Good prequels

Posted on May 24, 1999

"Star Wars" has been in theaters for two days now. Is anyone still counting? Die-hard fans have probably already memorized the movie and are currently petitioning for title roles in the next installment.

The rest of us, "Star Wars" fans or not, have moved on with our lives. The movie was good, the special effects and sound were excellent, but there are other things to do, like clean the bathroom or raise porcupines.

There are probably some people who think the "Star Wars" hype has gone a bit too far. Anyone who thinks Han Solo is really Harrison Ford or Yoda is a puppet needs to realize the power of a prequel. Few other movies could have been made into prequels. Here's a short list of some that have tried, along with ratings:

1. "Honey I Shrunk Myself" (**) — Rick Moranis gives a sub-par performance while being a teen-ager the size of an ant.

2. "Small" (***) — Tom Hanks goes to a carnival and makes a wish into a Mrs. Pac Man machine. He becomes a first-grader and wins the science fair.

3. "Ferris Bueller's Dad's Day Off" (*) — Matthew Brodrick, playing Mr. Bueller, cuts work and goes to a baseball game. Numerous people chase after him, including Principal Rooney.

4. "Weekend at Little Bernie's" (****) — An award-winning showing by some little kid who plays opossum the entire movie while friends pretend he is alive.

5. "Baby Jaws" (**) — He's a little smaller, but boy can he pack a surfboarder sandwich.

6. "Back to the Future 3000" (***) — Michael J. Fox plays the great-great-great-great grandfather of Marty McFly, while Christopher Lloyd drives around in a cool car.

7. "Rocky -5" (***) — A stunning movie set before Rocky starts boxing. He realizes he wants to box after socking his piano teacher at age 5.

8. "The Godchild" (*) — An Italian family baptizes their kid while running the Mafia.

9. "Crawls with Wolves" (**) — A small girl, being raised by wolves, befriends soldiers in the American Revolution.

10. "Field of Corn" (***) — Kevin Costner, playing Ray Consella's father, moves to Iowa and begins to raise corn after a little voice demands he quit the circus life.

Although a few of the flicks had good characters, for the most part, none of them could compare to a young Darth Vader. Subtle hints throughout "The Phantom Menace" display potential problems in future movies, or sequels to the prequel.

But the craze is basically over, and non-‘Star Wars' fans can relax for another year until the next one comes out. Until that time, keep your bathroom clean and porcupines healthy.