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This question already has an answer here:

This is the only title name that didn't make to me; all the other titles make sense to me, but this the only one that stumped me. "The Phantom Menace" never made sense because all the other movies have self-explanatory names.

marked as duplicate by tilley31, TheLethalCarrot, Jenayah, Buzz, NKCampbell Mar 1 at 16:01

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  • no i want to know why it was named that not who it was – Tardis1015 Mar 1 at 15:27
  • Knowing who it is tells you why it is named that and hence I have voted to close as a duplicate. – TheLethalCarrot Mar 1 at 15:50
  • Well, the film is named after (one of) the thing it revolves around, so knowing who the Phantom Menace is explains why it's titled that way. Hence, I'd say the dupe answers your question, as it's worded now. Although if you're more on the "why didn't Lucas choose an explicit name like he did before", I'd suggest to edit that to clarify. – Jenayah Mar 1 at 15:54
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According to Wikipedia, quoting Jonathan L. Bowen's Anticipation: The Real Life Story of Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace (2005), George Lucas has stated that the title is a reference to Palpatine hiding his true identity as an evil Sith Lord behind the facade of a well-intentioned public servant.

Hence, 'phantom' as in 'unseen' rather than 'ghost'.

  • thank you this was helpful – Tardis1015 Mar 1 at 15:33
  • If memory serves, wikipedia isn't quoting that book, it's merely paraphrasing it. – Valorum Mar 1 at 15:48

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