George Lucas says he “may have gone too far” with ‘The Phantom Menace’

George Lucas said that he “may have gone too far” with Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

The 1999 blockbuster re-booted the huge franchise after a twenty-year absence, though it wasn’t well-revived by critics and fans – holding a 55 percent critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 59 percent audience score.

Now, The Hollywood Reporter has shone light on behind-the-scenes footage, which sees George Lucas unimpressed after watching a rough cut of the film.

“It’s a little disjointed,” Lucas says following the screening. “It’s bold in terms of jerking people around. I may have gone too far in a few places.” 

The film’s editor Ben Burtt discusses the questionable pacing, saying: “In a space of about 90 seconds, you go from lamenting the death of a hero to escape to slightly comedic with Jar Jar to Anakin returning … It’s a lot in a very short time.”

Lucas continues: “It boggles the mind, I have thought about this quite a bit, and the tricky part is you almost can’t take any of those pieces out of it now, because each one takes you to the next place. And you can’t jump because you don’t know where you are.”

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“I do a particular kind of movie of which this is consistent,” Lucas adds. “But it is a very hard movie to follow.”

The hour-long feature ‘The Beginning: Making Episode I’ is taken from the film’s DVD extras.

Elsewhere, Star Wars: The Last Jedi gained a 92% fresh rating from critics, but a much lower 52% fresh rating from fans following its release on December 15.

Director Rian Johnson has responded to the criticism, saying: “Every fan has a list of stuff they want a Star Wars movie to be and they don’t want a Star Wars movie to be.

“You’re going to find very few fans out there whose lists line up.”