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

new zealand venice Television Academy SXSW 72 Emmy Awards fresh name the review classics Christmas cars biopic target Hear Us Out parents Sundance BBC live action Binge Guide Pixar elevated horror popular Summer YouTube Premium PBS dceu a nightmare on elm street BET Awards BET Rocketman theme song cancelled television Mary poppins Best and Worst Emmy Nominations ABC Family superhero Sci-Fi 2015 latino Marathons worst movies The Walt Disney Company FX on Hulu HBO Max high school strong female leads Discovery Channel El Rey History FOX screenings Comic Book canceled Photos rotten RT History HBO Winners Warner Bros. 1990s royal family romantic comedy posters LGBT dexter chucky E3 halloween tv Black Mirror rotten movies we love Classic Film international new york aapi Cartoon Network Fox News supernatural Lifetime Christmas movies heist movie Legendary australia transformers teaser Opinion movie Marvel Studios Adult Swim travel miniseries art house Musical reviews Spike Sony Pictures Pride Month National Geographic hispanic comic Family Film Festival RT21 streaming Arrowverse WarnerMedia Star Wars Columbia Pictures Neflix Comics on TV Tubi Ghostbusters vs. werewolf 90s Certified Fresh Calendar A&E DC Comics disaster young adult comic book movie Ovation USA Network telelvision A24 2021 Country streaming movies technology boxing IFC Turner Nat Geo Song of Ice and Fire Red Carpet crime Marvel Television war revenge award winner Writers Guild of America mutant Amazon Prime Video biography dark king kong President Comedy Black History Month 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards book adaptation Fall TV documentaries Disney+ Disney Plus DC Universe slasher news GLAAD joker 2020 tv talk Travel Channel First Look Superheroe VH1 TV Land breaking bad Apple TV Plus indie godzilla sag awards CMT AMC Plus BBC One nature Starz Spring TV Holiday doctor who ABC Signature wonder woman archives Mystery Podcast Hulu Rocky quibi Amazon Prime concert hispanic heritage month justice league social media festival Peacock Freeform scary Mary Tyler Moore unscripted indiana jones stop motion TCA Awards comics Year in Review documentary Character Guide San Diego Comic-Con 2019 television crossover dragons anime Disney adaptation GIFs TV movies child's play Nickelodeon Television Critics Association TCA 2017 video Schedule dramedy MCU Rock politics asian-american police drama The Witch football Netflix Christmas movies films Martial Arts Nominations 21st Century Fox stand-up comedy New York Comic Con suspense Creative Arts Emmys live event ABC APB Fox Searchlight japan The Academy Teen Toys Amazon rom-coms Kids & Family Anna Paquin game of thrones docuseries Amazon Studios best lord of the rings Spectrum Originals what to watch Endgame DC streaming service Film Bravo 73rd Emmy Awards Video Games harry potter canceled TV shows Lifetime Shudder TIFF Box Office Pet Sematary 24 frames book based on movie king arthur 45 singing competition directors Polls and Games anthology marvel cinematic universe talk show deadpool YouTube Quiz Baby Yoda Esquire olympics slashers genre CBS Universal cancelled TV shows comic book movies women LGBTQ criterion TV renewals Pop TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt children's TV AMC Holidays TCM Cosplay Disney Plus psycho italian Trophy Talk casting facebook Vudu Acorn TV saw new star wars movies science fiction Paramount Network DGA FXX hollywood golden globes nfl rt labs Avengers Comic-Con@Home 2021 Mary Poppins Returns Tomatazos Disney Channel franchise SundanceTV Drama period drama south america Interview Rom-Com Trailer vampires sopranos NBA IMDb TV Thanksgiving ITV Turner Classic Movies cops aliens Reality Competition Super Bowl psychological thriller 20th Century Fox halloween 2017 jamie lee curtis Pirates boxoffice Lionsgate scene in color Mudbound Mindy Kaling Masterpiece SDCC Tarantino legend spinoff Showtime Cannes sitcom worst Heroines Alien Election game show marvel comics 71st Emmy Awards trailers Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cinemax First Reviews TCA Winter 2020 Tumblr kaiju basketball Logo NYCC Funimation cats X-Men Ellie Kemper Music Epix 93rd Oscars American Society of Cinematographers CBS All Access Walt Disney Pictures Premiere Dates richard e. Grant Paramount critic resources Emmys free movies Reality Hallmark Christmas movies Set visit dc mockumentary Exclusive Video mcc Chernobyl comic books 2018 BBC America spy thriller nbcuniversal historical drama comedies superman Apple Animation Universal Pictures true crime Oscars rt archives TLC hidden camera james bond cancelled rt labs critics edition ghosts TCA feel good foreign spain WGN finale thriller stoner Apple TV+ ID composers screen actors guild CW Seed 4/20 reboot kong Sundance Now robots See It Skip It animated Marvel hist Comedy Central TV One FX versus TruTV medical drama PaleyFest VOD Valentine's Day jurassic park NBC Hallmark Wes Anderson fast and furious Crunchyroll cancelled TV series Watching Series festivals Crackle diversity VICE natural history OWN christmas movies Image Comics kids DirecTV Awards Tour Captain marvel Britbox cartoon renewed TV shows MSNBC ratings Lucasfilm action-comedy spider-man obituary ViacomCBS The Walking Dead movies golden globe awards IFC Films PlayStation comiccon HBO Go black Extras E! Action dreamworks gangster sequel The Arrangement Horror prank cooking Infographic witnail 007 Awards docudrama TBS BAFTA TV blaxploitation scorecard Shondaland Tokyo Olympics sports japanese mission: impossible batman scary movies Grammys Brie Larson MTV spanish language Sneak Peek Trivia Instagram Live Food Network spider-verse dogs monster movies Stephen King Elton John OneApp toronto discovery toy story Superheroes romance GoT spanish emmy awards debate serial killer sequels remakes Netflix Broadway Pop critics zombie USA 2016 CNN satire zero dark thirty Academy Awards know your critic Biopics blockbusters die hard Disney streaming service cults TNT independent Dark Horse Comics Fantasy The Purge adenture french Musicals mob Western Star Trek ESPN Women's History Month Sundance TV razzies green book binge blockbuster space YouTube Red Winter TV Paramount Plus crime drama twilight black comedy laika adventure Pacific Islander pirates of the caribbean 99% YA Syfy political drama all-time zombies universal monsters crime thriller series video on demand The CW Countdown