Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Quote: “The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

In 1999, the world stood on the brink of massive change: a new millennium, a new reality, the future of our dreams sitting right on our doorstep. Big D had just joined the Army. Roger readied himself for deployment to sleep away camp, and Mister C was just a boy. On the horizon, launching movies into a new era, was “The Phantom Menace.”

Star Wars’ first film after 16 years frozen in carbonite was a prequel, and nobody thought to question at the time what a strange paradox we were about to experience. Episode I promised to show us how it all began by adding big-name actors, mind-blowing computer effects, and exciting new characters.

And while that promise was fulfilled, “The Phantom Menace” also opened a sarlacc pit of missteps—inconsistent Jedi powers, an unsatisfying Anakin Skywalker, reckless parents, an abused C3PO, unnecessary characters, and the hyper-animated elephant in the room: Jar Jar Binks.

How could a movie with such rich lineage stumble so horribly out of the gate? The cringe-worthy love story, impotent Jedi council, confounding battle scenes, and objectionable politics hit us out of nowhere, overshadowing a valiant performance by Liam Neeson and betraying other success stories in the Star Wars franchise.

Any movie worthy of Fan-Tom Edits is worth of the Shat treatment, and our crew was up to the job. With lightsabers bright and prospects dim, let us begin the Star Wars saga where it started … before it started … again.

Plot Summary: “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” 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 9-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.

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