The Star Wars saga is far from over, with new movies and TV shows on the horizon. The franchise has always been a marketing marvel, from early books to massive toy launches, keeping fans excited for what’s next.

It takes place in a richly detailed universe filled with unique aliens, languages, gadgets, and planets. This immersive world makes fans feel like they’re part of something special. The stories are even full of unforgettable characters like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, and Princess Leia – who are easy to connect with.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

However, out of them, there’s a movie that became a massive hit despite garnering negative reviews. It’s none other than Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Released in 1999, it is the first film in the prequel trilogy and chronologically the first chapter of the Skywalker Saga.

The movie follows Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi as they try to protect Queen Amidala of Naboo from a trade dispute that escalates into a full-blown invasion.

The Phantom Menace Achieved Unprecedented Box Office Feat Despite Unfavorable Critiques

A still from Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
A still from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace became the most streamed Star Wars movie on Disney+ worldwide, according to a report by Variety. As it marks its 25th anniversary, it’s clear that the film has earned its place in the Star Wars saga.

The 1999 movie marked the first big Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi in 1983. After all the hype and excitement, Star Wars fans were left feeling disappointed by the film, when it came out.

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Some thought starting the story with a young Anakin Skywalker (played by Jake Lloyd) was a mistake. Others disliked the silly humor and broken English of Jar Jar Binks, a new computer-generated character.

Despite some mixed reviews at first, it still made over $1 billion globally (via The Numbers). Now, years later, it’s still popular on Disney+, even more so than other Star Wars movies available for streaming.

The Reason Behind The Phantom Menace‘s Popularity

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
A still from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

As we all know, The Phantom Menace didn’t sit well with many. It even currently has a 52% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite mixed reviews at the time, it is seeing a surge in popularity. It’s the most-watched Star Wars movie on Disney+, beating out even the newer releases. So, what is the reason behind its newfound success?

One reason for The Phantom Menace‘s success is its role in introducing a new generation to Star Wars. This trilogy, starting with The Phantom Menace and ending with Revenge of the Sith in 2005, struck a chord with viewers who grew up during its release. The Clone Wars animated series, airing from 2008 to 2020, also built upon this era, making it an integral part of Star Wars history.

The rise of funny online memes about the prequels is another sign of this newfound appreciation. With so many new Star Wars movies and shows out there, it’s surprising that The Phantom Menace holds the top spot.

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Watch Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace on Disney+.

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