Star Wars The Phantom Menace Darth Maul lightsaber fight – great sci-fi moments number 11

THE BRILLIANT Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright are having some fun on Twitter with tweets from 1999, including this exchange:

@simonpegg Tweet from 1999. Financial advice. Do not fly to New York just to see THE PHANTOM MENACE ahead of the UK release. It can wait.

@edgarwright Tweet from 1999. Don’t be ridiculous, it’s going to be great. How could it not be? It’s Star Wars!

Simon – who went on at some length about this in the brilliant Spaced is not alone in his assessment.

I remember at the time I was working for a local newspaper and managed to interview the sci-fi prop wizard guy Chris Barton who made a puppet of Yoda for The Phantom Menace, based on the original models – he had a bust of Yoda in a cabinet in his house, as well as the golden idol from Indiana Jones!

When I received an invite from Fox to a preview screening of TPM, I was pathetically excited.

I was equally disgusted when no-one else from my office was even the slightest bit interested in attending, meaning I had to drag my wife Pam along to the Trafford Centre, with the promise of shopping to follow. With hindsight, my colleagues had the right idea.

But however poorly the film as a whole stacks up – with trade embargos and meesa this-yoosa that and Samuel L Jackson acting like the Pope and Darth Brat and, well, you know the rest – it still makes the great Sci-Fi Moments list for this:

Come on!! About as awesome a five minutes as you can get, kicked off by a jaw dropping reveal of the double bladed lightsaber.

Darth Maul is such a great bad guy that I am still mystified why George Lucas didn’t do more with him in the film – like let him say more than a few words or fight some more.

But regardless, this is about as good as it gets for Star Wars fight scenes and so makes the list of greatness.

And as an extra bonus, check out this video of Ray Park at a convention reliving the Maul glory days.

Tell me what you think