: : : Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Story

"I have a bad feeling about this," says the young Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor) in Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace as he steps off a spaceship and into the most anticipated cinematic event... well, ever. He might as well be speaking for the legions of fans of the original episodes in the Star Wars saga who can't help but secretly ask themselves: Sure, this is Star Wars, but is it my Star Wars? The original elevated moviegoers' expectations so high that it would have been impossible for any subsequent film to meet them. And as with all the Star Wars movies, The Phantom Menace features inexplicable plot twists, a fistful of loose threads, and some cheek-chewing dialogue. Han Solo's swagger is sorely missed, as is the pervading menace of heavy-breather Darth Vader. There is still way too much quasi-mystical mumbo jumbo, and some of what was fresh about Star Wars 22 years earlier feels formulaic. Yet there's much to admire. The special effects are stupendous; three worlds are populated with a mélange of creatures, flora, and horizons rendered in absolute detail. The action and battle scenes are breathtaking in their complexity. And one particular sequence of the film--the adrenaline-infused pod race through the Tatooine desert--makes the chariot race in Ben-Hur look like a Sunday stroll through the park.

Among the host of new characters, there are a few familiar walk-ons. We witness the first meeting between R2-D2 and C-3PO, Jabba the Hutt looks younger and slimmer (but not young and slim), and Yoda is as crabby as ever. Natalie Portman's stately Queen Amidala sports hairdos that make Princess Leia look dowdy and wields a mean laser. We never bond with Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), and Obi-Wan's day is yet to come. Jar Jar Binks, a cross between a Muppet, a frog, and a hippie, provides many of the movie's lighter moments, while Sith Lord Darth Maul is a formidable force. Baby-faced Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) looks too young and innocent to command the powers of the Force or wield a lightsaber (much less transmute into the future Darth Vader), but his boyish exuberance wins over skeptics.

Near the end of the movie, Palpatine, the new leader of the Republic, may be speaking for fans eagerly awaiting Episode II when he pats young Anakin on the head and says, "We will watch your career with great interest." Indeed! --Tod Nelson

DVD Features

  • THX-Certified
  • Disc One:
  • Commentary by George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires
  • Disc Two:
  • Exclusive Deleted Scenes Documentary features seven new sequences completed just for this DVD release, including extended Podrace scenes
  • All-New Hour-Long Documentary Film culled from over 600 hours of footage, "The Beginning" takes you where few people have been before -- inside Lucasfilm and ILM during the production of Episode I
  • Multi-Angle Storyboard-To-Animatic-To-Film Segment featuring the Submarine and Podrace Lap 1 sequences
  • Five Featurettes Explore The Phantom Menace's Storyline, Design, Costumes, Visual Effects and Fight Scenes
  • Award-Winning Twelve-Part Web Documentary Series That Chronicles The Production Of Episode 1
  • "Duel Of The Fates" Music Video Featuring John Williams
  • Never-Before-Seen Production Photo Gallery with Special Caption Feature
  • Theatrical Posters and Print Campaign From Around The World
  • Theatrical Teaser and Launch Trailers, Plus Seven TV Spots
  • "Star Wars: Starfighter - The Making Of A Game" Featurette from LucasArts
  • DVD-ROM Weblink To Exclusive Star Wars Content

Cast

Liam NeesonQui-Gon Jinn
Ewan McGregorObi-Wan Kenobi
Natalie PortmanQueen Padmé Amidala
Jake LloydAnakin Skywalker
Pernilla AugustShmi Skywalker
Frank OzYoda (voice)
Ian McDiarmidSenator Palpatine
Oliver Ford DaviesGov. Sio Bibble
Ray ParkDarth Maul
Hugh QuarshieCapt. Panaka
Ahmed BestJar Jar Binks (voice)
Anthony DanielsC-3PO
Kenny BakerR2-D2
Terence StampSupreme Chancellor Valorum
Brian BlessedBoss Nass (voice)
Andrew SecombeWatto
Lewis MacleodSebulba (voice)
Steve SpeirsCapt. Tarpals
Silas CarsonViceroy Nute Gunray/Ki-Adi-Mundi/Lott Dodd/Radiant VII Pilot
Ralph BrownRic Olié
Celia ImrieFighter Pilot Bravo 5
Benedict TaylorFighter Pilot Bravo 2
Karol Cristina da SilvaRabé
Clarence SmithFIghter Pilot Bravo 3
Samuel L. JacksonMace Windu
Dominic WestPalace Guard
Liz WilsonEirtaé (as Friday 'Liz' Wilson)
Candice OrwellYané
Sofia CoppolaSaché
Keira KnightleySabé
Bronagh GallagherRadiant VII captain
John FensomTC-14
Greg ProopsBeed (voice)
Scott CapurroFode (voice)
Margaret TownerJira
Dhruv ChanchaniKitster
Oliver WalpoleSeek
Katie LucasAmee (as Jenna Green)
Megan UdallMelee
Hassani ShapiEeth Koth
Gin ClarkeAdi Gallia (as Gin)
Khan BonfilsSaesee Tiin
Michelle TaylorYarael Poof
Michaela CottrellEven Piell
Dipika O'Neill JotiDepa Billaba
Phil EasonYaddle
Mark CoulierAks Moe
Lindsay DuncanTC-14 (voice)
Peter SerafinowiczDarth Maul (voice)
James TaylorRune Haako (voice)
Chris SandersDaultay Dofine (voice)
Toby LongworthSen. Lott Dodd/Gragra (voice)
Marc SilkAks Moe (voice)
Amanda LucasTey How/Diva Funquita (voice) (as Tyger)
Richard ArmitageNaboo Fighter Pilot (uncredited)
Don BiesPod Race Mechanic (uncredited)
Trisha BiggarOrn Free Taa's Aide (uncredited)
Jerome BlakeRune Haako/Mas Amedda/Oppo Rancisis/Orn Free Taa (uncredited)
Michonne BourriagueAurra Sing (uncredited)
Ben BurttNaboo Courier (uncredited)
Doug ChiangFlag Bearer (uncredited)
Rob ColemanPod Race Spectator in Jabba's Private Box (uncredited)
Roman CoppolaSenate Guard (uncredited)
Matt Daniel-BakerNaboo Foot Soldier (uncredited)
Russell DarlingNaboo Royal Security Guard (uncredited)
Warwick DavisWald/Pod Race Spectator/Mos Espa Citizen (uncredited)
C. Michael EastonPod Race Spectator (uncredited)
Ned GormanNaboo Citizen (uncredited)
Joss GowerNaboo Fighter Pilot (uncredited)
Raymond GriffithsGONK Droid (uncredited)
Nathan HamilPod Race Spectator/Naboo Palace Guard (uncredited)
Tim HarringtonNaboo Security Guard (uncredited)
Jack HayePod Race Spectator in Jabba's Private Box (uncredited)
Nifa HindesAnn Gella (uncredited)
Nishan HindesTann Gella (uncredited)
Alexi Kaye CampbellNaboo Guard (uncredited)
John KnollLt. Rya Kirsch (Bravo 4)/Flag Bearer (uncredited)
Kamay LauSei Taria-Senator's Aide (uncredited)
Dan MadsenKaadu Handler (uncredited)
Iain McCaigOrn Free Taa's Aide (uncredited)
Rick McCallumNaboo Courier (uncredited)
João Costa MenezesNaboo Fighter Pilot (uncredited)
Taylor MurphyBattle Droid (uncredited)
Jeff OlsonPod Race Spectator in Jabba's Private Box (uncredited)
Lorne PetersonMos Espa Citizen (uncredited)
Alan RuscoePlo Koon/Bib Fortuna/Daultay Dofine (uncredited)
Steve SansweetNaboo Courier (uncredited)
Make SawaNaboo Royal Guard (uncredited)
Christian J. SimpsonLt. Gavyn Sykes-Bravo 6 (uncredited)
Paul Martin SmithNaboo Courier (uncredited)
Scott SquiresNaboo Speeder Driver (uncredited)
Tom SyllaBattle Droid (voice) (uncredited)
Bilil TlustyChokk, Jabba's Bodyguard (uncredited)
Danny WagnerMawhonic (uncredited)
Matthew WoodBib Fortuna/Ody Mandrell (uncredited) (voice)

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I don't know why, I just like Star Wars! StarWarsEpisode1ThePhantomMenace
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George Lucas said that he wanted to wait until computers caught up with his...

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After about 22 years the Star Wars saga finally really began with Episode 1, The...

  • Genre: Sci-Fi Movies
  • Theme(s): Alternate Reality, Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi (Futuristic)
  • Director: George Lucas
  • Producer: Fox
  • Length: 133 min
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaMay 19, 1999
    EuropeJul 16, 1999
    JapanJul 10, 1999
    AustraliaJun 3, 1999
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG
    EuropeU
    AustraliaPG
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaNov 12, 2002
    EuropeSep 20, 2005
  • Also known as:
  • Sutâ wôzu: Fantomu menasu in Japan
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