A Certain Point of View on the Star Wars Prequels (Part I)

“It is a period of civil war.”

No movie series has ever had such a contentious relationship with its fanbase as Star Wars. The internet/nerd community has fought against its creator ever since he tainted the series with those wretched prequels —

Wait, what? The Prequels are awesome. Those are three of the most underrated movies of the past twenty years. Moreover, in its six-film format Star Wars is better than it ever was as a single trilogy. No, really.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about (harmless) junk like the recent Kinect debacle. Why? Let’s let Lucas explain:

“I am the father of our movie world… Then we have the licensing group… the games, toys and books… I call that the son… Then we have the third group, the holy ghost, which is the bloggers and fans. They have created their own world. I worry about the father’s world. The son and holy ghost can go their own way.”

So there you have that. Before I get in full swing here, I’d just like to say that I’m going against the grain of the site here (btw, thanks Paul!), and it goes without saying that the views contained herein do not necessarily represent the views of Mr. Tassi or Unrealitymag.com.

Ready your torches and pitchforks.

Now, we gotta start somewhere. So what exactly IS Star Wars? Well, it’s a saga that typically defies easy description, but I’ll give it a shot.

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this”

Star Wars is a modern monomyth. That’s a packed pair of words, so let me elaborate. Many of us have heard the name Joseph Campbell, and the reason is that he’s the guy who posited that there are common elements in all of mythology. No matter what culture originated it, any myth will share characters, situations, and/or motifs that are common to all mythology. A lot of people think this theory folds under scrutiny, and I personally don’t know enough to comment, but this is where Lucas started in ‘77.

With Star Wars, Lucas took these mythological tropes, condensed them, and repackaged them for modern audiences. He used the relatively new medium of cinema and the narrative structure of an adventure serial. A New Hope is an analogue both to Flash Gordon (lasers, spaceships, action, exotic locations) and to an Arthurian myth (magic swords, princesses in castles, wizards, good and evil).

“Your father’s light saber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight.”

This, incidentally, is why the Star Wars movies have proven to be so hard to imitate. Just watch a knockoff like The Last Starfighter or the recent Star Trek. They nail the feeling of adventure, but the mythic core is absent. Star Wars struck a nerve like no other movie in history, and it did it through deep truths, not surface theatrics.

“When I make the films, I’m very aware of the fact that I’m teaching on a much larger scale than I would just as a parent or somebody walking through life… I try to be aware of what it is I’m saying.”

The series is, at its heart, about way more than thrills. It’s about good, evil, fate, choice, friendship, deceit, machines, war, democracy, compromise, fear, anger, love, and redemption.

These are huge concepts, every one, yet Lucas dared to cover them all in six short movies. Regardless of how effective you feel the endeavor was, the attempt ALONE oughta be admired. For sheer ambition, these movies are in elite company, sharing the stage with movies like Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. No, really.

Unfortunately, this is what I get the feeling a lot of Star Wars fans want from the series:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjhJcm-lpjc

Yes, these trailers are really cool. Hell, I want to make a lightsaber video myself. Lucas created a terrific world, one that others have had a lot of fun with for decades. But a lot of it is just style-over-substance. There’s no subtlety, nor innovation, nor subtext. It’s just the same cliched uber-serious melodrama you’d find in a dozen other places nowadays, but with lightsabers. The ultimate “expanded universe” entry is the Prequel Trilogy itself, and with it Lucas set his sights higher than anybody expected. No, really.

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”

This is a trilogy of movies that opens with a kid who just wants to help, and ends with him reduced to a literal shell of the man he could have been. It shows  a republic — no, THE Republic — losing sight of what it stood for in the first place and becoming an empire — no, THE Empire. It’s the story of keepers of peace who give themselves over to war. It shines new light on places we’ve been, and takes us to places we’ve never seen before.

And it dovetails narratively with an iconic film trilogy that was made thirty years ago with surprisingly little complaint.

This is why I think one of the most laughable criticisms of Lucas is that he got lazy with the prequels. How? Even just looking at measurable impact, the man blew open the doors of digital cinema, breaking ground with Episodes I – III much in the same way he did with the originals. The Phantom Menace paved the way for Lord of the Rings and Avatar; Attack of the Clones was the first film of its caliber shot digitally. A hell of a lot of effort and ingenuity went into the making of these movies, and the notion that they were a lazy cash grab just doesn’t hold water.

(Maybe the “lazy Lucas” fallacy stems entirely from what people perceive as poor writing, but even that isn’t indisputable. More on that in an upcoming post.)

“None of the films I’ve done was designed for a mass audience, except for Indiana Jones. Nobody in their right mind thought American Graffiti or Star Wars would work.”

“She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts.”

Hard as it is to believe now, Lucas didn’t make Star Wars for fans. In fact, he didn’t predict Star Wars would generate any. He broke dozens of rules; nobody understood what he was doing. Sure, he was vindicated and the series has become the biggest pop culture phenomenon in American history, but the fact of the matter is that he looks at the movies as film first, fan-service second. Of course, he probably didn’t think the fans would turn on him for giving them twice as many Star Wars movies as they had before.

Then again, I’m a fan, and I dig the Prequels. I suppose there’s two ways for someone like me to look at the responsibility of these movies. One way is to ask them to repeat the aims and effects of the Original Trilogy. To take Star Wars and make it fresh again. The other is to look at them as the first half of a greater saga, a trilogy that extends, expands, and expounds the existing material of the Originals. Lucas took the opportunity to make a thematically and narratively coherent six-part story, instead of disparate trilogies.

Of course, that means there’s no wise-cracking Han Solo. It means we found out the Jedi might not have been the brilliant, ethically pure order Obi-Wan remembered them being. It means that learning about how Anakin turned to the Dark Side might alter the dark mystery of that character. Expectations were sidestepped; common knowledge was rewritten.

Lucas broke the rules, just like he did in 1977.

“I don’t want things to change.”

The Prequels get Star Wars. The Prequels are Star Wars. The Originals aren’t the only standard to which the series should be held, because the Originals are only half the story now. The Prequels should only be held accountable for what they do for Star Wars as a whole.

I’m out of space for the moment, but I’ll get into some specifics on that note (including dialogue, storytelling, characters, etc.) soon. For now, I just want to put the Prequels in their proper (and oft-misunderstood) context: as they first half of the epic journey that is Star Wars.

 


  • Nilsilly

    I hope that the second post deals with specifics because this rambled quite a bit. Not looking to troll at all but you seem to be saying that the prequels are good because:
    1) Lucas spent a lot of money/time on them without expecting to be thanked by fans, and
    2) “they broke the rules”.
    That could make them innovative, or daring, but does not make them good films. I think that most of the criticism for the prequels stems from the fact that the terrible dialogue, fake-looking CGI (even compared to the model-work in the original trilogy) and lazy, nonsensical coincidences (really? Darth Vader built C3P0? And EVERYONE lives on Tattoine? And somehow Vader never bothers to like, you know, check the sonogram to see if he has 2 kids? etc etc etc) make the movies nearly unwatchable. Now sure, do most people also think that if Lucas had used some of the incredibly well-developed and well-received fan-generated back-history as a basis for the films that they would have been better? Sure. But if Lucas had created his own story that was even remotely plausible or competently presented people would have slurped it up like so much milk from the mother teat. He did not do that. Instead we got “The Clone Wars”TM that didn’t really deal with any cloning resolution, racist Jamaican alien lizards, names that make Katniss Everdeem and Mundungous Fletcher seem traditional and understated, and of course what EVERYONE wanted to see (they didn’t), Yoda doing front-flips with a lightsaber short enough to be one of Kermit the Frog’s fingers. Probably the middle one, as a final f/u to Frank Oz.

    I look forward to the second piece of your argument. I would really, REALLY love to find a way to view these movies as anything other than trash.

  • Rob

    “A New Hope is an analogue both to Flash Gordon (lasers, spaceships, action, exotic locations) and to an Arthurian myth (magic swords, princesses in castles, wizards, good and evil).”

    Don’t forget Dune.

  • rick

    That’s great you like the prequels. Respect your decision to defend them. But star trek is not a knockoff, and lord of the rings isn’t around thanks to star wars. Those books were written around ww2. And star trek was created well before star wars. The new star trek is a reboot, not an imitator of star wars, not even close.

    Sorry, but Mr Lucas really had zero direction when he made the prequels and the original trilogy. He botched tons of story line for sheer ego, something directors such as Cameron and ridley Scott would not do.Mr Lucas could have used someone to balance out his maniacal ego driven approach.

    That’s why fans hate em.

  • and samurais!

  • Sams

    Interesting points and most of which I agree with. I actually really like the prequel trilogy and what it does for the Star Wars Universe.

  • Jonathan J

    Even if we look at Star Wars as a whole, it still doesn’t change the fact that the prequel trilogy is close to 9 hours of everything in the original trilogy amped up to the point where it no longer has the magic.

    I’m sure you’ve seen the Plinkett reviews, which truly echo a lot of the main concerns of the fanbase, but they are dubiously long, so I’ll address the problems I have and give an example of a property that should be considered on par with the original trilogy.

    The prequels do a lot of things on screen. They have an enormous amount of characters, and the scope is a lot larger than the original trilogy. Normally a scope of the prequels’ magnitude would be a good thing, but it fails in it’s execution. By far, the best example of this would be the overuse of the lightsaber. If you look to the original trilogy, nearly all the saber battles are reflective of the emotional state of the character. You can’t same about the prequel trilogy (with the exception of that brief moment where Obi-Wan almost succumbs to the dark side at the end of The Phantom Menace) because everyone and their grandma has a lightsaber.

    Oviously a counter statement would be the ending of Revenge of the Sith. But is that truly an emotional battle translated through glowing magic beam swords? I beg to differ. That final showdown is too long, dubious, and overdone. And sure the environment is red, but it’s not really that personal of a duel as compared to the ending of Return of the Jedi.

    The best thing to come out of the prequels, by far, is Gendy Tartakovsky’s ‘Star Wars: Clone Wars’. Not to be confused with the more recent iteration of ‘The Clone Wars’. It was a fantastic cartoon that reflected everything that the prequels COULD have been, had Lucas realized what he’d done right in the original films. I’m nitpicking here, but Clone Wars wasn’t just a bunch of bad CGI and people walking in half circles for two hours, with some saber battles thrown in the middle, like the prequels were.

    I could go much further in depth on my line of thinking, but I’ll reiterate that if you have a few hours to kill, check out the Plinkett reviews of each of the films. While I’m sure a large majority of the fans disagrees with some of his points, he does his best to present his thoughts in a well thought out demeanor, and includes most, if not all of the primary concerns of the large an active fan base surrounding ‘Star Wars’.

  • “Hard as it is to believe now, Lucas didn’t make Star Wars for fans.” This might have been the case for the first 3, but the prequels are all dripping of fan goo. Jar Jar Binks is the ultimate example. Not only was he trying to make it appealing to a wide range of audiences, he was really cashing in on the kids there.

  • =DocDoom1=

    Thanks for the piece. I totally agree with a lot of what you are saying, and I appreciate someone taking the time to think about the films this way, trying to appreciate something about them instead of just being pissy.

    As a 30 year old male, Star Wars is STILL the go-to gift for birthdays and such, so I understand as much as anyone how very disappointing the prequel trilogy was. I really do. But give it up already. Most people act as though it somehow destroyed the original trilogy. It still exists, bros. Yes, yes, I get the whole Blu-Ray, ORIGINAL original trilogy, blah, blah, wah, cry, cry stuff. Be mad about that, sure. I still am. But seriously, if you don’t like the prequels, don’t watch them. Don’t read about them. Give it a rest.

  • HarshReality

    biggest pop culture phenomenon in American history… I would argue World History (at least after God and don’t get started down the religious path folks).

    Glad to see someone stand up for the series as a whole. Sure JarJar was annoying as ***k and there are a few plot holes here and there, but they aren’t nearly as bad as everyone bashes them for. Paul had an article on here a few months back that actually pointed out some very interesting PROs of Ep I. Subtle crap most people missed on first, third, or fifth viewing.

    The main detractor of Ep I-III was that IV-VI came out when we were kids. As kids we put the Trilogy on a goddamn marble pillar of exalted excellence. And nothing will ever match something like that. Not in our minds. Show a kid the movies in the order of I,II,IV,V,III,VI and they think its mindblowing.

  • I stopped reading at “Star Wars fans only want lightsaber battles”.

    You know what the prequels had in droves? Highly chorographed lightsaber battles. Every one pretty much hates the prequels.

    You how many lightsaber battles the old trilogy had? 3 or 5 maybe. And all of them rather short, and not too visually impressive. What was impressive about these battles however were the characters.

    When you see Luke almost going over to the dark side in Return after hearing Vader’s plans for Leia, he simply POUNDS the shit out of Vader. There is no choreography anymore, no stylized visuals. Just a raging character putting all his force, his emotion into every single blow, and a already beaten Villian trying his best to parry.

    Compare that to the scene when Qui-Gonn gets killed. Obi Wan should have been raging, pounding Darth Maul. But no, on goes the highly choreographed lightsaber battle. (Also, Y U NO use force speed?)

    The old trilogy had lots of myth and magic, and even philosophy. The new trilogy destroyed all that with tiny creatures that live in us and the more we have of them the more force we can use WTF.

    • jason malinoski

      Please don’t speak for me. There’s a reason that the 3D versions of these films were blockbusters years after peoiple like you dismissed them. Many people like them as well as don’t.

  • MurderBot

    I appreciate you trying to play Devil’s Advocate but you’ll have a bloody hard time convincing anyone that Lucas’ priority was anything but selling merchandise to a new generation of kids.

    I think I remember reading somewhere that all 6 movies have grossed something over $4.5 billion, but Star Wars merchandise has made over $20 billion since A New Hope was originally released.

    Of course numbers like those only speak toward his motives for the prequels. As for his seemingly pathological need to antagonize his older fanbase with maddeningly absurd updates of the original trilogy, who knows? Maybe he just hates us all, maybe he’s literally insane!

    Perhaps when he dies we can request a thorough scientific examination of his brain. For posterity.

  • RBourn

    I have to give you credit for sticking to your guns and trying to defend the prequels. I have spent a long time trying really hard to like the prequel trilogy, but I have failed.

    The problem with the prequels, and to an extent your argument, is that they rely almost entirely on the strength of the original trilogy to feed their basis. You actually say that the prequels can’t be judged against the originals as they are part of the whole saga now and they can only be judged as part of a whole. The problem with this is that the prequels visibly owe so much to the OT that very little of it can be seen to be a thing in it’s own right.

    Obviously the characters needed to be present, but did we need things like the allusion to the Mos Eisley Cantina scene (You don’t want to sell me any Death Sticks)? Did we need C3PO to be in it? Does everyone need to be from Tatooine? Does Jango need to have identical armour to Boba except for colour? When given the choice between making up something new and re-using something he already had, he chose to re-use every time. That’s why people call it lazy.

    The films don’t feel like stories in the their own right. If they had incorporated more original elements that weren’t horrible (Jar Jar is so very original that everyone hates him. Rule breaker that he is) they could have been seen as counterparts to the OT. Instead they feel like parasites sucking upon the strength of the OT to generate more cash for a creatively bankrupt Lucas.

    Yes, Star Wars is cool, yes the ideas and themes Lucas wanted to address were big and this is impressive. But the Prequels don’t carry this any further, doesn’t move with an aging fanbase to take a more adult approach to issues of good and evil. If Lucas didn’t make the film for the fans then who did he make it for? Himself? Then why release them at all?

    I would have loved a closer look at the sharp end of the Clone Wars and how this makes the rigid morality of the Jedi break down through the 2 year struggle. I would have loved to see Anakin given more reason to swear himself utterly to an order he was sworn to destroy than he was. I would have loved to see more of the clones as human beings instead of the CGI bots they were used as (and yes I know the point was that they were dehumanised by their use as soldiers but it wasn’t really brought out in the films).

    Anyway, I have almost equalled the first post, so I will leave this rant for now. Again, to the author, I respect your stance and think you are right to argue for your view. I just disagree.

  • trashcanman

    Brave man. And I agree with you on many levels. The prequels were not bad. They were in no way as good as the OT, but I will say without a doubt that I enjoyed myself while watching those films. It just wasn’t the transcendent see-the-face-of-God cinematic event of a lifetime that people thought it would be. There was no way to live up to those expectations. That said, Christensen was terrible, the Gungans were horrifying, “droid humor” can go fuck itself, and the scripts all needed an objective rewrite. They could have been on the same level as the OT if they’d just done that, but the end result was badly flawed. But do the prequels sit on my DVD shelf right next to what has been released as the OT? Yes they do. End of story.

  • I will stop whatever I am doing if I see the original trilogy is on TV. If I even catch a glimpse of the prequels, I actively stop what I’m doing as well… to get them off the screen!

    They are horrible. Absolutely no character development. The RedLetterMedia reviews had it perfectly. If you ask somebody to describe Han, you get terms like “rogue, arrogant, dashing, wanna-be playboy, womanizer, anti-hero”. You try to get somebody to explain Qui-Gon-Jinn and all you get is “beard”. No depth. Nobody even knew what Maul was about other than having a double bladed light saber.

    The original trilogy had STRONG character development. They followed Campbell’s Hero model to go by. In fact, I would say that that Lucas not directing TWO of them was the healthiest choice for the franchise in terms of the story.

    The prequels where Lucas being self indulgent; cashing out on merchandising. The first one was just a straight up kids flick and could have be skipped in its entirety (but in my book the ewoks where dumb even when i was a kid).

    • Shadao

      Qui-Gon Jinn- “Maverick, rebellious, pragmatic, wise mentor, doesn’t believe in concidences, stern, father-figure, and more in tuned with the Force than most Jedi.”

      Darth Maul- “Villain, apprentice, assassin, phantom, killer, desires revenge for a long extinct order, silent, hunter, nightmarish, and arrogant.”

      • John Age

        Phantom in the title is referring to Palpatine/Emperor

        • Shadao

          I believe it refers to the Sith in general, with Sidious being the main one. If Sidious is the Phantom of the main title and saga, then Maul is the phantom that signals the return of the Sith. Think about it, he doesn’t talk that much and looks a nightmarish herald out to kill Jedi.

          • John Age

            I originally thought it was Maul. But he doesnt really do anything significant. I guess the appearance of Maul and the Sith was a turning point, and got everyone worried. However watching the trilogies it seems to refer more to Palpatines threat and influence. But it seems quite an ambiguous title. So probably was intended for the Sith

  • tehONR

    Im sure your expecting quite a bit of backlash but I feel the main reason the prequels failed was the confusion of characters, Darth Maul should have been the prime villain and Lucas shouldnt have killed him off in episode 1

    Basically this man has the ONLY decent spin on the prequel trilogy, his words are wise

  • Mikey

    I liked the prequels when I saw them in theaters. But I was young and dumb then. After rewatching them several times, they just don’t have the same magic as the original trilogy. They are a forgettable mess.

    I won’t go into a long rant here (or try not to), but one of my main problems with the prequels (besides terrible characters and story) was the offensive overuse of CGI. Almost every fucking scene was shot in front of a green screen. I don’t care what his technology has done for cinema, you lose all magic of (even remote) believability when you use CGI for EVERYTHING! When one clone trooper was on screen, he was CGI. The movie looks like a long video game cut-scene. Why use real actors at all at that point? Also, some of the battles had so much shit going on, I lost track of what was happening and gave up caring about who was shooting who.

    The thing that made the original trilogy so great, was Lucas’ team actually gave their input and made it better. The prequels was all Lucas, with little to no feedback. That lack of input shows with how bad the prequels turned out. With this, we have Jar-Jar, a non-Yoda looking Yoda (from Ep 1), CGI eyeball-fuck every scene, and Anakin…who has no real reason to turn to the dark side, except for being a complete moron.

    I look forward to seeing how you can make the prequels sound remotely good

  • I have to disagree, and I’m not sure how this defends or validates the Star Wars Prequels. American Graffiti and Star Wars were such great movies because they “weren’t made for fans?” No, they were great movies because they weren’t made by George Lucas, but Gary Kurtz, the producer and real creative genius behind both projects. (Look at Star Wars production video and see Kurtz doing all of the “director” work while George is ranting in the corner.) Indiana Jones? Stephen Spielberg! Willow? Ron Howard! Where Lucas isn’t propped up by more talented people, we see his real creative work in THX 1138, Howard the Duck, The Young Indiana Jones TV show, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, and the Star Wars Prequels.

    When Lucas made Star Wars, he literally took Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, slapped Buck Rogers on it, then essentially passed it off to more talented people. The reason the Prequels are terribly made films is because they’re thrown together by someone who hasn’t worked on a movie in decades, who believes his own personal mythology, and refuses to allow any external input. Completely forgetting that while he made Star Wars, it wasn’t George Lucas who made Star Wars great, that fell to Ralph McQuarrie, Gary Kurtz, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan, Richard Marquand, and the hundreds of other people who changes Lucas’ terrible ideas into something brilliant.

    So, badly made derivative movies shouldn’t be judged as bad movies, if they’re based on well made derivative movies? Did I miss something?

  • Jim Lahey

    One question: are you 13 years old or younger? I can understand your naivety if that is the case. Have fun watching your colorful laser shows, I’ll be watching the far better original trilogy.

  • zero

    that kid ruined the first movie. The second movie was eh… Third and sixth were my favorites.

    Honestly, I wish they did the prequels like the animated clone war mini series (not the current CG garbage). That show really captured the epicness of jedi battles.

  • Gjazza

    I thought all the points made in these comments were so much better than the original post, sign these guys up.

  • Nick D Pags

    Some of the points you make are valid. But they don’t give any weight to your idea that the prequels are good.

    There are some big ambitious ideas there but Lucas did too much himself, he really needed help. He’s not the director that these big ideas needed.

    The dialogue was bad, the casting fell down in really important roles and the most important dramatic scene in the entire 6 movies is a guy yelling Noooooo!!!!

  • Michael O.

    “Now, we gotta start somewhere. So what exactly IS Star Wars? Well, it’s a saga that typically defies easy description, but I’ll give it a shot.

    Star Wars is a modern monomyth. That’s a packed pair of words, so let me elaborate. Many of us have heard the name Joseph Campbell, and the reason is that he’s the guy who posited that there are common elements in all of mythology.”

    Wow! I’ve never heard THAT before!

    Oh, wait, right. EVERYONE THINKS THAT. BECAUSE LUCAS SAID SO.

    The first trilogy is the complete monomyth. It goes through all the Campbellian stages (arguably, the first movie itself does, but certainly the first trilogy). If that’s what the movies are supposed to be, the prequels aren’t needed. Et voila.

    The other thing Star Wars is, of course, is a rip-off of The Hidden Fortress. But it’s good, so who cares.

    I’m not sure you know much about the history of Star Wars or about Joseph Campbell (though the latter you admit).

    Take, for example, this comment: “In fact, he [Lucas] didn’t predict Star Wars would generate any.” Not according to Peter Biskind. In fact, in 1977, Lucas figured the real money would come from merchandising. So he made a great deal for the rights, and then made a whole lot of money.

    You’re a fan, and that’s great. But if you’re going to write a few essays about it, know what you’re talking about.

    • jason malinoski

      Lucas correctly predicted that merchandising was the secret to big money, but that doesn’t mean he had confidence in the project. He was on a beach with Spielberg on opening day convinced it was going to bomb. Maybe if you’re going to criticize someone it’s YOU who should know what they’re talking about.

  • Diego

    I totally agree with everything you say here. I like all the movies, from the I to the VI and I think the real problem is that the fans of the 1st 3 movies were grumpy adults when the other 3 came out.

    I was about 8 when I saw the original episodes for the first time and they are still my favorite ones. My brother was 8 when he saw the 3 prequels for the first time, and those are his favorites.

    So in summary the problem are not the films, the problem are the absurd, closed-minded fans.

  • MurderBot

    @Diego

    And I suppose you’d have us believe that fans of The Godfather only dislike the third movie because they were older and crankier when it was released too? And not at all because of any objective assessment of the quality of the movie?

  • MillerCross

    There are many issues with this piece, between all the generalizing of people and the glorification of Lucas’ work as a filmmaker simply because of his advancements in terms of film and technology.

    The main issue here, though, is simply the assessment that because the prequels ambitious and influential (Which they are, gotta give them that) it means they’re automatically good.

    Influence can come from bad things, too, and in fact, often times, movies in Hollyowood are not influenced by quality previous work, but by succesful previous work.

    The problem with the prequels is that they shift the focus of the story to the point that they miss the point of the original trilogy. What was once the story of a young, immature man becoming a wise man who’d help and heal another man who had sunk in the deepest darkness had become the story of the Dark Man’s fall and redemption. I wouldn’t mind this if it simply didn’t feel son incongruent with the previous work we’re talking about, but it does, and by a lot.

    Not to mention that a lot of the performances were weak, the visuals were a bit too emphasized, the plots were lacking, the dialogue and characterization were bland and so on.

    It’s OK to like the prequels, but pretending they’re worthy successors to the original trilogy is merely presposterous and an exercise on mere obliviousness to how films work.

  • Scott

    @Dave

    Exactly my thoughts after reading this post, many of the iconic things from the original trilogy didn’t come from Lucas. It’s a shame that Lucas has absorbed so much of the credit though, few people seem to know about guys like McQuarrie, Kershner, and Kurtz.

    I remember watching “From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga” as a kid and being fascinated with all of the different elements that went into making those films. I highly recommend it to any fan of Star Wars, especially if you want to see more of the people who made the original trilogy so great.

  • Steve

    This piece really could have been about 1000 words shorter, since it really just repeated the same half-baked theme from the first 300 words over and over.

    We should love the prequals because George Lucas made the original trilogy, and didn’t expect people to like it, and also because he thinks he’s god or something. Thanks.

  • Pingback: A Certain Point of View on the Star Wars Prequels – Part III |()

  • Mike S

    @rick – The new Star Trek (2009) is a complete rip off of the original Star Wars. If you can’t see it, then you’re either a complete moron, or are in denial.

  • Rosie

    As a fan of the entire movie saga, I find this article very interesting. I look forward to Part II and Part III.

  • Lewis-James Ryan

    Saw those prequels as a little kid. I was so in love with the first ones I waited all night and day in line to be first for Ep 1. I was heart broken and fell into a heavy depression immediately after. It was so horrible as a 13 year old to see how little Lucas cared about the world he created and it was all just a gimmick to sell toys. Suddenly all the originals’ magic, and thus all the magic of the actual real world, now seemed like a cruel ruse. The whole world now seemed devoid of soul or integrity, because those first films were my first memories as a baby, and they gave me so much love for humans and their creativity. The real sin was that this scumbag Lucas stole all the credit from Gary Kurtz, the real genius who gave us the only truly great film in this canon, EMPIRE. and those prequels even ruined the innocence of the Ewoks and made them look like prequel gimmicks. Jedi was my favorite film of all time before that and now I can’t even watch it. I can only watch Empire now, because it is flawless and still makes the moral lessons of Star Wars valid and important to my live. So thank you to both Gary Kurtz for Star Wars and Empire, and everything good about Jedi which were all his ideas, and thank you to Red Letter Media, whose reviews of the prequels were more therapeutic and healing to such a dark chapter of my life. Oh, and f- you Hollywood, your films are so bad now and your audience so dumb we now think a Batman movie is a profound meditation on life, that depth in a film now means elves snowboarding down stairs on shields shooting orcs with arrows (Two Towers), and movies are literally based on toys now. The prequels, and the fact that so many in our modern society, devoid of any soul and see art as nothing more than a drug for temporary escapism, like those films, should have been no surprise in such a climate.