Today’s column is dedicated to Red Bull, which is the only reason I am physically typing right now. Lately, there’s been a lot of fan love regarding the prequel trilogy. As anyone with an ounce of pop culture knowledge will say the prequel trilogy, which tells Anakin Skywalker’s fall from Jedi to Darth Vader, is widely considered to be the weakest set of films in the series. The acting (Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker) can be cringe-worthy, the screenplay and dialogue can be awkward (“I don’t like sand”) and the CGI is, at times, like “Avatar” (2009) on half the budget.
There are many enjoyable moments, and don’t get me wrong, I still love the prequels, but it’s perfectly okay to acknowledge that it is the weakest trilogy in Star Wars. That being said, recently I’ve seen fans praising the prequels through my many Star Wars fan accounts (Don’t judge, but also, please follow me). Especially after the division created by “The Last Jedi” (2017), it seems like a lot of fans are trashing the newer sequel trilogy and painting the prequels as better, and in many cases, as the best trilogy.
Look, the prequels are enjoyable, filled with great plot and some wonderful moments. “Revenge of the Sith” (2005) is arguably the ultimate emotional rollercoaster of the entire series. Obi-Wan’s entire plot of growth and loss is absolutely perfect, and “The Clone Wars” (2008-2014) series really developed the prequel characters into beloved icons. Yet, in this debate-loving community, it used to be widely agreed that the prequels were the worst movies in the series.
I guess it’s become cool to love what was once not loved. It may have something to do with the fact that the kids who grew up watching the prequels are now adults who view the series nostalgically. It may have to do with the fact that Star Wars is no longer just Anakin’s story and that Disney’s newer movies are more controversial. Regardless, it’s definitely an interesting development. I personally think fan acceptance of the prequels came with “The Clone Wars” and how well the series explores every aspect of the trilogy. For example, Padme is a solid female character, but she becomes much more concrete in “The Clone Wars.” Additionally, this acceptance of the prequels could even be due to the fact that Disney’s sequel trilogy relies heavily on nostalgia of the original trilogy and makes the prequels feel different. After all, lots of people like things that are different. And I mean, they are different, not just in terms of story, but also in terms of tone. Anakin’s fall to the dark side is something we as viewers know is coming, but the details are still shocking. However, while I think fan love for the prequels is important, and yes, I think they’re cool, we also can’t just erase criticism of the prequels.
At the end of the day, the original trilogy and sequel trilogy are objectively better films. They have better plots, characters and cinematography. While I’m glad we’re finally appreciating the prequels, it needs to come with an understanding that they are still not the best films in the series. As always, email me with thoughts! May the Force be with you!