Well it really depends on if you go to the movies as a critic or as a person looking to be entertained for a couple of hours.
Still there are films as art form, films as social commentary. And films with big budget special effects called blockbusters. The difference Is Blockbusters today don't put the story first or use it as a driving force for the movie the cgi effects are the movie. I mean it is absurd and stupid it would be like putting the carriage before the horse so to speak.
The Cgi, the sets, the special effects. Lucas once called special effects the window dressing and stated that the plot and story and characters had to take center stage.
Films today are incredibly bankrupt in story creativity, whereas the effects are sophisticated Unlike they have ever been before. The Nineties and early 2000's push the CGi and digital domain forward but at the cost of the characters and the script.
Today's Movies may not be remembered years from now like the films of the 70's and 80's i grew up on and that is okay to me, Forgettable popular entertainments and fads come and go.
Some things can have lasting popular Appeal even if one does not understand the reasons for them being so. I personally don't get Harry Potter, or Pokemon but they are lasting franchises with popular appeal.
I understand Things Like Star Wars or star trek, or lord of the rings.
I liked them as a kid and i still like them. Other things don't survive adult sensibilties Like He Man, or Transformers.
I won't Lie their were entertaining Moments in the Star Wars prequels. I was entertained by Kingdom of the Crystal skull but at the same time i left the theater feeling empty and betrayed rather than uplifted. I had that uplifted feeling after watching star wars and return of the jedi in theaters, empire was the only downer of the three Emotionaly because the rebels lose and the bad guys win and Luke gets owned by Vader and loses his hand.
The only modern films that have come close to the tapping that emotion as the original trilogy is peter jackson's Lord of the rings trilogy.
The films connected with the audience the Viewer or at least me speaking for myself felt attached to the heros journey whether frodo, or Luke.
The prequels did not have that same kind of connection, they were more of a disconnect to me.
Lucas was supposed to build up a deep emotional sympathy for Anakin and i never felt that he did that.
If its supposed to feal like McCallum said Losing a son or daughter, or family member to drugs or some other evil circumstance Lucas failed. If Lucas was going for the Same Sympathy for the devil as Milton did in paradise lost he ultimetely failed. Not that is to be fair something within Lucas powers of a director or writer to do. He is no Shakespeare, No Milton, not even on par with the Stage Playwrights who write for broadways dramas.
Someone i believe who could have pulled it off is Christopher Nolan. George Lucas? no way in hell.
It is interesting to think of turning the series on its head and trying to get people to root for the Villain Darth Vader as a hero. The prequels were the opposite and antithesis everything the original trilogy was not. You had a fall from grace instead of a heroes triumph Like Luke's in Return of the Jedi.
As a fan of mythology and Storytelling this idea had deep facination for me. Luke and Are Basically the same prototypical hero but at some point there paths diverge. Luke rejects the dark side and anakin embraces it.
Its to bad Lucas could not put off anakins turn, it could have been the counterpoint to the original trilogy and created a 21st century myth. Instead we got a mess. I understand that is what Lucas intention was, he just executed it very poorly. It was a heroic attempt but he needed to Hire a Director or other writers to help him, in the end he chose what we now have.
It may be the prequel trilogys biggest failing that Star Wars had to go dark and have anti heroes where the original you had all black and white good guys and bad except for the Chracter Han Solo who had shades of grey. In the prequels the Jedi are Just as bad as the sith and the story plotting makes it confusing to the viewer being Morally ambigious and containing heavy shades of grey or darkness.
The Darkness and brooding prevalent in the prequels is the same mistake he made with THX 1138. People want real heroes they can root for, they want to be a part of the story the want to chear when the Villain gets his comeuppance.
At the end of the day Luke's story is one i could identify with as if it was the story of me, Anakin's Story i could not give 2 shits about.
But then again i never was a goth kid or misunderstood emo whiny bitch. Anakin has to be for a different generation than mine. We wanted to have an active role in things and go out and change the world kind of Optimism. Anakin is the 90's kid anguished and venting his personal hatred living in his parents basement wearing all black and nobody understands that goth dude,lol.
The prequels seem to me to come out of a deep sense of pessism for humanity and the world. Perhaps the Lucas with the Sunny Dispostion who made the original trilogy changed or his heart died.
Episode III seems to be quite Fatalist and saying no matter what Anakin could not change his fate. Indeed he is damned because he tries to take an active role in changing it. Much like the story of Oedipus. Anakin's fate as the chosen one was to destroy the sith from within as seen in Return of the Jedi. Though the force seems to not have cared about Padme, all the butchered Younglings, or the countless million or billion killed in the galactic civil war and before during the empires rise.
Actually to be honest the only reason everything goes dark and evil is because it is in the script, talk about Lazy writing and directing. Because Anakin has to go bad for episodes IV, V and VI to happen. If he did not those movies would not exist,lol.
The prequels did not need to be made period. You could figure out about the empires rise and vaders fall from the original trilogy alone through inference it did not have to be shown. The prequels had to be written as a backstory for the original trilogy to exist. But the Original trilogy was the real meat of the story.
You could make a much better case before the prequels were ever made to Figure out what happened to Luke after Return of the Jedi and the Empire's remnant. But that story does not need to be told because the original trilogies story is self contained and in Return of the Jedi Lucas seemed to put a neat little bow and tied everything together.
The Clone Wars which were mentioned in a conversation between Luke and Ben in Star Wars which sounded so intensely Interesting Because of Alec Guiness Oscar worthy performance. Ended up being the least interesting part of the prequels, at least to me.
Okay it helped Lucas show where the stormtroopers came from and where Boba Fett came from but i don't care where the fuck they came from, geez. So the Cloned Men and Conscripts made up the Military in the oot who cares. The fake war between the seperatists and the Republic was the Revenge of the Sith to try and thin the jedi's ranks. They lost the war as soon as they started fighting it. Jedi are keepers of the peace not soldiers. I would find it hard to find a more boring and mundane sci fi trilogy than star wars episodes 1-3. The entire plot is filler and backstory for 4-6.
It amounts to Along with the 2008 clone wars movie a couple to a few exciting Space battles and Lightsaber duels,but zero substance. seven and a half hours of your life wasted thats about it.
It seems to me the existance of Lucas's prequels Trilogy is to strip the Lustre and Magic away from the original trilogy and ruin it.
I mean it would be like a kid who has a facination with magic tricks for instance, and then the kid learns how it is done and it is ruined for him.
Episode 1-3 were to deconstruct the original trilogy and show how everything came about.