Top 10 Moments: Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace
I was nearly 16 years old when Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in theaters. A group of my friends skipped school (with our parents permission of course) and waited in line all day. I couldn’t handle the excitement.
Star Wars was a massive influence on my childhood. I credit this franchise for igniting my passion for storytelling a long time ago… The Phantom Menace was the first DVD I ever purchased and the documentary ‘The Beginning’ remains one of my favorites to this day.
This totally counts. It may not have anything to do with Star Wars but it’s in the movie. So it counts. And I liked it.
9. Starting Up… The Shield
There is no debate. Jar Jar Binks is THE WORST character in the Star Wars universe. However, I don’t think it’s fair to assume his entire species is the worst. I was smiling ear to ear in 1999 when the Gungans squared off against the Droid army and their tanks. (It’s a good thing they brought their bouncy… super soaker… balloons…?)
8. Scenic Naboo
Say what you will about the taxation of trade routes and ambassador negotiations, the first glimpse at Naboo was a game changer. It’s a beautifully rendered fantasy world that set the tone for each and every location to come in episodes II & III.
7. There’s Always A Bigger Fish
I loved this sequence for two reasons. First, we got to see a creature get eaten by an even BIGGER creature. (Twice) Second, Jar Jar was knocked out for most of the excitement.
As I mentioned earlier with the scenic beauty of Naboo. This film was full of gorgeous locations. Perhaps none more impressive than Coruscant. A planet size city at the center of all civilization and political drama. (I still feel bad for Chancelor Valorum. He got a raw deal. Way to go Padme.)
5. They Are Still Coming Through!
Seeing the Jedi’s at their peak was never more prevalent than the opening sequence. Rune Haako knows what’s up. Droideka? Blast doors?
4. At Last We Will Have Revenge
Darth Maul is, by far, my favorite character of the prequels. He looks cool, he sounds cool and he’s a badass with a double lightsabre. If it were up to me, Count Dooku wouldn’t exist and Maul would have been a constant threat throughout the trilogy.
3. Darth Maul On The Hunt
Darth Maul returns for a second appearance in the top five. Why? Because he barely says a word on Tatoine and yet poses such a massive threat to our heroes. It’s a shame the clash between Maul and Qui Gon wasn’t longer.
2. The Pod Race
The pod race was an amazing sequence that managed to mix incredible speed with references to the original trilogy with Jawa’s and Tusken Raider’s making appearances.
1. Darth Maul vs Qui Gon Jinn vs Obi Wan Kenobi
The second those doors opened and Darth Maul fired up his double lightsabres, I instantly knew I would see Star Wars three times during opening weekend.