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The Beginning: Making 'Episode I' (2001)

| Documentary, Sci-Fi | Video
The entire process of making Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) are shown here in this documentary. From pre-production through post-production we get to see visual effects ... See full summary »

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The entire process of making Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) are shown here in this documentary. From pre-production through post-production we get to see visual effects meetings, John Williams music sessions and even the storm that wiped out the pod-racers & props. Written by Rhyl Donnelly

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The Beginning: Making Star Wars Episode I  »

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This documentary is featured on the 2-Disc DVD for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). See more »

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Rick McCallum: [at the first audience screening, he walks in front of the theatre and says] This is fucking awesome!
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References Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) See more »

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Star Wars: Main Title
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Composed by John Williams
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A True Fly-on-the-Wall Experience
25 January 2004 | by (Pocatello, Idaho, USA) – See all my reviews

Is it wrong for a behind-the-scenes documentary to be better than the film it's focusing on? Now, I'm not one of those Star Wars fans that despised Episode I. In fact, I still quite enjoy it, but it isn't one of the best sci-fi movies you'll come across. However, The Beginning is probably one of the best making-of documentaries you will ever see. In fact, I bet The Beginning probably inspires current DVD makers on how to do a making-of featurette effectively.

Before writing this review, I read Guido Henkel's review on dvdreview.com, and I agree with him wholeheartedly on one aspect of this documentary that makes it so great. Instead of having a narrator tell you what's going on, you get to see what's happening for yourself as the documentary follows George Lucas, the staff, and the cast of Episode I around. Doing it this way, you really get a sense that you're watching this happen right in front of you. It's a true `fly on the wall' experience.

I have a lot of favorite parts in this documentary. I found it very interesting to see how the staff rebounded after their set was devastated by a storm in Tunisia. I also enjoyed watching Ewan McGregor through this documentary from when he talks to producer Rick McCallum over the phone about joining the project, to meeting George and his kids for his Jedi haircut, to the funniest line in the documentary when he perfectly lands a stunt in the lightsaber duel. Lastly, it was also great to see George Lucas in action and also seeing other great filmmakers, Steven Spielberg and Frank Oz, make appearances in the documentary as well.

Overall, this documentary is great for inquiring Star Wars and movie fans. I think it can also serve as a great learning tool for future filmmakers on how to make a big budget picture. You may not like the movie itself, but you have to respect all the hard work and dedication that went into Episode I.

My IMDb Rating: 10/10


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