Happy 3rd Birthday SWNN! Featuring a Countdown, Contest and Staff Picks!

StarWarsNewNet_DeathStar_v10My how time flies. It was three years ago today that Disney bought Lucasfilm and kicked off this new era of Star Wars.  But that day also holds special importance here at SWNN as it was also the day that Star Wars News Net was born.


For those of you with strong enough mental skills to recall back all those many minutes ago, you will likely remember that we were then Star Wars 7 News. But with the ever increasing flow of new Star Wars content that is now a (not so) distant memory and it is Star Wars News Net that stands today sharing its birthday with the rebirth of everyone’s favorite Space Opera. Its been a fun three years of Cyborg Jedi, Sith tombs filled to the brim with Kyber Crystals, and floating extra-orbital robot hands. But now, here we stand just 7 weeks out from Episode 7.  And in honor of that 7 from 7, we are launching this series to count down the remaining weeks until release day.


So, what can you expect from our countdown in the coming weeks? Well there will be great conversation as the SWNN staff will each take turns recounting our favorite action sequences from the previous 6 Star Wars movies. We invite you to make this fun by giving us your own picks and reasoning in the comments. Nothing kills the time before release day quite like a lively debate over which Death Star Assault is better, or whether Ewoks could truly overpower an Imperial garrison.


Sounds like fun right? Oh that’s not enough? Well, not to worry. There’s also free stuff! And we know how much everyone likes free stuff.  Each week we’ll have a contest themed to the day’s movie selection for fun giveaways.


Today’s Contest:


Tell us what is your favorite action sequence from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in the comments bellow. SWNN’s staff and 1030th members will pick the best 4 of them, who will win one of the following prizes:


  1. The Making of Star Wars, Episode I – The Phantom Menace:Prize
  2. The Art of Star Wars, Episode I – The Phantom Menace: Prize 3
  3. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens:Prize 2b
  4. A Star Wars T-Shirt supplied by our friends from FifthSun:


The winners will be announced next Friday (6 weeks before The Force Awakens premiere) when we will post our part 2 of the countdown with the best action sequences from Attack of the Clones. Stay tuned.


And finally without further ado, we’ll kick off our Staff Picks with Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. So what are your favorite action sequences from the film? Droid Invasions, Planet Cores, Podracing, or “Now THIS is Podracing”? There are plenty of sequences to choose from.  So let us know what you think. To start us off, here are Darth Lexor Kai and Kyle with their picks for favorite action sequences from The Phantom Menace…


Darth Lexor Kai – Pod RacingMos_Espa_Grand_Arena Podrace

I can still remember the first time I saw Episode I. My uncle was working as a Physician’s Assistant in Oklahoma, and his team had reserved a theater a few days after opening for a conference. The 10 year old me still remembers the excitement I felt watching the young Anakin Skywalker, who was nearly the same age as I was, fly his Pod Racer over the rocky landscape of Tattooine.


Qui-Gon was played perfectly, thanks to Liam Neeson. He was calm, mindful of the future, and wise. When he said that Anakin was able to race because of his natural Jedi abilities it gave us the audience reassurance that Anakin would in fact win the race. Of course he would though, after all he is one of the main characters of the film, but the younger version of myself didn’t understand that, and so it was very exciting! If Anakin won the race, then he would be free. Being free means that he could pursue his dream, of becoming a Jedi.


All the racers lined up accordingly and there was a small bit of ceremony and parading before the race began, and we got to see all of the amazing characters created for this world. I was a Nascar and Funny-Car fan as well as a Star Wars fan. The blending of these two things felt very real for me.PodraceThe race began and even though Anakin had some difficulty getting started he prevailed, when all of his competitors were torn apart by each other. Yes it the race and the victory in retrospect deliciously cheesy though, but the moment stuck with me.

That year for Halloween I wanted nothing more than to be Anakin Skywalker-Jedi Apprentice. My aunt made my Jedi costume out of an old burlap sack. It was very itchy and didn’t do much to keep me warm but I was proud to wear it. Star Wars Podracing for Nintendo 64 became my favorite game of that year, and some of my most treasured childhood memories was going over to my friend’s house to play it after school.

Kai's costume


Kyle – Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Maulwww.allwallpapersfree.orgI was pretty let down by TPM, but this fight kept my faith in the franchise. It was like nothing Star Wars fans had ever seen. We were used to slower paced and gangly fighting, one-on-one. This fight had a trio of participants. Nick Gilliard, the films stunt director, did a fantastic job coordinating this fight. It highlights Darth Maul’s skills to adapt to Qui-Gonn’s methodical pace and Obi-Wan’s rage. This fight was a game changer and let everyone know SW was back, even if it wasn’t what folks expected. We were seeing the Jedi in their golden age. It blew me away and was the reason I went to see TPM in the theaters three more times.


John Williams’ score was stuck in my head for days after that. The Jedi were shown as formidable warriors coupled with their mysticism. The Sith were also introduced as sort of ninja assassins, sent in to solve precise problems and take out anyone who stood in their way. If Lucas made one fatal mistake, I think it was killing Darth Maul. I would love to have seen that character grow as the antagonist throughout the trilogy. I know we got more via The Clone Wars, but it was a very damaged version of the character.


This fight is the crown jewel of the prequel trilogy, in my opinion. Anakin vs Obi-Wan was great, but this was my favorite of the fights.


So, what is your favorite sequence from The Phantom Menace? Tell us below.


Special thanks to all SWNN staff members and 1030th Resistance (named after this memorable date). Thank you all for your efforts of watching over the Cantina and SWNN!


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42 thoughts on “Happy 3rd Birthday SWNN! Featuring a Countdown, Contest and Staff Picks!

  • October 30, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    m/ m/

  • October 30, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Happy Birthday, SWNN! The best part of Episode 1? Let me get back to you.

  • October 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    For me although the fiight between maul, obi and qui gon was great, made even better by the amazing duel of fates, I will have to go for the first action sequence on the blockade ship as it was the first part of star wars I saw, and made me instantly want a lightsaber straight away

  • October 30, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Happy Bday! My favorite action scene from TPM is when it ended. No, seriously my favorite is when Maul and Jinn have a scrimmage on Tatooine. Maul finally reveals himself and Qui-Gon is shocked that he is dueling somebody who is trained in the ways of the Dark Side. Also, aesthetically I love how dust was being kicked up and after the fight Jinn looked genuinely exhausted from fighting in the blazing heat.

  • October 30, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    When it finished

  • October 30, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    It has to be Qui-Gon + Obi-Wan v. Darth Maul. It’s the only time we ever see any aggression from Obi-Wan in the films. Sets a great starting point for his character to develop into Anakin’s ‘brother’ and eventually the wise Jedi master portrayed by Alec Guiness. Such an emotional moment in a fast paced film and made even better by ‘The Clone Wars’.

  • October 30, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Qui Gon and Obi aboard the droid ship. I remember being amazed that the lightsaber was turning the blast door into molten metal. We had never seen a lightsaber used in that way before.

  • October 30, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Any scene that did not show JarJar Binks is my favorite…..

  • October 31, 2015 at 12:03 am

    My favorite scene is definitely the duel between the two Jedi and Darth Maul. We finally got to see what Jedi looked like when they fought in their prime. Ray is excellent as Darth Maul and really sells the fact that his character could take on two Jedi at the same time. Additionally, the score by John Williams in that scene is one of the greatest scores that he composed for any Star Wars film, prequel or original trilogy. Even though my love for the prequels has cooled somewhat as I’ve grown older, I will never get tired of watching that scene or listening to the accompanying score.

  • October 31, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Happy force day and Halloween tomorrow!

  • October 31, 2015 at 12:12 am

    i’m passing on the free stuff should i win for fans who don’t own those awesome books yet but my fav Ep I moment is actually a smaller moment where Palpatine is manipulating Amidala and urging for a vote of no confidence. Its really the very beginning of the future Emperor’s rise to power and McDiarmid plays it to perfection. Say what u will about the prequels but Lucas did get the rise of Palpatine correct.

  • October 31, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Congratulations to SWNN on three wonderful years, I wish I’d found you earlier!

    My favourite TPM action scene is definitely when Qui-Gon duels Darth Maul for the first time. It came out of nowhere, it was short but intense, and it really got me excited about the movie for pretty much the first time (mind you, I was at a midnight screening, so I was tired!).

  • October 31, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Woah. It feels like just yesterday this site was up. Thank you again for your immediate updates and news. 🙂

  • October 31, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Happy Birthday, SWNN! You are a great home to Star Wars fans. May you never change and may the Force be with you always. 🙂

  • October 31, 2015 at 2:43 am

    I am going to have to go with the Darth Maul scene at the end. We had never seen saber choreography like that.. and Duel of the Fates? Epic.

  • October 31, 2015 at 3:13 am

    I absolutely love the Naboo Space battle. Although it will never compare to first tench run of the first movie or to my favorite battle of Endor. The Phantom Menace’s space battle introduced us to a new generation of Star Wars dog fighting, and to think of it, the moment Anakin flies into the Trade Federation ship, it is a kind of nod back to the trench run to destroy the death star. This battle was personally my favorite from Episode I. Truly Epic

  • October 31, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Happy birthday guys.

    First I have to say that I am gonna wait till read everyone’s before I start so I can have my own fresh opinion. But I have to say that my favorite action scene is in episode 1 is the duel of the fates. yes the light saber battle was choreographed but I still think with the music it kicks the action into another gear. Really compared to all the other action scenes in this movie it stands out and brings some much needed fun to the movie. also when Qui gon dies it really adds some emotion into the story. Darth Maul was probably the best part of the phantom menace and had he stayed around longer, I think they could have expanded on his character some more.But that being said the best parts about the scene are

    1. The hanger door entrance

    The door opens with the exciting flair of John Williams.as Maul lifts his hood down calmly and ignites each side of his awesome double bladed saber. then the fight starts and Maul throws a broken droid backwards with the force into the control panel to open the next door. super cool

    2.The Wait

    When the shields go up between Qui gon and maul, it really shows the patience and difference between the Jedi and the Sith. And at the same time the arrogance of the Jedi to believe through a calm state of mind you are able to defeat an equal opponent. See the Jedi had ruled the republic for thousands of years and the the fight with Darth Maul was a foreshadowing that the Jedi would have to change their code and way of thinking if they were able to maintain peace and tranquility in the galaxy. Qui gon calm and prideful is taken down by an opponent he underestimates. And only When Obi Wan uses his emotions is he able to turn the tables on maul.

    Really though it is my favorite action scene in the movie

  • October 31, 2015 at 3:21 am

    By far and above, the best action scene in TPM for me was definitely the Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan vs. Maul battle. I couldn’t have asked for more. It had a new lightsaber type, an awesome ass-kicking Sith, Obi-Wan almost giving in to his rage and hatred, an awesome set, fast-paced action (from younger warriors, to be fair), and something new not seen canonically before- a Jedi losing a saber duel (rather than allowing himself to be killed). And the music? Mr Williams nailed that. So cool. The whole overall experience of that scene was just beautiful!

  • October 31, 2015 at 3:48 am

    Awesome! My favorite action sequence of The Phantom Menace is no doubt the battle between Darth Maul, Qui Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan. In particular, when Maul was backing up through the hangar doorway. That brief 5-10 seconds was some of the most incredible star wars light saber fight choreography that I’ve ever seen in a star wars light saber battle. Maul carried it. Then in the same battle. When Maul was pacing back and forth awaiting the force field to drop. The look on his face was truly authentic as a sith lord. He nailed it. It was intense and it has replayed in my mind over and over again over the years.

  • October 31, 2015 at 4:12 am

    I’m going to go with the first time we ever see a Sith meet a Jedi. As we bask in the relief of Anakin winning his race, his freedom and the Tatooine Act drawing to a close, a black-robed figure reveals himself to our heroes. After this important action scene our illusion of absolute security surrounding this calm, wise, fatherly-like protector is challenged and a slightly unsure old man catching his breath is revealed. His smiles returns but we can sense any future duel of fates holds an uncertain outcome…

  • October 31, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Nothing in this film beats The battle between Maul, Qui-Gon, and Obi-Wan. No matter what you think of the film itself, you have to admit that it was very entertaining. Plus, it introduced Duel of the Fates, one of John William’s greatest compositions.

  • October 31, 2015 at 6:15 am

    The Phantom Meance did not boast the biggest or boldest dogfight scenes, probably because this was the first episode of a much larger and complex film cycle. But, as far as person-to-person duels, the film surpasses all others, including the much-hyped Mustafar brawl at the conclusion of Episode III.
    Now, many people have already mentioned the Qui-Gon/Kenobi vs. Maul duel as being great, but I am going to go one step further by focusing on one specific sequence of this duel:

    The greatest sequence of this duel which I refer to is that moment Obi Wan Kenobi finished off Darth Maul alone, after those prison-like energy beams separate, after Qui Gon Jinn had been brutally chopped down, after our heroes reach the lowest point in the film. It is this moment when the young padowan rushes out to avenge his master and satisfy millions of Star Wars sci-fi nerds who have been patiently waiting for nearly two hours for this moment. This short spasm of energy had three noticeable attributes:

    1) The unrelenting explosion of speed from a literal standstill; here, Darth Maul waits to kill Kenobi, watching like an angry lion at a zoo. This sequence is totally suspenseful and awe-inspiring. This is probably the tensest and unnerving moment in the entire film.
    2) That moment Kenobi and Maul finally clash, I loved the speed and intensely quick chop-chop-chop kung-fu-style movements, a joy to watch, and probably a total nightmare to choreograph. Jumping, leaping, close-ups, facial expressions of pain and anger, this moment had it all. I always watch this sequence at half speed these days, the speed is so quick and unexpected. Likewise, unlike the darkened Vader/Luke duels of Episodes V and VI, this duel was filmed in brightness; every detail, every bead of sweat, every neon lightsaber clash is gorgeously captured for viewers.
    3) This sequence was the first in the saga where Obi Wan Kenobi stepped out of his padawan learner shell and quickly grew into a legitimate and competent Jedi fighter. It added much more weight to the duel in Episode IV.

    (Thank you for reading this comment. Happy third birthday star wars news net. I can’t wait for the Force Awakens!)

  • October 31, 2015 at 7:01 am

    As far as the opening of the Star Wars Saga is concerned, the incredible Duel of the Fates, between Jedi Master Qui-Gin Jinn and Jedi Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Sith Apprentice Darth Maul, is certainly one action sequence the stands out above the rest of the film. This is an incredibly pivotal point in the Saga, and belongs in its place, as the climax of the first chapter. This is the prelude to the storm, “the snowflake that starts an avalanche”. The Phantom Menace reveals his hand.

    This is the first full encounter between Jedi and Sith in a millennium, and the first of many to come in the next 36 years. The Sith have lain in wait for a thousand years, training and preparing for this day: the beginning of the end of the Jedi. This goal is the dark heart of this duel, and Maul has been born and raised for this very purpose: to destroy the Jedi, and pave the way for the Sith’s Galactic rule. The Jedi were not prepared, and their arrogance and complacency all but seals their fate, giving way to the Revenge of the Sith, until there comes A New Hope… until the Return of the Jedi.

  • October 31, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Hi guys, thanks for the opportunity! Definitely Qui Gon, Obi Wan and Darth Maul duel of the fates scene. The 3 way duel seemed so real and in my opinion, is definitely still today the best Star Wars light saber battle to so far! The acting, digital effects, camera work and just the overall effortless work in which the scene came to life, made me feel like l was a kid again…and this was what Star Wars is all about! Hopefully, more like that to come…!!! Cheers Sven Duff

  • October 31, 2015 at 9:01 am

    The duel between Jinn, Kenobi, and Maul obviously stands out, but for me the duel really goes to a whole other level when Obi-Wan witnesses Qui-Gon being killed. He yells out the classic Star Wars, “NOOOOO,” as he watches his master fall to the ground. You see the rage beginning to build in him as he bounces up and down as he ignites his saber. When you see this you immediately think, “Oh sh**, this just got real.” The red shield closes, their swords clash…. and we all know the rest. This to me is the best, most exciting, most intense part of all of Episode I.

    • October 31, 2015 at 9:24 am

      well, i got to disagree a bit. while those two fights were the best part of TFM, the obi-wan/maul fight was what was wrong with the prequels in a nutshell. obi-wan is supposed to be getting mad, but then he and maul launch into an incredibly obvious choreographed fight scene. no emotion, no dialogue, no conflict. just waving swords around and dancing with your opponent.

      • October 31, 2015 at 9:31 am

        Dude lay off. This is for people, like me, to state their opinions and say what was special to THEM and amazing to THEM, not you. This isn’t the forum for some pointless debate about something we all love.

        • October 31, 2015 at 9:46 am

          you did state your opinion, just like i did. no need to get booty hurt, son.

          • October 31, 2015 at 5:56 pm

            I’m not booty hurt, I’m not interested in any BS from trolls like you.

      • October 31, 2015 at 9:42 am

        Yeah, agree in principle with your comment – all the rage that was unleashed from within Obi-Wan resulted in… more intense saber fighting. I felt at that point Obi-Wan was skirting the fringes of the dark side, seeing him let rip with with a monster force push/choke/lightning would have blown up the theatre! But he is a highly trained Jedi, conditioned to control his emotions, and Darth Maul took advantage of that (defeating Qui-Gon and disarming Obi-Wan), using unconventional moves to suprise and unbalance both opponents. Still one hell of saber duel, and my favourite action sequence of TPM.

  • October 31, 2015 at 9:42 am

    favorite moment…how about the dufus newt gunray trying to poison the jedi with an obvious gas in the beginning, then after like a minute he opens the doors and sends in his hapless battle droids to finish the job. i mean my goodness how to you get to be the top dog in galaxy spanning corporation and be that dumb… or maybe darth maul somehow allowing obi-wan to jump over him and slice him in two despite maul “having the high ground.” i guess palaptine didn’t teach him how defend that… or why jedi inexplicably allow a 14 year old girl who is an avowed pacifist with zero military XP plan and lead the final mission…why was the main reactor for the droid control ship NEXT to its hanger bay and not protected, like at all?…anakin is “too dangerous to train” according to the council, but since it was qui-gon’s dying wish, sure lets put the entire order at risk and let obi-wan do it.

    this movie makes literally no sense…at all. it boggles the mind that no one pointed these things(which is just the tip of the iceberg) out to lucas at the time. its almost embarrassing.

    • October 31, 2015 at 10:47 am

      Wow, you managed to comprehensively trash TPM without once mentioning Jar Jar Binks… impressive work!

  • October 31, 2015 at 11:43 am

    My favorite action moment is the Battle Droid/Gungun battle. Darth Maul/Qui Gon/Obiwan lightsaber battle is second favorite scene.

  • October 31, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Happy birthday guy’s! This site is the best! I check it everyday! I love the expansion of it as well. Plus, makes sense you guys changed the name, since Episode VII is upon us anyway. Keep it going!

  • October 31, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Happy birthday guys!
    My favourite action sequence is probably the duel between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Darth Maul. For it was the first time a battle with 3 force users was shown on screens, and a plus: one of them had a really cool lightsaber I’ve never seen like. So it made me really interested in the movie, and I had zero expectations of Qui-Gon dying in that battle (I didn’t check the soundtrack earlier :D)

  • October 31, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Hopefully this site goes on for many years to come!!

    My favourite action sequence in TPM was the gungan army vs Droid army sequence. Sure we had seen battles before i.e. Hoth, but this was the first large scale ground battle of the saga. The moment the Droids activate still give me chills and the silence before the battle starts builds suspense as well.

  • October 31, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Happy Birthday SWNN!

    My favourite action sequence in The Phantom Menace is the Duel of the Fates, where both Master and Padawan fight against Darth Maul. I like this scene because there is so much tension and so much thrill about the outcome. The exemplary acting and fighting performance is surrounded by the amazing musical theme from John Williams, the man i personally consider playing a huge part in the philosophy and the success of the Star Wars saga.

    Thanks and Congratulations for the wonderful job you have been doing these past years.

  • October 31, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    the best action sequence in TPM, nay, possibly even in the entire trilogy, is the battle between Obi-Wan & Qui-Gon and Darth Maul.

  • November 1, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Obi Wan waiting and watching Qui-Gon vs Darth Maul then seeing his master die. Seeing Obi Wan face Maul,almost lose his life then kill Maul as he is being taunted and hanging on dir life was the best in my opinion. It had emotion,action and showed Obi Wan as a great Jedu.

  • November 1, 2015 at 2:55 am

    The final duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul. No real CG in it (except for the backgrounds and him getting sliced in two) and all real stunt work that I hope to see more of in TFA. I really wish they left it at that rather than resurrect Maul nearly 15 years later.

  • November 9, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    The final duel between Obi Waan qui-Gon vs Darth Maul was the best moment of the TPM and a special plus was Duel of fates from John Williams

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