The Prequel Trilogy: Is It Really That Bad?

Everyone’s heard that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is home to the worst Star Wars films, but do they really deserve the bad rap?


Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Brandon Dosen, Columnist

The prequel trilogy begins with “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” released in 1999. The movie was the beginning of what some would call a bad addition to the Star Wars movies. However, the movie does a good job of broadening the scope of Star Wars while still keeping the focus on the Skywalkers.  Moving onto the next movie, “Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones.” This is usually thought of as the worst of the prequel trilogy, however, it isn’t as bad as expected. While the action is very scarce, once it arrives it is very nice just like it was in the last movie, and is very large scale. 

One of the things I love is how they bring in the politics of the Galactic Republic and how the government works. The political intrigue, while it may be boring to some, creates a more complex conflict. It also shows more about the inner machinations of the Star Wars universe, and how societies can use their planet for their economy and citizens.

The action is amazing compared to the fighting from the original trilogy. For instance, comparing Darth Vader and Obi-Wan’s fight from the original trilogy (“A New Hope”) with the prequels’ Duel of the Fates battle between Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn (“The Phantom Menace”), it’s clear to see that the action of the prequels is far superior to that of the original trilogy. The fights don’t just include swinging a lightsaber and blocking, but complex acrobatic stunts and breathtaking visuals. Not only that, but it’s at a faster pace as well. The starfights are another amazing spectacle that is better in the prequels. It shows true in space dogfights. Also, the pod race in “The Phantom Menace” offers another type of action that isn’t just lightsaber fights and starfights. It’s very refreshing and gives you some different action from what’s been seen before.

The romance scenes in the prequels feel a touch out of place in a Star Wars movie, but offer something different from the normal formula. It provides feelings and depth to the characters, and changes things up from the hitherto action-focused Star Wars movies.

In the end, the reason why the prequel trilogy is as hated as it is is most likely due to the change in pace between the trilogies. Fans of the original trilogy were disappointed by how different the prequels felt—the lack of battle and the shift in focus almost made them feel like an entirely different universe altogether. The movies weren’t suited for those fans that grew up on the original formula. Not only that, but many people who would’ve appreciated the prequels and their changes in formula didn’t want to watch a Star Wars movie. When they thought of Star Wars they would think of the originals, which didn’t suit them.

In all, the Star Wars prequels are fantastic movies that add depth and complexity to the Star Wars universe by changing up the classic formula, and much of the hate toward them is undeserved (Related: how Disney’s meddling ruined the Star Wars franchise).