Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Question: I'm confused. Palpatine wanted to use Queen Amidala to get himself voted as chancellor so he could have control over the republic. Why did he send Darth Maul after the Queen's ship when it escaped if he needed the Queen alive?

Chosen answer: The entire time Palatine is bitching to Viceroy Gunray that he needs the Queen to sign the treaty to make the blockade and invasion legal. He didn't send Darth Maul to kill Amadala, he sent him to capture her and to deal with her Jedi escort.

Quantom X

Question: Something I never quite figured out when watching the film was what the shields in the corridor were for? The shields that separate Darth Maul from Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan during the fight. There are dozens of them and all they seem to do is benefit the fight in the film without having any real purpose.


Chosen answer: According to "Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Episode I" by Kristin Lund, they are "laser doors which lock into position in response to potentially lethal power outputs that occur intermittently during plasma activation process" (the fight takes place in a plasma energy processing plant). There are six laser doors in deference to an ancient Naboo legend in which Chaos is held back by six inpentrable gates. As you say though, they're really just a plot device to add dramatic tension to the duel!


Question: When someone becomes a Sith, they take a different name, i.e. Palpatine becomes Darth Sidious, Count Dooku becomes Darth Tyranus, Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader. Does anyone know Darth Maul's non-Sith name?

Chosen answer: No. According to the official sources, Maul was trained in the Sith ways from a very early age - it's quite likely that he himself doesn't remember his original name. Even if he does remember it, it would mean nothing to him any more - the Sith and their ways are his life - and he certainly wouldn't answer to it. According to the non-canon novel "Darth Plagueis", Darth Maul was named "Maul" by his mother before she turned him over to a young Palpatine. He didn't take a new name when he got the title "Darth."


Question: What exactly are midichlorians?


Chosen answer: Midi-chlorians are an intelligent microscopic lifeform present in the bloodstream of all sentient beings within the Star Wars universe. The higher the midi-chlorian count present within a being's bloodstream, the more Force-sensitive they are, making them a likely candidate for Jedi (or Sith) training.


Question: Is it possible that the prophecy of the one who will bring balance to the force is talking about Luke Skywalker? They all think it is Anakin but Luke is the one to defeat the remaining Sith. I've never seen anybody make the connection and was wondering if it is true.

Chosen answer: Anakin/Darth Vader is in fact the one who brings balance to the force and destroys the remaining sith by throwing Darth Sidious over the edge and removing his life support.

dgemba dgemba

Question: When we see four astrodroids fixing the ship trying to get past the blockade one of them is R2-D2, but out of curiousity, what are the names of the other three?

Chosen answer: There was a set of astromech droids included with the Naboo Royal Starship Playset from Hasbro which named two of the others: R2-B1 and R2-R9.


Question: I realise this has been brought up many times, but can it be considered a definite continuity error in the whole series that Obiwan Kenobi is trained by Qui Gon Jinn in this film, despite saying in Empire Strikes Back that it was Yoda who trained him? Some have argued that Qui was working under Yoda, but in Empire, Obiwan said to Yoda, "Was I any different when you taught me?" which to me pretty much says that Yoda was his direct teacher. I'm guessing that Lucas changed the background stories a bit, but I would like to know for sure.

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: No, it can't. As we see in Attack of the Clones, Yoda is in charge of training the younglings, the Jedi hopefuls, the ones too young to have been selected as a Padawan. Yoda trained Obi-Wan when he was a child, then Qui-Gon selected him as a Padawan as he reached the proper age. They both trained him, taking responsibility for different stages of his education. It is entirely possible, of course, that Lucas did originally intend Yoda to have been Obi-Wan's sole master when he made The Empire Strikes Back and thus your guess that he changed the background stories may well be accurate, however, if this is the case, then he made the alterations in such a fashion that no continuity error exists, because it all fits together.


Question: When Darth Sidious tells the Neimoidians that he will make their next move legal (at the beginning of the movie), don't they think that comment is strange, unless they know that he is also Senator Palpatine? They don't seem to wonder how he can make something legal.

Chosen answer: They know that he's a powerful individual with some serious connections. While they obviously don't know his true identity, they clearly feel that he's capable of manipulating the Senate to that extent. While a degree of curiosity as to how would be entirely understandable, a general unwillingness to look too closely into the doings of a Sith Lord is also entirely understandable. They'd undoubtedly be curious, but either none of them are brave enough to ask Sidious, or they've learned from experience not to do so.


Question: I've heard that you can see Prince Xizor on Coruscant somewhere in the movie. What scene is he in?

Chosen answer: From Star Wars wiki: Xizor makes many cameo appearances during the podrace scene in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as the micro-machine toy figurine of Xizor was used as a stand-in for members of the podrace crowd.[2] However, as this cameo is used only as background fill-ins, it may not be considered an actual appearance of the character proper. And under "appearances" he is listed as possible\debated for the film.


Question: Why does Mace Windu have a purple lightsabre when every other good guy has green or blue ones?

Chosen answer: Samuel L Jackson wanted a distinctive lightsaber, so asked George Lucas if he could have a purple one - Lucas decided that there was no hard and fast rule that said that Jedi had to go with green or blue, so he allowed it. As for the story rationale, Mace Windu saw a vision of himself with a purple lightsaber and travelled to the planet Hurikane where purple lightsaber crystals naturally grow, and was gifted several as a gift for helping the local populace.


Question: Is there any explanation as to why Obi-Wan doesn't use force speed to get through the hallway while Qui-Gon and Darth Maul are fighting?

Chosen answer: It's never really stated that he doesn't. It is a very long corridor, and he was quite far behind. He may have been "saving" his force powers to use in the fight, or Maul may have been exerting his own influence to either stop or dull Obi wan's own force powers. It may have even been the force's own will. Maul was quite easily holding his own against the two, and technically defeated them both. Without the anger/rage that Obi Wan felt after seeing Qui Gon get cut down, he probably wouldn't have fought half as well, and Maul would have emerged victorious.

Gary O'Reilly

Question: It's common knowledge that Darth Maul blinks only once in the whole film. How was Ray Park able to keep his eyes open, without blinking, for such an extended period of time?

Chosen answer: Easy, they filmed him in short intervals. How long is the camera on him at any given time, without the camera cutting to someone else? 30 seconds at the most. Pretty much anyone can keep their eyes open for 30 seconds if they try.


Question: After R2-D2 helps fix the escaping ship, Queen Amidala thanks the droid in front of Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and her handmaidens, but Amidala's decoy refers to her handmaiden as Padme. Why doesn't she refer to her as Sabe? Doesn't everyone know that Queen Amidala's first name is Padme?

Answer: Padme was impersonating a handmaid, using her real name. Sabe was playing her role of Queen Amidala. This was unknown to Qui-Gon.


But the point is that using the queen's real name seems like it's giving the game away a bit.

Queen Amidala supposedly has 2 handmaidens. Sabe and Padme. Nobody knows Padme is the real Queen's name, they just know her as Queen Amidala.


Qui Gon and Obi Wan do not know Queen Amidala, having only recently met her, or that her real name is Padme.


Question: What happened to Qui Gon Jinn's lightsaber?


Chosen answer: Obi-Wan used it until he made himself a new one. Then it was presumably turned over to the Jedi Temple.

Greg Dwyer

Question: How come the Jedi didn't sense Palpatine was a Sith Lord?


Chosen answer: He is a Sith master, just as powerful as a Jedi, he concealed himself. By controlling his emotions and suppressing them, until he achieved his goal of ultimate power.

Question: How exactly is the level of Jedi knight different to padawan learner apart from having a padawan of their own?


Chosen answer: A padawan is an apprentice Jedi. They are still learning and haven't mastered the skills needed to go out on their own. Once a padawan has passed the trials, a series of tests designed to test the Jedi against what they will face in the universe, they can receive a promotion to knight. Knights are able to be sent out on missions alone. Padawans are not.

Greg Dwyer

Question: After the council decides to not train Anakin and Qui-Gon decided to train Anakin himself why does Obi-Wan look like he was betrayed?


Chosen answer: Obi-Wan didn't feel betrayed, he was dismayed at Qui Gon once again openly defying the word of the council. The two disagree on Anakin and Kenobi feels that were Qui Gon to simply follow the rules, he would have been on the council by now.


Question: I read that Qui-Gon was never offered a seat on the council but why? He seems old enough.


Chosen answer: Obi-Wan implies Qui Gon's idealism and rebellious nature keep him from being offered a seat on the council. Kenobi specifically brings this up when Qui Gon states that he will defy the council and train Anakin himself. Apparently not following orders is somewhat common for Qui Gon.


Question: Hypothetically speaking, if Amidala did sign the treaty, how would that affect later events eventually leading up to the establishment of the Galactic Empire?

Chosen answer: In the long run, nothing would have changed. A war would still break out between the Republic and CIS, leading to Palpatine gaining power and subsequently becoming Emperor. The specifics may change, but the long-term outcome would not. It would, however, cause Amidala to not meet Anakin, and subsequently he would not become Darth Vader in an attempt to save her.

Question: Why did the whole concept of "Midichlorians" introduced in this film anger so many Star Wars fans? I'm not a huge Star Wars fan myself, but I've heard nothing but hate for them.


Chosen answer: Because it took a magical, mystical, and mysterious concept and reduced it to a blood-borne chemical.

Jason Hoffman



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Qui-Gon Jinn: You must have Jedi reflexes if you race pods.
[Jar Jar tries to grab a piece of fruit with his tounge, but Qui-Gon catches it.]
Qui-Gon Jinn: Don't do that again.



When Qui-Gon, Jar-Jar, and Padme are eating at Anakin's house, Anakin's mum pours water for Qui-Gon. But when she gets to Jar-Jar, she tips the pitcher but no water comes out.



Senator Grebleips, who appears when the Queen of Naboo speaks to the senate, is an alien from "E.T." making a cameo appearance. This is after Steven Spielberg ('Grebleips' is 'Spielberg' backwards) included some "Star Wars" references in "E.T."