Exactly 20 years ago today, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace arrived in theaters, simultaneously introducing a new generation to the galaxy far, far away whilst leaving another with a range of feelings, stretching from mild disappointment through to a level of anger and vitriol the likes of which wouldn’t be seen again until 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Speaking to Empire Magazine to mark the anniversary, actress Natalie Portman – who portrayed the character of Queen (later Senator) Padme Amidala in the Prequels – has reflected on the mixed reception to Episode I and its follow-ups Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
“It was hard,” said Portman. “It was a bummer because it felt like people were so excited about new ones and then to have people feel disappointed. Also to be at an age that I didn’t really understand that’s kind of the nature of the beast. When something has that much anticipation it can almost only disappoint. With the perspective of time, it’s been re-evaluated by a lot of people who actually really love them now. There’s a very avid group of people who think they’re the best ones now! I don’t have enough perspective to weigh in.”
So, with the benefit of twenty years to digest it (and a Sequel Trilogy and a pair of spinoffs courtesy of Disney), what do you make of The Phantom Menace, and the Prequels as a whole? Have they been unfairly criticised, or has it been warranted? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @FlickeringMyth…