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Ewan McGregor Admits Star Wars Prequel Backlash Was Difficult


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Ewan McGregor admits Star Wars prequel backlash was difficult to deal with. After concluding the original Star Wars trilogy in 1983, George Lucas took several years before returning to the galaxy far, far away to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker's turn to the dark side. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, released in 1999, was one of the most anticipated movies of all-time, as it marked the return of one of the industry's most beloved franchises. Unfortunately, the new film wasn't as warmly received as its acclaimed predecessors.

The Star Wars prequels faced a considerable amount of backlash upon their release, with many viewers voicing displeasure with aspects such as wooden dialogue and a perceived over-reliance on CGI visual effects. While the movies are now seen in a better light (with audiences learning to appreciate them despite their flaws), at the time the prequels were much maligned. The backlash, which at times was quite hateful, had a serious impact on those involved with the productions, including Jake Lloyd, Hayden Christensen, Ahmed Best, and Lucas. Even McGregor, viewed as a prequel highlight, had a hard time.

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RELATED:Why Obi-Wan Never Tried To Save Anakin After He Became Darth Vader

In an interview with THR, McGregor talked about the response to the prequels, admitting it was "difficult" for him to see the films face as much backlash as they did:

"[It] was hard they didn't get well received. That was quite difficult. They were universally not very much liked."

When dealing with a property as massive as Star Wars, it's virtually impossible to please everyone. The fact the prequels were divisive shouldn't come as a surprise, as everyone had their own ideas for how the story should unfold. That said, some of the backlash was a step too far. Best contemplated suicide after The Phantom Menace released, and Lloyd and Christensen largely faded from the public eye. McGregor never faced the brunt of the prequel criticisms himself, but it's easy to see how the situation was hard for him. He obviously would have preferred the films be well-received, and it had to have been difficult for him to see his co-stars be treated the way they were. Fortunately, Star Wars prequel reception has improved over the past couple of decades, something that pleasantly surprised McGregor.

The upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show is proof of how much the Star Wars prequels' reputation has changed. That series is fully embracing its prequel connections, bringing back Christensen as Darth Vader to co-star alongside McGregor. It will also feature the return of Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse as Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, reprising their roles from the prequels. Audiences are very excited to see what Obi-Wan Kenobi has in store, something that was arguably unfathomable in the immediate aftermath of the prequel trilogy. While everyone would have loved for the Star Wars prequels to be well-received out of the gate, at least everyone can now take solace in their redemption arc.

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