STAR WARS Actress Natalie Portman On The Disappointing Fan Backlash Towards The Prequel Trilogy

STAR WARS Actress Natalie Portman On The Disappointing Fan Backlash Towards The Prequel Trilogy

STAR WARS Actress Natalie Portman On The Disappointing Fan Backlash Towards The Prequel Trilogy

Natalie Portman, who played Padmé Amidala (eventual mother of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa) in the prequel trilogy, has opened up on the "bummer" it was to have Star Wars fans disappointed in the movies.

Oscar winner Natalie Portman has had quite an extensive career; but, if there's one blip on her impressive resume, it's the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Portman starred in 1999's Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (and subsequent prequel films), the highly anticipated return to the galaxy far, far away.

The prequel trilogy would look to explain the rise of the Empire and show how Anakin became Darth Vader, the iconic villain in the original trilogy. That story premise alone came with incredibly build-up and fans were wild for a return to the brilliant universe created by George Lucas.

Unfortunately, Episode I – The Phantom Menace — and the prequel trilogy in general — failed to live up to expectations. While it was a commercial success — becoming the third-highest grossing film in North America at the time (behind Titanic and Star Wars (1977) — it was ultimately a disappointment to fans. It sits at just a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes among critics, with a consensus that reads: "Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy -- albeit visually dazzling -- start."

It received seven Golden Raspberry Award nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Supporting Actress, and Worst Screen Couple. It's that latter category that Natalie Portman had a role in, as she played Queen Padmé Amidala, the teenage Queen of Naboo who goes on an adventure with Jake Lloyd's young Anakin Skywalker (eventually becoming the Jedi's love interest in the remaining two prequel films).

In an interview in the latest Empire Magazine, Portman has finally opened up on what it was like to star in what was ultimately deemed a disappointing entry in the Star Wars franchise.

“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.”


Portman doesn't appear broken up over the reception to the prequel trilogy. After all, she has gone on to have an illustrious acting career. “With the perspective of time, it’s been re-evaluated by a lot of people who actually really love them now,” Portman added. “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.”

Of course, divisiveness is nothing new when it comes to the Star Wars franchise. One only needs to look at the newest trilogy and various Rogue One and Solo spinoffs to see how hard it is for the Star Wars name to live up to expectations and hype. Reaction to J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens and Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi has been mixed, with the newest trilogy fracturing the Star Wars fanbase into two sides that'll perhaps never see eye-to-eye when it comes to the end of the Skywalker Saga.

Are you part of the group of people who enjoy the Star Wars prequel trilogy?
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