Two decades ago, the world held its breath for one of the most highly anticipated events in film history: the return of Star Wars, with Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The first entry in George Lucas’ new, prequel trilogy promised to tell the story behind the golden age of the Jedi, the birth of Luke Skywalker and how cinema’s most iconic villain, Darth Vader, came to be. And then the film came out. With some terrible dialogue, worse characters and a boring focus on politics, Episode I was a disappointment for audiences, to say the least. But, for those of us who grew up with the prequels, it’ll always remain special. It got a lot wrong, but The Phantom Menace expanded the Star Wars universe in a way that Disney’s current films have failed to do, whilst also containing – to this day – the best lightsaber battle in the franchise’s history. For all its faults, The Phantom Menace re-introduced Star Wars, 15 years after its conclusion, in a way we’d never seen it before.
Click on the link below to watch the trailer for the first instalment of the prequel trilogy: