1999 was truly a monumental year for Lucasfilm as they ushered in a brand new era for the Star Wars franchise with the release of the first part of the prequel trilogy, The Phantom Menace which premiered 16 years after the original trilogy concluded with Return of the Jedi.
The film, which revolved around the formative years of a young Anakin Skywalker initially didn't click with the most diehard fans of the franchise but it did provide us with the iconic duel of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn versus the sinister Darth Maul.
What some fans may not remember is that Episode I didn't have a grand premiere, unlike the films that came after it. One Twitter user even pointed out The Phantom Menace's "low-budget" red carpet back in 1999 by sharing a photo of Natalie Portman and Liam Neeson standing behind the film's official poster. User @padm3luvr hilariously wrote: "phantom menace had $2 and a dream for a premier". Check out the image here.
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At the time of its release, the entire prequel trilogy received a generally negative reception from Star Wars fans but over the years, folks have grown to appreciate Episodes I, II, and III. The release of the standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi series also brought back renewed attention to the prequels and looking back, a lot of people realized that it wasn't as bad as originally perceived.
The entire Skywalker saga is available for streaming exclusively on Disney+.