The HoloFiles

25 Easter Eggs & Trivia Facts For the 25th Anniversary of ‘The Phantom Menace’

By George & Josh Bate

Phantom Menace easter eggs

2024 marks the 25th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. The first prequel trilogy film smashed into theaters in 1999 and will soon be back in theaters starting May 3. In honor of the film’s 25th anniversary, check out 25 easter eggs, hidden details, references, and trivia facts about The Phantom Menace.

Carrie Fisher worked as a script doctor on The Phantom Menace, polishing the script and refining the dialogue.

Phantom Menace easter eggs

Tupac Shakur auditioned to play Mace Windu in the film.

Liam Neeson was so excited to star in a Star Wars film that he signed on to the film without reading the script.

In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Hayden Christensen said that he “loved” The Phantom Menace. “I watched the film, and I loved it,” Christensen said. “It was everything I wanted and more. And I didn’t understand the disconnect between the movie that I saw, and the negativity in some of the reviews.”

Phantom Menace easter eggs

When asked to be in The Phantom Menace, Ian McDiarmid was unaware he would reprise his role as The Emperor. George Lucas had only told him that he would be playing a senator. It wasn’t until McDiarmid arrived on set did he realize he was also playing Darth Sidious.

The first scene filmed for the movie was Sidious and Maul’s conversation on the balcony in Coruscant. 

The beginning of The Phantom Menace sees Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan board a ship. This moment is similar to Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati boarding the New Republic ship in the first episode of Ahsoka.

The imagery of Shin Hati arriving on Lothal in Ahsoka parallels imagery of Darth Maul arriving on Tatooine.

Phantom Menace easter eggs

The EVA Pod from 2001: A Space Odyssey can be seen in Watto’s junkyard in The Phantom Menace.

E.T. appears in The Phantom Menace and is credited as Senator Grebleips, which is Spielberg spelled backwards.

Palpatine’s line in The Phantom Menace “There is no civility, there is only politics” is a corruption of part of the Jedi Code, which has a negative assertion followed by a positive one. For example: “There is no fear, there is only calm.”

Phantom Menace easter eggs

Rob Inch, Liam Neeson’s stunt double in The Phantom Menace, served as stunt coordinator for The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi.

At one point during the pre-visualization of The Phantom Menace, the pod race lasted 25 minutes, before it was cut down to the 9 minute race seen in the film.

Phantom Menace easter eggs

Part of the Boonta Eve Classic podrace is held in Beggar’s Canyon. This is the same place that Luke mentions hunting womp rats in in A New Hope. This is also where Din Djarin tries out his new Naboo starfighter in The Book of Boba Fett and where Obi-Wan rides into at the very end of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Prince Xizor from Legends appears as a spectator at the Mos Espa Grand Arena in The Phantom Menace. A Micro-Machines model of Xizor was included in the miniature model of the crowd.

Anakin has a poster of the Boonta Eve Classic, the podrace that he won in The Phantom Menace, hanging up in his bedroom in the Jedi Temple in The Clone Wars.

In Chapter 18 of The Mandalorian, Tatooine is celebrating the holiday Boonta Week. Anakin pod races in the Boonta Eve Classic in The Phantom Menace.

Anakin (now Darth Vader) reunites with his friends Kitster and Wald from The Phantom Menace in Greg Pak’s Darth Vader comic series.

Phantom Menace easter eggs

Keira Knightley plays Sabé, one of Padme’s handmaidens, in The Phantom Menace. Knightley went on to be known for her roles in Pirates of the Caribbean and Love Actually. While making The Phantom Menace, Natalie Portman’s mother had difficulty telling her daughter and Knightley apart.

Phantom Menace easter eggs

When Maul and Obi-Wan duel in the Star Wars Rebels episode Twin Suns, Maul uses the same move that he killed Qui-Gon with in The Phantom Menace, but Obi-Wan, remembering how his master fell to this move, predicts it and counters it.

The bobbing up and down that Obi-Wan does before running at Maul to fight in The Phantom Menace was improvised by Ewan McGregor as a way to hype himself up for the duel.

A stand-in for Samuel L. Jackson can be seen playing Mace Windu during the celebration on Naboo at the end. Given their similarity, is it possible that this will be retconned to make this Jedi actually Kelleran Beq (played by Ahmed Best)?

The music that plays during the parade on Naboo at the end of The Phantom Menace is a distorted version with a higher tempo and in a major key of The Emperor’s theme from Return of the Jedi. This symbolizes that, despite the victory, Palpatine is manipulating events behind the scenes.

Phantom Menace easter eggs

In the credits of The Phantom Menace, it says “visual effects crew fuelled by Michael Smith of Javva The Hutt.” Javva the Hutt is a coffee shop at Lucasfilm headquarters.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is re-released in theaters on May 3, 2024. The re-release will include a special look at The Acolyte, the upcoming Disney+ series set 100 years before Episode I.

The HoloFiles

The HoloFiles is a website and series of social media accounts, including Star Wars Holocron, Marvel Tesseract, DC Motherbox, Film Codex, and Horror Necronomicon. We love cinema and television, and aim to spread positivity across different fandoms. Come to us for news, reviews, interviews, trivia facts, quotes, behind the scenes photos, analytic features, and more!