The movie that started the Star Wars saga, at least from a chronological story standpoint, is returning to movie theaters for its 25th anniversary. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace returns to cinema screens everywhere starting on May 3. Or, as we like to call it, “May the Fourth Eve.” To coincide with the re-release, artist Matt Ferguson illustrated a gorgeous new poster, which features our main characters. We love the piercing eyes of the Sith Lord Darth Maul looming over everyone. The Phantom Menace won’t be arriving in movie theaters alone, though; it will also bring with it a special first-look at the new Star Wars series, The Acolyte.

You can check out this 25th anniversary poster, via the Star Wars official site, right here—and learn more about the screening below.

The 25th anniversary theatrical poster for Star Wars: Episode One: The Phantom Menace, by Matt Ferguson.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Returns to Movie Theaters

AMC shares of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace‘s return to movie theaters:

Experience the heroic action and unforgettable adventures of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. See the first fateful steps in the journey of Anakin Skywalker. Stranded on the desert planet Tatooine after rescuing young Queen Amidala from the impending invasion of Naboo, Jedi apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn discover nine-year-old Anakin, who is unusually strong in the Force. Anakin wins a thrilling Podrace and with it his freedom as he leaves his home to be trained as a Jedi. The heroes return to Naboo where Anakin and the Queen face massive invasion forces while the two Jedi contend with a deadly foe named Darth Maul. Only then do they realize the invasion is merely the first step in a sinister scheme by the re-emergent forces of darkness known as the Sith.

After the feature, fans will also get a special first look at Star Wars: The Acolyte series coming to Disney+ June 2024.

Catch a Glimpse of Star Wars: The Acolyte


For now, all AMC reveals is that at after The Phantom Menace airs in theaters, “fans will also get a special first look at Star Wars: The Acolyte series coming to Disney+ June 2024.” The first trailer for the series recently released, and the new Star Wars chapter looks exciting. We can’t wait to see what will be teased on the big screen.

The R2-D2 Popcorn Bucket Is Back for The Phantom Menace in Theaters


In addition to seeing the movie in theaters, you can also snag an adorable R2-D2 Popcorn Bucket at screenings of The Phantom Menace. A release shares, “The new R2-D2 popcorn, complete with a shiny blue chrome upgrade, will go on sale May 3 at select theatres, one day ahead of the May the 4th (be with you) Star Wars “holiday.” The combo R2-D2 vessel is priced at $49.99 and comes with Large Drink & Popcorn.”

Make sure to snag this little guy early if you want him.

25 Years of The Phantom Menace

If you weren’t around for it, it’s hard to describe the hype levels leading up to the theater release of The Phantom Menace in 1999. It’s fair to say it was the most anticipated film of all time up to that point. The original Star Wars trilogy had changed popular culture, and for years, George Lucas promised prequels to Episodes IV-VI. As the 10-year anniversary of Return of the Jedi came and went, fans began to believe the prequels would remain in Lucas’ head. We’d have to do with just Star Wars novels and toys only, forever. When the sixteen-year wait for a new Star Wars film was finally over, fans everywhere lined up outside theaters. Sometimes, for days.

When it finally arrived, The Phantom Menace broke all box office records, but it was divisive among critics and fans. However, the children who grew up with the movie have nothing but love for it today as adults. We imagine many will be taking their children to see Anakin Skywalker pod race on the big screen. Maybe this theatrical release will contain a preview of something new in the Star Wars galaxy coming down the pipeline. We’ll have to catch The Phantom Menace when it returns to movie theaters on May 3 to find out for certain.

Originally published on March 19, 2024.