Ask a Dork: Star Wars Prequels Ruined My Childhood
Has any release ever “ruined your childhood”? Why? How?
As easy as it may be to point a finger at the Star Wars prequel trilogy, I’m not going to pull any punches here: George Lucas took a steaming, CGI shit on my childhood. That shit was full of Midichlorians and concentrated disappoint from which I can never escape. You see, the original trilogy meant a lot to me for a lot of reasons. My father and I bonded over them when I was only five, in the hazy days of the early nineties, and I grew up wanting to be a Jedi.
Jedi, as I understood them, were paragons of everything that was good and balanced. They faced hardships, like anyone else, but the way they resolved situations (with pragmatism and thoughtfulness) was enviable. They were essentially white knights in space. What little boy doesn’t want to be like that?
Well, this little boy didn’t want to be like the Jedi from the prequel trilogy. That’s for damn sure. Excluding the fact that Anakin is intolerable at any age, his peers don’t inspire goodness like the Jedi of the original trilogy. In the original Star Wars (no, I’m not going to call it “A New Hope” or “Episode IV”), Obi-Wan Kenobi was a wise and kind man. He was careful in the way he taught Luke the basics of the force, and never strayed from facing his past. In the prequel trilogy, Obi-Wan begins as a waste of space with nothing to offer except stupid anecdotes and ends as a screaming, emotional, and argumentative idiot, whose ineptitude led to Anakin’s downfall. We never got the impression that these two were as close as brothers because George Lucas never took the time to show us.
Then there is Yoda. I’m not sure George Lucas understands the concept of Yoda anymore. The whole point of this character’s reveal in the original trilogy was simply to demonstrate that a Jedi Master didn’t require a large stature or impressive weapon to wield the force. Strong things can come in little packages, and Yoda’s skill belied his presentation. So what then, I ask, is Yoda doing pulling out a lightsaber and bouncing off the walls while facing Count Dooku?
Then there is Qui-Gon Jinn and the Midichlorians. First of all, has anyone noticed how deceitful this ass hole is? Let’s disregard that he lacks the natural charisma of scoundrels like Han Solo, and focus on the fact that he stoically lies and makes unfair deals in order to get what he wants. Think about that for a second: a Jedi that lies and cheats people. Qui-Gon is the worst, but not just because he’s a boring, lying bastard: because his character and George Lucas’ lazy writing ruined the force forever. I’m sorry, the power that flows in and out of everything is created by tiny microscopic organisms? WHY?! Why did that need to be added?
Don’t even get me started on Jar Jar. Ignoring the fact that his character would only ever work in small dose, he represents the ultimate science fiction crime: aliens that are uncool. Do you remember the cantina scene of the original Star Wars or Jaba’s palace in Return of the Jedi? Think about all of those cool, random aliens. There were Horax, Wookies, Cereans, Bothans, Sullustans, Rodians, Barabbels, Trandoshans, Sand People, Jawas, and Twi’leks. All freaking awesome looking and sounding. Jar Jar Binks, in comparison, is a reject design with hack writing and stupid voice acting. He is a stain on the prequel trilogy.
That said, the prequel trilogy sucks as an island. It doesn’t matter that its characters are stupid. The conflicts wrap around international space trade plights, galactic politics, and small-scale war between clones and robots. I’m sorry, were these films not supposed to be accessible to kids? Why the hell are we implicating politics and economics here?
Also, the focus of the prequel trilogy is kind of moronic. Anakin Skywalker is not a likeable character. He wasn’t when we first met him and he never became a likeable character after. Maybe that has to do with his actors, but I’m pretty sure it has more to do a script that doesn’t understand the concept of framing a character’s downfall. We aren’t surprised when Anakin walks down a dark path, and we sure as hell don’t feel bad for his character. He was annoying in The Phantom Menace, petulant in Attack of the Clones, and straight up douchy in Revenge of the Sith. You know what you did though by highlighting this, Mr. Lucas? YOU NEUTERED DARTH VADAR.
From the first second he screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I knew that I would never look at Vadar the same way again. Every time I watch the original trilogy now, I honestly think about how the most intimidating guy in it is really just a stupid, jealous, douche who cried and whined every time he didn’t get his way. Congrats Lucas, you ruined Darth Vadar. Forever.
That isn’t all you ruined though. Can anyone tell me why we’re choreographing lightsaber duels like ballroom dancing now? When lightsabers were used in the original trilogy – and they were used sparingly – it was to communicate something emotional. Some may say that the fights between Obi-Wan and Darth Vadar or Luke Skywalker and Darth Vadar were clumsy, but that was the point. The more emotionally driven these people were, the more it was reflected in the fighting. In the prequel trilogy, everyone is dancing around with their weapon and it means nothing. The fighting is soulless and uninspired.
What else is soulless and uninspired? The love between Anakin and Padme. In rewatching the prequel trilogy, I can understand why George Lucas has been divorced. He seems to think the romance and love needs to be forced through a strainer of clichÃ©d lines contrived forbiddances. Here’s the thing: both characters have no reason to love each other other than the fact that the plot tells them too. They don’t have interesting personalities, they don’t have interesting drama, they don’t gel well. This romance blows more than the Death Star.
Finally we have a bunch of befuddlingly stupid questions to which there are no reasonable answers. Why did they not realize Palpatine was behind it all sooner? Why didn’t they confront him with serious back up if they thought he was a Sith Lord? Why was Jango Fett involved in the fight on Geonosis? Why did Anakin have to kill younglings to be considered evil? Why didn’t they sell Amidala’s ship on Tatooine in order to get back to Naboo? Why did everything have to be in CGI when the originals were lauded for their practical effects? Why would you ever cast Hayden Christensen? Why was Darth Maul killed off in the first movie? Why does Padme have more make up than personality? Why did she die of a broken heart?
I guess I can only bitch so much. The prequel trilogy blows. If you prefer them over the originals, you were either a kid when they came out or have terrible taste in movies. Yes – I will fight you over this. The original Star Wars films out acted and out classed the prequels by a long shot. There are so many things wrong that I’m sure I’ve only listed half, and can’t list the rest without wanting to snap my laptop in half.
The Star Wars prequels ruined my childhood.