In honor of May the Fourth I think I will follow up the post I had written on the popular opinion of the Star Wars prequels with one about my thoughts on how the popular opinions have been formed. My interest in what happened with Star Wars prequels started a few years ago because I was sick of the vitriolic hate that surrounds them. Therefore, I had sat down, re-watched them, and realized that while yes they are lesser Star Wars movies, the films on their own were not as bad as the popular opinion would have you think they were. Since that time, I have spent a lot of time thinking about where this vitriol comes from.
First, I will start with one of the most obvious reasons, Jar Jar Binks. First, off Jar Jar plays the role of the fool and is clearly a comic relief character, however, that comic relief is only really appealing to children under the age ten. The first time that I saw The Phantom Menace in 1999 I thought Jar Jar was funny, I was also seven. What was funny when your seven is not so funny when you’re twenty. This actually leads to a latter point. In all honesty I think I will call bullshit on the Jar Jar is only there to sell action figures talk because frankly, George would have sold more action figures if he had kept Darth Maul alive.
The next reason is Hayden Christianson. He does not give a good performance in these films. But people who say that there is absolutely nothing redeemable about the performance what so ever, probably have not the slightest idea what goes into the craft of acting. Watch the scene in Revenge of the Sith where he kills the younglings, and you should see what I mean, and if you don’t, then I was right. I was in the nothing redeemable about the performance camp for many years myself, until I took two acting classes in school and learned a bit about the craft of acting.
I said I was going to keep this short, and it is already quite long-winded so the last reason will be in a long story short format. Lucas had no real vision for these films as he had with the original trilogy. He wanted to tell Anakin’s story and did, but because by ’99 he had access to money and technology that he did not have in the ‘70s he had a very can I do this? Yes, I can do this so I will do this mentality, and no one questioned him about it.
I know I had already done a prequel post, but I am fascinated by the culture that surrounds them and want to explore it. Just keep in mind that because they are lesser Star Wars films does not mean that they are terrible movies by themselves.