Prequel Trilogy,  The Phantom Menace

Fake news: The Independent says the critics “savaged” Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, although 62% were positive


The Independent‘s fake news:

“No amount of commercial success, though, could cover up the consensus that The Phantom Menace was a creative failure. The force was not with the film when it came to critics, who savaged Lucas’s creation with Maul-like malice.”

The truth (from Rotten Tomatoes):

“Ironically, if you compare the average Tomatometer of the prequels and the original trilogies during the time of their respective original release dates, the Prequels are actually better reviewed by 16% — 70% to 54%, respectively!

Tomatometer Ranking of Star Wars Series Based on Critical Reaction During Original Release Dates:
83% – Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
79% – Star Wars
65% – Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
62% – Star wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
52% – The Empire Strikes Back
31% – Return of the Jedi”


  • Marshall

    It was the media who “savaged” TPM by emphasizing the negative reviews. However critical acclaim still wasn’t as high as it was for the previous films and I still blame critics for the backlash the PT got in the subsequent years. And personally I could care less about Rotten Tomatoes (rigged) scores.

  • Cryogenic

    Did you pull that archived Rotten Tomatoes page, with the films’ original ratings, from an earlier post of mine in this comments section, Anthony?

    In any case: cool beans!!! I love this simple rebuttal. That’s how you do it. Glad I inspired you, if I did, in this manner. Throw it straight to them.

    (Credit going originally to valiant prequel defender Go-Mer-Tonic who originally presented the link on the TFN message board system in 2008).

    “The force was not with the film when it came to critics”

    Maybe it wasn’t with critics, or rather, maybe it wasn’t with *all* critics, but that’s a high watermark, and not one you necessarily want to reach.

    The Force was, on the other hand, with casual moviegoers and fans, who generally gave the film a “thumbs up” when polled about it, that long ago summer of 1999 — especially kids. Extract and link now follow:

    While many critics sniped about The Phantom Menace, the American public clearly comes down on the positive side of the ledger when they are asked to evaluate it. Over three-quarters of those who have seen the film describe it as “good,” “excellent” or as “one of the greatest they had ever seen,” although of this number only 3% say it is one of the greatest movies they have ever seen, with 33% calling it excellent and 40% labeling it as “good”. Just 21% rate it as only “fair” or “poor.””

    According to parents, positive reaction is even more widespread among young people. When asked about their children’s reactions to the film, 90% of parents who said their children had seen The Phantom Menace indicated that their children thought it was “good,” “excellent” or “one of the greatest he or she had ever seen.

    So, clearly…

    The film found its audience.

      • Cryogenic


        Ah, okay. It’s just that that link is pretty specific. Or I assumed it was. I see you used a slightly different one (the big string of numbers in the archival part of the URL is different) to the one I supplied.

        Again: credit to Go-Mer-Tonic for originally posting it many years ago and making me aware of it.

        Here is my earlier post containing the link — post and, indeed, posts!!!

        Scroll both up and down for more links and a much longer post above the highlighted one! That’s where I discussed those ratings that you have now re-supplied.

        Take heart that these are better/more accurate numbers (as discussed in my posts via the above link) than what the Screen Rant article supplied, and what Mike Klimo supplied before them.

    • archdukeofnaboo


      You should to write a letter to the editor of the Independent complaining about this hitpiece. You honestly should – you’ve got most of your arguments formulated as it is.

      We need to show that we’re willing to take our defence of the PT beyond the murky corners of the Interweb, and into the public forum. This is a good opportunity.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        Thanks, AD! I take it you read my post — or at least skimmed it, perhaps? — in the other comments section where it was first posted?

        I’m not really in the letter-writing business, but perhaps I could craft a response, building on my already-formulated arguments, as you suggest.

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