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Ewan McGregor Explains Why Star Wars Fans Had Such A Negative Reaction To The Prequels

Obi-Wan Kenobi/Ben
(Image credit: Disney+)

There are popular movie franchises, and then there’s Star Wars. Entire generations were brought up on the galaxy far, far away, so the property means a great deal to moviegoers out there. But those strong emotions can sometimes lead to toxicity, as seen with the treatment of Rose Tico actress Kelly Marie Tran. And Ewan McGregor recently explained why he thinks Star Wars fans had such a negative initial reaction to the prequels.

Moviegoers were thrilled that the Star Wars franchise was finally coming back to theaters with the prequels, starting with The Phantom Menace. But the fans took umbrage with various aspects of these movies including the dialogue, CGI, and performances. Ewan McGregor starred as Obi-Wan Kenobi in all three of those flicks, and recently spoke to GQ about why he thinks folks responded so negatively when the Star Wars prequels arrived in theaters. In his words,

I think the critics just wanted to feel like they were seven or eight again, and they didn't get that. So I was left with that [reaction] for years and years, and it took [until I started] meeting people, and I realized how important our films have been to them.

He’s got a point. As previously mentioned, the Star Wars franchise is something very personal to the many moviegoers who grew up on George Lucas’ colorful galaxy. So when adults headed to theaters for the prequels in the early 2000’s, they wanted the same sense of magic they felt for the original trilogy. And when that didn’t happen, some tempers flared.

Ewan McGregor reflected on his time in the Star Wars prequels while promoting his new Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi. Despite those movies being the butt of countless jokes, fans were thrilled that McGregor would be stepping back into his signature role. In fact, many out there are hoping that the series will get a Season 2 on the streaming service.

While the prequels were originally frowned upon, there’s been much more love for George Lucas’ trilogy of Star Wars movies as the years have gone by. What’s more, in-universe there’s been a ton of focus on the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, making lore related to Episodes I through III all the more important. 

Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, there’s been a ton of new content set within the Star Wars franchise, to the delight of fans. The Rise of Skywalker ended the nine-film main franchise, and we’re currently in the midst of a hiatus for the franchise’s life in theaters. Instead, there’s been a focus on live-action shows on Disney+, starting with The Mandalorian. While the first season of Obi-Wan Kenobi has come to an end, there’s more of these types of projects coming via Andor and Ahsoka

Ewan McGregor’s tenure in the Star Wars franchise is available in its entirety on Disney+. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.