Why Natalie Portman Won’t Let Her Children Watch the Star Wars Prequels
As a child growing up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I genuinely thought the Star Wars prequels were amazing! In fact, so beloved were they in my eyes, I was utterly shocked to find out that most Star Wars fans dislike them – and that was only a few years prior to making this channel. As I’ve grown older, however, and developed more of an interest in the intricacies of storytelling and cinema as a whole, I’ve come to appreciate everything the original trilogy does “better”. Yet I still find myself swept up in the nostalgia of the Star Wars prequels from time to time. So much so that I annually sit in awe as Ian McDiarmid delivers his character’s take on the tragedy of Darth Plagueis. But I think it goes without saying that not every single performance could match that of the legendary Scottish actor, leaving someone like Hayden Christensen out in the cold, despite his best efforts. So if I were to tell you that his co-star, Natalie Portman, has vowed to never show her children the Star Wars prequels, you would probably associate such a decision with the negative feedback her performances received. But in actual fact, her reasoning has far deeper connotations that may just surprise you…
Despite going on to win an Oscar and a number of Golden Globes, Natalie Portman initially struggled to find work following her role as Padmé Amidala in each of the Star Wars prequels. Of course, this deeply worried the young actress, believing that her career may have come to an end before it could really begin:
“Everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade and no director wanted to work with me.”
So dire was Portman's situation, that she required additional help from the late film director Mike Nichols:
“Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis."
Both Cold Mountain and V for Vendetta helped revive Portman's career, and with those aforementioned academy awards to her name – the rest is history. So with that in mind, why would the actress not want her children to watch the Star Wars prequels? Is it simply due to her poorly received performances? Or is there another force at play here? Well, as she revealed on the Jimmy Kimmel show back in 2016, her reservations are based on the fate of her renown character, more than anything else:
“It's kind of a shame. You know, when I made it, I was like, 'This is going to be the coolest thing. One day when I have kids, I can show them.' And boys, of course, are obsessed with it and know all about it before they've seen it. [But] I realised, I die in the movies. I feel like it's kind of a scary thing to show your kid.”
Now I'm no father, let alone a mother, but I can see where Natalie's coming from here. Seeing a loved one perish on the silver screen may be a little too much for a young mind to handle. But what do you make of Portman's decision? Would you likewise shield your children from sci-fi death? Let me know in the comments below. Also, feel free to let me know your honest opinion on the Star Wars prequels. As I said at the start, they still very much hold a special place in my heart – even if they have an abundance of issues.