About a year ago, Anthony Daniels made some comments in an Entertainment Weakly interview that seemed to indicate he wasn’t too fond of the prequels. A few of you seemed to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Well, you can erase all doubt from your minds now as Daniels goes full Prowse in an interview with obviously a prequel basher at The Gauridan, er, Guardian. There’s lots of stuff in there about Daniels chafing about the secrecy and what it’s like working with Abrams but here are the relevant quotes:
“George has changed a lot over the years but I think he finds it slightly hard to collaborate,” Daniels observes. “He made decisions that I believe might have been better discussed with other people. JJ is more collaborative. He likes to listen.”
“Ah, the prequels,” says Daniels ruefully. “Hmm. I turned one on the other night. Sky seems to have devoted a whole channel to them.” He leaves no doubt that this is a risible state of affairs.
He gives a shudder when mentioning the Ewoks, the teddy-bear tribe from Return of the Jedi, and claims to have been unimpressed by the lurch in the prequels toward fully digital sets. “The effects are clever but pointless. The skill is there, but so what? Coldness, that’s the word. Bleakness, even.”
All the signs are that The Force Awakens will be different. “It became clear early on that with JJ we were getting back to the old-fashioned kind of film-making. We have walls. Actual sets! All right, so you might not have a view out of the window, but you have a window.
Before the inevitable “he’s entitled to his opinion” gets posted, let me say this 1) Daniels isn’t just some random guy or a professional nerd, he’s been with the saga all along and is an ambassador for the brand 2) he’s old enough and has seen enough to know there are lots of people who love the prequels as much as the originals 3) if those “cold, bleak” prequels hadn’t been successful he wouldn’t be doing TFA or any other Star Wars project now 4) it’s not true and 5) it really does make him sound like a jerk. And I’ve heard plenty of anecdotes to totally back that up.