Author Topic: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original  (Read 6714 times)

Offline Malaysian Kopite

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Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« on: February 12, 2012, 04:11:20 AM »
Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original.     
       
       It verges on cinematic treason to suggest that the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy is in any way superior to the original trilogy. However, history has proved that treasonous behavior is just as often necessary to stimulate progressive revolution as it is to endow malevolent forces with unrestricted authority necessary to obstruct basic human rights. So here goes: the first three episodes in the saga of Anakin Skywalker are deeper, better structured, and more politically astute than the final three. Not only is that why the prequel is superior, it is also a pretty decent elucidation of the original trilogy's greater popularity.

That the "Star Wars" trilogy embraced by American moviegoers is the one that presents a far less complex universe is not incidental to the rabid rebuke of the prequel. "A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back," and "Return of the Jedi" reflect the Cold War milieu in which they were created, offering up a comforting us-vs.-them story told in bold strokes lacking nuance, complexity, or intellectual ambiguity. That isn't to say that times have changed much; with the exception of "The Phantom Menace," the second and third installments of the prequel were released to an America that had embraced absolute views even more so than the original trilogy.

The difference is that the original trilogy appealed directly to the simplistic moral perspective of an America above reproach and always on the side of right in global geopolitics, whereas the much more subversive prequel trilogy stands in defiant counterpoint to the much more dangerously simplistic moral absolutism of the Age of Bush.

The original trilogy holds a special place in the bosom of American moviegoers precisely because we view ourselves comfortably in place of the Rebels. Americans revel in their historical construct as rebellious underdogs constantly at war against an easily identified and unquestionably evil empire. Hence, the reason most Americans love the original trilogy has much to do with placement of ourselves in the role of the inheritors of the mantle of the Jedi.

The problem is that the post-9/11 world meant Americans also were forced to identify themselves with the Jedi in the prequel trilogy as well, and we don't like the face we see in the mirror. Let's face it, the Jedi don't exactly come off too swell in the prequel. This time around they are the guys in charge, and it is painful to watch them screw it up, especially when the way they hand over the keys to the Empire is so eerily familiar to a historical era defined by words like "signing statements" and "Patriot Act."

Just in case you didn't notice in your rush to castigate Jar-Jar Binks and complain about the wooden dialogue of the prequel, the peaceful Galactic Republic in place at the beginning of "The Phantom Menace" doesn't turn into the dark empire in place at the beginning of "A New Hope" due to an invasion by a foreign element. The Republic falls as a result of due democratic process, albeit due democratic process that is manipulated through lies and deception. Again, sound familiar?

Watching the "Stars Wars" prequel trilogy is like the most entertaining lesson in civics ever given -- specifically the way it reveals how even a republic peopled by representative leaders with the best of intentions can make decisions that result in disastrous policies, accompanied by devastation and the crumbling of great ideas. Yoda's observations about anger, hate, fear, and suffering are not said lightly; they may be the most prescient words spoken by a movie character in recent memory.

Not much less important is another quote associated with "The Phantom Menace," a quote that hasn't proved anywhere near as memorable as Yoda's but nonetheless plays a huge part in the events that will follow. Chances are you don't even remember these words of Darth Maul: "Fear is my ally." One can well imagine that slogan scrawled across the office walls of men like Scooter Libby and tattooed across the back of Dick Cheney.

Nowhere in the original "Star Wars" trilogy is there any sequence of events nearly as profound in their application to real life as Palpatine's manipulative orchestration of the separatist movement "headed" by Count Dooku. Palpatine's nefarious scripting of events allows him to go before the senate and ask for special "emergency powers" to deal with the growing threat facing the peace of the republic. Perhaps if Americans had embraced the prequel in the way they did the original "Star Wars" trilogy, they would recognize the danger when an elected member of a representative republic asks for "emergency powers" to combat a threat.

Palpatine's actions in the prequel are positively Machiavellian, and his evil in those first three movies is far more chilling than his appearances as the emperor in the original trilogy. In those movies, Palpatine is so far removed from us we can only approach him from the perspective of a Hitler. We must always remember that Hitler didn't ascend to dictator by using tanks, but the ballot box.

Just as Palpatine is far more chilling as a politician abusing the system than he is as an emperor in comprehensively malevolent control, so is Anakin Skywalker far more chilling as a powerless pawn than he is as powerful Darth Vader. No more alarming scene exists in the entire "Star Wars" canon than the political conversation that takes place in "Attack of the Clones" between Anakin and Amidala when the boy-who-would-be Vader suggests the system is broken and needs to be replaced with something where one person in charge has the power to enforce laws he feels are for the good of the people. Amidala replies, rightfully, that what Anakin is talking about sounds like a dictatorship. And then these all-too-familiar words from Anakin: "Well, if it works."

Anakin's justification that if authoritarian control works in keeping us safe was being repeated on a daily basis by those in charge at the very time the scene was being projected onto multiplex screens around the world. Too many Anakin Skywalkers existed then and, amazingly, exist right now in this country who are far too eager to give up hard-earned civil rights for the illusion of security. And it is the very fact that one can write about Anakin without calling him either evil or good that elevates the prequel above the original. Try naming a single character in the original trilogy that can attain such an authentic level of ambiguity.

There is absolutely no element or character in the original trilogy that isn't delineated in stark black and white terms. Episodes IV through VI tell a much happier story, one that is consistent with the birth of the American democracy through acts of rebellion by a ragtag group of people who held the moral high ground. Episodes I through III, by contrast, tell a much less happy story about how a democracy can come to an end -- not at the hands of foreign interlopers, but directly through the democratic process itself. More people may prefer the original "Star Wars" trilogy, but there is no question that the prequel is a more challenging, illuminating, and superior work of art.

http://movies.yahoo.com/news/why-star-wars-prequels-better-original-trilogy-160300514.html
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 04:14:40 AM by Malaysian Kopite »
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 04:27:48 AM »
The short version; I'll spout total bollocks to get page hits. And it will work.

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 04:32:38 AM »
Interesting idea, could be said to be true in some ways, they are a much more sophisticated set of films than they are given credit for, particularly in relation to the original, but I dont think it was at all intentional on Lucas' part, I think he would of been more overt, like a sledgehamer, if he was trying put across such ideas. Wasnt at all bothered to hear he was retiring.

On a related note, there is a docu out there called The People v's George Lucas, well worth a look for Star Wars fans.
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 04:34:50 AM »
one character Jar Jar binks...

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 04:53:44 AM »
Yahoo.  The people that employ Paul fucking Parker as a football writer.

On a related note, there is a docu out there called The People v's George Lucas, well worth a look for Star Wars fans.

Yea I actually saw the guy that directed that film interviewed on Redlettermedia.  Been meaning to acquire that for a while. 
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 06:29:37 AM »
The writer seems mightily pleased with himself for spotting a clumsily executed allegory that I think was missed on few to begin with. So pleased with his discovery that he reckons that the prequel trilogy is the most entertaining civics lesson ever given. All right then.

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 06:38:41 AM »
The OP doesn't make a case for them being better films. I was going to respond in detail but what's the point? They aren't... and err... that's it.

Wooden acting, shite dialogue, dismal pacing and unbelievable storylines. And finally, Jar-jar fucking Binks.
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 09:36:21 AM »
The short version; I'll spout total bollocks to get page hits. And it will work.

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 10:25:43 AM »
It's like saying Jaws 4 with  Michael "Not a lot of people know that" Caine in, was better than the original Jaws.
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2012, 11:00:22 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ezeYJUz-84

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2012, 03:12:35 PM »
The fact that Han Solo isn't in the prequels instantly makes them inferior.
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2012, 04:54:58 PM »
And it is the very fact that one can write about Anakin without calling him either evil or good that elevates the prequel above the original. Try naming a single character in the original trilogy that can attain such an authentic level of ambiguity.

Charisma.

Every single fuckin one of them. Every single one.
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 05:16:48 PM »
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2012, 06:32:02 PM »
The prequel trilogy failed for one simple reason. They were boring as fuck.

Offline Circa1892

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2012, 07:39:58 PM »
Remember at the time I quite enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd ones (I was a geeky teen mind).

Phantom Menace is utter shite and not better than any film. Nevermind the original trilogy.

Offline Slick_Beef

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2012, 01:56:48 AM »
http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/star-wars-episode-1-the-phantom-menace/

http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/star-wars-episode-ii-attack-of-the-clones/

http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/star-wars-episode-iii-revenge-of-the-sith/

If after watching those you find any sort of capacity to agree with the opening post, I suggest you get your CV down to Skywalker Ranch as soon as possible.

I haven't listen to this yet but he just released a full commentary track for Phantom Menace the other day: http://redlettermedia.com/phantom-phriday-mr-plinketts-phantom-menace-commentary-track/
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2012, 04:12:04 AM »
Remember at the time I quite enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd ones (I was a geeky teen mind).

Phantom Menace is utter shite and not better than any film. Nevermind the original trilogy.
The second one was utter crap for me. Liked the first one much better.
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Offline sparkiemark73

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2012, 03:44:26 PM »
The second one was utter crap for me. Liked the first one much better.

What was good about the first one then? Not clear if you support your cut and paste OP or not.
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2012, 03:55:14 PM »
I liked em. You are all just miserable.
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2012, 04:27:07 PM »
I loved the star wars films when they came out in the early 80's and when I first saw Phantom menace I honestly thought it was the longest drawn out piece of shite I had ever seen (didnt help that I was pissed in the cinema). I decided from that moment I wouldn't watch any of the others. But recently I watched the 2nd instalment and though its not a patch on the earlier 3 its not a bad film. However I love revenge of the sith. I might even go as far as to say its the one I could easily watch again out of all of them. Maybe its when anakin goes and kills a load of younglings or tries to kill padme, I am not sure but I its a good film without any Ewok love in. Ewan obviously doesn't give his greatest performance but once you see past all of that it is an entertaining film. Maybe initially I had a perception the originals could not be bettered and I took that view with me when watching Phantom menace for the first time.
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2012, 04:29:19 PM »
No mate, it's just shite.

Offline SP

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2012, 04:45:24 PM »
I liked em. You are all just miserable.

When I watched them for the first time, I thought I was paying to see an extended advert for merchandise. For instance the pod race was tedious. It just felt like it was included to justify the accompanying video game. Star Wars is a cynical money making exercise.

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2012, 05:27:19 PM »
When I watched them for the first time, I thought I was paying to see an extended advert for merchandise. For instance the pod race was tedious. It just felt like it was included to justify the accompanying video game. Star Wars is a cynical money making exercise.


Saw it in the piccies and have seen it many times since.

But the 3D really makes the film. Not only was the 3D spot on and brought real life to it - it gets your little braincells bouncing up and down with glee thinking of the next two and then..

Wow!

The next three. Imagine the three original films in the pictures. In 3D. Fucking hell. I'll explode.
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2012, 05:47:19 PM »
no movie in which I wanted to punch anakin and tear my eyes out at the sight of jar jar binks will ever be better than any of the first ones. Utter utter bullshit and tripe of the highest order. Money making scheme from start to finish with the prequel. Utter bollocks.

Offline Rusty Oysterburger

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Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2012, 09:46:35 PM »
What do you reckon the kids like best about the Phantom Menace; the fascinating discussions on taxes and tariffs or the thrilling senate meetings? I can't choose between them myself...
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Offline Malaysian Kopite

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2012, 01:34:32 AM »
What was good about the first one then? Not clear if you support your cut and paste OP or not.
I cut and pasted it because its the second such article I've read this week. As for the first one, I don't particularly like it although I found it much better than the the second one which bored the hell out of me( The only star wars movie that has). The villain (Dooku) was extremely boring as well, especially compared to Darth Maul. I don't get the hate for Jar-Jar though, sure he's annoying but he's just a dumb mini character. I was far more annoyed at young Anakin and plastic Obi- Wan.

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2012, 01:49:14 AM »
the 3 prequel films were money grab abortions that aren't fit to share the same name as 4, 5 and 6. This isn't really a matter of subjectivity either, they were inferior by any objective criteria you can think of. Shoe-horning in terrible cgi with outrageously bad acting and dialog in a storyline that was clearly being made up as it was going along, yay for Mcfilmmaking. Forget mentioning them in the same sentence as the originals, if you even thought they were mildly good you are just a sucker consumer with a low IQ. Part of me thinks it's just the contrarian attention-seeking impulse that some people have that they would advocate for them but deep down I actually do fear that there are people out there that feel the same way as the OP.

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« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 01:52:22 AM by BostonScouse »

Offline BostonScouse

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2012, 01:49:56 AM »
What do you reckon the kids like best about the Phantom Menace; the fascinating discussions on taxes and tariffs or the thrilling senate meetings? I can't choose between them myself...

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2012, 01:51:00 AM »
this thread has ruined my night

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2012, 09:17:32 AM »
The next three. Imagine the three original films in the pictures. In 3D. Fucking hell. I'll explode.

If George Lucas converted them to 3D, they would not be the same films. They would have his "additions". A straight conversion of the original cinematic print complete with a little ambiguity would be good. Lucas would never make that though. Who will he get to say Noooooooooooooooooooooo next?

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2012, 12:03:20 PM »
If George Lucas converted them to 3D, they would not be the same films. They would have his "additions". A straight conversion of the original cinematic print complete with a little ambiguity would be good. Lucas would never make that though. Who will he get to say Noooooooooooooooooooooo next?

I liked the additions he did to the original three.

Why not add to something that's yours? You can still get the original unmodfieid versions - if you don't like the new stuff or 3D or whatever then watch the originals. Everybody wins.
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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2012, 12:47:46 PM »
The next three. Imagine the three original films in the pictures. In 3D. Fucking hell. I'll explode.

3D is just a shite gimmick and I don't see how it would add anything to the original trilogy.

You know I'd actually pay to go and watch the original* trilogy at the cinema. I've never had the chance to see them on the big screen, but I won't pay to go and watch Lucas rape the franchise for everything it's worth right in front of my very eyes.

*I bold original becasue I mean that I don't want all the stupid stuff tha has been added over the years, the stupid extra scenes and extra CGI shit. Just the original release of the films.

Offline courty61

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2012, 01:00:36 PM »
I think the OP had a point - they are more structured and have more meaning.

The only problem is that the acting and dialogue was so bad that message gets lost.
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Offline rusty-la

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2012, 01:08:20 PM »
one character Jar Jar binks...

make what you think of it!

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2012, 01:24:17 PM »
The prequel trilogy: about 20 minutes of good action (Yoda, Pod race, Darth Maul) and 5 hours 40 minutes of bilge.

90% of it is backstory. And backstory is backstory because it is not as interesting as the main story. I could care less as Lucas has had plenty of money from me during my life but If was him back in 1996 when he was planning his new trilogy he should have considered bringing in other directors like David Fincher or Frank Darabont to work on the movies.

End of the day, story is king, you can have a 4D Boba Fett pleasuring Halle Berry in a Princess Leah outfit and that would still be true.
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Offline AJ4Seven

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2012, 01:59:37 PM »
When I watched them for the first time, I thought I was paying to see an extended advert for merchandise. For instance the pod race was tedious. It just felt like it was included to justify the accompanying video game. Star Wars is a cynical money making exercise.

The Pod Racer scene was added because of a line in the original film, Obi-Wan mentions to Luke that the 1st time he met his father he was already a great pilot. This is one of the main problems with the prequels, showing things that have already been told to the audience.

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Re: Why the Star Wars prequel trilogy was better than the original
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2012, 02:06:37 PM »
The three prequels are arguably up there with the greatest waste of money and human resources there has ever been. Almost. I mean, they are just utter, utter bollocks.