Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace

In Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, George Lucas’ highly anticipated return to Star Wars, Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi discover Anakin Skywalker, a kindhearted slave boy unusually strong with the Force.

Anakin is brought before the Jedi Council as the prophesied chosen one who will bring balance to the Force — but an ancient evil has returned, unbeknownst to the Jedi.

Released May 19, 1999

Previsualization, essentially computer animated storyboards, was taken to a new level with Episode I — the entire film was done in “previz” before shooting began.

During the film's centerpiece Podrace scene, model makers used hundreds of Q-tips to create the illusion of attendees in a crowded arena.

Visual effects supervisor John Knoll (left) and director of photography David Tattersall (right) worked closely throughout production.

One sequence from The Phantom Menace — a nighttime scene in which Qui-Gon takes a sample of Anakin’s blood — was shot in digital, making it the first film of this scale to utilize the new format.

C-3PO was created using a mix of old and new techniques: A puppeteer employed the classic Japanese Bunraku form, standing behind C-3PO, and was digitally erased.

In Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, George Lucas’ highly anticipated return to Star Wars, Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi discover Anakin Skywalker, a kindhearted slave boy unusually strong with the Force.

Anakin is brought before the Jedi Council as the prophesied chosen one who will bring balance to the Force — but an ancient evil has returned, unbeknownst to the Jedi.

Released May 19, 1999

Previsualization, essentially computer animated storyboards, was taken to a new level with Episode I — the entire film was done in “previz” before shooting began.

During the film's centerpiece Podrace scene, model makers used hundreds of Q-tips to create the illusion of attendees in a crowded arena.

Visual effects supervisor John Knoll (left) and director of photography David Tattersall (right) worked closely throughout production.

One sequence from The Phantom Menace — a nighttime scene in which Qui-Gon takes a sample of Anakin’s blood — was shot in digital, making it the first film of this scale to utilize the new format.

C-3PO was created using a mix of old and new techniques: A puppeteer employed the classic Japanese Bunraku form, standing behind C-3PO, and was digitally erased.