“An Evening With Kevin Smith” at Celebration VI was on a little late for my recap, but Big Shiny Robot has a summary. In part, Smith sticks up for the prequels:
When one fan asked him about how he’d change the prequels, he practically auditioned for the “Why We Love the Prequels Panel.” He wouldn’t have done much of anything to change them and loved them for what they were. Sure, they weren’t perfect and Jar Jar was equivalent to him to the Ewoks, but none of it stole from his enjoyment. “Some of these losers were saying you know that George Lucas raped their childhood, but that’s really an insulting slap in the face to the guy who built my childhood. He didn’t rape anything.” (I’m paraphrasing there, but the spirit is the same.)
He then proceeded to tell a rousing tale of the whispers through his youth of the creation of Vader and that fateful volcano-top battle we’d all heard legend of and, upon seeing it, he was reduced to tears. It gave me the chills in the same way the movie does.