Star Wars Movies: The prequel trilogy is good for the sequel trilogy


Since The Phantom Menace hit theaters in 1999, George Lucas’s three-movie return to Star Wars has been largely ridiculed. But since Disney took over in 2012, the prequels have been a good thing for them.

The prequel series has been a source for ridicule—and in more recent years memes—since the movies started rolling out almost 20 years ago. The awkward dialogue, bad CGI and incoherent storyline all received heavy criticism, often far beyond what was necessary or appropriate.

But I am of the prequel generation. The Phantom Menace was the first Star Wars movie I saw. I didn’t know good dialogue from bad dialogue, or how practical effects are often more aesthetically appealing than CGI. It was space with laser swords and guns and I loved it.

That’s sort of where the fan base at-large is with the prequel series; take it for what it is, don’t think too hard and enjoy it. The ironic appreciation of the prequels that beget the memes reconstructed how many people saw the movies. They became an imperfect but enjoyable chapter of the Star Wars universe.

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But the truth stands. If you watch Attack of the Clones in a vacuum, it’s not a good movie. The same could be said of The Phantom Menace (I’ll put my foot down at Revenge of the Sith—that was a good movie).

However, now that Lucasfilm and Star Wars are over a decade removed from the last movie of the series, the prequels are helping Disney’s Star Wars.

The prequels are a floor

The sequel trilogy has received significant criticism every step of the way. The Force Awakens was too similar to past movies, The Last Jedi was too different or whatever other complaint there may be. There are legitimate problems with the sequel trilogy. They aren’t perfect movies.

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But they are nowhere near as flawed as the prequel trilogy was. Where the prequel trilogies’ visuals were almost distractingly bad, the sequels are consistently aesthetically appealing and at times stunning. The performances from Daisey Ridley, Adam Driver and John Boyega are as good if not better than any of the prequel performances.

The prequels serve Disney because, whatever they make, at least it’s not that. I like the prequels. I watch them often. But when I talk about them, they come with the qualifiers of “ignore the midichlorians”, “look past the CGI” or “get a drink or take a bathroom break when Anakin and Padme are in the dunes”.

The prequels are flawed movies. But they are a floor for Disney. With as much oversight that goes into Disney Star Wars movies, they aren’t bound to fall into the basement of that house.

What are some of your favorite moments from the prequel trilogy?