This remastered 4K Star Wars Phantom Menace trailer is pure hype

At this point, 25 years after its release, there is no reason to debate its quality Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. A catastrophe for boomers and Gen Xers forever enraptured by the enchantment of the original trilogy; a defining tentpole moment for millennials who reached the pinnacle of the 1997 Special Edition reissues only to experience the turbulence of George Lucas’ vibrant new vision; a foundation for a new era of storytelling for Gen Zers who have more love in their hearts The Clone Wars A TV show more than anything in live action, it’s a film that means something different to everyone and, almost objectively, a turning point for blockbuster filmmaking. Or, to put it another way: The phantom menace is.

But The phantom menace trailer… a masterpiece. And Lucasfilm rightly covers the biggest two-minute hype video from 1998, a preview that helped set the infamous bombshell Meet Joe Black making what little money it did at the time, as an equally important part of the Star Wars legacy: now that the film is back in theaters for a 25th anniversary re-release, the studio has remastered the original trailer, which was produced and released so early that it was simply called “Episode I” instead of The phantom menace. LeAndre Thomas, project manager for video and digital assets at Lucasfilm, said on X that he and his team rescanned an original 35mm print of the trailer to remaster it in 4K. The new version became posted on YouTube on Sunday evening, and was immediately watched by people who enjoy a good nostalgia trip.

In honor of an impeccable new version of the ghost threat trailer comes online, here are the five most important moments that still make me think: Hot damn, this movie is absolutely sick, Star Wars will be back soon, baby, yay!!!!despite knowing that it’s not exactly a perfect film.

5. The 20th Century Fox logo

Image: 20th century studios

I will never age as long as the ghost threat trailer can be viewed with the click of a button. When the 20th Century Fox logo silently appears at the beginning of the trailer, I’m a kid in a dark movie theater, barely breathing. That emblem is Star Wars in my head, with an extra dose of dopamine arriving when the Lucasfilm logo flashes onto the screen a second later. Ah, to be young and alive at a time when getting excited about a company logo was not only acceptable, but welcome! I still hold a grudge against Disney for acquiring Fox and opening up The power awakens with just the Lucasfilm logo – after all, I’m a grumbling adult now.

4. Darth Maul fires the twin lightsaber blades

Darth Maul ignites his lightsabers in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Who is that guy????? Tell me all about that guy. Everyone in the old movies had one lightsaber, but he has two. Holy hell. (Just as important to the Sith presence in this trailer, Mace Windu’s laser gaze brings balance to the Force’s badassery.)

3. The cockpit of the pod race

a POV shot from Anakin's pod racer in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

There is no reason to argue about the quality of The phantom menace, but… the podracing order is indisputable. The first taste we get of the #1 best action scene in all of the Star Wars films (fight me) is from Anakin’s POV – a complete adrenaline rush as John Williams’ theme begins. The other images race by like landscapes that we witness from the side window. Really, I had no memory of how many times we see Jar Jar doing Jar Jar shit in the trailer because it was cut as the pod race. Spectacular.

2. Padme stands in front of a window and fades away until Darth Vader exhales about ‘every saga has a beginning’

Padme in her royal attire looks out a giant window in her Naboo palace in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Chills. Finally, the tragic story of Darth Vader is told.

1. Gungans emerge from the mist of Naboo’s swamps

Gungans walk on bipedal beasts through the mists of Naboo in The Phantom Menace

Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

The best opening shot in a movie trailer ever. Lucas does Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood with a brand new alien race. Star Wars is now art. Nothing can go wrong with all this.