What I Love About The Prequels: Derrick Zurn, Part 2

Stories come in all sort of shapes and sizes. They sometimes tell the tale of one man trying to find what he was put on the Earth to do. They sometimes tell the tale of one man trying to kill another, to take out revenge on another individual. They sometimes tell the tale of one man’s struggle to return to the light, for redemption. That is the epic lesson George Lucas was trying to tell with Star Wars. The Star Wars saga as a whole is the tale of Anakin Skywalker, his struggles for more power, his manipulation through the cunning Palpatine, which ultimately leads to his downfall and transformation into Darth Vader. The original Star Wars films focus on Anakin’s thirst for overthrowing Palpatine, but in the end, he comes to realize the horror and misery he has caused in the process, which allows him to return to his former self, save his son, destroy the Emperor and fulfill the ancient Jedi prophecy, and save the galaxy from a horrible fate, though it costs him his own life. What knowledge of what Vader once was and what he once dreamed of would we have if the Star Wars prequels were never made. Through Episodes 1,2,and 3 we see Anakin go from the sweet, podracing youth wanting to help the galaxy and become a jedi to a children slaughtering psychopath, wanting to become the most powerful creature in the galaxy and eventually rule the galaxy as his own. The story of the prequels are, as I said before, not meant to have the greatest visual effects or the greatest characters like in the original 3 films, but to explain things, explain why things are the way they are in the films which defied cinema decades earlier. Anakin Skywalker has had a profound impact on the galaxy, the Star Wars galaxy, and our own galaxy if you think about it. He has many struggles which many people have struggled with in history. He carries on traits reminiscent of Julius Caesar, Adolf Hitler and mirrors the devil himself, a once benevolent force what goes from being with the power to being against the power, which ultimately leads to his descending into a living hell. It is also worth pointing out that Anakin’s downfall is also driven by love. He sees visions of his wife’s death in childbirth, just as he did his mother back in Episode 2.He loves his wife so much, and he wants to become a powerful jedi and learn the powers of Darth Plagueis so he can save her and the twins, and he would give up anything or do anything to get to that sort of rank, even go against the very thing he was destine to destroy. And it isn;t until after she is dead that he realizes that it was all part of Palpatine’s plan, to bring him to the bad side, and he has to go through living agony serving the Emperor.

Luke realizes that Vader turned for love in Episode 6, “There is still good in him”, so he decides rather than kill him, try and help him dig deep within himself, return as Anakin Skywalker. And when the Emperor tortures Luke, Vader decides that he will not allows Palpatine to take another loved one. It was love that allowed Anakin to pull through and save Luke from the Emperor, and fulfill the prophecy of “The Chosen One”, to bring balance to the force. That is why he was a force ghost at the end, that is why he was young. It was because that his contribution was so strong, it allowed him to return to the way he was before he became Vader, to pick up his life as Anakin Skywalker in a Netherworld of the Force. Looking at the entire Star Wars saga, from Phantom to Jedi, we see Anakin Skywalker’s character development from good to bad and the struggle to takes to get back to good by the end of Return of the Jedi. It’s an amazing story, and something people who despise the prequels often overlook. Star Wars isn’t about the best looking starships or the most appealing characters or the best stories that make sense, it’s about corruption and betrayal, and how we pick up the pieces and go up against crippling forces like the Galactic Empire. Anakin Skywalker can be related to the Old Republic, a prominent, well known society, driven to the point of darkness by the ruthlessness that is Palpatine. He had an excellent, yet cunning plan. The whole point of the Clone Wars was to drive the Jedi Order apart, to drive the Senate apart. He wanted Count Dooku to die, and he wanted Anakin to do it. He wanted a clone army for one purpose, to dispose of the jedi which know that he was corrupt and possible Darth Sidious. All of this was his way of getting to the emperor’s throne, to bring sith rule back to the galaxy. This epic tale, displayed in the prequels, isn’t meant to make the best of sense, it’s meant to be thought about. That is why there is the EU, that is why there are Clone Wars TV shows. That is why novels are written to coincide with the prequel films. It is all meant to explain the controversy that lies within the Republic and Jedi Order, and with all that back up material, the story of the prequels does actually make sense. Sometimes, films on their own can’t tell the complete story, that is why books and other media are made to help fill in gaps and explain things. That is why there are sequels, to further the story and touch up on things the previous film left behind.

All three Star Wars prequels are flawed, but if you really think about it, aren’t all films flawed. Aren’t the original films filled with just as many errors and inconsistency as the prequels films. Heck, aren’t all films inconsistent and different from one another. That is what makes a story good, something to ponder on and lure you into the realm and universe which was all thought of in someone’s mind, in this case, in the mind of George Lucas. The Star Wars films, prequels included, pulled this off perfectly, filled with mystery and dazzling nature. What do you think made films like The Wizard of Oz and 2001: A Space Odyssey some of the most beloved motion pictures of all time. It’s not all about special effects or comparison to the previous films, it’s all about what these films can do. People who dislike the Star Wars prequels most likely wanted films that were primarily identical to the original films, filled with the same characters, same places, same story art. They never gave the prequels a chance rather than to just constantly bastardize what they disliked about it like Jar Jar Binks and the acting. The prequels were meant to be different than the original films, to have an impact of their own. And if you think the prequels didn’t leave an impact like RedLetterMedia said, then why do you think some people think that Revenge of the Sith was the best film of the saga, or why some people’s favorite character is Qui-Gon Jinn or Darth Maul, or why some of the iconic elements of the prequels were lampooned on the several Star Wars themed episodes of Robot Chicken. The prequels are made of a lot. The story is rich, the characters are full of personality, and they have just as much excitement and wonder as the original films, it was just displayed and distributed in a different manner. The point I am trying to make is that stories, especially prequels, don’t always have to follow the blood and bones of the original story exactly. People can reinterpret and reanimate things the way they want it for the better of one’s character development and the story, that is what George Lucas did with the newer Star Wars trilogy. He wanted to make things a little bit different because it would have a profound impact on what occurs in the original films.

And don’t forget, the prequels were written and directed by the same gentleman who brought us the very first Star Wars film, the film that started it all. It is often said that George Lucas made the prequels the way he did because that is what his children wanted. Well, isn’t that the way it should be. Doesn’t family, friends and love always come first. The prequel films could have been done a different way and still most likely would have been panned by critics and RedLetterMedias everywhere, but still would have left an impact all to their own, an impact that certain people are able to come across and piece together themselves. What is wrong with the prequel trilogy is something I can never really understand (George Lucas gave us three dog turds with these new Star Wars films) because it’s not that hard to understand, and like George Lucas says “Star Wars is for everyone, not just adults”It’s every epic story rolled into one, and without the prequels, well, we just wouldn’t get the whole picture. You should try looking into that RedLetterMedia. The prequels were a success, not a success at being terrible movies as many people would put it, but as allowing us to get the whole story straight. Star Wars doesn’t suck because of the prequels, it was made a hell of a lot better because of the prequels.


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