Mad Cow's Guide to :
The new Star Wars "prequel" Episode I The Phantom Menace takes audiences on a journey to the beginnings of the Star Wars saga. The original Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV, V, and VI) told the story of Luke Skywalker, a young farmboy who became a hero in the struggle to overthrow an evil empire and had to confront one of the Empire's staunchest henchmen, Darth Vader, who held the terrible secret of his father's fate. The new Star Wars trilogy goes back in time a full generation to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker, the innocent boy who will one day become the dreaded Darth Vader.
In Episode I, Luke Skywalker's father is just a hopeful 9-year-old boy named Anakin, who knows nothing of his eventual fate as a Dark Lord in years to come. In this earlier time, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a determined young Jedi Knight. Qui-Gon Jinn is Obi-Wan's venerable Jedi master, trying to teach the Jedi way to his apprentice as their world begins to unravel in political turmoil. Episode I takes audiences through extraordinary realms and adventures, from the desert planet of Tatooine to the galactic capital world of Coruscant (with its Jedi Temple), the green world of Naboo, and beyond. Familiar Star Wars characters Yoda, R2-D2, C-3PO, and Jabba the Hutt are along for the ride. This first chapter in the Star Wars saga follows young Anakin Skywalker's journey as he pursues his dreams and confronts his fears in the midst of a galaxy in crisis.
Star Wars: Episode I is the fourth movie released in the Star Wars saga, but it is the very first chapter of the overall story. Episodes IV, V and VI are the films familiar as Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. George Lucas returns as both writer and director for the first time since the original Star Wars movie over 20 years ago.
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