To mark the movie's 25th anniversary, Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace is returning to theaters for a limited time from May 3, just in time for Star Wars Day.
Understandably, there was a lot of excitement for The Phantom Menace in the build-up to its release, and while the movie certainly had its defenders at the time, most would probably have to agree that it didn't live up to the hype.
The first Star Wars prequel was criticized for its cheesy dialogue, wooden acting, and uninvolving story (we don't even need to mention a certain CGI Gungan), but it can be easy to forget the positives: An exciting Pod-Race, the epic three-way lightsaber duel between Darth Maul, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn, and John William' sublime "Duel of the Fates."
The movie was reevaluated - along with Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith - after the release of the underwhelming The Rise of Skywalker, and many Star Wars fans have come to feel that the Prequel Trilogy is actually stronger than the Sequel Trilogy overall.
Whether you happen to agree or not, seeing The Phantom Menace on the big screen again (or for the first time) would surely be a worthwhile experience.
To mark the re-release, Empire has debuted some new poster art from Matt Ferguson, featuring Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Padmé, and Darth Maul looming in the background.
"Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is a 1999 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Pernilla August and Frank Oz. It is the fourth film in the Star Wars film series, the first film of the prequel trilogy and the first chronological chapter of the "Skywalker Saga".
Set 32 years before the original trilogy (13 years before the formation of the Galactic Empire), during the era of the Galactic Republic, the plot follows Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi as they try to protect Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo in hopes of securing a peaceful end to an interplanetary trade dispute. Joined by Anakin Skywalker—a young slave with unusually strong natural powers of the Force—they simultaneously contend with the mysterious return of the Sith. The film was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by 20th Century Fox."