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  • Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition Boxed Set) [VHS]
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Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition Boxed Set) [VHS]

3,056 customer reviews

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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid
  • Directors: George Lucas
  • Writers: George Lucas
  • Producers: George Lucas, Rick McCallum
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Limited Edition, Special Edition, THX, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: April 4, 2000
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,056 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305750750
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,289 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1999 - 20th Century Fox - Lucasfilm Ltd - Star Wars I : The Phantom Menace - Widescreen Video Collector's Edition - Digitally THX Mastered - Collector Box - Includes: Widescreen VHS Movie / 35mm Film Strip 5 Frames from actual theatrical print , mounted on collectible card / A 48 Page Collector's Book - Rare - Out of Production - Very Collectible

"I have a bad feeling about this," says the young Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor) in Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace as he steps off a spaceship and into the most anticipated cinematic event... well, ever. He might as well be speaking for the legions of fans of the original episodes in the Star Wars saga who can't help but secretly ask themselves: Sure, this is Star Wars, but is it my Star Wars? The original elevated moviegoers' expectations so high that it would have been impossible for any subsequent film to meet them. And as with all the Star Wars movies, The Phantom Menace features inexplicable plot twists, a fistful of loose threads, and some cheek-chewing dialogue. Han Solo's swagger is sorely missed, as is the pervading menace of heavy-breather Darth Vader. There is still way too much quasi-mystical mumbo jumbo, and some of what was fresh about Star Wars 22 years earlier feels formulaic. Yet there's much to admire. The special effects are stupendous; three worlds are populated with a mélange of creatures, flora, and horizons rendered in absolute detail. The action and battle scenes are breathtaking in their complexity. And one particular sequence of the film--the adrenaline-infused pod race through the Tatooine desert--makes the chariot race in Ben-Hur look like a Sunday stroll through the park.

Among the host of new characters, there are a few familiar walk-ons. We witness the first meeting between R2-D2 and C-3PO, Jabba the Hutt looks younger and slimmer (but not young and slim), and Yoda is as crabby as ever. Natalie Portman's stately Queen Amidala sports hairdos that make Princess Leia look dowdy and wields a mean laser. We never bond with Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), and Obi-Wan's day is yet to come. Jar Jar Binks, a cross between a Muppet, a frog, and a hippie, provides many of the movie's lighter moments, while Sith Lord Darth Maul is a formidable force. Baby-faced Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) looks too young and innocent to command the powers of the Force or wield a lightsaber (much less transmute into the future Darth Vader), but his boyish exuberance wins over skeptics.

Near the end of the movie, Palpatine, the new leader of the Republic, may be speaking for fans eagerly awaiting Episode II when he pats young Anakin on the head and says, "We will watch your career with great interest." Indeed! --Tod Nelson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

207 of 262 people found the following review helpful By M. Chambers on May 26, 2005
Format: DVD
I saw this film on theatrical release in and was very disappointed. Of course, alot of the disappointment initially had to do with the incredible hype build-up that accompanied the new trilogy. Nothing could have lived up to the public's expectations.

That having been said, The Phantom Menace is disappointing not so much because it stinks, but because, I felt, with some additional tweaking, it could have been much much better. Its almost as if Lucas got the plot ideas and character concepts developed to a schematic level and then sort of lost interest in them and did not develop them any further.

Specific gripes:

1. We never really bond with or understand Qui-Gon's character or his relationship with young Anakin. He states that he thinks Anakin may be the chosen one, but that is not really sufficient. We need to see an emotional bond or some kind of identification between the two, but it just isn't there.

2. Not to pick on Jake Lloyd (he's probably a great kid), but Lucas or whoever just did not get a good performance out of him. Plus, there is no hint in young Anakin at this point of character traits or flaws that might later foreshadow his fall. Yoda says he sees anger and fear in Anakin and the Jedi Council make vague predications that he may eventually be dangerous, but we as audience members just don't see it. We are supposed to infer that Anakin is somehow damaged by his life as as slave and subsequent separation from his mother, but again, we don't see any of this. His life as a slave doesn't seem to indicate any hardship; his big scene saying goodbye to his mom is not particularly moving (mainly due to wooden acting by Lloyd; Pernilla August as his mom does a good job thought).
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54 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Dax on June 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Like so many others I waited fingernail biting for many years. Also like many old fans I was left sorely disappointed. Now I kept my expectations relatively low for the new movie-and still it was bad! (Really bad) Most of my friends desperately wanting to keep Lucas venerated had "it was alright/ had some cool effects" to say, only to later join my much stronger "I hated it" stance. I've heard plenty of negative criticism without some specifics, so here are some of the problems with Lucas' blunder as I see them:
-THE TARGET AUDIENCE: (it was kids!) Now I know the desire was to keep Star Wars available to all ages, but this failed. The original movies were mature enough in dialogue, mood, and detail to enthrall older ages, yet still accessible to younger ages (Darth is evil). This movie though, is kept accessible to its target audience while neglecting the majority of its fans.
-THE COMEDY: (cheap laughs and clowning) In keeping with making a children's movie, Lucas had to ensure that all of the comedy could be understood, therefore physical buffoonery was the only out. Would it have been too much to include some subtle banter (or any verbal comedy) like that found in the other movies? (and capable of entertaining audiences older than twelve). Really though, does anything more need be said than Jar-Jar? I don't think so.
-THE VIOLENCE: (can't have the kids see any) Now not that I advocate violence for its own sake, but in this film its a mix of clowning-robot breaking-safety. The first five minutes of A New Hope are more violent then this entire movie- Vader parading over the fallen bodies of the storm troopers and rebels (and this was '77, not the desensitized world of the millennium).
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28 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film is really just a large bundle of errors and pointing them out individually is akin to sifting chaff for chaff, but here are a few: 1) The Force is genetic, the result of (or interpreted by) some sort of cooties. Is it contagious? Can you get blood transplants? 2) Anakin = Jesus. 3) Amphibians have hooves and enormous floppy ears, and display no discomfort after spending days and days on a desert planet in scorching sun and heat. 4) Every single time Jar Jar lurches onto the screen, he does something stupid. What he does is unpredictable, the fact that he will do it is not. 5) The N64 20-minute pod racer game came out the same time as the film, which features a 20-minute pod racer scene. Also note the albino bounty hunter (again on a desert planet with 2 suns) who appears because LucasArts was pondering a Tomb Raider spin-off. 6) There is no superfluous dialogue. An economy of speech and action moves the plot along like a 1-act play with 4 different scenes.
Basically, Lucas' genius is in marketing, not in film-making. What he failed to understand was that had he made a film that pandered to anyone over the age of seven, an entire generation of Star Wars fans would _have brought their children with them to the theater anyway_. He bricked an assured lay-up.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By CaptainComic on May 23, 2001
Format: DVD
Int. evening - A dimly lit room.
George: The movie must have a child-friendly comic relief, and we also need some clever doll to sell afterwards... hmmmmm... Jar Jar Binks!
George: Wait it can't be too child-friendly or we'll loose the fans! Throw Maul into the ring, oooooh he's scary... hmmmm... we'll cut his dialogue down to three lines so the action figure can contain them all!
George: Liam Neeson is starting to complain about his lame character and dialogue... hmmmm... let's just give him a noble death at the end of the movie... wait we've already done that.. aaah what the hell! Everybody loves a cliché!
George: Wait! The script is a little thin... hmmmmmmm... Wait I own this cool Special FX company they'll fill out the holes!
George: All the cool authors have expanded my universe making it diverse and colorful... but let's just focus on places we know... like Tatooine!
George: Anakin is really smart... we'll let him build C-3PO... wait why doesn't Vader recognize him later? Oh yes... he's just been ignoring him... heh heh...
George: Oh yeah I've also invented these midiclorieans... which they for some weird reason haven't heard about in the original episodes... well the knowledge has just been lost in the huge Jedi massacres later on!
*George continues like this for months*
Actually I'm a Star Wars fan... and I like Episode I because of the cool action scenes, spectacular special FX and I actually don't think that the acting is so bad, and Jar Jar is pretty funny at times. I just have this love/hate thing for this episode. The whole Star Wars spirit, the innovation behind the old trilogy has been replaced by some kind of Disney oriented commercial family pack! To much money (minus 1 star)too little creativity (minus 1 star)...
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Topic From this Discussion
I have a question for the Star Wars 1-3 haters.
Maybe I shouldn't reply to this post because I'm not in the group you are addressing, i.e., Star Wars fans who bash Episodes I-III and even The Clone Wars TV series because they claim "Lucas ruined the franchise" and that CGI makes the Prequels "soulless," just to name a few... Read More
Jun 6, 2009 by Alex Diaz-Granados |  See all 20 posts
Episode I VHS box art chronology confusion
Ep I >>> 32 years before "Ep IV
EP II >>> 22 years before Ep IV
EP III >> 19 years before Ep IV
May 9, 2009 by Roman85 |  See all 2 posts
Sound discrepancy on the SW discs.
If I'm not mistaken, EX is a backwards-compatible extension to Dolby Digital. It creates a matrixed back surround channel. I think the player would still report this as Dolby Digital, but if you have a 6.1 or 7.1 receiver with that many speakers attached, you should hear sound from the... Read More
Sep 9, 2008 by Jason Tovey |  See all 2 posts
A Question For All Those Who Seem to be Comitted to Hating Everything...
I expected the prequels to be pretty much about what they were about. It is *how* they were about what they were about that is the problem, imHo.

Having said this, I'll offer a few specific opinions:
--Episode 1 would have been received well if there was (1) Little to no Jar-Jar and (2) Much... Read More
Jul 1, 2008 by thames |  See all 46 posts
Should Episode One be redubbed?
While they're at it, maybe they could digitally erase any trace of Jar Jar Binks' existence too...
Feb 20, 2010 by SpartanMark05 |  See all 3 posts shows parental neglect causes homosexuality Be the first to reply
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