Mad #383 (Nick Meglin and John Ficarra) - George Lucas Issue - July 1999

George Lucas already had more money than Scrooge McDuck or Richie Rich, but in response to popular demand, he decided to start another trilogy in 1999 with the release of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.  This one stars nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) who works for a sock puppet, then enters a high-speed spaceship race and later makes the move on Natalie Portman.  What more could a pre-teen want except maybe some acting lessons?  Was Lucas offering Anakin's example as the ultimate danger of a single-parent family?  I suppose good acting and a plausible plot are too much to demand when it is really all about the special effects and the over-priced action figures.  As a big fan of Mad movie parodies, I was looking forward to the "Bantam Menace" with lots of great Mort Drucker drawings but alas it was not to be.  The Mad editors decided to split this themed issue into seven lesser articles/covers.  Cover artist Roberto Parada gave us two versions of the Anakin shadow joke: one with What-Me-Worry Alf and one with Alf-Anakin/Darth.  #1 is better.  Charlie Kadau and Amanda Conner provided the "Countdown to ... Phantom Menace".  We did not need to see Lucas in his pajamas or Dr. Laura without hers.  Hermann Mejia drew a great double-splash-page of the Lucas gang ("Mad's Star Wars Trivial Pursuit").  However, I wanted to see Carrie Fisher or Natalie Portman in there in place of Yoda and Jar Jar.  The re-captioned scenes by David P. Levin ("... Scenes You Never Saw") are very good.  I think he could fill many pages with Jar Jar - the backseat driver.  These photos will probably not be on the desks of Liam and Ewan.  Mejia returned to add the head of Lucas to the "Cause-of-Death Betting Odds".  I think that even better odds could be from lockjaw while laughing all the way to the bank.  And, Jaffee gave us the fake Darth fold-in.  Better than all of the Lucas jabs is Desmond Devlin's "The Jesse Venturification of U.S. Politics" with excellent drawings of the politicos of the day by Ray Alma.  This was the first but certainly not the last appearance in Mad by George W.  This was only the second article drawn by Alma after #347 ("Mad Visits This Year's Blahblahpaloser").

Beavis and Barney are in "Obscenity Anonymous" (page 39).

Are You Talkin' to Me - Satirize This
Rules to Not Live By - The Mad Book of Suicide Etiquette
Angster's Paradise - Monroe & ... The Funeral
Come to the Dork Side - Countdown to The Phantom Menace
1600 Wrestlemania Avenue - The Jesse Venturification of U.S. Politics
An Embarrassment of Richard's - An Important Message from the Law Firm of Low, Rotten, Scumbag & Snake
Jedi.Q. - Mad's Star Wars Trivial Pursuit
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at Plastic Surgery
The Doctor Is In-Sane - Putz Adams
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side
Son of a Milosevic - Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions During the Bombing of Belgrade [fake department]
Tales From the Duck Side - Flirty Dancing
Without a Swear in the World - The Mad Guide to Cleaning Up Your #@&*% Vocabulary
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
The Stills Are Alive - The Phantom Menace Scenes You Never Saw
The Loin King - The Omahog Steaks Meats by Mail Catalogue
Grieving Las Vegas - Mad's Celebrity Cause-of-Death Betting Odds

Fold-In - Schoolhouse