“Nobody hated the Prequels, until the internet told them too.”
Recently, I’ve have seen a bunch of videos that debunked why the overall feel of the Star Wars Prequels was so bad to begin with when they first came out. And not only that, on how George Lucas was being heavily discredited by the internet trying to prove he didn’t do anything in making the original Star Wars film when it was in production. Keep in mind, this atmosphere was at the time before the Disney acquisition.
No, not really. Most of the YouTube videos I have seen that purportedly “set the record straight” are little more than revisionist history and completely disingenuous. The creators seem less interested in accurately documenting the Star Wars community during the prequel era than appealing to a specific target market dissatisfied with the current direction of the franchise.
Some said that the Prequels divided the entire Star Wars Community, when there’s evidence where it is most likely that wasn’t the case.
Having lived it, I can entirely confirm this was indeed the case. For the first time ever, websites such as theforce.net had to enforce bans on their forums and began moderating based on response to the films rather than explicit language. Other sites, including this one, were deemed to be havens for those unhappy with the prequels and felt unwelcome (or banned) on TFN and StarWars.com. In fact the terms “basher” and “gusher” were commonly thrown around in 2005, like “reylo” and “tfm” is thrown around today. Make no mistake, the response to the prequels was as divisive to Star Wars fandom as the sequels have been.
Ever since the release of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, the fans have started to come around and started showing the prequels the appreciation that I believe they should have gotten in the first place, in which they did, at-least until the internet influenced by the wrong type of Star Wars fans, disagreed with them.
I disagree. I believe the reason for this renaissance of the PT is largely due to the generation of kids who grew up with them now have a voice both online and in the media. Yes, the less than stellar response to the ST has somewhat galvanised this voice, however, I also believe that many fans, like myself, are able to accept the prequels because they now only make up 1/3 of the larger saga rather than half of it.
I also predict that in the next 5-10 years there will be a similar resurgence in ST appreciation as the kids first introduced to Star Wars through Rey and Kylo Ren come of age. It’s like poetry. It rhymes.
Also, there is a mountain of evidence that proves that George Lucas was heavily involved in the creation of the original Star Wars, and all the production staff that worked alongside him to turn his vision into a reality, shows that he didn’t screw over Star Wars, the company that bought LucasFilm and the franchise did, Disney.
Lucas has always been acknowledged as the visionary creator of the original trilogy. Any claim that this was ever in doubt in Star Wars fandom is a fallacy. However, with the poor response to the PT, the question began to be asked about the influence other creators may have had on those first three films. Michael Kaminsky’s “The Secret History of Star Wars” is a good example of this. Until this point, Lucas was largely seen as a film making genius, particularly by the fandom. However, with the advent of the prequels (and to a lesser extent the SEs) that idea began to change and is itself indicative of the disappointment Star Wars fans had with the direction of Star Wars at the time. Contemporary documentaries such as “The People vs George Lucas” demonstrate this sentiment, as do the countless forum posts on this website and many others dating back to the early 2000s.
Considering the situation, I began wondering about one question that has plagued me for months.
Should George Lucas somehow fight to bring LucasFilm back under his control, even though the environment around the films, the fans wasn’t friendly at the time?
In short: No.