"Because my training or background is irrelevant to the validity of my opinion, or the logic I use to support it." True, but your background certainly is relevant if you're claiming an expertise in design. Opinion and argument are two different things. Your opinion would carry more weight if it was derived from some sort of expertise. I have a BFA from one of the best art colleges in the nation, and have a career in feature films (in roles ranging from storyboard artist to director). Does that make my opinion any more valid than yours? No. But, it does give me the claim of having a certain expertise in these things over someone who has not had my training and professional experience. That being said, it is impossible to scientifically gauge the "effectiveness" of the prequel designs on the audience without sampling a large segment of the audience. Otherwise, we're simply quessing and stating personal opinion (which is no better or worse than anyone else's). In my opinion, it seems as if Lucas is using the same approach to designing the prequels as he did the OT. Ship designs reflect the character of the people who built them (the Naboo), or the people who fly them (Maul's Sith Inflitrator, the Millenium Falcon). They exist to tell the story. In fact, it seems to me that MORE thought has gone into the prequel designs because there is a much large scope to these films and there is a certain amount of reverse engineering that the designers have had to do -- especially in the pre-Empire look of the Republic vehicles in AOTC. I love the angled, boiler-plate look of the OT designs, but I also like that the PT designs have a more rounded 1930's design aesthetic. One of the problems some people have with TPM in particular was that it had a radically different look than the OT. That's to be expected because it is the furthest back in time. AOTC brings us a little closer to the straight lines of the OT and EP3 I'm sure will bring us even closer. Taken together, we'll see a nice transition from designs that reflect a "more civilized age" to the oppressive industrial look of the Empire. Most importantly, this transition serves the story -- to illustrate how a noble civilization allows itself to be corrupted by evil. As for audience perception, I would bet that in a random sample of people would be able to pick out the "good guys" from the "bad guys" in the PT ship designs -- probably the most important distinction when it comes to telling the story.