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Episode I
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NEWEST INFORMATION

Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - Submit
Happy Birthday Mr. Lucas! - Author
On May 14, 1945, in Modesto, Ca, a lil boy was born. Who would have known that he would have brought to life the saga of Star Wars. Happy 57th Birthday George Lucas!!

Source: Biography

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Saturday, November 24, 2001 - Submit
TPM on tv this sunday in the USA - Author
Don't forget, FOX is airing Episode I: The Phantom Menace on Sunday, beginning at 7pm ET.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - Submit
Episode I DVD sets record - Author
"According to Variety, in its first week, the DVD sold an estimated 2.2 million units pulling in a gross in sales of just over $45M. Previously, THE MUMMY RETURNS first week of sales was for just north of 2M, though the film's release did pull $90M in sales and rentals combined."

Source: cinescape.com

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Wednesday, October 17, 2001 - Submit
Who is Darth Sidious? - Author
Theforce.net has a screenshot from the Episode I DVD documentary that shows Ian McDiarmid, the actor who played Palpatine, as the actor behind Sidious. No ig surprise, but final confirmation for those who did not think so.

Source: theforce.net

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Monday, September 10, 2001 - Submit
Episode I DVD screenshots - Author
dvdinside.de landed numerous screenshots from the dvd's menus. Needless to say, the quality is amazing.

Source: dvdinside.de

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Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - Submit
Episode I DVD - Author
As you might know, the Episode I DVD will be released on October 16, 2001. It features 2 discs that include exclusive deleted footage, an hour-long documentary, teh 12 part web documentary about the production (which is available on starwars.com to download) and much more. And yes, it will be in glorious wide screen.

theforce.net has the Episode I DVD trailer on its site here. You can pre-order the DVD at amazon here. The amazon site also has the trailer, but in Real media form.

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Thursday, June 28, 2001 - Submit
Episode I DVD Promo Images - Author
The linked site has images from the DVD release of Episode I Promo trailer. It includes some deleted scenes, such as additional footage of the underwater boat the Jedi and Jar Jar used on Naboo reaching the mainland afte visiting Boss Nass and heading to Naboo's main city.

Source: CES

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Tuesday, June 19, 2001 - Submit
Episode I DVD Release Information - Author
October 16th is the release date, features a lot of extras (2 DVD's) and is priced at $ 29.98 in the U.S. and $ 41.98 in Canada.

Follow the below link for the full press release.

Source: starwars.com

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Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - Submit
Episode I DVD rumours - Author
Visit the below link for a possible scoop at coming attractions regarding the Episode I DVD. Enjoy!

Source: coming attractions

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Tuesday, May 09, 2000 - Submit
Meet Star Wars in Disney - MGM Studios theme parks - Author
This is a follow-up to a previous story. Follow the below link to more info on the first Star Wars Weekend, happening each weekend in May!

Source: Starwars.com

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Thursday, April 27, 2000 - Submit
MTV Movie Awards - Author
You can now vote for the MTV Movie Awards. TPM has more nominations that it had in the lousy Oscars.

Source: MTV.com

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Friday, April 21, 2000 - Submit
Podrace Special Part I - Author
StarWars.com has a new 4-part special about the Podracing scene. It features QuickTime 4.0 videos about the Podrace.

Today, the first part is online, with a 7:39 minture video.

Source: StarWars Special

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Wednesday, April 19, 2000 - Submit
More about TPM DVD - Author
scifi.ign.com has some clarification on the Episode I DVD issue. A Lucasfilm spokemen said that it will come out "definitely not this year ... and not in the foreseeable future.". There isno release date set yet. However, it seems that it will come out ealier than thought before (after Episode III comes out).

Source: scifi.ign.com

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Monday, April 17, 2000 - Submit
TPM DVD soon?! - Author
On the Los Angeles Radio Station KROQ received a surprise call on Friday from George Lucas.he said that ILM is working on a DVD version of Episode I, complete with extra footage. No release date was known at that point.

However, this could mean that the DVD will come out soon and not after Episode III comes out.

Source: Theforce.net

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Monday, April 03, 2000 - Submit
Episode I Video out tomorrow - Author
Reminder that the Episode I video will be released out tomorrow.

Probably most of you are packing to wait all night infront of your local video store...

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Sunday, April 02, 2000 - Submit
Poll regarding no oscar for TPM - Author
On our main page you will find a poll asking you which movie had better effect - TPM or Matrix. This is in light of TPM not getting the best SFX oscar.

Source: NaboOnline

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Wednesday, March 01, 2000 - Submit
Making of Maul - Author
The official site has a big update on the making of Darth Maul. The feature is pretty cool, so point your browsers to it!


Source: StarWars.com

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Friday, January 28, 2000 - Submit
Pre-order the TPM video! - Author
You can now preorder the Episode I video online! Note that this is the NTSC version, which only works in the US and Canada.

  • Pan

  • Wide Screen

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  • Thursday, January 13, 2000 - Submit
    Oscar Nomination for best effects - Author
    The Matrix, The Mummy (ILM), Sleepy Hollow (ILM), Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (ILM), Stuart Little, Wild Wild West (ILM) and The World Is Not Enough are all in the first round for the Best Visual Effects in a Motion Picture Award for the Oscars 2000.

    It is a good guess that TPM will win, as it did really break all CG records and achievements.

    Source: Variety.com

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    Saturday, January 08, 2000 - Submit
    Preorder TPM on the 28th - Author
    According to TheForce.net, you will be able to preorder the TPM videos starting on the 28th of January.

    Once again, we remind that there will be no DVD release of TPM in the near future. Probably the entire Star Wars Movies will be released on DVD at the same time, aka when Episode III is finished.

    Source: TheForce.net

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    Wednesday, January 05, 2000 - Submit
    TPM video release - Author
    Episode I will be release worldwide (this is a first) over one week (April 3-8, 2000). The link has the box images as well as more info.

    Note: This is a VHS release, and there is no plan to do a DVD release in the near future.

    Source: starwars.com

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    Thursday, December 23, 1999 - Submit
    TPM video release - Author
    Cinescape Online reports that the Video Store Magazine (via the Hollywood Reporter), reports that the video will hit your local video store on April 4th, 2000.

    Natrually, there is still no news about whether it will be widescreen or if 2 version (like the Special Editions - Gold (normal version) and Silver (Widescreen).

    It seems that a DVD release will not be then.

    Source: Cinescape

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    Tuesday, December 07, 1999 - Submit
    Rerelease Earnings - Author
    SwFans.net reports that TPM was in the top 8 highest earning movies on Sunday in the USA with $437,000. This gives The Phantom Menace a total of $1,292,968 for the entire weekend. This brings TPM just $5 million behind Jurassic Park (in the Worldwide standings, where TPM has $914.9 milllion total).

    Great news for those charites...

    Source: SwFans.net

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    Saturday, December 04, 1999 - Submit
    Re-release exact times - Author
    Starwars.com has the exact dates and times for the charity showings.

    Also, as very little has been done to advertise this, be sure to spread the word!

    Source: Starwars.com

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    Thursday, December 02, 1999 - Submit
    Rerelease starts tomorrow - Author
    We remind everyone that the charity rerelease of TPM will start tomorrow and continue for one week.

    So, go see TPM again...for the probably last time on the big silver screen!

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    Tuesday, November 30, 1999 - Submit
    TPM Video to come 2nd April 2000? - Author
    TheForce.net reports that it recieved some info on the tape's release date:

    It has to do with the Star Wars: Jedi Battles game for the Playstation being released at the same time and that if you buy one, you get a $5 discount on the other.

    Source: TheForce.net

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    Thursday, November 25, 1999 - Submit
    Rerelease Trailer Online - Author
    Starting this friday, a 30 second television trailer will be shown to announce the 1 week charity rerelease. You can now download the trailer online from the bottom link.

    Source: StarWars.com Trailer Download Site

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    Tuesday, November 23, 1999 - Submit
    Rerelease Cities and times - Author
    The official site has a update with the cities participating in the charity rerelease. Here are the relevant links:

  • List of Charities

  • Cities and Theatres List

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  • Monday, November 22, 1999 - Submit
    Rerelease official - Author
    StarWars.com confirms the previous rumours about a charity rerelease of TPM in the USA and Canada for one week starting December 3, 1999. 100% percent of the box office will go to local charities.

    So, go and see it again..for the probably last time in theatres....

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    Sunday, November 21, 1999 - Submit
    More on TPM rerelease - Author
    TheForce.net reports that The Phantom Menace will be rereleased for a week starting Dec. 3. All renenue will go to local charity. This is yet to be officially confirmed.

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    Thursday, November 18, 1999 - Submit
    TPM rerelease during Christmas? - Author
    There are various rumours regarding a christmas release of TPM in the USA. Well, there seems to be no real sign for this, but maybe the toy companies will request this, as this would boost sales during christmas if the kids see the movie again...but wait, Star Wars is not about money!

    As we introduce our new Headline News style, we added the option to comment our stories. Use the link at the bottom to do so!

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    November 05 -- TPM openend today in China, its last major international opening. The question is, will the red army consider droids for the future?


    October 14 -- With TPM opening in Holland, Turkey, Portugal and soon France, and still in the top 3 in the German-speaking market, it is no wonder that it became the fifth movie to surpass the $400 million mark outside of the USA. TPM merchandise sales are also pretty hefty, even though offical numbers are not given (but we can assume that they are higher that Titanic's).
    October 04 -- The Box Office Guru has the newest TPM income info (it opened in some new markets):
  • $425 million in America (In contrast - A New Hope made $322.7 in 1977 and $138.3 extra with the rerelease, totalling with 461.0).
  • $387.6 million outside America - about the same as the Mummy has made worldwide
  • The proud totals of $825 million world-wide - Jurassic Park stands at $912.8 million
    September 25 -- Some sites report that a re-release of Episode I is in the making. This is rumoured because TPM is being taken of theaters even though it is still doing very good. The rumoured date is a week or so before Christmas. This naturally applies to the US only
    September 01 -- News from the German--speaking market:

  • Episode I hit with a storm, and no sign of it dying out! It's second weekend gross was only a little under that of it's first weekend opening (180,000 vs. 170,000 tickets in Austria). In fact, this means that in Austria, 338,148 have seen the movie and giving it about $3.2 million dollars. In Germany, numbers will come out over the next days.

    In currently all European countries it seems that Episode I will break Titanic's overall record, but with schools starting, it will be a hard journey...


    August 25 -- The german CNN clone N-TV interviewed Rick McCallum (more here):

  • Regarding Star Wars on DVD: He said that "No one has any time for this", probably referring to the preparations for Episode II. However, after Episode 3 is done, and the quality and marke of DVD has grown, "we will create the most spectacular product, where the quality of the presentation not only pays tribute to the movies, but which will also use the potential of DVD to the fullest.". This would mean that each movie would get an elaborate making of section, which would cover all aspects of the movies. Both he an Lucas are therefore waiting for the next jump in DVD hardware, namely the blue laser technology, which will increase the capacity of DVD's by 10-15 fold.
    August 23 -- We have gotten info on the Austrian opening of Episode I. It sold nearly 180,000 tickets over the weekend (18.5 million Austrian Shillings, about $ 1.8 million), beating Titanic. Titanic sold 1.4 million tickets total in Austria, and it is possible that this record will be beat.

    Variety also has info on other countires (weekend opening):

  • Germany: $13.7 million beating Men in Black ($12.5 million) this friday. No wonder they did not hold with the rumoured blockade against FOX's request for a big percent share (around 54%)
  • Spain: $4.2 million in three days (beating ID4)
  • Denmark: $942,000 in four days (beating ID4)
  • Sweden: $482,000 beating Lethal Weapon 4.
  • Oslo: $166,000

    These results ($265 million total outside the US)places TPM at #16 worldwide (tied with Die Hard with a Vengeance). On a total world level, with $685 million ($420 million in the USA) it outruns Forrest and lies in place 7. This weeks schools in Europe start teaching, so many should go and see the movie before school starts, so we expect this week to do pretty good, and drop as schools start.


    August 21 -- This weekend, TPM opened in the German-speaking markets. This monday we should have the results, but it seems that many theatres are virtually sold out, and that people have been wearing costumes. Long lines were not present, as in Europe, you choose your seat when you buy your ticket.

    On another note, Variety reports that The Phantom Menace picked up 29.43 million rubles ($1.2 million) between July 29 and Aug. 18, more than James Cameron's box-office hit Titanic.


    August 04 -- Wanted to post this much earlier, but forgot to do so:

    You can see the Arc de Triumph during the celebration scenes - when the Gun Guns are riding those horse-like animals (named kaadu) down the road to where the Queen is waiting for Boss Nass. I think this is the first time this been mentioned on the internet. Interestingly enough, Hitler marched under it when he captured France (Palpatine has to yet do so), and Napolean did the same whenever he returned victorious. Must be one of ILM's rare tie in jokes which have historical similarities.


    August 02 -- TheForce.net has info from the UK film magazine Empire (which should be available outside the UK later this week). George Lucas responds to some plot questions people have been asking:
  • Regarding Darth Maul's fate: "At one point, when Obi-Wan kills Darth Maul, he just fell into the pit. I looked at it and thought this isn't going to work because, if people like him enough, they are going to want him to come back and they're going to assume somehow he gets out of it. So I had to cut him in half to say this guy's gone, he's history, he ain't coming back. I'll come up with another apprentice. The whole issue of having apprentices, poor Darth Sidious trying to replenish his apprentice supply, is one of the main plot points."
  • Lucas has said that the reason why the droids have no idea about Tatooine in ANH will be addressed in the rest of the movies (memory-wipe, one assumes)
  • The same applies to why Qui-Gon does not disappear when he dies (If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine)
    July 28 -- Once again, due to tecnical difficulties and the main webmaster being in vacation, no updates were possible for the post month. Anyways, we will try to catch up on news that came out (not much, mind you).

    Variety reported yesterday that Epsiode I made $154.3 million in the non-US markets, with the US total being $403 million. In Japan (said to be the strongest oversea market), Episode I has taken in $39.1 million (after 3 weeks). Analysts prognose the Japan intake at around $100 million. In the UK, after 11 days the total is $32.7 million (it set the UK all-time record opening). TPM has not yet opened in the other 2 major Euopean markets, France and German-speaking countries.


    June 24 -- 20th Century Fox is fighting with european theatres about their percentile of the gross - Fox wants 54.7% of it. Natrually, the theatres have complained that they would have to increase the ticket prices, as the number of theatres are increasing rapidly. The possible consequence: TPM will be boycotted. (reported by German TV)
    June 23 -- Better late than never - yesterday TPM surpassed Forrest Gump and now ranks as the fifth highest grossing movie. The next movie to be mauled: Jurassic Park (notice that all top movies have effects by ILM?)
    June 21 -- The Star Wars Fan Day brought TPM $7.38 million, a 52.77% increase over the day before (Friday). This brings TPM's total gross to $321.40 million. It seems that Fan Day was quite popular. It seems that in one month, another one will be called out.

    Old News

  • THE TRAILER

    The online version of trailer b is out. The fastest link is still at starwars.com.


    THE STORY

    Episode I will be set about 30-40 years before "A New Hope"

    The basic premise: With his apprentise Kenobi, Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn is sent to settle a conflict between the planet Naboo and the Trade Federation. Little does he know that the Sith are behind the Federation. Due to Darth Sidious's manipulations, the Federation invades Naboo rather than find a peacefull solution. Jinn is forced to help the Queen of Naboo (Amidala) escape the clutches of Sidious.
    They are forced to land on Tatooine, where they find a young slave boy called Anakin who is strong in the force. He shows his strengths in a pod race organised by Jabba the Hut. Gon takes him to the Jedi Council, where he presents the child. He believes that Anakin is the choosen one, who is destinied to bring balance to the force. Little does he know what balance he will bring forth . . .

    According to Star Wars Insider, about 1/3 of Episode I takes place on Tatooine. The story Episode I revolves around Neeson's character. Liam Neeson plays a Jedi Knight who sets much of the story in motion. His character is very noble, also Obi-Wan in A New Hope. Another main theme will be Anakin's introduction (by Obi-Wan Kenobi) to the Force (somewhat like Luke's) and supposedly his relation to his mother. Also, Anakin will meet his future wife (Luke and Leia's mother), who is called "the princess" or "the queen" (Portman).

    Anakin will be shown as a heroic figure, in order to make his fall even more tragic. His departure form his mother at the young age of 10 will be a sour point in his life for the jedi to be.


    Dates:   
  • Principal Photography began in September 8, 1997   
  • The tentative release date is May 1999. According to Entertainment Tonight, Episode I will be released on Memorial Day, 1999. Phase I of filming is complete. Now, post-production work on those scenes are being done. Some actors will return for Phase II, as well for new actors.   
  • June 26 marked the beginning of Preliminary Filming.
    Potpourri:   
  • The first episode will have 1,500 visual effects in it, more than any movie till now (ROJ had about 500)
    Prequel Book Information:   
  • Famous fantasy writer Terry Brooks penned the novelisation of TPM.
      
  • Bantam Books published it (they have a $60 million deal on the exclusive rights to Star Wars novels through the year 2010


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