****I agree with you regarding the scope of TPM vs. AOTC. I'd make the leap and suggest that this is because TPM was the start of a new saga - the possibilities were endless as to where the story could take you.**** Not only expand it, but create a real organic context to the universe. ****After the groundwork was laid by TPM, AOTC focused on a few key elements, becoming more specific and less grand (story wise).**** Well, I think you are right here, and perhaps this is why the fans responded more positively to AOTC. In all, I think AOTC was more familiar territory, and some of the exotic elements of TPM were starting to make their descent into the grimy look and feel of the OT... if only in character. ****I was fine with this, however, as TPM's lack of focus (IMHO) kept me at a distance. I wasn't really drawn into the story or characters as much.**** Perhaps the distance was intentional. I went to see TPM for the first time with a friend who had never seen any of the films before. For him, TPM was very mystical, mysterious... he knew there was an underlying deceit going on, but he couldn't figure it out, and a lot of the film was confusing. He said that he felt it was more of an art film and was surprised by its popularity. My friend felt that Jar-Jar was the only real accessable character, which I thought was interesting. Every few weeks, we get a new poster on this board who saw TPM before the rest, and their reaction is almost always the same. Perhaps the coldness of the characters was intentional. I know there are those who like the PT, but feel that at the end of the day, future generations should still watch the OT first and then the PT, as they were made historically. That's fine for some, but that's obviously not how Lucas is intending them to be watched. The prequals were made so that they would be watched I through VI, and I think the mystical nature of TPM is going to make it more intriguing for future generations, as it has those who are seeing it now before the OT. In ANH, Obi-Wan explains the Force pretty early on. In TPM, Qui-Gonn says it twice in the first twenty minutes, and never once explains it. For those not initiated with ANH, these Samurai with colorful swords, wild-ranging physical abilities and minds attuned to the future and moment (talking about "the Force"), it is a strange world for them to see... kind of like seeing "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and not having ever seen another Wuxia-style film. In other words: the Jedi just live like we should already know what they are talking about, instewad of explaining it to any one character. Now, perhaps Lucas just got lazy; perhaps he relied on the fact that everyone had already seen ANH, and knew the nautre of the Force. In that case, future generations WILL be confused by TPM. That's a good possibility... Lucas may have just taken that for granted. If he wanted TPM to be an introduction to the universe in its glory, he did a good job. If he wanted TPM to be an introduction to the Force, well, it's more confusing that it is easy to understand. I like it that way... I think it goes well with the idea of "Phantom" entities. But, that may not have been his intention.