In retrospect, it was probably not a good idea to give lines both tin-eared (“Mom, you said the biggest problem in the universe is no one helps each other”) and grating (“Yipppeeee!”) to a young actor who delivered his lines with an energy level more suited for a family sitcom. (Which is by no means a knock on young Jake Lloyd — he gave the performance that Lucas clearly wanted.) Oh, and the idea that this annoying moppet built and designed C-3PO? Puh-leeeze.
WHAT OTHERS SAID:
“… The Phantom Menace, the first of a projected prequel trilogy, introduces the 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker… who will grow up to be Vader. … Based on what we see here, it doesn’t seem like such an ineffable mystery that this kid will end up a wheezing, intergalactic power-mongering control freak. A slave boy who already fashions himself a Jedi knight, Anakin is a precocious brat — the kind of kid who, in our own galaxy, might commandeer a playground and run everybody else off the jungle gym.”
— Peter Rainer, New York, May 24, 1999