Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Question: Why do Anakin and Qui-gon have to cover up the fact that it's Anakin's pod they want him to race? Anakin says, "You could make them think it's yours" (or something like that), and Qui-gon later says that he acquired the pod in a game of chance. Why the deception? What does Watto care, who built the pod?

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: As a slave, Anakin is not allowed any possessions of his own. Anything the Skywalkers have, ultimately belongs to Watto, so if Watto discovered Anakin had a pod, he would claim it for himself and maybe have someone else race it. The Jedi, of course, needed Anakin to race, since he was the best pod pilot around (and to test his Jedi capablities).


Question: Obi-wan ordered the people on the ship to "send no reply" when the cries for help were being received from Naboo ("It sounds like bait, to establish a connection trace," he explained). That being the case, how did Darth Maul know they were on Tattoine? Darth Sidious even asked him, "Are you sure your trace is correct?" or something like that.

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: As a Sith, Maul has methods of tracking that would not be available to non-Force users. When Obi-wan ordered them not to reply, they're not aware of any possible Sith involvement - his precautions would be secure against technological means of determining location, but not against a Sith Lord.

Tailkinker Premium member

Answer: It is stated in the novel that they did send a brief response. I see no reason why they could not have defied Obi-Wan's advice and done the same off screen in the movie.


Question: Why does the Jedi council decide against training Anakin? One thing is that Yoda senses much fear in him, and that he is past the standard age for training, but with his power level you would think it wiser NOT to have him running around like a loose cannon, developing his powers in all sorts of directions, not to mention the risk of him being recruited by Dark Jedi.


Chosen answer: Yoda and others on the council probably used Jedi farseeing (a power mentioned in the novel sequels which have been said to be part of the universe continuity by Lucas) and learned it to be a bad idea. It is also possible that Anakin's bringing "balance to the Force" is by becoming Vader and bringing down the old corrupt Republic and (indirectly) replacing it with a new Jedi order and a new Republic. They told Obi Wan they wouldn't train Anakin knowing that that is what was necessary to begin bringing back balance.

Grumpy Scot

Answer: Ray Park's film work has mostly been as a stunt double and not as a speaking actor. Peter Serafinowicz has extensive experience as both an actor and doing voice-over work. He was better able to vocalize the Darth Maul character. It's fairly common in films (particularly sci-fi and fantasy) for minor character's voices to be dubbed over by other actors. Many movie scenes are filmed without sound and the dialogue and sound effects are added in post-production. Many actors dub over their own voices for better sound quality.

raywest Premium member

Question: What did Palpatine mean when he said to Anakin, "We will watch your career with great interest"?


Answer: Palpatine is the Dark Lord of the Sith and he knows Anakin is highly Force-sensitive. He's planting the seeds of corrupting Anakin to eventually make him his apprentice.

Phaneron Premium member

Answer: I believe the line was meant as foreshadowing so fans would get it if they have watched the original trilogy they can make the connection from Anakin to Vader so they are aware of his fate. It also shows that Palpatine had his eye on Anakin for a long time to eventually recruit him as his apprentice.

Question: What did Anakin's torpedoes hit that caused the droid control ship to explode?

Answer: It was the main reactor of the ship, according to wookieepedia.


I have a problem with that because realistically would destroying a reactor be enough to cause whatever it powers to explode?

Not sure why you have a problem with that notion. It's a common sci-fi convention/trope that destroying the main reactor of a ship usually causes a chain-reaction that destroys the entire vessel. That's also what destroyed both Death Stars in the original trilogy. (Luke fires a missile into the reactor through an exhaust port/Lando and the others fly into the core and destroy the main reactor.) This is not a documentary... it can operate by nebulous sci-fi rules. Not to mention, none of these things actually exist, so who's to say destroying the main reactor WOULDN'T destroy the ship?


It destroyed the main reactor of the droid control ship itself, not what it powers. Anakin was inside the ship and blew it up from the inside.


Question: Is Palpatine's identity a spoiler? The Episode IV-VI movies never mention the Emperor's name. In Episodes I-III, we can guess that Darth Sidious will be the emperor, but what about Chancellor Palpatine? If the audience didn't know that he was Sidious, the impact of the reveal would be far different than if they did.


Answer: This can vary from viewer to viewer. Before "The Phantom Menace" came out, I already knew Emperor Palpatine's name because I had the Kenner action figure of him, plus I knew the same actor was playing both characters. Someone else who may not be an astute viewer might not have known, though I find it hard to believe they wouldn't put all the pieces together by the time "Revenge of the Sith" came out.

Phaneron Premium member

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.

raywest Premium member

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.

raywest Premium member

Continuity mistake: During the podrace, Anakin is in front of Sebulba and has him on his tail. One view looking towards Anakin you can see Sebulba's pod in the background, but the driver's seat is empty. (01:04:10)

More mistakes in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

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.

More quotes from Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Trivia: In the ending credits, Jabba the Hutt is jokingly credited as playing "himself."

Cubs Fan

More trivia for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.