A surprise Star Wars movie is Disney Plus' most-watched out of the whole franchise

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
(Image credit: Lucas Film / Disney)

One rather surprising Star Wars movie has risen above them all and has become Disney Plus’ most streamed piece of content out of the whole franchise, and no, it isn't The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace has suddenly had a burst in popularity and according to multiple sources, The Phantom Menace is now the most-viewed Star Wars movie on the streamer worldwide, as reported by Variety. This comes right before the movie’s 25th anniversary on July 16.

Written and Directed by franchise creator George Lucas, The Phantom Menace released in 1999 marked the first chapter of the Star Wars prequel trilogy which gave us the backstory to Anakin’s journey to becoming Darth Vader. The film was followed by Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

The official synopsis for the film from Disney reads, "Jedi warriors Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi are tasked with protecting a princess during a trade dispute between planets. During their mission, they meet a small boy who has the Force within him." 

The star-studded ensemble cast includes Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Ahmed Best, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Bake, Frank, Ray Park, and Samuel L. Jackson.

However, the movie had some very big shoes to fill following Lucas’ first three epics and was met with mixed reviews, to say the least. In fact, The Phantom Menace still stands at 52% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is less than impressive compared to the first trilogy’s opener Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope which has a staggering 93%

But it looks like things are looking up for Menace in reaching its quarter-century milestone, as in addition to breaking Disney Plus records, the film was re-relased in theaters this year in celebration. 

Every Star Wars movie including The Phantom Menace is available to watch on Disney Plus now. For more, check out our guide on how to watch the Star Wars movies in order, or see the best movies on Disney Plus

Editorial Associate, GamesRadar+

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for SFX and Total Film online. I have a Bachelors Degree in Media Production and Journalism and a Masters in Fashion Journalism from UAL. In the past I have written for local UK and US newspaper outlets such as the Portland Tribune and York Mix and worked in communications, before focusing on film and entertainment writing. I am a HUGE horror fan and in 2022 I created my very own single issue feminist horror magazine.