Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace

4.0 80
Director: George Lucas

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman

     
 

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In 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars, the ultimate sci-fi popcorn flick-turned-pop-culture myth machine. It quickly became the biggest money-making film of all time and changed the shape of the film industry. After two successful sequels (1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi) that extended the story of the first film,See more details below

Overview

In 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars, the ultimate sci-fi popcorn flick-turned-pop-culture myth machine. It quickly became the biggest money-making film of all time and changed the shape of the film industry. After two successful sequels (1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi) that extended the story of the first film, Lucas took some time off to produce movies for others, with mixed success. In 1999, Lucas returned to the Star Wars saga with a new approach -- instead of picking up where Return of the Jedi left off, Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace would be the first of a trilogy of stories to trace what happened in the intergalactic saga before the first film began. Here, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is a young apprentice Jedi knight under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson); Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), who will later father Luke Skywalker and become known as Darth Vader, is just a nine-year-old boy. When the Trade Federation cuts off all routes to the planet Naboo, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are assigned to settle the matter, but when they arrive on Naboo they are brought to Amidala (Natalie Portman), the Naboo queen, by a friendly but opportunistic Gungan named Jar Jar. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan plan to escort Amidala to a meeting of Republic leaders in Coruscant, but trouble with their spacecraft strands them on the planet Tatooine, where Qui-Gon meets Anakin, the slave of a scrap dealer. Qui-Gon is soon convinced that the boy could be the leader the Jedis have been searching for, and he begins bargaining for his freedom and teaching the boy the lessons of the Force. The supporting cast includes Pernilla August as Anakin's mother, Terence Stamp as Chancellor Valorum, and Samuel L. Jackson as Jedi master Mace Windu. Jackson told a reporter before The Phantom Menace's release that the best part about doing the film was that he got to say "May the Force be with you" onscreen.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ben Wolf
Fans waited 16 years for this latest entry in George Lucas's epic space opera, and the payoff was big. Advances in digital imaging technology gave Lucas the tools to bring his most extraordinary visions yet to dramatic life. Episode I: The Phantom Menace -- an action-packed intergalactic adventure -- introduces an eye-popping parade of new aliens (such as loopy amphibian Jar Jar Binks) to populate future installments, as it begins the backstory to the phenomenally popular Star Wars trilogy. Brave Jedi Knights Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor join forces with young Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman) to save her civilization from invaders, setting the stage for political intrigues to come in future episodes. The film also sets sci-fi history in motion by bringing Queen Amidala face-to-face with prodigious Jedi-to-be Annakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), a sweet boy with the darkest of destinies. From its breathtaking Pod Race to the exhilarating light-saber battles with the villainous Darth Maul, The Phantom Menace dazzles with its technical wizardry and whets the appetite for Lucas's next adventure.
New York Times
Stripped of hype and breathless expectations, Lucas' first installment offers a happy surprise: it's up to snuff. It sustains the gee-whiz spirit of the series and offers a swashbuckling extragalactic getaway, creating illusions that are even more plausible than the kitchen-raiding raptors of Jurassic Park. Janet Maslin
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
As surely as Anakin Skywalker points the way into the future of Star Wars, so does The Phantom Menace raise the curtain on this new freedom for filmmakers. And it's a lot of fun.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/04/2000
UPC:
0024543000952
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
PG
Source:
20th Century Fox

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan Kenobi
Liam Neeson Qui-Gon Jinn
Natalie Portman Queen Amidala / Padme Naberrie
Jake Lloyd Anakin Skywalker
Pernilla August Shmi Skywalker
Frank Oz Yoda
Ian McDiarmid Senator Palpatine
Oliver Ford Davies Sio Bibble
Hugh Quarshie Captain Panaka
Ahmed Best Jar Jar Binks
Samuel L. Jackson Mace Windu
Ray Park Darth Maul
Ralph Brown Ric Olie
Terence Stamp Chancellor Valorum
Brian Blessed Boss Nass
Sofia Coppola Sache
Anthony Daniels C-3PO
Greg Proops Beed
Keira Knightley Decoy Queen
Kenny Baker R2D2

Technical Credits
George Lucas Director,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Trisha Biggar Costumes/Costume Designer
Gavin Bocquet Production Designer
Ben Burtt Sound/Sound Designer
Rob Coleman Special Effects
Robin Gurland Casting
Fred Hole Art Director
Industrial Light & Magic Animator,Special Effects
Tom Johnson Sound Mixer
John King Art Director
John Knoll Special Effects Supervisor
Rick McCallum Producer
Rod McLean Art Director
John Midgley Sound/Sound Designer
Dennis Muren Special Effects Supervisor
Shawn Murphy Sound Mixer
Christopher Newman Asst. Director
Gary Rydstrom Sound Mixer
Ben Scott Art Director
Scott Squires Special Effects Supervisor
David Tattersall Cinematographer
Peter Walpole Set Decoration/Design
John Williams [composer] Score Composer

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