A thought just occurred to me. I think it's appropriate that George Lucas decided to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker (Episodes I-III) after the story of Luke Skywalker (Episodes IV-VI). The earlier Star Wars movies were written and directed by George Lucas when he was a much younger man. In a sense, Luke Skywalker is a kind of idealized version of Lucas himself. He's a young man struggling against authority and the limitations that he feels imposed upon him, just as Lucas was when he began his struggle in the film business. The story of the Classic Trilogy is, in many ways, a relatively straightforward heroic adventure narrative where the "good guys" and the "bad guys" are very clearly distinguished from each other. It's certainly true that the moral and ethical issues start to become much more complicated in ESB, and we start to become aware of the danger Luke faces in terms of falling toward the Dark Side. Ultimately, however, Luke remains "The Hero," and his heroism is never ever seriously called into question. Even though the backstory that became Episodes I-III always existed in Lucas' mind, the Prequel Trilogy is still the work of a much older, wiser man than the youthful creator of the Classic Trilogy. There's a much greater sense of sophistication and depth to the story. Even though we knew that Vader was Luke's father coming out of ESB, the fall of Anakin Skywalker was never ever dealt with in any way except as a kind of symbolic failure of the older generation, being very much in keeping with the rebellious late '60s mindset that Lucas himself came of age with. But by making Anakin the hero of the Prequel Trilogy, and certainly by making him a "Fallen Hero," Lucas directly confronts those specters of failure that always existed in the background of the Classic Trilogy. In many ways, the "consumption" of Anakin by Darth Vader and the "reorganization" of the Old Republic into the Galactic Empire is very much a story of the troubles we face in our own age, and hits very close to home. It certainly feels less "escapist" than the Classic Trilogy did. But that's certainly no knock on the Classic Trilogy. In fact, the prequels help to recontextualize the original classics, and lends far more depth to them than many people may have picked up on the first time around. Thoughts? Comments?