Now that we live fully in the reboot age and the Star Wars prequels are old enough to vote (at least the first one), it’s not completely unthinkable that Disney might want to reboot them. Think about how much money they could make on simply rehashing what’s already been done! I mean, they’ve already rebooted the Original Trilogy with Force Awakens, why not the prequels? That’s why I’ve gone through the trouble of rebooting the Star Wars prequels for Disney. I have all the major plot points done and today I present the first film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, The Phantom Menace. Disney, send me my check.
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Opening Crawl Type Stuff:
Jedi Master Sifo Dyas has gone missing after going on a mission to investigate reports that the Confederation of Vallak, a relatively small group of sectors outside of Republic rule, was secretly preparing for war with the Republic.
A small delegation is sent to find the missing Jedi consisting of Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn, Jedi Knight Obi Wan Kenobi, and Republic diplomat Padme Amidala. And because we’d have to fit him in, R2-D2 is Padme’s trusty droid. They’re heading for the last known location of this missing Jedi, a planet called Tatooine on the outer rim, just outside the reach of the Republic.
The movie opens up with the delegation’s shuttle under attack by pirates. Padme gets to say, “We’re on a diplomatic mission!” into the communicator if you need a callback to the original Star Wars trilogy. The attackers force them down to the surface of Tatooine. Once in the atmosphere a junky starfighter shows up to help them destroy their remaining attackers. The Jedi feel that the Force is very strong with the pilot. It’s Anakin Skywalker making his grand appearance. He offers to help fix their ship at the shop he works at.
Anakin is a mechanic/part time starship racer. He’s 18 years old and is an orphan living with his half brother Owen Lars. Lars’s father was a navigator on a spice freighter which was their home. Their ship suffered a reactor breach and Anakin and Owen escaped, but their parents were presumed killed. They’ve made themselves a meager life on Tatooine.
Anakin’s half brother Owen Lars is a simple down to “Earth” guy that doesn’t believe in any of this galactic nonsense. He’s just trying to keep his head down and survive on the outer fringes of the galaxy. He represents the view of the everyman in Star Wars. He immediately dismisses the Jedi religion as goofy and their powers as “tricks”. Lars is working toward getting his own plot of land to call his own while Anakin is saving up every credit to go to the Republic Flight Academy.
Anakin’s natural Force abilities so far have amazed the Jedi, but when Obi Wan brings up the possibility of properly training Anakin, Qui Gon rejects the idea. Anakin is too old, impulsive, and Qui Gon senses too much anger in him.
Anakin and Padme have an instant connection and flirting commences. While the Jedi ship is being repaired by Lars, Obi Wan and Anakin go into Mos Eisley to find any clues on the missing Jedi. Qui Gon tries to keep Padme from going. He gives her one of these, “You’re too important to the diplomatic efforts” things, but she shuts him down and goes anyway.
During the investigation there’s some action via a chase scene and it’s revealed that Padme is a bad ass fighter. She can say something like, “I excelled at combat training for more aggressive negotiations.”
They get a lead to head to the planet Nar Shaddaa to track down the bounty hunter that was responsible for the death of Sifo Dyas. Anakin wants to go with them. Qui Gon is the Jedi party pooper who refuses to let him along, but Anakin doesn’t listen. “You don’t have a choice. I’m going anyway, either in your ship or I’m following you.”
Anakin tells Owen that he’s leaving and doesn’t know if he’ll ever be back. He’s off to make a difference and fight evil in the galaxy. Owen tries to get him to stay and attempts to convince Anakin that he shouldn’t get involved and go off on foolish adventures, but Anakin simply can’t be held back.
Cut to a meeting of dark robed figures. Darth Tyranius and his apprentice meet with Darth Sidious who makes an appearance via hologram. Tyranius says that there’s been a disturbance in the Force. Sidious reveals that he’s had a vision of a powerful Jedi falling to the Dark Side and this could be the key to their ultimate victory. He asks about their war plans and Tyranius tells him everything is going to Sidious’s design.
The team arrives on Nar Shaddaa and then tracks down the Bounty hunter (a Mandalorian by the name of Jango Fett). After a battle they manage to capture him alive. Anakin impulsively uses the force to choke him, while Qui Gon is all like no, “This isn’t how we do things.” Qui Gon instead Force tricks Fett to make him give up what he knows. He reveals that he was hired by Tyranius on a Conederation controlled planet to kill the Jedi.
They debate what to do with Fett. Qui Gon resolves that they must let him go. The Republic has no jurisdiction on Nar Shaddaa and it’s not the Jedi way to take revenge or give out punishments outside the law. In fact, there’s really no law at all there, so technically what he did wasn’t illegal from a certain point of view. Anakin gives ones of these, “If I was in charge, this wouldn’t happen” type of foreboding lines. Fett says something along the lines of, “Look, I owe you one. Sorry for killing your pal, but it was a job. Here’s my secret communicator code, call it if you need me.”
Using the information they got from Fett they decide to infiltrate a Confederation facility. Padme sets up a “diplomatic visit” where they have a very formal meeting with Confederation delegates. You can think of it like one of those spy movies where there’s a fancy ball or gala and everyone is dressed really nice but the heroes are up to some spy business. C-3PO can be introduced here as Padme’s assigned protocol droid for the evening.
Meanwhile Anakin and Obi Wan sneak into the back door with R2-D2 and start hacking their network. They dump a ton of data into R2-D2 and make an exciting escape. Padme must also make a hasty retreat and C-3PO hilariously ends up with them in their escape vehicle, thereby joining the crew.
When they get back to their ship they sort through the data they find a “nondescript” facility in a very remote location. There’s one of these, “Whatever it is, they’re trying to make it look like not a big deal, even though it’s a big deal…” Anakin says he has a feeling that this is what they’re looking for. Obi Wan encourages his tapping into the Force while Qui Gon says it’s dangerous.
According to a map in the data file it looks like it will be impossible to approach this place without being detected. Obi Wan notices a possible “rear entrance” to the place through some rocky terrain/caves, but there’s almost no margin of error. Anakin convinces them he’s up to the piloting task and they head out.
They make it to the facility and figure out that it’s a staging ground for battle and a big cloning factory. It’s established that creating a clone army with viable troops was unheard of, but the Confederation must have had some sort of breakthrough.
They get caught, and are held prisoner by Darth Tyranius. Tyranius gloats about he’s on the verge of destroying the Republic. They’re about to launch a sneak attack on the Republic, destroy it, and topple the Jedi order. He tempts Qui Gon and Obi Wan to the Dark Side. They don’t turn, and so he organizes their execution.
Obi Wan figures there’s still time to alert the Republic of the oncoming attack, but all communication is blocked. They manage to break out of their cells and Padme and Anakin go off to shut down the communications block.
However, Anakin stops and says, “I have a bad feeling about this… I have to go back and help them.” There’s a bit of Padme trying to convince him that the Jedi can handle this, but Anakin says no and he runs back.
Obi Wan and Qui Gon fight Darth Tyranius and Darth Maul. Maul kills Qui Gon and things are looking bleak for Obi Wan until Anakin arrives. He picks up Qui Gon’s lightsaber and manages to hold his own against Maul, completely surprising both Sith. Eventually Anakin kills Maul and Obi Wan injures Tyranius who then makes his escape.
Padme destroys the communications jammer and reunites with the Jedi. She gets the message out to prepare for war (and where they will be striking). Their actions have saved the Republic from being taken by surprise and saved perhaps millions of lives in the process. The team knows that they’re trapped here and will probably die until Padme reveals that she made another call before she wrecked their shit.
Just then a small fleet of various pirate and bounty hunter ships show up and start blasting away at the Confederation forces. Padme called in her favor with Fett and also promised a few Republic pardons along with some cash for their rescue. We’ve get a cool space battle involving various pirate type ships and the Confederation fighters. This allows the heroes to get into a ship and escape in all the chaos.
As Tyranius flies away in his shuttle he calls in to report his failure, but he also tells Darth Sidious that he may have found the potential Jedi that the Sidious saw in his vision.
Anakin and Obi Wan and Padme are given awards by Senator Palpatine for their heroism in a scene reminiscent of the awards ceremony in A New Hope. And of course, Obi Wan goes against the wishes of the Jedi council and takes Anakin as his apprentice.
- The Jedi are in a decline and their numbers are dwindling. They know that there’s a rise in Dark Side energy which is probably the cause of it.
- It’s explained that the Darths are Knights of the Sith, long thought to be extinguished.
- There’s no rule of two business. That was too convenient to explain why we only see two evil Force users in the OT on screen.
- There’s no prophecy about “the chosen one.”