It is an urban map consisting of many buildings, streets, and alleys. The streets are lined with flowering trees, and the open squares are decorated by gardens and fountains. The buildings are made of the same sand-colored stone bricks, accented by the jade-green domes that top them. An archway looms over the main street of Theed. The main street is shaped like a massive corridor, passing through two archways before finally leading to the steps of the Royal Palace.
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Plot[ edit ] The Trade Federation upsets order in the Galactic Republic by blockading the planet Naboo in preparation for a full-scale invasion. The Jedi escape and flee to Naboo. During the invasion, Qui-Gon saves the life of a Gungan outcast, Jar Jar Binks , from being run over by a droid transport.
The ship is damaged as they pass the Federation blockade and the hyperdrive is caught in the crossfire, rendering it useless. Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force within Anakin, and is convinced that he is prophesied as " The Chosen One ". Anakin wins the race and joins the group to be trained as a Jedi, leaving behind his mother, Shmi. A lightsaber duel ensues, but Qui-Gon quickly disengages and escapes onboard the starship. Qui-Gon asks the Jedi Council for permission to train Anakin as a Jedi, but the Council refuses, concerned that Anakin is vulnerable to the dark side of the Force.
Undaunted, Qui-Gon vows to take up Anakin as his new apprentice. Though she is successful in pushing for the vote, Amidala grows frustrated with the corruption in the Senate and decides to return to Naboo. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are ordered by the Jedi Council to accompany the queen and investigate the return of the Sith, whom they had believed to be extinct.
During a battle in the starship hangar, Qui-Gon tells Anakin to wait in the cockpit of a vacant starfighter. During the battle, Maul mortally wounds Qui-Gon with his lightsaber, but is then bisected by Obi-Wan and falls down a pit.
Palpatine is elected Chancellor, and Gunray is arrested. Lucas originally wanted to cast an American actor in the role, but cast Neeson who is Northern Irish because he considered that Neeson had great skills and presence.
Lucas said Neeson was a "master actor, who the other actors will look up to, who has got the qualities of strength that the character demands. McGregor was cast from a shortlist of fifty actors, all of whom had to be compared to pictures of young Alec Guinness , who portrayed the elderly Obi-Wan, to make a believable younger version. Over actresses auditioned for the role. Portman said, "It was wonderful playing a young queen with so much power.
I think it will be good for young women to see a strong woman of action who is also smart and a leader. Hundreds of actors were tested across the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the United States  before the producers settled on Lloyd, who Lucas considered met his requirements of "a good actor, enthusiastic and very energetic".
Producer Rick McCallum said that Lloyd was "smart, mischievous, and loves anything mechanical—just like Anakin. McDiarmid was surprised when Lucas approached him sixteen years after Return of the Jedi to reprise the role of Palpatine because he had assumed that a younger actor would play the role in the prequel films. On the set, to provide references for the actors, Best was clothed in a suit made of foam and latex and a headpiece.
He lacks a metal covering in this film; R2-D2 humorously refers to it as being "naked". A puppeteer dressed in a color closely matching the background—in a manner similar to the Japanese puppet theater Bunraku —manipulated a skeletal C-3PO figure attached to his front while Daniels read his lines off-camera.
The puppeteer was erased from the film during post-production. Baker is used for scenes where R2-D2 bends forwards and backwards and wobbles from side-to-side. Robots and a digital model were used in other shots.
August, a veteran of Swedish cinema, was chosen after auditioning with Liam Neeson. She was afraid of being rejected because of her accent. Warwick Davis who played the part of the Ewok Wicket W. Hugh Quarshie as Capt. Samuel L. James Taylor as the voice of Rune Haako.
Christian Simpson appears as Lieutenant Gavyn Sykes. Sally Hawkins made her screen debut as an uncredited villager. Development[ edit ] While writing the original Star Wars film , [b] Lucas decided the story was too vast to be covered in one film.
He introduced a wider story arc that could be told in sequels if it became successful. However, because Lucas had developed most of the backstory, the idea of prequels continued to fascinate him.
Lucas saw that there was still a large audience for his idea of a prequel trilogy, and with the development of special effects generated with computer-generated imagery CGI , Lucas considered returning to his saga and directing the film.
A relic of the original outline was that Anakin would, like his son, grow up on Tatooine. This was the final step toward turning the franchise into a saga. As with the original trilogy, Lucas intended The Phantom Menace to illustrate several themes throughout the narrative.
Duality is a frequent theme; Amidala is a queen who passes as a handmaiden, Palpatine plays on both sides of the war, among others. All three approached directors told Lucas that he should direct the film, as they each found the project "too daunting. McCallum stated that his experience with The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles led to many of his decisions on The Phantom Menace, such as long-term deals with actors and soundstages, the employment of recent graduates with no film experience, and the creation of sets and landscapes with digital technology.
In April , McCallum started searching for artists in art, architecture and design schools, and in mid-year he began location scouting with production designer Gavin Bocquet. With the exception of the Gungan city, which had an art nouveau -inspired visual, these locations would be given distinctive looks with some basis in the real world. Chiang uses that orientation to base the droids on the Imperial soldiers, only in the same style of stylized and elongated features seen in tribal African art.
Many of the aliens are hybrids, combining features of real animals. At times, entire food chains were developed, even though only a small percentage of them would appear in the film. Each creature would reflect its environment; those on Naboo were more beautiful because the planet is "lush and more animal-friendly", Tatooine has rough-looking creatures "with weather-beaten leathery skin to protect them from the harsh desert elements", and Coruscant has bipedal, human-looking aliens.
Lucas wanted the lightsaber battles to be fast and more intense, depicting the Jedi in their prime. This scene was highly praised by critics and audiences. Stunt coordinator Nick Gillard was recruited to create a new Jedi fighting style for the prequel trilogy. Gillard likened the lightsaber battles to a chess game "with every move being a check ".
Because of their short-range weapons, Gillard thought that the Jedi would have had to develop a fighting style that merged every swordfighting style, such as kendo and other kenjutsu styles, with other swinging techniques, such as tennis swings and tree-chopping. While training Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor, Gillard wrote a sequence that lasted around 60 seconds and intended to be around five or six sequences per fight.
The preference of hand-to-hand combat was intended to give a spiritual and intellectual role to the Jedi. Designer Trisha Biggar and her team created over 1, costumes that were inspired by various cultures.
Lucas said he and Biggar would look at the conceptual art to "translat[e] all of these designs into cloth and fabric and materials that would actually work and not look silly". A huge wardrobe department was set up at Leavesden Film Studios to create over costumes for the main actors and 5, for the background ones. Jackson expressed interest in appearing in a Star Wars film, he was approached by casting director Robin Gurland to play Windu. Lucas and McCallum were so impressed with the test tape that they gave Park the role of Maul.
His voice was considered "too squeaky" and was dubbed over in post-production by Peter Serafinowicz. Hugh Quarshie considered the part of Panaka as "a good career move" and a production that would be fun to make.
As she prepared the script for her directorial debut The Virgin Suicides , Sofia heard Lucas would make a new Star Wars film and asked him if she could accompany him during filming. Lucas offered Coppola a role in the royal entourage, which she accepted because it "seemed like a good vantage point to watch without getting in the way".
Filming began on June 26, , and ended on September 30 of that year, primarily taking place at Leavesden Film Studios in England. Leavesden was leased for a two and a half year period so the production company could leave the sets intact and return after principal photography had been completed.
On the night following the third day of shooting in Tozeur, an unexpected sandstorm destroyed many of the sets and props. The production was quickly rescheduled to allow for repairs and was able to leave Tunisia on the date originally planned. Scenes with explosions were filmed on replica sets in Leavesden. The sets were often built with the parts that would be required on screen; often they were built only up to the heights of the actors.
Chroma key was extensively used for digital set extensions, backgrounds, or scenes that required cinematographer David Tattersall to seek powerful lamps to light the sets and visual effects supervisor John Knoll to develop software that would remove the blue reflection from shiny floors.
Knoll, who remained on set through most of the production, worked closely with Tatterstall to ensure that the shots were suitable to add effects later. The cameras were fitted with data capture models to provide technical data for the CGI artists. Some scenes, mostly of elements filmed by the special effects team, were shot on high definition, digital video tapes to test the performance of digital recordings, which Lucas and McCallum considered the next logical step because of the amount of digitizing—an expensive process compared to recording directly on digital media—for the compositing of computer-generated effects.
All future films would be shot using Sony CineAlta high-definition video cameras. The visual effects crew did not like the original results and crafted Fode and Beed as an entirely computer generated alien. The final sound mix was added in March , and the following month, the film was completed after the delivery of the remaining visual effects shots.
About 1, of the shots in The Phantom Menace have visual effects. The scene in which toxic gas is released on the Jedi is the only sequence with no digital alteration. Knoll previewed 3, storyboards for the film; Lucas accompanied him to explain factors of the shots that would be practical and those that would be created through visual effects.
Knoll later said that on hearing the explanations of the storyboards, he did not know how to accomplish what he had seen. The result was a mixture of original techniques and the newest digital techniques to make it difficult for the viewer to guess which technique was being used. Another goal was to create computer-generated characters that could act seamlessly with live-action actors.
While filming scenes with CGI characters, Lucas would block the characters using their corresponding voice actors on-set. The voice actors were then removed and the live-action actors would perform the same scene alone.
A CGI character would later be added into the shot to complete the conversation. The Neimodian suits, which were originally intended as digital characters, were delivered one day before they would be required on set. Dudman traveled to Skywalker Ranch to see the original creatures that could be reused, and read the script for a breakdown of scenes with practical creatures, leaving only the more outlandish designs to be created using CGI.
Except for Jake Lloyd inside a hydraulically controlled cockpit and a few practical podracer models, the entire podracing scene—which the effects crew designed to be as "out of this world" as possible—is computer-generated.
Williams decided to use electronic instruments such as synthesizers to enhance the sound and choral pieces to "capture the magical, mystical force that a regular orchestra might not have been able to provide", and create an atmosphere that was "more mysterious and mystical and less military" than those of the original trilogy.
The track was made into a music video. This album featured the score, which Williams restructured as a listening experience; it is not presented in film order and omits many notable cues from the film because of the space restriction of the compact disc.
The set features almost the entire score as it is heard in the film, including all of the edits and loops that were made for the sound mix. The Star Wars films typically mix several concepts from different mythologies together.
Invasion of Naboo