Ewan McGregor talks about how the reaction to the Star Wars prequels has changed over the years. The prequels are still, to this day, majorly divisive. At the time of their release, fans writing reviews on the internet were ecstatic, but many have gone back to amend those reviews over the years to take away some of the positive notes that they first admired, leading towards a downward trend. However, there was a whole new generation of Star Wars fans who saw the prequels first, before any of the older movies in the franchise, and they stand by them.
In a new interview, Ewan McGregor talked about some of his frustrations while making the prequels and the attitude change towards them all of these years later. Currently, Star Wars fans have their anger directed to Rian Johnson, The Last Jedi, and Disney's takeover. These factors have definitely helped shape a new look at the prequels. McGregor had this to say.
"Episode III was all green screen: they had us on green disks on a green floor with a green background, and a guy on the floor rotating us like chickens, as we lunged at each other with lightsabers. What keeps you emotionally grounded is the other actor. Episode II, I was on my own, speaking to thin air. But this scene was harrowing for Obi-Wan. I lose Anakin, and we see the danger of what it might lead to in Episodes IV, V, and VI. For all my moaning about green screen, I did enjoy playing Obi-Wan and this link to Alec Guinness. George Lucas wanted to do something very different with the prequels. That's why people felt cheated. It was upsetting when people would laugh and joke about it. Now, many years later, the prequels meant a lot to the generation that were kids then. So from smirking, cynical opinions, now I'm getting feedback from the kids they were made for. I'm really happy about that."
George Lucas did have some pretty lofty goals while making the prequels and had already bummed out hardcore Star Wars fans a few years earlier by going in to "touching up" the original trilogy. While many fans were not on board with the prequels upon their release, it's the younger generation of fans that continue to go back to them. Some of these younger fans even like the prequels better than the original trilogy.
With that being said, there is an even younger generation of Star Wars fans that are currently growing up with the Disney output, which will be reflected in the years to come, for good or bad. While people talk trash on the prequels and some of the cheesy aspects, even hardcore Star Wars fans can agree that there is a wealth of information packed into all three installments that has helped shape the official canon. It's going to be interesting to see where Disney and Lucasfilm go after the latest trilogy with this in mind.
Star Wars fandom is a tricky place to navigate, but it really comes down to when you got into the franchise. The nostalgia ties are a big deal in the Star Wars universe, which is why some accuse Disney or even George Lucas of ruining their childhoods. It's cool that Ewan McGregor and the other actors involved in the prequels feel that they are starting to get more recognition for their hard work in the Star Wars universe. You can read the rest of the interview with Ewan McGregor over at Vanity Fair.