Star Wars is an American epic space-opera media franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the eponymous 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon. The franchise has been expanded into various films and...: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is a 1999 American epic space-opera film written and directed by George Walton Lucas Jr. (born May 14, 1944) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and entrepreneur. Lucas is best known for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and founding Lucasfilm, LucasArts, and Industrial..., produced by Lucasfilm, distributed by 20th Century Fox 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 installment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and begins the “Skywalker saga”, though it was the fourth film to be produced chronologically. The Phantom Menace is set 32 years before the original film and follows Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi (/ˈoʊbiːˌwɑːn kəˈnoʊbiː/), also known as Ben Kenobi, is a character in the Star Wars franchise. Within the original trilogy, Obi-Wan is a Jedi Master as a supporting character and is portrayed by English actor... 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.
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 was released in theaters on May 19, 1999, almost 16 years after the premiere of the previous Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi (also known as Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi) is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan and George.... 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. Despite the anticipation, it received mixed reviews; critics praised the visuals, action sequences, themes, John Williams’ musical score, and some of the performances (notably Neeson), 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 (equivalent to $1.42 billion in 2019) 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: Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones is a 2002 American epic space-opera film directed by George Lucas and written by Lucas and Jonathan Hales. It is the second installment of the Star Wars... in 2002 and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is a 2005 American epic space-opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It stars Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher... in 2005.