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The Phantom Answers
Answers to Your Star Wars Episode 1 Questions

The Phantom Answers

After spending 2 days at Skywalker Ranch, getting a complete tour of the Star Wars: Episode 1 DVD, watching all the special features, and attending all the Q & A's we went over our copious notes to pull together the answers to your questions (which were posted to the DVD Talk Forum).

Please note that the following answers are NOT direct quotes from Lucasfilm representatives but ARE an amalgamation of all the information we were privy to on our trip to Skywalker Ranch including our own viewing of the DVD!
Q: Is this the definitive DVD release for Episode I? (LBPound23)

A: Probably not. Lucas hinted that there would be other uses for the over 600 hours of archival 'Making of' footage and talked about a future box set with all 6 Star Wars DVDs. Given Lucas' propensity to revisit and improve his films, this probably won't be the last and final release.

Q: 'What about release dates for Episodes 4,5,6?' .... A follow up to that would be "Will they only be available in a Boxset or also sold individually, or perhaps both?" (ClarkKentKY)

A: In the Q&A with George Lucas we were told that the next DVD release planned would be Episode 2, followed by Episode 3. They indicated that their current plan is to put the next 2 episodes out in the same type of time frame that other films are released on DVD following their theatrical release. There was talk of a future box set but the official Lucas line is that at this time the release of 4-6 have not been set. So we don't know when & how 4-6 will become available.

Q: How long after its theatrical debut can we expect Episode 2 on DVD? (codefree)

A: We were told that both Episode 2 & 3 would be available on DVD within 'conventional' DVD release time frames. It looks like it took them 8-9 months of work to get Episode 1 to DVD so that may be a good guide for 2 & 3.

Q: "Will we see the original trilogy in their original forms as well as special edition form?" (MarkHoltz)

A: Episodes 4-6 are still on the drawing board, so I don't think they've figured this one out.

Q: Could you please consider asking when/if Lucasfilm's other films will be released on DVD? (skywalker8)

A: We snuck this question in as they were stalling, waiting for George Lucas to arrive. I asked if Lucas' busy schedule with Episodes 2 & 3 would preclude him working on the DVD releases of other films. They pointed to the upcoming release of Willow as an example of other Lucas films hitting DVD and hinted more were on the way. Which ones, we don't know.

Q: Will the deleted scenes that have had their special effects finished for this DVD be included in the movie or will they only be viewable separate from the movie? Can we choose to watch the theatrical release of the film or the special edition of the film ala "Terminator 2: Ultimate Edition"? (Joe Schmoe)

A: The 7 Deleted scenes which are completely finished are on the 2nd DVD of this 2 DVD set. In addition to watching the 7 deleted scenes individually, there's a deleted scenes documentary which talks about how and why scenes get deleted. Lucas has re-cut one of the seven deleted scenes the 'Air Taxi' scene as well as parts of the "Pod Racing Second Lap" scene.

Q: Will Lucas release this movie in DTS since it played in DTS in some theaters? (Joe Schmoe)

A: I was bummed when I heard there wouldn't be a DTS track, and the folks at Lucas Film said that it was a tough call not to include DTS, but they had a 'bit budget' which they had to stick to and not everything they wanted to put on the DVD could make it.

Q: Will this DVD include a glimpse at "Attack of the Clones" (perhaps the trailer)? (Joe Schmoe)

A: At this point no one has found any easter egg for Attack of the Clones, however during the presentation there were strong hints that something for Attack of the Clones would be on the special Star Wars Web site for the DVD owners (accessible through the DVD-Rom section of the DVD)

Q: Is it possible to include both the special edition and original versions of the Trilogy on the same DVDs, via seamless branching? (JeTmAn)

A: Given what we've seen on Episode 1, I think it's pretty doubtful that we'll see the older versions of the Trilogy on the same DVD as the special editions. George Lucas talked a lot about the fact that like an author, he's been able to go back and revise his work, improve on it, fix things he couldn't have done the first time around. With this in mind I'd bet we'll only see revised or even further revised editions of the films on DVD.

Q: Ask George Lucas if they took the audio directly from TPM LD and put it on the DVD as the audio from the LD is widely considered the BEST sounding audio on any DVD or LD to date! (Frank S)

A: You could have heard a pin drop when I asked this question of Van Ling at the Q&A. At first there was a little confusion as not many people KNOW about the Japanese laserdisc. But I was assured that all elements for the DVD were taken from the 'Master Master' not from previously produced sources. That being said the sound on Star Wars: Episode 1 is simply amazing, one of the best on DVD!

Q: My question, are the rumors that Lucas' commentary is actually just edited together from previous interviews he's given on the movie true? Doesn't really matter to me either way if it's a good commentary, just wondering if this was true. (Sierra Disc)

A: Nope, the George Lucas commentary for the DVD was recorded for the DVD. It's not a continuous commentary as they've taken commentary from several people and edited them together into one master commentary. Although I would have LOVED to have heard a complete and total running commentary from Lucas, the ensemble commentary is really fascinating.

Q: Also, why isn't the extended Maul/Qui-Gon duel in the desert included in the deleted scenes? (bloom)

A: They focused mainly on deleted sequences v/ just scenes. The most impressive of which are the 2 deleted sequences from the Pod races. In addition there's some changes in the film itself but honestly I can't remember the original Maul/Qui-Gon desert duel to tell you if it's been extended.

Q: When Phantom Menace was release on VHS Mr. Lucas claimed he wouldn't release any DVD versions of the Star Wars saga because he was busy with Episode II. He would like to personally supervise the DVD creation process. What happened? Episode II is still in production but Episode I is coming on DVD. Did you find time for the Episode I DVD? Why not the original trilogy? (pereirap)

A: The answer is simple, fans and consumers put pressure on them to hurry up and put Episode 1 on DVD. This combined with the fact that Lucas realized that he needed some of the production people who were still around to do work on the Deleted Scenes convinced him to make it happen earlier than he planned.

Q: Will the new Phantom Menace DVD be available with an option to delete all Jar Jar Binks scenes from the movie and thus avoid the excruciating agony of watching this abominable creature? (tatrat)

A: Ironically, an article appeared in the Washington Post the day we did the Q&A about The Phantom Edit. But you knew the answer to your question before you asked it. Lucas seems to like Jar Jar so I wouldn't hold your breath. What struck me as interesting in the Making of Documentary was why they decided to go all digital for Jar Jar, it seems like it was cheaper for them to do all digital verses replacing the head of the actor which they considered as an option. But I agree, Jar Jar is da worsa thinga to appen to Star Worze.

Q: You could ask why some major scenes were not put into the deleted scenes feature on the DVD. (ie Obi-Wan fries his lightsaber in the naboo swamp. This is the reason for him running from the 2 battle droids on STAP's. After Qui-Gon vanquishes the 2 droids, he admonishes Obi-Wan for forgetting to turn his power cell off.) (JarJarBinksII)

A: As I mentioned before, Lucas said his focus on deleted scenes was sequences v. scenes. He also specifically referred to the naboo swamp scene and said that some things which were right for Episode 1 didn't work in the context of the whole story. And then repeated how everything makes sense when you see all the films together.

Q: "Will there be another release of Episode 1 in the future with the cut out Darth Maul scenes included?" (TK-421)

A: If the past is any indication of the future I would be shocked if Lucas doesn't continue to revise this film (along with his others) with every future release.

Q: Why has Lucasfilm been so sketchy on information on a DVD release until recently? Why not announce when the VHS came out that a DVD was in the works? Why did Lucasfilm once claim on their website that there were no immediate plans for a DVD when there clearly were. (peskoe150)

A: This was certainly a question that I and the editors of the other DVD webstes really wanted to know, but unfortunately the question never got addressed. I think no one wanted to come off combative and possibly not get called on for questions again.

Q: Has working on the Phantom Menace DVD encouraged you to revisit some of your other films, like the Ewok movies, on the DVD format? (mike)

A: I think the answer is yes. Again they pointed to the upcoming release of Willow on DVD as an example of future Lucas Film DVD!

Q: Were there any changes made to the film itself for the Episode I DVD? (scenes added or removed, FX cleaned up, etc.) That is, if I watch the Episode I DVD, will I be seeing the EXACT SAME film that I saw during the summer of 1999, with no changes. (bboisvert)

A: Yes there are changes made to the film itself! I'm sure there's more, but the most obvious changes are: the inclusion of a new Air Taxi Scene, additions to the Pod Race Grid Sequence and 2nd Lap as well as an enhancement to the final battle with Darth Maul

Q: Are there two versions of the dvd coming out? Some websites, like Amazon for example, are selling two different versions. One has the listed languages as English/Spanish and one has English/French. If there are two separate dvds in fact being manufactured, is the only difference between the two the language tracks? What was the reasoning for two versions? Was there really just not enough space for all three languages on one disc? (garmonbozia)

A: There will be many versions of the DVD out there in various regions. Typically studios will put out only one DVD for North America with Spanish and French language or subtitles. Lucasfilm decided to do 2 releases in North America one with Spanish 2.0 dialogue and one with French 2.0. I believe space was a consideration, but also since the only subtitles are english on both discs. The only difference we are aware of is the language track

Q: Why weren't the promotional Pepsi and KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut ads included on the disc? Those were great. (Disc-Flipper)

A: Again, space considerations. They DO have several TV spots (or Totems as they refer to), also the international trailers. All very interesting!

Complete Phantom Menace Coverage:
Phantom Menace Official Q & A
Skywalker Ranch - Our Trip Report
Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phanton Menace DVD Review

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