Why I Love The Prequels: The Plot

Attack of the Geek has a second essay up on the merits of the prequels, this time focusing on the plot.

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9 Responses to “Why I Love The Prequels: The Plot”

  1. Eduardo Jencarelli Says:

    This is a very good article from Neil Gaiman. It’s actually about George R R Martin and his ongoing feud with the fans of Game of Thrones, due to the long time he takes writing the books.

    However, it easily applies to segments of Star Wars fandom, and their treatment of George Lucas over the years, due to some of his creative choices.


    Fans can be a bit too entitled, sometimes, and it’s good to remind them how writers and authors function.

  2. Eduardo Jencarelli Says:

    Just pointing out a minor flaw on Attack of the Geek’s plot essay.

    Palpatine’s Episode I plan wasn’t a failure. The fact that he managed to oust Valorum and become himself the new Chancellor qualifies as a major victory for the villain.

    • Keith Palmer Says:

      This might be getting into issues of personal interpretation, but as much as I wonder if it’s possible to view the “Republic trilogy” as “Palpatine’s perfect plan,” every action calculated in advance to play everyone else just the way he wants it, I keep wanting to think of him as “quick-thinking and able to adapt when necessary.” Maybe that has to do with my wondering if it’s easier to be a “prequel appreciator” if you can envision “how it might have happened otherwise” instead of just seeing everything pointing towards a conclusion set decades before. In either case, I suppose, we’re still left to think “Palpatine messed up in Return of the Jedi,” but perhaps thinking of him as needing to improvise at times at least establishes him as fallible.

      • endordude Says:

        You do have a point, I didn’t really think of that. In Episode I Palps was still gaining control, if you compare his meddling from that movie to the next two it’s very minor meddling, and while his plans may have succeeded in a sense, at the time it was only a small step for him, after all he not only failed to get Padme to sign the treaty (It seemed as if that was also part of the plan) he also lost Darth Maul, and Gunray was captured. Of course in the end this all worded out for his own good, but at the time it wasn’t a full success.

    • Adam D. Bram Says:

      I think that while Palpatine was ultimately successful in Phantom Menace, he obviously had to change his original plan on the fly due to the actions of Amidala (whom he underestimated), Jar Jar, and Anakin (whom he didn’t know or care existed and thus underestimated them as well).

      I’ll actually be writing about this in a few weeks, so that’s all I’m going to say for now.

      • Hunk a Junk Says:

        I think you’re right, Adam. Palpatine initiated the Naboo blockade to precipitate a crisis in the Senate that would lead him to be elected Chancellor (why else blockade Naboo or all planets?). This was his main goal. His demand that Padme sign the treaty was just a red-herring. He wanted her out of the way, dead or alive. When she escaped, that put his plan at risk and forced him to change tactics. He had expected her to passively roll over because she was “young and naive” but she surprised him by being “too aggressive.” Once Padme arrived on Coruscant, his goal was then to manipulate her into opposing the treaty by “reluctantly” saying she needed to accept it. Padme then unwittingly became his pawn. Once he was nominated as Chancellor, Palpatine was thrilled that Padme was going back to Naboo to fight the blockade. This not only escalated the crisis, but it gave him an opportunity to “wipe them out, all of them.” Getting to his goal took some some unexpected turns, but he still got what he wanted.

      • peacetrainjedi Says:

        Yeah, he may be a master manipulator, but he’s also a master improviser. I recently had enough time to read Cloak of Deception, the prequel to Episode I and it sets Palpatine as moving all the pieces into play for Valorum’s utter disgrace, the militarization of the Trade Federation, the election of Amidala, and the inability of the Jedi to directly interfere. Hence the opening crawl, the Jedi had to be “secretly dispatched” by Valorum, because Palpatine/Sidious weakened the Senate and Valorum with “baseless accusations of corruption” all for his own inevitable ascension as Supreme Chancellor.

        I do think he legitimately lost (Maul, the battle), but he won the most important objective he had been planning years before Maul or the Battle for Naboo: the Chancellorship. He also won a potential apprentice in the form of Anakin, and Dooku would ultimately prove to be far more useful than Maul in the war he was brewing. So I would say, he had a roughly 90% success rate, with the loss of Maul and the battle docking off 10% at most in the overall scheme of things.

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