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“Star Wars: Episode I – A New Beginning”

By Meghan O’Keefe

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is a film that takes a unique approach to the Star Wars universe. The story revolves around trade route negotiations and introduces us to a young Anakin Skywalker, played by Jake Lloyd, before he becomes Darth Vader. Set thirty years before the original Star Wars movie, the film follows Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, portrayed by Liam Neeson, as he arrives on Tatooine with Queen Padme Amidala, played by Natalie Portman, Jedi Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, portrayed by Ewan McGregor, and the comical Gungan, Jar Jar Binks, brought to life by Ahmed Best.

The adventure that unfolds on Tatooine with these characters ultimately shapes the future of the universe. One of the standout moments in the film is the epic fight sequence between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and the formidable Darth Maul, portrayed by Ray Park. This iconic battle remains one of the most memorable scenes in the Star Wars franchise.

Despite its mixed reception, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace has its place in the Star Wars saga, setting the stage for the events that follow. It provides essential backstory and lays the groundwork for the epic conflict between the Jedi and the Sith. The film’s visual effects and world-building are also commendable, showcasing George Lucas’s vision for expanding the Star Wars universe.

For fans looking to revisit this pivotal chapter in the Star Wars saga, ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ is available for streaming on various platforms, including Disney+, Prime Video, iTunes, VUDU, Google Play, and YouTube.