Star Wars Episode 1: Phantom Menace Classic Vhs Movie
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is a 1999 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Pernilla August, and Frank Oz. It is the fourth film in the Star Wars film series, the first film of the prequel trilogy and the first chronological chapter of the "Skywalker Saga". Set 32 years before the original trilogy, during the era of the Galactic Republic, the plot follows Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi as they try to protect Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo in hopes of securing a peaceful end to an interplanetary trade dispute. Joined by Anakin Skywalker—a young slave with unusually strong natural powers of the Force—they simultaneously contend with the mysterious return of the Sith. The film was produced by Lucasfilm, with 20th Century Fox distributing.
Following the release of Return of the Jedi (1983), talks of a follow-up were proposed, but Lucas was unmotivated to return to the franchise. During the hiatus, the backstories he created for the characters, particularly Anakin's own backstory, sparked interest in him to develop a prequel trilogy during the 1990s. After he determined that computer-generated imagery (CGI) had advanced to the level he wanted for the prequel trilogy's visual effects, Lucas began writing The Phantom Menace in 1993, and production began in 1994. Filming started on June 26, 1997—at locations including Leavesden Film Studios and the Tunisian desert—and ended on September 30. The film marked Lucas' first directorial effort after a 22-year hiatus following the original Star Wars in 1977.
The Phantom Menace was released in theaters on May 19, 1999, almost 16 years after the premiere of Return of the Jedi. The film's premiere was extensively covered by media and was widely anticipated because of the large cultural following the Star Wars saga had cultivated. Upon its release, The Phantom Menace received mixed reviews. While the visual effects, action sequences, musical score, and the performances of Neeson and McGregor were praised, criticism was largely focused on the screenplay, pacing, Lloyd's performance, and characters, with Jar Jar Binks in particular receiving an extremely negative reception. Furthermore, the film's blend of complicated, politics-heavy storytelling and juvenile humor was perceived as incongruent. Despite the mixed reception, The Phantom Menace was a box-office success and broke numerous box-office records during its debut. It grossed more than $924.3 million worldwide during its initial theatrical run, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1999, the second-highest-grossing film worldwide and in North America (behind Titanic), and the highest-grossing Star Wars film at the time (inflation notwithstanding). A 3D reissue, which earned an additional $102.7 million and brought the film's overall worldwide takings to over $1 billion, was released in February 2012. Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005) followed The Phantom Menace, rounding out the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
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