One of the reasons why Star Wars has remained one of the most popular and beloved brands on the planet for over 40 years is the cross-generational appeal that sees every new batch of audiences fall in love with a galaxy far, far away. The children who went to watch A New Hope with their parents in the 70s took their kids to catch The Phantom Menace on the big screen two decades later, and history repeated itself again when The Force Awakens kicked off the Sequel Trilogy.
Of course, most people are firmly in agreement that the prequels aren’t Star Wars‘ finest hour, with The Phantom Menace in particular retrospectively viewed as perhaps the weakest live-action movie of them all. Similar to how Episodes VII, VIII and IX all did big box office business despite the latter two splitting opinion straight down the middle, though, it wasn’t until audiences had already parted with their cash that they realized the many glaring flaws in George Lucas’ return to the universe he’d created.
Even the stars of the movies have admitted that they could have been handled much better, and in a recent interview, Natalie Portman revealed that despite her kids being big Star Wars fans, she still hasn’t shown them the Prequel Trilogy because she doesn’t want to ruin the suspension of disbelief by having their mom show up on the screen.
“It’s so fun to be part of something that kids relate to so much, I think it’s so weird for them to think of me as anything other than their mom. They’ve seen the recent Star Wars movies that I am not in, my son has, my daughter is too young. It feels really lucky to be part of something that’s every child’s imaginary world. It’s very exciting to be able to impress my kids a little bit.”
Shielding the impressionable youngsters from Jar Jar Binks is commendable parenting, but the older her kids get, the quicker they’ll realize that there isn’t much to recommend about the prequels until Revenge of the Sith rolls around anyways, not to mention the fact that their mom doesn’t get an awful lot to do apart from making doe eyes at Hayden Christensen’s wooden Anakin Skywalker.