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,
"I watched it once, at the premiere, so I'm not in a good position to judge. They had a tall order, the three films I did. The fans waited so long and wanted to feel like they did when they watched the first film, but they were grown-ups by that time. I don't mind the criticism. I've heard it to my face."
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,
"The people I meet are the fuckers who want me to sign Star Wars photos so they can sell them on the Internet or the people at premieres who are crushing children against barriers to get me to sign their fucking picture of Obi-Wan Kenobi. They're not fans—they're parasitical lowlifes and fucking wankers."
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.