The post below was submitted by Martin Hay in response to a piece on The Nerdist’s “rematch” of the prequels, specifically to AOTC. This is Hay’s opinion. (If you’re interested in The Nerdist piece, you can find it there but I won’t link to it.)
I’ll just add that I can’t stand these fakety-fake “geek” and “nerd” sites who gatekeep and tell people what they are supposed to think. The Nerdist’s motto is “Enjoy your burrito,” but if you’re a prequel fan they’ll poop in it.
What a terrible review. This guy’s “criticisms” are way off the mark. To begin with he whines about the special effects, complaining that they look “dated.” But he must realize the same can be said of almost any effects-heavy movie; even (shock horror!) the films in the original Star Wars trilogy. Does anyone really want to argue that the speeder bike chase or the rancor sequence in Return of the Jedi still look state of the art? Because they obviously do not. Yet it doesn’t matter because the point is that it all looked good at the time. And the same is true of the CGI and other special effects in Attack of the Clones. The three times I watched it on the big screen the effects looked amazing. And, to be honest, for the most part they still look great to me when I watch the movie at home on DVD.
Next he complains that “we’re told in A New Hope by Ben…that Anakin and he were good friends, but in none of the movies do we ever get to see them act as friends.” Either Mr. Anderson wasn’t paying attention to the warmer moments between Anakin and Obi Wan that take place in Revenge of the Sith or he’s downplaying them so that he can find something to moan about. Either way, those moments showing the friendship the two characters had built (e.g. when Obi Wan places his hand on Anakin’s shoulder and says “You are strong and wise, Anakin, and I am very proud of you. I have trained you since you were a small boy. I have taught you everything I know. And you have become a far greater Jedi than I could ever hope to be.”) are indeed there for all to see despite Anderson’s erroneous claims.
And then we get to one of the silliest, most pathetic excuses for a criticism I’ve yet encountered when Mr. Anderson says that it makes “no sense” for Padmé to use her status as a senator as a reason that she cannot get involved with Anakin. According to Anderson, “There’s no reason for her not to want to have a relationship; he’s the one who should be in conflict about his romantic feelings and the temptation of breaking his vows.” What planet is this guy on? Does he not think that an older senator becoming involved with a younger Jedi, who she knows full well is forbidden from such relationships, has the potential to be something of a political scandal? Of course it does! It doesn’t take a genius to see how something like that could be exploited by her political enemies.
Of course, Mr. Anderson (like all prequel bashing band wagoners) just has to take an obligatory swipe at the romantic dialogue. ~yawn~ I wish these guys would come up with some original arguments. But then I guess Mr. Anderson did at least try. Unfortunately for him, as I demonstrated above, his attempts just don’t bear scrutiny. Regardless, those who moan about the dialogue are only pointing out that George Lucas knew exactly what he was doing. You see, the director wasn’t shooting for realism as he himself explained: “…I wanted to tell the love story in a style that was extremely old-fashioned…In many ways, this was much more like a movie from the 1930s than any of the others had been, with a slightly over-the-top poetic style – and they just don’t do that in movies anymore.”
Finally we come to Mr. Anderson’s ill-informed gripe about the stunning and exhilarating lightsaber duel between Yoda and Count Dooku. Anderson maintains that such displays are not in keeping with Yoda’s character (as he perceived it) in The Empire Strikes Back. What he seems blissfully unaware of is that Lucas’s original first draft of Empire did, in fact, feature Yoda showing his lightsaber skills in a fencing match with the ghost of Obi Wan. So his battle with Dooku was actually very much in keeping with how he was originally conceived. And I have to admit that I found it more than a little ridiculous for Mr. Anderson to pretend that he somehow understood “the whole entire point of Yoda” better than Yoda’s creator. But then that arrogant, nonsensical attitude that somehow the “fans” know more about Star Wars than George Lucas is sadly present throughout much of the false criticism levelled at the prequels.