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May 16, 1999 (Los Angeles)
May 19, 1999 (United States)

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is a 1999 American epic space-opera film written and directed by George Lucas, produced by Lucasfilm, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the first installment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Pernilla August, and Frank Oz. It is the first film in the nine-part "Skywalker saga", though it was the fourth to be released.

Lucas began production of this film after he determined that computer-generated imagery (CGI) had advanced to the level he wanted for the prequel trilogy's visual effects. Filming started on June 26, 1997, at locations including Leavesden Film Studios and the Tunisian desert. The film was Lucas' first directorial effort after a 22-year hiatus following Star Wars in 1977. The Phantom Menace is set 32 years before the original film and follows Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi as they protect Queen Amidala 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 Phantom Menace was released in theaters on May 19, 1999, almost 16 years after the premiere of the previous Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi. The film's premiere was extensively covered by media and was greatly anticipated because of the large cultural following the Star Wars saga had cultivated. It received mixed reviews; critics praised the visuals, action sequences, John Williams' musical score, and some of the performances (notably Neeson and McGregor), but criticized the screenplay, characterization, and the respective performances of Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks and Lloyd as Anakin. 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. A 3D reissue, which earned an additional $102.7 million at the box office and brought the film's overall worldwide takings to over $1 billion, was released in February 2012. The film was followed by two sequels, Attack of the Clones in 2002 and Revenge of the Sith in 2005.

Storyline

Movie Trailer

Sound Effects Used

  • Hollywoodedge, 357 Magnum Pistol Sho PE092801 (Used to accent some explosions)
  • Hollywoodedge, Small Group Kids Laug PE143601 (used twice)
  • Darth Vader's Breathing Sound (used in the very end of the credits)
  • LOONEY TUNES EXPLOSION SOUND 03
  • SKYWALKER ELECTRICAL POP SOUND
  • SKYWALKER, ELECTRICITY - BIG VARIOUS SPARKINGS
  • SKYWALKER, ELECTRICITY - PULSE SHRIEK 01
  • SKYWALKER, ELECTRICITY - PULSE SHRIEK 02
  • SKYWALKER, ELECTRICITY - SINGLE SPARK CHIRP 01
  • SKYWALKER, ELECTRICITY - THE FORCE WHINE (Used for pod-racer engines.)
  • SKYWALKER EXPLOSION 01
  • SKYWALKER EXPLOSION 05 (Heard once mixed with SKYWALKER WHISTLING RICOCHET, EXPLOSION ACCENT in a high pitch)
  • SKYWALKER EXPLOSION 07
  • SKYWALKER EXPLOSION 08
  • SKYWALKER, EXPLOSION - MASSIVE INFERNO ROARING
  • SKYWALKER, EXPLOSION - MEDIUM SET-OFF WITH WHISTLE (includes various high pitches)
  • SKYWALKER, EXPLOSION - TANK FIRE
  • SKYWALKER, FIRE - FLAMES QUICK ROAR BY WITH WHISTLE
  • SKYWALKER, METAL - RAPID, SQUEAKY RATTLE
  • SKYWALKER, SCI-FI GUN - TIE FIGHTER GUN
  • SKYWALKER, SCI-FI GUN - X-WING FIGHTER GUN
  • SKYWALKER WHISTLING RICOCHET, EXPLOSION ACCENT (Heard once in a high pitch mixed with SKYWALKER EXPLOSION 05)
  • SKYWALKER, WHOOSH - ARTILLERY FALL 01
  • SKYWALKER, WHOOSH - ARTILLERY "SHING" SWISH
  • SKYWALKER WINDOW CRASH 01
  • Sound Ideas, ELECTRICITY, SPARK - HIGH VOLTAGE SPARK, ELECTRICAL 01
  • SPACE LIGHTNING 01
  • SKYWALKER LASER BLAST SOUND (Including but not limited to SKYWALKER, EXPLOSION - MASSIVE INFERNO ROARING, near the end as Anikan speeds by an explosion.)
  • STAR WARS LIGHT SABER SOUND
  • WILHELM SCREAM (3rd and 4th screams)

Other Audio Used

  • 20th Century Fox Fanfare (1980 John Williams Version) (1999 orchestration)

Image Gallery

Audio Samples

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