Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

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Name: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode I, Star Wars: TPM
Abbreviation(s): TPM, SW: TPM
Creator: George Lucas
Date(s): May 19, 1999
Medium: film
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: Wikipedia, IMDB
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is the first film in the prequel trilogy and the fourth Star Wars film overall. Given that it was the first new Star Wars film in 16 years[1], it was a very big deal for Star Wars fans. It also spawned a new slash fandom.

TPM Fandom

The Phantom Menace was the slash fandom that swallowed all other media slash fandoms of its time and it was also one of the first fandoms that brought media and anime/manga fans together. The fandom started almost immediately after the movie aired and was overwhelmingly OTP centered around Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan. As the Jedi Apprentice novels added to canon, another slashable character, Xanatos, gained a strong following paired with either Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan; some het appeared as well, mainly involving Siri, another character from the Jedi Apprentice novels. Another character from the movie that fans really latched onto was Darth Maul, specially with female fans,[2] who was often shipped with Obi-Wan.

Because Qui-Gon dies at the end of the film, a large portion of TPM fic is either set before the events of the film or is AU, with Qui-Gon surviving. The default setting is AU for Qui-Gon's death, to the point where stories that follow canon were expected to warn for it.

TPM fandom divides AUs into two types: Alternate Universe (AU) to denote stories which are set in the Star Wars universe but diverge from canon in some way, and Alternate Reality (AR) for stories where Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are in ancient Rome or are rock stars, etc.


Jedi Apprentice Novels

Canon, or not?

Taking the JA novels as a starting point, TPM was the fandom that invented chanslash.

Master Apprentice Archive

M/A selling copies of the archive on disk without asking the authors for permission in order to raise money for more hardware

Jar Jar Binks and Racism

A fan in 1999 wrote: "Racism. It was racist. Jar Jar whateverhewas spoke bad Jamaican ick and the flat headed flat nosed trade federationists spoke whatever-passes-for-WWII-Japanese. When I left the theatre all I wanted was my two and a half hours back." [3]

General Star Wars Fandom

Google search results, referring to the retconned explanation for The Force

Among Star Wars fans, The Phantom Menace was generally considered the worst of the live-action Star Wars feature films, though some peoples feelings have changed with the creation of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. One thing that is often credited of helping the mixed feelings on the movie was the incredible hype that it attracted before it's release, that made many people think that the movie would not be able to deliver on.[4] Fans love to criticize Jar Jar Binks and complain about the retconned explanation for The Force.

Some fans even try to argue that the movie is unnecessary, with the popular Machete watch order of Star Wars[5] not including the movie, saying that it doesn't help to progress the plot, includes annoying characters and it's exclusion makes the series make more sense. This isn't agreed on by everyone though, with the argument that not watching the movie will only make the viewer confused, and not present the beginning of character's arcs.

Fan Comments

A fan's comment after seeing the movie's premiere:

Have to admit to a flutter in the tummy as the United Artist logo came on the screen with it's dadadadada music, then the dead silence.... then WHAM! THE MUSIC ....

Was all down hill after that. I would have thought that George Lucas, with all his intelligence and original creativity could have done better than a re-do of the first movie! It was almost identical; even some of the dialogue was the same.

You had the Princess (Queen) in jeopardy. You had the young and old Jedi master/apprentice. The kid takes the ship and blows up the "Death Star". The Jedi Master is killed while his apprentice looks on, horrified and screams out 'nooooooooooooooooooooo!' Wonder if they just dubbed in Mark Hamil's scream? Luke kills swamp rats in his machine in the nooks and crannies of home. Anakin has races in his machine in the nooks and crannies of home. Puh-leeeeeze!

And there were entirely tooo many .... things ... floating around the screen. Too much to watch at once, my eyes didn't know where to look. Too many stupid droids, too many weird creatures and too many different languages. I have no idea what that bouncy Jojojujuwhatever creature and his "king" said throughout the entire movie.

I think he tried to put too much in the movie. Too many main characters destroyed what character development there could have been. I received no fuzzy feeling between Obi-wan and Qui-gon at all until the end when old Qui bought and Obi-wan cried over him. Heck, I got more of a warm-fuzzy between Luke and Chewbacca in the first movie than I did for Obi and Qui in this one. Obi-wan in the first movie seemed kind and wise and mysterious and all powerful. Qui-gon was tall.

Major disappointment in a movie and no slash that I could see at all.

Think I'll go watch the *original* again. [6]



Slash fans responded quickly to The Phantom Menace, launching the Master/Apprentice Fanfiction Archive on 21 May, 1999,[7] two days after the movie's North American premiere.[8] The fandom drew heavily from the big fandoms of the late 1990s (such as Sentinel, Highlander, etc.) and the first few months were characterized by an incredibly high output of quality fanfiction by established and new authors which laid the grounds for a rich fanon and everything that followed after that. Several of the early Q/O classics have been republished as zines, for example Riding the Wheel of If, L'Histoire d'Obi, Walk Softly and Carry a Big Lightsaber, The Warrior's Heart, and Buying Trouble. Other well known stories were collected at T.O.T.O. - the Obi-Wan torture Oasis.[9] T.O.T.O. was a hurt/comfort archive that featured some of the best stories in the fandom and looked very pretty with its fanfiction covers by analise. In addition to traditional fanzines, The Phantom Menace also created a small but thriving amount of doujinshi in both English and Japanese. For a complete list of all Phantom Menace fanzines, which includes both original print as well as republished online fiction, see the List of Phantom Menace Zines.


See Category:Star Wars TPM Fanfiction
See Category:Star Wars TPM Q/O Fanfiction
See Category:Star Wars TPM Zines
See Category:Star Wars TPM Doujinshi


See Category:Star Wars TPM Art

As a fandom where western media slash met yaoi, especially the fanart reflects the different influences. On the one hand, there were fanartists like Suzan Lovett, who represented the media fandom tradition. On the other hand, there were popular TPM artists like Fuumin. Unlike most Japanese artists, whose doujinshi are scanlated without permission (or even the artist's knowledge), Fuumin was actually involved in western TPM fandom and sold her doujinshi directly to English-speaking fans, sometimes including simple English translations with them. She also provided artwork for some English-language zines.


Come What May by Diana Williams is a Q/O vid that was made in 2001, when the fandom was still at its height, and it left a strong impression. The vid is a perfect description of the way fans saw the Q/O relationship: "Their love will endure, come what may!" The song is a duet from the movie Moulin Rouge and one of the two voices is that of Ewan McGregor who played Obi-Wan in TPM. Years later, talking about a vid in another fandom and describing it as quite possibly the perfect slash vid, one commenter says It rates right up with Diana Williams’ “Come what May.”[10] The video used to be found for download at the website Diana's Music Videos.



See Category:Star Wars TPM Meta

Mailing Lists

  • JediDiscipline archive link "Ever wonder what it's like to be a Padawan? Well, at JediDiscipline you get a chance to explore the life of a Padawan, complete with the pranks, problems and punishments, through the eyes of fanfic writers. All stories, ranging from G to NC-17, are welcomed. Slash is also allowed, just no minor/adult or smut, please." (Founded: Oct 30, 2000)
  • Obi-Ani archive link "This list is devoted to fanfiction based around Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Master, apprentice, friends... lovers. If the idea of seeing these two handsome Jedi together interests you, go ahead and join. Yes this list is slash, if this bothers you look elsewhere. Your subscription to this list verifies that you are 18 years of age or older. Please remember this list is mainly about the pairing of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Disclaimer: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and the Star Wars Universe belong to Lucas Film, Ltd. and George Lucas. We're just playing with them for a little while! Please check out our affiliate community on lj: Ewan Hayden." (Founded: June 2002)
  • Qui Maul offline "Gen, M/M Slash, F/F Slash ·· discussion, fiction, and artwork centering around Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul, friends, enemies, lovers?"
  • lair_fic archive link "This mailing list is an announcement/premiere list for TPM - Q/O slash fanfiction of KassXF and DBKate. All our Q/O slash fics and any web site moves or updates will hit this list first. There will be exclusives and other fun things, so please join, and remember that by joining this list, you are stating in effect that you are over 18 years of age and can read Q/O smut without getting all of us into heaps o'trouble. For more information:" (Founded: Jul 13, 1999)
  • master_apprentice archive link Mirror site was m_a_fiction. "master_apprentice is our mailing list for posting and discussion of fan-fiction involving Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, as well as discussions about these characters themselves and the Star Wars movies. Please join us! The rules will be simple: have fun, encourage our writers (constructive criticism and feedback welcome), but no flaming will be tolerated. We will also strive to keep conversation and fiction on-topic as this has quickly become a high-volume list with over 300 members. Detailed information on the list & its policies will be mailed to you when you subscribe. The mailing list is for mature (over 18) audiences only."
  • StarWarsPrequel EY Unlimited Fic -- Yahoo group (defunct) "For those of us who enjoy reading and writing Obi-torture and other angsty fics and not worry about the rating of PG13. As this is a sister list to my other EYupdates list the same rules of SLASH and SMUT FREE are in place here,but we allow torture and other more violent fics here. Not for children 17 or below." (dates unknown)

Archives & Links


See Category:Star Wars TPM Websites

There is one central archive, Master/Apprentice Fanfiction Archive. For years, the Master Apprentice mailing list was the hub of fandom activity, though in recent years there has been more and more activity on LiveJournal, on communities such as quiobisupport and tpm100. Almost everyone archived at MA, but authors often had individual websites as well, featuring their fanfiction, links to other sites, and recommendations. Some recommendation pages for Q/O and other TPM fic include:

Related Concepts, Fandoms, Terms, Fanworks
See also Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, The Clone Wars, Star Wars/Original Trilogy, Star Wars/Sequel Trilogy, Star Wars Legends, Star Wars/Disney Era


  1. ^ Not counting the Ewok made-for-tv movies, which nobody talks about.
  2. ^ Article about Darth Maul's fandom from SFGate, 31 May 1999 Archived version
  3. ^ quoted anonymously from Virgule-L (31 Jul 1999)
  4. ^ Article about the hype at the time on Deseret News, 14 May 1999
  5. ^ Website about the Machete Order by Rod Hilton, 11 November 2011
  6. ^ quoted anonymously from Virgule-L (30 Jul 1999)
  7. ^ Master/Apprentice Archive launch date (Accessed 13 Oct 2008.)
  8. ^ The Phantom Menace release dates (Accessed 13 Oct 2008.)
  9. ^ T.O.T.O., via Wayback. (Accessed 15 October 2009)
  10. ^ LJ entry, 15 December 2004. (Accessed 15 October 2009)
  11. ^ "Star Wars Fan Fiction Reccommendations". 2013-01-12. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12.
  12. ^ "[princess cimorene's star wars recs] – mostly Q/O". 2004-10-16. Archived from the original on 2014-01-16.