Long Blog Post Analyzing Prequels

In contrast to the post I made yesterday about ho-hum or not-really defenses of the prequels in the mainstream media, Roderick Heath on the Ferdy On Films blog wrote a long piece about the prequels from the perspective of someone who is serious about film.

It’s not an unabashed love fest and I don’t agree at all with his takes on the usual but he has a lot more good to say than not and it’s obvious the author is not a babbling fool:

At its best, the prequel trilogy legitimately inhabits the realm of chivalric romance, stocked with themes and stances found in sagas, particularly in the traits that define Anakin, who’s actually much closer to a great mythic hero like Achilles, Jason, or Siegfried than Luke ever was in the violence and intensity of his driving emotions and character stances—forbidden love, crippling conflict between stoic integrity and hysterical eruption, an inability to settle into required strictures of life in the society he represents. Obi-Wan was originally presented as a mentor figure whose initially uncomplicated call to action for Luke was revealed in subsequent instalments to have more dimensions, but he still remained a figure of sagacious wisdom. McGregor plays him as a dashing, but serious-minded swashbuckler who retains a telling and ultimately calamitous blind spot when it comes to Anakin, his pupil and adopted brother, an emotional substitute for the lost father figure of Qui-Gon. This fantasy world is a kind of Eden from which everyone falls, giving birth to a different time and throwing up rogues like Han and Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams).

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22 Responses to “Long Blog Post Analyzing Prequels”

  1. James Says:

    Just watched rpisodes I II and III again today and it just reinforces my love of the Films. Any positive articals make my just buble up inside. Not bad, not perfect but not bad.

  2. zch81721 Says:

    Hey I just wanted to know if anyone could help me with something. I want to try to put a Darth Jar Jar cosplay together for fun. However finding a good Jar Jar mask has been proving to be…..difficult. Does anyone know any good places with masks still in stock? I’m looking for one preferable to this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcQ2JA0pBKM

  3. Brian47 Says:

    That observation really made me take notice and was so insightful. I’ve always loved the Greek myths, the Iliad and all its characters and Anakin really does share many of those same traits as heroes in those stories, traits that can be frustrating because they are often volatile, emotional and egocentric.

    Also, on a different topic, on the Star Wars Twitter Q&A yesterday, someone mentioned the rules of the Jedi and Sith that were presented in the PT and if this is referenced in TFA, to which Kathleen Kennedy answered yes, so that’s pretty neat. Also, someone asked Ocsar Isaac for his favorite prequel movie. He didn’t pick a specific movie, but he did instead mention the Obi/QuiGon/Maul battle of the end of TPM.

    • roxam91 Says:

      I think he must’ve misinterpreted the question as favorite scene from the prequels. Nice choice though.

      • Brian47 Says:

        Probably, and it was nice to see some PT-related questions coming through the twitter feed. I like that Kennedy answered yes to certain story elements from the prequels being mentioned in TFA. I’m sure it’s the Sith Rule of Two and maybe some of the Old Republic Jedi tenets, perhaps Luke might discuss he discovers.

    • Dave Strohmenger Says:

      The guys on Rebel Force Radio have been speculating that there will be no mention of Sith, just “the dark side”, because Sith is too associated with the prequels. Even though it’s been around as long as Star Wars.

      • Bob Clark Says:

        That kinda reminds me of what the Bond series went through in that long legal hassle over Thunderball and the Blofeld character. Because of that, we had long years of dancing around his characters name, substituting him with a lot of various generic villain masterminds and lame millitary baddies. Occasionally you got something cool like Janus or the recent flicks, but it was nice to see them finally get the guy with the white Persian cat back in Spectre. I wonder if well have to wait 40 years or so for the Sith to return in the inevitable darker and grittier reboot of Star Wars.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I’m watching “Ash vs. Evil Dead” on Starz and because Universal owns the rights to “Army of Darkness,” they kind of have to tap-dance around the events of the film. The show’s a lot of fun–it still is Raimi’s baby even if it has different writers/directors and there’s still Bruce Campbell–but we never got a full explanation on how Ash made it out of that medieval alternate universe.

    • Natalie Says:

      This is so true about the myth. Greek myths and the Silmarillion is what the prequels reminded me most of (along with some history and Eastern mysticism).

      • Hoggle Says:

        In a Myth sense the prequels remind me of exploration, getting lost in (via changing shapes), seperation & dismemberment, in the Labyrinth. The Silmarillion has elements of this in a more primordial sense.
        Also the most excellent THX electronic labyrinth Directors cut set is about escaping the Labyrinth from within.
        The OT is more about a simple rescue from the labyrinth, it’s more overall a straight rescue from it.
        Anyhow, it’s all the got a brilliant stamp of GL binding it together cinematically to me. (also got into fandom fun of the earlier clone wars cartoons, like a hyper outlandish Indiana Jones Star Wars hi-jinx prequel jedi era).

        Um, my fanciful fan fic mthyee sequel trilogy that i may or may not fully flesh out some time, tis bout changing colors in the reclaiming of the Labyrinth mythologically speaking. kind of an undergarment to the stuff that GL had spoken of for a sequel trilogy, in wisdom between right and wrong, Jedi Knighthood etc etc although my Jedi Knighthood was about emergence of Jedi Rangerhood order with a lead female character story to that, although the standard Jedi were still there also & while righted wrongs of prequel Jedi order, the conflict had moved on & it wasn’t really about them, & Leia was a Guardian Galactic Empress of sorts with a type of spirit double roaming around haha

        One can only guess afterall 🙂

      • lazypadawan Says:

        A doppelganger. Interesting.

  4. susanbowes Says:

    Obi’s so-called “close connection” to Qui-Gon – so this article states – wasn’t really passed on to Anakin. Obi-Wan always kept Anakin at arm’s length, never showing him affection or respect. That’s one of the reasons Anakin turned to Palpatine. Anakin saw Palpatine as a father figure, who often praised his abilities.

    • John Says:

      I don’t know if I’d go so far as saying Obi-Wan kept Anakin at arms’ length.
      Honestly, I think the movies definitely make it FEEL like that, because the two really don’t share much screen time, but then there are lines like, “You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you!” Kind of an interesting issue.

      • susanbowes Says:

        They may have been “brothers” in the sense that they were both Jedi, but that’s the idea I got from the movie, that Obi-Wan never showed Anakin that he loved him.That’s one of the reasons Anakin turned to Palpatine. Palpatine made Anakin feel “worthy” if you know what I mean

    • Natalie Says:

      Obi-Wan is a by the book Jedi. They’re not supposed to be touchy-feely while Anakin lived with his mother and was used to a greater degree of affection. They do have some warm moments even AOTC and ROTS shows them as friends and brothers-in-arms.

      • susanbowes Says:

        Anakin never felt that Obi-Wan truly loved or trusted him, even though they shared a common cause to defeat the Sith. He also always scolded Anakin which made him feel inferior. That’s why the Jedi Code was wrong in most situations. Humans, all of us, need love and when kept at arm’s length, you feel as though you aren’t getting the love you need. That’s what I meant by my statement.

      • jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

        The Jedi had kept the peace for a thousand years, so they were doing something right.

        The problem was that Anakin lived with Mom until he was ten or so, so he was different from the others. He needed close emotional relationships, where the others didn’t necessarily.

        I think of the Jedi being a bit like the Vulcans, but with better people skills. They were capable of being emotional but their society raised them not to be.

        I agree, that Obi-Wan probably wasn’t specifically really open about how much he cared about Anakin. But I think most men aren’t really open about that with each other, Jedi or not. However, that doesn’t mean he didn’t show warmth towards Anakin. I think it was clear Obi-Wan personally really liked Anakin. But they weren’t merely “bros”, Obi-Wan had a job to do.

        Anakin liked Palpatine because he intentionally stroked his ego. Anakin was far more involved in his own ego than being part of the Jedi brotherhood. Anakin wanted to save the Republic. Anakin wanted to save Padme. Anakin wanted to do it all because he thought he was superior to all the other Jedi. He wanted to be the best, at all costs!

        Anakin would have never made a good Jedi, because he was a prize jerk. You can’t blame all of society for the actions of the individual, especially in this case. Did society influence him? Yes, in good ways and bad ways. But society did not make Anakin Skywalker.

      • susanbowes Says:

        To each their own opinion, but if you remember – Obi-Wan never trusted Anakin, nor did the Jedi. That’s one of the reasons he kept Anakin at arm’s length. (I beg to differ when you say men don’t show affection for each other, with the exception of homophobics maybe.) Yoda didn’t trust Anakin either and that’s why he didn’t want Obi-Wan to train him, regardless of Qui-Gon’s wishes. Yoda was overruled by the Council though.

        Obi-Wan did eventually trust Anakin, but he still didn’t let his padawan know that he appreciated him, nor did he show Anakin any respect – he always scolded Anakin which would naturally make Anakin feel inferior.

        As far as Anakin being arrogant – which you call superior – can you blame him? The Jedi are the ones who told him he was better than the other Jedi. It’s only natural that it would go to his head.

        I do agree that Anakin was too old to be trained due to living with his mother for so long, which the other Jedi didn’t do. That’s why they didn’t know how to show affection like most families share with their “younglings.” I also agree that Anakin would never make a good Jedi. However, if Anakin hadn’t gone through all he did, he would’ve never become Darth Vader. No Vader, no Star Wars. It’s as simple as that. 🙂

    • Jacobesico Says:

      “It is all that left unsaid upon which tragedies are built.” Darth Traya

  5. Hoggle Says:

    To me, the blog post touches on alot of points why the prequels are such a great trilogy, although on many of them i’d have a slightly different tangent of interpretation. All the same, it shows that the writer recognises much cinematic enjoyment of excellence in his/her experience with these movies 🙂

  6. lisse Says:

    The Greek tragedy element of the prequels is one of my favorite things. Achilles is possibly one of my favorite fictional characters, (along with Medea) so I loved the mention of Achilles and Jason in connection to Anakin.

    I’ve always seen Anakin as an Achilles figure where Odysseus and Obi-Wan connect as characters for me. I can’t do that with the characters of the OT since they’re really not built in that vein.

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