The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy gets a bad reputation for no reason. Among the many complaints are the excessive amount of CGI, making the universe look “new” compared to the Original Trilogy, changes made to the original film to better match the prequels, like super imposing Hayden Christensen in Sebastian Shaw’s place, or the “wooden” acting. One of the main gripes comes from everyone’s hatred of Jar Jar Binks, which was a character aimed to draw in a younger audience, adding to the films major profits.
Still the movies aren’t that bad. I grew up on the prequels and I loved them all. They were my generation’s Star Wars movies. They’re ones I got to see for the first time of their release, like my parents were able to see the Original Trilogy, and that’s something special. Now my children get to experience a new trilogy of Star Wars movies. However, before the prequels are disregarded in favor of the new content (the prequels are still canon haters!) I want to explain why the prequels are important:
The Arrogant Order
The prequels show an arrogant Jedi Order that has grown too comfortable with not having any competition for thousands of years that they lost their spirituality and tried to explain their mysticism with science in the form of midi-chlorians. The Clone Wars series further explains how arrogant the order has become. During the Clone Wars, the Jedi were seen as war mongers by the citizens of the galaxy for fighting as generals instead of keeping the peace. Yoda, who was visited by the “ghost” of Qui-Gon Jinn, sent the Jedi Grandmaster on a spiritual journey that would allow him to keep his form after physical death.
Throughout his quest, Yoda realized how naive the Jedi have become, and in his final test, decided he is not willing to let go of who he truly is and is willing to sacrifice himself to save Anakin. Yoda, after completing his mission, knows the Jedi will not believe his story and decides not to reveal what he had learned. Yoda, however, knows the Jedi will not win in the Clone Wars, but may find another opportunity later in the future. During Yoda’s quest, Yoda meets 5 powerful force wielder’s who speak of midi-chlorians as, “What your Jedi call midi-chlorians.” Meaning, the Jedi tried to explain, scientifically, the magic and wonder of the force, losing their spiritual self. Only Yoda and later Obi Wan were able to find themselves again, but as for the rest of the Jedi, they got too cocky.
The Used Universe
The new digitized look compared to the original trilogy showed how a prosperous Republic looked before the evil Empire took over and turned everything into shit, leaving the galaxy in poverty. Throughout the prequels, Chancellor Palpatine works close to seeing his grand vision played out: a galaxy without the Jedi under his control. Palpatine was careful in planning his take over, playing both sides of the Clone Wars. Then, when he had the chance, he claimed Anakin as his apprentice, dubbing the former Jedi Darth Vader. Further explaining how Palpatine was able to conquer the galaxy was another episode of The Clone Wars, in which Palpatine manipulated the Senate into allowing him to take control of the neutral banks after staging an attack by the Separatists. With Palpatine in charge of everything, including the galaxy’s finances, I’m sure some planets may start looking run down. However, before Palpatine’s rule, everything was pristine, because the galaxy still had money.
The Fallen Hero
Anakin in Episode I was an innocent, good-hearted kid that lived his life as a slave and only had his mother to take care of him. However, he was taken away from his mother and told he would become a great Jedi, only to be rejected by the order and have the only one who believed in him killed. Sure, he was later accepted into the Order, but it’s not like any of the other Jedi wanted him there (especially Mace). Fast-forward 10 years, and he’s a cocky jerk that acts out because, unlike other Jedi, Anakin began his training too late and never learned the discipline required to control his emotions. When he was discovered, he was already going through puberty, while other Padawan learners join the order usually around 3, and are molded (brainwashed) to devote their lives to the Order.
Then, Anakin had visions of his mother dying and strong feelings for a woman he was not allowed to love. Then, the Clone Wars showed him maturing a bit after taking on an apprentice of his own, which taught him control until the Jedi Order betrays her, forcing her to leave, meaning she failed her great trial, which also meant Anakin failed as a teacher. Then, Anakin started getting visions of his secret wife dying with their babies, leading to him turning to the Dark Side in an attempt to save her, only to be the cause of her death later.
All in all, the prequels may not be what older fans were expecting, but if you seriously think about what positives they bring (especially the CGI Clone Wars series) then you will know that the prequels are as important as the Original Trilogy!