George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels – The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack Of The Clones (2002) and Revenge Of The Sith (2005) – are the most criticized films in the franchise.
Starring the likes of Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Hayden Christensen, the trio of flicks were seemingly destined for success, but have, unfortunately, been reduced to punch lines by the Star Wars fanbase over the years.
But franchise veteran Mark Hamill, who famous portrayed the original Luke Skywalker, has come forward in defense of the controversial prequels.
Defense: Mark Hamill, 70, has come to the defense of the much-criticized Star Wars prequels, which were release from 1999 to 2005; Hamill pictured in 2018
‘I was impressed the prequels had their own identity,’ Hamill, 70, said in an interview for film historian J. W. Rinzler’s posthumously published book, Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life.
Hamill went on to share that the three prequel films have been criticized over the years, not because they’re not good, but instead because they weren’t as easily digestible as the others.
‘They were criticized because they were exposition-heavy and more cerebral and probably, like he said back in 1976, they weren’t as commercial,’ he said as reported by IndieWire.
The actor continued, ‘It’s a darker story. But in the age of social media, people’s voices are amplified, and I’m shocked at how brutal they can be, not just in the case of Star Wars films, but across the board.’
Positive review: Hamill shared that he was’ impressed the prequels had their own identity’ in an interview fo J. W. Rinzler’s posthumously published book, Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life; Natalie Portman and Liam Neeson pictured in The Phantom Menace (1999)
Criticism: The three prequel films have long been criticized by fans and film critics over the years; Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor seen in Attack Of The Clones (2002)
Not a fan: George Lucas’ ex-wife Marcia Lucas, who edited the original first three Star Wars films, is among those who have not been shy in sharing their displeasure of the prequels; Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor pictured in Revenge Of The Sith (2005)
George Lucas’ ex-wife Marcia Lucas is among those who have not been shy in sharing their displeasure of the prequels that began with Liam Neeson playing Liam Neeson as Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn, and had Hayden Christianson then star in the final two installments as Anakin Skywalker.
‘I cried,’ Marcia Lucas, who was married to George Lucas from 1969 and 1983, said after seeing a screening of Phantom Menace for the first time.
‘I cried because I didn’t think it was very good.’
And it turns out Marcia Lucas, who edited the first original three films, took issue with both the cast and the plot.
‘I thought he [George Lucas] had such a rich vein to mine, a rich palette to tell stories with. He had all those characters,’ she added.
Not a fan: Marcia Lucas was also critical of the more recent sequel trilogy, which saw Hamill return as Luke Skywalker; Hamill pictured in 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Marcia Lucas continued in her critique, sharing, ‘I thought it was weird that the story was about this little boy who looked like he was six years old, but then later on he’s supposed to get with this princess who looked like she was twenty years old. There were things I didn’t like about the casting, and things I didn’t like about the story…it was a lot of eye candy. CG.’
She also had some harsh things to say about the more recent sequel trilogy – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) – from the minds of J.J. Abrams, Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy.
‘It sucks. The storylines are terrible. Just terrible. Awful,’ Lucas said, before adding, ‘They’re spitting out movies every year.’
Iconic: Hamill played Luke Skywalker in the first three films and again in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker; Hamill pictured with costars Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)