10 Cringiest Moments In The Star Wars Prequels

Their reputation has improved over time, but the Star Wars prequels are still a total cringe-fest.

Hayden Christensen Anakin Skywalker Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Disney

The 1999 release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was, at the time, the most eagerly-anticipated movie launch in history.

People bought tickets for other flicks like the Brad Pitt drama Meet Joe Black and the Bruce Willis actioner The Siege, just so they could watch The Phantom Menace's trailer and then leave before the main feature started. Some particularly dedicated fans even camped out in front of their local cinema for weeks before the movie opened. It was a cultural event like no other.

Unfortunately though, when the world actually got to see the Star Wars prequels, most were left feeling disappointed and frustrated. The three movies reviewed poorly and were derided by fans, and though love for the trilogy has certainly grown over the last ten years or so (largely thanks to the kids they were made for having grown up in the social media age), they're just not very good movies overall.

With some questionable acting, dodgy visual effects, and clunky dialogue across the board, there's oh-so much cringe to be found throughout George Lucas' three-film backstory, and here are our picks for the most painful moments of the lot.

10. Palpatine Cheers For Obi-Wan

Hayden Christensen Anakin Skywalker Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Disney

Despite being considered the best prequel movie by both critics and fans, Revenge of the Sith has plenty of cringe-worthy moments to its name.

The cringe train leaves the station right at the start of the film, with Ian McDiarmid exclaiming "Yeah!" in the strangest, most un-Palpatine way possible, after watching Obi-Wan slice up some battle droids during his and Anakin's duel with Count Dooku.

The first half of this duel, overall, is quite awkward to watch, with the lack of music making it feel unfinished, rather than heightening the intensity - as was surely the aim. It's cheery Palps though that's the weirdest moment, proving a distractingly unnecessary addition to an otherwise dead-serious sequence.

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Writer and video editor WhatCulture/WhoCulture. Bought a 4K copy of The Martian in 2016 and still haven't watched it.