The Star Wars prequels have undergone something of a critical reevaluation in recent years. There was a time when George Lucas’s second trilogy of science fiction movies was less popular than a Sith at a gathering of Younglings, but times have changed. Critics might not like it but fans, in general, seem more positive about the prequel era.
One person who always claims to have been impressed by the prequels is Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself. Hamill admitted as much during an interview for the new book (via IndieWire) about Howard Kazanjian, a producer on both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
“I was impressed the prequels had their own identity,” Hamill said. “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.”
While a lot of people are rethinking their opinion on the prequels, we think it’s important to remember the contemporary reception to them. Nothing perhaps best exemplifies the reaction of fans and indeed the cast themselves to these movies than the time Ewan McGregor heard the title of Episode 2 for the first time.
The moment McGregor heard the words Attack of the Clones for the first time was thankfully immortalised by a red carpet camera crew. The Obi-Wan actor was receiving an award for his role in the musical Moulin Rouge when a CNN reporter told him the movie’s title.
please enjoy Ewan McGregor hearing "ATTACK OF THE CLOHNES" for the first time while we wait
this is a god damn classic pic.twitter.com/8Vk8pkyCgu
— Brendan Hodges (@metaplexmovies) February 5, 2019
To describe his reaction as bemused would be charitable; he seems downright shocked at it. McGregor can barely hold back his laughter in the clip as he asks the journalist if “that’s real” before saying “he doesn’t know about that”. In a separate video, McGregor shares a laugh with his Moulin Rouge co-star Nicole Kidman about the title before asking: “Is that better than the Phantom Menace?”
The answer, Ewan, was no. No, it was not better than Phantom Menace, and that’s saying something. If you like prequel era Star Wars check out our guide to the Bad Batch season 2.