It’s difficult to convey the excitement generated by Star Wars: The Phantom Menace for those born after 2000. After a slowing period in the early 1990s, Star Wars began rebuilding its pop culture reputation with the original trilogy special editions, but rumors persisted that George Lucas was working on Episode I, despite his claims to the contrary.
With the advent of the internet, rumor-swapping newsgroups and message boards were churning out stories about what was coming. When we saw the first The Phantom Menace trailer, audiences went wild, purchasing tickets just to see it and missing the film it was shown in front of. It also debuted online, with a surge in traffic causing distributed of distributed web traffic management tech that we still use today.
Nevertheless, that’s ancient history, underscored by this image of the The Phantom Menace cast before its release, which is just as magnificent as it is ludicrous.
Ewan McGregor‘s fresh-faced, optimistic, and powerfully 90s hairstyled Jedi has been gone for at least 23 years now, with the recent Disney Plus show Obi-Wan Kenobi depicting what became of him. Liam Neeson‘s Qui-Gon Jinn was also brought back in the series’ closing moments, as grumpy and straightforward as he ever was.
Natalie Portman, who is seen in both Star Wars and Thor: Love and Thunder, is also generating a lot of interest this summer. In the weeks leading up to its debut next week, the actress’ performance as Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder has received a tremendous amount of attention.
What of Jake Lloyd, who was also the first to portray a Skywalker character? Unfortunately, his tale has not been as successful. He’s been arrested a few times, spent time in a psychiatric hospital, and has been classified as having paranoid schizophrenia. Various Star Wars projects continue to utilize footage of him as Anakin from The Phantom Menace, so let’s hope he’s still getting some money from Lucasfilm.
The first Star Wars prequel, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, is now available to stream on Disney Plus.
Covering superheroes, anything dark, horror, and more! Lead writer for Fan Fest