I think that whole Red Letter Media nonsense about TPM is what really got it going. Before then you could go to SW forums and reasonably talk about TPM or the prequels, after… forget it. And all you see is people parroting RLM review quips and quotes, or if you say you like a prequel, they respond by saying, nope, you are wrong and then give a link to one of the RLM videos. (But those RLM videos, I mean there is plenty of stuff objectively incorrect in them, a bit ironic since he is laughing at what a stupid fool Lucas is. Although some of the farther post TPM RLM videos, I almost feel like maybe he is actually not even being so serious about anything he says but just mocking the RLM review lovers.)
(and yes, sure some hated TPM (and even many who loved it did still complain about some of the baby dialogue and scuh given to Gungan officials and he did get a bit more commercial in a few things, I wasn’t so crazy about some of that stuff myself, but in the end, the baby dialogue stuff is jsut a few minutes out of more than 120) and even AOTC and even even ROTS before any of that, but the numbers just seemed to explode after that video, again SW message boards went from somewhat reasonable to almsot total hate fests, couldn’t dare mention anything other than 4-6 after that video)
A lot of the stuff people bash about the prequels for being dumb, actually has decent reasoning behind it. Even the way Anakin and Padme were awkward in AOTC make sense, I mean he wasn’t some swashbuckling Han or worldly Lando, he was a monk! isolated at an early age and she became a leader at like 14 and then was off to the Senate. So hardly surprising they talk to each other in less smooth ways than Han or Lando. Also some of the wya they acted and talked was also modeled off very early US cinema romance. DOn’t forget the characters were in another galaxy, in anotehr time, not today.