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Saga Why do people hate the prequels?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by QuiWanKenJin, Aug 5, 2010.

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    FRAGWAGON Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 3, 2012
    This I never understand for two reasons: 1. I never expected that. I knew from the prologue to the ANH novel to old interviews (TIME magazine in particular) that the backstory was more subtle and machiavellian. Lucas specifically used machiavellian in the quote. I knew it would be political, I expected it and found it interesting.

    2. We got a fast spaced space opera to boot. That people didn't like the more formal main characters didn't matter a bit to me....I didn't expect wisecracking Jedi or politicians.
  2. Darth Balls

    Darth Balls Jedi Youngling

    Jan 26, 2013
    I am indeed a new member, but I'm not trolling, sir. That's really what I think of the prequels. They're kinda like what we're used to ... things seem the same ... but everything's shinier, the colors seem different, the people seem to act strange and look odd. It's like taking psychedelics.

    Isn't the title of the thread "Why do people hate the prequels?"

    Don't know who Stoklasa is. What's your problem?
  3. The Supreme Chancellor

    The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    People who hate the prequels can't handle the fact that the Sith were manipulating the Senate for decades. They are puppets of democracy who fear the realization of the all too dark truth.
    Andy Wylde and Jarren_Lee-Saber like this.

    TOSCHESTATION Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 17, 2003
    You've fallen afoul of the Nomenklatura......their problem is, that you don't like the prequels. And Stoklasa is a rhetorical 'stick' with which to beat you.

    It's not a matter of not being able to handle the "truth" of a contrived story, Star Wars being fictional and all.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  5. Darth Balls

    Darth Balls Jedi Youngling

    Jan 26, 2013
    Well that clears it up! lol
  6. Yunners

    Yunners Jedi Master star 2

    Mar 30, 2006
    Why does it even matter if people do (or do not) like the prequels? I'm not a fan of them, but weather or not other people do has no impact on my life what so ever. My flatmate loves Phantom Menace. Do you think it bothers him that I don't love it? does it hell. This debate has been going on since '99 and it's not about to end any time soon because some people take it as a personal insult that their opinion isn't universally accepted. Well that's life. The sooner people acknowledge this the better off we'll all be.
    windu4, HanSolo29 and TOSCHESTATION like this.
  7. Zane the Reaper

    Zane the Reaper Jedi Knight star 1

    Nov 5, 2012

    Oh, Internet...
    TOSCHESTATION and Yunners like this.
  8. Darth_Articulate

    Darth_Articulate Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 1, 2012
    In my opinion, the cinematic story-telling of the prequels were weak because it was such that the writer couldn't tell the stories without constant exposition. People say that Lucas valued techno-savvy displays over drama, but I disagree. I think Lucas's primary mistake was valuing audience understanding over drama. He was constantly including unnecessary exposition so that the audience would understand what was going on. It's an oft overlooked principle in dramaturgy that what engages us as spectators is mystery. The attempt at figuring out what is going on and wondering what is going to happen next is what keeps us awake. Lucas explained too much. Any other fault of the prequels, IMO, is negligible per the movie-going experience, but this one is what killed it for me. ROTS by and large does without the exposition and is thus engaging.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  9. Darth-Seldon

    Darth-Seldon Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 17, 2003
    I don't know about other people, but that isn't my issue with the prequels. Personally, I dug the galactic politics story (the machinations of Palpatine in pulling the strings and manipulating everyone.) I don't hate the prequels but I think they're disappointing. I wasn't expecting the OT again, I just wanted quality movies.
  10. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    I like the politics of the PT but prefer the simpleness of the OT. The political stuff in the PT somewhat got me into looking into politics in real life. Also I liked the lawlessness of the OT. Civilization is a Galactic Empire and not a Republic anymore. People are rising up and trying to make things right. I love post-apocalyptic stories. Yes I know the OT isn't a true Post-Apocalyptic backdrop but I like to see how people survive in these types of stories.
  11. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    This esoteric review (of Episode I) echoes your analogy:
    Slow down, Speed Racer.

    Firstly, the "truth" is not an easy thing to handle. It's why we have religion and art and a million-and-one other distractions which allow us to escape into narrative, free or arouse our imaginations, and sometimes, when we're not simply retreating into whatever it is that holds our fancy, to rattle or unsettle us. Mostly, though, these things exist as palliatives, and it can be profoundly disturbing when the palliative isn't having any effect. A kind of anhedonia takes hold and disgust and outrage become useful psychological blocks: i.e., it's not me disliking the art; it's a problem with the art.

    Second, when glimpses of the truth are caught every once in a while, it can cause people to reassess their priorities, and even question their entire worldview. Since such questioning is generally damaging to our psychological well-being -- people like to hold, or at least think they're holding, coherent thoughts and coherent beliefs, rather than let that architecture be constantly chipped away at -- it is generally avoided; and anything that causes discomfort is shunned or harshly maligned (whatever fits the problem and/or is quickest/easiest/least painful).

    Third, fans have tended to be staunchly protective of their early Star Wars experiences, which, for older fans, can broadly be categorized as them experiencing and becoming familiar with the OT first. The PT is a late addition: at best, a spare tire; at worst, a grotesque fraud. And why? The PT is newer and more diffuse in its antagonisms. It doesn't do character, drama, or visuals in quite the same way as the OT. It's bittier; more blotchy, more digital. It doesn't have the same verve or loveable simplicity. And its story is that much muddier in terms of its conception of good and evil -- or, at the least, if it has as strong or even stronger a moral framework as the OT, it's certainly a lot less clear-cut in the presentation of its goodies and baddies, and who to really root for.

    I'm not saying story is the only turn-off for people who dislike the PT, but since so much of the story is told in the visuals, there's a LOT of story to get through, or try and overlook, one way or another. A viewer who finds the story odd or vexating has a lot of work in front of them if they're to try and like the PT as much as the OT . And the current culture is saturated in hero narratives: "Harry Potter", "Lord Of The Rings", "Spider-Man", "Batman", "Star Trek", "The Avengers". All these tent-pole movie franchises are about broadly-decent people triumphing over adversity. None of them really end on a downer; they may have tragedy within them, but they're not building to one. Yet the Star Wars prequel trilogy *is*. STAR WARS! Originally, the most swift, upbeat, awesomely inspiring "Hero's Journey" of the lot; now soaked in gloom, or playful irreverence, or epic symbolism, or clammy theatrics, or baroque action scenes, or all five.

    People obviously DO invest a heck of a lot in Star Wars -- what else are we doing here now? This place is still jam-packed with people talkin' Wars on all fronts. There is a deep human need to have reality simplified through story and myth; the apparent randomness of nature -- scientific laws aside -- strikes at our sense of vulnerability, confusion, and isolation. We take our fiction very seriously! And we take it so seriously because, in many a sense, we have to. Our brains are crude and limited in what they can focus on or understand; especially compared to the sublime complexities of nature. Stories reach our emotional circuits and fill a void: a void so painful and vast (to us, our perception of it) that it's hardly accidental we often associate black with death and mourning; and Sith Lords, of course. Lucas seems to understand this. For Star Wars is also full of void imagery: that sense of tumbling into nothingness; total annihilation. Nothing motivates Jar Jar to change his mind faster than Obi-Wan threatening him with the idea of being "blasted into oblivion".

    It's been spoken of many times before, but there seems to be something monolithic about SW that provokes an intense yearning in people: a really deep desire to believe (almost like a new religion for a secular age). Where other stories fail or do less well in this regard, Star Wars seems to excel. Not for everyone, of course; but the gigantic profitability of the brand, stemming from a single low-budget 1977 movie, speaks for itself. Investing in a tragedy, especially one with as many little rivets and spins as as the prequel trilogy, does seem to require a little more of people; more than some are willing to give. And that goes both ways: from when the tragedy hits home in ROTS (the one extreme) to its curiously distanced beginning in TPM (the other). Maybe it doesn't have quite the elemental prowess of the OT, but the PT -- for me, at least -- offers a richer, more ruminative mood. Arms outstretched, the PT seems to do a little bit of everything, and that sense of the epic is -- again, for me -- spectacle enough all by itself.
  12. DRush76

    DRush76 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 25, 2008
    Perhaps that's why I found it easier to embrace the PT than I did the OT. Mind you, I love the OT as much I do the PT. But it took me a little longer to embrace that trilogy than I did the PT. Perhaps I tend to like my stories more complex and morally gray. Which is why ESB is my favorite OT film.
  13. DarthLazious28273

    DarthLazious28273 Jedi Youngling

    Jan 19, 2013
    Hate is such a strong word.

    I didn't hate them just it was not as good as the older ones.
    I will still watch them cause its Star Wars after all. I only had the prombelm with them having tons of over loads of CGI or leaving some questions unanswered while new ones are created instead.
  14. fett 4

    fett 4 Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 2, 2000
    Can't speak for anyone else but myself so here goes, Why do I dislike them

    Because they are badly written, badly edited (This in particular is a huge problem) and with 2 exceptions badly cast films that do not make sense, that are stuffed to the gills with CGI and blue green screen crap that takes me out of the film.

    Despite meaning to be the back story off the OT they seem to have virtually no continuity at all with them.

    The TPM is now primairly remembered for Jar Jar and to give its due a great Lightsaber fight.

    Clones for a badly written love story complete with lines about sand :rolleyes:

    Sith for Darth Vader going Nooooooooooooo
  15. Plebeian

    Plebeian Jedi Padawan star 1

    Oct 31, 2012
    I dislike them because via the conventions of film making, they're just generally bad.
  16. SkywalkerSquadron

    SkywalkerSquadron Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 2, 2013
    I myself am a fan of the prequels. A lot of people hate them though cause of Jar Jar. And some people say they have no story.
    Andy Wylde and Jarren_Lee-Saber like this.
  17. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    Ya. The PT, to me, is a sophisticated treatise of ideas begun in the OT -- and it's that much more engrossing as a result.

    In general, I'd say being remembered is still better than being forgotten.

    Two iconic things... is worth two of one. I'll take those, thank you.

    Line, singular. This sort of over-reaction of SW fans/nerds -- slamming a movie over a single line (what other set of movies receive such distinction?) -- is very peculiar.

    The sand line, FWIW, is Anakin's way of attempting to distance himself from his slave past, and is a means of him qualifying his attraction to Padme. "You'll always be that little boy I knew on Tatooine..." / "I don't like sand..."

    That the sand line may or may not be a bad pick-up line sorta lends the scene a comedic edge, IMO. For someone who is so cocky and collected as Darth Vader, it's kinda fun, in my view, to see a more clumsy brashness manifest in this earnest Jedi youth.

    Plus, the horridity of the line -- subjectively speaking -- as a movie line, but not so much as a conversation-piece/ice-breaker (AOTC having a tension between "mundane" interaction and movie-dom artifice) contrasts well with the stunning surroundings and the lovely music, giving the scene a strange torque; my opinion, at least: it's both throwaway and anything but.

    Yes, it's become somewhat infamous for that one moment -- or again, a single line (in this case, it's even better: a monosyllabic outburst!). It reminds me of the time an R.E. teacher put "Schindler's List" on when I was at secondary (high) school and the class started giggling during the nude bits.

    I think people find ways to attack these films when they'd rather not face their own discomfort or talk about some of the more interesting issues brought up. No matter how operatic or thematically salient the PT is, let's laugh at Vader when he's at his lowest ebb; let's pretend we know more than George Lucas and are above this cheese-ridden movie serial nonsense.

    Obviously, opinions differ, but it feels like there's been a shift in tastes and perception these past twenty years. Entertainment must now be dark and self-serious: lighter stuff is either just light or outright stupid. People can't seem to resolve the extremes of Star Wars anymore; or simply don't want to.

    The "no story" charge -- and yes, you're right: many people have come out and claimed this -- is crazily bizarre. If they were talking about the J.J. Abrams "Star Trek" reboot, I might more easily agree. Or a "Transformers" movie. Or even something strangely loved like a Marvel comic adaptation (I like those films, but I don't rate them too highly on "story" content). The prequel storyline is so vast that I suppose it's possible to not even realize you're watching *a* story in the normal sense, but you most assuredly are: one so enormous and profound that I don't think anyone has quite come to terms with it yet.
  18. fett 4

    fett 4 Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 2, 2000
    Wow you actually compared Revenge of the Sith with Schindlers List didn't you o_O

    My problems with Clones go way beyond the Sand line, which despite your psycho-analysis is still a bad line plain and simple.
  19. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
    It's a "crazily bizarre" charge in either case, but the word I would use is false. Despite the fact that it's a traditionally popular charge in the history of would-be amateur film criticism, very few films actually have "no plot" or "no story". Usually when someone says "it had no plot" it just means "I didn't like the plot" combined with "I don't feel the need to be truthful here because there's no reward involved and my emotions are getting in the way". And splosions.
  20. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    I even made a Nazi Germany quip on my Facebook wall the other day.

    You'll kindly do me the good service of noting I was comparing the juvenile reactions that movies -- even highly-acclaimed ones, from esteemed film-makers, with serious subject matter -- sometimes elicit from those who may still be mentally developing and/or, for one reason or another (often several, IMO), who are not yet able to deal with the weightier stuff in tow.

    But now that you mention it, ROTS and Spielberg's opus can be compared. Spielberg actually worked on ROTS as a sort of hired hand or ghost director (a way for Lucas to take some of the work off his plate and indulge his friend -- and duck the stupid Guild stipulations) by storyboarding and refining some sequences (the lava duel/collector arm business, at the very least). Ki-Adi-Mundi's death on Mygeeto also evokes the horror of "Schindler's List" (the snow/ash) and Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin" (Odessa Steps sequence). Additionally, some of the scoring used in Sith, by John Williams -- who, of course, also scored List -- is reminiscent of his work on the 1993 film. And that whole deal with the Jedi being framed as traitors and gunned down en masse: genocided? Very dark, very "Schindler's List"-esque. Liam Neeson also stars in both (well, okay, SL and TPM) as a kind of "saviour" figure who bends rules, circumvents the thinking of his peers, and performs actions which will resonate through the generations (in a few shots, Lucas even frames Neeson in shadow, in much the same way as he's lit as Oskar Schindler through Janusz Kaminski's Oscar-winning cinematography in the Spielberg picture).

    You can have whatever "problems" you like. And I've no doubt they do.

    You speak a lot of truth there. The "no plot" accusation is overdone; and as you say, most films tend have a "plot" of some kind. It's subjective on the one hand, yet people seem to just throw that in -- again, as you say -- when they aren't emotionally involved and want to invent a reason to sound objective about their lack of engagement after the fact. A very dishonest critique intended to sound authoritative and absolute.
  21. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 1, 2011
    This, in particular, is a charge that I've never really understood how it applies to the PT. If there's any film in the Saga that lacks for a plot, it's probably ESB, where the conflict between the Rebellion and Empire is essentially dropped after the opening of the film and has no effect on the subsequent happenings of either ESB and ROTJ. So the Rebels are forced off Hoth...and? What then? The film never really shows a consequence for this --for example, by showing the Rebellion losing men (or any other form of impact) -- it happens and then is forgotten.

    That's not to say that it's a bad thing. I'd argue that ESB is far more of a character-piece than anything. But to say the PT has "no plot" is rather puzzling to me, in any case.
  22. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    I concur.

    The plot is obviously all about Piett and his magical hat. :p

    Once again, I aver that you're largely correct. TESB seems that bit more avant-garde than both its own "prequel" and "sequel" (and the PT) in its jettisoning of a big historical conflict. I mean, if you look at it structurally, it's the only one of the six SW films to date that doesn't end with a big battle of some kind. ROTS kind of half goes there, sticking to lightsaber duels for its dramatic action climax -- ALL the SW films have those, of course -- but TESB is the most intensely localized of the lot, though it still employs a degree of cross-cutting between Vader and Luke and Lando and Leia (two action strands) that ANH and AOTC (mainly), having just one main thread, steer clear of. I suppose this also makes it feel a bit more claustrophobic than the other movies, which accentuates its dark mood, and is of-a-piece with its pronounced emphasis on swamps, caves, being stifled, shut in, held back, nearly devoured, choked, etc. A pretty intense movie -- but more for its tonal architecture than its "plot" per se.

    Yup. All the SW films are a bit different -- all bend and break various rules. It's a disturbed weave; a cubist tapestry.
  23. Samnz

    Samnz Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 4, 2012
    That's what I "like" the most: whining about a movie 10+ years later is in some way less "psycho" than loving a movie.
    That's today's world. Liking something or someone and seeing the positive side is "psycho". Hate it!
    George Lucas must be sad to see that, because his Star Wars movies (really, all of them) teach just the opposite.
  24. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    This amazingly cute girl knows where it's at:

    Andy Wylde and BoromirsFan like this.
  25. Jarren_Lee-Saber

    Jarren_Lee-Saber Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 16, 2008
    Yeah, as
    As much as I've agreed with your posts about Star Wars - this girl is full of it!
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