• The Phantom Menace
    has earned its place as the #1
    Star Wars
    movie on Disney+.
  • The Phantom Menace
    is currently celebrating 25 years since its initial release.
  • A brief return to theaters earned
    The Phantom Menace
    third place at the box office.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menaceis officially the top Star Wars movie on Disney+. Its first wide release came on May 19, 1999 and served as the first major Star Wars movie since 1983’sReturn of the Jedi.While it earned mixed reviews from critics and audiences, the first movie of the prequel trilogy has earned $1.044 billion since that initial release and helped to spark a resurgence of the Star Wars franchise. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Phantom Menace briefly returned to theaters, where it earned a third place spot at the box office.

As the anniversary approaches, Phantom Menace‘s star-studded cast can celebrate another accomplishment. Decades after its first release, Variety reports that Phantom Menace is now the most streamed Star Wars movie on Disney+ worldwide. Though it still suffers from poor reviews, its financial success remains unquestionable, as it continues to draw viewership through 2024.

The Star Wars Prequel Generation Has Truly Come Of Age

An entire generation of Star Wars viewers were raised on the prequels as they were first being released. The trilogy began with Phantom Menace in 1999 and ended with Revenge of the Sith in 2005, but those six years alone fail to encompass the entire generation that the prequels raised. Star Wars: The Clone Wars fleshed out the prequel movies, and it aired from 2008 to 2013 before its final season was released in 2020. In that way, the Star Wars universe raised an entire generation in the prequel setting.


Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’s Ending Explained (& All Skywalker Saga Setup)

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, the first of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, massively shaped the Skywalker Saga and Star Wars’ future.

With the original Phantom Menace viewers now firmly in adulthood, the prequels are surging in popularity. Phantom Menace still retains a 52% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 59% audience score. Still, the box office results and the popularity on Disney+ indicates that those younger viewers are now a major demographic that can ensure the first prequel’s success. That audience is likely primed for Phantom Menace‘s setting in the Star Wars timeline, having been raised on Anakin’s story. The prominence of the prequel generation also explains the rise of prequel memes, which have similarly been raising its popularity.

Star Wars has grown considerably since the prequels were first released. Independent movies, shows, and an entire sequel trilogy have come and gone in the time since Anakin first began podracing on-screen. For Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace to earn the top place among Disney+’s Star Wars movies despite the many other new releases within the franchise, it needed that original audience to drive it to success. 25 years after it was first revealed, it has certainly achieved that lasting legacy and success.

Source: Variety

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