Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

(1999)

When the evil Trade Federation plots to take over the peaceful planet of Naboo, Jedi warrior Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi embark on an amazing adventure to save the planet. With them on their journey is the young queen Amidala, Gungan outcast JarJar Binks, and the powerful Captain Panaka, who will all travel to the faraway planets of Tatooine and Coruscant in a futile attempt to save their world from Darth Sidious, leader of the Trade Federation, and Darth Maul, the strongest Dark Lord of the Sith to ever wield a lightsaber.

Michael Jackson Wanted to Play This ‘Star Wars’ Character

Michael Jackson Wanted to Play This ‘Star Wars’ Character

It must have been hard for George Lucas to say no to Michael Jackson. The two were old friends after working on the iconic Disneyland 3D attraction Captain EO way back in 1986, at the height of the pop star's popularity. But when George set out to return to his galaxy far, far away with 1999's Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, he made the mistake of letting Michael read the script early. There was one character the singer gravitated to. But George Lucas simply felt he was wrong for the role.

As it turns out, Michael Jackson really wanted to play Jar Jar Binks. A character that would go onto become possibly the most hated in the series of old and new films alike. Mostly known for his singing, Michael Jackson was also an actor. He took the lead in the short film Captain EO, playing a starship captain who brings peace to the galaxy. He introduced the long form music video, which saw his musical performances bookended by a narrative. And he was the Scarecrow in the big screen version of The Wiz. Why couldn't he play Jar Jar Binks?

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‘Star Wars’ Movie Saga Available in Digital HD April 10

‘Star Wars’ Movie Saga Available in Digital HD April 10

- Legacy content includes "The Beginning"; The Podrace: Theatrical Edit; plus eight deleted scenes.

- Legacy content includes "From Puppets To Pixels: Digital Characters In Episode II"; State Of The Art: The Previsualization Of Episode II; and "Films Are Not Released, They Escape"; plus Episode II Visual Effects Breakdown Montage and six deleted scenes.

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Watch Topher Grace's ‘Star Wars’ Prequel Edit Trailer

Watch Topher Grace's ‘Star Wars’ Prequel Edit Trailer

That '70s Show star Topher Grace wanted to learn how to edit film, so as an exercise, he took it upon himself to make a one-film cut with footage from the three Star Wars prequels, which includes Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. What resulted was an 85-minute sci-fi adventure that is lean, mean and has been quite enjoyed by those who've seen it. It was never meant to be released outside Topher Grace's circle of friends, but that might have changed after a couple years being asked repeatedly about it. We don't have a confirmed release date for Star Wars: Episode III.5, but we may finally get to see it as Topher has cut together and released a teaser trailer, which helps to remind fans why they love this franchise in the first place. Take a look.

Star Wars: Episode III.5 basically cuts out all the boring parts of the movie, which means most of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. It is unclear if this cut will make it into theaters. The more logical conclusion is that Topher Grace will show it to a select group of fans at this year's Comic Con 2014.

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‘Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace’ 3D Blu-ray Coming This Spring

When LucasFilm released Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray back in September, Panasonic teamed up with the studio to package this set with its Blu-ray players. It seems Panasonic and LucasFilm are continuing their partnership, with Panasonic packaging Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D Blu-ray along with its 3D Blu-ray players.

While an insider claims the 3D Blu-ray will be available with Panasonic products as early as this spring, it seems a September release is more likely, since Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace just opened in theaters two weeks ago. Nothing has been confirmed by Panasonic or LucasFilm as of yet.

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Four ‘Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace’ Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Four unseen behind-the-scenes photos have been unearthed for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, which will be re-released in 3D February 10. Click on these photos below, which feature Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Ray Park, and Kenny Baker, to access our growing gallery for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace was released May 19th, 1999.

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‘Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace’ Super Bowl XLVI TV Spot

20th Century Fox and LucasFilm has debuted a new TV spot for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace during Super Bowl XLVI last night. Click on the video player below for a new look at director George Lucas' 1999 prequel.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace was released May 19th, 1999.

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‘Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace 3D’ Kids Featurette

LucasFilm has released a new kids featurette for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, which hits theaters in 3D February 10. Click on the video player below for a look George Lucas' first prequel, which caters to younger audience members.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace was released May 19th, 1999.

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‘Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace’ Issuing Darth Maul 3D Glasses

Earlier this week, we reported that AMC Theaters is giving away limited edition pod racer 3D glasses for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, which hits theaters in its new 3D presentation February 10. Today we have news that all theaters showing Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in RealD will be handing out Darth Maul 3D glasses to moviegoers who purchase tickets on opening day. Take a look at these new glasses below.

CLICK HERE for all the details regarding AMC Theaters' special events on Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace's 3D opening weekend.

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