Now as any person who knows even a little bit about the space opera sci fi epic that is STAR WARS, they know that the original trilogy is highly reguarded as the better of the two. Many criticized the prequel trilogy for various reasons ranging from the heavy use of CGI, to stiff acting, to less than loveable characters....
However, it will always be one of my most favorite franchises of all time. With all of the flack that people give this movie (especially hardcore Star Wars fans), it made me wonder what is really wrong with the prequels that sends some people into such a frenzy. I understand that the films had some issues, but I still feel like there's much to be loved here. It's for that reason that I decided to make this list of 5 good and bad things about the prequel Star Wars trilogy. Enjoy!
THIS MY PERSONAL OPINION!
Please note that these are not in any specific order.
Excellent lightsaber duels: Prior to the prequel trilogy, the only lightsaber duels we had were between Darth Vader, who while a master of the sith, was restricted by the bulky armor he wore, and an only slightly trained Luke Skywalker who didn't know the ancient forms of the Jedi such as Shien, Ataru, and Shii-Choo. The Phantom menace gave us a taste of what a well trained pair of Jedi Knights fighting off against a well trained and ferocious sith lord was like and it made for quite a memorable duel. Not to mention the climatic battle against Obi Wan and Anakin in Revenge of the Sith
4. The Jedi Order
Throughout the original trilogy you hear mentions of this antient order of warriors who protected the galaxy for thousands of years. You meet two of the best of these warriors in those movies, however they are both out of their prime and more so play the role of a mentor to Luke Skywalker. Here we see the many different aspects of the order, from the younglings to the Jedi council, to even a jedi temple on Coruscant. The prequel trilogy gives us a look at what a true Jedi order was like at it's peak, with teachers, students, and an organized system.
3. It expanded the Universe
Expanded the universe greatly: As if the Star Wars wasn't already expansive enough, the prequels took us to brand new sections of the galaxy from Naboo to Geosnosis to Utapau. We were introduced to countless new races, brand new environments, and most of all we got to see what the galaxy was like before the fall of the republic and the empire had it's hands all over the galaxy.
2. Excellent Actors and Actresses
Natalie Portman, Samuel Jackson and Ewan McGregor are all excellent actors and actresses. Some are Award winners and have proven themselves time and time again in roles both before and after they starred in this trilogy. There were a few great people that were a part of this franchise and in my opinion did a great job. While in certain areas the acting gets a bit spotty at best...
It wasn't like anyone was so bad that it completely broke the film.Even a certain child actor that takes a lot of heat for his portrayal of a particular chosen one....
In my opinion, Jake lloyd wasn't as bad as some people would lead you to believe. His role in episode was at the very least functionable. it's not as if he was some bratty teenager who talked back to his master every chance he got and made us nearly hat e the so called "chosen one" who was supposed to be the galaxy's savior,
but we'll get to that later....
1. Jar Jar
Calm down calm down, it was a joke....
1. The Clone War
We had heard reference to the Clone War during that historic conversation between Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in a New Hope. It's made to be this epic conflict that ended up changing the face of the galaxy forever. This is what we get to see during the Prequels! (the second 2 movies anyway) To see it depicted in these films was a treat. Scenes like the opening to Revenge of the Sith above Coruscant and on the beaches of Kashyyyk are simply amazing to me.
I had always wondered exactly how the Jedi were all massacred across the face of the galaxy and this pretty much shows how. It was sad to watch the clones turn against them one by one, but still pretty great watch. It shows how we end up in the galaxy that we are in by the time the original trilogy rolls around and it makes sense.
5. The Entire Direction they went with Anakin
Anakin Skywalker in I think most people's eyes was supposed to be this brave and noble hero who we could relate with and over time fell to the darkside. That is not what we get however.(until the cartoon came out but I'm talking about the movies) Instead we get a pissy, jealous, homicidal maniac as the protagonist that we're supposed to cheer for. When I envisioned the chosen one, I in no way thought of "a person who massacred an entire village of not just men, but also women and children. Let me say it again. HE MURDERED CHILDREN!!!!! The film tries to sweep it under the rug as if it's not a big deal, however I just can't get over how evil you'd have to be to KILL CHILDREN! I mean by the time he turns over to the dark side, it's already pretty obvious that this was going to happen. It's not surprising that he would kill younglings in the Jedi temple. He's already probably killed children that age already. He should be used to it. I think it has less to do with Hayden Christensen as an actor than it does with the way that the character was written. He had very few likeable character traits. He was rash, arrogant, disrespectful to his master, overall just an annoying character.
4. Heavy Use of CGI
Just because you have the ability to put it in during post production, doesn't mean that you should. The original Star Wars trilogy despite not being riddled with computer generated alien species, was considered awesome as far as visual effects go. Yes I understand that this is a science fiction film taking place in space so there is going to be heavy use of special effects, CGI, and most likely a green/blue screen. If it makes the film better then by all means go ahead. However like Lucas said himself....
I don't hate all of the CGI done within the films (like I said I love these movies) but maybe a small return to some practical effects wouldn't hurt....
3. Lack of focus on characters
This one is more so pointed at the Phantom Menace more than anything. Let's compare the original trilogy to the prequels for a moment, More specifically the first film in each. (The Phantom Menace and A New Hope) In A New Hope, the audience is introduced to the characters that we'll be watching for the rest of the trilogy, Luke, Han, Leia, R2D2, C-3PO and Chewbacca. (The droids are more or less comic relief but I still love em so what the hell....) During A New Hope, the film focuses in on their characters.
It doesn't treat them as background characters, this is clearly their film. That's not the case in The Phantom Menace. The film features a wide variety of characters, some of which seem to be in supporting roles like Padme, young Anakin Skywalker and padawan Obi Wan until the end of of the film. (who are basically what the rest of the trilogy is about oddly enough.) It seems to focus more on Qui-Gon Jinn who dies at the end of this film anyway. As much as I do like Liam Neeson in the movie, unfortunately I don't think the movie should have spent so much time on him. This was our chance to become introduced to the younger group of protagonists that we would be watching for the next two films, and see them work together for the first time.
2. Instances of bad lightsaber choreography
Now while I said that there are some spectacular moments in the prequel's lightsaber duels, I have to mention that their are some fairly disappointing ones as well. Anytime that a Jedi, even a padawan just flings his arm randomly in mid air just so his opponent can slice it off, something is wrong....
From a clumsy attempt by Darth Maul to throw Qui-Gon off balance (Which works some how)
to Anakin and Dooku twirling their sabers around, their are definitely some cringe worthy moments.
1. Jar Jar
Okay, again this a joke since this one's way too obvious, so I'm gonna go ahead and give another one.
1. Not enough Obi Wan and Anakin companionship
One of my most favorite scenes from episode 3 was when Obi Wan and Anakin rip apart Grievous' guards after breaking free from their capture. They both were slicing and dicing their way through battle droids and ended up making a badass landing to end it all. You would expect to see more of this throughout the entire trilogy, however that's not the case. As said before, the Phantom Menace doesn't even focus on these two characters so there's no room for that there, and scenes like these boiled down to a small elevator encounter in the beginning of Attack of the Clones. For the most part, the two of them are always separated from one another. when Obi Wan fights Jango Fett, Anakin is somewhere else. When Obi Wan is fighting General Grievous, Anakin is somewhere else. When Anakin is protecting the Princess, Obi Wan is somewhere else. Even in the lightsaber battles this happens as the two are kept apart during both battles with Dooku. In fact they are apart for basically most of episode 2 and 3 except for the very beginning and end of each film. It would've been nice to not only see the master to student relationship between the two, but also see the brotherhood between them. I felt like the two of them should've been the closest of companions. Anakin should've felt comfortable enough to confide in him certain things. As close as they should've been, he should've been a bit more open minded to telling Obi Wan about him and Padme. Also it should've been a but harder for Anakin to just want to murder his old mentor and friend after he's turned to the dark side.
Even had he believed the Jedi were truly evil, This is someone who's been your friend and teacher since childhood. I just don't believe he'd turn his back on him like that.
Now again despite those cons, I still have and will always love each and every Star Wars film. I don't think the prequels were that bad, but then again I'm a Star Wars fanboy. It could just be my love of the franchise talking, but let me know what you think in the comments section below!