During a recent interview with Variety, Ewan McGregor shared his thoughts on the harsh criticism that ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ received upon its release.
McGregor opened up about portraying Obi-Wan Kenobi in the series despite the negative reviews that were particularly challenging, saying:
“I am happy that I am this character for a lot of people, but when these films came out, they were so disliked. That was hard. The first one was panned, and we still had to make another two! It was weird to be in a film that was hammered.”
Reflecting on the experience, the actor also revealed that he initially didn’t see himself in a Jedi role. Still, he ended up loving playing Obi-Wan Kenobi and shared his willingness to continue the role, even showing interest in a second season of ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi,’ though no official plans have been announced.
Liam Neeson Said He’s Proud of ‘Phantom Menace’
Back in 2020, Liam Neeson spoke to Andy Cohen on SiriusXM channel ‘Radio Andy’ and revealed his thoughts on the criticism ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ received. Expressing his pride for being a part of the film, Neeson said:
“I like the film. I am proud of it and proud to have been a part of it. I got to be a Jedi. I got to play with those wonderful lightsabers and stuff. It was terrific, Andy, it really was.”
He also touched upon the backlash Ahmed Best received for his role as Jar Jar Binks, saying:
“He came into a lot of criticism, I mean to the point where it really hurt his career. And I have to say when I was making that film … he was probably one of the funniest guys and talented guys I have ever worked with.”
Why ‘Phantom Menace’ Couldn’t Earn Star Wars Fans’ Approval?
‘The Phantom Menace‘ was the first film of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and it was highly anticipated following the success of the original trilogy. Despite the excitement, it received mixed reviews and criticism from both critics and fans.
Directed by George Lucas, the film was a box office success but was often critiqued for its exposition and characters, especially Jar Jar Binks. Following the backlash, Ahmed Best, who starred as Jar Jar Binks in the movie, admitted he contemplated suicide.
Daisy Ridley Had a Similar Experience with McGregor
The backlash that McGregor experienced sounds similar to that of Daisy Ridley, who faced criticism for her role in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, especially in ‘The Rise of Skywalker.’
Directed by J.J. Abrams, ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ faced its own set of controversies, including the revelation of Rey’s lineage and the dynamic between Rey and Kylo Ren. Despite these points and mixed reviews, the film achieved box office success, grossing over $1.077 billion worldwide.
Ridley, in her recent appearance on the ‘Happy Sad Confused’ podcast, spoke about the reactions to the films and her feelings of disappointment in not meeting some fans’ expectations. You can read her side of the story here.
Meanwhile, McGregor embarks on new projects, including ‘Everest,’ ‘The Land of Sometimes,’ ‘The Cow,’ and the television series ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ and ‘Lodi.’ The Star Wars franchise is also set to expand, with Jon Favreau set to direct a new film titled ‘The Mandalorian & Grogu.’