'Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace' Turns 20! See the Cast Then and Now

01 of 09

Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn

Liam Neason
Everette Collection; Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

Neeson, 66, starred as the Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn in the 1999 film. The film followed his character as he sought to protect Queen Padmé Amidala and came across a young Anakin Skywalker.

02 of 09

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor
Everette Collection; David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

McGregor, 48, played Qui-Gon's apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan was left in charge of Anakin's training after Qui-Gon's death at the end of the film. And the rest is, as they say, history.

03 of 09

Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker

Jake Lloyd
Everette Collection;

Lloyd, 30, brought to life the role of Anakin, who was destined to become the fearsome villain Darth Vader in later films. Lloyd left Hollywood in 2001 and no longer acts.

04 of 09

Natalie Portman as Padmé Amidala

Natalie Portman
Everette Collection; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Portman, 37, gave life, and moxie, to the Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, who sought to protect her people from dark enemies arising in the galaxy. Portman would reprise her role in the next two Star Wars prequels. She won an Oscar for Black Swan in 2010.

05 of 09

Anthony Daniels as C-3PO

Anthony Daniels
Karwai Tang/WireImage;

Daniels, 73, reprised his role as the intelligent droid fluent in over 6 million forms of communications, C-3PO. He previously played the character in George Lucas' original trilogy released in the '70s and '80s. He's continued to work on Star Wars projects, including the new trilogy beginning with 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

06 of 09

Kenny Baker as R2-D2

kenny-baker
Mike Simmonds/AFP/Getty Images; David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Baker was the original actor to portray the beloved droid R2-D2. He reprised his role for The Phantom Menace and the rest of the prequels. Baker returned for The Force Awakens, released in 2015. He died the following year.

07 of 09

Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu

Samuel L Jackson
Everette Collection; Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Jackson, 70, starred as Jedi Master Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. He's worked on several Hollywood hits, including The Hateful Eight, Kong: Skull Island and The Avengers franchise for Marvel.

08 of 09

Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine

Ian mcdiarmid
Everette Collection; David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

McDiarmid, 74, was first cast as Emperor Palpatine by Lucas in Return of the Jedi (1983). He came back to the character for the prequel trilogy. In a twist, it was revealed at the 2019 Star Wars Celebration in April that McDiarmid would return as Palpatine in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

09 of 09

Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks

Ahmed Best
Michael Crabtree/PA Images/Getty Images; Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images

Best, 45, portrayed the Gungan Jar Jar Binks in Phantom Menace and voiced the character in the next two prequel films. He’s made appearances in TV shows such as Alias, Cougar Town, Law & Order: LA and Big Time Rush.

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