Archive for the ‘What I Love About The Prequels’ Category

2017: The Year The Prequels Have The High Ground?

May 1, 2017

Two recent completely organic events occurred that took the media, the suits at Lucasfilm and Disney, fandom, and the world in general by surprise:

One was the creation of /r/prequelmemes on Reddit. At last count there are now over 187,000 subscribers and it has attracted quite a bit of media attention. This subreddit was created in January. In addition there are many “sith posting” pages on Facebook with a lot of prequel memes.

The other was the “shocking” reception Hayden Christensen received last month when he attended his first Celebration in 15 years. Not only was he warmly greeted with a huge standing ovation at the 40th anniversary panel, his autograph and photo op sessions sold out faster than any other Celebration guest in the history of the convention. New sessions were added and those sold out too, with another batch of tickets (i.e. Hayden signing longer) added at the last minute at the convention. This was in addition to interviews with Hayden on the Star Wars Live show and the honored chance to shoot t-shirts at con-goers gathered around the stage inside the exhibition hall. Somebody at Collider even jokingly called SWCO Hayden Con.

Both of these events shattered a long-held myth that “everybody hates the prequels” I’ve been trying to break for years.   Neither of them though just happened out of nowhere.  While I’ve been Sisyphus here for almost 10 years, it’s really only over the last few that events have slowly started to turn in our favor.

 

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One factor is simply people who grew up with the prequels are finally comfortable expressing their love for the films online.   Maybe it’s also teens who had grown up watching the prequels on t.v. without prejudice along with watching The Clone Wars.  The perception of not being the only one anymore always emboldens more fans to make themselves known. Haters, trolls, and bashers no longer have comment sections to themselves.

Another factor is that over the past couple of years, we’ve finally had independent works exploring the intricacies of the films.  “The Star Wars Heresies,” The Ring Theory, and “The Prequels Strike Back” have encouraged those who were always fans of the films and helped some doubters change their minds and look at the prequels in a new light.

Finally I think having new films come out have given people something to compare the prequels to that’s not the storied OT and maybe for some of them, they realize Lucas’s influence was important after all.  Not to say there aren’t prequel fans who are pleased with Disney’s offerings so far.  A lot are.  If anything I’ve noticed this happening mostly among those who didn’t like the prequels or were kind of lukewarm about them.

Don’t get me wrong though; it’s not time yet to pack up everything and call it a day.  Geek media still has a ways to go even though there are signs their tone toward the prequels is changing.  SWCO did more to acknowledge the prequels than previous Celebrations have this decade but the prequel trilogy were the only Star Wars films not screened at the show.  Clone Wars is still off the air.  Everybody tends to forget Padme is an actual Star Wars character.  There’s still a dearth (darth?) of prequel apparel and collectibles from licensed sources.

Companies as a whole take a very long time to change and if they’re just noticing now fans still have a love for the prequels, it will take years for their output to reflect it.  It will take a long time to convince retailers fans want this stuff. That’s why I have no problem buying independently-produced fashions from Elhoffer Designs, Redbubble, TeePublic, George Shot First, and the like.  Not only do fans have to ask for what they want, they have to show people what their interests are.

Which gets me to Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day 2017.  It’s not just my thing anymore, so I suspect other prequel fans will carry on as usual on May 19 but since it is the 15th anniversary of AOTC (which was not acknowledged at SWCO), SWPAS is celebrating it on MAY 16, 15 years to the day it was unleashed upon the world!  For prequel appreciation day, I want all prequel fans around the world to #ShowYourPrequelPride.  I don’t care if it’s with memes, collections, stuff you wear, or viewing parties, etc., just show everyone you’re a loud ‘n proud prequel fan.  And use this handy dandy hashtag with whatever social media you use!

Beginning tomorrow I will for the next 15 days post about AOTC, leading up to May 16.  Stay tuned!

Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Yoda Confronts Dooku

November 28, 2016

 

Perhaps the biggest crowd-pleasing scene in AOTC was Yoda confronting Count Dooku.  Up until the time AOTC was released, we’d never seen Yoda do anything other than train Jedi, walk around with that stick, and say wise stuff.  But Yoda could open a can of whoop-ass if necessary and thanks to ILM’s digital magic, what was once impossible for a character realized by a puppet was in 2002 a reality.

This was something George Lucas had wanted to do in AOTC from the get-go.  He wanted to show audiences why Yoda was “the” Jedi.  But he found a lot of resistance from people along the way.  ILM balked at the logistics of creating a credible fight scene with the little Jedi Master.  Others thought it would look dumb and people would laugh at it.  But of the 11 times I’d seen AOTC in the theaters, audiences applauded the top of this scene every single time.  The audience at the first screening I’d gone to at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C. went absolutely bananas.

We all know the drill.  Obi-Wan and Anakin attempt to battle Dooku and get it handed to both of them. It gets quiet and all of a sudden, Yoda humbly enters the scene.  After some trash talking, Dooku tries to fling things at Yoda with the Force.  After Yoda deflects the flying objects, Dooku tries Force lightning.  When that doesn’t work, it’s time to take out the lightsabers.  Yoda flips around and engages the really tall Dooku like a champ.  It’s only when Dooku tries to topple a pillar on top of Anakin and Obi-Wan that he’s able to escape from Yoda.  Cheater.

ILM’s visual effects artists of course did an amazing job realizing this scene. If the visuals didn’t work, the whole thing would’ve been a disaster. While today’s animation would be even better it was pretty spectacular for 2002. I happen to think it works now. Not only does Yoda look great in fight mode, I like his whole attitude prior to the fight. Some of those poses were seemingly inspired by Neo in “The Matrix.” Christopher Lee had to sell the duel on his end and he didn’t even have anyone to fight as it was shot on a soundstage. Lee does an amazing job but that just goes without saying. The lighting in the scene–some of it digital, some of it done on set–is perfect.

This was a high risk scene that walks the line between “wow, this is awesome” and the absurd but it became one of the most iconic fight scenes in the saga so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bunch of Stuff To Read

September 22, 2016

Becca Benjamin at Coffee With Kenobi posted Star Wars: Return of the Prequels:

But getting back to my point, the prequels are returning to Star Wars. For the simple fact that in order for them, the story group, to tell the story, they must start at the beginning. Even if that means taking a step back and going back in time, back to where it all began. In other words, “Everything starts from here” and if you saw the new Japanese poster for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, those words are captioned directly below Jyn’s image – along with, “Another Star Wars.” Again, just like poetry, the storytelling rhymes.

It talks a great deal about “The Prequels Strike Back” and how the films work with each other.

As for some oldies that I missed, here is The Geek Nerdom’s 8 Prequel Moments That Lucas Planned In 1977 from back in June and from early August, Comic Books Galaxy’s 8 Reasons Why Star Wars Prequels Should Be Given A Chance.  Now, I have to say I disagree with the way the latter frames the OT (i.e. you don’t have to be against one to be for the other) but it is interesting to see the perspective of a younger fan whose Star Wars experience started with the PT and doesn’t see the OT as some mythical thing of perfection.

And last but not least a very thoughtful piece on what it means to be a Star Wars fan:

Obviously, I’m being very general, because hardly every Star Wars-related webpage has content of that nature, but so many do. If this was what you had to do to call yourself a Star Wars fan, then I didn’t want to be one anymore. Why? Because I passionately love the prequel trilogy (Episodes I, II, and III) and consider them to be highly underrated films. I also have no problem at all with the special editions of the originals, although admittedly I don’t have the proper background to take sides on this debate. I have actually never seen the unaltered cuts of the originals (Episodes IV, V, and VI), but I do know the bulk of the changes that have been made in the special editions. From my perspective, these changes have no effect on any of the elements that made Star Wars what it was to begin with, and it seems a little irrational to me that so many fans are complaining that the unaltered cuts are no longer available, because the cuts that are available tell the same story with the same characters.

Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day Links

May 20, 2016

George Shot First

Skywalker Family Fanpage

Galixy Far Far Away

Fan Of Star Wars

Lady Jedi Scientist

SWForce4EU

Anthony Echevarria

Keith Palmer

The Kessel Runway  plus links to some great prequel-themed fashion!

QuiObi-Lover

Nilbog’s Storybook Land

Tatooine Talk

Plus, Yancy sent in his top 10 here:

Honorable mentions:  the politics (“Politics have been a part of the Saga since A New Hope, and George painted a much clearer picture of how the Star Wars Universe operates… The Prequels are a beautiful warning about just how fragile a republic can be, and how people are willing to give up their freedoms, all in the name of security… a very good warning for today.”) and Rick McCallum (“The man was a tremendous ambassador for George, for Star Wars, and for the fans. I miss his infectious energy, and his unwavering desire to see George’s vision put on the screen.”).

10) Cinematography – George’s wonderful cinematography realized by David Tattersall frequently plays back in my head. Star Wars was now huge in its scope, matching other cinema masters like David Lean and Akira Kurosawa in its visual language… and the ending of ROTS was like a visual trip into Dante’s Inferno.

9) The villains – Darth Sideous, Darth Maul, Count Dooku… all memorable, and deliciously evilllll… MUWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

8) Anakin & Padme – Lucas and McCallum both said their relationship was more akin to courtly love, and that’s exactly what we got on screen (which seemed to be completely missed by a lot of fanboys). Their relationship is Greek Tragedy & Shakespeare rolled into one.

7) Qui-Gon-Jinn: Yeah I needed more of this character in the Prequels, but what we did get was amazing. Qui-Gon is one of the most memorable characters in the entire series.

6) The incomparable John Williams… nuff said.

5) Trisha Biggar – Need I say more. Just amazing work in the Prequels, full of new ideas, and concepts that grew the galaxy by leaps and bounds.

4) The Fall of Anakin: Through three films we watched Anakin go from “The kindest boy in the universe,” to a selfish and angry young man obsessed with power, and making things the way HE wants them to be. Kudos to George for not taking the easy road, and sticking to his vision

3) Obi-Wan: While I’ve always liked Obi-Wan, the Prequel Trilogy and Clone Wars TV series turned the venerable Jedi Knight into my favorite character in the Saga… NOW GIVE ME MY SPIN OFF MOVIE!

2) The Clone Wars – Yeah not the Prequel films, but the introduction of the Clone Wars TV series added so many layers of depth to the era. Just an amazing run… I still miss the show desperately.

1) Obi-Wan/Padme Balcony Scene – RoTS: By far the most emotionally powerful, yet beautifully understated scene in the entire Saga, Two characters dancing around the truth, and two characters about to make fateful decisions that will change the galaxy. Some of Lucas’ best work in the Saga, and some of Williams most haunting music.

Note:  I’ll keep updating as I get more links and posts.  Thanks!

It’s That Time Again

May 3, 2016

That’s right, Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day 2016 is right around the corner.

Usually I do something on the site May 19, except for the 10th anniversary of AOTC when I went with May 16. However, it will be celebrated on the blog May 20 for reasons having to do with being really busy Friday the 19th, meaning I won’t be able to do much of anything until late on the 19th.

Here’s what I want to do this year:

1. If you have any kind of social media account (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope, Vine, etc.), blog, website, or podcast of any sort, post on what are your 10 favorite things about the prequels. Make it as elaborate or as simple as you want. It can be text, it can be visual, it can be verbal. It can be gifs, it can be video. It can be a list or it can be a long essay with extensive details. Whatever you want to do. And you can post it on May 19 or earlier if you want.

2. Once you’ve made your post, send me the link! I’m at SWPASadmin@gmail.com. You can also send me a link to @lazypadawan on Twitter or PM the Star Wars Prequel Appreciation page on Facebook.

3. On May 20, I will post all of the links so we can have a big hug over the prequels.

4. I don’t care about the content of your post so long as it is not anti-prequel (duh). Don’t spend all of your pixels on what you didn’t like. Also, try not to use your post to bash something else. I will not link to anything that is vulgar, gross, or pornographic.

That’s it! It’s that easy!

New Winner!

December 20, 2011

Keith Palmer won the drawing for the $25 Amazon.com gift card! Congratulations!

What I Love About The Prequels Entries Closed

December 19, 2011

And I’ll announce the winner tomorrow!

What I Love About The Prequels: Stacey

December 18, 2011

“I love the prequels because they’re wonderfully made, have gorgeous imagery and sound, great storyline and fascinating characters, deep and complicated. The prequels offer a widest range of feelings and thoughts to the viewer, make you cry and laugh from joy, open your eyes to things you could never imagine without them.

The prequels enrich the saga and the whole cinematography with new situations, possibilities, choices, new levels of wisdom that unites different lands and times, new multiple colors to the kaleidoscopic variety of life that is reflected in the saga, the variety that reaches harmony in the saga taken as a whole.

I love the prequels because they’re a part of the saga that changed my life for the better, that makes me feel like I have wings. The saga that would be lacking something essential without any of its episodes.”

What I Love About The Prequels: Bethany

December 13, 2011

Bethany from The Star Wars Report submitted this entry:

“First off, I’d like to thank you guys for having this contest!

I love the prequels for many reasons, and it’s hard to put all of them into words, but I’ll try.

1. They add to the epic Star Wars universe!

2. They continue the story of Anakin Skywalker.

3. They’re visually amazing!

4. They’re awesome movies in their own right.

5. The story they tell applies to many, and not just a small group.

My other reasons are less tangible. Why does the story of the rise of Darth Vader, and the fall of Anakin Skywalker resonate with so many? Why are we heartbroken, as Padmé is, to see Anakin fall so low? Why, as we see a tear slide down a grief-stricken Anakin’s face towards the end of The Revenge of the Sith, do I feel a matching tear slide down my face?
Star Wars tells a tale of humanity, and we, as humans, identify with, and learn from, that.
The prequel trilogy shows the brokenness of humans, and their greatness. They show the horror of what you can become, when you let your fears best you. They show you how to do the right thing, no matter how impossible it seems at the time, no matter how hard.
I could go on, but I’ll let the movies speak for themselves. Go watch them! =)”

What I Love About The Prequels: Grant Elliot

May 22, 2011

This is a long one but worth reading beneath the cut:

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