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

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Two Jedi Knights 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 reclaim their old glory.



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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 60 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
C-3PO (voice)
Yoda (voice)
Boss Nass (voice)
Watto (voice) (as Andrew Secombe)


The evil Trade Federation, led by Nute Gunray is planning to take over the peaceful world of Naboo. Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi are sent to confront the leaders. But not everything goes to plan. The two Jedi escape, and along with their new Gungan friend, Jar Jar Binks head to Naboo to warn Queen Amidala, but droids have already started to capture Naboo and the Queen is not safe there. Eventually, they land on Tatooine, where they become friends with a young boy known as Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon is curious about the boy, and sees a bright future for him. The group must now find a way of getting to Coruscant and to finally solve this trade dispute, but there is someone else hiding in the shadows. Are the Sith really extinct? Is the Queen really who she says she is? And what's so special about this young boy? Written by simon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every generation has a legend. Every journey has a first step. Every saga has a beginning. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sci-fi action/violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

19 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace  »

Box Office


$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$64,810,970 (USA) (21 May 1999)


$474,544,677 (USA) (1 June 2012)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)|


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ian McDiarmid was surprised when George Lucas approached him 16 years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) to reprise the role of Palpatine because he had assumed that a younger actor would play the part in the prequel films See more »


When the trade federation members talk, their lips usually don't match what they're saying. See more »


[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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The last sound heard in the credits is the familiar hiss of Darth Vader. See more »


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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Most underrated Star Wars movie...possibly movie ever!!!
22 June 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When I read some of people's comments on Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace I was slightly dismayed.

It is true that it is more of a kid's film; but unless I recall incorrectly weren't the others? It has been criticised for its acting also; and whilst I appreciate the acting wasn't Oscar winning quality the principle cast members like McGreggor, Neeson, Portman, McDiarmind and even Jake Lloyd put in solid performances. I have seen a lot of movies and the acting is nowhere near the bottom in terms of quality.

But i think it is safe to say that most of the criticism has been levelled at Jar Jar Binks. The Comic relief is obvious; but I hear you say we have R2 and C3PO for that, true. But surely Jar Jar and the Gungans are meant to act as a comic counterpoint to the more tragic and sombre Naboo...lets face it we need the Gungans because a lot of the time the Naboo are just boring humans. Even Queen Amidala only has rare moments of character exposition when she talks to Ani and when she's off Naboo on Tatooine.

Furthermore the movie has been criticised for being too light hearted in nature. After seeing all six it would be difficult to argue that it is the more serious one. But it was meant to be light hearted. When I watched the original trilogy for the 1st time in the cinema in 1997 I imagined what the Galaxy was like "before the dark times, before the Empire", and this was the only movie where I got to see that galaxy that had been. This movie was pivotal in setting the context of the mood of the Star Wars Galaxy; predominantly HAPPY yet mixed with political degradation and a far off shroud, barely visible, phantom like waiting to descend on all the Star Wars universe. This is ESSENTIAL as it makes the later fall into chaos all the more relevant. Light hearted and not too serious yes lacklustre..NO! Many people forget that it is part of a Hexilogy of films. The only film that stands on its own is The Original Star Wars...does that make it the best i don't know? This film is the first of 6 it is the introduction, setting the context for what is to come. I feel the problem is many people were expecting a film that jumped straight into the turmoil of war much like the Empire Strikes Back. How sadly they disappointed they were? This film like any other will attract good or bad comments from the critics and the ordinary movie going public..its the division of Star Wars fans that troubles me. How some fail to appreciate it is the larger piece of a puzzle is disturbing. The Star Wars Saga is artificially split into 6 parts. This is the first part. They are naturally adjusted to make individual films. This one is not as exciting as any of the others as it is the beginning the first journey of many..the Star Wars Galaxy is warming up. We will not get the tension we got when we saw Return of the Jedi; the emotional investment will not quite the same even with the characters we have already met such as Obi-Wan; this is because we are aware, despite having seen the original trilogy this is just he beginning. When I first watched A New Hope when Obi-Wan died I recall being more taken with where the body went and grinning at Luke's cheesy cry, than taking in the moment of death. now having seen all six especially the prequel trilogy leading up to Obi-Wan's death it means that much more to me as I now know the HISTORY.

The essential problem with TPM is that people were expecting a film as tense and exciting as the first three combined whereas what they got was more if a Luke-warm introduction. What, did you expect George to come out with all guns blazing?!? He's got to have a climax...the Saga if complete has got to start somewhere quieter if it indeed is going to have a climax. Any great Opus has a quiet beginning; the Lord of the Rings for those of you who have read it; has an incredibly slow start; Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. One of the most intense pieces of music ever has a very quiet slow start. Yes this is a film, and yes different rules apply; which is why it does stand on its own; at least as much as any of the others do. I didn't hear anyone complaining about the Empire Strikes back which has no beginning and simply picks up from where we left off and has no end either. Thats because you'd seen the first Star Wars a few years earlier. Well, now everyone has seen all 6 together I hope this one finally makes a little more sense.

But what is most important to me is that I first saw this movie when I was 13, the perfect age, and loved it. I still watch it now, and I still love it. Even more so in fact, knowing it is the first part of what is a great and unforgettable Saga.

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