25 years. Doesn’t it go by in a flash? Now, just in time to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Lucasfilm has announced that Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is coming back to cinemas on May 3rd. This will be the first Star Wars movie on the big screen for five years.

When it first came out, it was the return of Star Wars to the big screen after a sixteen-year gap. That seemed like forever back then. These days, it is but the blink of an eye. Sixteen years ago was 2008, so we are talking movies like The Dark Knight and Tropic Thunder. Basically, yesterday.


The movie was a massive financial success, with over $1 billion worldwide at the box office. Critically, and with the fans, it was a different story.

In the wake of the Disney catastrophe, many have re-evaluated the prequels. This is a mistake. Just because they are less awful than Disney Star Wars, they have not magically become good.

This common sense hasn’t stopped it from happening, though. Hayden Christensen recently spoke with Empire about the film’s anniversary and the prequels overall. After a rough ride around his appearance in the 2nd and 3rd prequel, he is now a firm fan favorite:

“It has been a remarkable experience. And just a very heartwarming one. The journey that I’ve been on with Star Wars over the last twenty-plus years… it’s been a wild ride, and where we’re at now is really meaningful to me.

I think that those movies have held up well over time. It feels like vindication for the work that we did.

Everyone that worked on those movies thought that we were part of something special. We all wanted to do our very best work, and we cared a lot about it. And so to see the response from the fans now, it’s very cool.

My journey with the character and with Star Wars has at times been a bumpy one… but I’m in a good place with it now.”

A poster has been released for the Phantom Menace re-release.


Meanwhile, Emperor Palpatine himself has been talking about one of the most cheesy pieces of dialogue in the prequel trilogy. When he faces Mace Windu in Star Wars Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith he and Jackson shout dialogue at each other, including Palpatine declaring his desire for “Absolute Power”.

Speaking with Empire for the same 25th-anniversary edition, McDiarmid says he wanted to go much more subtle – but it was Lucas who insisted on this approach:

“George kept hyping me up on that. I was screaming, ‘ABSOLUTE POWER!’ I said, ‘Do you want me to do some quiet ones, because this is a bit much?’ George said, ‘No, go further, go further!’ So I did, and he seems to have kept most of it – there’s no holding back there.”


He goes on to say the line fans most often request of him is “Do It!” from the Dooku decapitation scene in the same movie.

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