It’s time to get over the Star Wars prequels

You want to go home and rethink your pointless movie hate.

I am an admitted non-fan of the prequel trilogy; I’ve never claimed otherwise. I’m not going to now.

But folks: It’s time to get over the prequels.

Yeah, maybe you don’t think the movies are that great. This isn’t about the quality of the films, or lack thereof. I’m not going to pull any of that ‘true fan’ bullshit: We’re all entitled to our opinions. It’s okay to not like them. Sometimes the jokes are funny!

But it’s 2013. It’s been eight years since Revenge of the Sith. 11 years since Attack of the Clones. 14 since The Phantom Menace. The hate is stale. Let it go.

The prequels are what they are: Accept it. They’re done. They might not all get released in 3D, but they’re not going to go away, either. No one is going to force you to watch them, or buy them, or even think about them if you don’t want to. (If I can run a Star Wars blog and manage not to dwell on this, so can you!) Stop picking at the wound long enough to let it heal.

And, come on, they’re not going to remake them. Not anytime soon, anyway: It’s a waste of time, money and effort. You have an idea of how to improve the prequels? Write a fanfic. Make a fan film. See it through somehow yourself… Don’t ask Lucasfilm to remake movies when they have plenty of ideas to chose from that haven’t already been done. (And to quote a wiser fan than I, “businesses don’t do this.” )

And yes, the prequels do have fans, and that’s okay. People used to despise Return of the Jedi, too. People ‘hate’ a lot of things; That doesn’t mean no one actually likes them.

We know what’s coming, and it’s sequels and standalones. Yes, there’s a very real fear that these new movies may sour some fans even further, but I believe Kathleen Kennedy’s Lucasfilm is more than aware of that – and that they know the challenge that’s ahead of them, and the scrutiny they’ll be under.

But on that count, is it really so hard to have a little faith? Or at least to wait and see? Let’s look forward for new movies – not back.

31 thoughts on “It’s time to get over the Star Wars prequels

  1. Lane

    Wholeheartedly agree.

    I do think it cuts both ways though. For the love of God people, let go of how much you hate the prequels because they aren’t going away. People like the films, let them, don’t be a colossal ass to them.

    On the other hand, I do think that there are fans that could afford to be less defensive over those films as well. You don’t have to go into attack mode on behalf of the films whenever someone (fellow fan or celebrity or what have you) expresses they don’t enjoy the PT.

    The knee-jerk hate and persecution mentality really just needs to go away.

  2. Jess

    Sooo tired of prequel hate; I’d even go further and say that they are legitimately good movies that flesh out the mythos of the original trilogy and quite possibly have an even stronger emotional arc that enhances Episode 4-6 … but I’d settle for just being able to mention Star Wars in passing ANYWHERE and not having someone sneer about Jar-Jar Binks or something, God damn.

  3. Joao

    I just recently said this on my podcast, how old the argument was and how much I’m so over it. Some of the jokes USED to be funny but that was a long time ago, in a… well you get where I’m going.

    I still think for the most part it’s the cool-kid syndrome to hate on everything. I’m not saying the PT was perfect by any means but let’s not pretend all of the acting was perfect in the OT either.

    At the end of the day they are Sci-Fantasy movies that mean a lot to people and the people who continue to harp on the hate obviously have watched them just as many times as people who enjoy them. So I have to wonder why you would continue to torture yourself if you hate it so much.

    Good article, quit beating a dead horse, no one cares.

  4. Greg

    I remember a number of Episode I reviews stating the movie was better than *Return of the Jedi*. I actually agree with that , but it didn’t remain the prevailing sentiment for long.

    For all its flaws, the prequel trilogy is a fascinating experiment in filmmaking, and I keep hoping (first with the blu-ray release and then with the 3D release) they’d get a critical reevaluation. It’s too bad the knee-jerk “prequels suck!” reaction keeps people from appreciating what the films have to offer.

  5. Sammygirl

    The prequels aren’t my favorites but I’m not a prequel hater, either. There are moments in all 3 films that I really like, and the visual effects overall are fantastic and fire the imagination.

    I’m old enough to have lived through the dark times when there were only 3 movies, no Internet community, a smattering of fanzines and my dog-eared Marvel Star Wars collection. (Compared to the Jax arc? The prequel trilogy is a frakin’ masterpiece.)

    Just getting the prequels was awesome. There’s plenty to criticize about them but I look askance at people who outright hate them. I wonder how much of that is just posturing and they’re really watching the prequels every time they come on Spike during the holidays.

  6. MG

    I’m surprised to find myself agreeing. And beyond that, I’m a little shocked to find that despite the fact that I don’t really like the Prequels, I’d be reluctant to let them go completely. To me Ewan McGregor is as much a young Obi-wan as Sir Alec Guinness was old Ben. I don’t want to see someone else play the role.

    The reality is that the Prequels aren’t good movies (sorry Prequel Vaders). But they’re still Star Wars, and I’m ok with that. They’re part of the whole. Like the part of your family that you may not be that proud of, but love anyway.

    One thing I’d be interested in seeing is the Clone Wars doing the events of RoTS from a different perspective. Don’t re-tell the story, but maybe events that happened concurrently with what we saw in RoTS with some overlap. That would be interesting.

  7. Dunc Post author

    Thanks, everyone. Particularly for being civil.

    MG: Them being bad isn’t a ‘reality,’ i.e. fact – it’s an opinion. A widely held opinion, but still, an opinion.

  8. Jess

    “Them being bad isn’t a ‘reality,’ i.e. fact – it’s an opinion. A widely held opinion, but still, an opinion.”

    THANK YOU.

  9. Pabawan

    I find it ironic that the current online support for VFX uses as its flag imagery of greenscreen before-and-after in order to showcase the artistry and effort required to do what is now standard in the industry. A short time ago, images of that type based on the prequels were used to, well, complain about a perceived lack of artistry and effort in those movies. tldr; it’s okay when other movies do it.

  10. MG

    You know, I didn’t intend this to devolve into “I hate prequels so all of you suck” or anything like that. Please feel free to just reject my “opinion” response.

    In fact (hah) my original point was that I don’t love the prequels, and I don’t think they’re good movies, but they’re still Star Wars, and I have grown fond of certain parts of them so I don’t want them to just be tossed aside. That’s all. =)

  11. Jason Ward

    I love all six Star Wars movies. I have to be honest, the people who can’t let it go are really boring and it makes me not want to socialize with the fandom in general sometimes.

    There came a point where everyone on both sides of the issue has said what they have to say. Unless someone happens to have a new fresh perspective, my eyes glaze over and I don’t have the patience to hear something I’ve already heard before.

  12. OneMinuteGalactica

    Have to say I detest the PT, but have never been one to spew my hate online. If Jedi was a disappointment to me, then the prequels were the same times 10. Maybe 20. But there was never really hate, anyway, more a sense of a lost opportunity. Love the first two movies, can accept Jedi as an underwhelming conclusion to the OT, and completely ignore the prequels. And no, I don’t watch them on TV, because there’s just nothing there, not even one scene or action sequence, that I care to see again.

    I’ll wait to see if the new movies make things better or not. Frankly, I don’t think things could get worse, so I feel like there’s nothing to lose by making them. If they’re good, the PT will just seem like a fluke of badness. If they’re terrible, the OT will seem like a fluke of greatness. But I’m not going to get too invested either way. And I’ll always have the two movies I love, and the one I can accept. The others I have no problem ignoring.

  13. Sean

    My feelings:

    Ep 1 = Flash Gordon silliness that looked great and was fun.

    Ep 2 = weird tone, hard to get into, trying too hard to be both Ep 1 and original trilogy, cool action

    Ep 3 = Nice tragic overtones, too much planet hopping, not enough story, descent rap up, nice mythology but a bit too little too late

    For me, I’ve always felt the films were weak but the overall story was decent. That’s why I like Clone Wars so much. They’re building on that story in ways I wish Lucas had.

  14. Aaron

    >>But there was never really hate, anyway, more a sense of a lost opportunity.

    My sentiments exactly. I don’t hate the prequels, in fact: I really like Episode I a lot. Sure, the film wasn’t perfect but it’s impossible to deny that a lot of love went into setting up that world, coming up with new characters, designing it all, etc. In that regard, it’s a greater masterpiece than A New Hope which wasn’t nearly as complex or stimulating (well, to me that is).

    Overall, though, the prequels feel as if George Lucas himself simply gave up at some point after The Phantom Menace and just pushed on because he had to. That’s an imho thing, of course, but to me Episode II and III feel lackluster in ways that I have otherwise only seen in TV shows on the verge of cancellation. Characters like Dooku and Grievous who are supposed to represent a major party of that conflict are brought in out of the blue, they have no backstory or characterization whatsoever. The love story was… And the whole Padmé arc was… I still don’t know what those were. The great friendship between Obi-Wan and Anakin: Nowhere to be found. And so it just goes on and on.

    I really don’t hate the prequels but wherever I look I see missed opportunities. And I can’t help but wonder what they would have been like, had Lucas simply hired somebody like Dave Filoni, somebody to whom making an actual Star Wars movie would have been the greatest thrill and honor in the world. Because I look at those making-of features of Episode II and III, and there isn’t a single moment there where Lucas seems happy as either a writer or a director. And I think it’s that passion, that sense of happiness, that is ultimately what’s missing here. The prequels were made because Lucas felt he had to make them, to finally be done with Star Wars. And that’s not a good enough reason if you ask me.

  15. Dunc Post author

    Obligatory reminder to play nice. People are allowed to admit they dislike things, this is not the place to attack or debate that. Any truly hateful comments (on either side) are not going to make it past the moderation queue, which is now in full force.

  16. Crazy

    I totally agree. I don’t like the PT much, but I love the battle scenes with all the starfighters and such zipping around. The graphics are better than the OT.
    Oh, and I do love Jar Jar. Some people hate him, I say he’s slapstick humor, and he’s great! I am glad he’s not in Eps. 2 or 3, though. It wouldn’t fit the overall theme of those movies.

  17. Lin

    “I really don’t hate the prequels” but every other negative verb is applied. I agree with Jason… tired of the spiel and a huge reason why I don’t post much of anything anywhere. Been there, defended that. You’re not going to convince me, and I’m not going to convince you.

  18. Josh

    A-freakin’-MEN!

    You know, when I see a film I don’t care for, I don’t talk about it again. I certainly don’t seek out discussion on it on the internet. I mean, life’s too short to spend on the films you DON’T like.

    And I love how, even after a post like this, some people still have to make ABSOLUTELY clear how much they don’t like the prequels. Even though no one asked.

  19. FlippypinoAmerican

    They weren’t the best in the world hands down, but I was glad they were made! At least they were made by George Lucas and not some schmuck who bought the rights.

    Could it have been done better? What movie or series of movies can’t be?

    The prequels told the story of Anakin and his downfall. I thought it was an too easy of a downfall and more conflict could have been added, but the story was told!

    Drop the hate and live on!

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