Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace #1
May 1999
"The Phantom Menace" part 1, 25ppg, $2.95

Story: George Lucas
Script: Henry Gilroy
Penciller: Rodolfo Damaggio
Inker: Al Williamson
Letterer: Steve Dutro
Colorist: Dave Nestelle
Color Separator: Harold MacKinnon
Cover Artist: Hugh Fleming
Book Design: Mark Cox
Book Design: Darin Fabrick
Editor: Dave Land
Publisher: Mike Richardson

CHARACTER
Featured
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Padmé Amidala (as Queen Amidala and handmaiden Padmé), Jar Jar Binks

Supporting
Captain Tarpals, Boss Nass (unnamed), Ric Olié (unnamed), Sio Bibble (unnamed, referred to only as Governor), Captain Panaka (unnamed), Sabé (unnamed), Daultay Dofine (referred to as Dofine only), Nute Gunray (referred to as Viceroy throughout), Rune Haako (unnamed), Captain Madakor (dies, unnamed), Lieutenant Williams (dies, unnamed), Neimoidian officer

Guest
Palpatine (as holo)

Villain
Darth Sidious (appears as holo, referred to as Lord Sidious)

Other
Hela Brandes (unnamed, part of Naboo advisory council), Graf Zapalo (unnamed, part of Naboo advisory council), Hugo Eckener (unnamed, part of Naboo advisory council), Lufta Shif (unnamed, part of Naboo advisory council), Horace Vancil (unnamed, part of Naboo advisory council), Eritaé (unnamed), Rabé (unnamed), Saché (unnamed), Yané (unnamed), Tey How (unnamed), Rep Been (unnamed), Rep Teers (unnamed)

Cameo
Darth Maul (as holo, unnamed)

CREATURE
kaadu, opee sea killer, sando aqua monster

DROID
R5 unit, R2 Unit, battle droid, droideka (destroyer droid), R2-D2 (Artoo Detoo), battle droid commander, battle droid pilot, TC-14 (unnamed)

LOCATION
Naboo, Otoh Gunga, Theed Royal Palace

ORGANIZATION
Trade Federation, Naboo royal guards, Naboo pilots

STARSHIP
Radiant VII, Trade Federation Droid Control Ship, Trade Federation Battleship, Trade Federation landing ship, Naboo Royal (Queen's) Starship, droid starfighter

VEHICLE
Gungan bongo, STAP (Single Trooper Aerial Platform), Trade Federation AAT (Armored Assault Tank), Trade Federation MTT (Multi Troop Transport)

COMMENTS
This issue begins the official four issue adaptation of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

Unlike previous adaptations of the films that were published on a monthly basis (thereby taking up to 6 months to tell the tale) this series was published over 4 consecutive weeks in May, 1999 to coincide with the May 19, 1999 release date of Episode I. The Trade Paperback edition and Issue #1 of this adaptation were both released on May 5, with issue #3 being released on the movie premiere date.

Also to tie in with the release of the film, the official web site created an Online comic of The Phantom Menace that used Shockwave to animate the opening pages of the first issue of the comic. It utilized actual sound clips from the movie in conjunction with Damaggio & Williamson's artwork, but varied slightly from Gilroy's text.

Published both with an artwork cover by Hugh Fleming and a photo cover variant.
SYNOPSIS
Turmoil is engulfing the Galactic Republic as Trade Federation ships blockade the small planet of Naboo. As the Congress of the Republic is tied up in red tape, the Supreme Chancellor has dispatched two Jedi to Naboo in secret. A red republic transport lands on board the Trade Federation ship, carrying the two Jedi ambassadors. They are greeted by a silver protocol droid and led to a meeting room. The Jedi pull back their hoods revealing Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Obi-Wan senses that something is not right. Qui-Gon tells Obi-Wan to focus on the moment, and that the negotiation should be short. On the bridge, Dofine is concerned that the ambassadors appear to be Jedi. The viceroy tells him to calm down, while he contacts Lord Sidious. Qui-Gon senses a large amount of fear onboard for something so trivial.

Lord Sidious appears before the Trade Federation leaders and orders them to begin landing their troops. When asked how to deal with the Jedi, Sidious tells the viceroy to kill them immediately. A laser turret blasts the Republic spacecraft apart as gas begins pumping into the meeting room where Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are.

A squad of battle droids arrive outside the room and are soon cut down by the Jedi and their lightsabers. Qui-Gon attempts to slice his way into the bridge, but they are repelled into the ventilation shafts by a group of destroyer droids. They discover an invasion fleet in the landing bay, ready for attack.

The young Queen Amidala contacts the Trade Federation and orders them to stand down, as the Senate is already voting on the blockade. The viceroy tells her that they would never do anything without the Senates approval. Caught in between a rock and a hard place, the viceroy steps up his invasion plans and orders a communication disruption. In the Queen's Throne Room, the hologram of Senator Palpatine fades away as the disruption begins. The governor fears that they will not be able to negotiate and her head of security, Panaka, admits that the volunteer force will be no match for the federation army.

The Trade Federation begins landing their craft, believing the Jedi might be on one.

They are correct as Qui-Gon is pursued by a large tank. He runs into a local creature named Jar Jar, rescuing him from being run over by the massive vehicle. Obi-Wan joins them, himself pursued by two battle droids on flying platforms. Qui-Gon deflects their laser blasts back at the STAPs, destroying them. Jar Jar tells them a safe place to hide would be in Otoh Gunga, his home city. They dive into a nearby lake and swim down to the bubble city of Otoh Gunga, where they are met by other Gungans and taken to see the Gungan leader. Qui-Gon attempts to explain the danger the Gungans face, and the urgency to warn the Naboo. The Gungan leader tells the Jedi Master that they do not care for the Naboo. Using a Jedi mind trick, Qui-Gon gets them excused and secures a bongo, and allows Jar Jar to join them.

They depart the underwater city and are pursued by a large beast with a sticky tongue, which attacks the craft. As they are about to be swallowed a much larger "fish" consumes the crab-like animal. Their ship begins to lose power, and Qui-Gon orders Obi-Wan to steer towards an outcropping.

The Trade Federation viceroy reports to Lord Sidious that everything is proceeding, but neglects to mention that the Jedi have escaped. He and his lackey land in Theed, the capitol of Naboo, and order the Queen to sign a treaty, ratifying the blockade. When she refuses, the viceroy orders her and her party detained in a prison camp. Before they can reach the camp, the Jedi intervene, destroying the battle droids guarding the Queen and her entourage.

Qui-Gon convinces the Queen she needs to return with him to Coruscant to stop the Trade Federation. First they must secure a transport and manage to free some pilots held captive in the main hangar. The Jedi, Queen Amidala and her security detail depart the planet aboard her silver plated, weapon free ship.

Their shield generator is quickly knocked out by attacking droid starfighters, and a group of R2 units is dispatched to fix it. All the droids are destroyed except one, R2-D2, who manages to repair the shield allowing them to escape. But during the repair their hyperdrive began to leak. Qui-Gon determines that they must land on Tatooine to make the necessary repairs.

Lord Sidious introduces the viceroy to his apprentice, Lord Maul, who is a fierce looking humanoid with facial tattoo. He will find the ship that escaped through the blockade. The viceroy and his assistant feel this whole affair is getting out of control.


Related Issues
Episode I – The Phantom Menace #2 Episode I – The Phantom Menace #3 Episode I – The Phantom Menace #4 Episode I – The Phantom Menace Comic Pack


Trade Paperbacks and Alternate Covers
Star Wars Omnibus: Episodes I-VI – The Complete Saga Episode I – The Phantom Menace Trade Paperback Episode I – The Phantom Menace Limited Edition Hardcover
The Phantom Menace 1 Photo Cover



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Next September marks the twentieth anniversary of Hasbro's Kenner The Power Of The Force action figure collection. The line introduced a new generation of children to the wonderful world of Star Wars toys and ushered in the modern collectibles we all enjoy today. Our ever-inquisitive Probe Droid is actively searching all corners of the galaxy to find out if there is interest in products that commemorate this very significant 1995 release.
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