George Lucas changed the world when he released Star Wars back in 1977. All three films in the original trilogy are still highly praised by fans to this day, but the same can’t be said for the prequel trilogy. Lucas wrote and directed all three of the prequels; The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith.
There were a lot of things wrong with the prequels including poor acting, writing, and CGI, so the films really just don’t live up to today. There are even a lot of moments in the films that are just downright cringy. Here is Star Wars: The 10 Cringiest Moments From The Prequel Trilogy.
10 Yoda Force Pushes Palpatine
When Senator Palpatine turned out to be the Emperor from the original trilogy, it really shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. Palpatine’s true identity is fully revealed in Revenge of the Sith and Yoda is one of the Jedi that confronts him. Yoda presented more of a challenge than the other Jedi and is even able to force push Palpatine over his desk.
It would have seemed like a pretty normal scene, only Palpatine awkwardly flips over, which throws his cloak over his head. Seeing the Emperor fall in this awkward way was cringy for long-time fans of the series, who are used to seeing the Emperor as a dark and serious Sith Lord.
9 Anakin & Sand
Fans did not particularly take to the child version of Anakin Skywalker and things didn’t get much better in Attack of the Clones. Hayden Christensen was recruited to play the older version of Skywalker; unfortunately, fans generalled despised Christensen’s acting. While Christensen’s performance wasn’t quite there, the dialogue for the film hardly helped matters.
It’s coarse, and rough, and irritating, and it gets everywhere.
Anakin's line about sand in Attack of the Clones is probably one of the worst moments in the Star Wars saga. At least, Christensen has a good sense of humor about it.
8 Qui-Gon Explains Midi-Chlorians
The original Star Wars introduced many concepts like the Jedi, lightsabers, and the Force. The Force was originally a mystical concept but George Lucas messed that up when he wrote The Phantom Menace. Lucas introduced Midi-Chlorians in the first prequel film, which were microscopic life forms with a connection to the Force.
Basically, the more Midi-Chlorians someone had, the more powerful they were with the Force. When Qui-Gon Jinn tested Anakin’s Midi-Chlorian count, it was through the roof. Needless to say, many people were left shaking their head at the idea since nobody really asked for an explanation of the Force.
While all three of the prequel films have their fair share of issues, Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith is often regarded as the best of the three. In the film, fans finally get to see Anakin transform into Darth Vader. The scene was well done, for the most part. The one exception happens after Palpatine told Anakin that he basically killed Padmé.
The line was overly dramatic and just came across as cheesy. During the Blu-ray release of the Star Wars saga, Lucas decided it would be a good idea to edit in another “NOOOO!!!” in Return of the Jedi, which fans also didn’t really appreciate.
6 Anakin Hitting On Padmé
Besides setting Anakin’s turn to the dark side, his love story with Padmé was a main focus of the films. Unfortunately, due to the prequel trilogy’s poor writing and acting, the relationship seems incredibly forced (no pun intended). It is always awkward when Anakin tries to hit on Padmé, but one of the cringiest moments came in Revenge of the Sith.
Padmé was brushing her hair on the balcony when Anakin tells her she is beautiful. She responds by saying, “It’s only because I’m so in love”, to which Anakin replies, “No, it’s because I’m so in love with you." This is just one of many examples of the poor dialogue in the film, but it gets even more awkward when Padmé suddenly gets very serious and asks, “So love has blinded you?”
5 The Jedi Slaughter
During the climax of the film, Palpatine executes Order 66, which turns all of the Clone troopers against the Jedi. While the scenes of the Clones taking out the Jedi are some of the more cinematic shots of the film, it didn’t really make sense how the Jedi were taken out so easily. Not only that, but Palpatine himself is able to easily defeat four Jedi Masters.
While Mace Windu nearly defeats him; Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin were killed almost instantly. The Emperor defeating Jedi is a bit more realistic than Clones being able to slaughter the Jedi, but both instances probably had fans shaking their heads.
4 Eopie Passes Gas
One of the most hated characters in Star Wars history was introduced in Star Wars: Episode I- The Phantom Menace. People tend to hate on Jar Jar Binks mainly because he was used for comedic relief and to appeal to children. A lot of Jar Jar Binks scenes make people want to rip their hair out, but one scene that is particularly cringe-worthy involves an eopie.
During the pod race scene, the eopie farts and grosses Jar Jar out. The scene was used to get a laugh out of audiences and maybe it did with children, but many people just cringe at the scene's stupidity.
3 Padme Puts Anakin In His Place
During Attack of the Clones, Padmé and Anakin travel to Naboo and speak with the Naboo council about the clone army. After their meeting is over, as Padmé is talking to Jamillia, the Governor of Naboo asks Anakin his opinion of the situation and addresses him as Master Jedi. Before Anakin has time to answer, Padmé corrects the Governor and explains that Anakin is just a Padawan learner.
The two keep cutting each other off before Padmé puts Anakin in his place by saying, "I think it would be wise if you took advantage of my knowledge in this instance." Anakin being bested by Padmé is awkward enough, but then the camera cuts to Jamilla's reaction, which makes Anakin's situation seem that much more embarrassing.
2 Racial Stereotypes In The Phantom Menace
While Jar Jar Binks is often called the most hated Star Wars character out there, people claim that The Phantom Menace is full of racial stereotypes. People often criticize the character for being an example of "blackface" since Jar Jar talks and acts like old comedies used to portray African Americans. Anybody who is familiar with history is also aware of the connotations when Jar Jar tells Qui-Gon Jin that he is now his humble servant.
Also, many believe that Watto and Neimoidians like Nute Gunray are also examples of racial stereotypes. People of Jewish heritage are often negatively depicted as having large noses and being obsessed with money, which are two things that Watto is known for. As for Nute Gunray and the other Neimoidians, people have pointed out that the characters accents sound like personas that would appear in old comedies that cast Caucasian actors in Asian roles.
1 Anakin Makes Padmé Feel Uncomfortable
With as awkward as Anakin and Padmé's relationship was, it didn't seem natural when they ended up falling in love. Not only is there a big age difference between the characters, but Padmé seemed genuinely creeped out by Anakin in Attack of the Clones. In one scene, Anakin and Padmé are packing for their trip to Naboo, Anakin is talking about his unfair life.
The two start to talk about Anakin's newfound maturity before he begins to stare at Padmé. After Padmé tells him not to look at her, Anakin asks "Why not?" to which Padmé bluntly says, "It makes me feel uncomfortable." The scene then concludes with Anakin creepily staring at Padmé as she walks away.