Thought dump about this topic because I’ve wanted to post here since the first page but never got around to it. Rambles a bit.
Personal feelings explained first. I’ve been on OT.com a long time now, and have made no secret of the fact that I don’t care for the prequels as films. However, what I also make no secret of is how I’m fond of many of the designs. The ships, the planets, the world they build all have that Star Wars-y feel to me. Don’t care for the films, but they still give me some of that familiar feeling of a Galaxy Far, Far Away I love so much about the better movies. Even with all the fake politics, there’s something magical about it. They are a piece of my heart/childhood/etc. in a way that I imagine everyone here feels for the OT.
I think there’s a lot of people out there who take that feeling of “it’s Star Wars” I can still get from movies I don’t enjoy a lot farther than I do. For some people, any new Star Wars is great… even the prequels. Working with kids I can tell you if they enjoyed the series at all, they knew 1-6, even if they preferred one set of movies over the other.
Some people liked Rogue One, I didn’t, but that’s cool! Star Wars means so many different things to so many people. That’s part of what makes it so large a universe, it’s not just the planets, it’s that people in our world connect to each other through their love of this Galaxy. This and many other online communities with long-term members attest to that.
As for the article in question that started this thread? Eh. I think it’s overstating its points but there’s some that’s valid. There’s a point in the article about how if the PT isn’t the absolute last of the story, it stings less. There’s no desire for me to reevaluate them as they go on to suggest, but I vibe with that. Knowing I’ll have more Star Wars does kind of make the prequels leave a less distasteful feeling, if only because there’s more to come.
But overall it’s just a piece of clicbait on ScreenRant, not a super serious piece of journalism. The author obviously put some thought into it, but it serves a purpose. Clicks and reads. They knew that when they wrote it, too. It’s a job (and I know a few people who are quite damn good at it actually!)
Don’t put too much stock into it, but also remember, this is a bubble. There’ve always been lots of people who loved the prequels even back then.