by Janne Helander

The following report was translated from Swedish and posted in the rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc discussion group on August 15, 1999.

Today (Sunday, August 15), I attended the first and only Swedish preview screening of THE PHANTOM MENACE (the film opens nationwide on August 19). This was no gala premiŔre – the audience consisted of a number of licensees (Fox, Egmont [comic-book publisher], Pepsi, etc.) and a few lucky winners from a radio contest. I myself received my ticket as the translator of the Swedish STAR WARS comic book. There were a few speeches made before the movie. They talked about how difficult it was to find a good Swedish title, and that they after a few conversations with the folks at Lucasfilm agreed that DET MÍRKA HOTET (literally "The Dark Threat") was the most suitable interpretation of THE PHANTOM MENACE. They also said that those who still don't 'get' the title after seeing Episode I will have somewhat of an aha-experience once they see Episodes II and III. The most embarassing moment of the day was, without a doubt, when Jens Spendrup [from Spendrups, a Swedish brewery] welcomed all Pepsi-fans (!) to the screening. Needless to say, a certain soft drink was given free of charge to everybody in the audience.

Anyhow, over to the film itself. The audience seemed to enjoy it. They laughed at Jar Jar and applauded at the end. The sound was amazing at the Sergel theater in Stockholm – I believe it was even a bit better than when I saw the movie at the Odeon at Leicester Square in London. My seat wasn't as good this time around, though (row 3 is a bit close to the screen for my taste). The translation was not bad, really good at times, but of course, it differed somewhat from my own comic translation. Some words were a little bit hard for me to digest, though, but I won't get into that here …

Lastly, I'll have to make all the Swedish fans who can't wait to once again see the words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" disappointed. The blue text is translated directly into Swedish using the original type-face. The same goes for the title DET MÍRKA HOTET and the yellow roll-up. Luckily, the text is very well translated, but there'll probably be a lot of people who'll get worked up about not being able to see the English text. In the scenes where Huttese is spoken, such as the conversations between Anakin and Watto, the same type-face is used as in the English language version. However, this type-face differs from the one used in the rest of the film, and the subtitles are placed a bit higher, which might give you a slightly jerky impression. Anyhow, I hope that the Swedish fans can disregard these little "blunders" and enjoy the film as it ought to be.

– Janne Helander (who spotted E.T. in the Senate already at his first viewing and stayed in his seat to hear Darth Vader breathe at his second)