The wildly polarizing reception afforded to The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker has obscured the reputation of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy a little bit, which were the most hotly-debated entries in the franchise before Episodes VIII and IX came along to shift the conversation elsewhere.
History has shown that a lot of movies can often undergo a reappraisal of sorts long after the dust settles on their initial release, but you’d still be hard-pressed finding longtime supporters of a galaxy far, far away who would actively sing the praises of The Phantom Menace, unless of course you mention the Duel of the Fates.
Mark Hamill has voiced his dissatisfaction in the past over how The Last Jedi handled Luke Skywalker’s character arc, although he’s since changed his tune to a certain degree. Surprisingly, an excerpt from recently released book Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life (via IndieWire) reveals that the Star Wars icon was impressed with the divisive prequels, even if he acknowledged the criticism that they came in for from all corners.
“I was impressed the prequels had their own identity. They were criticized because they were exposition-heavy and more cerebral and probably, like he said back in 1976, they weren’t as commercial. 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.”
The prequels have yet to undergo a reevaluation from the Star Wars fanbase, but everyone can agree that Revenge of the Sith is the best of the trio by a hefty distance. It’ll be interesting to see if the harsh response to the final three installments in the Skywalker Saga will see Episodes I, II and III viewed in a more positive light in the grand scheme of things over time.