Of the three movies in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, it's Episode I: The Phantom Menace that tends to attract the bulk of the criticism from die-hard fans of the original films. From Jar Jar Binks to the less-than-stellar performance by Jake Lloyd, the first of the series has a number of easy targets that audiences have been laughing at for the last 15 years. As much hatred as the feature has gotten, however, star Ewan McGregor has no negative memories of making the film and really just takes all of the complaints in stride.
During an interview with Details magazine, the Scottish actor was asked how he felt about Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace regularly being called the worst of the Star Wars movies, and he revealed that he doesn't actually have a ton of connection with the finished product. That being said, he also has an explanation as to why adult fans disliked the movie: because it was actually made for kids. Said McGregor,
If anyone was ever looking for definitive proof that Phantom Menace riles up Star Wars fans more than Superman Returns riles up Superman fans, this is it. Personally, I'm not entirely sure why anyone would choose Ewan McGregor to complain about the faults of Phantom Menace. That film has a ton of problems, but Obi-wan as a character is more useless than bad in it, and the actor is the last person to blame in that case.
Sadly, it sounds like those negative encounters with Phantom Menace haters aren't even the worst experiences that McGregor has had with the Star Wars fanbase. In fact, he claims that he has never "had any experiences with [Star Wars] fans," and that the only people he he has actually meant are just people who want to make money off of the fervent fanbase. Said the actor,
Given Ewan McGregor's comments here, it's a bit hard to believe that he will be in any way involved with the future of the Star Wars franchise, but who can really say at this point. All I know is this: we need to send a true Star Wars fan out to give him a hug right now.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.