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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,


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:
Original Release:
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


Customer Reviews

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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
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... a conspiracy is forged, a world engulfed in terror, a dark lord is rising, companions are devastated and alliances torn, a boy is about to confront his destiny, and a prophecy as old as the Jedi Order itself is about to be fulfilled. They say every saga has a beginning. This one is about to enshroud a galaxy. And, by the way, Qui-Gon is THE Jedi.
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 the best movie of 1999, and a great addition to the Star Wars Saga. Just seeing once is not enough, and when you see it, you'll know what I'm talking about.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is certinly one of the greatest of the saga. With the most stunning lightsaber duels in the entire series (Duel of the Fates - Darth Maul vs. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan which determines the fate of the Chosen One and concludes the life of the greatest of the Jedi), heartrending decisions of a young boy confronting his apparent destiny and powerful dreams while unwilling to sever his childhood, and fascinating insight into the trials and tribuations of young Obi-Wan Kenobi. Needless to say, Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor are phenemonal, and Episode I is good for Natalie Portman's first time. (She improves in the following episodes.) I admit, Jar Jar becomes rather irritating at times, yet his significance to the story is revealed in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. May the Force be with you, and remember, be mindful of the living Force!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy these movies they are all great and i enjoy them so much. Its very inspiring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Come on, this is Star Wars, it's a modern day classic, who couldn't love it? The Phantom Menace captures all the outstanding onscreen storytelling that made the original trilogy so great. While The Phantom Menace alone is a brilliant movie, full of laughs, drama and action, it is the full story that the Star Wars saga tells which makes it the best movie in cinematic history. This is but a bite of a bigger piece of cake, a chapter in a story that should be recorded in the history books. The final duel, I would have to say, is the highpoint of this film- many applauds to the actors, effect artists and most of all, the writer George Lucas on, not only that specific bit, but the entire series. This movie will take you into a world of imagination and when the story is done you'll find yourself sad that it's over, but not to worry, this is but the beginning! The saga tells a classic good vs. evil story, bringing to light the true corruption of darkness and the power good has to conquer it. If you have imagination, a childlike spirit and love the thrill of a good adventure, this is the movie for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To all movie lovers that haven't seen Starwars. You don't know what your missing. This is a must see. See the entire six episodes. Trust me you'll love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a well intended but drawn out movie. The kid who plays the young Darth hams up the screen with poor acting. Jar Jar is just plain annoying and over used. Great special effects highlight this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Episode 1 does not live up to the standard set by the orginaly trilogy... period. This film way over used computer generated effects and killed off a cool bad guy in Darth Maul a character who should have stuck around at least through Episode 2. The character of Jar Jar Binks was just plain bad... his childish antics went over the top and came off as silly and juvenile not funny at all. Another flaw was the robots used by the Trade Federation... weak and skinny and not really well thought out for bad guys to root against. Overall Lucas just got a little to childish with the humor and went too crazy with the Computer generated effects... some of the acting was very poor as well. Some good things about this film included a great peformance by Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi and a fantasic light saber duel between Qui Gon Jin, Obi Wan and Darth Maul. This DVD is part of my collection because I am a fan... but Episode 1 could have... and should have been better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did not think that I would like this episode as much as the first. George Lucas did I wonderful job and I could not wait for the rest of the episodes to come out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of Star Wars begins with Episode 1, and everybody you knew are young. Anakin Skywalker, soon to become Darth Vader, is a young boy, and Obi-Wan Kenobi is a learing apprentice! It tells you the whole story of your favorite characters' pasts. Darth Maul was awsome, and his his double bladed lightsaber and fight was cool! Jar Jar was hilarious! Star Wars Episode One is soon to become a classic!