The Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace Source Guide is in development.
Thirty-two years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, there is a trade dispute between the Trade Federation and the outlying systems of the Galactic Republic, which has led to a blockade of the small planet of Naboo. Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, leader of the Galactic Senate, has secretly dispatched two Jedi, Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to serve as “the ambassadors” to the Federation flagship, in order to meet with Viceroy Nute Gunray and resolve the dispute. Unknown to them, the Trade Federation is in league with the mysterious Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith, who secretly orders Gunray to invade Naboo and kill the two Jedi upon their arrival. When Gunray asked if it was illegal, Sidious said that he would ensure that the invasion was made legal.
Using poison gas, the Viceroy attempts to poison the two Jedi Knights, but fails. After having to battle through squads of battle droids, Jinn and Kenobi make their way to the command deck where Gunray is located, shielding himself behind blast doors. The Jedi are forced to flee upon the arrival of two Destroyer Droids, but with their ship, Radiant VII, now destroyed, the two Jedi stow themselves aboard two separate Federation landing craft leaving for the surface of Naboo to begin the invasion.
Back in the command deck, Queen Amidala contacts Gunray expressing her disapproval of their blockade of Naboo, with Gunray explaining that they wouldn’t have done it without the approval of the senate. After questioning Gunray regarding the arrival of ambassadors sent by the Chancellor, Gunray claims that they have been greeted by no such ambassadors, leaving Amidala startled. Gunray, after ending communications with her, informs his aide that they should disable all communications on the planet in case she suspected an invasion.
Meanwhile, Amidala is conversing with Senator Sheev Palpatine regarding the recent attempt at negotiations and how Gunray claimed that they did not receive any ambassadors. Surprised, Palpatine states that he had assurances from the Chancellor that his ambassadors did arrive. However, Palpatine is unable to finish his sentence and his hologram begins to short out. Naboo Governor, Sio Bibble, suspects that the shorting out of communications is a sign that an invasion from the Trade Federation is imminent.
On the planet’s surface, Qui-Gon saves local native outcast Jar Jar Binks from being crushed by an MTT. Later, STAPs attack but are destroyed by Qui-Gon. Jar Jar Binks shows the two Jedi the way to an underwater Gungan settlement, Otoh Gunga, escaping the Trade Federation army. Meanwhile, the Trade Federation invades Naboo and captures Queen Amidala. The Jedi meet the Gungan leader, Boss Nass, and ask him to help the people of Naboo, but Nass refuses and sends them off in a bongo submarine. They are attacked by an opee sea killer and a colo claw fish but both fish are eaten by a sando aqua monster. The Jedi, with Binks in tow, reach Theed, the capital city of Naboo, and rescue Queen Amidala from the Trade Federation military. They depart for Coruscant, the Galactic Republic’s capital planet, to ask for help from the Senate. An astromech droid named R2-D2 manages to repair the Queen’s starship and they narrowly escape an attack from Federation battleships.
Due to the damage the ship’s hyperdrive sustained in the attack, the Jedi decide to land on the nearby planet Tatooine instead of Coruscant. While searching for a new hyperdrive generator, they befriend young Anakin Skywalker, a slave boy, whose master is Watto, a Toydarian junk dealer. Watto has the required parts in stock, but Qui-Gon is unable to purchase them, as Republic credits are worthless on Tatooine.
Anakin is gifted with piloting and mechanical abilities, and has built an almost-complete droid named C-3PO. Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force in Anakin, and feels that he may be the Chosen One—the one who will fulfill a prophecy by bringing balance to the Force. By entering Anakin into a podrace, Qui-Gon orchestrates a gamble in which the boy (alone, since Qui-Gon was unable to include the youth’s mother in the bargain) will be released from slavery while also acquiring the parts needed for their ship. The night before the race, Qui-Gon does a blood test on Anakin and discovers that the boy’s midi-chlorian reading is off the chart.
Anakin wins the race and joins the team as they head for Coruscant, where Qui-Gon plans to seek permission from the Jedi High Council to train Anakin to be a Jedi. Meanwhile, Darth Sidious sends his apprentice, Darth Maul, to kill the two Jedi and capture the Queen. Maul appears just as the group is leaving the planet, and duels with Qui-Gon. The fight is cut short when Qui-Gon manages to escape his black-robed assailant by jumping onboard the Naboo Royal Starship as it takes off.
On Coruscant, Qui-Gon informs the Jedi Council of the mysterious attacker he encountered on Tatooine. Because of that being’s obvious mastery of the Jedi arts, the Council becomes concerned that this development may indicate the reappearance of the Sith, a religious order who were followers of the dark side of the force and thought to be long gone. Qui-Gon also informs the Council about Anakin, hoping that he can be trained as a Jedi. After testing the boy and deliberating with one another, the Council refuses, deeming him too old for training according to the Jedi Code. They are also concerned due to their sensing of a seemingly clouded future and a strong presence of fear in the boy.
Meanwhile, Senator Palpatine, warning of the corruption in the Senate, advises Queen Amidala to call for a Vote of No Confidence in Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum. Seeing no alternative, the Queen takes this advice when she addresses the Senate. Palpatine is among the candidates to become the new Supreme Chancellor. The Queen later announces to Palpatine that she will return to their home planet to repel the invasion of her people by herself. She is frustrated by the Senate’s deliberation and lack of action, and feels that even if Palpatine is elected Chancellor, it will be too late. The Jedi Council sends the two Jedi to accompany the Queen back to Naboo, hoping to shed light on any Sith involvement.
Amidala, back on Naboo, attempts to locate the Gungans at Otoh Gunga, but Jar-Jar, after searching Otoh Gunga, informs them that it was abandoned. He then leads them to a sacred area which he was certain they were at. Upon arriving at the Gungan Sacred Place, Amidala negotiates with Boss Nass to form an alliance and unite in battle against the Trade Federation. Captain Panaka and several other security forces were also dispatched to rescue anyone imprisoned in the Trade Federation’s prison camps, although they were only able to successfully extract a handful.
Next, Amidala informs Qui-Gon and Nass of her battle strategy: with the Grand Gungan Army acting as a distraction to the bulk of the main Trade Federation forces, the Naboo resistance led by Padmé Amidala, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan will infiltrate Theed via a secret entrance located inside one of the waterfalls. Nute Gunray, taking the bait regarding the Gungan Army, informs Darth Sidious about the Grand Army, the latter then promptly ordering Gunray to wipe out the Gungans and the Naboo as the Trade Federation prepares for battle.
Captain Roos Tarpals orders the Gungan Grand Army to start up their shield, to protect them from ranged attack. OOM-9 has his tanks fire first, but seeing them fail to penetrate the powerful shield, orders them to cease fire. Daultay Dofine gives the command to activate the battle droids. These droids march through the shield, and destroy its generator. After much fighting against the Federation’s droid army, defeat for the alliance seems imminent.
However, victory comes when young Anakin Skywalker accidentally takes control of a starfighter and goes on to destroy the Federation’s Droid Control Ship from the inside, killing Daultay Dofine and rendering the droid army useless. Meanwhile, Amidala and her force fight their way back into the royal palace and capture Nute Gunray.
At the same time, in a Theed hangar bay, Darth Maul engages in combat with the two Jedi, using his double-bladed lightsaber. The battle moves from the hangar, across a series of catwalks, to the Theed Generator Complex. During the fight, Obi-Wan is separated from his master by being kicked off of a catwalk. He grabs the edge of another catwalk below and jumps back up to where Qui-Gon and Maul continue to fight. By this time, Qui-Gon and Maul have become separated by a force field in the entrance to the Generator Room. Obi-Wan catches up to them, but is divided from his master by four force fields. When the force fields deactivates, Jinn and Maul continue their battle while Kenobi remains divided from the battle by one force field when they all reactivate.
After a lengthy duel, Maul suddenly hits Qui-Gon on the chin with his lightsaber handle, stunning him, then rams his lightsaber straight into Qui-Gon’s chest, mortally wounding him. Devastated, Obi-Wan redoubles his assault upon Maul and chops the Sith’s lightsaber in half, but Maul eventually overpowers and nearly kills Kenobi by Force pushing him over the edge of a seemingly endless reactor shaft. Obi-Wan saves himself from falling when he manages to grab onto a pipe protruding from the wall of the shaft. Maul then kicks the Jedi’s lightsaber into the pit and prepares to finish him off. After Obi-Wan calms himself, he uses the Force to jump out of the shaft and summons his fallen master’s lightsaber to his hand. Within an instant, he lands behind the surprised Maul and cuts him in half; Maul’s upper and lower body falls into the shaft.
Obi-Wan reaches Qui-Gon moments before he dies, as Qui-Gon instructs Obi-Wan to train Anakin to become a Jedi, reiterating that Anakin is the Chosen One. Obi-Wan gives his word that he will. The newly-elected Chancellor Palpatine arrives to congratulate Queen Amidala on her victory, as Nute Gunray is sent to stand trial for his crimes.
Later, in a room in the Queen’s palace, Yoda confers upon Obi-Wan the rank of Jedi Knight. Kenobi argues with Yoda about his promise to Qui-Gon regarding Anakin’s training. Yoda is convinced it is dangerous to train the boy, but tells Kenobi the Jedi Council has allowed Skywalker to become Kenobi’s apprentice. Later in the evening in a funereal temple in Theed Qui-Gon’s body is cremated, and Mace Windu and Yoda agree that the Sith are definitely to blame for the tragedy. Being that there are only ever two Sith at any given time (a Master and an apprentice), both Masters believe that one must still remain.
The Naboo and Gungans organize a great victory celebration on the streets of Theed, in front on the palace. Obi-Wan and Anakin are present, the younger now wearing formal Jedi attire, and in his hair is a special braid: the mark of a Jedi Padawan. Queen Amidala presents a gift of appreciation and friendship to Boss Nass and the Gungan people.