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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace turns 25. Did you known these 10 facts about the sci-fi prequel?

Posted: January 5, 2024 | Last updated: January 5, 2024

The Force is certainly strong with this movie! ‘Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace’ turns 25 this year and George Lucas' prequel still divides fan opinion to this day. What do you know about the film that is the beginning of the Anakin Skywalker story?

May The Force be with you...

Liam Neeson in ‘The Phantom Menace’

Qui-Gon Jin didn’t exist

From planning the movie to its cinematic release, ‘The Phantom Menace’ was six years in the making. Lucas began to piece together a story for the movie, and what he wanted to achieve across his prequel trilogy, that being the tale of how Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker became the dreaded Darth Vader, in 1993, and began to write a script the following year.  The 'Star Wars' creator then commissioned concept art from Doug Chiang, with his work ranging from new aliens, spaceships and planets, many of which would be directly translated into the final movie.  It was only in 1997 that principal photography on ‘The Phantom Menace’ began, meaning there had been four years of pre-production, one of the longest in Hollywood.

It had a very long pre-production

Lucas initially wanted someone else to help bring his vision to life. The 79-year-old filmmaker initially offered the job to his good friend Steven Spielberg, with whom he had worked with on the ‘Indiana Jones’ movies, though he turned it down.  George also asked ‘Back to the Future’ director Robert Zemeckis and Willow’s Ron Howard to helm the picture, though they too insisted that he was the only man for the job.

George Lucas didn’t want to direct

From the very beginning of the saga, George Lucas took inspiration from real world conflicts and religions to create the basis of ‘Star Wars’, with a particular focus on American politics. That was no different for the fourth movie which depicted the beginning of the fall of a democracy into a totalitarian dictatorship. In fact, Senator Palpatine - played by Ian McDiarmid, who would later become the tyrannical Emperor - was based on former US President Richard Nixon. In the ‘Star Wars Archives Episodes I-III: 1999-2005’, George wrote: “He was a politician. Richard M. Nixon was his name. He subverted the senate and finally took over and became an imperial guy and he was really evil. But he pretended to be a really nice guy."

Chancellor Palpatine is based on Richard Nixon

At the time of shooting, 14-minute video masterpiece ‘Thriller’ was the most expensive promo ever made.  The video went over budget and eventually cost $900,000 to make.

Michael Jackson wanted to play Jar Jar Binks

Terance Stamp signed on to play Chancellor Valorum in the movie, but only agreed to do so because he wanted to work with Natalie Portman, who played Queen Amidala. Reflecting on the film, the actor - who was 60 at the time - said: “I must admit, I had a terrible crush on Natalie Portman."

Terance Stamp only wanted to work with Natalie Portman

As one of the most terrifying Sith Lords in the galaxy, Darth Maul took the fandom by storm when he debuted in ‘The Phantom Menace’, and its clear to see why. Everything about his design screams ‘evil’, but unfortunately, his voice didn’t match his ominous appearance.  Ray Park, who played the character, had a high, rural English accent that George Lucas decided wasn’t intimidating enough, so the director instead dubbed him with the voice of comedian Peter Serafinowicz.

Darth Maul dubbed

Every big blockbuster today has ‘The Phantom Menace’ to thank for revolutionising technology in Hollywood. George Lucas had the foresight to push the boundaries of what was possible in filmmaking in order to put what he could see in his mind’s eye onto the screen, and so researched and implemented as much CGI (computer-generated images) into his picture as possible. Reflecting on the technology, he said: “With CGI at my disposal, I knew I could do whatever I wanted.” Amazingly, around 1,950 shots in the movie have computer-generated effects, and contained the first wholly computer-generated live action characters and environments in cinematic history, such as Jar Jar Binks, Boss Nass and Watto.

A technological revolution

When the first trailer for ‘The Phantom Menace’ released in 1998, fans over the world were overcome with excitement. Within 24 hours, the two-minute clip had been downloaded over a million times on Apple iTunes, making it one of the most sought-after trailers at the time. Fans couldn’t get enough, and when the trailer began playing before screenings of ‘Meet Joe Black’, many would buy tickets to the movie just to watch the clip, and left before the movie even started.

Trailer excitement

Although it was mauled by critics and divided audiences, ‘The Phantom Menace’ is still regarded as one of the most successful movies of all time. On a budget of $115 million, the film banked $924.3 million on its first release in 1999, second only to James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’, before making a further $102.7 billion for its 3D re-run in 2012. The movie also received three Oscar nominations at the Academy Awards, though lost all of them to ‘The Matrix’.

A colossal box office success

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Star Wars - The Phantom Menace: What If Darth Maul Hadn't Killed Qui-Gon Jinn?

Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

While Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace isn’t one of the most critically beloved Star Wars movies (to put it lightly), there are enjoyable elements of it. For instance, Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon Jinn received a lot of positive reception, though sadly, we didn’t get to spend much time with him in a galaxy far, far away. During Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Kenobi duel against Darth Maul on Naboo, the Jedi Master was killed by the Zabrak Sith, but what if this battle had ended differently?

What if there was a timeline where Qui-Gon Jinn made it out of The Phantom Menace alive? That’s what we’re here to go over, as if Qui-Gon survives, a lot of the Star Wars mythology could unfold much differently. But first, let’s recap what happened to him in the main continuity.

What Happened When Qui-Gon And Obi-Wan Dueled Darth Maul

During the assault to retake Naboo from the Trade Federation, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi separated from Padme Amidala’s group to deal with Darth Maul, the apprentice of Darth Sidious, who was pulling the strings of the Federation’s leader, Nute Gunray, from behind the scenes. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were able to give Maul a run for his money together, but Qui-Gon had to fight the Sith alone when Obi-Wan got separated from the duel. Qui-Gon and Maul were evenly matched, but the latter hit the former with a well-timed strike from his lightsaber hilt, and with Qui-Gon’s guard down, Maul fatally stabbed him.

Qui-Gon Jinn clung to life long enough to have one last moment with Obi-Wan Kenobi after his apprentice sliced Darth Maul in half. He made Obi-Wan promise that he would train Anakin Skywalker as a Jedi, reiterating that the boy was the “Chosen One.” While that marked the end of his physical life, it was later revealed that Qui-Gon had discovered the secret to manifesting one’s consciousness after death, a power he taught Obi-Wan and Yoda, hence why they were able to appear as spirits in front of Luke Skywalker.

What If Qui-Gon Had Survived The Duel?

Despite only appearing in one movie, Qui-Gon Jinn left a notable impact on the Star Wars franchise, and the character’s spirit would later appear in a few episodes of The Clone Wars . But now let’s turn to that alternate timeline mentioned earlier, where Qui-Gon survived the duel against Darth Maul. Maybe he was able to dodge Maul’s blow and continue holding his ground until Obi-Wan Kenobi caught up with them. Maybe Obi-Wan never got separated from them in the first place and they kept a consistent barrage against Maul.

Either way, the duel would culminate in Maul being overwhelmed and defeated by both Jedi. Furthermore, rather than be dispatched in a way that still allows him to return and cause trouble years later (as he did in The Clone Wars and Rebels ), this Maul is actually killed during the duel, which makes for a nice bonus. And with the rest of the mission to free Naboo from Trade Federation control unfolding just like it does in the main timeline , that means Qui-Gon gets to join in on the planet’s celebration afterwards rather than be the center of attention at a funeral pyre.

Qui-Gon Trains Anakin

Since Qui-Gon Jinn is alive, that means he’s able to train Anakin Skywalker in the ways of the Force rather than Obi-Wan Kenobi (who we’ll get back to in a little bit). However, while the Jedi Council reluctantly agreed to have Obi-Wan train Anakin as a way to honor Qui-Gon’s last wish in the main timeline, with Qui-Gon still in the picture here, presumably they’re still unwilling to admit the boy into the Jedi Order, as he’s much older than when younglings are usually brought in.

It’s possible that the Jedi Order might have ended up changing its mind and allowed Qui-Gon Jinn to train Anakin Skywalker through official channels, but it’s more likely that Qui-Gon would have followed through on his ultimatum to leave behind the Jedi Order and instruct Anakin in his own special way. As such, while Qui-Gon and Anakin presumably would have maintained informal ties with certain Jedi allies, Qui-Gon would no longer be classified as a Master, and Anakin would never officially be classified as a Jedi.

Obi-Wan And Anakin Don’t Become Close

It was quite apparent during The Phantom Menace that Obi-Wan Kenobi was hardly enamored with Anakin Skywalker. He questioned why Qui-Gon Jinn brought them along for the rest of their mission in The Phantom Menace , and he only agreed to train the boy to fulfill his promise to his dying master. Yes, Anakin and Obi-Wan did end up forming a close, albeit strained bond, but if Qui-Gon survives the duel against Darth Maul and becomes Anakin’s master instead, then you can be sure Obi-Wan wouldn’t establish his own special bond with Anakin.

That’s not to say that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker would never meet again. Despite Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan’s differences, I imagine the two would maintain communication with one another even after Qui-Gon left the Jedi Order to train Anakin, and surely there would come a time where the three would all been together again. However, with Qui-Gon now busy training Anakin in his own unique way, and Obi-Wan being preoccupied with training a different apprentice and continuing to represent the interests of the Jedi Order, Obi-Wan and Anakin would be acquaintances at best in this timeline.

Anakin Resists The Pull Of The Dark Side

There were a variety of factors that contributed to Anakin Skywalker turning to the Dark Side and becoming Darth Vader, including him feeling stifled by the Jedi Order’s numerous restrictions. So Qui-Gon leaving the Order with Anakin is already a good step towards ensuring he stays with Team Light Side, but it goes further than that. During the second episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian , director/writer/executive producer Dave Filoni talked about how if Qui-Gon had survived , he would have trained Anakin differently than your standard Jedi. He would have taken a more fatherly approach with Anakin’s care than the brotherly approach the youth got with Obi-Wan, and that would have made all the difference in the world, as Anakin needed a father figure more than a brother.

It’s also worth pointing out that Anakin training under Qui-Gon means he probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with Padme Amidala again, or at least not nearly as soon as he did in the official timeline. The only reason Anakin was reunited with Padme is because he and Obi-Wan were called back to Coruscant at the beginning of Attack of the Clones to protect her from an assassination plot, which ignited their romantic relationship.

Even if Anakin kept thinking about Padme, and even on the slim chance they did run into each other again, he would have been able to handle his feelings towards her (or anyone person he was romantically attracted to) much more healthily thanks to Qui-Gon’s unorthodox tutelage, thus further steering him away from embracing the Dark Side. Of course, if Anakin and Padme don’t end up together, that means Luke and Leia aren’t born, but that’s an alternate scenario for another time.

Palpatine Is Defeated Before The Empire Rises

During his time on Coruscant training as a Jedi, Anakin Skywalker struck up a friendship with Chancellor Palpatine, who was secretly pulling the galaxy far, far away as Darth Sidious . Palpatine slowly cozied up to Anakin for over a decade, establishing trust with the youth so that he could one day recruit him as his new Sith apprentice. But if Qui-Gon Jinn takes Anakin away from the Jedi Order, then Palpatine isn’t able to sink his proverbial claws into the youth at a young age.

With Darth Maul still being gone and Count Dooku still serving Palpatine for approximately a decade in this scenario, one would imagine Palpatine is still able to ignite the Clone Wars as planned, thus throwing the Republic into a destructive conflict with the Confederacy of Independent Systems. However, with Anakin unavailable to groom as a loyal servant, Palpatine would have to improvise.

Maybe Palpatine would have found a different apprentice to take Count Dooku’s place, and maybe said apprentice would have been a powerful Force user. And honestly, even ignoring the devastation of the Clone Wars, considering that Palpatine inputted the Order 66 commands into the clone army from the start, it’s even possible that he still would have initiated that massacre like he did in the main timeline.

But with Anakin fully in the Light Side’s corner and thriving under Qui-Gon’s tutelage, Palpatine wouldn’t have been successful in bringing forth the Empire, let alone be able to lead it. It was clear in The Phantom Menace that Qui-Gon was better attuned to the threat of the Sith than the members of the Jedi Order, so in addition to leading Anakin down a better path, it’s also likely he would have spent the years following Darth Maul’s defeat investigating the Jedi’s ancient enemy, perhaps even sharing his findings with Obi-Wan so that he has the ear of at least one official Jedi.

This ultimately leads to Palatine’s being uncovered as the puppet master behind the Clone Wars sooner than how it went down in the main Star Wars continuity, and this time around, he doesn’t have Anakin Skywalker to serve him. Even on the off chance Palpatine manages to slay the group of Jedi that try to arrest him after the discovery is made, with Qui-Gon and Anakin opposing him, not to mention Obi-Wan and Yoda still being in play, the nefarious Sith Lord would be overpowered. That’s not to say that Qui-Gon still couldn’t be slain should he be part of a duel against Palpatine, but at least his death in this reality would be in service of preventing a tyrant from taking control of the galaxy.

Of course, this is just how I envision the aftermath of Qui-Gon Jinn surviving. Let us know what you think would happen if the Jedi Master lived past The Phantom Menace in the comments below, and keep checking in with CinemaBlend for all the latest Star Wars film and TV news.

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Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.

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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 [ ].

(audio)

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 fulfill 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.

Amidalabeforesenate

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.

DotF TPM

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 [ ]

EpIVaderShadowPoster-SWE

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 [ ]

Ep1DVD

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 [ ].

Canon characters

Legends characters

Canon organisms

Legends organisms

Droid models

Canon droids

Legends droids

Canon events

Legends events

Canon locations

Legends locations

Organizations and titles

Canon organizations and titles

Legends organizations and titles

Sentient species

Canon species

Legends species

Vehicles and vessels

Canon vehicles

Legends vehicles

Weapons and technology

Canon technology

Legends technology

Miscellanea

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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20 Timeless Quotes From Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

{:title=>"Characters + Histories", :url=>"https://www.starwars.com/news/category/characters-+-histories"}

20 timeless quotes from star wars: the phantom menace.

Kelly Knox

This month, we're celebrating the 20th anniversary of the film with 20 Episode I quotes for any occasion.

It’s the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace , and StarWars.com is celebrating  with the next best thing to a colorful parade in Theed! We've collected some of our favorite quotes from the film, which we still use today. Some contain wisdom from the incomparable Qui-Gon Jinn, some are winks at the original trilogy, while still others are just plain fun to say.

Here are our picks for 20 standout quotes from The Phantom Menace .

1. “But Master Yoda said I should be mindful of the future.”

“Not at the expense of the moment.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon’s calm teachings aren’t just for trade negotiations. His explanation of mindfulness is useful for anyone feeling nervous or anxious about what the future holds, not just his young Padawan.

2. “My Lord, is that legal?”

“I will make it legal.” – Nute Gunray and Darth Sidious

This early quote from Darth Sidious lets us know exactly who he is without having to say who he is. Endlessly scheming and always one step ahead of everyone else, you can’t help but admire Palpatine’s cunning as he plays the long game.

A scene from The Phantom Menace.

3. “You were right about one thing, Master. The negotiations were short.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

A little bit of Obi-Wan’s mischievous side comes out in this quote. Not only does it highlight his youthfulness on his last mission as a Padawan, it also reminds us of his sense of humor, which we get to see in bits and pieces later. “Hello there!”

Sio Bibble sits beside fellow council member Graf Zapalo in The Phontom Menace.

4. “A communications disruption could mean only one thing. Invasion.” – Sio Bibble

While little more than an ominous warning, this quote uttered in the Queen’s throne room stands out as it was featured in the first few moments of the popular trailer.

A scene from The Phantom Menace.

5. “The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon isn’t quite sure what to make of Jar Jar Binks when he meets the excitable Gungan, and this memorable line is a bit of a snub (even if it is also a fact).

6. “How rude. “ – Jar Jar Binks

This isn’t just a quote, it’s one of Jar Jar’s favorite things to say! It echoes C-3PO in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and reminds us that the hapless Jar Jar has feelings, too.

7. “There’s always a bigger fish.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

Like so many utterances from the Jedi Master, this quote has more meaning the more time you spend thinking about it.

A scene from The Phantom Menace.

8. “Are you an angel?” – Anakin Skywalker

Anakin, who doesn’t know much about the galaxy beyond the sands of Tatooine, innocently poses this question to his future wife the first time they meet. His first words to Padmé are almost unbearably sweet.

A scene from The Phantom Menace.

9. “What do you think, you’re some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that?” – Watto

This line almost always gets a laugh! The look on Qui-Gon’s face after Watto dismisses him with this comment is priceless.

10. “I can assure you they will never get me on one of those dreadful starships.” – C-3PO

This tongue-in-cheek joke is so ironic that you almost can’t resist groaning. Like Jar Jar, Threepio often finds himself right in the middle of where he doesn’t want to be, but he ends up playing an invaluable role.

11. “This is so wizard, Ani.” – Kitster

A certain host of The Star Wars Show might argue this is the best line in all of Star Wars . Use this quote any time you want to pay someone or something the ultimate compliment.

12. “You can’t stop the change, any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” – Shmi Skywalker

Another great quote for the times when you notice yourself feeling anxious about the future, Anakin’s mother reminds us all to be brave even when everything is about to change.

A scene from The Phantom Menace.

13. “I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee.” – Queen Amidala

Queen Amidala’s unwavering devotion to her planet is summed up in this one quote. Confronted with the massive bureaucracy of the Republic for the first time, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to save the people of Naboo, even if it means playing into Palpatine’s political machinations.

A scene from The Phantom Menace.

14. “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda

Master Yoda sums up Anakin’s path with a prescient description of the Dark Side.

15. “Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

This quote from Qui-Gon could be used as a mantra for the moments when you find your thoughts straying to the negative things in your life.

16. “Wipe them out. All of them.” – Darth Sidious

There’s the Emperor we know and love. Another quote from the popular movie trailer, it’s one that’s super fun to say along with the Sith Lord.

A scene from The Phantom Menace.

17. “We’ll take the long way.” – Padmé Amidala

Padmé is undeterred to reach her goal of saving her people, even in the face of Darth Maul. This is also the moment that signals the start of a lightsaber battle for the ages.

18. “Now this is podracing!” – Anakin Skywalker

This quote from the gleeful young pilot can be used in real life any time you feel the need for speed.

A scene from The Phantom Menace.

19. “And you, young Skywalker. We will watch your career with great interest.” – Sheev Palpatine

This line adds a small amount of dread into what’s about to be a joyful and celebratory scene. Pairing what the audience knows about the future with that smirk and hand falling on Anakin’s shoulder? One of the most unforgettable quotes of the entire movie.

20. “Always two, there are. No more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” – Yoda

More foreshadowing! With this memorable line, Yoda reveals a little about the Jedi and the Sith and reminds us about the fate of Anakin Skywalker.

If it’s been years since you watched the full trailer for Episode I: The Phantom Menace , watch it again to remember the excitement you felt before  Star Wars  returned to the theater. Or rewatch the whole film in honor of it's 20th anniversary!

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating  Star Wars  crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at  @kelly_knox .

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

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

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. 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. 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.

  • George Lucas
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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Did you know

  • Trivia Liam Neeson was so eager to be in the film that he signed on without having read the script.
  • Goofs Some naturalists have stated that Watto's wings weren't big enough to lift his body in flight. George Lucas explains that Watto's digestive system filled his rotund belly with helium, making Watto a blimp, not a bird.

Obi-Wan : But Master Yoda says I should be mindful of the future.

Qui-Gon Jinn : But not at the expense of the moment.

  • Crazy credits Jabba The Hutt - Himself
  • Alternate versions The 2011 Blu-ray version replaces the Yoda puppet with a computer generated Yoda.
  • Connections Edited into Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

User reviews 4K

  • Jun 13, 2016
  • How do the Gungans lose their shield generator in the droid battle? When the generator is hit the shield is still active until it explodes so how did the droids do that if as we see the shield blocks all laser fire even from the tanks?
  • When does this take place in the Star Wars timeline?
  • What is 'Phantom Menace' about?
  • May 19, 1999 (United States)
  • United States
  • Disney+ Hotstar
  • Lucasfilm Ltd. [United States]
  • Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace
  • Sidi Bouhlel, Bouhlel Sdada, Tunisia (Podrace, Tatooine)
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • $115,000,000 (estimated)
  • $474,544,677
  • $64,820,970
  • May 23, 1999
  • $1,027,082,707

Technical specs

  • Runtime 2 hours 16 minutes
  • Dolby Digital

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

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The phantom menace's first qui-gon vs. maul duel was almost much bigger.

It's recently been confirmed that Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul's first duel on Tatooine was almost much bigger in The Phantom Menace.

The prequel trilogy's first lightsaber duel between Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul was almost much bigger in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace . George Lucas may have planned out the story of Anakin Skywalker for years, but he was actually a lot more flexible than most viewers realize. Recent reports have revealed the villainous Darth Maul was almost a major force throughout the prequel trilogy, for example, with Lucas imagining General Grievous as a cybernetic version of the Sith Apprentice.

It seems Maul almost had a much more thrilling introduction in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace , as well, with stunt coordinator Nick Gillard telling Star Wars Theory an extended sequence was shot featuring Liam Neeson's Qui-Gon Jinn and Ray Parks' Darth Maul as they fought one another on the desert planet of Tatooine . As in the final cut, this scene began with Darth Maul almost running Anakin Skywalker over on his speeder before facing off with Qui-Gon Jinn. However, this is where Gillard reveals the differences in the longer scene.

"I particularly liked the desert fight between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul. It was powerful because that was the first time you saw him (Maul). And it was longer than that. They come in with that Nubian spaceship and pick up Qui-Gon, I think he jumps onto the ramp. Originally, Maul got on the ramp too. Qui-Gon made it onto the ramp feet first, right? Maul dived as the ship was going, gets it with his fingers, and swings up…and then they have another fight on the ramp as the ship’s going and then Qui-Gon kicked him off."

Gillard goes on to say that Maul would have then dropped into frame as Amidala's cruiser left the planet, only for the Sith to catch up with the Queen and her Jedi protectors during the Battle of Naboo.

Related: George Lucas' Maul/Grievous Twist Would've Hurt Star Wars In 4 Ways

Darth Maul Could Have Had A Stronger Debut Against Qui-Gon

The longer sequence, with the extended lightsaber duel continuing on the ramp, would have certainly made a far stronger debut for Darth Maul. It would also make more sense for Qui-Gon to struggle escaping Maul; at this point in the Star Wars timeline, the Jedi believed the Sith extinct since the days of Darth Bane, when the Rule of Two was established and the Sith essentially reinvented themselves. Jedi had not trained to battle Sith, meaning it would not be surprising to see Qui-Gon caught off-guard.

There is a sense in which both Darth Maul and Sidious were the " Phantom Menace " of the first film, the ghost of the past that had returned to haunt the present. Darth Maul was deliberately designed to look devilish and demonic, and the horned Zabrak from Dathomir was the first hint the Sith still lived. Darth Sidious planned Maul as an executioner who would kill Jedi from the shadows, and a longer showdown with Qui-Gon prior to the Naboo duel would have helped establish Maul as a powerful threat.

Unfortunately, the longer lightsaber duel was likely cut due to runtime constraints. However, it is interesting to hear what might have been from the prequel trilogy's leading stunt coordinator. Although the original plan was for Darth Maul to have a much longer action debut in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace , the Sith Lord still managed to prove his power throughout the events of Star Wars' prequel trilogy and on into the reign of the Empire.

More: Liam Neeson Is Right To Avoid A Qui-Gon Show (But One SHOULD Still Happen)

Source: Star Wars Theory

The Character  Quotes

  • Character Quotes
  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

Qui-Gon Jinn Quotes in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

Qui-gon jinn quotes:.

Qui-Gon Jinn : There's always a bigger fish.

Anakin : You're a Jedi Knight, aren't you?

Qui-Gon Jinn : What makes you think that?

Anakin : I saw your laser sword. Only Jedi carry that kind of weapon.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Perhaps I killed a Jedi and took it from him.

Anakin : I don't think so. No one can kill a Jedi.

Qui-Gon Jinn : I wish that were so.

Obi-Wan : But Master Yoda says I should be mindful of the future.

Qui-Gon Jinn : But not at the expense of the moment.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Remember, concentrate on the moment. Feel, don't think. Trust your instincts.

Qui-Gon Jinn : You must have Jedi reflexes if you race pods.

[ Jar-Jar tries to grab a piece of fruit with his tongue, but Qui-Gon catches it ]

Qui-Gon Jinn : Don't do that again.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Remember: Your focus determines your reality.

Jar-Jar Binks : Ooh mooey mooey I love you!

Qui-Gon Jinn : You almost got us killed! Are you brainless?

Jar-Jar Binks : I spake!

Qui-Gon Jinn : The ability to speak does not make you intelligent. Now get out of here.

Qui-Gon Jinn : I can only protect you, I cannot fight a war for you.

Watto : How are you going to pay for all this?

Qui-Gon Jinn : I have twenty thousand Republic dataries.

Watto : Republic credits? Republic credits are no good out here. I need something more real.

Qui-Gon Jinn : I don't have anything else...

[ waves hand ]

Qui-Gon Jinn : But credits will do fine.

Watto : No, they won't-a.

[ Qui-Gon waves his hand more firmly ]

Qui-Gon Jinn : Credits will do fine.

Watto : No, they won't-a! What? You think you're some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that? I'm a Toydarian. Mind tricks don't work on me. Only money. No money, no parts, no deal!

Yoda : Master Qui-Gon. More to say have you?

Qui-Gon Jinn : With your permission, my master, I have encountered a vergence in the Force.

Yoda : A vergence, you say?

Mace Windu : Located around a person?

Qui-Gon Jinn : A boy. His cells have the highest concentration of midi-chlorians I have seen in a life-form. It was possible he was concieved by the midi-chlorians.

Mace Windu : You refer to the prophecy of The One who will bring balance to the Force. You believe it's this boy?

Qui-Gon Jinn : [ to Anakin ] May the force be with you.

Qui-Gon Jinn : [ mumbles, as Obi-Wan sits him up after battle with Darth Maul ] Uhh, it's too late, it...

Obi-Wan : No!

Qui-Gon Jinn : Obi-Wan, promise... Promise me you will train the boy.

Obi-Wan : Yes, master.

Qui-Gon Jinn : [ wiping a tear from Obi-Wan's right cheek ] He is the chosen one. He will bring balance. Train him.

[ nods, cries over Qui-Gon Jinn's body ]

Anakin : But what about mom? Is she free too? You're coming too, aren't you mom?

Qui-Gon Jinn : I tried to free your mother Anni, but Watto wouldn't have it.

Shmi Skywalker : Son, my place is here, my future is here. It is time for you to let go.

Padmé : Are you sure about this? Trusting our fate to a boy we hardly know? The Queen will not approve.

Qui-Gon Jinn : The Queen does not need to know.

Padmé : Well, I don't approve.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Finding him was the will of the force, I have no doubt of that.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs.

[ first lines ]

Qui-Gon Jinn : Captain.

Radiant VII captain : Yes, sir?

Qui-Gon Jinn : Tell them we wish to board at once.

Radiant VII captain : [ to communication device ] With all due respect, the ambassadors for the Supreme Chancellor wish to board immediately.

Nute Gunray : [ on view screen ] Yes, of course. As you know, our blockade is perfectly legal and we'd be happy to receive the ambassadors.

Qui-Gon Jinn : I'm not allowed to train you, so I want you watch me and be mindful. Always remember, your focus determines your reality.

Qui-Gon Jinn : [ describing his encounter with Darth Maul ] He had all the lightsaber fighting capabilities and the moves of the Jedi, only faster and more agressive. My only conclusion... is that it was a Sith lord.

Ki-Adi-Mundi : Impossible! The Sith are extinct! They have been for nearly a millenium.

Mace Windu : I agree. The Sith would not have returned without us sensing it.

Yoda : Hard to see, the dark side is. We must investigate further before drawing a conclusion to the idenity of your adversary.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Anakin Skywalker, meet Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Qui-Gon Jinn : I need to speak to the Jedi Council. The situation has become much more complicated.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Greed can be a very powerful ally.

Qui-Gon Jinn : I don't presume...

Yoda : But you do! Revealed, your opinion is.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Let's get out of here before more droids show up

Jar-Jar Binks : More? More did you spake?

Anakin : What are midi-chlorians?

Qui-Gon Jinn : Midi-chlorians are a microscopic life form that resides within all living cells.

[ regarding returning to Otoh Gunga ]

Jar Jar Binks : My forgotten, da Bosses will do terrible tings to me TERRRRRIBLE is me going back der!

Qui-Gon Jinn : Do you hear that?

[ a rumbling is heard in the distance ]

Jar Jar Binks : Yeah.

Qui-Gon Jinn : That is the sound of a thousand terrible things headed this way.

Obi-Wan : If they find us, they will crush us, grind us into TINY pieces and BLAST us into oblivion!

Jar Jar Binks : Hmmm... yousa point is well seen.

Qui-Gon Jinn : I have... acquired a pod in a game of chance. The fastest ever built.

Watto : I hope you didn't kill anyone I know for it.

Watto : I want to see your spaceship the moment the race is over.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Patience, my blue friend.

Shmi Skywalker : Can you help him?

Qui-Gon Jinn : I don't know. I didn't actually come here to free slaves.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Anakin! Tell them to take off!

Jar Jar Binks : Where wesa goin?

Qui-Gon Jinn : Don't worry. The Force will guide us.

Jar Jar Binks : Ohh, maxi big da Force. Well dat smells stinkowiff.

Qui-Gon Jinn : You and the Naboo form a symbiont circle, what happens to one of you affects the other, you must understand this.

Qui-Gon Jinn : There is something else behind all this, Your Highness. There's no logic in the Federation's move here. My feelings tell me they will destroy you.

Qui-Gon Jinn : He owes me what you call a Life Debt.

Boss Nass : Binks? Yousa been havin' the life play with thissen hissen?

Jar-Jar Binks : Uh-huh.

Boss Nass : Blurublurublu! Be gone with him!

Jar-Jar Binks : Count me outa this one. Better dead here than dead at the core. Ye Gods! What is mesa sayin'?

Obi-Wan : Do not defy the council, Master, not again.

Qui-Gon Jinn : I shall do what I must, Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan : I have a bad feeling about this.

Qui-Gon Jinn : I don't sense anything.

Obi-Wan : It's not about the mission, Master. It's something... elsewhere. Elusive.

Qui-Gon Jinn : These Federation types are cowards. The negotiations will be short.

Qui-Gon Jinn : He can see things before they happen. That's why he appears to have such quick reflexes. It's a Jedi trait.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Your Highness, under the circumstances, I suggest you come to Coruscant with us.

Queen Amidala : Thank you, Ambassador. But my place is with my people.

Qui-Gon Jinn : They will kill you if you stay.

Jar-Jar Binks : No again! No again! The beings hereabouts are kwazy! We shall be robbed and crunched!

Qui-Gon Jinn : Not likely, we have nothing of value. That's our problem.

Qui-Gon Jinn : Carrr for a drink? I call this one a Qui-Gon gin... and tonic!

Browse more character quotes from Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

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  1. Qui-Gon Jinn

    Qui-Gon Jinn ( / ˈkwaɪɡɒn /) is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise, played by Liam Neeson. He is a main character in the prequel film trilogy, serving as one of the protagonists of The Phantom Menace (1999).

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    Quotes Obi-Wan : But Master Yoda says I should be mindful of the future. Qui-Gon Jinn : But not at the expense of the moment. Qui-Gon Jinn : There's always a bigger fish. Anakin : You're a Jedi Knight, aren't you? Qui-Gon Jinn : What makes you think that? Anakin : I saw your laser sword. Only Jedi carry that kind of weapon.

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    During the planning phase of 'The Phantom Menace', Obi-Wan Kenobi was meant to be the main protagonist of the movie. ... Qui-Gon Jin (Liam Neeson). Provided by BANG Showbiz It had a very long ...

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    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 ...

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    May 15, 2019 It's the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and StarWars.com is celebrating with the next best thing to a colorful parade in Theed! We've collected some of our favorite quotes from the film, which we still use today.

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  20. Star Wars: Episode I

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  21. The Phantom Menace's First Qui-Gon vs. Maul Duel Was Almost Much Bigger

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  23. The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb)

    EPISODE 1 THE PHANTOM MENACE Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlaying star systems is in dispute. ... QUI-GON : (off screen voice) Captain. The Captain turns to an unseen figure sitting behind her. CAPTAIN : Yes, sir? QUI-GON : (V.O) Tell them we wish to board at once. CAPTAIN : Yes, sir.

  24. Qui-Gon Jinn Quotes in Star Wars: Episode I

    Qui-Gon Jinn Quotes in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) Qui-Gon Jinn Quotes: Qui-Gon Jinn: There's always a bigger fish. -- Qui-Gon Jinn Anakin: You're a Jedi Knight, aren't you? Qui-Gon Jinn: What makes you think that? Anakin: I saw your laser sword. Only Jedi carry that kind of weapon.

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    I didn't realize in The Phantom Menace Qui-Gon used a jedi mind trick to convince Boss Nass to let Jar Jar go with them Legends Novels Locked post. New comments cannot be posted. Share Add a Comment. Be the first to comment Nobody's responded to this post yet. Add your thoughts and get the conversation going. ...

  26. Star Wars: Episode I

    From planning the movie to its cinematic release, 'The Phantom Menace' was six years in the making. Lucas began to piece together a story for the movie, and what he wanted to achieve across his prequel trilogy, that being the tale of how Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker became the dreaded Darth Vader, in 1993, and began to write a script the following year.

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  28. Page couldn't load • Instagram

    223 likes, 2 comments - ahsokas.sky on January 4, 2024: "I love how Maul's duel with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in the Phantom Menace can be paralled to Shin's a..." Ahsoka/Star Wars parallels and thoughts on Instagram: "I love how Maul's duel with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in the Phantom Menace can be paralled to Shin's and Baylan's with Sabine and Ahsoka.