Hopefully this will indeed become an in-depth discussion worthy of the Saga forum. Because frankly I don't think this issue gets enough attention. TPM and AOTC get bashed for poor acting, and sometimes I wonder if people haven't forgotten that SW acting's never been that great. So I sat down and thought about it... and here's what I've come up with. Just my opinion, mind you. SKYWALKER HERO: Anakin vs Luke PREQUELS: Jake Lloyd did his best but was often pretty darn bad. Hayden Christensen delivers a textured portrayal of an angst-ridden young Vader, and doesn't forget to take in history -- he nails a James-Earl-Jones-ish speaking cadence, Dave Prowse's walk, Mark Hamill's fighting stances. To me, this guy just IS Anakin. CLASSIC: Mark Hamill was all right as the whiny farm boy, but just couldn't keep it up in ESB or ROTJ. When a guy can't hold his own acting against a green Muppet, something is wrong. ADVANTAGE: Prequels by a slim margin DASHING OLDER COMPANION: Obi vs Han PREQUELS: Ewan McGregor didn't get enough opportunities to strust his stuff in TPM, but still made an impressive mark with his impression of Alec Guinness. With AOTC, he got the spotlight and star billing, showing us things we never knew about this character while retaining the charm and reserved, very British dignity of Sir Alec. CLASSIC: Harrison Ford plays Harrison Ford. (Just as Woody Allen plays the same part in every movie... just as Rick Moranis always plays the nerd... just as Jeff Goldblum plays Jeff Goldblum.) Admittedly this was before he was just playing Harrison Ford in every movie, but you can tell he's just a little tired of the Harrison Ford act by ROTJ. ADVANTAGE: Prequels TOKEN FEMALE: Padme vs Leia PREQUELS: Natalie was the worst cast member in all of TPM in my opinion. She rose to passable-but-nothing-special in AOTC. She does not seem comfortable with the '30s-style dialogue SW demands. CLASSIC: Carrie Fisher. Beautiful, brave, bold, the one and only classic space princess. She had more spunk in her pinky than Natalie showed in all of TPM. ADVANTAGE: Classic, big time ALIEN COMPANION: Jar Jar vs Chewie PREQUELS: Ahmed Best made Jar Jar come to life. Come on, don't you guys just completely forget that there's a real person behind every movement and voice action? CLASSIC: Peter Mayhew is tall and wears a suit. ADVANTAGE: Prequels WISE OLDER JEDI: Qui-Gon/Mace vs Obi PREQUELS: Liam Neeson gave one of the best performances in SW history, giving Qui-Gon depth and presence. Then Qui-Gon had to go get himself killed. While Samuel L. Jackson is a passable Mace, I'm not really sure what he's doing with the character. Sure, he fights well and looks imposing/interesting, but couldn't there be more? CLASSIC: Sir Alec Guinness lent that crazy little sci-fi movie the depth and dignity it needed. He will be missed. ADVANTAGE: Classic I had to sort of fudge the bad guys here because I didn't want to bring Ian McDiarmid into this 'cause he's (excellent, I might add) in both PT and OT movies. Bear with me. SITHLY BAD GUY: Dooku vs Vader PREQUELS: Christopher Lee's the man, don't get me wrong. But he doesn't get enough of a chance to strut his stuff. CLASSIC: A guy in a suit and a voice-over. I feel bad making this choice, because there was probably more acting work involved in bringing Dooku to life. But Vader's an icon. Sorry, Christopher... ADVANTAGE: Classic NEW GUY INTRODUCED IN SECOND EPISODE: Jango vs Lando PREQUELS: Temuera Morrison got just one scene to really make an impact, and he made good. CLASSIC: The Colt 45 guy? ADVANTAGE: Prequels Right now I'm giving the prequels the edge... Rick McCallum loves you!