Long Rant (SW Prequels)
Look, I know this topic is addressed a lot, and it’s really not vitally important to most people, but it’s a little important to me.
As a kid growing up in the early 21st century, I missed a lot of the awesome stuff that came from the 20th century. So, as I got older, I was able to watch and understand some of the great entertainment things the 20th century had to offer. One example that affected me the greatest was Star Wars.
When I first heard about Star Wars, I didn’t know much, just the generic stuff everyone knew like iconic character names and famous lines like, “I am your father.”
By the time I finally scooped up an interest in the movies, my family had only owned three out of the six Star Wars movies, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. At the time, I knew nothing of all the love for the original trilogy and the unfortunate hate for the prequel trilogy.
So, without the original trilogy in my possession and my dying need to find out what all the Star Wars fuss was about, I sat around with my family and watched The Phantom Menace for the very first time. Let me just say…I was in love.
From the very beginning I was intrigued, despite my limited knowledge on what was actually happening. Of course now that I have progressed a Star Wars fan, I know more than an average fan, my trivia knowledge pretty high. XD
However, as soon as it ended, I knew I was hooked. I just had to watch the second one. And I did. Then came the third, and by that one I was a puddle of tears. Probably one of the most moving and tragic things I have seen in cinema, give or take a few other things of course.
It was such a beautiful thought out plot-line that obviously had in depth thought put into it. Later, I even watched the behind the scenes of the prequels, entranced in the process and how much effort was put into these three films.
I became so obsessed with the prequels that I almost forgot that there were three other movies. So, for Valentine’s Day that year, my family bought me the original trilogy I was so anxious to see. I saw it, all three, and I loved them even more.
Now I’ve delved into more than just the movies; the television shows, the books, everything. It has officially consumed my life. So when I heard a 7th movie was being made, boy was I ecstatic. I had never been so excited for a film in my life. And to know that so many others were excited with me, people of all ages, it made me so happy.
I’ve always thought of Star Wars as this dark tragic tale with space battles, good versus evil, awesome aliens, etc. and I love sharing it with others…until I discovered the hate thrown towards the prequel trilogy.
Since it was the first trilogy I watched, I did become more emotionally attached to it, despite the superiority of the previous three films. At first, I understood peoples opinions of disliking the movies, you can’t love everything…but then I realized that it stretched further than the fans.
The official Star Wars people themselves often refuse to mention the prequels, almost forgetting their existence entirely. And not only is that offensive to me and several other prequel fans, but also to the people who worked hard long years to make the movies for us in the first place. When The Phantom Menace first came out, I assume the hype for it was just as much as there was for The Force Awakens. So what’s the difference?
Normally, I wouldn’t be bugged by this, but it has gotten to the point where I own almost nothing Star Wars-related from the prequel trilogy. The closest I can get is action figures from the Clone Wars series and maybe a film poster or two. And, we have to deal with hate from original trilogy ‘purists’ or ‘true fans’ going against what most of us grew up with.
Many people working for the Star Wars franchise consider the series as a ‘generational thing’ that has spanned almost 40 years now, but how can it be generational if one whole generation is completely skipped over and ignored? Are we not important too? Actors like Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Hayden Christensen (just a few to name) are never at any of the conventions, nor are their names mentioned, if rarely. In fact, there are several videos talking about how the prequels could be better, or how they suck, their ‘unrealistic effects’, ‘crappy acting’, and ‘special edition ruining of the originals’. You write one comment in the defense of the films and a spam of hate is thrown your way. In fact, I might get hate for this. And rumors of Hayden Christensen returning for Episode VIII received cheers from myself and others, but hate from the majority?
I couldn’t help but notice at the 2015 Star Wars Comic Con panel, the not so very subtle hint at ‘practical effects will be used’ said so many times that it gave me a headache. The Force Awakens had plenty of CGI in it, and it was hardly noticeable to most people because that’s what movies do. In the prequels, the technology was a little below dated as it is today, so the CGI was exceptional for that time. You don’t see people criticizing old movies because they aren’t in color, right?
Also, as much as I loved The Force Awakens, it was not original at all. The prequels burst out with this beautiful tragic story of a slave boy who was destined to save them all and simply fell to the dark side in the end, but out of love and a need to protect his wife and children. The tragedy of Darth Vader. And while some may argue that The Phantom Menace wasn’t creative either, there is a difference between parallels and almost plagiarism. The Phantom Menace did not have A New Hope’s exact plot, despite parallels referenced to it like Anakin blowing up the Trade Federation ship and Luke blowing up the Death Star, or a simple boy who grew up on Tatooine to become a hero…but it pretty much stops about there.
I have written out a full plot analysis between A New Hope and The Force Awakens to see that they are pretty much the exact. same. movie. And that’s why fans loved it so much, because they’ve already seen it before. I have been argued with that they are bringing this back for new generations, yet keeping it nostalgic at the same time, and yes that’s good, but I couldn’t help but sit in the theater and expect everything that was going to happen because I had already scene this movie before. I waited so long for TFA only to watch a remake of ANH. My hopes for Episode VIII are low…so I hope I can be proved wrong.
Anyways, my point is that the prequel trilogy, despite its hate that I will never understand, needs to be represented more. If anything, at least talk about it once or twice, invite Ewan, Natalie, or Hayden to do something. I think the most representation these movies have gotten are Ewan’s one barely-audible voice-over in TFA. All I’m asking is for this small part of the Star Wars fandom to be recognized and for more notice towards these three movies to be recognized by not just fans, but the workers at the official Star Wars as well.
Cause just as there was a little girl or boy who looked up to Luke, Han, and Leia and now Rey, Poe, and Finn, there was also a little girl or boy who looked up to Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padmé…and now that they’re older, they can speak out for themselves to get more of the movies they love.
I know it’s a lot to ask, and this little thing probably won’t change much on the Star Wars ‘social scale’, but I just want anyone who is a prequel fan, or even a participator in making the prequels possible, to know that I care, and so do many others.
I love Star Wars as a whole, always have. I do not differentiate between the different directors, actors, etc. If it has to do with Star Wars, I’m in. I love the storyline, the tragedy, the action, the romance, the drama, everything…I just hope one day everyone else can too.