This is the fantasy I always have in my head. I really hate arguing with people about the prequel Jedi, balance in the Force, gray Jedi, Mortis, etc. when none of that crap existed before 1999. Jedi were so much more interesting. They could wear whatever they liked, go wherever they liked, serve causes they wanted to serve, could have families and children. They were much more like feudal knights or samurai. You could easily imagine different factions of Jedi, differing takes on Jedi philosophy and the Force, and non-Sith Jedi villains like C’baoth. There was no Chosen One prophecy, so Luke’s adventures after RotJ were just as eventful and important as anything before.
People who are into the prequel Jedi are easily impressed by what they think is Lucas subtly criticizing problems that he made up. They have no concept that their ideas are stuck in a box when compared with all the possibilities that were getting explored pre-1999. Even KOTOR takes the wild and crazy Tales of the Jedi era and crams prequel Jedi into it.
I do think Palpatine was intended to be a Sith, though. Once the Sith and the concept of Sith Lords existed, I’m fairly certain that Vader and Palpatine were integrated into it.
Even though I am a Prequel fan, I pretty much agree with this. I, too, would have preferred if the Jedi were depicted like in the pre-1999 EU, especially like in the Tales of the Jedi comics. No Chosen Ones, no Balance of the Force, no strict rules against marriage and romance in general, and no Mortis. Like, I don’t mind the Jedi being depicted as a centralized Order who participated in the Clone Wars, had a unified philosophy and served the Republic, but I think that the rule against marriage and the Chosen One Prophecy shouldn’t have been introduced, and that they should have found another cause for Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side. Without the Chosen One thing, the Balance of the Force and the rule against marriage and romance, I think that the Force and the Jedi in general would be way less controversial today.
Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of things about the prequels. The Chosen One thing might be worth it just for Obi Wan’s scene at the end of ROTS. That’s incredible. Qui Gon, younger Obi Wan, and Mace Windu are great characters. The Jedi Council, as used in the movies, is a good concept.
What I mainly don’t like is all the insane real world baggage that gets dragged into it. The Jedi are like an ascetic Buddhist FBI that is also a fourth branch of government and also the leaders of the military and also diplomats and also bodyguards. The Republic is the Roman Republic but it’s also the United States during the Civil War and also the United States in modern times. The Senate is the Roman Senate and also the United Nations times a million. The enemies of the Republic are the Confederates from the Civil War and also modern international megacorporations. Anakin has aspects of Christ but is not perfect like Christ and ends up being the Antichrist.
All of the religion and philosophy in Star Wars is both Christian and Buddhist, Western and Eastern, per Lucas. Which means that it has both traditional good and evil, and suggestions of Yin and Yang “balance” stuff, without distinguishing between the two.
This all leads to confusion and really, really, really bad takes from fans about what it all means. Stuff like you should be equally good and evil, or that Anakin committing genocide on the Jedi was good and they deserved it. And then you have a bunch of EU writers, Disney writers, and Dave Filoni encouraging this.
Pre-1999 you could talk about individuals and characters and their traits. Each Jedi was unique, both visually and in their behavior. Now it’s all about a “flawed institution” that people somehow think exists with an analogue in real life. Mostly it just comes down to whatever stereotypes they’ve heard secondhand about the Catholic church that they assume to be true. Wow, the prequels are really a brilliant critique on… this fictional amalgamation of 30 different things that could never actually exist, plus psychic powers.