Star Wars: The Phantom Menace has managed to score one wild Disney+ record. With May 4th in the rear-view mirror, the opener of the Prequel Trilogy is now the most-streamed Star Wars movie on the entire platform. Variety reported this fact in a restrospective about The Phantom Menace. It’s really wild to consider, but not completely unsurprising. For one, that May 4th week saw the Prequel favorite re-enter theaters to surprising performance. With that headwind, a lot of fans young and old decided to visit this period of Star Wars history. Maybe the most interesting facet of this entire situation is that a lot of these other movies have had dedicated pushes since their release on the platform.

One person that knows about the initial response to The Phantom Menace is actor Ahmed Best. He played Jar Jar Binks in the formerly divisive film. Time has mellowed the fandom out quite a bit, in some ways, and allowed for Best to become a fan-favorite. ComicBook got the chance to talk with him about the re-release. He feels like it’s the kind of event that theaters were going to need in this day and age.

“I think something needs to bring people back to these theaters, and for that big screen experience,” Best explained. “And Phantom Menace was made for a big screen experience … George [Lucas] always looked at movies in a ‘real estate.’ So things are put on the screen for a reason. When he built Phantom Menace, he built it for the dimensions that this screen was supposedly going to take up … It’s about the experience, and he’s very specific about that … He’s not only just a wonderful cinephile, but as somebody who is able to craft screen art, he’s incredibly detailed and incredibly specific, and he means everything he puts on a screen, every frame has a meaning. And the size of the screen matters just as much as what’s on the screen.”

What’s Next For Star Wars?

(Photo: Lucasfilm)

The next entry in the long-running franchise is Star Wars: The Acolyte on Disney+. This story actually occurs before The Phantom Menace in the chronology. As big of a surprise as it was to see Darth Maul on-screen back in the prequels, that how surprised these Jedi are to encounter an evil Force user in this new series. Showruner Leslie Headland told Entertainment Weekly about building a story around the bad guys and taking what came before to power this current narrative.

“I really wanted to tell a story about the Sith,” Headland said of her upcoming show. “That was kind of my dream Star Wars idea. But it felt like the time period to do that in would be something pre-Phantom Menace. That seemed to be the most interesting trajectory for the Sith: How did the Sith go from the Rule of Two and being quote-unquote ‘extinct’ to Palpatine coming into power without the Jedi knowing about it?”

Are you surprised to see The Phantom Menace top the charts? Catch all of our pop culture discussion at @ComicBook on social media!



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