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Kate Bove

Celebrate “May the Fourth” With These “Star Wars” Easter Eggs

why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

For those keeping count, we’re now up to 11 Star Wars feature films: nine mainstay titles (Episodes I through IX) and two spinoff films, Rogue One (2016) and Solo : A Star Wars Story (2018). Between all of these films, we also have two high-profile, award-winning animated series, Clone Wars and Rebels ; the live-action TV phenomenon The Mandalorian ; and countless other shows, books, and games.

The creatives behind the beloved space opera have packed a lot of details into the galaxy far, far away. Whether you’re spending today rewatching the original films, defending the prequels, or catching The Bad Batch as it drops on Disney+, spend some time checking out a few of the best Easter eggs, cameos and hidden details sprinkled throughout the franchise. And, as you enjoy our findings, “May the Fourth be with you” — always. 

“The Phantom Menace” Features a Reference to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”

If you’re a cinephile, you may notice The Phantom Menace includes a few more nods to sci-fi classics. The first is more self-referential: In the background of a scene in Mos Espa, keen viewers can spot Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder from 1977’s A New Hope . But that’s not all.

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Sure, a tip of the hat to Steven Spielberg’s E.T. feels almost expected, but George Lucas had another famous director in mind when populating Watto’s junkyard with spare parts, broken droids and half-busted machines. While Watto gives Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) a tour of the scrap heap, you can spot an EVA pod from Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

These “Mandalorian” Actors Were Perfectly Cast

It’s no secret that The Mandalorian is packed with great cameos. Not to mention, the show serves as a great way to connect the various animated series with the franchise’s movies. From mentions of Grand Admiral Thrawn to portraying Ahsoka for the first time in live-action, The Mandalorian is all about detail, which is why we can’t help but admire these casting decisions. 

First up, we have Bo-Katan Kryze, a former member of the Death Watch faction on Mandalore. In both Clone Wars and Rebels , Bo-Katan is voiced to perfection by Katee Sackhoff. In The Mandalorian ‘s second season, Bo-Katan makes her live-action debut — also played by Sackhoff. We love to see that kind of continuity. 

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Next up? Boba Fett. Originally, actor Jeremy Bulloch donned the now-infamous armor in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi , and, in the prequel Attack of the Clones , a young Boba was played by Daniel Logan. Since then, we’ve seen an animated version of the character, but, nonetheless, fans have been clamoring for his live-action revival. 

As fans know, Boba is Jango Fett’s “son” — a clone whose aging process wasn’t sped up. It’s fitting, then, that Temuera Morrison, the actor who played Jango in Attack of the Clones , has been cast as Boba in both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett (2021). We also couldn’t help but love the moment Boba told Mando (Pedro Pascal) that he’s “a simple man, making his way through the galaxy” — a clear nod to the time Jango told Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) “I’m just a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.”

In TROS, Rey Hears the Voices of Several Significant Jedi From “Clone Wars” & “Rebels”

In order to take down Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker (2019), Rey channels the power of “a thousand generations” of Jedi who came before her and hears the voices of Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), Obi-Wan Kenobi (both Ewan McGregor and Sir Alec Guinness), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Yoda (Frank Oz), Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson). Some lesser-known Jedi — and those who appear exclusively in animated series like The Clone Wars and Rebels — also drop by.

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Luminara Unduli (top left; voiced by Olivia D’abo) appears in Clone Wars and wards off enemies on Geonosis in Episode II. Aayla Secura (top right; voiced by Jennifer Hale) also appears in Clone Wars and meets her untimely demise in Episode III. Adi Gallia (bottom left; voiced by Angelique Perrin) appears on the Jedi Council in the prequels and in several Clone Wars storylines. Most excitingly, Ahsoka Tano (bottom right; Ashley Eckstein), a fan-favorite character from Clone Wars and Rebels , and Kanan Jarrus (top middle; Freddie Prinze Jr.), a Rebels alum and one of the few Jedi who survived Order 66, can be heard.

Leia’s Cell Number from “A New Hope” Connects to Finn’s Stormtrooper ID in “The Force Awakens”

Later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope , the first Star Wars film hit theaters in 1977, grossing an unprecedented $775 million. But, at the time, the many small details in this game-changing film didn’t seem poised to connect to anything larger. For example, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is taken prisoner by Darth Vader and thrown in cell 2187.

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Later, Jedi-in-training Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Wookie co-pilot Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) bust Leia out of her holding cell. Cut to 2015. Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens launches the series’ third and final trilogy of films. And one of the stars is Finn (John Boyega) — a stormtrooper who defects from the First Order and whose ID number was FN-2187.

George Lucas & Katie Lucas Have Some Prequel Cameos

The Force is strong in creator George Lucas’ family, especially when it comes to his daughter Katie. These days, Katie is an accomplished screenwriter, with quite a few credits on the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV series. Before that, she had minor roles in all three prequel films. In The Phantom Menace, she plays Amee, one of young Anakin Skywalker’s friends on Tatooine.

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In Attack of the Clones (pictured, left) she plays a Twi’lek woman named Lunae Minx who is hanging out at a bar Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi stumble into while tracking an assassin. (The person next to her? Ahmed Best, who voiced and provided mo-cap for Jar Jar Binks.) Finally, Katie played Senator Chi Eekway Papanoida in Revenge of the Sith , seen here (right) speaking to her father George Lucas, who has a cameo as Baron Papanoida.

The Ark of the Covenant Has Origins in “A Galaxy Far, Far Away”

In 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark , director Steven Spielberg throws in a nod to writer/producer George Lucas’ Star Wars . No, it’s not the fact that Harrison Ford (a.k.a. Han Solo) plays Indiana Jones — it’s a much deeper cut. When Indy finds the titular Ark, there are some pretty recognizable hieroglyphics on the left-hand side.

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Look closely and you’ll discern R2-D2 and C-3PO. So, does that mean the Ark has its origins in a galaxy far, far away? Potentially. During The Clone Wars TV series, Techno Union Leader Wat Tambor terrorizes the planet Ryloth, ransacking it of its riches before the Republic staves him off. One of those treasures looks suspiciously like the Ark of the Covenant… (Just don’t look too closely!)

“Rebels” Characters Appear Briefly in “Rogue One”

Rogue One does fan service right: Easter eggs and cameos never eclipse the story the film is trying to tell, but instead feel like fun nods that help cement the story’s place in the larger Star Wars universe. While the fledgling Rebel Alliance scrambles to the Battle of Scarif, an intercom pages a “General Syndulla.”

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Lucasfilm’s Dave Filoni confirmed this was a reference to Rebels ‘ Hera Syndulla, the Twi’lek captain of the series’ ship, the Ghost. While fans can’t actually spot Syndulla on-screen, Filoni has said that “Hera will eventually become a general in the Rebel Alliance,” even helping out at the Battle of Endor. Another character from Rebels does make it onto the screen, however; the ever-cantankerous astromech droid Chopper can be seen rolling through the rebels’ hangar.

The Number 42 Holds Special Significance in “The Rise of Skywalker”

Toward the beginning of Episode IX, our heroes — Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie and protocol droid C-3PO — travel to the desert planet of Pasaana. They’re searching for an object that will lead them to Exegol, the hidden world of the Sith located in the galaxy’s Unknown Regions. But, on Pasaana, things are much more festive than our heroes anticipated.

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C-3PO explains that the native Aki-Aki people are celebrating the renowned Festival of the Ancestors, which is known for its colorful kites and tasty sweets. According to the film’s visual dictionary, the festival is also known for honoring the past and looking forward to the future. If that didn’t sound on-the-nose for a final film, this will: The celebration takes place every 42 years — meaning the last one happened around the time Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope (1977) took place.

“Rogue One” Ends Mere Minutes Before Episode IV Begins

Spinoff Rogue One (2016) tells the story of how the Rebels nabbed those pesky Death Star schematics, which are key to Luke Skywalker destroying the gigantic space station in A New Hope . At the end of Rogue One , those schematics are transmitted to a nearby Rebel flagship. However, Darth Vader himself boards said ship to retrieve the schematics. In a twist of fate, Princess Leia’s ship, the Tantive IV, is docked on the Rebel flagship, undergoing repairs.

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Before Vader cuts everyone down, the rebels aboard the flagship are able to hand off the schematics (on Star Wars ‘ equivalent of a thumb drive) to Princess Leia’s crew — just as Tantive IV launches away from the flagship. At the end of Rogue One , Vader looks on as Leia escapes; at the start of A New Hope , the Tantive IV is being chased down by Vader.

According to sources at Lucasfilm, the ending of Rogue One happens a mere 14 minutes before the start of A New Hope .

The Force Is Strong in Denis Lawson’s Family

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Fan-favorite character Wedge Antilles made his first appearance in 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope . His lasting power probably comes in part from the fact that he fights alongside Luke Skywalker and the iconic Red Squadron at the Battle of Yavin, where Skywalker destroys the Death Star. Antilles and Skywalker end up being the only surviving members of the Red Squadron.

Antilles crops up at Episode V’s Battle of Hoth and Episode VI’s Battle of Endor — and he survives to see the fall of the Empire. Although Antilles isn’t initially part of the Resistance in Episode VII — actor Denis Lawson turned down the part, saying it would “bore” him — he makes a brief appearance at the end of Episode IX. Fun fact: In real life, Lawson is uncle to Ewan McGregor, who plays Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel films.

Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.” Phones It in During “The Phantom Menace”

Back when Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope premiered in 1977, it became the highest-grossing film of all time, eclipsing Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975). However, a few years later Episode IV’s $775 million record was beaten by Spielberg’s own space- and alien-themed blockbuster E.T. (1982). But the Star Wars / E.T. connection doesn’t end at the box office.

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In The Phantom Menace (1999), George Lucas includes a small nod to his friend Spielberg. When Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman) proposes the Galactic Senate remove Supreme Chancellor Valorum from office, the camera pans around the senate chamber, showing us the reactions of a few intergalactic senators. One group of E.T.-looking aliens, called Asogians, is led by Senator Grebleips — that’s Spielberg backwards.

“The Empire Strikes” Back Features a Type of Droid Familiar to “Mandalorian” Fans

In the first episode of Disney+’s The Mandalorian , the first-ever live-action Star Wars series, the titular bounty hunter-for-hire runs into IG-11, an assassin droid programmed to kill. Due to their violent nature, IG-series droids are largely outlawed in the Star Wars universe, but fans of The Mandalorian will most likely recognize this type of droid from the original series of films.

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In The Empire Strikes Back , Darth Vader puts out a call for bounty hunters to track down the Millennium Falcon, our heroes’ trusty ship. IG-88, along with his rival Boba Fett, compete for the bounty. Eventually, the hunters tail Han Solo and Leia Organa (who are aboard the Falcon) to the planet Bespin, where Boba Fett leaves IG-88 for scrap metal. Literally. You can spot him later on in Bespin’s glorified dumpster.

YT-1300 Freighters Appear in the Prequels

Fans love when there’s a bit of connective tissue between the Star Wars films. The original trilogy (Episodes IV, V and VI) centered on Luke Skywalker and his (spoiler!) father Darth Vader, who was formerly the Jedi known as Anakin Skywalker. In the prequel films (Episodes I, II and III), Anakin — and his descent into villainy — become the series focus, so the connections are obvious.

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Nonetheless, the devil is truly in the details. In Episode II, a YT-1300 Freighter ship can be seen landing on Naboo when Anakin and Senator Padmé Amidala arrive there. Why is this exciting? It’s the same type of ship as Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon, arguably the most iconic ship in the galaxy. In Episode III, a YT-1300 — confirmed by George Lucas and some subsequent novels to be THE Falcon — docks in a spaceport on Coruscant.

Maz Kanata’s Castle in Episode VII Connects to “The Mandalorian” & Episode I

In Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens , Maz Kanata’s (Lupita Nyong’o) castle on the planet Takodana holds a lot of fun connections to the larger Star Wars universe — some more obvious than others. Kanata, a “pirate queen” who welcomes smugglers of all sorts, has decked her castle out in a variety of banners.

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Most notably, one of the banners in the very center portrays the Mandalorian Diamond or “Iron Heart” — a skull-looking emblem that’s never been fully explained in canonical Star Wars lore. Additionally, quite a few of the brightly colored flags seen on Kanata’s castle correspond to those carried across the race track in The Phantom Menace ‘s podracing scene.

A Clone Trooper From the Prequel Films Has a Role in a Movie Made Nearly 20 Years Earlier — Well, Maybe…

Perhaps one of the most fun Easter eggs was never meant to be one at all — that is, until the Star Wars: Rebels animated series ended and flashed forward a bit, showing us which characters made it to see the fall of the Empire in Episode VI. Thankfully, Rex, a former clone trooper and mainstay in The Clone Wars series, survives and even participates in the Battle of Endor.

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An older, bearded Rebel known in canon as Nik Sant bears a striking resemblance to Rex. Before Rebels ‘ finale aired, creator Dave Filoni said, “I really do think that Rex is that guy (Nik Sant) on Endor. …I’m gonna make that happen. I’m getting like Palpatine; I’m getting power crazy.” Later on, Filoni told IGN that he decided against making the “Rex is Nik Sant” idea Star Wars canon because Sant was already an established character. Still, some fans like to run with the idea that the characters are one in the same — or that Rex is at least on the forest moon.

The Stormtroopers of “A New Hope” Are Barely Holding It Together

The Empire’s stormtroopers aren’t known for being sharpshooters — nor are they known for their intelligence. They certainly can’t bullseye womp rats or evade Jedi mind tricks, but even simple tasks become difficult for these clumsy characters — something that’s been blamed on the awkwardness of the costumes in the original films.

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In A New Hope , a group of stormtroopers runs after our heroes and, on the right-hand side, sharp-eyed viewers will notice that one of the troopers bangs his head on the doorway. And while these troopers aren’t particularly cunning — or capable — they’re at least…resourceful? As seen here, one trooper barely keeps his armor together thanks to some Imperial duct tape.

References to George Lucas’ First Short Film Keep Cropping Up

George Lucas wrote and directed a social sci-fi short film called THX-1138 4EB in 1967 while attending film school at the University of Southern California. In 1971, Lucas reworked the project into a theatrical feature under the new title THX 1138 . And nods to this early film crop up all the time in Star Wars . In A New Hope , Luke Skywalker and Han Solo — disguised as stormtroopers to save Leia — say they’re transferring their “prisoner” Chewbacca to cell 1138.

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In The Phantom Menace , the battle droid that deactivates in front of Jar Jar Binks has “1138” imprinted on its back. Perhaps most importantly, entering the code 1-1-3-8 on your remote while watching the DVD version of Episode II brings up a blooper reel of a clumsy Hayden Christensen and reveals a clip of Yoda and some troopers chatting, as if caught being casual between scenes. Entering the code on Episode III’s DVD menu cuts to a clip of Yoda breakdancing.

007 Joins the First Order

This next Easter egg isn’t really one you can see — and not because it takes sharp eyes to spot it. Instead, this cameo appearance is one that fans learned about after the fact. In The Force Awakens , Rey finds herself being held hostage on Starkiller Base, the First Order’s stronghold. After being interrogated by Darth Vader-wannabe Kylo Ren, Rey finds herself alone with some stormtroopers.

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Having recently realized her strong connection to the Force, Rey attempts to use a Jedi mind trick on the unsuspecting trooper. She successfully convinces the trooper to release her binds so that she can escape. That susceptible stormtrooper is played by none other than Daniel Craig — James Bond himself.

A Throwaway Line in “Rogue One” Actually Foreshadows “The Last Jedi”

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: It’s great that Rogue One focuses on its own plot and characters while sprinkling in little details and Easter eggs for Star Wars diehards. What seems like a throwaway line of dialogue toward the end of the film actually ends up being a huge plot point in Episode VIII.

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While looking for the Death Star schematics on Scarif, Jyn Erso comes across a file called “hyperspace tracking” — meaning the Empire is hard at work on this particular project. Later, in The Last Jedi , Rose Tico is surprised to hear that the Empire heir apparent — the First Order — has cracked the code on tracking ships through lightspeed, something that had been (secretly) in the works for a while.

Rogue One Features an Iconic Ship From “Rebels”

As we noted earlier, Rogue One is chock full of Easter eggs, especially where Star Wars: Rebels is concerned, partly because of the way the two overlap. Apart from showing astromech Chopper rolling through the base and a pager calling for General (Hera) Syndulla, Rebels’ most iconic ship can also be spotted above Scarif in the film’s final battle.

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Clearly, General Syndulla received that page. Just below the seven-engined Tantive IV-looking ship, sharp-eyed fans can see Hera’s ship, the Ghost, reporting for duty. In one of the Forces of Destiny shorts, Syndulla and Han Solo even bicker on the forest moon of Endor, after the fall of the Empire, about whose ship is better, the Ghost or the Millennium Falcon. Hard choice — but clearly both are reliable.

Carrie Fisher’s Dog Gary Appears in “The Last Jedi”

Carrie Fisher’s constant companion was Gary, a floppy-tongued French bulldog whom Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, suggested her mom adopt to help Fisher with her bipolar disorder. When Fisher passed away in 2016, Gary was adopted by Fisher’s former assistant, Corby McCoin. But the Force is still with Gary.

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Popular with fans and cast members alike, Gary was so beloved that director Rian Johnson gave the dog a special cameo as a lovable space creature on Canto Bight’s casino. In the scene, fans can spot a dog-like creature, based on Gary, in the arms of a casino patron. When McCoin showed Gary the trailer for The Last Jedi , the dog wasn’t so interested in his cameo, but his ears did perk up when he heard Fisher’s voice.

Directors Rian Johnson & Dave Filoni Appear in Cameo Roles

Although director George Lucas waited until Episode III, the sixth of his Star Wars films in terms of theatrical release, to have a cameo, he certainly wasn’t the last Star Wars director to do so. Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi , made an appearance in Rogue One as an Imperial officer (left). Fans will recall that two cannon operators aboard the Death Star demonstrate the weapon’s enormous power by blasting Leia’s home planet of Alderaan to smithereens.

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A similar shot of those cannon operators is remade for Rogue One — and one of the officers is Johnson. Meanwhile, Dave Filoni, the mastermind behind The Clone Wars and Rebels , makes a cameo in The Mandalorian (right) as a New Republic X-wing pilot called Trapper Wolf, right alongside fellow Mandalorian directors Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow, who play the pilots Jib Dodger and Sash Ketter, respectively.

The Ghost Rides Again in “The Rise of Skywalker” — Alongside Other Iconic Ships

Braving the Battle of Scarif and (potentially) the Battle of Endor weren’t the Ghost’s final acts of bravery. At the end of Rise of Skywalker , the Ghost — and nearly every other ship in the galaxy — join Millennium Falcon pilots Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca.

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Other than the Ghost, some of our favorite ships flying above Exegol include the Crucible, an ancient ship once used by the Jedi and later salvaged by space pirate Hondo Ohnaka; (potentially) the Shadow Caster, famously piloted by Rebels bounty hunter Ketsu Onyo; the Eravana, piloted by Han and Chewbacca in The Force Awakens ; and even Dash Rendar’s Outrider.

Carrie Fisher’s Daughter Billie Lourd Has a Role in the Sequel Films

Billie Lourd is not only actor and writer Carrie Fisher’s daughter but is also the granddaughter of Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds. From Singing in the Rain (1952) to Star Wars , Lourd’s family is entrenched in the business of making movies. And Lourd herself would go on to appear in all three Star Wars sequel films.

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Despite her mother’s wishes, Lourd wanted to pursue acting as well. Initially, she auditioned for the part of Rey in 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens , but when the role went to Daisy Ridley instead, Lourd nabbed the role of Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, fighting in the resistance alongside her mother’s beloved General Leia Organa.

Shoes & Potatoes Fill the Asteroid Field in “Empire”

There are few scenes more thrilling than Han Solo’s daring navigation of an asteroid field in Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back . Han, Leia, Chewbacca and protocol droid C-3PO escape the planet Hoth aboard Han’s trusty Millenium Falcon. In order to outrun the Imperial TIE fighters hot on their tails, Han steers the group into said asteroid field.

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Created by George Lucas’ esteemed visual effects division Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), the effects are impressive, especially given Empire ‘s 1980 release date. The asteroids whip by quickly, so it’s difficult to make out details. However, members of the visual effects team have admitted to basing the shapes of some of the space rocks off of a potato and a tennis shoe. Even if you pause, it’s hard to spot: Most asteroids look a bit potato-like.

Blue Milk Is a Galaxy-Wide Favorite

Nothing says “refreshing” like having an ice-cold glass of blue milk after working your moisture farm under the hot twin suns of Tatooine all day. Sharp-eyed viewers can spot the infamous concoction on the Erso family’s kitchen counter in Rogue One (top left), and it’s Anakin and Padmé’s drink of choice in Episode II (right).

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Known by some as Bantha milk, blue milk is available at Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge theme park. Although Disney now makes the frozen, plant-based blend from coconut and rice milks, Hamill stated that the original was life-long milk dyed blue. “Oily and sweet and euch! Triggered your gag reflex,” Hamill recalled. “So there’s an indication that I’m an underrated actor — I gulped it and acted like I liked it without vomiting.”

“A New Hope” Features a Very Meta Star Wars Reference

Although viewers debate whether or not this next Easter egg can actually be spotted in A New Hope , it’s still fun to know about. In the film’s opening, Darth Vader and co. pursue Princess Leia Organa and her crew, who are aboard the Tantive IV. Early on, there’s a shot of the Tantive IV’s cockpit, which model-makers at ILM had some fun designing.

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The model of the Tantive IV included a rather meta reference: A Star Wars film poster was pasted to its wall. If you look a bit to the right, you can also see part of a Playboy pinup. Even if this gag was purely done by and for the modeling team, it’s still fun to know that these folks were enjoying practical effects — and some practical jokes.

Industrial Light & Magic’s Logo Appears in Episode I

Visual effects and animation company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) was founded in May 1975 by George Lucas as a division of his film production company, Lucasfilm. While ILM was created ahead of Lucas’ production of A New Hope (then simply dubbed Star Wars ), the company is known for pulling off some of cinema’s most impressive effects, from Indiana Jones to Pirates of the Carribean .

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Although back in the day ILM was on the forefront of model-making and puppetry, the company soon broke ground on computer-generated animation (CGI) and motion-capture technology. And when Lucas returned to bring audiences Episode I in 1999, the visual effects team hid the letters “ILM” in a red reflection of light, which can be (sort of) seen by pausing the scene in which Queen Amidala gazes out the window of Theed Palace.

A Ship From the Nintendo 64 Game “Shadows of the Empire” Appears in “A New Hope”

There have been plenty of Star Wars video games over the years, but the Nintendo 64 hit from 1996, Shadows of the Empire , might be one of the most fondly remembered. Taking place between the events of Episodes V and VI, Shadows allows players to take control of Dash Rendar, a freelance smuggler.

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Does Dash Rendar sound like a Han Solo stand-in? He sure does. And like any good carbon(ite) copy, Rendar comes equipped with his own Millennium Falcon-esque ship, the Outrider, a YT-2400 light freighter. For the special edition of A New Hope , visual effects teams made some tweaks, one of which was the addition of the Outrider, which can be seen leaving Mos Eisley (upper left) as Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi arrive.

Series Composer John Williams Finally Grabs a Cameo in “The Rise of Skywalker”

At 87 years old, legendary composer John Williams has over 260 musical credits, 51 (probably soon to be 52) Academy Award nominations and, of those nominations, five Oscar wins. He has also been the genius behind Star Wars ‘ iconic music since the beginning, earning an Oscar for his work on Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977).

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Since 1977, Williams has composed all of the music for the nine films in the Skywalker Saga and, in the saga’s final and most recent film, the legend traded a conducting baton for a mechanical eyepatch. Seen briefly behind the bar in The Rise of Skywalker ‘s planet Kijimi, Williams doesn’t have any dialogue, but his character does have a fun name: Oma Tres — an anagram for “Maestro.”

Han Solo’s Chance Cubes from “A New Hope” Appear in “The Last Jedi” & Spinoff Film “Solo”

When someone dressed the set of the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit back in the ’70s, they probably had no idea that one of the smaller, seemingly insignificant details would be used in later films as Han Solo’s calling card of sorts. Though difficult to spot, golden dice hang from the smuggler’s cockpit in A New Hope .

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In the standalone film Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), Han gives his ex-flame Qi’ra the dice and promises they’ll find each other again one day. Later on, Han gets the chance cubes back from her — and, clearly, holds onto them. In The Last Jedi , Luke Skywalker tells his sister Leia “No one’s ever really gone” and presses the golden dice into her hands (well, sort of) as a reminder of the late Han.

Warwick Davis Has Played More Than Seven Characters in the Star Wars Universe

Actor Warwick Davis is perhaps most well-known in the Star Wars universe for his portrayal of the love-him-or-hate-him Ewok character Wicket W. Warrick (top left), who makes his first appearance in Episode VI on the forest moon of Endor. Since then, Davis has been credited with the portrayal of at least seven more characters across the Star Wars films.

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In 1999’s Episode I, Davis was credited with playing four characters: one of young Anakin Skywalker’s friends, W. Wald (top center); an excited podrace spectator, Weazel (bottom, second from right); a blink-and-you-miss-it Tatooine street trader; and even, in select scenes, Master Yoda himself. Davis appears in The Force Awakens , The Last Jedi , Rogue One , Solo and even The Rise of Skywalker , where he dons his Wicket outfit again.

Nintendo 64 Game “Episode I: Racer” Appears in Episode II

Released by LucasArts in conjunction with Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace , the Nintendo 64 hit Star Wars: Episode I—Racer allowed players to jump into the cockpit of a podracer. As of 2011, the game has held the record for best-selling sci-fi racer, beating out the likes of F-Zero and Wipeout with 3.12 million sales.

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In fact, Racer is so popular that it even has a cameo in the Star Wars films. When Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi chase an assassin into a bar on Coruscant, footage from Racer plays on one of the screens behind the counter. Not only is this a clever time-saver for the visual effects team, but it’s also a fun Easter egg for fans.

Jabba the Hutt as…Jabba the Hutt?

Tatooine crime lord Jabba the Hutt is truly one of the sleaziest characters in the Star Wars universe — and we were thrilled to see Leia take him out in Episode VI. However, because Episode I is a prequel — and because it spends a lot of time on Tatooine — it provided the perfect chance for a Jabba cameo.

why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

The Hutt leader attends the podrace that Anakin Skywalker enters, waving to the crowd. The visual effects team created him using a combination of special effects and old-school puppetry, and in Episode I’s credits he’s listed as playing himself. A set production assistant was also jokingly called “Javva the Hutt” in Episode II’s credits — extra funny considering that’s the name of the onsite coffee shop at the ILM and Lucasfilm campus.

The Actors Who Play C-3PO & Boba Fett Remove Their Iconic Costumes for Cameos

Thanks to a bevvy of iconic costumes, some Star Wars actors aren’t exactly known by their looks. This is true for Anthony Daniels, the actor who famously portrays protocol droid C-3PO in every Star Wars film — except Solo . To make sure Daniels still popped up in Solo , he plays Tak, a mine worker on Kessel.

why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

Daniels also has a small cameo in Episode II, playing a blink-and-you-miss-him bar patron. But the droid actor isn’t the only faceless icon to be given another part. Jeremy Bulloch, half-brother of producer Robert Watts, is best known for playing the helmeted Boba Fett in Episodes V and VI. In Episode III, he has a bit part as Captain Colton, the pilot of the Tantive III, which belongs to Leia’s adoptive father Bail Organa.

“Clone Wars” Star Matt Lanter Appears in “The Mandalorian”

Apart from obscuring their faces with helmets or droid parts, Star Wars actors can be relatively unrecognizable for another reason: They’re best known for lending their voices to beloved characters. One such voice actor is Matt Lanter, who voices Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars animated series.

why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

Although he’s had more outings as Anakin than any other actor, most fans probably wouldn’t know his face — at least not immediately. And that makes Lanter’s extended cameo in The Mandalorian that much more fun. In the show, Lanter portrays Davan, a New Republic soldier left to look over a prison ship.

Darth Maul’s Brother Makes a “Mandalorian” Cameo — Sort Of

In the same episode Matt Lanter — a.k.a. Anakin Skywalker — makes a cameo, so does another well-known voice actor from that Star Wars universe. Clancy Brown appears as Burg, a Devaronian mercenary who joins the titular Mandalorian and a few other less-than-savory characters on a prison-break mission.

why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

Brown is perhaps best known for voicing Savage Opress in The Clone Wars TV series — the Dathomirian Nightbrother-turned-Sith-in-training who just so happens to be Darth Maul’s kin. Clearly, Brown has the uncanny ability to play a convincing horned alien. The talented actor has also lent his voice to Rebels , in which he plays Ryder Azadi, the Governor of Lothal who sympathizes with the blossoming Rebellion. Also Brown provides the voice for Mr. Krabs. Ag ag ag ag ag.

Finn Finds All of the Millennium Falcon’s Games (& Guides)

The Force Awakens is heavy on nostalgia — and that also makes it rife with Easter eggs and fun nods. Perhaps one of the most exciting turns in the film was the heroes boarding the Millenium Falcon once again, which hadn’t been seen up close-and-personal since 1983’s Episode VI.

why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

While aboard the Falcon, Finn (John Boyega) searches for a first aid kit for an injured Chewbacca and picks up a familiar item: the remote-controlled sphere used by Luke Skywalker to test his blossoming Jedi reflexes during Episode IV. Finn even turns on the Dejarik table — and while he doesn’t actually play holochess, it’s still a fun nod to A New Hope .

Jett Lucas Makes a Cameo as a Young Jedi in Episodes II & III

Jett Lucas, George Lucas’ adopted son, has cameos in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith as a Jedi padawan. Although they were initially different characters, the two were later merged into Zett Jukassa, a tuckerization of Jett’s name. But that’s not where Jett’s involvement stops.

why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

According to his sister Katie Lucas, Jett inspired the name of the Gungan species, whose most notable member is Jar Jar Binks. During the run of The Clone Wars TV series, Jett inspired the character of Ion Papanoida — namely because his father and sister inspired the character’s father and sister — and went on to intern for the video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed .

C-3PO’s Comment About the Falcon in “The Empire Strikes” Back Pays Off in “Solo”

In 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back , Han, Leia, Chewbacca and protocol droid C-3PO get into a world of trouble when Han flies the Millennium Falcon straight into an asteroid field in an attempt to escape the Empire’s clutches. Afterward, while making repairs on the Falcon, C-3PO tries communicating with the ship.

why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

Although C-3PO is fluent in over 6 million forms of communication, he tells Han that the Falcon has a strange dialect — even by his standards. Cut to 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story , which fills in Han’s backstory pre- A New Hope . In Solo , Lando Calrissian, Han’s longtime buddy, pilots the Falcon alongside his trusty droid L3-37 — an outspoken, feminist droid who later uploads their consciousness into the Falcon.

“The Rise of Skywalker” Is Packed With Cameos From Big-Name Actors

Although The Rise of Skywalker doesn’t pull a Marvel movie and include after-credits sequences, it does try its darndest to spotlight some famous faces (and voices). Hamilton ‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda (bottom right), who composed some fun tracks for Episodes VII and IX, nabbed a background cameo as a Resistance fighter.

why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

Meanwhile, Jodie Comer, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of Killing Eve ‘s assassin-for-hire Villanelle, takes a turn as a young Rey’s fleeing mother (top left). Most controversially, Dominic Monaghan (top right) won his role of Beaumont Kin, a historian-turned-Resistance trooper, after betting on the outcome of a World Cup game with director J.J. Abrams. (The two became friends on Lost .) Abrams even gave himself screen time, voicing the droid D-O (bottom left).


why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

Screen Rant

Star wars’ the phantom menace title explained: who it really is.

George Lucas tantalized viewers when he named the first film of the prequels "The Phantom Menace." But just who was he actually referring to?

The title of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace has a double meaning. George Lucas returned to Star Wars in 1999, finally revealing the history of the galaxy he had created and the true story of the Clone Wars. The title of the first film, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace , immediately led to intense speculation in the fanbase around who exactly the titular Menace could be.

The Star Wars Expanded Universe had flourished since 1991, with the release of the comic book miniseries Dark Empire and the New York Times-bestselling " Thrawn Trilogy " of novels. At Lucas' insistence, these stories had explored the post- Return of the Jedi galaxy; he felt he was unlikely to ever make a sequel trilogy, but he continually toyed with the idea of the prequels. Modern viewers tend to forget just how little audiences knew about the galaxy's past back in 1999, and even how little they knew about the Sith. Most had assumed the Sith were a race of Force-sensitives commanded by Darth Vader (who, after all, was dubbed " Lord of the Sith ").

Related: Star Wars Confirms The Sith's Origins In Canon

Curiously enough, there's a sense in which the concept of a phantom menace defines Star Wars . So many of the Sith's plans operate in the shadows; from Palpatine's machinations in the prequels to the Death Star trap in Return of the Jedi , from Supreme Leader Snoke's holographic presence in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to the emergence of the resurrected Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker . But, in this case, the title was designed by George Lucas to refer to two very specific individuals – Darth Sidious and his apprentice, Darth Maul.

Yes, The Phantom Menace Is Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious

As George Lucas explained in an interview with Vanity Fair , " The phantom menace is a character named Darth Sidious, " who Lucas described as " the last of the Sith. " It's interesting to note that, at the time this interview was conducted, Lucas didn't acknowledge Darth Sidious was in fact Palpatine. This led to speculation Palpatine was a pawn of the Sith , rather than the fulfillment of their millennia of planning. This, of course, was probably why Lucas was so careful with his wording in the first place; he wanted viewers to speculate as to the true identity of the Sith Lord, just as the Jedi would do over the course of the prequel trilogy.

The idea of a " phantom menace " perfectly defines the Baneite Sith. Darth Bane reinvented the Sith, turning them into agents of darkness who operated in the shadows, their very existence unknown to the Jedi. For a thousand years they had plotted and schemed, working to undermine their ancient enemies, and at last they would have their revenge. As the culmination and climax of Darth Bane's Sith , Palpatine was the ultimate phantom menace.

Darth Maul Is Also The Phantom Menace (According To George Lucas)

Lucas hinted the title actually had something of a double meaning. As Lucas explained in his interview, the concept of " menace " should be broadened to include Darth Maul - the brutal Sith Apprentice who threatened Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Maul stood front and center in marketing for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace , with Lucasfilm well aware his terrifying appearance had potential viewers hooked. He appeared in almost all the posters and even in the film's trailer. " At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi, " Darth Maul seethed, in words filled with dark promise. " At last we will have revenge. "

Related: Star Wars Hints The Sith's Jedi Plan Was Even Bigger Than You Realize

It's certainly true that stunt actor Ray Park's portrayal of Darth Maul exuded menace. Park created a whole new fighting style for his double-bladed lightsaber; during practice duels to familiarize the actors with the choreography, he and Ewan McGregor struck with such ferocity and enthusiasm that they kept bending their practice swords out of shape. This ultimately led to duels that had a brutal, visceral edge, thrilling audiences as they watched combat far more ferocious than anything seen in the original trilogy.

Darth Maul perfectly encapsulates the nature of the Baneite Sith. When Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace ends, he is dead; the Sith who stepped out of the shadows, who became a concrete menace rather than a phantom one, is slain. The implication is that the Sith can only defeat the Jedi when they remain true to Darth Bane's guidance, manipulators and schemers rather than aggressive forces of rage and wrath. Darth Bane's fall proves the Sith must always remain the shadow working covertly against the light - a true phantom menace.


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Star Wars : Episode I The Phantom Menace

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This article details a subject that is considered canon.

Star Wars : Episode I The Phantom Menace is a 1999 film written and directed by George Lucas , produced by Rick McCallum and starring Liam Neeson , Ewan McGregor , Natalie Portman , Jake Lloyd , and Ian McDiarmid . It is the first chapter of the Star Wars prequel trilogy , the fourth theatrical Star Wars release overall, and chronologically the first film in the Star Wars saga .

The Phantom Menace was released in theaters on May 19 , 1999, becoming the first Star Wars film since Star Wars : Episode VI Return of the Jedi , which was released sixteen years earlier. The release was accompanied by extensive media coverage and great fan anticipation. Despite mixed reviews from critics and fans, the film grossed $924.3 million worldwide, making it the second-highest-grossing Star Wars film when unadjusted for inflation. It was re-released on Blu-ray in September 2011 , and was re-released in theaters in 3D on February 10 , 2012 .

The film was the catalyst for fifteen years of Star Wars storytelling that would primarily take place around the time of the prequel storyline. The success of the film allowed for the next two chapters of the prequel trilogy, as well as the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film and television series .

  • 1 Opening crawl
  • 2 Plot summary
  • 3 Development
  • 4.1.1 Soundtrack
  • 4.1.2 Novelization
  • 4.2 Home video
  • 4.3 3D re-release
  • 5 Reception
  • 6 Deleted scenes
  • 7.1 Minature Construction and Photography Unit
  • 7.2 Special Effects Pyrotechnics Crew
  • 7.3 Second Unit
  • 7.4 Tunisia Shoot
  • 7.5 Italy Shoot
  • 8 Appearances
  • 10 Notes and references
  • 11 External links

Opening crawl [ ]

Plot summary [ ].


Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan prepare to fight their way out of the Trade Federation flagship.

Thirty-two years before the events of Star Wars : Episode IV A New Hope (thirteen years before the formation of the Galactic Empire), there is a trade dispute between the Trade Federation and the outlying systems of the Galactic Republic , which has led to a blockade of the Mid-Rim planet of Naboo . Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum , leader of the Galactic Senate , has secretly dispatched two Jedi , Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan , Obi-Wan Kenobi , to serve as "the ambassadors" to the Federation flagship , in order to meet with Viceroy Nute Gunray and resolve the dispute. Unknown to them, the Trade Federation is in league with the mysterious Darth Sidious , Dark Lord of the Sith , who secretly orders Gunray to invade Naboo and kill the two Jedi upon their arrival. When Gunray asked if that would be legal, Sidious says that he would ensure that it was.

The Viceroy locks the Jedi in the meeting room and attempts to kill them with poison gas while having their ship, the Radiant VII , destroyed in the hangar, but they escape. After battling through squads of battle droids, Jinn and Kenobi make their way to the command deck where Gunray is located, shielding himself behind blast doors . The Jedi are forced to flee upon the arrival of two Destroyer Droids and stow away aboard two separate Federation landing craft leaving for the surface of Naboo to begin the invasion.

Back in the command deck, Queen Amidala contacts Gunray to express her disapproval of their blockade, with Gunray explaining that they wouldn't have done it without the approval of the Senate. When she asks about the ambassadors sent by the Chancellor, Gunray claims that they have received no such ambassadors, leaving Amidala startled and suspicious. Gunray ends communications with her and informs his aide that they should disable all communications on the planet.

Meanwhile, Amidala is conversing with Senator Sheev Palpatine regarding the recent attempt at negotiations and how Gunray claimed that they did not receive any ambassadors. Surprised, Palpatine states that he had assurances from the Chancellor that his ambassadors did arrive. However, Palpatine is unable to finish his sentence as his hologram flickers out. Naboo Governor Sio Bibble suspects that an interruption of communications is a sign that an invasion from the Trade Federation is imminent.

TPM Cast

The Jedi liberate the queen and her guards from the battle-droid invasion.

On the planet's surface, Qui-Gon saves native outcast Jar Jar Binks from being crushed by a Trade Federation MTT . Kenobi appears, pursued by STAPs , which are destroyed by Qui-Gon. Jar Jar Binks shows the two Jedi the way to an underwater Gungan settlement, Otoh Gunga . Meanwhile, the Trade Federation occupies Theed , the capital city of Naboo, and captures Queen Amidala along with the rest of the government. In Otoh Gunga, the Jedi meet the Gungan leader, Boss Nass , and ask him to help the people of Naboo, but Nass refuses due to hate of the people of Naboo and sends them off in a bongo submarine . They are attacked by an opee sea killer and a colo claw fish but both fish are eaten by a sando aqua monster . The Jedi, with Binks in tow, arrive in Theed and rescue Queen Amidala. They depart for Coruscant , the Galactic Republic's capital planet, to ask for help from the Senate. As they attempt to run the blockade, the queen's starship is damaged by Federation battleships , but an astromech droid named R2-D2 manages to repair it and they narrowly escape.

Due to the damage to the ship's hyperdrive sustained in the attack, the Jedi decide to land on the nearby planet Tatooine for repairs. While searching for a new hyperdrive generator, they befriend young Anakin Skywalker , a slave boy, whose master is Watto , a Toydarian junk dealer. Watto has the required parts in stock, but Qui-Gon is unable to purchase them, as Republic credits are worthless on Tatooine.

Anakin Pod

Anakin races ahead of Sebulba during the Boonta Eve Podrace.

Anakin is gifted with piloting and mechanical abilities, and has built an almost-complete droid named C-3PO . Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force in Anakin, and feels that he may be the Chosen One —the one who will fulfil a prophecy by bringing balance to the Force. By entering Anakin into a podrace , Qui-Gon orchestrates a gamble with Watto's chance cube in which " fate " decided that the boy (alone, since Qui-Gon was unable to include the youth's mother in the bargain) will be released from slavery while also acquiring the parts needed for their ship. The night before the race, Qui-Gon does a blood test on Anakin and discovers that the boy's midi-chlorian reading is off the chart.

Anakin wins the race (defeating his rival, Sebulba ) and joins the team as they prepare to leave for Coruscant, where Qui-Gon plans to seek permission from the Jedi High Council to train Anakin to be a Jedi. Meanwhile, Darth Sidious sends his apprentice, Darth Maul , to kill the two Jedi and capture the queen. Maul appears just as the group is leaving the planet, and duels with Qui-Gon. The fight is cut short when Qui-Gon escapes his black-robed assailant by jumping on board the Naboo Royal Starship as it takes off.


Amidala and Palpatine plead before the Senate to intervene with Naboo's crisis.

On Coruscant, Qui-Gon informs the Jedi Council of the mysterious attacker he encountered on Tatooine, coming to the conclusion that his attacker is a Sith , the latter being a religious order who were followers of the dark side of the Force and thought to have been extinct for over a millennium, much to the shock of the Jedi Council. Qui-Gon also informs the Council about Anakin, hoping that he can be trained as a Jedi. After testing the boy and deliberating with one another, the Council refuses, deeming him too old for training according to the Jedi Code . They are also concerned that they sense much fear in the boy, and that he has a clouded future.

Meanwhile, Senator Palpatine meets with Queen Amidala to warn of corruption in the Senate and advises that she may have to call for a Vote of No Confidence in Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum. When their petition to the Senate is refused, Amidala sees no alternative but to do just that. Palpatine is among the candidates to become the new Supreme Chancellor. The queen later announces to Palpatine that she will return to their home planet to repel the invasion of her people by herself. She is frustrated by the Senate's deliberation and lack of action, and feels that even if Palpatine is elected Chancellor, it will be too late. The Jedi Council sends the two Jedi to accompany the queen back to Naboo, hoping to shed light on any Sith involvement.

Nass on Sacred Place

Boss Nass at the Gungan Sacred Place

Amidala, back on Naboo, attempts to locate the Gungans at Otoh Gunga, but Jar-Jar, after searching the city, informs them that it has been abandoned. He then leads them to the Gungan Sacred Place , where he is certain the Gungans will be . The Gungans are initially distrustful, until the "handmaiden" Padmé reveals herself as the true queen and humbly begs for their help. She negotiates with Boss Nass to form an alliance and unite their peoples in battle against the Trade Federation. Captain Panaka and several other security forces were also dispatched to rescue anyone imprisoned in the Trade Federation's prison camps, although they were only able to successfully extract a handful.

Next, Amidala informs Qui-Gon and Nass of her battle strategy: with the Grand Gungan Army acting as a distraction to the bulk of the main Trade Federation forces, the Naboo resistance led by herself, Captain Panaka and the Jedi will infiltrate Theed via a secret entrance located inside one of the waterfalls. Nute Gunray, hearing reports of the Grand Army's assembly, informs Darth Sidious; Sidious orders Gunray to wipe out both the Gungans and the Naboo as the Trade Federation prepares for battle.

Captain Roos Tarpals orders the Gungan Grand Army to activate their shield , which protects them from ranged attack. OOM-9 has his tanks fire first, but seeing them fail to penetrate the powerful shield, orders them to cease fire. Daultay Dofine gives the command to activate the battle droids. These droids march through the shield and open fire on the Grand Army, soon destroying the shield generator. As the tanks cause heavy casualties among the Gungans, defeat for the alliance seems imminent.

However, victory comes when young Anakin Skywalker accidentally takes control of an N-1 starfighter and goes on to destroy the Federation's Droid Control Ship from the inside, killing Daultay Dofine and rendering the droid army useless. Meanwhile, Amidala and her force fight their way back into the royal palace and capture Nute Gunray.


Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan fight Darth Maul during the Battle of Naboo.

At the same time, in a Theed hangar bay , Darth Maul engages in combat with the two Jedi, using his double-bladed lightsaber . The battle moves from the hangar, across a series of catwalks, to the Theed Generator Complex. During the fight, Obi-Wan is separated from his master by being kicked off of a catwalk. He grabs the edge of another catwalk below and jumps back up to where Qui-Gon and Maul continue to fight. By this time, Qui-Gon and Maul have become separated by a force field in the entrance to the Generator Room. Obi-Wan catches up to them, but is divided from his master by four force fields. When the force fields deactivate, Jinn and Maul continue their battle while Kenobi remains divided from the battle by one force field when they all reactivate.

After a lengthy duel, Maul suddenly stuns Qui-Gon by hitting him on the chin with his lightsaber handle, then rams his blade straight into Qui-Gon's torso, mortally wounding him. Devastated and angered, Obi-Wan redoubles his assault upon Maul and chops the Sith's lightsaber in half, but Maul eventually overpowers and nearly kills Kenobi by Force pushing him over the edge of a seemingly bottomless reactor shaft. Obi-Wan saves himself from falling when he manages to grab onto a pipe protruding from the wall of the shaft. Maul kicks the Jedi's lightsaber into the pit and prepares to finish him off. After Obi-Wan calms himself, he uses the Force to leap out of the shaft and over Maul's head while summoning his fallen master's lightsaber to his hand. He lands behind the surprised Maul and cuts him in half; Maul's upper and lower body fall into the shaft.

Obi-Wan reaches Qui-Gon moments before he dies, as Qui-Gon instructs Obi-Wan to train Anakin to become a Jedi, reiterating that Anakin is the Chosen One. Obi-Wan gives his word that he will. Qui-Gon dies, leading to Obi-Wan to grieve for his deceased master. The newly elected Chancellor Palpatine arrives to congratulate Queen Amidala on her victory, as Nute Gunray is sent to stand trial for his crimes.

Naboo celebration

The Gungans and the Naboo celebrate their victory.

Later, in a room in the queen's palace, Yoda confers upon Obi-Wan the rank of Jedi Knight. Kenobi argues with Yoda about his promise to Qui-Gon regarding Anakin's training. Yoda is convinced it is dangerous to train the boy, but tells Kenobi the Jedi Council has allowed Skywalker to become Kenobi's apprentice. Later that evening, in a temple in Theed, Qui-Gon's body is cremated , and Mace Windu and Yoda agree that the Sith are definitely to blame for the tragedy. As there are only ever two Sith at any given time (a Master and an apprentice), both Masters believe that one must still remain.

The Naboo and Gungans organize a great victory celebration on the streets of Theed, in front on the palace. Obi-Wan and Anakin are present, the younger now wearing formal Jedi attire, and in his hair is a special braid : the mark of a Jedi Padawan. The film ends with Queen Amidala presenting a gift of appreciation and friendship to Boss Nass and the Gungan people.

Development [ ]

Along the lines of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles , all three prequel films were originally intended to be written and shot as one large production, and released back to back. [4] The first draft of the script was begun November 1994 . [5]

The role of director was offered to Steven Spielberg , Ron Howard , and Robert Zemeckis. According to Howard, Lucas didn't necessarily want to direct Episode I. He further commented that all three directors turned down the position as the film was Lucas's "baby." [6] The budget of Menace was estimated $115 million. Shooting took place from June 26 to September 30 , 1997 . As with Star Wars : Episode IV A New Hope , Episode I's main exterior filming locations were in Tunisia . The podrace was filmed in a canyon near Sidi Bouhlel and Oung Jmel . A set was built near Oung Jmel to represent Mos Espa on Tatooine. The Slave Quarters Row were filmed in ksour's near Tataouine and Ksar Medenine . Small parts were filmed in Royal Caserta Palace in Italy and Whippendell Woods in the United Kingdom , but Hever Castle was later cut. Studio work was mainly done at Leavesden Studios in the United Kingdom. [7]

Unlike the latter two films in the series which were shot on digital video , most of this film was shot in 35 mm, with a few scenes shot in digital video. [5]

This episode was also the first of the saga to be referred to primarily by its number ( Episode One ) by media and fans, in contrast to the original trilogy the public already knew. [ source? ]

Release [ ]


One of the most popular marketing posters for the film

The Phantom Menace was the first Star Wars film in 16 years. As a result, there was almost unprecedented interest amongst both fans and the wider public in the revival of the franchise. The film received enormous media-created hype, which made Lucasfilm's $20 million advertising campaign—with the distinctive artwork of Star Wars series artist Drew Struzan gracing the movie poster and other advertising—seem modest and almost unnecessary. Few film studios released films during the same week as the release of The Phantom Menace ; among the more courageous were DreamWorks and Universal Studios , with the releases of The Love Letter and Notting Hill respectively. The Love Letter was a box-office flop, whereas Notting Hill fared rather well and followed The Phantom Menace closely in second place. [8] Challenger, Grey & Christmas of Chicago, a work-issues consulting firm, estimated that 2.2 million full-time employees did not appear for work to attend the film, resulting in $293 million in lost productivity. The Wall Street Journal reported that such a large number of workers announced plans to view premiere screenings that many companies shut down on the premiere day. [9] Many fans began waiting outside cinema theaters as early as a month in advance of ticket sales. [10]

More theatre lines appeared when it was announced that cinemas were not allowed to sell tickets in advance until two weeks into the release. This was done out of fear that family theatre-goers would either be unable to receive tickets or would be forced to pay higher prices. Tickets were instead to be sold on a traditional first-come-first-serve basis. [11] However, after meetings with the National Association of Theatre Owners , Lucasfilm agreed to allow advance ticket sales on May 12 , 1999 , provided that there be a 12-ticket limit per customer. [12] As a result, however, some advance tickets were sold by " scalpers " as high as $100 apiece, which a distribution chief called "horrible," stating it was exactly what they wanted to avoid. [13] Daily Variety reported that theatre owners received strict instructions from Lucasfilm that the film could only play in the cinema's largest auditorium for the first 8–12 weeks; no honor passes were allowed for the first eight weeks, and they were obligated to send their payments to distributor 20th Century Fox within seven days. [14] Servers at the film's official website became gridlocked soon after the release of the first teaser trailer , [15] and many fans of the series paid full admission to see Meet Joe Black only to leave after the trailer had run. The same tradition followed months later when the theatrical trailer was featured in front of Wing Commander . [16] The theatrical trailer caused even more notable media hype, because it not only premiered in theaters, but screened at the ShoWest Convention in Las Vegas , and was aired on television on Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood . [17] An unusual marketing scheme was pursued across the United Kingdom , where the teaser trailer was released on December 2 , 1998 and then pulled from theaters six weeks later. [18]

Despite worries about whether the film would be finished in time, two weeks prior to its debut Lucasfilm pushed the release date up from May 21 to May 19 of 1999. At the ShoWest Convention, Lucas stated that the change was to give the fans a "head start" by allowing them to view it over the week and allowing families the chance to view on the weekends. In a nod toward his future with digital technology, Lucas stated that the film would be released on four digital projectors on June 18 , 1999. [19] Eleven charity premieres were staged across the United States on May 16 , 1999; proceeds from the Los Angeles event were given to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation with corporate packages available for $5,000–$25,000. [20] Other charity premieres included the Dallas premiere for Children's Medical Center , the Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research at the Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York, the Big Brother/Sister Assn. of the Philadelphia premiere, and the Children's National Medical Centre in Washington D.C. A statement said that tickets were sold at $500 apiece and that certain sections were set aside for disadvantaged children. [21]

Merchandise [ ]

Soundtrack [ ].

Two separate soundtracks were released for The Phantom Menace . One, a traditional soundtrack, contained seventeen tracks of selections from the score. The second, an Ultimate Collector's Edition Soundtrack, compiled the score as it was presented in the film (with several minor alterations) in sixty-eight tracks.

Major musical themes and leitmotifs were introduced in the film, including the droid march , " Duel of the Fates ," Qui-Gon's Theme , " The Adventures of Jar Jar ," Darth Maul's Motif , Anakin's Theme , Shmi's motif , " The Flag Parade ," " Escape from Naboo ," and the " Symponik Nabooalla ."

During the credits at the end of the film, young Anakin's theme is heard playing, but during the last moments of the film, this theme morphs into the first few notes of the Darth Vader theme during the Imperial March , and, as the last logos of THX are scrolling by, three rasping breaths from Vader's respirator can be heard, referencing Anakin's eventual change into Darth Vader.

Novelization [ ]

A novelization of the movie was written by Terry Brooks . It includes three entire chapters of material created by Brooks and unique to the novel. The first two chapters of the book concern Anakin's next-to-last podrace and its aftermath, while a later chapter describes an encounter between Anakin and a wounded Tusken Raider in the desert.

Brooks met with Lucas before writing the book and received his approval and guidance, including information about developments to come in Episodes II and III. This can be seen in such passages as the Tusken Raider scene, which ironically foreshadows the death of Anakin's mother in Episode II, and the passage leading up to Anakin's fight with the Rodian child Greedo , indicating that Anakin's anger derives from his anguish at Padmé's impending departure (foreshadowing the plot of Episode III).

The novelization is especially well known for a passage describing the history of the Sith, including Darth Bane . According to Terry Brooks' memoir, Sometimes the Magic Works , Lucas spent an hour on the telephone with him discussing the history of the Jedi and the Sith. Therefore, the information on this subject provided in Brooks' novelization might derive from Lucas himself. The novelization is also the first mention of the Stark Hyperspace War .

Brooks devotes an entire chapter of Sometimes the Magic Works to the writing of the Episode I novelization, which he claims to have been an extremely happy and fulfilling experience.

Home video [ ]


The Phantom Menace on DVD

The film was first released on VHS on April 4, 2000. There was a normal fullscreen release, and a widescreen collector's box set . The widescreen VHS contains an exclusive documentary titled "Filmmaking Has Turned A Corner." In addition the collector's set contains an excerpted version of The Art of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and a set of film cells from a scene in the film.

Star Wars : Episode I The Phantom Menace was the first Star Wars film to be officially released on DVD . This two-disc DVD was released on October 16, 2001.

The DVD features a commentary track by Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, editor Ben Burtt , animation director Rob Coleman , and visual effects supervisors John Knoll , Dennis Muren , and Scott Squires . It includes seven deleted scenes completed specifically for the DVD, and The Beginning: Making Episode I , an hour-long documentary film drawn from more than 600 hours of footage, including an insider's look at Lucasfilm and ILM during the production. The viewer can access a multi-angle storyboard-to-animatic-to-film segment featuring the submarine and podrace lap 1 sequences. The DVD includes two documentary sources, five featurettes exploring the storyline, design, costumes, visual effects, and fight sequences in the film, and an award-winning twelve-part web documentary series chronicling the production. The Duel of the Fates music video featuring John Williams was included on the DVD as well. The final special features included are a never-before-seen production photo gallery with a special caption feature, theatrical posters and print campaigns from around the world, a theatrical teaser and launch trailers, seven TV spots, Star Wars: Starfighter - The Making of a Game featurette from LucasArts , and a DVD-ROM weblink to exclusive Star Wars content.

The DVD became the fastest-selling DVD ever in the US, after 2.2 million copies were sold in its first week after release. [22] However, some reviewers criticized the DVD for the excessive use of edge enhancement that degraded the DVD's picture quality. [23]

At the DVD press conference for Revenge of the Sith , prequel trilogy animation director Rob Coleman confirmed that the animation department at Lucasfilm had replaced the Yoda puppet from the original version of the film with a digital Yoda. This was done to better match up the look of the Yoda from The Phantom Menace with that of the other two films of the prequel trilogy, as well as with the Yoda from the original trilogy. This change has been, for the most part, welcomed by fans, in contrast to the original puppet Yoda as seen in The Phantom Menace .

A preview of these changes can be viewed on the Revenge of the Sith DVD that was released on November 1, 2005. The clip is included as part of "The Chosen One" featurette. However, when Coleman announced the change, he didn't specify when the revised version of The Phantom Menace would be released. [24]

The Phantom Menace was re-released along with Episodes II–VI on Blu-ray in September 2011 . [25] For this release, the film went through a restoration process which restored the picture to its full frame (offering around 8% more picture than its DVD release). The Blu-ray release was also marked by the replacement of the puppet for the CGI model of Yoda used in Star Wars : Episode III Revenge of the Sith , as well as a few corrections of visual effects and technical errors.

On April 7 , 2015 , the Walt Disney Studios, 20th Century Fox, and Lucasfilm jointly announced the digital releases of the six released Star Wars films. As Lucasfilm had retained digital distribution rights to Episodes I thru III and V thru VI, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released The Phantom Menace for digital download on April 10 , 2015. [26]

Despite the Walt Disney Company's 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm Ltd. and the release rights to all future Star Wars films, Fox was to retain original distribution rights to Star Wars : Episode IV A New Hope , which they co-produced and co-financed, in perpetuity in all media worldwide. Fox was also to retain theatrical, nontheatrical, and home video rights worldwide for the franchise's five subsequent films, which Lucasfilm produced and financed independently, through May 2020 , at which time ownership was to transfer to Disney. This complex relationship between Fox and Disney, particularly in regards to Fox's perpetual rights to Episode IV, was to create an obstacle for any future boxed set comprising all nine films. [27] On December 14 , 2017 , The Walt Disney Company announced that it was acquiring most of Fox's parent company, 21st Century Fox , including the film studio and all distribution rights to A New Hope . [28] On March 20 , 2019 , the deal was officially completed. [29] On April 12 , 2019, a Blu-ray box set containing the nine main instalments of the Star Wars saga remastered in 4K was reportedly announced to be in development for a 2020 release. [30]

3D re-release [ ]

Episode I 3D poster

Official poster for The Phantom Menace 3D release

On September 28 , 2010 , StarWars.com and Lucasfilm announced that the entire Star Wars saga would be converted to stereoscopic 3D and re-released in theaters and IMAX 3D, beginning with Episode I . John Knoll and Industrial Light & Magic are supervising the conversion. [31] The stereo conversion process has been in the works for several years, however, with George Lucas showing tests of the Episode II speeder chase scene and a reel from Episode IV in 3D during 2005's ShoWest in Las Vegas, and the speeder chase scene was demoed again by Texas Instruments as an emerging technology at SIGGRAPH 2007 in San Diego.

Episode I's 3D release date, as announced by Lucasfilm on March 3 , 2011 , was February 10 , 2012 . [32]

On January 28 , 2013 , Lucasfilm announced that the 3D releases of Star Wars : Episode II Attack of the Clones and Star Wars : Episode III Revenge of the Sith were postponed. [33]

Reception [ ]

Critical and fan reaction ranged from high praise to outright derision. The much-hyped special effects, while generally viewed as groundbreaking in their sheer scope, were perhaps less impressive than anticipated simply because of high expectations. This attitude was confirmed with the rival film, The Matrix , winning the visual effects Academy Award for that year over The Phantom Menace . It was the first time a Star Wars film lost in that Oscar competition category. Many critics heavily criticized the acting of Natalie Portman and especially Jake Lloyd as the young Anakin Skywalker. Some aspects of the scripting and direction were also criticized. Extra venom was directed at the character of Jar Jar Binks , who was regarded by some fans as purely a merchandising opportunity rather than a serious character in the film. Fan reaction was mixed too, with some fans praising the film while others having a negative opinion of it.

However, despite some of the negative criticisms leveled at the film, many others gave praise to The Phantom Menace . William Arnold, of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer , commented that the massive of hype of the film may have caused much of the negative reaction to the film, saying "it built expectations that can't possibly be matched and scuttled element of storytelling surprise." He also felt "it's well made and entertaining" and believed it was much better than similar box-office fare released around that time period, such as The Mummy and The Matrix . [35] David Cornelius of efilmcritic.com remarked that the better moments of the film "don't merely balance out the weaker ones- they topple them." [36] Roger Ebert gave the film three and half out of four stars, calling it "an astonishing achievement in imaginative filmmaking," and stating that "Lucas tells a good story." Ebert comments that it was perfectly fine for the characters to be a bit less compelling, seeing that they were just being introduced, and stating to "give me transparent underwater cities and vast hollow senatorial spheres any day." [37] Mark Dinning labels The Phantom Menace "A great work from a great director, and a blockbuster of quite the most swashbuckling kind." Many fans and critics also agree that the lightsaber duel between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul—showcasing astounding choreography and Ray Park 's martial arts skills—is a high point, and one of the best lightsaber duels in the Star Wars saga. [38]

The film was nominated for three Academy Awards —Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, and Best Sound Effects; however, it lost to The Matrix in all three categories. The film won Best Motion Picture at the People's Choice Awards. It was also nominated for the Saturn Awards on the categories of Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director (George Lucas), Best Actor (Liam Neeson), Best Supporting Actor (Ewan McGregor), Best Young Actor (Jake Lloyd), Best Young Actress (Natalie Portman), Best Supporting Actress (Pernilla August), Best Screenplay (George Lucas), Best Music (John Williams), Best Special Effects and Best Makeup. It won on the categories of Best Costume Design (Trisha Biggar) and Best Special Effects. [39]

Deleted scenes [ ]

  • The Waterfall Sequence —As Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Jar Jar arrive in the waterways of Theed, in the bongo, they surface just in front of a huge waterfall and have to vacate the vehicle in a hurry.
  • Dawn Before the Podrace —Anakin gets up early to prepare the pod for the race and has a brief chat with Padmé.
  • Complete Podrace Grid Sequence —This scene shows more of the participating racers and creatures in the crowd, later added on DVD.
  • Extended Podrace Lap Two —This lap shows some more of Sebulba's "creative interpretation of the rules" and further proof of just how special Anakin is, later added on DVD.
  • Anakin's Scuffle With Greedo —This was due to follow the podrace, to show Anakin's potential for aggression, but George Lucas cut it because he wanted Anakin to be shown as a genuinely good character who turns evil later in adulthood.
  • Farewell to Jira —This occurs as Qui-Gon and Anakin are leaving Mos Espa and Anakin stops briefly to say goodbye to Jira. One of Darth Maul's probe droids follows them for some time until Qui-Gon finally notices and destroys it before passing by the Dusty Duck .
  • The Air Taxi Sequence —The taxi ride shows us about ten more seconds of Coruscant, later added on DVD.

The Waterfall Sequence

Credits [ ]

Appearances [ ].

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Droid models

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Canon events

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Canon locations

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Organizations and titles

Canon organizations and titles

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Sentient species

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Vehicles and vessels

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Weapons and technology

Canon technology

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Canon miscellanea

Legends miscellanea

Sources [ ]

Notes and references [ ], external links [ ].

Wikiquote logo

  • Star Wars : Episode I The Phantom Menace on Box Office Mojo (archived from the original on June 30 , 2020 )
  • Star Wars : Episode I The Phantom Menace on Rotten Tomatoes (archived from the original on August 10 , 2020 )


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Filed under:

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  • ‘Star Wars: Episode 1–The Phantom Menace’ Is the Most Important Movie of 1999. Seriously.

Derided in its time and savaged over the years, George Lucas’s first prequel was a strange, if inevitable innovation: the cinematic origin story for an advanced pop figure. And an inauguration of a glorious future. Maybe making Darth Vader cuddly wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

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why is star wars 1 called the phantom menace

Welcome to 1999 Movies Week, a celebration of one of the best years in film history. Throughout the week, The Ringer will highlight some of the year’s best, most interesting films, and in this series, make the case for why a specific movie deserves to be called that year’s best. Next up is Star Wars: Episode 1–The Phantom Menace , George Lucas’s much-maligned first prequel.

The Phantom Menace really does begin with a bug-eyed alien speaking, in a mock-Japanese accent, about a commercial trade dispute. It all begins—it really does begin—with Obi-Wan Kenobi (!) and Qui-Gon Jinn (?) sitting down for tea together as a craft-services droid tries to murder them.

The aliens—a Neimoidian consortium known as the Trade Federation—launch a blockade over Naboo, a wealthy planet that the Trade Federation plans to invade. The Galactic Senate dispatches the two Jedi to mediate the dispute between the Trade Federation and Naboo. The mock-Japanese accents, as reprehensible as they are, get me thinking about the Japanese invasion of Manchuria: In September 1931, the Kwantung Army fabricated a Chinese nationalist attack on a Japanese railway in order to deceive the League of Nations about their subsequent invasion of the Chinese mainland. In The Phantom Menace , the Trade Federation misleads the Galactic Senate to obscure the Neimoidian invasion of Naboo. George Lucas’s turning a 20th-century atrocity into a movie about intergalactic tariffs, but then turning the movie about intergalactic tariffs into a movie about underage romance, minstrel rabbits, and motorsports: It’s such a perfectly George Lucas thing to do.

Naboo’s monarchy resolves the planet’s sovereignty crisis by dispatching a precocious 10-year-old boy to blow up the Trade Federation’s doughnut-shaped space station with his slick, silver gunship. (The Japanese occupation of Manchuria ended with the U.S.’s nuking two cities and the Soviets’ routing the Kwantung Army.) The boy Anakin Skywalker would become Darth Vader. The boy Jake Lloyd, who played Anakin Skywalker, would become a pariah. So, too, would George Lucas.

The Phantom Menace was maligned in its time, and it goes disparaged in posterity, if only because The Phantom Menace launched the long and infamous phase when Star Wars , a cherished saga, kinda sucked. There’s a United Nations subcommittee and a Hague tribunal dedicated to resolving our planet’s grief about these movies, which demystified so many lofty concepts and characters while disgracing several actors. Natalie Portman, Ewan MacGregor, and Liam Neeson survived the prequels, but George Lucas, Jake Lloyd, and Ahmed Best may never live them down. In May 1999, The Phantom Menace nearly cauterized Star Wars as a 20th-century phenomenon that incinerated upon contact with the 21st. The Star Wars prequels are, in sum, quite bad, though bad for reasons that largely exceed The Phantom Menace in particular. Attack of the Clones is a script-and-acting disaster in its own right; and Revenge of the Sith , a better-designed drama, struggles to overcome soap opera stasis in pursuit of a substantial, tragic conclusion. It’s more fun to overthink Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith , and to argue about those movies, than to sit down and actually watch the young Obi-Wan Kenobi investigate a rainy, gray planet for several consecutive minutes or Yoda and Mace Windu discuss various emergencies with all the urgency and passion of a C-SPAN interview. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith disgraced The Phantom Menace far more than The Phantom Menace disgraced itself.

But The Phantom Menace is, and has always been, better than the Phantom Menace discourse. It’s a bonkers movie that dared to transform one of fiction’s great monsters, Darth Vader, into a fun-loving, freewheeling dumbass who suffers no chaperones. The Phantom Menace enlists Portman to play an undercover queen who, as a minor subplot, must occasionally pretend to be a hand servant while trading places with a body double (played by Keira Knightley). The movie also requires Portman to speak in a stiff, formalistic diction that counterintuitively allows her to address the byzantine political intrigue with some memorable conviction. The original trilogy presented the Sith and Jedi knights as, well, knights, and then Lucas transformed these mortal enemies into dueling glow-stick ballerinas. The Phantom Menace is far more simplistic and delightful than the later two prequel movies, starring the older, moodier Hayden Christensen, would allow. Anakin Skywalker—as played by Lloyd—is the heart, if not the star, of this movie about diplomacy, lineage, and duty. The Phantom Menace was a strange, if inevitable innovation: the cinematic origin story for an advanced pop figure. The Phantom Menace sure was something to watch.

The movie’s many demerits—the minstrel accents, the Gungans, the battle droids, the doughnut ship, the Battle of Naboo, the Jedi Council—they’re all so prominent in the earliest Phantom Menace trailer; and the earliest Phantom Menace trailer was nonetheless exciting. There was a time—a prerelease window—when Lloyd cut an enigmatic figure. There was a time, I shit you not, when Lucas was unambiguously proud to introduce Jar Jar Binks to Star Wars fandom. Ceremoniously, The Phantom Menace marked the end of George Lucas’s harassing Star Wars fans with nothing but “special edition” edits to the original trilogy. For 16 years, Star Wars fans rationed fan fiction and Super Nintendo adaptations. The original movies raised a generation of science-fantasy obsessives, and so, too, did the inexhaustible glut of toys, games, and paperbacks inspired by the original trilogy. Finally, the prequels cultivated a second generation. There was new Star Wars , courtesy of Lucas, who, at last, spared no expense.

The Phantom Menace inaugurated peak fandom—a century so far defined by maximum serialization. The Phantom Menace is a rough and fumbling movie; it’s also a glorious movie, which we are, in some sense, always watching. For better or worse, George Lucas taught everyone else how to make movies, and how to watch movies, in the age of sprawling blockbuster fandom. The Phantom Menace endures as influence, despite all its own humiliations. To watch it now is to see the new century in fantasy blockbusters and Marvel origin stories flashing before your eyes, a dismal past and a joyous present, childhoods ruined, box offices demolished despite good sense, critical dissent, and fan backlash. Through Lucas’s countless apprentices, the empire endures.

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

  • Two Jedi escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who may bring balance to the Force, but the long dormant Sith resurface to claim their original glory.
  • When the Trade Federation organize a blockade around the planet Naboo, the Supreme Chancellor Valorum sends the Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi to negotiate the end of the blockade. However the evil Viceroy Nute Gunray is ordered to kill the Jedi and invade Naboo. However the Jedi escape and Qui-Gon saves the life of the clumsy Gungan Jar Jar Binks. The outcast native takes the Jedi to his submerged city and the Gungan leader gives transportation to them. The Jedi head to the capital to warn Queen Amidala about the invasion. However she has been captured by the Federation droids but the Jedi rescue the queen and her court and they flee in a spacecraft that is damaged when they cross the blockade. They land on a desert planet and Qui-Gon Jinn goes to the town with Jar Jar, the droid R2-D2 and the queen's assistant Padmé to seek the necessary part for the spacecraft. When they find the component, they do not have money to buy it. But the slave boy Anakin Skywalker offers to dispute a race with his pod to raise the necessary money. Qui-Gon feels the Force in the boy and accepts his offer. Will the boy win the race? What will happen to Naboo? Will Queen Amidala be capable to convince the politicians to release her planet from the Trade Federation? — Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • While the ruthless Trade Federation ravage the peaceful planet of Naboo, Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi Wan Kenobi are sent to rescue and protect the young Queen Amidala, who is determined to convince the Senate to help her restore peace to her home. Escaping to the planet Tatooine, the Jedi come across an eager slave boy named Anakin Skywalker who dreams of becoming a Jedi. What they don't know however is that they are being used in a sinister plot by the mysterious Sith, hiding deep in the shadows. — Blazer346
  • Jedi knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi find themselves embroiled in a galactic trade dispute that hides a more sinister agenda. During their mission, they encounter a young slave named Anakin Skywalker on the desert planet of Tatooine. Anakin shows an extraordinary affinity for the Force, the mystical energy that empowers Jedi, leading Qui-Gon to believe he might be the Chosen One, a figure destined to bring balance to the Force. As they try to navigate the political turmoil and dangers of the galaxy, they end up on the planet Naboo. There, they meet Queen Amidala, who seeks help to free her people from the oppressive Trade Federation. As they work together, young Anakin joins them on their quest, showcasing his extraordinary piloting skills and unbridled enthusiasm. But a dark shadow looms - the Sith, ancient enemies of the Jedi, have returned. Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord, manipulates events from the shadows, using his apprentice, Darth Maul, to sow chaos and discord. — Evan Almindo
  • When the evil Trade Federation plots to take over the peaceful planet of Naboo, Jedi warrior Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi embark on an amazing adventure to save the planet. With them on their journey is the young Queen Amidala, Gungan outcast Jar Jar Binks, and the powerful Captain Panaka, who will all travel to the faraway planets of Tatooine and Coruscant in a futile attempt to save their world from Darth Sidious, leader of the Trade Federation, and Darth Maul, the strongest Dark Lord of the Sith to ever wield a lightsaber. — Anchorhead <[email protected]>
  • The opening crawl reveals that the Trade Federation, led by its viceroy, Nute Gunray, has blockaded the planet of Naboo in hope of resolving a galactic trade dispute. Chancellor Valorum (Terence Stamp) of the Galactic Republic, sends Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) on a secret mission to meet with the Trade Federation to settle the crisis. Unknown to them, the Trade Federation is in league with the mysterious Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who orders them to invade Naboo with their immense droid army and also to kill the two Jedi. Following a failed attempt to force their way into Gunray's command center, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan escape and flee to the surface of Naboo, where they meet local Gungan outcast Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best). As Jar Jar brings them to an underwater Gungan settlement, the Trade Federation captures Naboo's leader, Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman). Through a Jedi mind trick, Qui-Gon secures a submarine, which he, Obi-Wan, and Jar Jar use to reach the capital of Naboo and rescue Queen Amidala and her escort. The group departs for Coruscant, the Galactic Republic's capital planet, to seek help from the Senate. During the escape, the ship is attacked by the Federation blockade, forcing R2-D2, one of the ship's droids, to fix the shields. The attack damages the ship's hyperdrive, forcing the party to land on the desert planet of Tatooine for repairs. While searching for needed parts, Qui-Gon and a handmaiden named Padmé befriend young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), a nine-year-old human slave gifted in piloting and mechanics. Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force in Anakin, and feels that he may be the "Chosen One" an individual the Jedi believe will fulfill a prophecy by bringing balance to the Force. At Anakin's insistence, Qui-Gon enters Anakin in the Boonta Eve Podrace in a bid with Anakin's master, Watto, to gain the needed parts and Anakin's freedom. Anakin eludes several obstacles including rival racer Sebulba to win the race, gaining his freedom and bankrupting Watto. After hesitation, Anakin leaves his mother and his droid, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), behind on Tatooine to go with the Jedi. As the group prepares to depart, they are attacked by the Sith apprentice Darth Maul (Ray Park), who battles Qui-Gon until the heroes escape. On Coruscant, Qui-Gon informs the Jedi Council of the mysterious, well-trained attacker. The Council becomes concerned that this may indicate the reappearance of the Sith, an opposing order that followed the dark side of the Force and had long ago disappeared. Qui-Gon informs the Council about Anakin, hoping that he can be trained as a Jedi. After testing the boy the Council refuses, worried that he is too old for training and that the fear and anger that he harbors will cloud his future. Meanwhile, Senator Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) of Naboo persuades Amidala to call a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Valorum. The vote removes Valorum from power and leads to Palpatine's nomination for the position, which Amidala considers too late to be effective. To stop the Federation invasion by herself, the Queen decides to return to Naboo with her security team, the two Jedi, R2-D2, Anakin, and Jar Jar. On Naboo, Padmé reveals herself as Queen Amidala and forms an alliance with the Gungans for the battle against the Trade Federation. The Gungans march into battle to divert the Federation army away from the capital, allowing the others to infiltrate the palace. Once inside the palace hangar, the Jedi free several Naboo pilots, who regain their starfighters and assault the Federation droid ship. As they make their way to the throne room, the infiltration team is confronted by Darth Maul. Qui-Gon and Obi Wan engage Maul while the others take an alternate route. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan duel with the Sith Lord amongst the catwalks of a massive power-generating reactor core. Obi-Wan is briefly delayed, separating him from Qui-Gon and Maul. Meanwhile, Queen Amidala and her forces fight their way into the palace and capture Nute Gunray, Viceroy of the Trade Federation. Anakin - who inadvertently joined the dogfight in space - destroys the droid-control ship's reactor with proton torpedoes, which deactivates the droid army in the midst of taking Gungan prisoners. In the reactor core, Qui-Gon re-engages Darth Maul singlehandedly, but is mortally wounded. Obi-Wan catches up with and defeats Maul in another intense lightsaber battle. With his final breath, Qui-Gon instructs Obi-Wan to train Anakin to become a Jedi. In the aftermath, the newly elected Supreme Chancellor Palpatine congratulates Queen Amidala on her victory and promises to watch Anakin's career with great interest. Meanwhile, the Jedi Council promotes Obi-Wan to the level of Jedi Knight, and Yoda reluctantly accepts Obi-Wan's request to train Anakin as his padawan. During Qui-Gon's funeral, Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and Yoda (Frank Oz) agree that the person who killed Qui-Gon must have been a Sith, but as the Sith are known to have only a master and an apprentice, they are unsure which was killed. A large celebration is held on Naboo to celebrate the world's liberation and the newborn alliance between the Naboo and the Gungans.

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Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Anthony Daniels, Liam Neeson, Jake Lloyd, Kenny Baker, Ahmed Best, and Ray Park in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

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  4. Why is the movie named 'Phantom Menace'? Who is the ...

    The Phantom Menace is referring to Phantom as in illusionary or delusionary or imagined. An overarching theme / idea in the Phantom Menace and the prequels is

  5. Star Wars' The Phantom Menace Title Explained: Who It Really Is

    As George Lucas explained in an interview with Vanity Fair, "The phantom menace is a character named Darth Sidious," who Lucas described as "the

  6. Star Wars: Episode I

    Lucas later revealed that the Phantom Menace title was a reference to Palpatine hiding his true identity as an evil Sith Lord behind the facade of a well-

  7. Star Wars: Episode I

    Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. 1999 American epic space opera film directed by George Lucas.

  8. Why was Episode 1 named "The Phantom Menace"? [duplicate]

    Bowen's Anticipation: The Real Life Story of Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace (2005), George Lucas has stated that the title is a

  9. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace

    Every saga has a beginning…Tagline Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace is a 1999 film written and directed by George Lucas, produced by Rick McCallum

  10. Why Star Wars

    99 votes, 13 comments. Star Wars: the Phantom Menace was the most impressive thing since Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

  11. 'Star Wars: Episode 1–The Phantom Menace' Is the Most Important

    ... called that year's best. Next up is Star Wars: Episode 1–The Phantom Menace, George Lucas's much-maligned first prequel. The Phantom Menace

  12. 'Star Wars: Episode I

    The Empire strikes out. There's a disturbance in the Force called hype, and "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace" doesn't begin to live up to

  13. Star Wars: Episode I

    Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace: Directed by George Lucas. With Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd. Two Jedi escape a hostile

  14. Star Wars: Episode I

    Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) - Plot summary, synopsis, and more...