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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
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STAR WARS: EPISODE I The Facts

Qui-Gon Jinn identifies the Queen's starship as a Nubian model J-327. "327" was the number of the landing bay where the Millennium Falcon landed on the first Death Star in Star Wars (1977) as well as the number of the landing platform in Cloud City in Star Wars: Episode V (1980).

 
In the credits, Jabba The Hutt is credited as playing "himself."

The following character "has a bad feeling about this": Obi-Wan. See also Star Wars (1977), Star Wars: Episode V (1980), and Star Wars: Episode VI (1983).

Among the props in the background aboard the ship as the group leaves Tatooine are three Hewlett-Packard Inkjet cartridges.

When Palpatine lands at Naboo at the end of the film, he's accompanied by guards dressed in blue. The guard's costumes are essentially the red Emperor's guards seen in Star Wars: Episode VI (1983) without full face masks.

Sets were built only as high as the tops of the actors' heads; computer graphics filled in the rest. But Liam Neeson was so tall that he cost the set crew an extra $150,000 in construction.

A pod from the Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) can be seen behind Qui-Gon in Watto's junkyard.

Qui-Gon Jinn's communicator is a redecorated Sensor Excel Razor for Women.

Jar Jar's antics during the climactic battle echo scenes from classic silent comedies. Ball rolling down hill after Jar Jar: Seven Chances (1925). Gun tied to foot firing: The Navigator (1924). Hanging from gun turret: Girl Shy (1924).

Manny, the afterworld character from the LucasArts video game "Grim Fandango," appears in the audience cheering the pod race.

When the droid control ship explodes, one large fragment is a model of the Millennium Falcon.

Natalie Portman (Queen Amidala) missed the premiere party in New York because she had to go home to study for her high school final exams.

The pseudonym used by the Queen, "Padme," is the Sanskrit word for "lotus." It is a common word in Buddhism. "Yoda" is also derived from the Sanskrit word for "warrior."

The film contains no acting credit for the character of Darth Sidious.

Star Wars Insider magazine publisher Dan Madsen is seen doing his bit as an extra grabbing the reins of a "Kaadu" at the celebration scene. He's short and wearing a light green outfit.

In a scene in the Skywalker home, George Lucas digitally altered Jake Lloyd's eyes to look in a different direction momentarily.

Ewan Mcgregor, who plays Obi-Wan Kenobi, is the nephew of Denis Lawson, who played Rebel pilot Wedge Antilles in Star Wars (1977).

After the film's end credits finish rolling, the sound effect of Darth Vader's breathing can be heard.

Queen Amidala protects herself by posing as one of her own underlings. The same ploy was used by the President of the United States in Superman Ii to conceal his identity from General Zod, played by Terence Stamp - who plays Chancellor Valorum in this film.

Queen Amidala's throne-room dress took eight weeks to design.

In the final battle Jar Jar knocks over a battle droid with serial number 1138 on his back. George Lucas directed a film called Thx 1138.

During filming Ewan Mcgregor made lightsaber noises as he dueled! It was noted and corrected during filmmaking.

Theaters receiving the first trailer and posters were warned in writing to return them to the distributor (20th Century Fox) on time or risk not receiving further media, and possibly the film itself. This was done to attempt to prevent the "black-market" sale of the incredibly popular trailer.

George Lucas reportedly wrote Star Wars: Episode I in the same binder of yellow ruled paper in which he wrote the original Star Wars (1977) as well as American Graffiti (1973).

During the first week of the first trailer's release, many theaters reported up to 75% of their audiences paying full price for a movie, then walking out after the Star Wars: Episode I trailer was shown.

In 1997, a fierce sandstorm destroyed several of the Tatooine sets in the desert outside of Tozeur, Tunisia. Filming resumed two days later. George Lucas considered this a good omen, as the very same thing had happened during filming of the original Star Wars (1977).

Neimoidian senator Lott Dod was named after two real-life US senators, Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conneticut).

A group of aliens resembling E.T. (from E.T. (1982)) can be seen in the Galactic Senate chamber shortly after Queen Amidala calls for a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Valorum.

Natalie Portman's voice was digitally enhanced for distinguishing between Padme and Queen Amidala.

Lucas has said that there are a couple of shots in the movie that were "filmed" on digital video instead of 35 mm film. He also said that he dares anyone to try and figure out which shots these were.

Like a Shakespearean play, this film's final dialogue is a rhyming couplet: "Always two there are, no more, no less: a master and an apprentice." "But which was destroyed? The master or the apprentice?"

The fictional "midichlorians" described in the film are analogous to real-life "mitochondria."

The "water" cascading over the falls in the Naboo capital city was actually salt.

The sound of the underwater monsters growling near the beginning of the film was made by the main sound technician's three-year-old daughter. The sound of her crying was recorded, and the frequency lowered to obtain the sound heard in the film.

Many details of the pod race resemble the Norwegian animation classic Flåklypa Grand Prix (1975), including the sabotage, the late start, the engine trouble, the dirty tricks and even elements of the camerawork.

Amidala is Portuguese for "tonsils."

The sound of the hovering battle tanks used by the battle droids was created by running an electric razor around a metal salad bowl and then digitally lowering the pitch.

In scenes where Padme and Queen Amidala appear together, Natalie Portman is Padme, while Kiera Knightley is Sabe, one of the handmaidens disguised as the Queen.

The parade music at the end of the film is melodically related to the Emperor's Theme from Star Wars: Episode VI (1983).

Facts courtesy of Internet Movie Database and Lucasfilm Ltd.
 

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