McGregor And Christensen Reveal How They Each Coped With Prequel's Backlash
How Did They Deal With The Critics?
The prequels are many things - a brave breakthrough from the original trilogy, an ambitious expansion of the marveling Star Wars universe, and (more recently) a source of hilarious memes. While the prequel trilogy has aged into the favorites of many fans, as seen from the welcoming anticipation towards the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi show, they were not quite well-received at their time of release, resulting in actors Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen receiving a lot of negativity and hate.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in all three prequel movies, expressed that after appearing in the trilogy he had quite a hard time facing the backlash of the prequel movies:
"For it to come out and get knocked so hard was personally quite difficult to deal with. And also, it was quite early in my career. I didn't really know how to deal with that. I'd been involved with things that just didn't make much of a ripple, but that's different from making something that makes a negative ripple."
The sentiment was echoed by Christensen, who played the older Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith:
"When the films came out and the critics were very critical, of course that was a difficult thing -- because you care so much about this thing that you've invested so much of yourself into, So, for sure, that's challenging."
While criticism towards the prequels mostly concerned the plot and content of the movies as a whole, there was also a substantial portion of negative reactions directed towards the actors themselves, Christensen in particular, with him portraying the lead character of the trilogy. Many criticized his performance in delivering dry and cheesy dialogue as well as portraying a rather "whiny" character, both of which were frankly beyond his control. After the cinematic conclusion of the prequels, both McGregor and Christensen's careers took a slightly modest retreat, though the former was seen starring in big box office hits, such as the 2020's Birds of Prey.
Other actors in the movies also suffered heavily from the prequel backlash, such as Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks, and Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace. While McGregor and Christensen will have a chance to receive a warm welcome by fans through reprising their roles in Kenobi, the toll on Best and Lloyd's personal life and career was much more unfortunate and uncalled for.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, which airs on Disney+ on the 25th of May, will see the return of the (former) master and apprentice a decade after the events of Revenge of the Sith, a period of darkness where the wounds of Order 66 are still fresh to the Jedi Master and the Empire is growing under the leadership of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. With the introduction of live-action Inquisitors, the series is set to feature a hunt for surviving Jedi while Obi-Wan navigates through the landscape of the new galaxy. As McGregor describes it, Obi-Wan's story in the series begins in a state where he is "rather broken, faithless and beaten."
No matter how the story goes, it is clear that McGregor and Christensen are more than delighted to work together on the set of Star Wars again. Through the former's words:
"I think it's no secret that Hayden Christensen comes back and we got to play scenes together again as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, and it was great to work with him again."
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Written by Geoff Lo
Syndicated from Culture Slate