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What do you think of The Prequel Trilogy? A general discussion. — Page 3

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yotsuya said:

theprequelsrule said:

Channel72 said:

In retrospect, the biggest problem with the Prequels is they’re told in a way that often ignores their own premise. In theory, the most interesting thing about the Prequel story template should be Anakin and the circumstances behind Alec Guinness’ wistful recollections to Luke in ANH. This is a classic “good guy turns bad” story. The problem is that this type of story is very difficult to write convincingly. This type of story was done in the Godfather Part I and also Breaking Bad - but the latter had 6 seasons of television to pull it off, and the Godfather involved a much less extreme transition from good to bad than is required for Anakin, who has to go from Obi-Wan’s good friend to a mass murdering tyrant in only 3 movies.

This is just a REALLY hard story to write convincingly in only 3 movies. It requires a lot of upfront planning of story structure. Yet bizarrely, it seems that Lucas wasn’t even primarily interested in Anakin’s story and the obvious drama that could be mined from it. Instead he wrote Episode 1, which was a meandering side-story that introduced us to the world of the Prequels, but barely connected with the other movies. It seems clear that Lucas didn’t see the “Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker” as the primary reason for writing the Prequels. Rather, Lucas saw the Prequels as more like a general backstory to the OT that showed how the Republic turned into a dictatorship and the Jedi order was destroyed. That could certainly be interesting as a political/military drama if done correctly, but Star Wars movies are generally simple character driven stories. It seems by the time Revenge of the Sith came around, Lucas suddenly realized this saga was supposed to be more about Anakin and less about Palpatine’s crazy schemes to get elected or mysterious clone conspiracies. But by that time, it was virtually impossible to make up for lost time and write a compelling arc for Anakin in only one movie.

Most of all, it’s eternally baffling to me that so much of the Prequels are framed around MYSTERY plots. Episode 1 is about a mysterious hooded figure who operates in the shadows. Episode 2 is a detective story about a conspiracy involving a mysterious clone army created decades ago for unknown reasons. But none of these mysteries are ever really explicitly resolved because ultimately they’re superfluous to the story. More importantly, why would anyone frame a PREQUEL around mystery plots, when we all know how everything turns out? We know the mysterious hooded guy is the Emperor and that all the Jedi die, so why pretend the story is some kind of deep, compelling mystery or political conspiracy thriller? The only reason the Prequels really should exist is because the story of Anakin and his mentor/friend Obi-Wan had the potential to be an amazing character-driven drama and fantasy/sci-fi adventure story.

Very good points, ones I never thought of specifically before. A much better script for all 3 prequels is needed to tell both the fall on The Republic and the fall of Anakin Skywalker simultaneously.

I really thought the whole plot where Palpatine is basically running both the Separatists and The Republic really strained credibility. At least have the reveal that Dooku was a Sith take place in ROTS - make the audience think he is truly a rogue Jedi fighting against a hopelessly corrupt Republic and that The Separatists were actually the good guys.

Also; remember how evil Tarkin and company were in SW77 when they are all sitting around the conference table on the Death Star? Now remember the similar scene on Geonosis, with all those weird comical looking aliens? Creates a completely different feel. The Separatists seemed like a joke.

I find myself sympathizing with Stardust1138 because I often lack tact in my strong opinions.

But he does have some ideas that bear looking at. If you miss some of the things that George included in the prequels (especially if that led to not liking them and not wanting to watch them again) then your hate of one or more of the prequels might be based on not having really understood the story. There are things I didn’t catch right away (at least not consciously) that have added to my understanding of the story. I’m also not content with just the films, but in learning more about the backstory behind the story. For the prequels there is a lot in the OT, but there is more in other places. George’s original vision of the Emperor was that he was a puppet (ANH novelization). He took that and the powerful Sith lord he created for ROTJ and merged them into the same character by making him duplicitous. So you have the public face of Palpatine. He’s is a nice guy, friendly, amicable. He seems genuinely concerned. A bit of a pushover really. But then you have the real power - the Sith Lord. He is using the force to manipulate votes and get his way. He uses the Trade Federation blockade of Naboo to become Chancellor. He lays the plan for the Clone Wars by picking the source for the clones and having order 66 instilled in them. He plays the victim when he is disfigured. It is a brilliant political move. And it is the reason the separtists are a joke. He intends them to fail. He wants to destabilize the Republic and seize power for himself. He made an enemy of the Trade Federation and this seems in part revenge.

And then there is Anakin’s fall. Something I didn’t consciously catch until recently is that Palpatine uses the force on Anakin to bend him to his will. Anakin was susceptible after he stopped Mace Windu and you can hear the special effect in Palpatine’s voice when he gives Anakin instructions to take then Jedi Temple.

It is all about what you noticed and how that impacted your opinion of the films. I had a bad first viewing of TFA and I don’t think I will ever truly like that film because of it. So really get that once your opinion is formed it is hard to change. But hey, this is Star Wars. Isn’t it worth digging deeper and seeing if you missed something that might change your mind and giving each film at least a second chance? I think it is. I keep giving AOTC and TFA more chances. Basically without an edit both of them are doomed as far as I’m concerned. But the rest of them can stand in their theatrical forms and I can appreciate them.

The other big thing that I think colors our opinions of films is expectations. If you expect too much or something too different from what we got, that can ruin a film. I try to avoid having any story expectations. I still get them. I felt sure that Rey was a real Skywalker after TFA. Or a Kenobi at least. The whole nobody and then Palpatine could have thrown me but I didn’t go into the film expecting that. I went in and let the story flow. I was totally unsurprised that Han died in TFA or that Luke died in TLJ. From how Lucas and Hamill talked, I knew Luke was going to die to pass the torch. I expected that Harrison would want Han to die. He got one of the most awesome death scenes as far as I’m concerned. The look, touching Kylo’s cheeck, everything was so perfect.

But we can’t all of us have the same opinion. Just remember how divided the fans were over TESB and ROTJ. We have some members here who all these decades later still don’t like TESB or ROTJ. And I bet there are many who would like to change their minds - for them to give it another chance. If they only saw it this other way. Well, that obviously is not happening at this stage. I think every Star Wars film deserves a second chance, but if your issue isn’t going to go away, then that might not do it. Though there have been some that have given these films a second chance and have revised their opinion of them.

So some opinions are never going to change. They are set and some of us don’t understand it, but there is nothing to do about it. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and tastes. It doesn’t mean the rest of us are wrong, we just aren’t on the same page. But likely there are a few films we do agree on.

Thank you for your words, yotsuya. That’s really exactly what I was trying to express and say but I didn’t say it as elegantly and beautifully as you did. I think it’s really important to note what you’ve said. I think sometimes our notions on Star Wars are informed by what we viewed first. I know for me I don’t really like the Sequels all that much as some do because I feel personally they fundamentally misunderstand the story George was telling when you view them I-VI. That said I can view all but The Force Awakens in isolation and get some enjoyment. It’s just important I make the distinction between George Lucas Star Wars and Disney Star Wars. There’s a lot of problems I find when viewing them as continuing his story as so many rules, lore, and contexts are forgotten in favour I feel of more following what the filmmakers feel Star Wars is instead of what George Lucas felt it is. That’s not a bad thing per say as we all have a personal view. They’re not bad films necessarily under that gaze. I just don’t know if they’re good Star Wars films as conclusions to his particular story. I do mostly enjoy them though in an escapism sort of way. So I can appreciate them for that. The Last Jedi for its more philosophical commentary and having some mindless fun with The Rise of Skywalker. Like you I can’t get there with The Force Awakens. I liked it initially for the characters but in retrospect it’s near or is the worse in the series for me. They’re not perfect but no film truly is. Different things will work for everyone. The way I truly try to view Star Wars with George Lucas is I-VI instead of working backwards IV-VI, I-III. I think it truly makes all the difference in understanding his story and why he did things the way he did them. Plot holes I don’t find are plot holes. Sure there’s a few things that can be a little jarring like Palpatine calling Luke’s lightsaber a Jedi’s weapon if you don’t know the Sith were founded by a rogue Jedi but overall it becomes a more rewarding experience trying to understand his way of seeing the films instead of strictly speaking the way we personally feel attached to them. I know I can’t speak for everyone and I was wrong in how I did go a little far in how I tried to convey really tools to understand them and what you said much better. It’s good we can’t all like the same things but I feel strongly in the belief of having personal viewpoint and author’s intentions. You can have personal tastes with a film but also try watching it from the other side. You might be surprised with just how much reveals itself. George’s Star Wars stories are the perfect example of this as they’re the other side of the story. They’re meant to mirror and juxtaposition off of each other to form one long epic akin to War and Peace.

Thank you again and thank you for your prospective on the Sequels and Star Wars. I always appreciate your outlook on it. I may not always agree with you but it’s good to view things from a different prospective. It’s good to have something to think about.

theprequelsrule said:

I watched TPM for the first time in over a decade a couple of years ago. I was truly astonished at how bad the dialogue was and/or how badly delivered it was. As I have aged it gets worse and I cannot ever see myself watching TPM ever again.

Without hyperbole I feel that 95% of the dialogue is terrible or terribly delivered. Qui-gon and Obi-wan were obviously given direction to play the Jedi as calm…but they come off like robots, Jar Jar is Jar Jar, Jake Lloyd is Jake Lloyd, and Portman seems to think her character is a Jedi - the way she plays it so robotically. God!

I can understand how this can be percieved as a weakness but I think it’s due to the setting in a lot of ways. The Jedi are meant to be portrayed as religious type figures. They tend to have a reserved and collective tone versus a more expressive lively personality as opposed to a more common doer like we see in young Anakin and Jar Jar. Padme is royalty. Just like Queen Elizabeth II, she’ll I think naturally come off as more emotions in check and reserved. I think that’s a very realistic portrayal given the time the story takes place. As well as I think it’s equally important to note that George designed the dialogue like that of a the Saturday Matinee Serial and 30’s/40’s cinema. Attack of the Clones is align with that of a melodrama from the era. I noticed George’s style a lot when I watched The Red Shoes and Flash Gordon. The style of acting is very deliberate in being more like a silent film. It’s more what is expressed visually than what is said. I feel Star Wars has always been portrayed this way from the very beginning in George’s films as one can argue A New Hope is a silent film with a music underpinning holding it together. It’s meant to be told through the music and visuals. The dialogue is just a jumping off point for understanding the story more so but that’s not what George feels is the most important ingredient. He’s more of a visual filmmaker (pure cinema like Andrei Tarkovsky and Canyon Cinema) with an emotional weight versus that of a literacy filmmaker (Martin Scorsese or David Lean) like you see more commonly. Film has been used less and less as a visual medium but that’s where we are these days. George’s style and other filmmakers like him I find aren’t for everyone but that’s their style and how they try to view things I think.

These fairly short videos are a good starting off point:

https://youtu.be/S5E-eSdRjXs

https://youtu.be/rD2G0D-nyLA

https://youtu.be/Btp1BoGbuiM

Channel72 said:

theprequelsrule said:

I really thought the whole plot where Palpatine is basically running both the Separatists and The Republic really strained credibility. At least have the reveal that Dooku was a Sith take place in ROTS - make the audience think he is truly a rogue Jedi fighting against a hopelessly corrupt Republic and that The Separatists were actually the good guys.

Yeah - and as a morality tale it’s a bit hollow because it’s so far removed from how these things play out in real life. Real life dictators aren’t far-seeing puppet masters that expertly pull off elaborate conspiracies to seize power. They just take advantage of existing weaknesses in the political system. Caesar marched his army into Rome because he gambled that after years of war, his legion would be more loyal to him than the Senate. Hitler took advantage of a politically divided and economically depressed Germany.

I’d argue though that’s really what we see in the Prequels. The senate is very ineffective and has a lot of petty fighting in The Phantom Menace. Palpatine creates a crisis to put himself in a position to gain power as he knows the senate isn’t functioning. He created the Clone Army in secret because he knew that the senate would never approve the usage of an army as alluded to by Bail Organa. It’s only through emergency powers it comes to pass. This of course lead to the Empire. It was carefully planned mechanics to make up a greater whole. He equally did things in the shadows as he had to get rid of the Jedi first and turn the Republic against them. He would be powerless if he did everything with the Jedi in the foreground as they’re negotiators and peacekeepers as much as they are a religious order. It’s just by the time of the Prequels they like the Republic had grown complacent and forgot how to function. Palpatine took advantage of a lot of people for his own personal gain. Horrifically so that very much can happen in real life.

theprequelsrule said:

Also…didn’t Lucas decided to do the PT when he saw Jurassic Park and knew CGI had reached an acceptable level of realism (no it hadn’t, but I digress…)? That should tell us all we need to know about his headspace when working on these films.

Technically yes but he was also exploring the possibility before Jurassic Park came out when doing Young Indy as discussed in the book I have called The Cinema of George Lucas. He was looking for a way to do them cost effectively as he was self financing himself and Young Indy was expensive to make. The technology made it more affordable and only freed his imagination to realise the story he wanted to tell. It’s only because of him and the work of ILM that CGI has advanced to where it is now. If anything I think The Phantom Menace (and all of the Prequels) should be commended for what it pushed forward and ushered in for filmmakers. In a Star Wars context you can’t have The Force Awakens without The Phantom Menace pushing boundaries. Courtesy to what J.J. would have it believed The Phantom Menace had more practical effects than The Force Awakens. Surprisingly to some as well the three Prequels had more practical effects than the entire Original Trilogy combined.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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My thoughts on the prequel trilogy are actually the opposite of the poster for this thread, I think the story that it tells is pretty good, and it’s the bad acting and dialogue that I can’t get past. I grew up when the prequels were coming out, Phantom Menace came out when I was 6, and I watched the original trilogy around the same time that movie came out. As a kid, I loved the Star Wars Prequels and the Original Trilogy, I must have watched both dozens of times as a kid, and it wasn’t until I went to college that I learned that people hated the prequels. By that time, however, I hadn’t seen the prequel trilogy in years cause I had over-watched them and I kind of fell into the hating the prequel bandwagon. I hadn’t watched them in years so I kind of just chalked up my loving them as just me being a kid who wasn’t discerning enough to realize they were bad. I’ve since rewatched the original versions of the prequels, and also dozens of fan edits of them, and now I’ve come out as in the middle on my thoughts on the prequels. I legitimately like the theatrical versions of the prequel trilogy while recognizing that they’re not really good movies, but I do think the hatred of them is massively overblown. A lot of people acted like these were abominations or some of the worst movies ever, and they’re mostly just kind of mediocre.

As for my thoughts on each movie, for Phantom Menace, I think the film is well structured and the story it tells is quite good, but it’s brought down by the bad dialogue and mediocre acting from the majority of the cast who are usually pretty good actors. I also find that pacing wise this is the closest to A New Hope than any of the other Star Wars movies in that they both move pretty slowly. However, while A New Hope is often slow but never boring, The Phantom Menace is slow and often boring as well. The biggest problem with this movie is that the direction for most of the actors is really bad so most of them can’t give out a good performance. However there are high points in the film, the pod race is really fun and engaging, Anakin’s bond and farewell with his mom are legitimately well written and well-acted, and the climax is really good. The Gungan battle is the only time in the entire franchise where Jar Jar is legitimately funny, and the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Maul is fantastic. Is it over-choreographed? I guess so but it looks really cool and it’s really hard to notice unless I’m specifically looking for it.

I think Attack of the Clones is a more solid movie than Phantom Menace. The plot is more engaging, the mystery behind the clones is well developed, and there are quite a few exciting action set pieces throughout the movie. However, there is one huge downside to the film and that’s Anakin. George Lucas does such a bad job at writing the character and his romance in this film that he singlehandedly tanks the entire prequel trilogy in one movie. I don’t blame Hayden Christensen for this as almost no one could convincingly say some of the lines he’s given. Lucas also makes the character especially annoying and whiny, and the romance between him and Padme is both embarrassingly awkward but portrayed as quite creepy at times. The deleted scenes really would have helped with this subplot but unfortunately, George Lucas keeps making the decision to cut the best scenes from the movies while leaving bad scenes in there. But what saves Anakin’s character is the entire sequence on Tatooine which I have virtually no problems with except for the scene where he tells Padme how he massacred the Tusken Raiders. But the rest of the movie was quite entertaining so it balances out by the end of the movie. The fight with Jango Fett is quite exciting the climax is really thrilling. It also has some of the best music in the entire franchise Across The Stars just might be one of my favorite music themes from the series.

Revenge of the Sith is the one movie amongst the prequels that I think is actually good. The biggest problem is that the previous movies poisoned the well when it comes to Anakin’s character arc. Even though all the elements needed for his character fall are there in the film, and executed quite well because he was so unlikeable in the previous movie a lot of people aren’t able to believe his journey in this film. His visions of losing Padme and everyone he talks to about this just telling him either not to worry or train himself to let go, the council constantly not fully trusting him, and also ordering him to do something directly against the code of the Jedi in spying on the Chancellor. Not to mention Palpatine’s subtle manipulation of him throughout this film and the previous one. Him being kind and favorable towards him in the previous movie, the Palpatine putting the idea in Anakin’s head that he’s incredibly powerful, using his frustrations with the Jedi council by convincing them that they’re scared of his power, and being the only one sympathetic to Anakin and giving him the idea that he can save Padme. All of this is fantastically set up by the film and pays off immensely during the climax.

The biggest problem is that the dialogue is still not that great throughout a lot of the film, some of the attempts at humor really bring down the film, and cutting out Padme’s scenes does a real disservice to the narrative. People usually talk about how bad Hayden Christensen is as Anakin, and while I do agree he doesn’t do a great job with his dialogue usually being bad he is an incredibly good physical actor. What I mean by that is when he doesn’t have any dialogue he does an excellent job. He’s really good at portraying lots of subtle shifts in his emotions when he isn’t speaking. His acting when his mother dies in movie two, the scene in ROTS where he and Padme are just looking out over Courascant, when he finds out that he’s going to be a dad, and when he’s killing the Separatists on the lava planet his acting is fantastic. But then they make him speak and the direction and dialogue just are not good.

I think the climax of this film is truly fantastic. The acting mostly improves, order 66 is fantastically shot, Obi-Wan and Padme’s confrontation is great, Obi-Wan and Yoda realizing Anakin has been turned to the dark side, and Palpatine gives his speech while he declares himself the emperor, culminating in one of the best lines of dialogue in the franchise, “So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause,” and the lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin is probably one of the best ones in the entire franchise, although I think Luke vs Vader in ROTJ is still the best one. Sure there are things that bring it down a bit, the scene where Palpatine gives Anakin the name Darth Vader and Anakin’s acting when he’s talking to Padme on the lava planet isn’t that good, Palpatine screaming “Unlimited Power” when he kills Mace, and Yoda’s fight with Palpatine can be a bit too silly, Padme losing the will to live is the most stupid thing ever, the line about Obi-Wan having the high ground is too silly and Vader’s No is really bad and cringe. However other than that I think the finale is near perfection and when people ask me why ROTS is the best of the prequel trilogy this is why.

One last thing, I highly recommend the novelizations of the prequel trilogy as they are fantastic. They don’t suffer from the same problems as the movies do, it included the character’s inner thoughts which does a good job of characterizing them, includes some really excellent deleted scenes, and even scenes that are unique to the novels. It actually makes the politics work. I’d say they are the definitive way to experience the prequels and as a whole are a much better experience than watching the movies are. I can say without reservations that the novelizations are the best versions of the prequels story and are legitimately good.

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Channel72 said:

theprequelsrule said:

I really thought the whole plot where Palpatine is basically running both the Separatists and The Republic really strained credibility. At least have the reveal that Dooku was a Sith take place in ROTS - make the audience think he is truly a rogue Jedi fighting against a hopelessly corrupt Republic and that The Separatists were actually the good guys.

Yeah - and as a morality tale it’s a bit hollow because it’s so far removed from how these things play out in real life. Real life dictators aren’t far-seeing puppet masters that expertly pull off elaborate conspiracies to seize power. They just take advantage of existing weaknesses in the political system. Caesar marched his army into Rome because he gambled that after years of war, his legion would be more loyal to him than the Senate. Hitler took advantage of a politically divided and economically depressed Germany.

A more realistic scenario would have Palpatine taking advantage of never-ending war to slowly implement more and more “emergency powers” (similar to the Enabling Act that gave Hitler power), until he became de-facto dictator for life. This is sort of what happened, except in the actual movies Palpatine also artificially caused the war in the first place, and expertly directed it towards an intended outcome. (We’re also never told why General Grievous et al takes orders from a mysterious hologram, or why all the thousands of Separatist planets suddenly just stop fighting just because Anakin killed their first tier leadership.) Plus, the movie implies that it was more the botched assassination attempt led by Mace Windu that ultimately cemented Palpatine as dictator than the years of war or the recent attack on Coruscant.

I would disagree. What I see in history is that successful dictators are fairly cunning when they rise to power. It is once they are in power and what they do to try to hold on to it that leads to paranoia and mistakes. Usually it leads to their undoing. So I see Eps I to VI as being a fairly accurate depiction of a dictator who has ruled for 23 years. He has a cunning plan for gaining power. He is wicked in his use of power. Then he becomes paranoid and/or overconfident (or both) and makes mistakes that lead to his downfall. Palpatine is overconfident that his cunning plan to trick the Rebels will go according to his plan. It does not. He is overconfident that Luke is putty in his hands. He is not. He is paranoid enough that he doesn’t have anyone around him. He is isolated. In many ways he has been isolated since his rise to power because he is leading a double life - the kindly Emperor vs. the evil Sith Lord. But after 23 years, it doesn’t look like he has very many people around. There are something like 3 or 4 odd looking people in his party. They’ve always been called diplomats, but what if they are his Sith followers. Could be both. But that isn’t the entourage he used to travel with. I think it very much matches what we see happen to many of these dictators who trust fewer and fewer people until they are practically alone.

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Yeah. I really don’t agree with the “good story, bad execution” take. We can go on and on for eons talking about how the prequels were trying to tell a story of an evil genius corrupting a democracy into a dictatorship, and that sounds very pretty. But the story these movies actually told is a moron’s serious of ass-pulls that only work because his opposition is full of bigger morons with their thumbs up their asses. Execution and story aren’t that separate, and you have to strip the prequels down beyond bare bones to get them to actually be the good story that’s supposed to be under the bad execution.

Death of the Author

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I’ve said my piece on these films elsewhere. Most recently the Sequel Trilogy thread so I’ll keep it brief.

The plot is pretty thin and the characters are a little stiff but if you turn off your brain and enjoy it for being a low brow well paced action movie Phantom Menace is alright. Honestly I think it’s better paced than Jedi.

Clones has no redeeming qualities except maybe a few good action set pieces in the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes. The Anakin Padme stuff just comes off as creepy and it’s painful to sit through. Obi-Wan and Anakin’s dynamic just makes me hate both characters.

Sith comes dangerously close to being a good movie, but it’s worst moments are worse than Clones. A good fan edit like Hal’s takes care of 2/3rds of the problems. Still can’t completely fix that ending or how laughably dumb Grievous was compared to the early 00’s cartoon.

Really what saves the prequels is the two TV shows around it (even though they fit together like a square block in a round hole). They just needed some better scrips for the first two and a better director of actors. Sith could do with a better edit. It’s really bizarre that’s the one Lucas hasn’t messed with much seeing as how it’d benefit the most from removing a few scenes, adding a few and shifting some things around. Clones and Sith would be much better visually with more real sets, miniatures and costumes.

Luke astro-projects himself to Salt Lake Planet, gets shot at by gorilla walkers, has a non-lightsaber duel with Darth Millennial, then dies of a broken heart, inspiring broom boys throughout the galaxy to get creative with their sweeping. - DuracellEnergizer

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I’ve said this in many topics but I haven’t watched the PT after 2007. It is possible I once saw TPM on VHS after that for some reason, to check the condition or something. I don’t remember anymore. Anyways, I still remember what happened in them and I can play them in my head if I wanted to (but I don’t), mostly TPM. ROTS I’ve luckily almost forgotton except a few scenes but I would have hard time to explain what happens in what order.
The point is, I love the original trilogy and I remember the time before TPM like it was a full life even though I saw the OT in 1996 for the first time. It was great time all around. After the PT I had lost this feeling. There still were the same movies I loved but with them came this other thing that wasn’t anything like it. So I made the decision, which wasn’t really hard at all, that I wanted that same feeling back where I didn’t know what happened before as that was way interesting that the PT ever delivered. I haven’t looked back since. From a nostalgic point of view it could be interesting to watch them again but I know for a fact that after seeing them the feeling isn’t one bit better than it was before, there no reason for me to disappoint myself as there are much better movies to watch instead.
Now, after saying that, I have to honestly say that after the dust has settled with the ST, I have to agree with some people that the PT felt more SW than the ST. For the ST I didn’t have to make a decision to not watch them, but I don’t even care to watch them. I haven’t seen TROS after cinema, and outside of the sequels, I don’t even remember if I’ve watched Solo at home or not. They’re just like 99% of new movies, you just don’t pick them up from a shelf to watch. Just boring and irrelevant. And for a movie being boring is worse than being bad.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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i view it as a series teeming with phenomenal ideas that were marred by execution. an ambitious story with a lot to say politically, written and directed by a man well known since the OT to be less than stellar at dialogue and no longer as interested in actor direction as he was VFX technology (which isn’t an inherently bad thing, i just think he should have hired a writer)

i think its main downfall was lucas’ overindulgence. the OT was as good as it was because he was still relatively unknown and therefore had people (his wife, the actors and other crew) who weren’t afraid to curb his worst impulses and touch-up his rough dialogue. in the PT he had full creative control and massive industry sway; people weren’t about to tell THE man who invented the action blockbuster “no”. a notable example is a lot of hayden christensen’s disparged acting choices being to be a result of him, an unknown theater actor, wanting to please george lucas even if he thought anakin should be acted a different way.

that doesn’t mean there weren’t moments of brilliance, or that things didn’t improve as the trilogy went on. revenge of the sith is the obvious high point, with both the opera scene and the back-and-forth between anakin slaughtering the trade federation while palpatine overthrows a democracy before the senate’s very eyes being particularly inspired.

(“so this is how liberty dies. with thunderous applause”, is the most metal line said in star wars ever george kinda went crazy no lie)

ROTS is my favorite star wars movie, but that doesn’t mean i think its the best one. i can appreciate what good the prequel trilogy has and still acknowledge the ways it missed the mark.

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 (Edited)

I grew up with the PT, so I have a soft spot for it. That said, I think my entire generation lost IQ points because of these three movies…

I also think TFA wouldn’t have played it so safe had the PT not been so asinine, which therefore would’ve led to a less-confused TLJ and TRoS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Budu1ux09Rs

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kyberangel said:

i view it as a series teeming with phenomenal ideas that were marred by execution. an ambitious story with a lot to say politically, written and directed by a man well known since the OT to be less than stellar at dialogue and no longer as interested in actor direction as he was VFX technology (which isn’t an inherently bad thing, i just think he should have hired a writer)

i think its main downfall was lucas’ overindulgence. the OT was as good as it was because he was still relatively unknown and therefore had people (his wife, the actors and other crew) who weren’t afraid to curb his worst impulses and touch-up his rough dialogue. in the PT he had full creative control and massive industry sway; people weren’t about to tell THE man who invented the action blockbuster “no”. a notable example is a lot of hayden christensen’s disparged acting choices being to be a result of him, an unknown theater actor, wanting to please george lucas even if he thought anakin should be acted a different way.

that doesn’t mean there weren’t moments of brilliance, or that things didn’t improve as the trilogy went on. revenge of the sith is the obvious high point, with both the opera scene and the back-and-forth between anakin slaughtering the trade federation while palpatine overthrows a democracy before the senate’s very eyes being particularly inspired.

(“so this is how liberty dies. with thunderous applause”, is the most metal line said in star wars ever george kinda went crazy no lie)

ROTS is my favorite star wars movie, but that doesn’t mean i think its the best one. i can appreciate what good the prequel trilogy has and still acknowledge the ways it missed the mark.

That is very well reasoned and concise post. I personally do not like ROTS much, but am happy to see others post they do and explain what they enjoyed about it.

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Emre1601 said:

That is very well reasoned and concise post. I personally do not like ROTS much, but am happy to see others post they do and explain what they enjoyed about it.

thank you very much! my love for ROTS reaches near obsessive levels, but i really don’t consider it objectively good. and seeing what people like about these movies and why is always interesting, even when you don’t necessarily agree

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rocknroll41 said:

I grew up with the PT, so I have a soft spot for it. That said, I think my entire generation lost IQ points because of these three movies…

I also think TFA wouldn’t have played it so safe had the PT not been so asinine, which therefore would’ve led to a less-confused TLJ and TRoS.

This is an interesting thought. I’m definitely in the camp that thinks JJ Abrams was the primary reason the Sequel Trilogy went retro. I think JJ was definitely a part of that first generation of fans who grew up with the OT and was disillusioned by the PT. If the PT had been received more positively by that generation, I definitely think the overcorrection Abrams tried to do with the ST wouldn’t have happened.

What’s more ironic is how I think the decision to go “retro” with the ST was made just before the PT/Clone Wars generation was old enough to start having a major voice online. It’s possible the release and reception of TFA contributed to a lot of people looking back at the PT more fondly, but it does seem the shift began in-between the ST’s announcement and after TFA’s release (2013-2016). So I wonder if the ST had began production just a few years later, if things would have been different. Honestly I think even a different director would’ve led to things being different, but it sort of feels like a chicken and egg situation to me.

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RogueLeader said:

rocknroll41 said:

I grew up with the PT, so I have a soft spot for it. That said, I think my entire generation lost IQ points because of these three movies…

I also think TFA wouldn’t have played it so safe had the PT not been so asinine, which therefore would’ve led to a less-confused TLJ and TRoS.

This is an interesting thought. I’m definitely in the camp that thinks JJ Abrams was the primary reason the Sequel Trilogy went retro. I think JJ was definitely a part of that first generation of fans who grew up with the OT and was disillusioned by the PT. If the PT had been received more positively by that generation, I definitely think the overcorrection Abrams tried to do with the ST wouldn’t have happened.

What’s more ironic is how I think the decision to go “retro” with the ST was made just before the PT/Clone Wars generation was old enough to start having a major voice online. It’s possible the release and reception of TFA contributed to a lot of people looking back at the PT more fondly, but it does seem the shift began in-between the ST’s announcement and after TFA’s release (2013-2016). So I wonder if the ST had began production just a few years later, if things would have been different. Honestly I think even a different director would’ve led to things being different, but it sort of feels like a chicken and egg situation to me.

That’s mostly exactly how I see it. The shift was happening in the time before the first trailer for The Force Awakens came out as I remember talking on another forum about how the Prequels would tie into the new trilogy and about The Clone Wars series. We would also discuss the Prequels in general but it was still being trampled on in some circles. This seems to be in part what Disney saw as the majority of opinion and it didn’t help having someone like J.J. as head of kickstarting their trilogy with friends who equally shared the same opinion at the time of not liking the Prequels to put it mildly. J.J. was mostly diplomatic about it during the lead up to The Force Awakens (except for two times where he showed what he really felt) but you could tell he was playing towards pleasing Original Trilogy fans only. J.J. is definitely the major factor with regards to the Sequels but it was equally Disney in general I think too as they did cancel The Clone Wars in favour of Rebels. It was certainly cost but Rebels is definitely more Original Trilogy in style on the surface in certain ways since it’s inspired by Ralph McQuarrie heavily. That’s not to say The Clone Wars wasn’t inspired by him though as it was. Rebels though was more so and is one of the best parts of Disney Star Wars I’d argue because of its more direct influence from Ralph but it never felt beholden to it like the Sequels do with the Original Trilogy. This is not what you want to continue into the trilogy set after the Battle of Endor. Even George talked about it in regards to the Sequels to Charlie Rose (in the infamous interview where he called Disney what he did) subtly by saying J.J. had a different approach for vision from him in how Episode VII should go. You can truly see it in how concept art during the development of Episode VII got progressively more retro and like the Original Trilogy as it went along when George left and J.J. took control of the project. Nobody stepped up to challenge Disney or J.J. as it was agreed by all of them to go in a different direction to what George left them. Bob Iger discussed this in his book.

George never liked doing the same things with his world building and even the stories themselves. His whole Sequel Trilogy was meant to be about gangsters trying to overtake the New Republic. It’s a natural conclusion I think that builds off the power vacuum created by the Hutts and Empire falling instead of Rebel Alliance and Empire 2.0. It has nothing to do with the fans of the Prequels themselves but what J.J. feels is Star Wars. He doesn’t like the look of the Prequels. He’s openly admitted it. His whole mantra was giving fans what he wanted. He spoke on our behalf. It was personal wish fulfillment at its finest. He also loved his practical effects. Ironic considering The Phantom Menace has more practical effects than The Force Awakens. That and the Prequels in general have more practical effects than the entire Original Trilogy combined. It’s even more ironic in how it worked for so many initially and is contributing to the lack of anything truly new in Star Wars since. It also explains why they’re trying to win over the Prequels generation now but not committing to it fully as they don’t want to lose Original fans. Yet they also want to appeal to a general audience member. Yikes! Alienating and inconsistent much? This is why you should never try pleasing anyone but make stories for yourself.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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RogueLeader said:
Honestly I think even a different director would’ve led to things being different

I don’t think time of production and release would have made any difference. Prequel fans have had a strong online voice for quite a while. I do think, however, you’re right on the money with it being the choice of director.
A different director, one who wasn’t trying to correct Star Wars, could have made a big difference. Also having a solid narrative throughout the three films would have made a world of difference. That weird approach to letting each person continue where the other person left off is a very weird business model.

If anything, I think the more forgiving view of the Prequels may be a direct response to the sequels being a sort of “careful what you wish for” moment.

Mandalorian, Rogue One, and several of the Visions episodes are proof that great Star Wars stories can be told. The Sequel Trilogy, to me at least, is proof that it isn’t a given just because it has Star Wars in the title.

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And while I’m thinking about it, what is the weird, almost addiction, to everything having to be a trilogy? Star Wars was a single story in 1977 and it worked perfectly. Each of the Visions entries is a single story, the characters’ journey in Rogue One are also a singular story. Hollywood is replete with singular great films. If anything, forcing things into trilogies has often been a bad idea. There is no shortage of terrible and unnecessary sequels to truly great films. More doesn’t guarantee good. But I digress.

The sequel story could have also been great if it were a solid single film - again, with a better director, studio, story, etc. Disney deciding it had to be a three-film series did not help matters at all.

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rocknroll41 said:

I also think TFA wouldn’t have played it so safe had the PT not been so asinine

I don’t think the PT is responsable, even remotely, of any of the nostalgia trend which has plagued modern cinema.
Also, I have seen other JJ movies and they all bear the same issues of TFA, so I just think the guy is just one of the worst filmmakers on the loose, with the ability to direct the worst Star Wars flicks, the worst Star Trek stuff, and the worst Mission Impossible. You can’t top someone as bad as JJ.

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I think it’s a great trilogy, definitely underrated by most fans. It has its problems, of course, but which film or trilogy has no problems? Come on, even the Original Trilogy has problems, even if no one wants to admit it… Not to mention that, in my opinion, many of those that are classified as problems are not actually problems, but intentional choices of which people often don’t understand the meaning (like the cringe Anakin and Padmé’s romance for example).

Also, as a footnote, I don’t share the view that TCW “saved” the Prequels. On the contrary, I think it ruined them! Before 2008, when the Clone Wars Multimedia Project was still the official story of the Clone Wars, the Prequel Era was definitely better in my opinion. The Expanded Universe greatly enriched the story of the Prequel Era, because it really did follow the films instead of trying to “correct” them based on unnecessary fan “criticism”. I really don’t understand why so many people say they have to watch TCW in order to enjoy ROTS. The opposite happens to me! I mean, I can’t enjoy ROTS knowing that TCW is officially Canon, since seeing ROTS It gives you the impression that Ahsoka never existed and that Maul died in TPM.

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Darth Malgus said:
Come on, even the Original Trilogy has problems, even if no one wants to admit it…

I’m more than happy to admit the OT has problems. They started in 1980.

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Anchorhead said:

Darth Malgus said:
Come on, even the Original Trilogy has problems, even if no one wants to admit it…

I’m more than happy to admit the OT has problems. They started in 1980.

You have ice in your veins Anchorhead.

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Pro:

Darth Maul has surprisingly grown on me. Wasted potential…should have been the antagonist until the end of ROTS. The Clone Wars portrayal of him probably has helped.

Con:

Hyperspace travel becomes way too fast. How long does it take Palpatine to reach Mustafar from Coruscant? 10 minutes?

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Hyperspace travel becomes way too fast. How long does it take Palpatine to reach Mustafar from Coruscant? 10 minutes?

That’s been a worsening problem with Star Wars movies after the OT. Hyperspace travel is now often treated like almost teleportation.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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Servii said:

Hyperspace travel becomes way too fast. How long does it take Palpatine to reach Mustafar from Coruscant? 10 minutes?

That’s been a worsening problem with Star Wars movies after the OT. Hyperspace travel is now often treated like almost teleportation.

This brings up an interesting point…spacecraft in Star Wars must have some sort of backup Faster-Than-Light propulsion system that allows them to travel within a local star cluster. How else could the Falcon make it from Hoth to Bespin with no hyperdrive?

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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I mean it’s no different from travelling to Yavin IV from the Death Star. It’s always been a bit whimsical. I’d say the worse offenders are the Sequels. Namely J.J.'s films.

The Falcon got to Bespin I think with clever skill on Han’s part as he followed along to Imperial standards of dumping garbage before they make their jump to Hyperspace. He just didn’t expect Boba to catch on. Boba learned from a very similar experience with Obi-Wan when with Jango in the asteroid field.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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theprequelsrule said:

Anchorhead said:

Darth Malgus said:
Come on, even the Original Trilogy has problems, even if no one wants to admit it…

I’m more than happy to admit the OT has problems. They started in 1980.

You have ice in your veins Anchorhead.

😉

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I mean, I’m tempted to say that Vader being Luke’s father was a bad idea in hindsight.

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LexX said:

I’ve said this in many topics but I haven’t watched the PT after 2007. It is possible I once saw TPM on VHS after that for some reason, to check the condition or something. I don’t remember anymore. Anyways, I still remember what happened in them and I can play them in my head if I wanted to (but I don’t), mostly TPM. ROTS I’ve luckily almost forgotton except a few scenes but I would have hard time to explain what happens in what order.
The point is, I love the original trilogy and I remember the time before TPM like it was a full life even though I saw the OT in 1996 for the first time. It was great time all around. After the PT I had lost this feeling. There still were the same movies I loved but with them came this other thing that wasn’t anything like it. So I made the decision, which wasn’t really hard at all, that I wanted that same feeling back where I didn’t know what happened before as that was way interesting that the PT ever delivered. I haven’t looked back since. From a nostalgic point of view it could be interesting to watch them again but I know for a fact that after seeing them the feeling isn’t one bit better than it was before, there no reason for me to disappoint myself as there are much better movies to watch instead.

I feel this is a good take that some of us Star Wars fans have with the Prequels. Why watch the Prequels again when they are not good movies, and take away from the feeling of nostalgia and happiness from other stories we do enjoy in the Star Wars universe?

Or as you say, there are simply many other better films to watch, or re-watch.

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