I believe that an essay could be written on the sea of problems with the prequel movies. They fail in so many varied ways; ways that make you wonder if George Lucas went insane. George Lucas seems to have thought that the first three films were beloved for all the wrong reasons and that he had free rein to ruin the best film series of all time. Sadly, these films will never be erased for they are chained forever to the best science fiction films of all time. The main thing that is wrong with the prequels is that they are boring. It feels as if almost nothing happens during the first two films. The witty banter of Han Solo and the philosophy of Yoda has been replaced with endless exposition about things that do not matter. Think about it like this the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, the opening text scroll talks of an evil empire, rebellion, galactic warfare and a ship that can blow up planets. In the Phantom Menace, the opening text scroll it talks of a trade federation, civil unrest, and senators. That should give you a sense of the greatness of the first trilogy. There comes an issue of race because most of the aliens are depicting stereotypes about certain races especially Jar Jar Binks who is unambiguously a black stereotype. These films perpetuate many hurtful and tasteless the stereotypes. The acting in these films is awful too. Actors who are supposed to tell an epic story seem to have had all talent sucked out of them. Monotone performers create monotone boring films.
The worst of the bunch is Anikin (Hayden Christiansen) himself, who in addition to being the worst actor in the film, also always looks angry. It does not help that out of all the horribly written characters in the film he is written the worst. Here’s a sampling of some “romantic” dialogue “I hate sand, it’s coarse it’s irritating, and it gets everywhere”. Also, the romance is horrible, I have seen divorces that have more love than these two. The greatest villain of all time has been reduced to a winning, stupid, little brat who always talks like a year old complaining about how he didn’t get what he wanted for christmas. Furthermore, every time I watch Darth Vader I will be forced to think of an angsty emo-teen instead of the greatest villain ever. Speaking of villains, guess what the prequels messed up next. In the first trilogy we had two villains who are developed and built-up over the course of the three great films and one who was still intimidating and well written. In this trilogy we have about five villains, one or two for each film, and none of which are interesting, well-written, or developed. The thing I hate most about those films is the over use of CGI. In the original trilogy CGI was used but it was made to look more real. Here people walk in CGI landscapes with CGI people in the background, on CGI floors, talking to CGI people; all of which is does not look even remotely convincing. It feels more like a Lucasarts CGI model showcase than it does a cohesive story. Nonetheless, there were a few positive points as well. The musics good and I’m sure there are some good scores in there if you look really hard. This entire trilogy is like a white noise machine, boring, you can tune it out (my friends and I played monopoly through the entire second film) and it helps you sleep. It is in my opinion the definition of how not to make an epic film series. I will give the Star Wars prequels a D.
By Sam Finbury