Liam Neeson Defends Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: "I'm Proud Of It"

Star Wars fans have spent the last year of so preoccupied with the franchise's latest trilogy, but there is much more to discover beyond the sequels. George Lucas helped build a new universe when Star Wars debuted decades ago, and he fleshed it out even more so with prequel movies in the last 1990s. And even if you aren't a fan of the first episode, Liam Neeson says he is still proud of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Recently, Neeson shared his thoughts on the Star Wars prequel during an interview with Andy Cohen. The discussion ranged from the Irish actor's recent projects to those from his past. Of course, that means it didn't take long for Star Wars to come up, but Neeson was happy to talk about the prequel.

“I know a lot of fans and critics didn’t like it. I’m proud of it," the actor said.

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(Photo: Lucasfilm)

Of course, Neeson is right about the film's reception. Interest in the prequel trilogy was high after it was first announced, but its 1999 premiere left some fans feeling dissatisfied. The introduction of characters like Jar Jar Binks still throws off fans to this day. That is to say nothing of the prequel trilogy's portrayal of Anakin and the pre-imperial world fans expected.

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However, it seems time and distance has helped ease the anger for some. The prequel trilogy has been shown in a better light in the last five years as fans have revisited them. In fact, episodes one through three have a dedicated cult following within the fandom, so Neeson should feel good knowing his work as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn was not for nothing.

How do you feel about The Phantom Menace all these years after its debut? Do you side with Neeson here on Star Wars? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.