Star Wars Prequel Trilogy is more practical than you remember


YouTube video essay details surprisingly practical effects for Prequel Trilogy

As time has progressed and Star Wars fans have found more pressing matters to be upset over, the once much loathed Prequel Trilogy has had something of a positive revaluation in recent years. While certain critiques of those films will always be valid – stiff writing and stiff direction chief among them – other criticisms may need not stand as ultimately damning. In this case, the complaint of over-reliance on CGI to create filmed assets is ready to be revisited. Enter YouTuber Dylan Dubeau and his channel Not Exactly Normal with a brief but informative video essay:

For those unable to watch the video, Dubeau points out how many filmed assets (sets, creatures, props) in the Prequel Trilogy were made using practical methods. While acknowledging the flaws in some design elements where appropriate, and pointing out the areas where the use of CGI did truly falter, his essay proves highly illuminating to the degree of real effort that went into creating those films.

Woodworking, sculpting, miniatures, and puppetry were all used to varying degrees and successes in the Prequels. These forms of practical production being used in a Star Wars film is, of course, not wholly novel. The Original Trilogy used these methods almost exclusively to monumental effect after all.

But the craftsmanship and dedication of the artisans involved in the creation of the Prequels has every reason to be re-examined; and the stigma of those films brushed a little finer from the looking-glass.

As I’ve noted several times before, the collectivized force of artistry employed to create this film franchise deserves notice. Especially for those whose job success means they remain invisible to the greater film going populace. It is also worth bearing in mind that elements that draw dire criticism can – in time– be revisited and found to be less egregious than previously held.

While the more cynically inclined can simply attribute this phenomena to a ‘rose-colored-glasses’ view of the past, when hard evidence is presented (such as happens here) that is contrary to said cynicism, it must be evaluated. The distance of time merely affords the luxury of less heightened emotion in which to view the subject matter.

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The Star Wars fanbase is animated and passionate. That is a net positive aspect and should be encouraged. It was, after all, the passion of the fans that resulted in the revival of The Clone Wars animated series for one last hurrah. Among all the passion and roiling emotions it is a pleasant surprise to find such well produced and nuanced histories of the ground level work put forth to create the Star Wars universe.

Does seeing the use of practical effects change your mind about the Prequels? Sound off in the comments below!