The trilogy was set to explore Anakin Skywalker's backstory from his childhood to his transformation into Darth Vader.
The prequels were long-awaited, and fans were excited to return to a world that they thought they'd never see again.
Watch the trailer for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace below. Post continues after video.
But creator and director George Lucas didn't get the response he was expecting.
Instead, fans and critics alike heavily criticised multiple aspects of the film, including the plot, the unexpected addition of slapstick humour, and the new cast members, who were likened to 'wallpaper' by Rolling Stone.
New additions to the franchise, including Natalie Portman, Ahmed Best, and Jake Lloyd, bore the brunt of the outrage.
Jake Lloyd, who was just eight years old, played a young Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace. He was chosen for the role out of 3,000 candidates. (In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the character was portrayed by Hayden Christensen).
In the years after the first prequel premiered, Jake Lloyd's life was completely upended.