“Twenty years ago, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace graced movie theaters with an excitement level that’s still talked about fondly today. But it wasn’t an easy path to get there. From developing completely new film techniques and technology that seem commonplace now, to a massive storm wiping out most of the Mos Espa set in Tunisia, there’s more to the story of making of Episode I than you probably know.
The Making of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, written by Laurent Bouzereau and Jody Duncan, was also released in 1999 and features candid tales of the production direct from writer and director George Lucas, the cast, and the crew of one of the most anticipated films in history. In addition, Lucasfilm produced a number of behind-the-scenes features for web and home video that explored the making of the movie.
Here are 20 behind-the-scenes facts and anecdotes straight from the people who were there!
1. George Lucas wrote the Episode I script by hand with just pencil and notebook paper. In fact, he writes all of his scripts this way.
2. One of the biggest influences on the making of The Phantom Menace was The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Not only did a significant number of the television series’ crew and production team later work on The Phantom Menace, some of the techniques they perfected while filming the series were then used on Episode I. Rick McCallum, producer of the prequel trilogy, called the show a “testing bed to learn a new way of making films.”
Concept model by Tony McVey
3. Jar Jar Binks was originally designed with green skin. The design team later realized that most aquatic creatures on our own planet don’t sport green hues, so they changed his skin tone to orange instead.
Concept art by Iain McCaig
4. Yaddle is actually an early “young Yoda” design. Concept artist Iain McCaig began designing the Jedi Master’s younger look as an eight-year-old version of the character. “That concept eventually became another Jedi in the film, Yaddle,” he revealed.
5. The moving mechanism inside Threepio’s head is a missile gyroscope. Chief Model Maker Lorne Peterson had found it and let the effects team borrow it, he said in the making-of featurette “Discoveries from Inside: Models & Miniatures.” […]”
Read more at StarWars.com.