Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Review (Updated)

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Release Date: 3rd June 1999 – Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
Lucasfilm Ltd

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: PG

Runtime: 136 minutes

Budget: $115,000,000

Box Office Gross: $1,027,044,667

Plot Summary
(32 years before Episode 
IV) Stranded on the desert 
planet Tatooine after rescuing 
young Queen Amidala from 
the impending invasion of 
Naboo, Jedi apprentice Obi-
Wan Kenobi and his Jedi 
Master discover nine-
year-old Anakin Skywalker, 
a young slave unusually 
strong in the Force. Anakin 
wins a thrilling Podrace and 
with it his freedom as he 
leaves his home to be trained 
as a Jedi. The heroes return 
to Naboo where Anakin 
and the Queen… face massive 
invasion forces while the two 
Jedi contend with a deadly 
foe named Darth Maul. Only 
then do they realize the 
invasion is merely the first 
step in a sinister scheme by 
the re-emergent forces of 
darkness known as the 

Liam Neeson – Qui Gon Jinn
Ewan McGregor – Obi Wan 
Natalie Portman – Queen 
Padme Amidala
Jake Lloyd – Anakin Skywalker
Ian McDiarmid – Senator/
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine/
Darth Sidious
Ahmed Best – Jar Jar Binks
Pernilla August – Shmi Skywalker
Ray Park – Darth Maul
Peter Serafinowicz – Darth 
Maul/Various (Voices)
Anthony Daniels – C3PO
Kenny Baker – R2D2
Silas Carson – Nute Gunray/Various
Jerome St. John Blake Rune Haako/Various
Hugh Quarshie – Captain Panaka
Andy Secombe – Watto (Voice)
Frank Oz  Yoda (Voice)
Samuel L Jackson – Mace Windu
Terence Stamp – Supreme 
Chancellor Finis Valorum
Brian Blessed – Boss Nass (Voice)
Lewis Macleod – Sebulba (Voice)
Sofia Coppola – Saché
Keira Knightley  Sabé
Oliver Ford Davies – Sio Bibble
Warwick Davis Wald/Pod Racer Spectator/Mos Espa Citizen
Ralph Brown Ric Olie
Steve Speirs Captain Tarpals
James Taylor Rune Haako (Voice)
Greg Proops Fode (Voice)
Scott Capurro Beed (Voice)  
Dhruv Chanchani Kitster 

Producer – George Lucas
Producer – Rick McCallum
Production Designer – Gavin 
Design Director/Visual Effects 
Production Designer: ILM – 
Doug Chiang
Live Action Creature Effects Supervisor – Nick Dudman  
Costume Designer – Trisha Biggar
Director of Photography – David Tattersall
Stunt Coordinator/Sword Master/Fight Unit Director – 
Nick Gillard
Visual Effects Supervisors – Dennis Muren,  
John Knoll & Scott Squires
Animation Director Rob Coleman
R2-D2 Designer – Tony Dyson (Uncredited)
Supervising Sound Editor/Designer/ 
Film Editor – Ben Burtt
Film Editor – Paul Martin Smith
Music – John Williams


2000 Academy Awards
Best Sound - Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, 
Shawn Murphy & John Midgely (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - Ben Burtt & Tom Bellfort 
Best Visual Effects - John Knoll, Dennis Murren, 
Scott Squires & Rob Coleman (Nominated)

STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE has good action sequences and CGI visuals and was the most over-hyped film in the year 1999 and a planet-hopping adventure. I liked the impressive scenes of the movie such as the podracing sequence and the lightsaber duel of Qui Gon & Obi Wan vs Darth Maul. The acting of Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor & Natalie Portman were good, but the plot is too convoluted. The character of Jar Jar Binks was a bit of a comedian and probably the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the franchise. I certainly hate to badmouth young Jake Lloyd for his performance as little Anakin Skywalker, he tries so hard and he did his best as he could. 

Unlike the other Star Wars movies, THE PHANTOM MENACE was not as good as many fans would’ve hoped. The whole feature was something of a disappointment, yet it did a great job of bringing the franchise back to the big screen as well as launching the prequel trilogy which leads right up to ATTACK OF THE CLONES and REVENGE OF THE SITH (click here). If you have seen THE PHANTOM MENACE, you might have to check out my review of the 3D version (click here).

Star rating: (3/5) Average

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