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Phantom Menace facts

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Years before she was famous, Keira Knightley played Natalie Portman's double in "The Phantom Menace", and when the girls were in full makeup, even their mothers had trouble telling them apart.

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Tupac Shakur auditioned for Mace Windu in 'The Phantom Menace'

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  1. In 1998, People would have gone to the movies and paid the full ticket price, only to see "Star Wars (Episode I): The Phantom Menace" trailer, and leave.

  2. As a nod to Spielberg - who placed a kid wearing Yoda costume in his movie E.T. - George Lucas made E.T.'s race a part of the Galactic Senate in Phantom Menace

  3. The actor who played Anakin in The Phantom Menace is currently in a psychiatric facility with schizophrenia.

  4. "The Saga Begins," Weird Al Yankovic's parody of the song "American Pie" where he lays out the plot of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, was written almost entirely based on internet spoilers.

  5. Natalie Portman missed the premiere party of "The Phantom Menace" because she had to go home to study for her high school final exams

  6. The actor who played Young Anakin Skywalker, Jake Lloyd, in The Phantom Menace was constantly picked on at school by his peers for his role, it turned him off acting ever since the movie

  7. Every door frame in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace had to be taken down and rebuilt when they proved to be too low for 6’4 tall Liam Neeson. It cost the set-crew an extra $150,000.

  8. Liam Neeson didn't read the script for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace before signing on. He reportedly disliked working on it once production had started.

  9. George Lucas wanted Tupac Shakur to play a Jedi (Mace Windu) for Starwars The Phantom Menace in 1996 but he died before his audition and was replaced by Samuel L. Jackson in 1997 when production began.

  10. The Celebration Music at the end of The Phantom Menace is the Emperor's Theme in a major key. A haunting foreshadowing.

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Weird Al's "The Saga Begins," which summarizes the plot of The Phantom Menace, was written two months before the movie's release. He wrote most of the song using rumors leaked onto the Internet.

In The Phantom Menace, Yoda has three toes. But in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith, he has four - source

Natalie Portman missed the premier of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace to study for her high school finals.

There exists an "Anti-Cheese" edit of the Phantom Menace, which removes virtually all of Jar-Jar's dialogue, the racist dialect of the Neimoidians, and the goofy banter of the battle droids. - source

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Natalie Portman, who played Queen Padme Amidala in Star Wars: Episode I- The Phantom Menace, skipped the premiere so she could study for her high school finals.

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The actor who played Toad in the first X-men movie was also Darth Maul in Star Wars: Phantom Menace.

The music video for Duel of the Fates from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace appeared on MTV's Total Request Live. It's the only "classical" piece to make the countdown and it remained for 11 days.

The guy who optimized web traffic so that sites didn't crash displaying The Phantom Menace trailer was the first guy killed in 9/11.

The trailer for The Phantom Menace helped movies such as 'The Siege', 'Meet Joe Black' and 'The Waterboy' because fans only bought the tickets to watch the Star Wars trailer shown before those movies.

Kiera Knightly played Natalie Portman's character's body double in Star Wars, The Phantom Menace. She was 14 at the time.

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Natalie Portman skipped the film premiere for Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace because she had to study for her high school finals.

In the Phantom Menace script, Lucas uses the term "lightsabers" 5 times, and "laser swords" 11 times.

When the film The Waterboy, and Meet Joe Black were released in November of 1998, it was preceded by the trailer for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Many Star Wars fans paid the full admission price and sat through the trailer, then left the theater.

Tupac Shakur auditioned to play Jedi Master Mace Windu in the 1999 movie Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace shortly before his death.

Keira Knightley got her big break playing a decoy to Natalie Portman's character in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. She resembled Natalie Portman so much that her mother couldn't distinguish the two and some fans still insist both were portrayed by Portman.

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There is a retelling of The Phantom Menace written to mimic Shakespeare. It is even written entirely in iambic pentameter.

Roger Ebert gave Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 3½ out of 4 stars in his 1999 review: "I wish the "Star Wars" characters spoke with more elegance and wit (as Gore Vidal's Greeks and Romans do), but dialogue isn't the point, anyway: These movies are about new things to look at."

As part of the marketing for Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, created a poster mocking the poorly-received Godzilla (1998) with the tagline "Plot Does Matter."

The original trailers for The Phantom Menace were downloaded millions of times (pre-YouTube era), and led to a surge in popularity for Apple's QuickTime player

The voice actor for Jar Jar Binks received death threats and contemplated suicide after the release of The Phantom Menace

The choir in "Duel of the Fates" from The Phantom Menace are singing a Welsh poem, translated into Sanskrit, making the English translation pure gibberish

The parade music at the end of Phantom Menace is a major key version of the Palpatine's Sith Theme

Disney scrapped George Lucas's, Star Wars Episode VII Plot because it centered on very young characters/teenagers which might have struck Disney executives as "veering too close for comfort" to The Phantom Menace and its 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker and 13-year-old Queen Amidala.

A Darth Vader burger with a black bun was served by a French fast food chain to tie in with the premiere of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D

The chanting in "Duel of the Fates" from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace comes from part of a medieval Welsh poem called Cad Goddeu or "The Battle of the Trees" that was loosely translated and sung in Sanskrit for the film.

As much time has passed between the release of The Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace (16 years) as between the release of The Phantom Menace and now.

Kiera Knightly played the body double of Queen Amidala in The Phantom Menace

The original release of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace is estimated to have cost the US economy $293 million after 2.2 million people used their sick days to watch the film

George Lucas included members from E.T's species of alien, "Grebleips", in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. This has led to debate as to whether or not E.T. originated from the Star Wars galaxy.

Mark Hamill's son had a cameo appearance in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, playing one of the Royal Guards of Naboo.

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