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Are the prequels neede for The Force Awakens?

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No. Even without hating on the prequels, it can be said they are not needed to watch The Force Awakens. You should however watch the original trilogy, as this is not a standalone movie.

Add:
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you watch the De-specialized editions of the OT you can find online. The original versions are no longer available commercially, and the ones that you can buy have so many changes that make the movies worse and borderline unwatchable.

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Depends if some theory floating around that ties some brief mention in the prequels will cross over into the new trilogy (I really hope not). For right now, prequels are definitely not needed in order to enjoy/understand TFA.

The Hope Awakens

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Thankfully, you do not need to see the prequels to understand or enjoy TFA. In fact, it almost seems there was a concerted effort to avoid them altogether.

What doesn’t kill you only makes you…stranger.

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It would be an interesting experiment for someone who has never seen the OT to watch TFA.


Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

It would be an interesting experiment for someone who has never seen the OT to watch TFA.

Yep. I feel like you can do it (and I know some people are). I’d love to hear thoughts on TFA from someone who’s never seen Star Wars.

Prequels are definitely not necessary. There’s like maybe one or two things that could be seen as a reference but they are hard to catch and will not affect viewing experience at all.

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I can’t imagine why anyone would want to watch TFA without seeing the OT. The Force, Jedi, etc. would all be unexplained. The very first scene of the film has Kylo stopping a blaster bolt in mid-air, surely that would take people out of the movie.

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SilverWook said:

It would be an interesting experiment for someone who has never seen the OT to watch TFA.

It would most likely ruin his Star Wars experience. I would feel guilty simply if I did not try to convince a friend to watch OT first, let alone purposely do some “interesting experiments”.

真実

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I like Revenge of the Sith, so I’d say if somebody is interested in Star Wars, might as well give that movie a try. But in general I don’t think you “need” to see it to appreciate Episode VII.

That said, what rock have people been living under to not have seen the Star Wars trilogy? 😄

As for a hypothetical order for somebody who has never seen Star Wars? I’d say marathon the original trilogy (preferably before they started messing with it, or the Despecialized version). And then if they’re hungry for more, throw on Revenge of the Sith for a one-off tale of weird darkness. And of course see The Force Awakens.

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imperialscum said:

SilverWook said:

It would be an interesting experiment for someone who has never seen the OT to watch TFA.

It would most likely ruin his Star Wars experience. I would feel guilty simply if I did not try to convince a friend to watch OT first, let alone purposely do some “interesting experiments”.

Someone is bound to drag their non fan boyfriend/girlfriend or relative to see it. You’d have to be living in a cave not to be slightly familiar with the basics of Star Wars. There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t know of Darth Vader or what a stormtrooper is.

And lest we forget, the original film dropped us into the middle of a conflict we knew little about.


Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:
And lest we forget, the original film dropped us into the middle of a conflict we knew little about.

It was structured though to slowly introduce the audience to the Force and nuances of the Star Wars world.

That’s another reason the prequel fanboys like ANH even less. They like to start watching “The Saga” from Episode I and by the time you get to Episode IV, all of that slow-paced, introductory stuff seems out of place.

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Alderaan said:

SilverWook said:
And lest we forget, the original film dropped us into the middle of a conflict we knew little about.

It was structured though to slowly introduce the audience to the Force and nuances of the Star Wars world.

That’s another reason the prequel fanboys like ANH even less. They like to start watching “The Saga” from Episode I and by the time you get to Episode IV, all of that slow-paced, introductory stuff seems out of place.

I wouldn’t consider myself a prequel fanboy here, and I actually grew up mostly with the OT on VHS ('97 SE), but as much as I’m sure many will blow me up faster than I can say Alderaan, I still find A New Hope not all that enticing. I absolutely understand it was a marvel in sound design, scale, and story, but even without the prequels, I much preferred ESB and RotJ. Those two films feel more fast paced in comparison and more engaging to watch in my opinion. A New Hope simply goes in a straight line while the other two start from many points and converge later on.

A New Hope is vastly necessary to introduce Star Wars, but I feel as though as a Star Wars fan, once I get the intro, I’m ready to rock into ESB and RotJ over and over. Different strokes for different folks, but it’s not just Prequel fans that may find ANH slow. However, I assume you saw ANH in theaters and I can understand the nuanced experience you had over me.

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The Hope Awakens

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SilverWook said:

imperialscum said:

SilverWook said:

It would be an interesting experiment for someone who has never seen the OT to watch TFA.

It would most likely ruin his Star Wars experience. I would feel guilty simply if I did not try to convince a friend to watch OT first, let alone purposely do some “interesting experiments”.

Someone is bound to drag their non fan boyfriend/girlfriend or relative to see it. You’d have to be living in a cave not to be slightly familiar with the basics of Star Wars. There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t know of Darth Vader or what a stormtrooper is.

And lest we forget, the original film dropped us into the middle of a conflict we knew little about.

Believe it or not, my partner hadn’t seen the original trilogy when I first met her. Even her parents, who are of that generation (teenagers when ANH dropped) haven’t watched it. I uh, corrected this situation ASAP. Now she’s deeply steeped in both the OT and EU (ugh, “Legends”) stuff.

And, as odd as this may seem, as much as SW (specifically the OT) is part of the ‘public consciousness’, there are a lot of people who have gone out of their way to avoid seeing it, as if being contrarian and dissenting for the sake of it makes them cool.

What doesn’t kill you only makes you…stranger.

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TavorX said:
However, I assume you saw ANH in theaters and I can understand the nuanced experience you had over me.

I was born in the early 80’s and like Luke and his mother, I have no memory of the first time I watched the OT. I had seen the movies dozens of times at a very young age, before I was old enough to remember. From there I grew up on them in the 80’s and 90’s and the “Faces” box set in '95 was the first thing I ever bought for myself.

My favorite as a boy was always Return of the Jedi. It had nothing to do with the Ewoks, I just wanted to be like Luke Skywalker. Then I started getting older, and Empire became my new favorite. As a teenager I was drawn to its darkness. As an adult I started to appreciate the seemingly near-perfection of its design and execution. I’m happy to say that even to this day, it’s my favorite film ever, and hardly a viewing goes by that I don’t discover something new that I hadn’t previously discovered and appreciated.

The original Star Wars was always my least favorite of the OT, for some of the reasons you and I both mentioned. The pace is slower. It’s more of an introduction to the world and characters that I was already an expert on since birth. When I was very young it just didn’t have enough whirling and beeping and buzzing and flashing lights to distract my limited attention span the same way Return of the Jedi did. As a teenager it didn’t have the darkness that Empire did. So it was always the one I tolerated because it was still Star Wars and still pretty good after all.

I think as I’ve gotten older and I’m now sitting here in my early 30’s, I can say that I appreciate ANH more and more over time. You reach an age, or at least I hope you are fortunate enough to reach a point, where you are simply not just viewing movies as a popcorn eating schlock in a theater chair. Besides the entertainment and the action and the witty jokes, there is a certain beauty in the way a film is put together and presented. Binary sunset, the Cantina, the trench run on the Death Star, the throne room celebration … these are things that make the original movie stand out for me. The editing in the OOT version of Star Wars is a masterpiece. The combination of the score and editing in the assault on the death star are unequaled in film history. I can honestly say that at this point and for a long time, I’ve elevated ANH into 2nd place on my rankings, where it will safely sit behind Empire for the rest of time.

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Wow, I got way more posts than I expected. A simple “no” would have been OK. I was going to watch the Blu Rays in Machete Order in case some change in the special editions was important for The Force Awakens, but I’m gonna go Despecialized original trilogy! Boom, baby! Also, ZERO SPOILERS for The Force Awakens. Zero.

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You make some very nice points Alderaan and I now understand where you’re coming from now. You brought up how you loved RotJ the most as a kid, and that was the same case for me. I’m only 20 and currently, Empire has an edge over RotJ for me, but it does seem like I’m in that ‘phase’ based upon your Star Wars exposure over the years.

So who knows, I might warm up to ANH later on, as you have. Thank you for that insight overall as you put some things into perspective for me.

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The Hope Awakens

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There were literally four people in my school class this year (including me), who had seen any of the Star Wars films. I asked about 15 people if they knew who Darth Vader was, and 10 said they had no clue. Kids today.

Not enough people read the EU.

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DominicCobb said:

StardustCamellia said:

Well, here’s some food for thought. It occurred to BuzzFeed to send someone with no prior SW experience to see TFA.

Well, I’d like to hear it from somewhere other than Buzzfeed.

This is more what I was looking for: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/im/2015/12/what_the_force_awakens_is_like_if_it_s_your_first_star_wars.html
JEDIT: Beware, there be spoilers in that article.

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The Buzzfeed article was good and seemed genuine. That Slate article was hyperbolic.

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Alderaan said:

The Buzzfeed article was good and seemed genuine. That Slate article was hyperbolic.

Nope!

If anything, that Slate article points out one reason TFA is so good. It works as a Star Wars movie but also as a sci-fi movie that happens to be a Star Wars movie.

Also, lol at “Adam from Girls” being used over and over.

Side note: MAJOR SPOILERS IN THAT SLATE ARTICLE!

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Episode I: The Ridiculous Menace / Episode II: Attack Of The Ridiculousness / Episode III: Revenge of the Ridiculousness

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