- Ewan McGregor explains why the Star Wars prequel trilogy is now beloved: the younger generation who grew up with them.
- The prequel movies faced negative reception initially but have gained popularity among viewers born in the 80s, 90s, and later.
- The success of McGregor and Hayden Christensen in reprising their roles highlights the strong following of the prequel movies.
Star Wars icon Ewan McGregor, who portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi, a powerful Jedi master, in the Star Wars prequel movies and in the Disney+ TV show Obi-Wan Kenobi, explained in an interview why the prequel trilogy is finally so beloved. The Star Wars prequel movies kicked off in 1999, coming after the original trilogy but earlier in the Star Wars timeline; this left them with massive shoes to fill, and many argued that they did not fill them well. In spite of that, the prequel movies have gained significantly more popularity in recent decades, and McGregor perfectly highlighted why.
In a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Ewan McGregor spoke about how poorly the prequel movies were received when they were first released. However, he had a much more positive spin on that history, explaining how the younger generation, who were kids when the prequel trilogy came out, is the reason the movies have become so much more popular.
McGregor is exactly right, and it happily means that the prequel movies have finally gotten the recognition they deserve.
The Star Wars Prequel Generation Has Come Of Age
As Ewan McGregor points out in his interview, the original Star Wars trilogy was a tough act to follow, and many who had either grown up watching the original movies or appreciated them as adults had very high expectations for the prequels. It’s also the case that the prequel movies had a lot of ground to cover. They needed to explain Anakin Skywalker’s turn to Darth Vader, they needed to show the Jedi Order, and they needed to explore the Clone Wars. They also had to do this following what had become a cultural phenomenon full of beloved characters.
Because of that, reception of the prequel movies was immediately negative. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was highly criticized, and actors like Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks, and Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin Skywalker, were targeted and even bullied for their portrayals. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith didn’t fare much better. In light of that, it’s easy to think that the prequels are simply universally hated, but that’s not at all the case.
While many who were dedicated to the original trilogy disliked the prequel movies, a massive following for the prequel movies today comprises viewers who were kids when the movies came out, just as McGregor said. To that generation, born in the 80s, 90s, or later, Star Wars was equated with the prequel movies. This accounts for the massive audience reception to both Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor reprising their roles and the success of the shows they’ve appeared in, including Obi-Wan Kenobi for McGregor and Ahsoka for Christensen.