Star Wars – Six Reasons to Watch the Prequels

facebooktwitterreddit has recently run a piece on the six reasons that one should watch or re-watch the prequel trilogy. I will admit to being a Star Wars fan who has in the past looked upon Episodes I-III with more than a hint of disdain. For me, it wasn’t the shiny newness of it all…the polished ships, the weird hair and wardrobe of Queen Amidala, and what a lot of people considered the over-choreographed fight scenes. No, for me, the problem lay with the campiness of it all, that is until Revenge of the Sith came along, and allowed the proverbial shit to hit the fan. does make a strong case for going back through and watching the prequels, again, so let’s break them down and see if you are convinced…because honestly, I already am.

1. Anakin Skywalker’s Journey:

Without a doubt, the prequel trilogy was all about the chosen one’s ascension to the ultimate Jedi Knight, and then his rapid and maddening decline into the Dark Side of the Force. Episode I had a child portraying Anakin Skywalker, and to me he was absolutely annoying. Tie him in with the Gungans and you’ve got the makings of a colossal fanboy failure. But, isn’t that the mark of great storytelling? Sometimes you must get through the tough exterior to get inside to the amazing goodness of the real story.

Hayden Christensen donned the mantel of Anakin Skywalker in both Episode II and III, and in my opinion, he knocked the role out of the park. Many people think that he was too whiny and a bit of a spoiled brat, but I think of it as not so much his fault, as the writing and directing. Anakin was clearly a badass Jedi, which he proved many times throughout Episodes II and III, and his acceptance of the Dark Side was only taken because he interpreted his Force dreams incorrectly. I would posit, in fact, that had the ruling Jedi Council taken Anakin more seriously, and worked with him, they could have taught him to accurately determine what he was dreaming was just a warning and not something that would come to pass.

2. Palpatine’s Rise:

There is not a more sinister villain in all of cinematic history than the man who became Darth Sidious, Emperor Palpatine. If you read the book Darth Plagueis you will have a better and in-depth understanding of Palpatine’s rise to power. The Emperor was a master manipulator, and without his manipulation of the Force, and Anakin in particular, Episodes IV – VI would be a completely different story.

3. The Strength of the Jedi:

During the time of he prequels, there were thousands of Jedi, throughout the galaxy. In fact, I believe it was because of their great number, that the Jedi Order became complacent and overlooked the obvisous threat that was right under their noses, in Palpatine. Arguable the strongest Jedi Master in the galaxy, Yoda, had no idea that Palpatine was actually Darth Sidious, a true Sith Lord. I would say that while the Jedi’s numbers were indicative of their strength, it was also a weakness that was easily exposed by their enemies the Sith.

4. Visiting New Locations:

With locations like Naboo, Mustafar, and Coruscant, Star Wars fans were treated with a much larger look at the galaxy, that we did not get in the original trilogy.

5. Politics and the Clone Wars:

Yet another reason for the downfall of the Jedi Order. None of the Jedi seemed to be adept at the politics of the Galactic Senate, which is strange if you think about it, as they were often used as peacekeepers between warring factions and planets. Could their ignorance in politics be yet another byproduct of the Emperor’s manipulation of the Force? Did he in essence blind the Jedi to what was the most important decision of the Order’s life, which was to halt production of the Clone Army?

6. Sith Operations:

As opposed to just the Emperor and Darth Vader, which were the only Sith we were shown in the original trilogy, the prequels gave us a much more broad assortment. As Darth Sidious, Palpatine apprenticed Darth Maul, and when Obi-Wan defeated Maul, Sidious apprenticed Darth Tyranus. And finally, when the Emperor was sure his plans were in place, he had his new apprentice, Anakin Sklywalker, strike down his old, Darth Tyranus (Count Dooku), which began a series of events that led Anakin to the Dark Side and a place at the Emperor’s side.

I personally think that makes a compelling argument to watch the prequels again. Looks like I just found my Memorial Day marathon.

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