Star Wars: The Phantom Menace solid and crew reunited forward of 20th anniversary – CNET

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Keep in mind this superior lightsaber battle? It is 20 years outdated!


Each saga has a starting, and the solid and crew of the earliest film within the Star Wars chronology got here again collectively in mid-April, forward of its 20th anniversary this week.

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, the primary film in creator George Lucas’ prequel trilogy, hit theaters Might 19, 1999, and confirmed harmless Anakin Skywalker’s first steps to changing into the monstrous Darth Vader.

Actors Ahmed Finest, Ian McDiarmid, Ray Park and Anthony Daniels joined crew members at a packed panel — preceded by Bizarre Al Yankovic’s tribute tune The Saga Begins and the traditional 1998 trailer — on the final day of Star Wars Celebration Chicago.

It was hosted by Star Wars staple Warwick Davis, who performed a number of roles within the film. He was podrace spectator Weazel (who additionally confirmed up once more as considered one of Enfys Nest’s Marauders in Solo) and Anakin’s buddy Wald.

The primary two solid members to the stage had been Ian McDiarmid (Senator Palpatine/Darth Sidious) and Ray Park (Darth Maul), with the previous making a cheeky reference to his shock look on the Episode 9 panel.

“Friday, I simply occurred to be within the space,” McDiarmid stated. “So I assumed I ought to simply drop in for amusing.”

The actor recalled how momentous it felt to be engaged on a Star Wars film as soon as once more as he revisited Palpatine, whom he performed as an older character within the unique trilogy.


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“I made the belief that we would by no means ever see him once more (after his dying in Return of the Jedi), and I suppose that is the way it shall stay,” he stated, in one other cheeky reference to the character’s obvious return in The Rise of Skywalker, which takes place a long time later.

He additionally famous that Phantom Menace castmate Liam Neeson (Qui-Gon Jinn) did not notice he was enjoying Palpatine and Sidious throughout filming and let him know on the premiere.

“http://www.cnet.com/”It was you, you bastard!”http://www.cnet.com/” McDiarmid recalled the actor saying.


Along with his function as Darth Maul, Ray Park (far proper) had a cameo as a guard in The Phantom Menace.

Sean Keane/CNET

It turned out that McDiarmid helped Park, who performed Sidious’ Sith apprentice, settle into his function.

“I used to be nervous … Ian actually reassured me and stored me calm,” stated Park, who additionally famous that he made Prodigy’s Firestarter his private theme for entering into character as Maul.

Park highlighted his cameo as considered one of Padme’s guards in the course of the last battle.

Ahmed Finest (Jar Jar Binks) obtained the largest response as he and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) hit the stage, with the group chanting “Jar Jar” as he arrived.

Finest recalled how he was found whereas engaged on the stage present Stomp, and that as a child from the Bronx, going to Skywalker Ranch “was mad trippy.”

Daniels famous how blissful he was to find his character was principally made by Darth Vader.

“It does clarify why Threepio is barely nervous about every part,” he stated, even when the protocol droid would not really know Anakin is Vader.

He revealed that his favourite line from the film is “What do you imply “bare?”, uttered after cheeky astromech droid R2-D2 beeps that his “components are displaying.” Threepio would not have his iconic gold plating within the film.


The solid and crew of The Phantom Menace bid the Star Wars Celebration Chicago crowd farewell.

Sean Keane/CNET

Lucas did not present up in individual, however despatched a video message about his continued fondness for The Phantom Menace.

“It is considered one of my favourite motion pictures and Jar Jar is my favourite character,” he stated. “It was one of many first digital options and we’re very pleased with that.”

The retired filmmaker additionally expressed his affection for the followers celebrating his film 20 years later.

“I really like every considered one of you.”

The actors had been joined on stage by designer Doug Chiang, visible results supervisor John Knoll, digital mannequin maker Jean Bolte and sound designer Matthew Wooden. Chiang famous that Lucas needed this film grounded within the 1920s and ’30s, in comparison with the unique trilogy’s refined ’70s look.

Knoll highlighted his transient cameo within the film.

“I am within the area battle. I am the one pilot you really see get killed,” he stated.

Bolte cited scummy podracer Sebulba, Jar Jar Binks and Yoda as her favourite characters to work on. Nonetheless, she stated junk seller Watto was the closest to her coronary heart, since she loves accumulating.

Wooden stated they took a unique strategy to sound in comparison with the older motion pictures, deciding to make it “smooth. He highlighted how doorways made easy sounds in comparison with the” ker-thunks” of the unique trilogy. 

“Sebulba’s pod was principally a Ferrari that a man kindly punched a gap in his muffler for,” he revealed of their strategy utilizing real-world sounds (which he discovered from unique trilogy sound guru Ben Burtt.

Wooden additionally had a cameo as Jabba’s Twi’lek majordomo Bib Fortuna in the course of the podrace scene.

The fan conference, which ran April 11-16, already noticed the reveal of Episode 9’s title and first trailer and extra particulars in regards to the Galaxy’s Edge Disney Parks attraction. We additionally obtained our first glimpse of reside motion present The Mandalorian, and The Clone Wars season 7, each of that are coming to the Disney Plus streaming service.

If you wish to catch up or revisit the saga, try our information to watching all the flicks on-line in chronological order.

First printed, April 15.
Replace, Might 19: Notes the film’s 20th anniversary.


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