When my fiance under went surgery last week, we knew that we'd have to come up with a long list of movies to watch to keep him busy during his recovery. Against my protest, he insisted that we watch Star Wars from start to finish. Now, as I already said, I vehemently protested this for one very particular reason . . . that being that I loath the prequel trilogy to my very core. I think George Lucas is a sell-out and a traitor (Han Solo friggin shot first!), I think the prequel trilogy in no way lived up to the beloved originals, and I think the CGI they used to replace pretty much everything is horrendous and distracting.
But I digress.
So while I did protest, when someone you love has surgery and is in pain, you arguments to the contrary kinda fall flat. And so it was that I found myself watching Star Wars episode I, II and III, something which I'd refused to do since seeing them in theaters the first time (to my great regret). And upon watching them for a second time, I have to admit . . .
They suck. Hard.
Now, that being said, there are a few points in which I am willing to admit that the prequel trilogy has some merit, something which I had previously believed impossible. They are as follows:
- Watching Palpatine's complete and utter manipulation of the empire is both ominous and fascinating. His strategic power plays earning him emergency powers are reminiscent of Hilter and his subtle wooing of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side feel wholly realistic. He definitely stole the movie for me.
- Watching the Republic slowly crumble and the rise of the Galactic Empire is (at least mildly) interesting. We spent so many years with the image of the Republic in shambles, it's strange to see it whole (if somewhat cracked). I appreciate Lucas giving us a picture of the Republic as it once was.
- And of course, R2-D2. He'd just as sarcastic and genius as ever. I'd watch an entire movie chronicling R2's adventures if I could (as long as George Lucas stayed away from it).
The truth is, they plot isn't completely terrible. It's the filming that ruins the saga for me. And Jar Jar Binks. And bouncing, CGI-Yoda. And Natalie Portman's terrible action sequences. And Hayden Christiansen.
Now, this in no way means that I like or approve of the prequel trilogy. However, I am willing to concede that they are not complete wastes of time and money. I fear for the coming sequels, and pray to the Star Wars gods that they limit George Lucas's input before he ruins this series even more than he already has -- or god forbid, we have an Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on our hands.