Natalie Portman admits it was a "bummer" to hear about the constant Star Wars prequel trilogy bashing. George Lucas reignited the franchise for his grand prequel story in the late 1990s and time has been pretty good on them over the years. That doesn't mean that everybody loves them now, but they were torn to shreds upon their release dates back in the day by just about everybody. The negative response was, and still is, pretty amazing.
The Phantom Menace was one of the most anticipated movies in cinema history. George Lucas was taking some pretty crazy chances in tackling another trilogy, which takes place before the beloved first three installments. With that kind of pressure, it's nearly impossible to make something for everybody to enjoy. Natalie Portman, who starred in all three movies, was asked about the prequel reactions and had this to say in a recent interview.
"It was hard. It was a bummer because it felt like people were so excited about new ones and then to have people feel disappointed. Also to be at an age that I didn't really understand that's kind of the nature of the beast. When something has that much anticipation it can almost only disappoint."
The new Star Wars trilogy has seen a lot of the same backlash that the prequel trilogy went through. However, it has been nearly 20 years since The Phantom Menace was released and there is a younger generation who grew up watching the prequels. For some, it was their introduction to the franchise and they prefer it more than anything else. Natalie Portman recognizes that aspect today. She explains.
"With the perspective of time, it's been re-evaluated by a lot of people who actually really love them now. There's a very avid group of people who think they're the best ones now! I don't have enough perspective to weigh in."
While some Star Wars fans are still bashing Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi, the movie may become a fan-favorite in the years to come. It's too early to tell, but ultimately, there's too many expectations to create something that everybody is going to enjoy. Johnson took chances and is pretty much hated for it, while J.J. Abrams gets bashed for playing it too safe. Regardless, the franchise is still moving forward.
The Star Wars franchise is held up by a huge audience of fans and it is arguably bigger now than it ever has been. The Rise of Skywalker is coming out at the end of the year and it will be the final movie in the Skywalker saga. Disneyland and Disney World are both opening up new Star Wars-themed lands to the parks, with the Anaheim park opening at the end of this month. Reservations to visit the new area for a total of four hours, sold out in less than two hours online. There are complaints, but people are still packing theaters and now theme parks too. The interview with Natalie Portman was originally conducted by Empire.