germ war

kokiri85  asked:

How do you feel about all the hate for the Star Wars prequels? While I like the OT better because they have Luke, I personally liked those movies fine? But I feel like if I say so in public I have to be ready for an argument.

Yeah, that about sums it up.

I like the OT better as a whole, too, because I think the storytelling is tighter and Luke’s character arc is just amazing and, tbqh, because I have a greater preference for redemption stories.

That said, I like the prequels as well. Were they perfect? No. But really the OT wasn’t either: there’s plenty of clunky dialogue and awkward plotholes and retcons in both trilogies. I think the prequels do a good job of setting up the OT, and they make the galaxy a much, much larger place than the OT gave us.

But the most important thing the prequels do, for me at least, is cast the redemption story of the OT in a new light.

I’m one of those people who is, technically, in the PT generation, but I grew up with the OT, and I was old enough when the PT started coming out that I still remember all of my old headcanons and thoughts about Star Wars when the OT was all that existed.

And I’m not sure people realize what a massive difference the PT’s portrayal of the Jedi makes for the meaning and theme of the OT? I mean, when the OT was all we had, it read very much as: this is the story of Luke Skywalker, and how he redeems his father. And that’s what I fell in love with Star Wars for. But back then, the Jedi came across as pretty straight-forwardly good, especially Yoda. Oh, you still had Obi-Wan “Certain Points of View” Kenobi telling Luke he’d have to kill his own father or he’d be letting the Emperor win. And that has always disturbed me. But before the PT, it somehow didn’t read as quite so disturbing to me? And the Yoda of ESB and ROTJ really did come across as a wise, compassionate, and all around good person.

The biggest thing the PT does, for me, is to show us what the Jedi were actually like. And the thing is, they were deeply, fundamentally flawed. In ESB Yoda tells Luke that wars don’t make one great, but the Jedi were warriors. By the end of the PT, that was their defining characteristic, to the point that they didn’t seem to know how to solve problems other than by fighting. They talked about compassion (or at least, Anakin did - I find it interesting that we don’t hear any of the other PT era Jedi ever so much as mention the word), but they didn’t live it. They held themselves aloof from the general public and they were embroiled in politics. They sent children to fight and die in wars. They took charge of a slave army of beings genetically engineered to be more obedient with seemingly no qualms.

Obviously, the Sith are without question worse than the Jedi. But the OT painted a picture that was largely black and white (although it was possible to read between the lines with Obi-Wan, and his lies to Luke were always pretty shady), but the PT explicitly repainted the picture in shades of grey. (One of many reasons why “Only a Sith deals in absolutes” is so hilarious to me.)

Suddenly, in light of the PT, the OT becomes a redemption narrative for everyone, not just Anakin. Luke redeems his father, and he also redeems the Jedi. Luke and Leia together redeem the Republic, which was just as flawed and broken as the old Jedi Order.

And to me that makes the story of Star Wars much richer. And, actually, it even makes it more hopeful. It’s about rebuilding a broken world full of broken people, and it insists (because Luke was right) that redemption is possible and the world can be rebuilt.