RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace

It's one of the worst-reviewed Star Wars movies ever released, but was the Prequel Trilogy kickoff dismissed too quickly? We're journeying back to a time of epic pod races, double-bladed lightsabers, and... ugh... midi-chlorians.

by | May 4, 2021 | Comments

Star Wars Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace

(Photo by ©20th Century-Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved/Courtesy Everett Collection)

With the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy complete – satisfactorily or disastrously, depending on where you stand – and an Obi-Wan Kenobi series heading into production for Disney+ with Ewan McGregor returning to the title role and Hayden Christensen back as Vader, fans have been looking back at the once-derided Prequel Trilogy with fresh eyes… and coming out of the experience offering fresh takes.


Listen Now: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Podcasts | Radio Public | Deezer | iHeart | Art19


There is a growing sense, in some corners at least, that episodes I through III aren’t quite as bad as their reputations would suggest; in other corners, there is even the idea that the Prequels are good. Very good. At the very least, they were cohesive, and popped with awesome set pieces and some memorable characters.

But are some fans looking back with rose-colored glasses at the story of Anakin’s Dark Side seduction? Or has a couple of decades’ distance helped us see more clearly now what got lost in a blur of Jar Jar Binks and “I don’t like sand” and C-span–style senate debates at the time of their release: That the Prequels kinda… rock!?

For the next three episodes of our podcast, Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong, hosts Mark Ellis and Jacqueline Coley will be journeying back to a galaxy not all that far away – the dawn of the Millennium – and asking whether the Tomatometer score is right for each prequel, beginning today with Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Does it really deserve its title as the second-worst reviewed Star Wars movie ever? We’re diving in.



Joined by unabashed Phantom Menace fan, Joseph Scrimshaw, comedian and co-host of the Force Center podcast, our hosts recall the anticipation and excitement that surrounded Episode I’s release, break down the movie’s epic finale, consider the film’s place in the evolution of online fandom, and debate whether this Prequel Trilogy kickoff was actually an indie flick in a blockbuster disguise.

Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”


Check out some more episodes of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong:


If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.


Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.


Tag Cloud

social media Comedy TCM new star wars movies batman 2015 streaming movies renewed TV shows Warner Bros. indiana jones Lifetime Christmas movies DC Universe Apple TV Plus films vampires series Writers Guild of America 93rd Oscars marvel cinematic universe screenings comic books Comics on TV green book Emmys ABC Family TIFF USA Network Women's History Month Drama Disney Channel Marvel Television crime thriller Heroines heist movie National Geographic crossover dragons Baby Yoda cancelled TV series what to watch suspense 90s The Walt Disney Company AMC Film Festival Tubi Amazon Prime VOD TLC cartoon Paramount FX 2018 spanish discovery transformers Disney Plus Sneak Peek Paramount Network Opinion 2021 CW Seed best worst movies Lucasfilm elevated horror comedies WGN Rom-Com crime drama Freeform The CW 45 SDCC Nominations Wes Anderson politics canceled Fox News TV renewals Pet Sematary sports CMT rom-coms X-Men joker anthology First Reviews Apple award winner 71st Emmy Awards franchise Starz SXSW Action zombie Ellie Kemper Nat Geo superman Stephen King technology Columbia Pictures anime HBO Go romantic comedy Lionsgate PlayStation Biopics Apple TV+ dceu OneApp MCU wonder woman MTV Cartoon Network Holidays diversity TCA Winter 2020 godzilla zero dark thirty SundanceTV Crunchyroll classics The Witch Pop 24 frames indie romance Endgame golden globe awards comic YouTube Mystery natural history Hulu strong female leads adaptation universal monsters twilight concert target unscripted Lifetime festival book adaptation The Academy Broadway animated RT21 TV One canceled TV shows lord of the rings king arthur El Rey Netflix Christmas movies french Black Mirror docuseries OWN Mary Poppins Returns reviews Box Office IFC NBA HBO Reality Competition cults docudrama Cosplay Red Carpet 007 criterion spain Musical pirates of the caribbean versus christmas movies President TNT Trailer BET History WarnerMedia Song of Ice and Fire Fall TV olympics talk show A&E Amazon Prime Video Sundance Now adventure Spring TV DC Comics VH1 E3 Awards historical drama Pacific Islander Television Critics Association Marathons Sci-Fi San Diego Comic-Con Teen game of thrones Hallmark Christmas movies CNN ID Arrowverse trailers Superheroes Western kong know your critic Pixar war Fox Searchlight Sundance TV independent new york Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Ovation deadpool 2020 Disney finale italian Brie Larson documentary ABC sitcom toy story harry potter Mary Tyler Moore Crackle Alien based on movie Toys Binge Guide Comedy Central American Society of Cinematographers Pride Month ghosts Disney streaming service prank CBS ESPN Christmas VICE Polls and Games james bond The Purge Sony Pictures high school Chernobyl Martial Arts dogs TCA Universal Captain marvel cooking A24 a nightmare on elm street dramedy archives BBC Amazon blaxploitation black cats Comic Book spider-man Acorn TV game show justice league Turner science fiction Ghostbusters movie singing competition Animation blockbusters Musicals crime comics live action nbcuniversal Tomatazos 4/20 disaster Hear Us Out ABC Signature TV Land Black History Month Fantasy richard e. Grant name the review rotten news Trivia USA monster movies new zealand MSNBC Syfy Food Network king kong razzies YouTube Premium YA Valentine's Day LGBTQ Showtime Masterpiece obituary worst Discovery Channel hollywood Star Trek latino documentaries Anna Paquin Funimation Podcast Bravo Photos nfl cancelled Academy Awards halloween Calendar serial killer fresh jurassic park breaking bad Hallmark Britbox 2017 Election TV movies chucky reboot Tumblr golden globes Marvel TCA 2017 FX on Hulu First Look PBS ratings TV sag awards sequels Sundance Super Bowl scary movies football basketball GoT scorecard book miniseries Tarantino travel hist psycho saw psychological thriller video dark DC streaming service Walt Disney Pictures popular 72 Emmy Awards remakes satire 21st Century Fox Reality 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards composers Classic Film australia mission: impossible Spike Rocky aliens period drama all-time Epix police drama foreign Tokyo Olympics Character Guide Pirates Quiz japan japanese cancelled television Winter TV emmy awards Watching Series theme song Music Nickelodeon telelvision Emmy Nominations 20th Century Fox cinemax 99% Comic-Con@Home 2021 Image Comics Thanksgiving medical drama NBC asian-american 2016 Country slashers Adult Swim child's play Film die hard television hispanic space mutant The Arrangement tv talk halloween tv TBS Countdown werewolf Star Wars spinoff Holiday laika Grammys mockumentary Kids & Family LGBT video on demand boxoffice Pop TV YouTube Red quibi superhero kaiju casting Extras sequel E! true crime Schedule FOX NYCC nature Set visit Rocketman doctor who 1990s dc biography Winners robots stop motion GIFs Disney+ Disney Plus festivals directors legend TruTV The Walking Dead GLAAD Infographic Creative Arts Emmys south america political drama Year in Review Certified Fresh toronto adenture Summer stand-up comedy Paramount Plus Television Academy BAFTA revenge supernatural BET Awards Peacock jamie lee curtis cops RT History Exclusive Video Family Legendary Mudbound Premiere Dates BBC One DGA Shondaland Mindy Kaling Oscars CBS All Access Turner Classic Movies boxing HBO Max Trophy Talk aapi venice Interview parents critics Mary poppins ITV international Avengers witnail Cannes free movies PaleyFest Logo Shudder Esquire stoner hidden camera streaming screen actors guild Vudu Elton John Travel Channel spanish language ViacomCBS zombies movies FXX Best and Worst blockbuster women scene in color fast and furious spy thriller cancelled TV shows facebook Amazon Studios BBC America Awards Tour Dark Horse Comics Netflix children's TV kids TCA Awards Marvel Studios See It Skip It APB Superheroe comiccon thriller teaser Video Games Horror New York Comic Con Rock Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt binge IFC Films rt archives rotten movies we love Spectrum Originals DirecTV 2019 cars