STAR WARS Prequels Cast Reflect On Jar Jar Backlash, George Lucas' Unique Direction, And "Absolute Power!"

STAR WARS Prequels Cast Reflect On Jar Jar Backlash, George Lucas' Unique Direction, And "Absolute Power!"

Liam Neeson recalls the backlash aimed at Jar Jar Binks, Ewan McGregor looks back at Qui-Gon Jinn's death scene, and Ian McDiarmid opens up on Palpatine's true colours being revealed in new interviews...

By JoshWilding - Feb 11, 2024 01:02 PM EST
Filed Under: Star Wars
Source: Empire Online

The latest issue of Empire Magazine has put the spotlight back on the Star Wars prequels and, love or hate them, the movies do seem to have developed a newfound appreciation in recent years. 

The publication has spoken with several cast members, including Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor, The Phantom Menace's co-leads as Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi (the latter obviously went on to play a major role in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith). 

In an excerpt shared from the issue, Neeson reveals how the vitriol aimed at Jar Jar Binks and actor Ahmed Best affected both him and McGregor. "Ahmed was so funny and inventive," the actor says. "Myself and Ewan were personally hurt and offended by the critical reaction to the character." 

McGregor, who has talked openly about the challenges these movies faced amid harsh reviews from fans and critics, still has some positive memories from the experience. 

"There are moments in any script that become like little pinnacles, that there’s an expectation that you hit emotionally. And that was one of them," he says of Qui-Gon's emotional demise. "I was so fond of Liam [Neeson]. He’s such a generous and wonderful man - playing it was super-easy, because he was right in the moment with me, and I was in there with him."

Of course, every great Star Wars movie needs a formidable villain to pit heroes like those against and, in the prequels, it was a younger version of Emperor Palpatine. 

During Revenge of the Sith, a confrontation with Mace Windu saw the then-Chancellor reveal his true colours, transforming into the monstrous Sith we know lies beneath the surface. The magazine asked Ian McDiarmid about that scene, prompting him to recall George Lucas' unique direction. 

"George [Lucas] kept hyping me up on that. I was screaming, 'ABSOLUTE POWER!' I said, 'Do you want me to do some quiet ones, because this is a bit much?' George said, 'No, go further, go further!' So I did, and he seems to have kept most of it - there’s no holding back there."

As for the most iconic line he believes he delivered in those Star Wars prequels, McDiarmid added, "The one that [fans] like most of all is, 'DO IT!' People just love it."

Hayden Christensen recently spoke about the way these movies have been embraced by fans and his big scene with the Jedi Younglings in Episode III. You can check out what he had to say by clicking here.

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