What I Like About the Prequels

Ok, I realize that you read the title, and you were probably thinking “WTF? You guys just wrote a post on why they suck, a review of reviews of how they suck, not to mention a MOVIE about how they suck! You can’t just like them all of a sudden!!!” Patience, young Jedi. There is no betrayal here. Continue to read, and perhaps when you finish, you’ll like the prequels a little more as well. Not to mention, making fun of the prequels is almost too easy, and I wanted a challenge.

1) John Williams

John Williams is like the Richard Wagner of our day. Personally, if every movie was scored by him and Danny Elfman, I wouldn’t argue. Hell, I might even watch 8 Mile then. His musical scores in the Original Trilogy were so perfect, that I would credit him for being a large part of why Star Wars is frequently referred to as a “space opera”, a title that certainly does it justice. Apparently, when George decided to make the prequels, he had at least one moment where he pulled his head out of his- err, the clouds and took that brief moment of fresh smelling lucidity to bring back John Williams. And John Williams, at least, was able to do his job right. The music in the prequels is a worthy successor to the original score.

You know, this kind of makes the prequels even more of an opera than the originals. Much like a real opera, the best part of the prequels is the music.

2) Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman isn’t really that great a reason, I know. She is a very talented (V for Vendetta) and natural actress (The Professional), and I really like looking at her in the snow bunny outfit. Is that reason enough to watch the prequels? Not even close. Thank god for still shots.

But, the prequels did make a lot of money, somehow, and other movie studios use that sort of thing to judge an actress’ appeal to movie audiences. So being in the prequels was a boon to her career, and this year alone I can think of at least two movies she’s in, Hesher and Black Swan. And to quote Ben Affleck, “You gotta do the safe picture. Then you can do the art picture.” Even as crap they pulled in a dollar amount that was just obscene, so the prequels were the safe film, and now she can go on to make movies I do like.

3) A New Appreciation

Watching the prequels gives me a new appreciation for the originals. This shouldn’t be taken as they were so bad it makes me love the originals more. Even though that’s true, too. No, the prequels make me see a few things in the original in a new light that does add depth.

The best example of this is the fight in A New Hope between Vader and Obi Wan. I knew intellectually that they had been friends back in the day, because Obi Wan tells Luke they were early in the movie. But I wasn’t thinking about that when I watched the scene; I was thinking that’s a cool little lightsaber duel.

Now when I watch A New Hope, I think about their relationship because I’ve seen it in the prequels. That makes their duel in A New Hope a much more powerful, and touching scene to me now, and it’s because of the prequels. We’ll ignore the fact that I am also now constantly reminded how they fight like geriatrics compared to the way they did in the prequels. And yes, they were older in A New Hope, but in the prequels old people were bouncing off the walls. Never mind, I’m supposed to be talking about why the prequels are GOOD. Next topic!

4) Return of the Franchise

Before the prequels, Star Wars had become more of a geek thing. Granted, it was a “geek-lite” if you will. If the extent of your “geekiness” was Star Wars in high school, girls would still date you, and the jocks wouldn’t shove you in a locker. Of course, as soon as you mention Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica, they’d turn on you like a pack of rabid wolverines, but I digress.

But Star Wars had left mainstream culture. I still know a guy who has seen the prequels but not the originals. But my point is, the prequels brought Star Wars into the limelight again. There could be no KOTOR without TPM. And KOTOR is one of my favorite games ever. I have a LEGO Death Star that’s enormous. If not for the prequels, I wouldn’t. So many great things related to the originals came out only because the prequels re-sparked the public imagination. And that is a great thing.

You Like Them, Too

We love reading your comments, and I know many of you like the prequels a lot more than we do. Feel free to tell us why. Also, the next post is coming straight from the comments and I will be quoting some of you in it, so if you’ve commented on the blog before, make sure you don’t miss the next post.

Oh, and hey, make sure you hit us up on Facebook and Twitter. We love to talk to you guys on there, too. And we put some great stuff on those sites that doesn’t make it to the blog.

See you guys next time!

Top 5 Reasons the Prequels Suck

We love Star Wars.

The amazing story of Luke and the rebel forces is more than enough to satisfy all of our Star Wars film needs. If we wanted more, we had the books. We had toys, we had movies, we had the Christmas Special to ignore; life was good. We even had Muppet Star Wars.

But then someone at the Ranch thought, “Hey, if we make more Star Wars movies, we’ll make more money!” and the whole damn thing came spiraling down. With so many great books and comics to draw upon for inspiration, this should have been an easy task, but somewhere it failed during execution. While there are plenty of reasons the movies were…less than ideal, shall we say, here are the top 5 reasons the prequels sucked.

Reason 5 – Midi-chlorians

What? What the hell is a midi-chlorian? Well, let’s see what George has to say:

“Midi-chlorians are a loose depiction of mitochondria, which are necessary components for cells to divide.”

Thanks for clearing that up.

It seems George decided that because Star Wars is science fiction, the force needed a scientific reason behind it. Hey George, you were wrong. The Force was an effective plot device specifically because it brought mysticism to a world that was pure science. As any magician knows, once you explain how the trick works, the magic is gone. “May the Midi-chlorians be with you.” Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?

Oh, and does anyone say “May the Force be with you,” in the prequels? I didn’t hear it.

Reason 4 – The Plot

Wow, this is a subject that could be explored all day. Basically, the problem is this: The original movies had a very simple plot. The rebel forces are overthrowing the evil empire, and some kid from a backwater planet accidentally becomes the great hero of the rebellion. Easy to follow, and still plenty entertaining.

The prequels? Not so much. Watching any of those movies is like watching C-Span coverage of a Senate debate cut with 10 minute scenes of lightsaber fights. I still have no idea what’s going on half the time in those movies. I know the plot for Star Wars had a big political background, but it was in the background. Where it should have stayed.

Reason 3 – The Realism is Gone

In the originals, the worlds and settings of the movies looked real. Part of that is because they actually were real, but part of it is the attention to detail. Everything in the first three movies looked like it had existed prior to the movies. The Millenium Falcon is a heap and looks like it’s three more hyper-space jumps from permanent retirement in a Detroit junkyard. Yoda’s home is messier than the swamp it’s located in. The cantina looks like a dusty bar in Nevada somewhere.

But apparently before the Empire took over, everyone was a clean freak and washed and waxed their starships every week. There is nothing realistic about it. Everything is so…pretty. It’s not how things are in real life, and for movies that are prequels to ones that got it right the first time, it’s a bit disappointing.

Reason 2 – Forced Re-Edits of the Originals

Once the prequels were done, George felt that to maintain continuity throughout the series, he would go back in and re-edit the originals. Yet again.

Why, George? Why? Why couldn’t you just leave the originals be?

He put the actors from the prequels into the original trilogy. Now at the end of The Return of the Jedi, we don’t see a jovial Sebastian Shaw relaxing with Yoda and Obi Wan, we see Hayden Christensen.
Was he even born when the originals were made? I’m no closet fan of Sebastian Shaw, but it’s his face that I think of when I picture an unmasked Darth Vader. Hayden Christensen is not Darth Vader. And for me, he never will be. Many other prequel actors were inserted into the originals as well.

Of course, the insertion of a Gungan (celebration scene, at the end of Jedi) that is most idiotic leads me to…

Reason 1 – Jar-Jar F-ing Binks

Jar Jar Binks - The Godfather reference

Yeah, you knew this was coming. Is there really anything I need to say past “Meeza”? I don’t think so.

The best scene with Jar-Jar was in Robot Chicken when Vader throws him out an airlock.

And there you have it, folks. Those are our top five reasons the prequels suck. Is it any wonder we made The People vs. George Lucas? Somebody needs to be held accountable for this travesty.

Why do YOU think they suck? Or do you?