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The Rocketeer at 20

If there’s one thing this summer has proved, it’s that I control the universe.

We’ve previously cited the events at The Enchanted Tiki Room as proof of this, but for further evidence we should examine the case of The Rocketeer.

It all began a few months ago when I was whinging on Twitter about how overlooked the film is. The new trailer for Captain America had just come out, strongly challenging the Rocketeer vibe, and considering that director Joe Johnston was responsible for both films I felt that now was the time for a Rocketeer revival. After all, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the film’s release (a distressing fact, believe you me) and what better way to promote a restored re-release of the film for home video than by piggybacking on the new Marvel superhero tentpole. “From the director of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER!!!” Marketeers love those kinds of stickers, and at least it would get us a decent DVD or Blu-ray of The Rocketeer.

A long online chat led to a guest spot on a Metro-Retro Historical Society podcast with the WEDway Radio guys, where we talked about our mutual love for the film. Soon after, we were surprised – and pleased! – to see that D23 had announced its own celebration of the film’s 20th anniversary. And, you west-coasters, the event is tomorrow night.

So make note, you lucky so-and-sos. The celebration and screening is tomorrow, June 21st, at 7:30 p.m. at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood. Tickets are available through the El Capitan at 818-845-3110 or by visiting The event will include a screening of a newly-remastered digital print of the film, previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage, as well as a panel including director Joe Johnston, the Rocketeer himself, Bill Campbell, legendary makeup artist Rick Baker, writers Danny Bilson and Paul De Mio, and illustrator William Stout – himself a friend of deceased Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens. The panel will be moderated by director Kevin Smith.

In addition, there will be a museum of memorabilia and production artifacts from the film, as well as a remarkable selection of merchandise that you should totally, totally buy for me.

Honestly, people, if you live in the Hollywood area or even anywhere near, you have to go to this. Do it for me, because I can’t. And hopefully – hopefully! – this newly-remastered print will show up on a feature-loaded Blu-ray sometime soon.

Find out more information about the event, and see a trailer, at D23’s site.

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