|Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace|
|Riffers||Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy|
|Series||Star Wars Prequel Trilogy|
|Date Released||November 1, 2006|
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is a 1999 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the fourth film in the Star Wars saga to be released, the first of a three-part prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy, and the first film in the saga in the story chronology. The film was Lucas' first production as a film director after a 22-year hiatus following the original Star Wars film, and only his fourth film overall.
The film's narrative follows the Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi. They escort and protect Queen Amidala, who is traveling from the planet Naboo to the planet Coruscant, hoping to find a peaceful end to a large-scale interplanetary trade dispute. The story also features a young Anakin Skywalker before he became a Jedi; he is introduced as a young slave boy who appears to have unusually strong nascent powers of the Force and must contend with the mysterious return of the Sith.
Synopsis and Preview[edit | edit source]
In response to taxation on trade routes in the Galactic Republic, the Trade Federation organizes a blockade of battleships around the planet Naboo. Supreme Chancellor Valorum dispatches Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi to negotiate with the Trade Federation leadership to end the blockade. Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord and the Trade Federation's secret adviser, orders Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray to kill the Jedi and invade Naboo with an army of battle droids. The Jedi flee to Naboo, where Qui-Gon saves Gungan outcast Jar Jar Binks from being killed during the invasion. Indebted to the Jedi, Jar Jar leads them to an underwater Gungan city. There the Jedi try but fail to persuade the Gungans to help the people of Naboo, though they are able to obtain transportation to Theed, the capital city on the surface. They rescue Queen Amidala, the ruler of the Naboo people, and escape the planet on her royal starship, which is damaged as they pass the Federation blockade.
Amidala's ship is unable to sustain its hyperdrive and lands for repairs on the desert planet Tatooine. Qui-Gon, Jar Jar, astromech droid R2-D2, and Amidala's handmaiden Padmé visit the settlement of Mos Espa to buy new parts at a junk shop. There they meet the shop's owner Watto and his nine-year-old slave Anakin Skywalker, who is a gifted Podracer pilot and engineer, and has created a protocol droid called C-3PO. Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force within Anakin and is convinced that he is the "chosen one" of Jedi prophecy who will bring balance to the Force. Qui-Gon wagers Anakin's freedom with Watto in a Podrace, which Anakin wins. Anakin joins the group to be trained as a Jedi, leaving his mother Shmi behind. En route to their repaired starship, Qui-Gon enters a brief lightsaber duel with Darth Maul, Darth Sidious' Sith apprentice who was sent to capture Amidala.
The Jedi escort Amidala to the Republic capital planet Coruscant so she can plead her people's case to Chancellor Valorum in the Galactic Senate. Qui-Gon asks the Jedi Council to train Anakin as a Jedi, but the Council are concerned that Anakin is vulnerable to the dark side of the Force and decline. Undaunted, Qui-Gon vows to train Anakin himself. Meanwhile, Naboo senator Palpatine persuades Amidala to make a vote of no confidence in Valorum to elect a more capable chancellor to resolve the crisis on Naboo. Though she pushes for the vote, Amidala grows frustrated with the corruption in the Senate and decides to return to Naboo with the Jedi.
On Naboo, Padmé reveals herself to the Gungans as Queen Amidala and persuades them into an alliance against the Trade Federation. Jar Jar leads his people in a battle against the droid army while Padmé leads the hunt for Gunray in Theed. In a starship hangar, Anakin enters a vacant starfighter and inadvertently triggers its autopilot, joining the battle against the Federation droid control ship in space. Anakin ventures into the ship and destroys it from within, deactivating the droid army. Meanwhile, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan battle Darth Maul, who mortally wounds Qui-Gon before being bisected by Obi-Wan. As he dies, Qui-Gon asks Obi-Wan to train Anakin. Subsequently, Palpatine is elected as the new Supreme Chancellor and Gunray is arrested. The Jedi Council makes Obi-Wan a fully-fledged Jedi Knight and reluctantly accepts Anakin as Obi-Wan's apprentice. At a festive ceremony, Padmé presents a gift of appreciation and friendship to the Gungans.
Cast and Crew[edit | edit source]
- Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn
- Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker
- Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala
- Ian McDiarmid as Senator Palpatine
- Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks
- Pernilla August as Shmi Skywalker
- Ray Park as Darth Maul
- Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
- Kenny Baker as R2-D2
- Silas Carson as Nute Gunray
- Hugh Quarshie as Captain Panaka
- Andy Secombe as Watto
- Brian Blessed as Boss Nass