Star Wars is a famous franchise. Many fans were excited to hear that these movies were being made; however, some felt that these movies were poor spin-offs. Episode I was seemingly more geared towards children than any of the other movies. This set of movies are why people are joking about Episode VII being Disney's latest toy commercial.
(Rumor has it Michael Jackson wanted to play the much loathed, Jar-Jar Binks.)
Episode I was a really cool experience in the theaters. While pod racing was not seen as something to get out of your seat about; yet, I found appreciation for it. The pod racing made an awesome arcade and home console experience. There were parts of Episode I I found meaningful; however, I feel there was too much effort towards comic relief and catering to a minor aged market.
For an entire story based around the origins of Darth Vader, I strongly feel that George Lucas did not do the character any justice with these movies. Moving on to Episodes II and III, I need to begin by saying that I feel that the older version of Anakin was grossly miscast. I also feel Count Dooku could have been played by a far more superior actor.
I am a big fan of what Ewan McGreggor has done with Obi-Won and am pleased to spread the word that he will likely get a spin-off movie of his own. Some articles out there touch on this more.
For how dark this story was supposed to be from start to end, I feel it has been grossly over sugarcoated. People were not expecting these movies to have the exact same sense as the originals which is fine with me; yet, I feel where LucasFilms went wrong here was not playing on the strength of the dark side. It did not seem like what I was expecting until part of the way through Episode III.
It really disappoints me to see the potential on how some ideas can really be captured right, alongside all the extras meant to serve as fillers which only takes away from the dialogue people seek. These stories touched on the origins of Boba Fett and his father, Jango. It explains what happens to the Jedi Knights prior to the original movies; however, I must complain about the fact this part of the story was far too brief.
There are many Star Wars games, books and comics that explain how other Jedi's survived even though those who did were viciously hunted. I was deeply disappointed by the fact that there were no "Easter Eggs" (so to speak) that hinted at the survival of a fortunate few.
Overall, these movies are worth watching to get an understanding of what is going on in the Star Wars universe. There is value in these movies even though the quality of the end product is arguably compromised. Certain parts are hard to sit through more than once in Episodes I and II. Episode III is probably the only one I am not completely annoyed by. It is by far the best one out of all three of the prequels.
I hope that J.J. Abrams among other future Star Wars directors and producers, can learn from many of the mistakes made within these movies. Those who do, will make mind blowing films that will become instant classics much like the originals.