PT JJ Abrams opinion of the prequels?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Luukeskywalker, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    He's busy with the Avengers sequel right now. He'll get Episode IX. :p

    We've learned that the Emperor himself is personally overseeing the final stages of the construction of this Death Star.

    [IMG]
    [IMG]

    Rewarded? For saving the lives of every last person on Earth ( not to mention other probable Federation targets )? How... inappropriate.

    The word is "revived". Star Trek was already pretty well "mucked up" on its own before Abrams came along. The shows had gotten increasingly worse. Enterprise was cancelled. Insurrection and Nemesis... that's all I have to say about that. Insurrection and Nemesis. Abrams was the bolt of lightning that resurrected a rotting corpse from its moldy grave ( yes, I'm using Friday the 13th, Part VI as my analogy ).
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Jan 27, 2013
  2. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    However apprehensive I am about the choice of Abrams, the potential success of Episode VII rests almost solely on the strength of the script. With Michael Arndt at the helm, I'm hopeful. Toy Story 3 may very well be the finest American animated film since Disney's Beauty and the Beast; if Arndt manages to replicate that level of inspiration and pathos for the SW universe, we are in for a treat. Even an (at best) inoffensive director like Abrams could knock it out of the park.

    (For all this, is it too much to ask that Simon Pegg not be cast in any role whatsoever?)
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  3. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    Honestly? I don't care what J.J. Abrams think of the Prequel Trilogy. All I care about is my opinion.



    I can't say that I agree.
    Last edited by DRush76, Jan 27, 2013
  4. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    The rebels are actually punished for their greed, not realizing that the Emperor has laid a trap and baited them to attack. It mirrors Tarkin's greed in the original film in believing he can destroy the rebellion "with one swift stroke".

    The resolution of this conundrum only really comes about when the Emperor himself gives into aggression, resulting in his own demise. Tellingly, the destruction of the Death Star happens in the aftermath of the Emperor's death.

    *rar rar raaaar!*

    Okay, bad evil laugh.

    Pretty pictures aside, these polarized destructions (a reason for the ring -- 90 degree mirroring?) occur as a direct result of military campaigns that are pitched as last-ditch assaults on a mobilized, formidably powerful enemy force: an oppressive, totalitarian government, led by a Sith Lord, waging a war of fear and hate. By contrast, Kirk and Spock choose to attack a now-toothless, beleaguered ship which is rapidly being drawn towards a gravity well, moments from assured destruction. Assured, that most certainly is, if the Enterprise chooses not to help when it still has a small window in which it is able to render aid/provide assistance.

    But yes, instead of helping any of the crew on-board -- like, say, using transporters, a tractor beam, or attempting to blow the struggling ship and its occupants free of imminent death -- Kirk offers them a lone olive branch (against "logical" Spock's own judgement who would rather have let them perish; oh, wait, he was "emotionally compromised" -- so what's he doing back on active duty, never mind the bridge???), which their crippled ship's captain (the only one he offered it to) rejects (not without cause: these Starfleet characters are aggressive, unreasoning, gun-toting maniacs). As a result, Kirk then himself condemns them all to death, in a stupid tough guy voice to boot ("You got it"), before ordering the Enterprise to "fire everything we've got", thus committing a flagrant act of genocide (a war crime), and catastrophically depleting the Enterprise of critical time and physical resources, both of which almost bring about its total loss (a ridiculous "deus ex machina" from Scotty, in a toe-curlingly awful "homage" to a dismal TOS trope, saves them anyway).

    The equivalent to this madness in Star Wars -- if then -- would be if Luke, in ROTJ, suddenly kicked the Emperor over the railing and gave a "Die Hard"-esque tough guy line afterwards. He does try lashing out at the Emperor and beheading him when his hate/rage boils over, but this is clearly shown to be a product of the Emperor's incessant goading, which Luke was trying to resist. Only the interruption of Vader, blocking Luke's saber strike with a loyal parry, saves Luke's soul. In other words, it's wrong to willfully attack a defenceless person, and Luke was given a second chance to go about things a different way. He survived the Emperor's jibes and threats, even with Vader taunting him further, on and off, to emerge a better person: a true hero fit to carry on the Jedi flame.

    What Kirk and Spock did is unconscionable. They brutally murdered a whole ship of former aggressors, and now defenceless people critically in need of last-second intervention, put their own ship in mortal jeopardy from doing so, and then Kirk was promoted all the way up to Captain and given the Enterprise to command as his reward. In the ceremony, his "supreme dedication" to his comrades is even cited as a reason for his promotion! That would entail: leching over Uhura (and at least one other female in sickbay), violating the chain of command and insubordination, shouting and acting in an aggressive manner on the bridge and even assault, plotting a foolhardy sneak mission to board a ship of vastly superior firepower (and which was MEANT to be shielded to prevent beaming), committing murder and encouraging mindrape (Spock's melding with a dead Romulan), and using lethal force against a fatally-crippled ship and its crew. Do any of the putative heroes in Star Wars act that stupidly and vengefully without introspection or remorse and reap a huge reward?

    See above.

    We'll agree to disagree. I wasn't a huge fan of "Enterprise", or "Insurrection" or "Nemesis", but they still felt a great deal more like "Star Trek" to me -- the good, pre-Abrams incarnation of the mythos.

    If Abrams' "Star Trek" revived anything, it was ST as Paramount's dying cash cow. Mission accomplished: it's now very commercial and seemingly popular with fans and critics.

    But popularity does not equal quality. The former is rooted in statistics and group-think (like religion); the latter is more of a personal, subjective thing. For those who have minds of their own, anyway.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Jan 28, 2013
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  5. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    I didn't really like Nemesis (especially as a TNG sendoff), but I liked it more than Abrams' Star Trek. Honestly, I was fine with Star Trek being dead. And Star Wars too for that matter.
  6. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I was fine with Star Wars being dead, as far as movies went, as long as it was going to be Lucas who was going to make them.
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  7. Doug625 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 1
    Hopefully he can't stand the prequels and he is just saying he liked them to be nice!
  8. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    Why? Why doesn't it matter to you whether he likes the Prequel movies or not?
  9. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    About Enterprise and it feeling like old ST, when you have an episode when the Captain struggles with his conscience in order to kill millions then that really isn’t old Trek in any way. Captain Archer and his doctor choose Genocide over peaceful co-existence. They find two species living in a moderately advanced planet but one race is infected with a disease but the other race isn’t. These two races have been getting along fine despite one being a bit more advanced than the other. But now one race is dying and they ask Archer for help. He and the doctor look for a cure and he finds it but decide they won’t give it to the dying race, condemning them all to die. Instead he gives them something that will diminish the symptoms but not cure it. And the reasoning behind this is rather uncomfortable, the race that is dying has weaker genes see and it seems that the doctor and Archer think that races with weak genes should die out to leave room for stronger ones.

    About ST before the recent movie, to me Star Trek had worked itself into a creative dead end and that had been going on for quite a while. From Voyager to Enterprise to the last two TNG films. Part of this, I think, is that Star Trek had become Star Trek Inc. They were more concerned with doing a product than interesting or challenging stories. It became locked into a Status Quo, nothing too different was tried and if an episode did something out of the ordinary, hit the magic reset-button and everything was the same next week. In short, it became formulaic.

    There was also, what many ST writers complained about, “the Roddenberry Box.” By which they meant that the parameters of what they could write about was severely limited by what Gene had in mind for the “evolved” humans of the 24th century. Gene was for ex adamant that the humans of the future would never grieve or mourn, that anyone, even small child would not shed one tear over the death if his or her parents. Because the humans have accepted that death is a natural part of life and thus no one would feel a bit sad when someone died. Conflict among the characters was also a no-no, no one could be greedy, selfish or jealous. Mankind had evolved beyond such petty emotions that got in the way of our happiness. Of course this makes it hard to write effective drama.

    Early TNG struggled under this but from season three and onwards the show became much better and did several episodes that Gene would not have approved of and likely wouldn’t have been made under Gene’s watch. DS9 also managed to be creative and did things outside “normal” Trek. Not all of it was good but one of the reasons why I overall like DS9 better than Voyager is that nine times out of ten DS9 would take a chance and nine times out of ten Voyager won’t.

    Same thing with the films, ST TMP had much of Gene in it and while it did well, if the rest of the films had been made with Gene having that much influence, then it is likely that there might not have been more than one or two more and there might not have been TNG, DS9 etc. Instead the producers brought in Nic Meyer, who knew next to nothing about Star Trek and he made, what I think, the best Star Trek movie. The Wrath of Khan was a vital shot in the arm for Star Trek and it is no surprise to me that ST VI, which Meyer also directed, is also one of the series best.

    In short, Gene created Star Trek and had many brilliant ideas but also some less than good ones and many times, when writers have deviated from those ideas, they have created some really good shows/films.

    As for J. J’s Star Trek, I like it, it has problems, for ex. the villain is underdeveloped and much of what he does makes little sense. But overall it was a shot in the arm to Star Trek and I am interested to see what he does in Star Trek, Into Darkness, as I will be interested in what he does with SW.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
    Last edited by Samuel Vimes, Jan 28, 2013
  10. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    I think that Roddenberry's view of humanity was incredibly naive. Perhaps individuals could have evolved to what he had hoped for. But humanity as a whole? I don't see it. Which is why the older I get, my opinion of Roddenberry's vision of the future declines.



    All DS9 tried to do was rip off BABYLON 5. And as far as I'm concerned, it failed. I enjoyed the series, but the writers kept messing it up, like they did the other TREK shows.
  11. P.Sam Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2011
    star 1
    Abrams is known to be a Star Wars fan and to have a huge respect of George Lucas. So there is nothing to worry about in that regard. He'll respect the Saga as a whole. I would not be suprised if Episode VII while pursuing in the direction of the OT takes interesting elements of the PT.
  12. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    He might not be wise enough to come up with a story worthy of Lucas, no :)

    That's what I'm hoping is true.

    I'm not a die-hard fan of Star Trek, to be honest, so I haven't given that movie a lot of thought. I've seen it once and found it to be quite entertaining. Don't know what I'll think of it next time, though. Maybe I'll try to dig a little deeper!

    Glad to be of some use :)

    Let's hope that the genius of George Lucas shines through in the story and brings out the best in JJ (Binks)!

    Thanks, Cryo! I do my best ;)






    - How did my father die?
    - There was no father.

    /LM
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  13. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I think the idea is supposed to be that the destruction is not necessarily 100% assured. After all, this is a ship that survived travel through a black hole before.

    He didn't ask any of his subordinates how they felt about the decision. That wasn't very nice.

    Huh? Isn't that in his normal voice?

    I don't think that's what "genocide" means.

    For literally saving the lives of everyone on Earth and, according to the Pike interrogation scene, other Federation planets? Not good enough!

    Nope, never saw that kind of thing on TOS. Hoo boy!

    I'd like to see more details about the Battle of Tanaab, myself. But I don't recall Luke & Co. showing any remorse for Death Star maintenance workers.

    As cited by the Onion, STXI was "fun" and "enjoyable", unlike a lot of recent Trek offerings. That kind of thing tends to create popularity all by itself. There's no need for hilariously off-base theories of "groupthink" when loads of people enjoyed the film upon first viewing it, without yet having any knowledge of what the consensus of the general public would turn out to be.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Jan 28, 2013
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  14. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    All the more reason to mount a rescue -- whether the ship's skipper likes it or not.

    In fact, that's really the ultimate form of leadership (and revenge!): showing mercy to those for whom mercy may be an alien concept.

    [face_laugh]

    This is another reason they should have been rescued. The captain doesn't speak for everyone aboard, even if he's meant to represent their best interests (or the interests of the ship). Further, a person wanting death in a given moment is not necessarily a person whose want should be granted: they could be depressed, delirious, confused, etc.

    The way to have shown Nero the error of his ways would have been to have rescued him and helped prove the inherent benevolence/compassion of the Federation, even to its worst aggressors. But this sort of enlightened thinking, while very much present -- at least, at times -- in the Gene Roddenberry universe, apparently forms no part of the J.J. Abrams film.

    It's his normal voice, I guess; but it's cookie cutter tough guy lingo.

    What you think doesn't always matter.

    From thefreedictionary.com ->

    The occupants of that vessel were from another timeline/universe. Killing them en masse means effectively erasing that ethnic group from this movie's "alternate reality".

    Strawman/excluded variables. There are other commendations and plaudits and means of decorating someone other than advancing them about six ranks up the chain of command and giving them the most advanced ship known to man -- especially when they have committed as many infractions and crimes as this movie's James T. Kirk.

    You saw an incoherent, cocky, loud-mouthed fratboy, on academic suspension, illegally aboard a Federation vessel, ranting and raving at the commanding officer, in front of the other bridge crew, in TOS?

    Don't forget political prisoners. I dunno. The burning of Vader's pyre -- once Luke has maybe grown up and learned a few lessons since the destruction of the original Death Star -- kind of works as totemic shorthand for all the people led astray by the Empire or crushed under its heel. In many ways, it is Luke purifying his own soul (his linking to Vader -- especially the mask -- in TESB's Lynchian cave sequence gives the pyre scene resonance on this level, IMO).

    What's "hilariously off-base" about a simple observation rooted in basic human psychology?

    You surely understand the sheeple aspects to people and sci-fi/fantasy devotions more than you're letting on here: e.g., the RedLetterMedia material and responses to that. People also enjoyed the prequels a lot more when they came out; I've personally seen some responses decline over time. Group think of one kind or another may just be implicated in some of that decline.

    You've also muddied (or missed) the point: group think is also why certain films get popular in the first place. Some things are designed to appeal to common tastes and shared ideologies; neither of which may be founded on great knowledge or sensitivity to eccentricity or nuance (thus making it easier for those things to gain a foothold and make money). The Abrams film, it seems, was designed to placate herd sentiment, in order to bring in the $$$ and revitalize a dying cash cow. That may sound harsh, and you may disagree, but for me, that's EXACTLY the thinking behind the film: its raison d'être is money/money-making, not art.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Jan 28, 2013
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  15. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    Really? I thought it was Spock who saved everyone.


    And I've seen some responses improve over time in regard to the PT.
    Last edited by DRush76, Jan 28, 2013
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  16. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Spock wanted to take the ship to the Laurentian system instead of following Nero to Earth. If not for Kirk's actions this would have happened - and presumably Nero would have destroyed Earth.

    Interesting wording. Present "at least at times" in the so-called "Gene Roddenberry universe" - which, incidentally, is identical to the Abrams universe before 2233 - so not present at other times. Thus, even if this enlightened thinking were completely absent from STXI, it would still be consistent with Roddenberry. But STXI gives voice to it, in the form of Kirk's suggestion; however, due to Nero's rejection we don't get to that outcome.

    Uh, no. There's a whole empire of 'em out there.

    Words mean things. They have definitions. When you go around yelling "genocide" because one ship got blown up, you're simply being dishonest.

    I explained what. You're acting as if people decided to like the film because of some kind of group mentality. I'm talking about the people who saw it right when it was released, before there was any kind of mainstream consensus or anything of the sort, and enjoyed it. You seem to ignore the possibility that these people liked the film due to its own merits, just because their taste differs from your own.

    At this point it becomes clear that "group think" is only your go-to explanation when the popular perception of a franchise doesn't match your own. People don't seem to like the prequels much anymore? Group think! People liked STXI? Group think! But we can take the same reasoning used to dismiss the Abrams film and apply it to the prequels, can't we? People enjoyed the prequels a lot more when they came out? Group think!

    This herd sentiment apparently being primarily a desire for movies that are fun and enjoyable. Group think!
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Jan 28, 2013
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  17. rpeugh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 4
    Ok. In the interest of full disclosure I am a prequel fan, a defender of Lucas in general, and I prefer the 1-6 tragedy of Darth Vader story line. Im not really looking forward to this trilogy but I probably will atleast see episode 7 just for the sake of curiosity. I support the selection of Kathleen Kennedy and David Arndt, but I have some reservations about the choice of JJ Abrams. It just seems a bit conveinent to me. He seems to have a lot on his plate. Please keep in mind that Irvin Kershner was not a very well known director and he certainly wasnt up and coming.

    I havent seen really any of Abrams' movies. But I could have sworn I saw a scene from his Star Trek movie on tv, and I could have sworn it was a sex scene!! Did that sort of thing happen in Star Trek in the past, and if not, is that the kind of thing we can expect for episode 7??? If so I would rather have "I hate sand" and the fire place scene any day thank you very much.

    Also, arent you guys a bit concerned about the release date? 2015? That is two years from now. Lucas had been developing the PT for 4.5 years before TPM came out, and he had been developing the OT for atleast that long before ANH came out. I know he has created some outlines for the trilogy, but do we know how extensive the overall development process has been so far? As far as ships, and overall design?
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  18. Doug625 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 1
    Because if he likes them, then Episode 7 might resemble them, and I don't want any resemblance in any way. I am not a fan of the PT, I think most of the PT is painful to watch but that's just my opinion, but I think it's safe to say he will take Star Wars into a whole new style, different from the PT and the ST and that's a good thing
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  19. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    I put that "interesting wording" in as qualification in case you tried to nitpick it -- which you've chosen to do anyway. The point, if you're capable of inferring it, is that a rebooted ST should not be taking inspiration from or otherwise looking to repeat the worst aspects/moments of the franchise, but taking the best as its foundation and advancing from there. That, indeed, is the "Star Trek" ethos -- of betterment/improvement -- through and through. The sort of opinion you hold (an argument from tradition) essentially lets the Abrams film off the hook and dooms the series never to improve by using mediocrity as valid precedent. That is anathema to me.

    No, there isn't. Not in this timeline, this altered universe. The Romulan Empire of the Abrams continuity -- a word I use very loosely -- is, in effect, a totally different animal. Kirk slaughtered a Romulan mining crew from a different century and timeline with no analog in his own universe. He therefore committed genocide.

    We agree that words mean things (or signify meanings). Try not to abuse them in the future.

    There was none that I could discern.

    Nope. Do you need more straw for all those strawmen yet?

    I'm not ignoring that possibility. I'm saying that group think is entangled within a host of variables when it comes to popular art and entertainment.

    Wrong. Notice my use of the word "some" in the above.

    Yet it's patently obvious that group think *is* implicated in the way people revere and disparage certain things. It's part of the reason, for example, that tobacco companies of the developed world were able to dupe millions of people and keep their profits high for so long while selling their customers a product that literally kills them and does harm to those around them.

    In the case of the RedLetterMedia material, to cite an example even closer to home ("even" because smoking itself is still such a terrible health problem in the developed world, affecting us all; and it is currently growing in the developing world, too), some fans now go round blatantly repeating things that are said in those videos practically verbatim. Complaints about the prequels are nothing new; but *some* of the criticisms are: lifted straight from the mouth of Mike Stoklasa.

    I'm sorry if you believe group think plays little to no part in human behaviour, despite the fact that we are a mammalian species that learns through mimicry and acquires social values by absorbing many of the in/out group prejudices of those around us; especially in formative years. Marketing is designed to exploit these prejudices for profit. And when schlock situations are put into popular films which then get near-endless acclaim, my concern -- and sometimes, my contempt -- are heightened.

    Who's being hysterical here? Some group think, in my estimation, is implicated in both directions, yes.

    The Abrams movie wasn't/isn't "fun and enjoyable" to me. But it does seem to have done a good job of placating the masses: y'know, crude evaluations like, "That was awesome!", or, "This is a really fun movie!" are common; but more sophisticated or probing responses (especially from people that claim to like or love the film) are, in my experience, far harder to come by. From a business perspective, mission accomplished. From the perspective of art, not that great of an accomplishment, IMO.

    * * *

    If you want to continue to defend the Abrams movie against at least some of my charges, that is your right. But it's a bit wearying, I must confess. This is a prequel board and I don't especially like the Abrams picture. It is not my deep desire to keep talking about it. I know my opinion and I'm sure you know yours. For me, each of the six Star Wars films is a considerably greater achievement -- more slaved-over, more intricate, more eloquent, more subtle, more operatic, more sublime, and more entertaining -- than the Abrams ST reboot. It saddens me that this man has been chosen to direct a Star Wars film. But then, those are just my personal feelings on the matter. He may surprise and delight me yet. But based on the existing evidence, he's more likely to turn in an inferior installment, IMO. And that's what it's all about: will he or won't he? I'm simply in more of a "won't" frame-of-mind at this point in time; and I hope I've given reasonable indication as to why.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Jan 29, 2013
  20. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8

    So you're saying "nothing," right?
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  21. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Huh? What do you mean? :confused:
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  22. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I mean, as far as I could see, there wasn't anything of interest in the PT. My opinion.
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  23. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Really? Nothing at all? Not even John Williams' beautiful score? Not any of the lovely planetary designs that were developed by all those wonderful artists? The cool shots of the Senate? None of the characters either (like Bail Organa in hologram)?

    Well, okay then...

    I do wonder why you bothered to post here though.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Jan 29, 2013
  24. KilroyMcFadden Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 3
    Perhaps he is a Star Wars fan. Just a guess
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  25. YodaDooDahDay Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2010
    star 3
    I'm not so much interested in reading the tea leaves of what J.J. might've thought in the past about the prequels, I'm more interesting in hearing what he says now that he's the keeper of the Star Wars flame. Frankly, I'd like to hear him come out strongly and say, "I'll defend them. I understand why older fans may have had issues, and I sympathize, but Star Wars isn't just for older fans. There's a lot of amazing stuff in the prequels. The mythology George created, it's treatise on fabricating a political crisis in order to subvert democracy, it's themes of interrelatedness and the spectacle of its imagery are all awe-inspiring and, frankly, underrated. The prequels are an indispensable part of the Star Wars saga and I hope my contributions to the franchise will honor them and their fans." Easy. Done. Moving on.
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