While The Phantom Menace (1999) had been disregarded by many Star Wars fans as lackluster and focused on dialogue instead of lightsaber action, there are actually many parts of the film that make it very good.
- New Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) Darth Maul (Ray Park) and Boss Nass (Brian Blessed) are well-written additions to the Star Wars universe. In fact, Darth Maul’s appearances were the only positive aspect for people who hated the film.
- A Juxtaposition To A New Hope: While A New Hope (1977) had an elderly Obi-Wan find Luke Skywalker in the midst of a stormtrooper ridden regime, The Phantom Menace had Qui-Gon Jinn find a very young Anakin Skywalker away from the Trade Federation. In fact, both films ended with one of the Skywalker destroying a space object owned by the Empire and Federation, respectively.
- Extra Species: While the Gungans are widely ignored, it was also the introduction to the Battle Droids, the Nemoidians and the Toydarians.
- E.T. Cameo: Since George Lucas is great friends with Steven Spielberg, Spielberg gave Lucas permission to have E.T. (1980) or members of his race to appear in the Galactic Senate.
- The Podrace: The Mos Espa Podrace championship was so well made, even for a film completed in 1999. The visuals and audio were so life-like.
- Darth Maul’s Duel: Once audience members saw Darth Maul’s dual-edged lightsaber accompanied by John Williams “Duel of the Fates”, it surprised and excited many rather than make them groan.
- The Chancellor’s Campaign: George Lucas knew his research as he wrote down a very advanced portrayal of politics and elections with the Supreme Chancellor leading the Republic and must be replaced, just how elections have a leader replaced as well.
- Keira Knightley: While Keira Knightley directly appeared in the film, she looked exactly like her co-star Natalie Portman, so we cannot tell the physical difference between Padme Amidala and her decoy.
- How R2-D2 and C3PO first met: Two iconic droids in the Star Wars universe get to see each other for the first chronological time. In fact, R2 noticed that 3PO’s parts are showing to great laughs.
- Yoda’s Wisdom: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate… leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.” Those words spoken by the CGI character voiced by Frank Oz are very true. In fact, that was a well-written quote by George Lucas.
While The Phantom Menace can be hated on as well as Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), there are reasons why it got a 3-D re-release on 2012, which made the film get a total of a billion dollars, the first Star Wars film to do so.