23 Hot Pieces of Trivia About The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace was released in theatres on May 19, 1999, almost 16 years after the premiere of the previous Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi. It caused mass hysteria around the globe, with fans of the original trilogy clambering to see it – some of whom saw it multiple times on its opening day and over the course of its early cinematic run.

Suffice it to say, despite how polarizing it was, there was a lot of interest in the movie – interest that remains to this day. With that in mind, there's a lot of trivia about it. Here's some of that trivia for your reading pleasure:

  1. Darth Maul has ten horns on his red head.
  2. The production sets were built only as high as the tops of the actors' heads and computer graphics filled in the rest. But it was realized that Liam Neeson was so tall that they needed to build things taller and this meant another $150,000 was needed in construction costs.
  3. Qui-Gon Jinn is 1.93 meters tall.
  4. The Phantom Menace was the first movie in the series in which the top-credited actor played a non-recurring character, and in which the top-credited character died. Rogue One became the second 17 years later.
  5. Contrary to popular belief, the city where Qui-Gon discovered a young Anakin was not the famous spaceport of Mos Eisley, but a different place called Mos Espa. Qui-Gon's description of Mos Espa was almost the same, if not word for word, as Obi-Wan's description of Mos Eisley during A New Hope.
  6. Jabba the Hutt, who had a brief cameo during Anakin Skywalker's pod race scene, is listed as being played by “himself.”
  7. While Ray Park became famous for playing the Sith Lord Darth Maul, Peter Serafinowicz actually voiced the character. In Solo: A Star Wars Story, Maul was voiced by Sam Witwer.
  8. Benicio Del Toro was originally cast to play Darth Maul but he abandoned the role after George Lucas decided to trim Maul's screen time in the movie. Del Toro went on to play DJ in The Last Jedi.
  9. The sound of the hovering battle tanks used by the battle droids in The Phantom Menace was created by running an electric razor around a metal salad bowl and then digitally lowering the pitch.
  10. The Phantom Menace was the first Star Wars movie to be released on DVD and, despite “fan hate,” it was a massive seller.
  11. The blue-haired slave girls that could be observed beside Jabba the Hutt before the pod race wore the same slave costume worn by Princess Leia in The Return of the Jedi. The girls are Twi'lek.
  12. Qui-Gon Jinn's communicator is a repurposed Gillette Sensor Excel Razor for Womenir?source=bk&t=postgamelobby 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=c640d8768378d548f763cb08ca95cca0& cb=1556786841084.
  13. Natalie Portman‘s voice was digitally altered to further distinguish between Padmé and Queen Amidala to confuse the audience who may have not picked up on the deceptive ploy. In addition, at the time of the movie's release, the producers ran a disinformation campaign to suggest that Portman played both Padmé and Amidala at all times. Keira Knightley was a double and eagle eyes can spot her. Knightley went on to become super famous in Bend It Like Beckham and Pirates of the Caribbean.
  14. The pod race scene was directly inspired by the chariot race in Ben Hur and featured several moments that matched the famous final race moment-for-moment.
    qui gon jinn liam neeson
    Image Courtesy of Lucasfilm
  15. Liam Nesson signed on without seeing the movie's script.
  16. The shipping title of The Phantom Menace was “The Doll House.”
  17. “Phantom Menace” was the name of a villain in the Flash Gordon comics. This shouldn't surprise too many people as George Lucas has often cited Flash Gordon as one of his inspirations for making the original Star Wars.
  18. E.T. creatures made a cameo appearance in The Phantom Menace.
  19. Ron Howard, who starred in Lucas's American Graffiti before he became a director in his own right, turned down the chance to direct The Phantom Menace and also famously defended the movie when it came out.
  20. The word “lightsaber” is never uttered in the movie and is ultimately the only Star Wars movie where the word is not used. “Laser sword” is mentioned once.
  21. Darth Maul only speaks only three lines for a total of 31 words, which is less than the Terminator did in the original movie.
  22. Warwick Davis, who famously played Wicket as a child in Return of the Jedi, actually had three cameo parts! Davis is now revisiting the world of Willow in a new show directed by Ron Howard – Howard eventually did direct a Star Wars movie, Solo.
  23. Fun fact, in the fifth episode of The Book of Boba Fett – “Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian” – the Mandalorian tests out his refreshed Naboo Starfighter, and he takes the same route down Beggar's Canyon that Luke referenced in A New Hope and that Anakin raced in. The fence that Anakin smashed was still left scattered on the ground since that moment!

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.