Merlin

Thoughts on the Star Wars Prequels

45 posts in this topic

So, me and my brother just finished re-watching the Prequels in preparation for Rise of Skywalker, and I have a very different opinion than when I first watched them. Since the Star Wars fandom is sort of split down the middle right now, I'd like to know y'all's thoughts on them! (I can talk about these things for days.:P)

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The prequels are terrible.  No more needs to be said.

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Flawed but fun. They aren't as good as the original trilogy but they are entertaining, and while they missed a few steps, retroactively changed certain other elements, and had a few poor elements, they had several amazing high points, painted a clear picture of the nature of the Jedi order and its flaws - indeed, why its fall was inevitable - and expanded on the details of the nature of the republic and what caused it to fall. They could have made some changes, but I enjoyed them for what they were, and showing a different era of Star Wars than that shown in the original trilogy. They are fun, worthy prequels, and I'm glad they were made. I think some things should have been done in other ways, but they are enjoyable films.

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I adore the prequels.  Objectively speaking they're quite flawed, but I still really love them.  If someone were to say they hated them I'd totally get it.  

The Clone Wars adds a LOT to the narrative of the films, and frankly, might be the best storytelling in the franchise.  It's a real shame people ignore the shore due to it being animated, and it's rough start.  

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47 minutes ago, NottTheBrave said:

The Clone Wars adds a LOT to the narrative of the films, and frankly, might be the best storytelling in the franchise.  It's a real shame people ignore the shore due to it being animated, and it's rough start.  

Agreed.  Clone Wars are a masterpiece(can't wait until February when they are going to finish it).  They do some excellent work to fix the prequel era.  However on their own the movies are terrible.

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They’re not great movies, but they certainly have their moments—the Battle of Geonosis is one of my favorite events in all of Star Wars. Darth Maul is awesome as well.

I don’t necessarily love the movies, but I love the prequel era. Part of that is The Clone Wars, which I absolutely love to death. To those skipping over it because they think animation is for kids, I suggest you watch the Maul/Savage episodes, especially the arc where Maul seizes Mandalore. It’s super dark, full of excellent character moments, and has some of Star Wars’s best storytelling.

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Honestly, I can never really understand the hate they received. Yes, they have flaws, but they were overall interesting and, to me, Star Wars would be unimaginably different without them -- to the point where I would not find it a series worth much contemplation without them. 

Growing up, I saw both series at once, and liked them more than the originals (which have not aged well, in some respects). The ancient-looking computers on the death-star looked silly, the duels were weak, and the battles were less interesting. Some of the plotting also comes across as a bit melodramatic... particularly Luke trying to redeem Vader and the Emperor "tempting" him to the darkside (did he actually expect that to work?!). For someone born after they were released, I grew up knowing all the twists before I watched them, so there was never anything particularly surprising to be had, though intellectually I know it was different for those who first watched it. 

I always thought the duel between Ben and Vader was rather ridiculous looking, particularly in comparison to the duel between Qui Gon, Maul, and Obi Wan in the Phantom Menace.

The scale in the prequels is grander and explores more unique worlds while also giving us insight into the Jedi Order. In contrast, the originals show a depressing, monolithically human future that to me was inherently less interesting as a work of science fiction.

I know, intellectually, that the prequels have acting issues and plotting issues and also that I really should find Jar Jar more annoying.... but I still enjoy Count Dooku, Obi Wan and Qui Gon, Mace Windu, the Battle of Geonosis, the Duel of the Fates, Naboo, the Senate on Coruscant, and so many, many other aspects. I really just can't bring myself to dislike them, despite the flaws.  

I asked my brother what he thought, I think he summarized the main issues in the prequels pretty well: the graphics were somewhat bad because they just hadn't advanced far enough yet, Jar Jar was a mistake, and Lucas apparently can't write romance well. Remove those three issues and I think most of my criticisms would vanish. 

 

Then again, this perspective is also colored somewhat by the fact that I read books and comics about star wars and the most interesting ones were about Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn, which were of course, set in a prequel-era republic with a functional Jedi Order, or else clone wars era books, which covered the struggles of the Jedi as they tried to stick to their values while fighting a war...

In contrast, just as Luke basically fails at reviving the Jedi Order in the sequels, in the books I read, nothing he ever did post battle of Yavin ever amounted to much. The galaxy stayed broken, the Jedi never truly recovered their old glory, and they were always fighting the Remnants of the Empire -- I always thought they were less interesting to read and I stayed away from them.

 

Edited by Fractalfire
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1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

I always thought the duel between Ben and Vader was rather ridiculous looking, particularly in comparison to the duel between Qui Gon, Maul, and Obi Wan in the Phantom Menace.

Maul is awesome.  So naturally they killed him after three lines and maybe 10 minutes of screen time.

1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

Growing up, I saw both series at once

I really would recommend against  doing that.  Star Wars original is fantastic but if you have it equated to star wars prequels in your mind it will not work well.

1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

which have not aged well, in some respects

They have aged great!  The soundtrack is unparalleled the fights scenes are perfect the story is well told.

1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

The ancient-looking computers on the death-star looked silly

The military uses computers like that in real life.  Older computers are less prone to bugs and more secure.  If you are into space stuff you think this a prudent stylistic choice.

1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

the duels were weak

Cloud city still gives me the chills.  Luke is so utterly outmatched that he has to basically commit suicide just to get away.

1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

and the battles were less interesting

The battles do not involve hordes of easily kill able drones that our heroes destroy causally.

1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

Some of the plotting also comes across as a bit melodramatic... particularly Luke trying to redeem Vader and the Emperor "tempting" him to the darkside (did he actually expect that to work?!).

Luke trying to redeem Vader is central to who he is he never gives up hope.  As to the emperor.  He new that once Luke did something he considered irredeemable Luke would despair and become easily manipulated. 

1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

For someone born after they were released, I grew up knowing all the twists before I watched them, so there was never anything particularly surprising to be had, though intellectually I know it was different for those who first watched it. 

It is.

1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

I always thought the duel between Ben and Vader was rather ridiculous looking, particularly in comparison to the duel between Qui Gon, Maul, and Obi Wan in the Phantom Menace.

Makes sense to me.  Vader was wary considering we knew they had history together.  Obi-Wan was simply stalling.

1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

The scale in the prequels is grander and explores more unique worlds while also giving us insight into the Jedi Order. In contrast, the originals show a depressing, monolithically human future that to me was inherently less interesting as a work of science fiction.

STAR WARS IS FANTASY NOT SF!  Deep breath.  The prequels also had terrible CGI and many of those worlds are places I did not want to know about(Naboo).

1 hour ago, Fractalfire said:

t I still enjoy Count Dooku, Obi Wan and Qui Gon, Mace Windu, the Battle of Geonosis, the Duel of the Fates, Naboo, the Senate on Coruscant, and so many, many other aspects. I really just can't bring myself to dislike them, despite the flaws.  

You are referencing some of the good parts.  Allow me to counter with horrible horrible dialogue, the fact that Obi-Wan is not the main character, anikan(whose name shall not be capitalized), midaclorines(which shall not be spelled correctly), Jar Jar, antisemitic and racist aliens, and the fact that Padme falls for sand as apposed to the awesome jedi Obi-Wan who is right there.

2 hours ago, Fractalfire said:

In contrast, just as Luke basically fails at reviving the Jedi Order in the sequels

Which have taken a turn for the worse ever since they let The Last Jedi be released.

I agree with you that the prequel era has its moments but the movies themselves are utter garbage.

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Phantom Menace was by far my least favorite, it honestly added nothing, and the scenes that should have been over in a heartbeat dragged... on. and. on. (I'm talking about the pod race.  :P) I think Attack of the Clones is worth watching, though only for a select few bits. I'm stopping myself right now from going into the fireplace scene, because I hate that with a passion as fiery as Anakin and Padme's love- oh, wait. 

Revenge of the Sith was my favorite. It has actual emotion, which is far more than I can say for any of the others. I just feel terrible for the actors, because apparently they were encouraged as much as possible to read straight from the script, and that dialogue... *visible shudder*

 

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4 hours ago, WannabeWorldhopper said:

Revenge of the Sith was my favorite. It has actual emotion, which is far more than I can say for any of the others. I just feel terrible for the actors, because apparently they were encouraged as much as possible to read straight from the script, and that dialogue... *visible shudder*

winces in physical pain.

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Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?

Edited by go_go_gragdet
i accidentally a word
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8 hours ago, go_go_gragdet said:

Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?

Yes.

2 hours ago, not an Evil Librarian said:

The prequels are by far the best thing ever to happen to Star Wars.

Why? Because of the memes.

Only if you are not a star wars fan.

Edited by Ookla the Prolific
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Hi everyone, I haven’t watched Star Wars and have zero opinion on any of the movies, but a friend was worried about this thread, so I checked it out. Remember that everyone has opinions and that those opinions are totally valid, and that anything said can only really be an opinion and not a fact. People are allowed to enjoy whatever movie they want and be a fan of that thing. Thanks! 

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44 minutes ago, Ookla the Roleplayer said:

Hi everyone, I haven’t watched Star Wars and have zero opinion on any of the movies, but a friend was worried about this thread, so I checked it out. Remember that everyone has opinions and that those opinions are totally valid, and that anything said can only really be an opinion and not a fact. People are allowed to enjoy whatever movie they want and be a fan of that thing. Thanks! 

And I think it bears reminding everyone that only a Sith lord deals in absolutes.

 

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4 hours ago, Ookla the Prolific said:

Only if you are not a star wars fan.

I disagree. They did introduce a larger Star Wars galaxy, and added quite a bit to the saga, despite the cringy writing.

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I can also dicuss this for ages. My opinion is as follows:

The prequels have a ton of good stuff. The concept is great, but the execution often messy. Anakin Skywalkers fall is a brilliant idea, but hurt by sloppy writing. Warcraft 3 did that story, but a LOT better. The love story is as boring as being an aluminum misting, and some parts of the trilogy are just plain bad. However, they also have great stuff. Ewan McGregors Obi-Wan is one of the best characters in Star Wars. Palpatine and the Jedi Order are great. Jango Fett is what Boba Fett should have been. Grievous, Dooku and Maul are all cool, if underused, villains. And it really develops the Star Wars lore. I think that it would come off as worse without Clone Wars, which really does great things for the era (the villains are given more depth, cool characters are introduced/expanded, the clones get personality, and Anakin is what he should have been in the movies).

I do find it interesting that just a couple of years ago, everyone hated the prequels. Then came TLJ, and they got popular overnight. Their fans often criticise TLJ for the same reasons as fans criticized the prequels years ago. It is too silly. It doesn’t feel like Star Wars. It mishandles iconic characters, and introduces new pointless ones. It is badly written. It wastes its villains. 

At the end of the day, I love Star Wars. I love all three eras, and basically all the movies (I’m eh on Phantom Menace, but I dont hate it). And I think that a lot of Star Wars fans are stuck in a nostalgia-loop, when they want the things they saw when they grew up, and gets mad when the property is taken in another direction. After all, if you look at it objectively, all three Star Wars trilogies kind of have the same issues, and also the same strenghts, and they all manages to tell inspiring stories for new generations, who then unfortunately grow up to hate everything that is different from the Star Wars they saw as kids.

I do wish that the SW-fandom would stop being such a toxic mess, which it kind of is. The fans, particularly the Fandom Menace, who spend their time with personal attacks against Rian Johnson/Kennedy/JJ, and attempts to discredit everything Disney does (Geeks + Gamers, I’m looking at you) are just contributing toward a hateful discussion climate. The same goes for the other end of the spectrum, who hates everyone who doesnt like Disney Star Wars. One random guy on the internet many years ago said it best: 

”No one hates Star Wars as much as Star Wars fans.”

It is kinda true. Sorry for the rant. 

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On 30/11/2019 at 8:57 AM, Ookla the Toasted said:

I do wish that the SW-fandom would stop being such a toxic mess, which it kind of is. The fans, particularly the Fandom Menace, who spend their time with personal attacks against Rian Johnson/Kennedy/JJ, and attempts to discredit everything Disney does (Geeks + Gamers, I’m looking at you) are just contributing toward a hateful discussion climate. The same goes for the other end of the spectrum, who hates everyone who doesnt like Disney Star Wars. One random guy on the internet many years ago said it best: 

”No one hates Star Wars as much as Star Wars fans.”

It is kinda true. Sorry for the rant. 

I agree. As much as I love Star Wars, it has way too rabid a fanbase. The way they treated the poor actors of the prequels was disgusting. Jake Lloyd (the kid who played little Ani) is in a mental institution and the man who played Jar Jar nearly committed suicide. I don't love the prequels, but everyone has to understand that the actors were given so little dialogue and character to work with. 

Edited by Voidus
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2 hours ago, WannabeWorldhopper said:

I agree. As much as I love Star Wars, it has way too rabid a fanbase. The way they treated the poor actors of the prequels was disgusting. Jake Lloyd (the kid who played little Ani) is in a mental institution and the man who played Jar Jar nearly committed suicide. I don't love the prequels, but everyone has to understand that the actors were given so little dialogue and character to work with. 

Oh my... I just read his wikipedia page. I knew people were cruel, but I never realized it was that bad. It sounds like the fan backlash might have completely ruined his life. It certainly crushed his acting career, it appears, his spirit. 

That's depressing... It's kind of like a real life version of innocent kid becomes Vader... except instead of the dark side of the Force tempting him to villainy its the Dark side of the internet making his life miserable and leading to an unstable mind. (Then again, his mental illness and acting career may be casually unrelated, but according to Wikipedia, being bullied and using drugs can increase risk.)

I think I'm going to be more careful in the future when I criticize things I dislike. It's one thing to point out flaws; it's another to be hateful or spiteful, and looking back, I haven't been the nicest when reviewing certain films/books... :(

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I thought the prequels were ok. I’m not a huge big Star Wars fan though. I’ve watched all the movies at least twice but I feel like there is much better Science Fiction out there. The original trilogy is a lot of fun. With the newer movies I couldn’t get over how in The Force Awakens they just recycled the entire “we need to blow up the Death Star” storyline. I thought The Last Jedi was the best one; it was bold and took risks. Rogue One and Hans Solo were also really strong.
 

Prequels are really difficult to pull off anyways. Steven Erikson has just learned this with the Kharkanus books not selling well. They have to add a new unexpected element in a entertaining and surprising way. The prequels are alright their are just elements that seem a little ham fisted (the love stories) and they seem to play things a little to safe. I believe you have to take risks to make a entertaining/clever film, but of course that upsets the fans that can’t see anything past the original trilogy.

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17 hours ago, Toaster Retribution said:

I do wish that the SW-fandom would stop being such a toxic mess, which it kind of is. The fans, particularly the Fandom Menace, who spend their time with personal attacks against Rian Johnson/Kennedy/JJ, and attempts to discredit everything Disney does (Geeks + Gamers, I’m looking at you) are just contributing toward a hateful discussion climate. The same goes for the other end of the spectrum, who hates everyone who doesnt like Disney Star Wars. One random guy on the internet many years ago said it best: 

”No one hates Star Wars as much as Star Wars fans.”

Completely agreed.

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On 30/11/2019 at 0:49 PM, Fractalfire said:

I think I'm going to be more careful in the future when I criticize things I dislike. It's one thing to point out flaws; it's another to be hateful or spiteful, and looking back, I haven't been the nicest when reviewing certain films/books... :(

Same with me. I understand a little more now how much effort goes into all movies, even really bad ones. It makes me appreciate good movies more, and all the little enjoyable bits in less-enjoyable films. 

Edited by Voidus
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On 11/29/2019 at 4:48 PM, Jaookla said:

I disagree. They did introduce a larger Star Wars galaxy, and added quite a bit to the saga, despite the cringy writing.

We are speaking of memes not the movies in this context.

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On 11/29/2019 at 10:02 AM, Ookla the Prolific said:

Only if you are not a star wars fan.

Star Wars fans can't enjoy Star Wars Memes?

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2 hours ago, not an Evil Librarian said:

Star Wars fans can't enjoy Star Wars Memes?

Many very hard core star wars fans find prequel based memes irritating for various reasons.  There is a significant minority who agrees with you.  I was expressing aggression at them.

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