The Phantom Menace arrived in UK cinemas 20 years ago today, bringing the prequel era to the shores of the country where much of the film was shot almost 2 months after its US release on 19th May 1999.
Starburst Magazine have marked the occasion with a retrospective looking back at twenty things we love about the film and as one of the lead writers over there I was asked to contribute so click here and have a read as we head back twenty years to Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
You could argue that of all the new characters introduced in The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn had the most influence on the story going forward. Anakin, Palpatine, Obi-Wan, and Yoda were existing characters that were always going to be a part of the story, but Qui-Gon was entirely new and, as portrayed brilliantly by Liam Neeson, he not only informed the character of Kenobi but also shined a light on the mindset of the Jedi Order and the wider Galactic Republic of the time. He understood that young Anakin was vital to the balance of the Force, a chosen one of prophecy, and was determined to train him. He wasn’t on the Jedi Council, despite clearly being more than qualified to be one of their senior Jedi, and had his own view of how the Force worked that didn’t jibe with their rigid beliefs. His loss, to Obi-Wan, the Jedi, and, in particular, Anakin, changed the course of galactic history and brought the Sith out of the shadows. Imagine how different the galaxy would be if Count Dooku later had access to Qui-Gon’s council, or how Anakin would have been trained…. | MN