The Phantom Menace Is Basically Just A High-Budget Remake Of George Lucas's 'More American Graffiti'

Even though George Lucas is best known for creating the Star Wars franchise, he has actually put out an impressive amount of films.

Four years before he released A New Hope in 1977, George Lucas directed a coming-of-age movie called American Graffiti. The film — which follows a group of friends trying to make the most of their final night of summer vacation — captivated audiences, and prompted Lucas to executive produce More American Graffiti just a few years later in 1979. 

It’s no secret that George Lucas remakes his own movies. All the Star Wars films he worked on share the same basic plot structure, and the similarities in George Lucas movies aren't restricted to those that take place in a galaxy far far away. On the contrary, the parallels between The Phantom Menace and More American Graffiti are stunning.

While George Lucas didn’t officially write or direct More American Graffiti (Bill Norton took the hit by accepting those credits) he edited the final screenplay, served as a camera operator for a portion of the shoot, and even sat in on the editing. More American Graffiti, like The Phantom Menace, suffered for being George Lucas’s baby.

The lackadaisical titles are just the beginning of the diminishing returns that are synonymous with Lucas's sequel retreads. Both The Phantom Menace and More American Graffiti attempt to one-up their predecessors by piling on more of everything and ignoring what it was that audiences enjoyed about the original films.