Layer 4 - I have very specific ideas about what people think about the movies’ history. I was there. They were disliked and considered disappointing. People hated Jar Jar. People hated young Anakin. People hated Anakin/Padme. People thought everything with Jango Fett was pandering. Younger millennials and some zoomers who weren’t even alive at the time try to pull revisionism over this and say that it was a small minority of hater fans and everyone else loved it, but this is absolutely not the case. It’s strange but this is the only site where you can still get honest opinions about this. The movies are not popular now because they’re good, even if you believe they are good. They’re popular due to a mix of nostalgia, memes, and expanded media projects like video games. A lot of this was successful astroturfing. The biggest thing is The Clone Wars show, which isn’t even that good, that “fixes the prequels.” The same people who tell you that they’re great movies that hold up will also tell you to watch eight seasons of animated shows and read extra books and comics to get the whole story.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to attack you or anything. But I think that you are being guilty of the same extremism you are criticizing. You said: “You can look at them as pieces of pop entertainment or as serious films or both, but you don’t have to go to extremes either way”, which is totally correct. But then, when it comes to the history of the movies and their appreciation by the fandom, you did the same thing you are preaching against: generalizing. Sure, I’m one of those millennials who were not around at the time, I became a Star Wars fan in 2018. But I don’t think that saying that everyone hated the movies is fair. I think that it is more fair to say that the fanbase felt very divided about them. I have known a lot of people who liked them from the beginning, just as I have known a lot of people who disliked them from the beginning. There were a lot of fans who liked the Prequels in the 2000s, just as there were a lot of fans who hated them in the same time period. Saying that everyone hated the movies is unfair to the people who always liked them. And they exist, denying their existence is unfair too. Furthermore, I have known a lot of people who became fans of the Saga only in recent years, watched the Prequels as adults, and liked them a lot. I’m one of them. So, to say that they became popular in recent years only because of nostalgia and the memes is a bit unfair too. I liked them when I first watched them. And I was already 18 when I watched them, so I didn’t have any nostalgia for them.