Part 14: closing

All content (P) & (C) Primordial Productions / Clint Flicks 2000
All web pages (P) & (C) Warwick Holt 2000
e-Wok Enterprises