In honor of the Prequel Appreciation Day, I’m writing about my 10 favorite things I love about the Star Wars Prequels!
1. The story
With just the Originals, you can’t fully understand the entire story of the Star Wars saga, you need the Prequels and the Originals to understand it all. The Prequels told a brilliant story of how the Jedi and the Republic fall and Palpatine’s rise to power and Anakin’s rise to the Jedi and fall to the dark side to become Darth Vader in the end. It was a complex story with so many different theme – betrayal, love, politics, war … and George Lucas couldn’t have told it in a better way.
2. The Cast
The cast is just amazing, George Lucas picked up the right actors for the roles, all delivered masterful performances. I was disappointed when none got any Oscars or Golden Globes. Especially Ewan McGregor who would have definitely deserved one, his performance after his duel against Anakin was heartbreaking! Hayden Christensen had probably the most difficult job to do because Anakin was a constantly tormented character and it was not something easy to express on screen and Hayden did it in a wonderful way.
3. The Visuals
The Prequels were visually mind-blowing. Lucas put a lot of work on the visuals using both practical effects and CGI, a mix of both. He always used CGI to serve the story not the other way around and it’s because of this that these movies were so beautiful, he didn’t use CGI because it was nice to put some here and there but because it served the story. For example, Yoda was an incredible work of CGI, if they had used a puppet, they wouldn’t have been to make such an amazing work of him fighting Count Dooku and Darth Sidious, CGI was needed here. The visuals of the planets that were created, were just beautiful. Naboo is without any doubt one of my favorite planets of the Star Wars galaxy, they used so many miniatures to build Theed, the capital of Naboo and they also went to film in Italy which was wonderful places! Coruscant too was a huge work, a city planet! And the details, Lucas cared about the little details, everything was important. Everything was highly detailed even in the backgrounds, we could see tons of different people walking in the background, and of great diversity – various alien species, men, women. It was a great diversity of characters.
4. The Bigger Scale
The Prequels were so much bigger than the Originals, they sent us on a much bigger scale, we saw so many different planets – Naboo, Coruscant, Mygeeto, Utapau, Alderaan, Geonosis, Kamino … We witnessed a war on a galactic level, events on a galactic level and that was something great to see because we were able to explore more worlds and there was a rule with Lucas, each planet was distinct from each other – colors, details, architecture … With the Senate and the clone wars, we were able to see so much more of the Galaxy and understand more of it, more of the galactic situation, something that was missing in the Originals.
5. The Politics
Because dozens of action scenes just for the sake of it, is useless and it doesn’t help the story. There’s a reason to wars, political reasons and the Prequels gave us this political background. Sidious was pulling the strings of the Republic and the Separatists, but both sides just didn’t go to war because of nothing, they both went to war for political reasons. Behind the front lines, there were things happening, if the Senate didn’t give emergency powers to Palpatine, there wouldn’t have been an army of clones used on Geonosis … Behind the scenes was politics and it was essential that the Prequels showed us that to understand the whole story of the Star Wars saga.
6. The Jedi
In the Originals, we were told that the Jedi were once much more than just Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda and the Prequels showed us the heyday of the Jedi Order when they still had their Temple on Coruscant, when there were still thousands of them. We saw how they functioned, the Jedi Council and we saw them fight. This army of Jedi during the battle of Geonosis was awesome, so many lightsabers fighting the droids. The Prequels told us more about the Midi-Chlorians (term that was first spoken and mentioned by George Lucas in 1977 in interviews explaining the Force). The Midi-Chlorians didn’t contradict what was said in A New Hope unlike some said. The details about the Midi-Chlorians just added information to what we already knew. Everybody has midi-chlorians in their cells, some have more than others and some are trained to become a Jedi and have a higher awareness of the Force while others are not. Just listen to the movies and you’ll see.
7. The Clone Wars
The Clone Wars was first mentioned in A New Hope and we finally discovered what it was with the Prequels, it showed us the immense galactic war that was the clone wars with an epic introduction battle on Geonosis followed by many more battles in Revenge of the Sith. Clones and Jedi fighting an army of droid was breathtaking!
8. Anakin and Padmé Relationship
Anakin and Padmé love story was like a teenage love story, both were young, especially Anakin and he was raised with the Jedi so he didn’t know about “love” so we had this awkward moments on Naboo between Anakin and Padmé where both don’t know what to do, or what to say and there’s beauty in it but the fact that both can’t be together and they get together anyway is very Shakespearian. Their love is secret and thus leads to destruction. They have a tragic love story and yet beautiful at the same time and it’s what is so interesting in their relationship. It’s a destructive love that eventually leads Anakin to the darkside (one of the main reasons).
9. The Lightsaber fights
There is a lot of lightsaber fights in the Prequels and it contains the best ones! The Phantom Menace had the epic Darth Maul vs. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon fight, there was also Yoda vs. Darth Sidious … and the best of the best Anakin vs. Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith, which is the longest lightsaber fight ever and the most breathtaking one, the choreography in it was on top and it required a lot of training for that!
10. The Diversity
Unlike the claims of some biased writers, the Prequels showcased a great diversity of characters. We could see a female Naboo pilot during the battle of Naboo in The Phantom Menace and she had just as many lines as Jess Pava from The Force Awakens. I mentioned it before in the visuals, the background were really diverse, having a lot of female characters and various species of aliens. Because Star Wars is not just about men and women, Lucas created so many alien species and that is also diversity! Just looking at all the number of different Jedi we had on the Temple and on the Geonosis Arena battle was impressive. There’s no other saga like this. The Prequels also had a major black character with Mace Windu and we could see in the background black characters among the Jedi but also a Naboo pilot, senators and other characters. Just as in the Originals, the Prequels had a main trio of characters in which there was a strong female character – Padmé Amidala, probably the strongest female character in the Star Wars saga – she was able to be both a politician and an awesome fighter. And she was not some corrupted politician, she was the best politician of all. Not every character can’t say that but Padmé can.
The only part of diversity that wasn’t showcased in the Prequels was the LGBT community but these movies were released in the early 2000s.
There is no doubt in that, the Prequels are masterpieces on every level!