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,

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.

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:
0024543000921
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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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
TheHalfBloodPrinceRises More than 1 year ago
amazing movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
While not a favorite, it has its moments. This was okay but not as good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 George Lucas intended the prequel trilogy to about Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan. But it turned out to be Palpatine's/Sidious's trilogy. This is the first of the Sith Trilogy. The beginning of how the Repubic fell. At the beginning Sidous has the trade federation blockading his home-world - Naboo. Intending to use the suffering of the Naboo people to remove Valorum and get himself elected Chancelor. Obi-Wan and his Master Qui-Gon arrive to force an end to the blockade. Sidious naturally wants them killed. They escape and reach the planet. They befriend a Gungan and eventually reach the Naboo capital. The Federation needed Queen Amidala to sign a treaty, to legalize their invasion. The jedi rescue her, and persuade her to seek senate aid on Coruscant. They break the blockade, and escape into hyperspace. Sidious sends his apprentice Darth Maul to track them. Maul finds them on Tatooine. Maul is eager to battle, to at last reveal the Sith to the Jedi. On Tatooine Qui-Gon finds a human boy, Anakin Skywalker, in whom the force is stronger than any Jedi. It's thanks to Anakin that they are able to repair their ship and return to Coruscant. Maul attacks and nearly prevents their escape, but fails. When Sidious learns Amidala has reached Coruscant he revises his plans, realizing that she could be convinced to call for a vote of none-confidence of Chancelor Valorum. That he could use to get himself, as Senator Palpatine, elected Chancelor. His revised plan is successful. Afterwards Amidala returns to Naboo. Where the trade federation's battle droids engage an army Gungans. The Jedi battle Maul. Maul kills Qui-Gon, and is then cut in half by Obi-Wan. Anakin guided by the force destroys control ship for the droid. army, and saves Naboo. Palpatine arrives on Naboo and greets Obi-Wan and Anakin. At the end Palpatine is chancelor, and Sidious is already coveting Anakin as his apprentice. Willing to be patient,he didn't need to claim Anakin at that point. Sidious let's Obi-Wan teach Anakin about the force. So when the time is right, all Sidious would need to do is teach him the Dark-Side.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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ThrillerReturns More than 1 year ago
amazing from begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ICPForever101 More than 1 year ago
this movie rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DarkLotusICP4life More than 1 year ago
in 1977 we had mark hamill harrison ford and carrie fisher in our present time now we have jake lloyd and hayden christen as anakin skywalker/darth vader this prequel trilogy is a joke george lucas proves that he is the worst director in hollywood
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Epic Star Wars prequel dazzled and amazed both young and old alike. The Phantom Menace had an interesting plot, some dazzling special effects, and some very interesting insight into the minds, and hearts of the characters. C3P0 was simply amazing, and as for the Pod Races, simply stunning. I would recommend this movie to absolutely anyone who wants to live the adventure one more time, or be lucky enough to just be able to see it for the first time. Congratulations to the cast and crew of this one. Leo Sieczka (www.jetleo.com)
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the Movie that sets up the story for the Star Wars saga, Episode One does an excellent job of telling the how it all began. Episode One expertly captures the saga not only with its' special f/x but also with the superior story by George Lucas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Star Wars Episode 1 would have been good if not for the un-needed comic relief of Jar Jar Binks. The story really has no real drama therefore there is no need for a jive talking alien. The movie is good but the story has to many side storys so you never really know what the main plot is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The long awaited movie was without a doubt worth every penny we spent to see it in the theater...7 times. the traditional ''star wars'' mentality was highly evident. THANK YOU LUCAS!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Computer effects, for all its advantages, has yet to fully convince the viewer of the portrail of reality. Especially with biological organisms, who's intricate movements are closely followed by computers. There is still a lack of a true feeling of ''weight'', no matter how much the ground shakes below the feet of a beast. And the battle scenes in Phantom Menace looked too much like a cartoon. the puppets and models of old, no matter how limiting, were much more convincing. As for the rest of the movie, I thought it was as empty as the effects, and lacking the substance of the first three. I give it two stars only because the kiddies seemed to like Jar Jar.
Guest More than 1 year ago
you must be a moron to rate this movie with only 2 stars. were you expecting lucas to breed alien species to create life-like creatures? i think he has done a fine job as always with the special effects. back off and never rate something so good so poorly again. we don't want your opinion ''mike''
Guest More than 1 year ago
A long time ago in a studio far far away with one tenth of the budget George Lucas spent on this film, he created Star Wars: A New Hope. Over 20 years later, Lucas brings us all the mystique, action, and intrigue in the classic battle of good and evil that we had come to expect from this once trilogical masterpiece. However, the facts are simple, and my rating I will explain, Episode I: The Phantom Menace I gave five stars, not so much for the movie as a whole, but for the premise that after 20 years I am willing to forgive Lucas for placing Jar Jar Binks in the entire movie. I pose an interesting question, can anyone honestly say that with Jar Jar out of the movie, this film would not have ran away with the Oscars? True, Lucas tries to cater to all audience by creating Jar Jar to lure children in, but Lucas should have stopped and thought at this interesting point; what would Return of the Jedi have been had the ewoks been in the entire movie? While the ewoks were cute and a valuable piece to the movie, over use of these characters would have been at the expense of a masterpiece. Same scenario with Phantom Menace, only we see the problem with a childish character in the entirety of the movie. However overall, the movie was excpetional, the fight scenes much more superior, and the mystique and power of the Jedi and Sith providing me with the promise that the Lucas will and already has learned so much so next two movies in 2002 and 2004 will surely rank in the upper echelon of movie history for generations to come as many of his movies have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie rocks................................................................. people with mullets give this a 5!!!!!!!! It gots good specil affects.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie, don't get me wrong. I see movies in a diffrent view. 1 wouldn't watch it. 2 wish I didn't watch it. 3 Good movie at the theaters, wouldn't own it. 4 Great movie want it for watching in the futur. 5 Excelent movie could never get tired of watching it. That's why it's a four out of five. Did a great job but it lacks what the other 3 had. To kiddy, but George Lucus has done what he has always done, made me want to ''know the rest of the story.'' can't wait for the next part. Glad he finally dicided to release at least one of his movies on DVD format. Maybe now I can collect the rest of his films. Must have movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Phantom Menace was a great movie. If you are a true Star Wars fan you would say the same thing and know it deserves a 5 star. It had all of the element of a great Star Wars movie. I know all of the Star Wars movies are 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an okay movie to start but i think Jar Jar Binks ruined it. He provided comic relief when none was needed, and took away from the whole film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've never seen a more anticipated DVD have this many quality extras before. The movie was great for the next generation of Star Wars fans and I liked what they were able to do to provide this awesome Extras package. I thought the video and sound transfer were great with maybe the lone exception of not having a DTS sound option. I still have more of the extras to see, but what I have seen so far with the Deleted Scenes and the Making of Feature is great...Really gives you a feel of what it really takes to make these movies! I am Glad Lucas finally has gone DVD. Now how about the First Trilogy!