Why the Star Wars Prequels Failed

Count Dooku
Sir Christopher Lee as Count Dooku

Like most children of the 1980s, I grew up surrounded by Star Wars. Star Wars lunch pales were the rage at school. Star Wars toys, books and magazines littered my room. And the Darth Vader outfit was the Holy Grail of Halloween costumes.

Yet the most admired of all things Star Wars were the movies themselves. Amongst my peers it was agreed that these films were the pinnacle of cinematic greatness. They were spoken of with reverence and awe. And the bearded, benevolent toy maker – George Lucas – was viewed with the same enchanted wonder as Santa Claus.

Over a decade later my generation packed the theaters again, this time to see a long-anticipated prequel, The Phantom Menace. I was there opening weekend, and still recall the palpable anticipation amongst the crowd. I remember the costumes, the plastic light sabers and the thrill that our childhood dreams were returning. When the film ended, the theater broke into spontaneous applause.

Today The Phantom Menace is widely reviled. But on opening weekend it was beloved by most fans. For whatever shortcomings it possessed, this film was the beginning of something we all longed to see – the tragic saga of Darth Vader.

And that’s where the prequels failed miserably.

What Went Wrong?

To be sure, they were not terrible films. I actually enjoyed them on the level of popular entertainment. If they were stand alone space fantasies, they would have been fine. The problem is that they grievously undermine what made the original trilogy so great, which is the mythos.

The original trilogy, taken as a whole, was about the redemption of Darth Vader. Rarely has a villain penetrated public consciousness to such an extent. Beyond the costume and booming voice, what elevated Vader to mythological heights was his backstory. Darth Vader was once a great man, who experienced a tragic fall into darkness. What remained was a disfigured fusion of man and machine, entirely consumed by evil. This is the stuff of legends.

So when the prequels were announced, this is what we expected to see: the fall of a great man. The first prequel was disappointing in this regard, but we were able to forgive it. It set up the story, leaving room for two films full of the great man and his fall. And so we waited.

But the great man never came.

Instead, we were treated to the tale of a whiny, arrogant brat who continuously defied his teachers and thumbed his nose at tradition. We were expecting a wise and powerful Jedi master. Instead, we were given a one-dimensional caricature of Maverick from Top Gun, minus the coolness.

Anakin Skywalker, as depicted in the prequels, can best be summarized with one word: annoying. He is self-centered, self-serving and ultimately trivial. We just want him to go away.

But alas, he sticks in our minds, making it hard to view the real Star Wars trilogy with the same reverence. The fact that annoying Anakin was superimposed into the final scene of Return of the Jedi only added insult to injury.

What Could Have Been

George Lucas is an artist, and as such it’s his prerogative to tell the story as he sees fit. So be it. I’m reticent to tell another artist how he should have approached his craft. But in this case the error was so egregious because of what Lucas set up in the original films.

What George Lucas should have done was delivered on what he promised: the story of a great man and his fall into darkness. In doing this, he could have skipped the Phantom Menace in it’s entirety, for it served little purpose in the greater narrative. He could have centered the first two films on an intelligent, thoughtful Jedi master who was lured to the Dark Side. The third film would have then chronicled the crusade of a tortured, badass Darth Vader who traversed the galaxy hunting down Jedi. That would have been epic.

But instead George Lucas gave us something very different: the adventures of an annoying hot-shot kid who somehow inexplicably morphed into Darth Vader. When you consider what could have been, one cannot help but feel letdown.

Antonio del Drago

Antonio del Drago is a writer, philosopher and professor. His latest book, The Mythic Guide to Characters: Writing Characters Who Enchant and Inspire, is now available.

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Daniel
Guest

Revenge of the Sith is an outstanding achievement.

Problem is for Episode 3 there is guilt by association.
No matter how good Revenge of the Sith is, its hard to forget the problems of Episode 1 & 2.

Take Return of the Jedi for example. No matter how many problems it had. Episode 4 & 5 were so awesome that nostalgia forgives the atrocious mistakes that Return of the Jedi has.

John
Guest

Yeah, that 40-minute-long lightsaber battle which takes place in five locations and which holds zero suspense since we know that both characters will fight again thirty years later was quite an achievement- it managed to involve massive special effects and choreography and still be as boring as hell.

Daniel
Guest

Revenge of the Sith is much better than Return of the Jedi.

The first 45 minutes at Jabbas Palace sucked.
Dumb musical. Dumb C3PO moments. Dumb Salacious Crumb.

Boba Fett’s take down by a blind man from behind sending him head first into the Sail Barge then dropping him into the Sarlac’s mouth. C’mon Lucas seriously.

Annoying Salacious Crumb chewing on C3PO’s eye. That was almost as dumb as the worst Jar Jar moment.

Then we get to Endor. After the awesome Speeder Bike chase Endor just slows the pace of the film.

Then we meet the stupid Teddy Bears.
Why oh why?

Then the scene which Leia finds out Luke and her are family. The acting was unconvincing just like Attack of the Clones.

Then the Ewoks beats down the emperors best troops down with sticks and rocks.

Daniel
Guest

Revenge of the Sith is an fantastic movie!

Michael
Guest

In retrospect,

Just like he ripped off the classic “hero’s journey” story for Ep. 4,, George could have looked to classic stories to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker’s fall. There is, after all, a quintessential fall from grace story: Macbeth. The prequels could have just followed the same basic storyline as Macbeth, with Annakin in the role of Macbeth, Qui-gon in the role of Annakin’s cousin, the ruler of the Republic, Obi-Wan in the role of Macbeth’s friend, and Palpatine in the role of Lady Macbeth (I don’t mean Palpatine and Anakin are married, I mean Palpatine serves Lady MacBeth’s dramatic function.

EPISODE I:

During a climactic and decisive clone wars battle, Annakin, a noble, charismatic, gifted soldier is visited by a force ghost who tells him he is strong with the Force and that a prophesy foretells that he will one day rule the Republic. Anakin’s good nature makes him skeptical, however. After the battle, Anakin and Obi-Wan, his Jedi friend, with whom he fought side by side, come back from the clone wars heroes. Qui-gon rewards them by making Annakin second In command of the republic, but doesn’t reward Obi Wan, since Jedi are above that sort of thing. Thinking his promotion is the first sign that the prophesy will come true, Anakin begins to secretly harbour ambitions to rule the galaxy. Palpatine (secretly a Sith lord and who was the force ghost who visited Anakin in the first place) befriends Anakin and persuades him to kill Qui-Gon in order to inherit the throne. Annakin resists at first, because he’s a generally good guy and because Obi-wan has noticed his powerful force proclivities and wants to train him to be a Jedi. Annakin succumbs to Palpatines wishes, however, and murders Qui-gon in an emotional duel. He frames someone else for the murder, however, and becomes ruler of the republic.

EPISODE II:

Annakin rules the republic, but is consumed with guilt over what he did to get there. Palpatine comforts and advises him, but simultaneously moves in secret, organizing all the armies loyal to Qui-gon against Annakin’s Republic and the Jedi, all the while Annakin thinks Palpatine is on his side. Obi-wan, Annakin’s real friend, along with yoda and a few other jedI escape the assault on the Jedi temple and are forced to flee. Palpatine convinces Annakin to make him second in command.

EPISODE III:

The Jedi eliminated, the armies invade the Republic. Annakin, still guilty over what he’s done, but clinging to his power, goes into hiding where he meets and falls in love with Padme. Obi-wan tracks him down and makes a last effort to turn him into a Jedi, but Annakin, consumed by guilt and still clinging to his power, refuses. The two duel. Eventually, Annakin is wounded by Obi-wan. Padme, having given birth to Luke and Leia, begs Anakin to flee so they can raise their family in peace, but Anakin refuses and accidentally kills Palme in the ensuing argument. Obi-wan takes pity on Anakin, tells him he’ll take the children to safety. Palpatine, having now become emperor, tracks down Annakin and instead of murdering him, plays upon his guilt and ambition and turns him into Darth Vader. He then renames the Republic the Empire.

No clones, no jar jar, no secret separatist political garbage, no expendable clone army against expendable battle droids whose battles have no dramatic tension because both armies are expendable, and, for the love of all that is holy, no Frankenstein scene where Darth Vader yells, “Noooooooooo!”

My Macbeth rip off idea may need a little polish, but ANYTHING would have been better than those prequels. I wish Disney had erased them from canon along with the EU and remade them. Also, will the mouse house PLEASE release the unaltered OT? My favorite films of all time have been unwatchable for 30 years!

OT4EVA!

S
Guest

That was awesome dude!

Dave
Guest

I’ll sum up my problem with the PT in one scene – the very end when Luke and Leia were born.
Now let’s rewind to Return of the Jedi.
Luke asked Leia if she remembers her mother, her real mother, and she mentions her real mother died when she was really young and she seemed sad…you all know the scene.

Then in Sith; Padmé dies in childbirth.
I remember being in the cinema and loudly yelling “you got to be kidding me!!” And everyone around me hissed like vipers.
That one scene just said to me how much Lucas either never bothered to check the continuity of his own movies or just plain didn’t care.
Star Wars fans know the OT back to front – and I’m sure a little error like this would be noticed… by everyone but Lucas.
There is plenty wrong that I hated about the PT – but this once scene summed it up for me.
What irks me is how much time people, fans and the like have spent trying to explain how this could work, citing her use of the force – which Luke could have done and “remembered” his mum too.
It’s none of that; it’s just plain shitty writing.

Michael
Guest

I’m one of those Star Wars fans who doesn’t bash the trilogy because everyone else does. I’m not one to follow the crowd, so to speak. The trilogy was good…ish. Not God-awful, but…good. I liked Darth Maul, he was different, and I wanted to see more of him. Imagine Star Wars where HE was Vader… Cool, huh? Anakin’s fall to arrogance wasn’t even gradual, it was like….years pass, he was cute and loved pod racing, now he’s creepy and self-centred, and has perverted fantasies about Padmé. It was neccessary, the trilogy…but disappointing. We had 4,5 and 6…so needed the first three. Pod racing, Darth Maul, the rise of Sidious and Vader. I liked it. But, Christ it has so many flaws. The overuse of holograms…the mediocre CGI…the bad response times to said CGI, like when Jar Jar is shocked, and Obi reacts…3 seconds later. All in all, it was SW for SW fans, and newer ones…it needed to be done, but wasn’t done well enough to wow us original trilogy fans. The Force Awakens made more money than the entire saga, I’m pretty sure. Like, 5 billion in total. That’s insane….minus the killing of ” you know who”… It was pretty sweet. Abrahams should have taken over in the late 90’s, when the trilogy was started. Imagine that. Like THe Force Awakens…but the prequel trilogy….done so much better, with hundreds of less flaws.

solly
Guest

The concept and ideas of the prequels were, in and of themselves, fine.

But there are better ways of telling what Lucas wanted to tell and they all revolve around character-driven storytelling.

In a nutshell, there was no sense of mystery in the prequels. None at all.

Everyone knew Anakin was going to fall, which is fine, but better writing and direction would have given the feeling that perhaps, just perhaps, he wasn’t.

That would require the viewer to have an investment in the character of Anakin.

However, if Lucas wanted him to be a whiney brat, fine. But then you would need another character to act as a foil, one that the audience could identify with, throughout the trilogy.

The simplest approach would have been to use Obi-wan or, at a clutch, Padme.

The art of storytelling is the art of character. And in the prequels, there really wasn’t any. That was the only flaw. Had more respect been shown to that concept of characterisation, everything else would have flowed more naturally.

Alas, it wasn’t to be.

Liz Moore
Guest

The prequel movies worked on a better level for me than the original movies did. I found them more complex and fascinating. Perhaps you could not deal with the more complex emotions portrayed in the prequel trilogy. Or perhaps you’re just one of those STAR WARS fans who prefers that the story telling and characterization at the more simplistic level of especially the 1977 film. Hmmm . . . pity.

Bill Smith
Guest

> Perhaps you could not deal with the more complex emotions portrayed in the prequel trilogy. Or perhaps you’re just one of those STAR WARS fans who

That’s not a rebuttal, that’s an ad hominem, casting aspersions on the character of the writer rather than posting any logical or reasoned disputation.

> I found them more

Personal anecdotes do not constitute logical or reasoned disputation in and of themselves.

> Hmmm . . . pity.

That is condescending sarcasm, i.e. nothing more than a hostile emotional response, rather than any sort of logical or reasoned disputation.

KL
Guest

Said the current generation that grew up on Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey.

S
Guest

Truth!

Toby
Guest

You know what a good movie needs? Good acting. Did Jake Lloyd act well? No, neither did any other kid in these movies.
Did Hayden Chritiansen act well? Well let me put it like this: “His acting was… coarse and rough and irritating and gets everywhere.”

Were the lightsaber battles good? In I and II, no, in III, yes. Because it had actual emotional background. Their flawless choreography in the Darth Maul battle just lacks all humanity and emotion. But then Qui-Gon dies and Obi-Wan is pissed. He´s pumped. He just wants to kick this guys ass. Hey maybe now I´ll get emotionally involved. And then… it´s right back to highly choreographed fighting.
Remember when Luke got really pissed and snapped when Vader was taunting him him? Remeber how worked up and emotionally he got? He just started beating on Vader. There was no grace or complex choreography. He was just pounding him into submission. Filled with rage. When you´re worked up with emotion you begin to lose your composure and control. You expose your humanity a little. Obi-Wan should´ve done that, just a bit.
In Empire there´s also very little complex choreography. Luke is just barely keeping up in his fight with Vader. Vader is just basically toying around with him. He could totally kick his ass at any moment but he holds back. This was their first duel. There is a lot going on between the characters outside the fact that they are swinging swords at each other.
There is even a lot more going on at the end of Jedi. Luke was realising that he was kinda becoming his father and taking his place. The Emperor was proving a point that hate and anger can be a powerful ally. You got things like temptation, anger, revelation, defiance, sacrifice, revenge and redemption.
What´s happening at the end of Phantom Menace? Two emotionless monks fight a Sith with about zero character over… something.
Lightsaber duels have less to do with the fight itself but more so with the internalization of the characters.

Were the special effects good? NO, definitely not. It was a complete CGI mess, lacking any kind of humanity or emotion.

Finally, which characters were ruined?
Vader: We knew he was a bad guy but did he have to be a violent child murderer? No. That´s actually quite fitting. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Emperor: “Take your Jedi weapon.” That´s what the Emperor said in VI. He was kinda making fun of such a weapon. Because just like Yoda, he was so good with the force he didn´t need such a weapon. But now he has one, just so there can be more lightsabers in this already lightsabers-crowded movie. And just like Vader, remember when Mace Windu was about to kill him? No. No. NOOOOO.
Yoda: Like the Emperor, he got a lightsaber just so there could be more stupid pointless sword bashing. Why did this wise force Master, who could move an entire X-Wing with his tiny fingers, had to be a always-pissed looking old guy? “Wars not make one great.” Still, he just starts one in Clones.

Toby
Guest

You can´t be serious? Complex emotions? The love relationship between Anakin and Padme could hardly feel more unrealistic. Their dialogue is just horrible. Btw why do you think the Original´s were more simplistic? Because there was no deep and wise character like Jar Jar? Or Queen Amidala? Watto? Darth Maul, the villain who says two lines and just dies.

Toby
Guest

What was so complex about the storytelling anyway? Sure it senate debates but they were boring not complex.
I really recommend you to watch Mr Plinketts Prequel reviews. They sum up everything that was wrong with these films.
“I don´t like sand.” What is the complex meaning behind this only your supreme mind can handle.
Why does every scene needs to have lightsabers?
What was so deep about child Vader? That he was “so wizard”?
Why are there midichlorians? I can tell you that: Because Lucas was lazy. Instead of SHOWING us Anakin´s force abilities he just tells us: “His value is higher then other´s so of course he´s awesome.”

You finally need to get rid of your nostalgia. Just because you saw those films in cinema when you were a kid and liked them doesn´t allow you to say they´re better in anyway. All professionell movie critics I know rate these movies mediocre, maybe III good.

solly
Guest

In the end, Lucas had every right to feature children, Jar Jar and a whole bunch of what many consider to be annoyances in his films.

If he wanted to tell the story of Anakin as a child, well, unnecessary as it probably was, it was his prerogative.

The only issue is that he could have been handled it a whole lot better.

Liz Moore
Guest

If he wanted to tell the story of Anakin as a child, well, unnecessary as it probably was, it was his prerogative.

Unnecessary? For you? I’m sorry if Lucas had inconvenienced you.

Bill Smith
Guest

“Unnecessary? For you? I’m sorry if Lucas had inconvenienced you.”

Once again, you have used condescending sarcasm, i.e. nothing more than a hostile emotional response, rather than provided any sort of logical or reasoned disputation.

solly
Guest

Was that reply directed at me?

Err, if so, you may have misread my comment.

Robert
Guest

There are far worse movies than The Phantom Menace, but expectations were high, as they should be, and these expectations weren’t met. There’s nothing wrong with high expectations. If I go to restaurant expecting a good steak, but am disappointed, it doesn’t do any good to point out that there were worse restaurants. If I go to Denny’s, I know not to expect great food. When I watch Star Wars, I’m not expecting the equivalent of eating at Denny’s. You shouldn’t expect your movie to be one of the top-grossing movies of all time by not meeting expectations. Let the quality of the product drop and people aren’t going to buy it.

That’s what happened with the prequels. Attack of the Clones paid the price for The Phantom Menace. A New Hope is the #2 biggest box office take adjusted for inflation, with Empire at #13 and Jedi at #16. The Phantom Menace did pretty well at #18, but Attack of the Clones comes in at #91 and Revenge of the Sith at #63. The Force Awakens is at #11 and still rising.

Jar Jar is a huge problem with TPM, for many reasons. Him stepping in poop just wasn’t funny. Then there were the midichlorians, sure to get a groan from Star Wars fans whenever they are mentioned. But a big problem is Anakin’s story starts out on the wrong foot. Anakin is made a little kid who destroys the bad guys by accident. He should have paralleled Luke in A New Hope. Instead, he’s never the hero. By the time Attack of the Clones comes along, he seems to already be sliding to the dark side.

There also is the incoherent plot, where a vast array of coincidences has to happen in order to meet up with Anakin. Sure, the Force may nudge things, but it ought to be a nudge, not a chess game. In A New Hope, Luke is involved because Leia sent for Obi-won and Obi-won was keeping an eye on Luke. Perhaps it’s a bit of a nudge for them to meet up with Han, but only a small one. There are just too many coincidences in TPM.

Tim
Guest

I agree with most of your thoughts. One issue though, you seem to imply you would’ve liked to have seen Anakin as more mature. A wise Jedi Master as you put it. The problem here is the timeline as established in the OT. We know Obi-Wan was about 60 in ANH. Also that he had Anakin has his pupil before the Republic was replaced by the Empire. We also know this happened around the time Luke & Leia were born, who are supposed to be about 20 in ANH. This all points to Anakin being only about 20-25 years old himself when he fell to the Dark Side & when the twins were born. Everything suggests he’s about 40 at the time of ANH. So I don’t think the PT could’ve avoided having an Anakin who is young, like Hayden Christensen age. There’s also the comments by Yoda in ESB. That Anakin was reckless & filled with anger & fear. So I’m not sure having a mature, assured & wise Anakin would’ve meshed with the info we get about him in the OT. Doesn’t mean we couldn’t have seen a FAR stronger portrayal though.

Jorge
Guest

But this presupposes a prequel timeline which flies in the face of what we thought we knew at the time of the Original Trilogy. Sebastian Shaw was in his 70’s or late 60’s during the filming of ROTJ. Alec Guiness was slightly younger and is referred to in the films as ” an old fossil”.

We’d have to assume that Leia and Luke were born part way into Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side. Furthermore , we need not take it as necessary that the fall of the Republic and the Rise of Vader took place exactly simultaneously. In the Original Trilogy, I get the distinct impression that the Empire has held sway for longer than just 17 years. It implies a complexity to past events that just doesn’t mesh with the 3 film story that Lucas decided to tell in the Prequels.

So here’s the thing; the events surrounding the fall of Anakin Skywalker were originally a mythic anchor of the original Trilogy. They were meant to be vague. They were never meant to be recounted in the same way Vader’s redemption was. They didn’t need to be told and should not have been told. Going there destroyed the magic. I think this is the central flaw of the prequels.

Tim
Guest

Firstly, Sebastian Shaw’s age isn’t relevant IMO. Anakin was depicted as old & sickly looking due to his injuries & living under the suit & mask for 20 years.
Yes it’s possible (viewing only the OT) that the Empire was already in power when Anakin fell. However that arguably diminishes the significance of his fall. I guess Lucas wanted the drama of Anakin being instrumental in the fall of the Republic & Palpatine’s coup. Either way this is a separate matter from my points about the age of Anakin & the twins. My point was you couldn’t have an older wiser Jedi Anakin. Doesn’t work given that the twins were hidden from him when the were born, & all of Ben’s hints suggesting Anakin was young at the time.

Logos&Eidos
Guest

For years I heard people that defend the PT say that “nothing would have lived up to the hype or the OT and that people would have been angry no matter” and I thought that they while right, were making excuses for the PT not being as well revised as the OT. After the info on the Force Awakens began to be released/leak I began to realize why the masses rejected the PT.

It’s something more fundamental than PT not being an as well told story. The PT was it’s own story, with a look, feel and rhythm distinct from OT and the distinction more than anything is the source of the Hate.

Star Wars is more than just a phenomenon, it’s a part of peoples lives and I dare say souls. The masses wanted the same look, feel and rhythm as the OT, and when they received a Star Wars that was not that they rejected it vehemently. So many of criticism leveled at the PT can be broken down into” They did something different from the OT”.

The PT was a new model of a car, but what the masses wanted was their old car fixed up. From all appearance the Sequel Trilogy is going to be exactly what the masses wanted out of the Prequel Trilogy, the OT with a tune up and a fresh coat of paint. However this leaves me a little crestfallen, because I would prefer the new car over the restored older one.

Jimbofurg
Guest

I completely agree. I will be incredibly disappointed if the new movies are just a rehash of the original trilogy with new characters.

Aaron russell
Guest

Man you nailed it! Phantom menace could have been eliminated from the series altogether. Two films about how Anakin went from hero to Villain, and then the 3rd film entirely villain Darth Vader hunting down the last remaining Jedi.

S
Guest

To all the artsy, film School chicks critiquizing the film and taking about complex emotions and nuances, I would highly recommend going to YouTube and watching a making of Star Wars documentary, there are several. The reason why I suggest that is to try to help you understand the complete picture of how the Star Wars movies evolved into what they are today. We are talking about a new director creating a sci Fi movie that included never before seen sound effects, special effects, language effects and they did it with pennies. Fast forward to the prequel and it’s easier to put yourself into Lucas’s position. The creative aspect of the film had endless possibilities with the touch of a computer key. CGI, green screens, costuming, the ability to make literally anything happen because there were no physical limitations as there was one in shooting the originals. The goal of the prequel was to satisfy 2 audiences. Make true Star Wars fans happy and bring on a new generation of fans. This pull was what I believe Lucas’s downfall. Lucas on the side of the original fan base and the financial and franchise people on the side of the next generation. That is why we have a monotone, old school dialogue with a modern special effect backdrop and it didn’t work. It’s so obvious that Lucas felt defeated while making the movie that he lost even the desire to ensure that the 2 trilogies were true to each other and they were not. It was not a typo that the original trilogy were Episodes 4-6, what was Lucas’s vision when those films were being made for 1-3, whatever that was is what we should have been given. And to reference the actor choice for Anakin. Mark Hammil was not a great actor, but he worked as Luke because of the dialogue and the schematics of the film. But we know what the final product of Dath Vador was before meeting Anakin, there was no room for error in the acting choice. It was the wrong choice..It’s a cop out to say that they could not have pleased everyone. Especially after the magic that was Episode 7. And the stand alone Rogue One. Which was very reminiscent of the original trilogy even more so than Episode 7. It’s all my opinion. Which doesn’t mean squat. But Lucas sold the whole thing including his own creative voice to Disney before he originally planned and I don’t think it was because of the 4 billion

S
Guest

Truth!

Andrew
Guest

Overall I disagree. I think the author nailed it that Phantom Menace was a big mistake; it could have made a good standalone kids’ movie but should not have been part of the prequels. The story line of the first three films should have started at the beginning of the Attack of the Clones (AotC) movie, and there should have been an additional movie between Clones and the Revenge of the Sith. This movie should have mirrored Empire Strikes Back and had Anakin and Padme marry at the end. Revenge of the Sith should be largely unchanged, but should not have included Anakin killing younglings, which made Anakin/Darth Vader an unsympathetic character. AotC should be largely unchanged, but Anakin and Padme’s relationship should have been less serious until the next movie, eliminating many cheesy moments. A movie featuring Vader hunting down Jedi would have the same problem that Episode 1 had; it wouldn’t further the story of Anakin’s fall to Darth Vader and then redemption and it would make him a less sympathetic character. The originals already accomplish the task of depicting Vader in his evil state.

Lee
Guest

I believe that the major defect of the PT movies is that many fanboys refused to accept them for themselves. They wanted a return to the storytelling style of the first trilogy that featured characters who were flawed, but able to overcome such flaws and triumph in the end. These fans could not accept the possibility of good guys who helped brought about the Empire, due to their mistakes and flaws. They especially could not deal with Lucas’ portrayal of the Jedi characters as non-ideal beings who made massive mistakes. This is why these same fans still tend to cling to Yoda and Obi-Wan as ideal characters and use Mace Windu (who did not appear in the OT movies) as a scapegoat for the Jedi’s mistakes. They couldn’t accept Anakin as a morally ambiguous character, instead of a borderline juvenile delinquent, whom many had assumed he would be.

Despite their claim at how much they loved “The Empire Strikes” (which had its own set of flaws, like the other OT movies), they couldn’t accept the moral ambiguity of the PT movies. Yet, “The Empire Strikes Back” turned out to be the most morally ambiguous of the OT films. Which would probably explain why it made less money than the other two films.

These fans would not allow “Star Wars” to develop into a complex and fascinating tale. They wanted the franchise to remain mired in the past.

Jdh
Guest

The good guys weren’t just flawed, but stupid. Why in the hell did they use clones made from a guy that tried to murder a senator & several jedi & worked for the leader of the seperatists!? How were they surprised when they ended up killing them? The PT jedi were just stupid.

Not to mention the acting. Not yo mention the dialogue. Not to mention the sitting and talking all of the time. Not to mention Anakin & Obi Wan didn’t seem like that good of friends. And so on.

David
Guest

I don’t think so. What killed the prequels was poor writing (especially the dialogue), over-use of CG, a completely needless and pointless beginning in chronicling Anakin’s pre-pubescent years, terrible acting, poor pacing, lame enemies (Niemoidians and Poggle the Lesser I’m looking in your direction), poor directing, and of course……..Jar Jar.

Let’s start with the dialogue. I’d challenge anybody name a film with worse on-screen chemistry between the central couple. Even Ben Affleck and J-Lo in Gigli put Anakin/Portman to shame. And we can’t blame Portman, she did the best she could with the crap she was dealt and we’ve seen plenty of evidence of her being great in other films. Equal blame goes to Lucas for writing that trash and Hayden because he’s a marginal actor at best.

Next up is the over-use of CG. I’m not anti-CG by any means. When used with taste and relative moderation it’s fine. Some of the visuals in the PT were simply stunning. But the lack of actual sets without a doubt detracted from the acting performances of the actors (as they have attested to since). Kind of hard to get into the moment when you’re surrounded by green screens instead of actual settings. So many examples to choose from. Let’s use the surgery scene at the end for example. Lucas already had Hayden in burn makeup, and was using a physical Vader suit. And yet he chose to digitally superimpose Hayden in burn makeup onto Vader’s body as the helmet is lowered and it just looks like a poor photo shop job. Terminator 2’s CG has held up better.

Anakin as a child. Did we really need to see that? What purpose did it serve (aside from attracting the children in the audience)? It served zero purpose within the arc of the story. We didn’t need to see him as a happy go lucky kid to establish he was once and man of goodness and innocence. The films should have started with Anakin as a grown man and focused on a steady manipulation by Palpatine over the course of 3 films, rather than bits and pieces within two films. I think Liam Neeson’s portrayal as Qui Gon would have been a better representation of what Anakin should have been……the kind of Jedi we all pictured before the fall.

Terrible acting, especially by Hayden…..although he redeemed himself to some degree in ROTS. Sam Jackson as Windu was equally lifeless and is without any doubt the worst performance of his career. He came across as a crabby curmudgeon of a Jedi master with more snark than wisdom.

The pacing, which detracted from the telling and weight of the story. Episode III could have been SO much better if the focus had been on the Palpatine/Anakin mechanic instead of wasting screen time by drawing out the Obi Wan/Greivous battle (especially that idiotic chase scene with the lizard), drawing out the Anakin/Obi Wan battle with the piece of installation falling into the lava river and the subsequent battle on that thing as well as the bit with them standing on the lava droids. Just stupid. Take out that stupid elevator shaft sequence at the beginning or the bit about them getting caught in the ray shields. All of that is wasted screen time that could have been better spent delving into Palpatine’s seduction of Anakin. Don’t believe me? Read the Episode III novelization. MUCH better and MUCH darker. THAT is what the film should have been.

Neimoidians, Poggle the Lesser, the stupid battle droids in general all detracted from the film. Just tedious and tiresome to watch.

The directing. It’s no accident that the best films in the OT were the ones Lucas didn’t direct. I could go on for days about Lucas’ decisions with regard to Anakin’s portrayal, or even palpatine’s. The opening scene in Sith where Anakin and Obi Wan is battling Dooku, the whole bit with Palps feigning enthusiasm……when neither of them were even paying attention to benefit from it. He should have been shown just sitting there with malevolent eyes with some good foreshadowing before switching back into his guise once he was back involved in the sequence. I guess Lucas thought the kiddies were too dense to figure out who Palps really was or that there was anybody among the living that didn’t already know exactly who he was. And of course, that left the “reveal” completely empty. He didn’t have to dumb it down in the first 3 films but felt the need to do so this time around. Anakin’s transformation was so half-assed and unconvincing it was unbelievable. So Palps finally reveals himself to Anakin, and Anakin is supposedly so upset (although the acting performance didn;t make it believable in any way) that he draws his saber and says he’d like to kill him. 10 minutes later he switches at the drop of a hat and agrees with everything Palps says about the Jedi wanting to kill them and all the senators. It was so poorly done. Ian McDermid saved those scenes from Hayden and Lucas’ mediocrity. Again, read the novelization. It was so much more in-depth and believable. And don’t tell me Lucas didn’t have time to flesh that out……as he had plenty of screen time to waste on lizard chases, elevator escape scenes, and overly long lightsaber duels in a lava river. These are just a few examples……of MANY.

Jar Jar. He makes Episode I unwatchable. And don’t come at me with the Ewoks, at least they didn’t have dialogue and weren’t occupying government positions, and weren’t pushed as main characters across two films. Their emotive chatter has more endearing that anything portrayed by Jar Jar. “Jar Jar is the key to whole thing”. That’s what Lucas said, and that illustrates the depth of his psychosis.

Spare me the tired line about the prequel haters desperately clinging to the child hood memories because we were all ready to love the prequels…..just as we’re ready to love the new films. We were all there packing the theaters. We were the money spenders that gave that box office those numbers…….not the kiddies at that time who loved Jar Jar.

Episode I is literally unwatchable. Episode II is passable. Episode III is pretty decent and IMO the 2nd best film in the series (even if it could have been so much better with just a few small changes).

Andrew
Guest

I agree with most of what you said. I think you would like my comment above.

Grendelwolf
Guest

Want to know why people hated the original trilogy? Red Letter Media comically explains why the prequels failed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABcXyZn9xjg

It has nothing to do with people being ” Fanboys” of the original trilogy, it goes waaayyy deeper than that.

John
Guest

“Mr. Plinkett” just annihilates the prequels, but it’s no more than they deserve. They were all steaming piles of dung, Revenge of the Sith was just the one that smelled slightly less fragrant than the other two. But they were all crap.

John
Guest

Good job.
The majority of comments on the prequels are from a 3rd graders mind. They know nothing of writing or why some movies work. They say its the writing in the same way a snob says “the book was better”.
The fact is if these were books the writing would have been fine because all you have to point out is Anakin is lovable for the story to work.

What people don’t get is it’s a major talent to be a lovable bad guy and as you point out Hayden is just annoying. What people cant see because of horrible execution is Anakin is supposed to be like Han solo. Solo was a creep on paper. Just read his lines. So it how you cast and execute. We needed to love Anakin and root for him like Solo but Lucas couldn’t see HC didn’t work.
Just look at Ewans performance. He was awesome…very natural in delivering his lines. Brits and Aussies are much better at handling high society dialog and this was the royal setting of the old republic. Knightly would have also worked better than Portman. Charlie hunan would have rocked. So again, execution is key and quite frankly Lucas directing was terrible in spots but my kids loved the movies and there’s a bit of revisionist history from people…. Phantom was excellent and Sith got excellent reviews but the squeaky wheel gets the oil and point taken, the Prequels should have been much better.

Alexander
Guest

JJ Abrams sucks. Marvel Cinematic Universe sucks. People suck. Lucas rules. Star Wars 1-6 rules.

Toby
Guest

Make it 4-7.

Jomama
Guest

Omg so many Lucas prequel apologists here in this chat, it was a steaming pile of dog crap compared to the writing and story of the first film. George Lucas borrowed the idea from the original Flash Gordon films (moving letter opening and all) he said and I quote that he wanted to make a “soap opera in space”. The acting in the original movies was great and mixed in with some cinema special effects and it was gold. The prequel acting was horrid and just mind numbing… Child actor in the first then Hayden after, omg poke my eyes out, and the fact that everything was just CGI’ed to death including main characters themselves, overkill. Just take an old awesome movie like say Jim Hensons “The Labyrinth” cute funny original entertaining puppets” now go back and redo it all in CGI and suddenly it’s not as charming anymore and it basically becomes that totally boring childesh and a forgettable summer film come and gone like the box trolls or something. To quote Yoda “This is why you fail”

John
Guest

To me, there will always be three films- Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. No “New Hope.” No “Episode IV, V, VI.” And no “special editions.” Just a great trilogy with a story arc we could follow to a satisfying conclusion. The rest is just unnecessary tacked-on crap.

Sam
Guest

I thought I might have stumbled across an interesting article. I read through the preamble, then upon arriving at the beginning of your actual thesis I found this: “To be sure, they were not terrible films”, which is completely untrue. Reading anything you write after that would be the equivalent of listening to a creationist lecture about theoretical physics and the origins of the universe. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone who thinks the prequels are anything other than complete crap could ever be considered an authority of any kind on story telling, pop culture, or “writing characters”, as you put it. If your review was to begin by acknowledging that the prequels were total failures in every possible way that a film can fail, except by making money, then we could have proceeded from that common ground of mutual understanding. Instead, I’m stuck writing this comment, which will probably not be read by more than a few netnerds, in the desperate hope that somehow this small drop of truth will eventually contribute to the elevation of our collective critical consciousness. In other words, I believe that for the good of our culture we need to filter out all of the morons and their collective stupidity from our cultural zeitgiest. To put it in even more simple terms, people who don’t or can’t recognize what a total bag of shit the prequels were should not be involved in either creating or criticizing cultural materials.

Kit Fisto
Guest

A brilliant and uniquely memorable post, Sam. Indeed your assessment of the review as being “the equivalent of listening to a creationist lecture about theoretical physics and the origins of the universe” is extremely clever and insightful. I am frankly amazed that people such as ‘Drake’ and ‘Janet’ have seen fit to actually respond in defense of the prequels. There is NO defense of them and anyone who thinks that any aspect of them can be defended in any way should certainly not be listened to about characters, plot, pacing, dialogue, visuals, tone, etc etc. Don’t they realise that harping on about “it’s subjective, you’re a bigot” and so on is the equivalent of arguing for The Cheeky Girls to be ‘not that bad’ in comparison to The Beatles, or could even be considered as good as The Beatles (because “subjective, nyyyeh”), and throwing a hissy fit when someone patiently explains all the very many ways they are utterly wrong and know nothing at all about music.

MM
Guest

The jab at creation scientists was unnecessary. There are a great many well educated ones out there and it would not be a bad thing listening to them on the mentioned subjects.

John
Guest

Wrong. There are creationists who practice science, but their belief in creationism has NOTHING to do with science.

Kit Fisto
Guest

Wrong. If they are creationists it therefore follows that they have a deeply flawed understanding of what is reasonable and what is absurd in terms of how one acquires knowledge or makes decisions. Deciding to just believe whatever is written in some old book may not be a criminal offense but it certainly is an act worthy of derision, and one which rightly casts doubt upon a person’s competence.

janet
Guest

So basically you are saying that people who do not think as you do should not have the right to have an opinion much less express it. Movies, books, and art are open to interpretation. Some people will love it, some hate it, while others are indifferent. Just because some people might like the star wars prequels does give you the right to call them morons and then say that they have no business commenting on pop culture. They have every right to comment on pop culture. And your comments about creationists is a very low blow. Not only do creationists not have anything to do with star wars, but you are saying that because they have a differing opinion than you, then they have no right to speak. You, sir, are a narrow minded bigot who needs to learn to accept the fact that your opinion is not the only that matters, nor is it necessarily the correct one.

Kit Fisto
Guest

Janet, you said that Sam is “saying that because [creationists] have a differing opinion than you, then they have no right to speak”. This is an outright lie. Could you please demonstrate where in his post Sam suggested this. I think you will find that all he in fact implied was that if he heard a creationists speaking/lecturing about physics or the origin of the universe, he WOULD NOT LISTEN. He never implied the creationist had no right to say those things. Are you seriously suggesting that by refusing to listen to someone, we are limiting their freedom of speech? That is nonsense. Everyone is free to ignore a speaker, just as the speaker is free to speak. To call someone a bigot for expressing that view is nothing short of idiocy. But I suppose you posted to defend the prequels (even though they are utterly irredeemable and terrible in every single way that films can be terrible), so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Drake
Guest

So basically you’re saying, “If the critics don’t acknowledge my exact thoughts then their review is total garbage.” What’s the point of even reading a review if all that will satisfy you is a reflection of your personal maxims?
Also, you state that anyone who doesn’t agree the prequels are bad are complete morons? You do realize the luster of a film, or almost any art work is mostly subjective; do you not? In short, you’ve criticized the stubbornness of creationists, yet you yourself are expressing that your views, are superior to this mans simply because they are yours.

Kit Fisto
Guest

Drake, how can you not see that the prequels are an exception to the usual rules? I would normally agree that ‘art work is mostly subjective’. Someone can think, for example, that Anchorman is the greatest comedy ever filmed, and I’ll happily concede that our tastes and criteria for ‘what makes a good comedy / good film’ may just be vastly different and incompatible. Someone can tell me Guardians of the Galaxy is crap and I won’t sweat it; it’s just their opinion that it’s crap, and it’s just my opinion that it’s not. And who cares anyway? But please, you MUST realise that the star wars prequels are an exception to this. They can very clearly and irrefutably be demonstrated to be incompetently scripted, acted, plotted, and paced. The lacklustre CGI is demonstrably used as a band-aid to compensate for massive failings throughout every other aspect of the films – AND GUESS WHAT! THE CGI HAS DATED NOW SO IT WAS ALL JUST A BIG SOGGY CRAPPY WASTE OF MONEY! The films completely fail on every level and anyone who takes umbrage at that statement has no idea what they’re talking about.

Sam
Guest

To clarify, I am NOT implying that Mr del Drago is a moron, rather that, because there are so many morons, I am highly intolerant of critics and reviewers who allow foolish ideas to persist. I stand firm that any review or analysis of the prequels must acknowledge the abysmal films that they are, or the author immediately discredits his or her self.

Liz Moore
Guest

[“To clarify, I am NOT implying that Mr del Drago is a moron, rather that, because there are so many morons, I am highly intolerant of critics and reviewers who allow foolish ideas to persist. I stand firm that any review or analysis of the prequels must acknowledge the abysmal films that they are, or the author immediately discredits his or her self.”]

My God! The arrogance of this comment. All STAR WARS fans have to agree with you or risk being . . . what? Idiots? That’s your way of thinking? I’m too disgusted to comment even further.

aswin jagannadhan
Guest

I always used to wonder why people didn’t like the prequel. I liked them because of the graphics, the way in which the Coruscant and the other space cities were displayed . But now I get it when u compare the actual story of the Darth vader in the Original triology with the brat in the prequel, it is kind of annoying. I did hate the fact they put Hayden Christensen as annakin, he showed no compassion, no remorse and no shit. A beautiful Analysis-Antonio Del Drago

alberto legaria
Guest

I think the old and the new were excellent but I think that what there doing the new movies is just bull

Lee Jones
Guest

[“The truth is it didn’t if you were growing up with the originals ofcourse nothing will replace it, I was born in the 90’s and I can’t see nothing wrong with the prequels they are even better you people are just from a different time.”]

I grew up in the 1970s. And yes, “A NEW HOPE” was the first STAR WARS movie that I saw. I disliked it when I first saw it. But I eventually grew to love it. I felt the same about the other two Original Trilogy films.

By the time “THE PHANTOM MENACE” hit the theaters, I was a full-fledged fan of the STAR WARS franchise. When I saw the 1999 film, I became a big fan of it. I saw it three times. I can also say the same about “ATTACK OF THE CLONES” and “REVENGE OF THE SITH”. In fact, my two favorite SW movies are “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK” and “ATTACK OF THE CLONES”.

When I first read this article and some of these comments, I’m annoyed that some people – including the author – call themselves speaking on behalf of all STAR WARS fans. Some people eventually claimed that they were speaking for themselves. It’s a pity that they had failed to phrase their response that manner.

I also noticed that some tend to think that one has to be born or raised in a specific decade to appreciate a certain decade. I just want to point out that I am a SW fan who saw the movies from the beginning, back in 1977. And I love ALL SIX FILMS.

Dennis Sweatt
Guest

So, so bad. Still lay awake at night thinking about the prequels.

callie smith
Guest

I’m sorry I half to disagree with you on this. My whole family love the star wars prequels. Because they explain what tragedy, anger, and fear darth Vader went through if he was like yoda AND Kenobi why would he fall to the dark side. I believe he lived up to his expectations of star wars. Star wars the clone wars series focus on anakin skywalker Strategy In war, AND Explained ABOUT His padaone Ashoka. The movie was based on his emotions about how he felt about the Republic
And the council. As I watch the movies and the series I see the same person the same anakin skywalker. I grew up watching the old and the new star wars and I think George Lucas did a beautiful job on all of them. Not every star wars fan feels like the prequels were a disaster sir.

maxerior
Guest

i saw the first trilogy first and then the prequal later i have only seen the preqauls 4 times each but i still have to say if annakin was a great hero with hardly any faults and a wise jedi like obi-wan kenobi then it wouldent be as intresting as watching him grow up and be what you call “anoying”and thered be nothing to relate to but i do have to emit they could have lowered down on the cry babyneess.(thas just my oppinion).

Andrew
Guest

The prequels failed miserably in more ways than one. Watch the Red Letter Media review on YouTube. He breaks down the entire trilogy and illustrates what’s wrong with them. He’s not bagging the films for the hell of it. He presents a valid argument. It’s a long review so bring popcorn. Long but worth it.

John
Guest

Mr. Plinkett should be required viewing for anyone who wants to defend the prequels.

billy
Guest

If you want to see the great jedi anakin watch the clone wars series. the films focus more on his great potential and the way it tears him apart as he becomes part of sidiuses plans. There are also hints in the films about his true greatness such as the fact he has saved obi-wans life 10 or 9 times. The time he is truly great is between films 2 and 3 which is where the series sorts things out. over all i recon the prequels were great and watching anakin grow then fall made a great overall story.

deerush76
Guest

Actually, there is a great deal about the Original Trilogy that I find very questionable. It’s amazing that STAR WARS fans such as yourself refuse to consider the flaws of the first trilogy. You would rather blind yourself from those flaws and concentrate on what you conceive as the flaws of the second trilogy.
By the way, NOTHING went wrong with the PT. It had its share of flaws like the OT. But in the end, I feel they were just as good.
But for you, I suspect that deep down, you couldn’t stand the morally ambigous portrayal of the PT’s characters and story. I suspect that deep down, you prefer the black-and-white morality of the OT.
By the way, Lucas never gave a scientific explanation to the Force.  Midichlorians only served as a conection between the Force and sentient beings.  If you had been paying attention, you would know this.

lee66132000
Guest

[lee66132000 im speaking about what i think of the prequels, but i do know that alot of star wars fans think the same. The prequels were badly written and badly directed films.]

Then say so, instead of phrasing your article as if you’re speaking on behalf of all fans.  Because this is one fan who not only saw the Original Trilogy first, but also love the Prequel Trilogy.

KylePaterson
Guest

lennac MilkyTeltronseksivitez 
yes, true. if you watch the way george made them in the behind the scene footage you see someone who never asked for feedback or input from others.
you see a man who wants to keep pushing the envelope of digital effects and a man who likes to film in the comfort of a controlled environment without exerting himself and sitting in a chair watching monitors as his 2 cameras shoot reverse angle in front of a blue/green screen.  
the biggest arse-licker on the prequel crew was george’s producer Rick McCallum who said I quote “it is his way of making the best possible film that he can” i wanted to puke ontop of him.

lennac
Guest

MilkyTeltron seksivitez  For the same reason any independent artist seeks and considers constructive criticism… To make the best end-product that they are capable of.

lennac
Guest

amigo72k  And yet, in a movie directed to children, we have long and boring rhetoric about trade routes, taxation, political squabbling and elections.

Greywolf393
Guest

I’ve read a lot of comments from fans who saw the prequels first and from people who grew up with the original trilogy being SW to them, like me. Here is my interpretation of the divide. If you saw the prequels first then you got to see the story told from the beginning, by the time the original trilogy comes around and Obi Wan is talking about Anakin Skywalker’s great fall, you’ve already seen it, and can chalk what he says up to an old friend escalating the greatness of his former apprentice.
For those of us who saw the original trilogy first, we listened to Obi Wan and Yoda talk about how great Anakin was until he was swayed by the Dark Side of the force. So, when we saw the prequels it was very difficult for us to see this bratty kid/Teen who didn’t want to be patient or listen to his teachers.
I know I was hoping for a story of Anakin who gets trained by Obi Wan and becomes a great force for good but falls from grace somehow when he is tempted by the Dark Side for something greater than saving one person. The way he was portrayed, in my opinion, he was kind of an ass.
The prequels have their issues on their own as well. Count Dooku is talked about but hardly shown, I won’t even mention the Jar Jar Banks issue. I think Ewan McGregor was a terrible choice for Obi Wan, he has the emotional range of wallpaper paste, and I have even less to say for Hayden Christensen.
For those that love the prequels, I can see why, the special effects are really good, the Technology was there, and studios would give Lucas money because they knew the cash cow that Star Wars was. This felt rushed and not put together well, they had to work to make them fit the original trilogy and it was forced. I hope J. J. Abrams can do some to right the wrongs of Lucas.

JeffFaria
Guest

George Lucas is dead. From now on, he answers only to Darth Disney.

lee66132000
Guest

There are a lot of SW fans who think the same as you.  However, there are a lot of SW fans who love the Prequel Trilogy.  And instead of admitting there are SW fans who both dislike and love the PT, you seemed to be taking this stance that all SW fans share your views.

KylePaterson
Guest

lee66132000 im speaking about what i think of the prequels, but i do know that alot of star wars fans think the same. The prequels were badly written and badly directed films.

lee66132000
Guest

If this article had been titled “How the Star Wars Prequel Failed For Me”, I would have taken this more seriously.  But you didn’t.  And this makes me wonder if you call yourself speaking on behalf of every STAR WARS fan.

KylePaterson
Guest

MilkyTeltron seksivitez because then he’d make the Star Wars prequels the way, the problem with the production crew for the prequels were that they were a bunch of “Yes” people, who didn’t challenge Lucas.
The Originals were a collaberative effort n the likes of Gary Kurtz, Irvin Kershner and Lawrence Kasdan knew what made a real great movie, and challenged George on some of his dialogue and questionable ideas. After A New Hope, n the rise of his own Empire (Co-operation), Lucas lost the ability to know what makes a great movie.

KylePaterson
Guest

MarkWorkhoven  
lets look at this in depth. what the prequels did right:
Episode 1: Darth Maul (Until just before Obi-Won sliced him), Duel of fates music
Episode 2: Obi-Won vs Jango Fett one-vs-one on Kamino. Across the Stars music (The music, not the love story)
Episode 3: C-3PO painted gold. The pure evilness of Palpatine. the fast start of the Obi-Won vs Anakin fight. Anakin losing his limbs n getting fried to kingdom come.
So…yeah, there’s your one paragraph! (Y)
At least one or two decent bits in each of the prequels, but honestly a waste of a potentially good, yet tragic story. Sincerely Hope some day down the road Disney consider a reboot, and we’ll know the REAL story of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader.

ashotjan
Guest

ecobuttmunch This is an embarrassing comment. No doubt you also think Ben Affleck is the best actor in Hollywood too. Lebron is better than MJ and the only sports you ever played were with a controller in your hand. Yikes!

KylePaterson
Guest

The problem with the whole prequels, with regards to Darth Vader, was how his character was way over emphasised as this be-all-end-all character, like space Jesus.
In the originals he was just a bad man who carried out the business of the empire before we found out he was part of something bigger when he said he was Luke’s father.
And whats worse, how horribly he was written in the prequels that we didnt care about him or that he was “the chosen one”.
He should have had a similar start to the prequel trilogy as Luke Skywalker did in the originals, someone who’s young, adventurous, yet held back and down on their luck, he meets Obi-Won, who sees that the force is strong with him, and trains him as a jedi.
Anakin falls in love with padme through some sort of crisis that happens that brings them together, or an emotional connection where they click with each other. not the cheesy crap in AOTC.
He has it all until near the end of episode 2 where things start to go wrong, n when 3 comes along he becomes more emotionally frustrated and unstable with the things going wrong in his life (Not a bad dream) and he’s seduced by palpatines promise for power and turns to the Dark Side, n he gradually becomes more evil so by the time he meets Obi-Won (Who has to stop him) he believes that the Dark Side is the only choice, the only way for power.

ecobuttmunch
Guest

The  truth is it didn’t if you were growing up with the originals ofcourse nothing will replace it, I was born in the 90’s and I can’t see nothing wrong with the prequels they are even better you people are just from a different time.

Functioningsociopath
Guest

I was born in the 90s and I see plenty wrong with the prequels. The Original Trilogy was much better.

ashotjan
Guest

Wooden acting, a boring plot, every conversation taking place sitting either on couches or slowly walking, incredibly complicated and far-fetched plot (especially for a kids movie–tisk, tisk), not a single likable character, and a complete disregard for character development in 3 movies that are 100% about Character Development!!! 
These movies are a blight on the movie industry and no amount of fanboy ranting and raving can change it. Sad to say that millions of us are now looking to Disney to potentially right this tragic wrong.

jsmith0552
Guest

@Laurie Anismom2 Arrogant little S#@5 to be the protagonist of a story, and to have a series of movies built upon them had better be damn intriguing people.  You don’t have to like a character, but they’d better be interesting.  Trying to justify a poorly written and unlikable  character as needing to be that way to make their fall more believable is rubbish.  If Luke had turned to the dark side in Return of the Jedi, you would have seen nationwide pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth. Why, because we didn’t just like Luke, we remember him when he was just an innocent, naive farmboy, we sort of grew up with him.  Anakin should have been the mirror image of Luke, but he was so poorly visualized no one had any doubt he would go to the dark side, and then they didn’t even care.  That my friend is the waste of what was hinted at being a great character study.

jsmith0552
Guest

@Luke >>The entire story was written in the early 70’s after Viet-Nam.<<

You’re not serious are you.  Lucas only had a bare bones treatment of “The Star Wars” in 1973.  Lucas hated script writing , he’s said so himself on numerous occasions.  In fact the story as originally written bares no resemblance to the stories we have. Anakin was not even Lukes father in the original story.  
The inspiration for Star Wars came from primarily two sources.  Kurosawa’s “The Hidden Fortress” which gave it it’s stucture, and the old Flash Gordon serials of the 40’s.  Lucas couldn’t gain the rights to Flash, so he decided to make his own.  Watching the Star Wars movies is waiting the evolution of an idea, and a lot of people shaped that vision — at least early on.  So a person can like or dislike the story we got, but don’t try and spread that misinfo that this is the way it was always planned out.

LtTawnyMadison
Guest

Maybe it wasn’t possible to realistically write the character of Anakin any other way than deeply flawed, in order to make his fall believable. (Although maybe the motive of wanting to save Padme would have been enough of an explanation even if he had not been so flawed.) Vader starts out SO bad in Ep IV that it is a huge jump to take a “great man” and turn him into that. The twist of him having first been a great Jedi and a father was invented after Ep IV was written and released. Originally he was just a “pupil.” I think that set up some difficulties in bridging the gap between great Jedi and terrifying Sith Lord.
But of course, making him so flawed from the outset put another unbelievable element in the story, which is: how was it ever possible for Padme to fall for him? I was only annoyed with Anakin in Ep I, and then I was just annoyed with Padme for falling for such an obviously messed up guy (and for calling him Annie, wearing a different outfit in every scene, insisting they couldn’t be together while dressed like an exotic dancer in a firelit chamber, giving Jar Jar a place in the Senate, dying of “grief” etc etc) in II and III. Yes, I found Padme to be the supremely annoying one!

MarkWorkhoven
Guest

It’s true, Anakin’s descent into the dark side was perfunctory and lacking in drama. Vader tempting Luke in Empire Strikes Back was a thousand times more interesting and dramatic than anything in the prequels, and that was just Luke being tempted briefly! But that’s not the only reason the prequels sucked. In fact, it would take less time to explain what the prequels did right, which you could do in about one paragraph.

Kirby L Wallace
Guest

I don’t know about what anticipation we should have had about a “great man fallen into great evil”.  A truly good man would not have made such a fall.  To make such a fall requires some prerequisite character flaws that make the fall possible.  So, Anakin’s annoying brat persona is just the sort of person we can realistically believe would make such a fall.  We do not imagine Obi Wan being capable of such a fall.

jsmith0552
Guest

@Kirby L Wallace Check out Shakespeare sometimes.  That guy certainly knew how to write about a great man taking a fall.  I also think trying to use the term “realistic” is being misused.  Movies are the illusion of reality.  You don’t have to make me “realistically believe” in fact you can’t when I’m watching space ship zooming through space and aliens.  What you can do is write a character that I’m invested in, and in this case that I “should” like and want to see succeed.  Then we begin to  talk “realistic” tragedy.

MilkyTeltron
Guest

jsmith0552″Harmatia” is the fatal flaw of the tragic hero in tragic form. The tragic hero has high standing, which is not the
same as without fatal flaw. How was Hamlet any more great than Anakin? He had higher standing. Anakin was not a king, obviously, just a very powerful student.

Jlangdale
Guest

I myself am only 19 so I aren’t one of these kids who first loved starwars and thought the first trilogy was amazing. I like the prequel trilogy and even more so now because of the technology we have now to make these films so I myself have never quite understood why older people always complain about the prequels. Having said that this article has just put it clearly what is wrong and actually I now understand why that would annoy the older generation of fans. I think the person who played Anakin was okay just the script and storyline was not, I didnt like the whole Padme-Anakin situation at all we dont want to see a love story i wanted to see powerful Jedi do battle and the Hutts employ cool bounty hunters with the sith in the shadows the whole time. I think with Padme scrapped or Padme being significantly less involved in the film we could of started with Anakin from “Attack of the clones” as the first prequel and see him then become a master and eventually get into the jedi council (or was it he was on the council and not a master?).

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