I recently rewatched the Star Wars prequels. I remember when they first came out and all of the excitement that came with it. Unfortunately many people were disappointed with the reality. Here are my thoughts on them after watching them again.
Episode I is definitely the weakest of all the Star Wars movies (not just the prequels). Jar Jar Binks is painful to watch. It felt like they wanted to make a Star Wars movie aimed at ten year olds, which is strange considering how dark they made Episode III. The entire movie just didn’t flow nice and it was hard to invest in the characters. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan were interesting and Darth Maul was one of the best Star Wars bad guys. On the bright side, the pod race on Tatooine was fun and the fight with Darth Maul was enjoyable. But they tried too hard to make connections with the original trilogy and I thought having Anakin build C3PO was a bad decision.
Episode II was a significant improvement from the previous episode. The clone wars had been mentioned in the original trilogy but no details had been given. In this movie we see the Jedi Knights stretched to the limit fighting those opposing the Republic. Fortunately a clone army has been created, cloned from Boba Fett’s “father.” These become the first version of what would become Stormtroopers. We also see the schemes of Senator Palpatine, as he seeks to take control of the senate and the Republic. While not as good as the original trilogy, it is a decent movie.
Episode III continued to improve on the previous two. This is the speeding up of the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader. Anakin has been growing in his powers and has rejected the ban on romantic attachments. Now married to Padmé, who is pregnant with his child(ren), Anakin is desperate to save her life, opening himself up to the offers of Palpatine. Everything falls apart and the Jedis are almost completely wiped out. I quite enjoyed the fight between Yoda and Palpatine. I did struggle with Anakin’s turn to the dark side. Some of it (such as the killing of the younglings) was difficult to believe.
Some people would like to forget about the prequels. Episode I was bad but they did get better and did set things up for the rest of the movies. Despite their faults, there are some bright spots. Overall, they are not as bad as many people think.