Are the Star Wars Prequels imbued with great substance?

Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2016 12:41 pm
In hindsight, is it possible that the Prequel trilogy failed to resonate with audiences because the films themselves were trying to do something very smart - much smarter than the original trilogy?

TFA makes me reflect on the prequels, and I welcome the contrast: but which has more substance?
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Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2016 05:11 pm
Thomas33 wrote:
Are the Star Wars Prequels imbued with great substance?

Yes, but they are mixed with a lot of fluff that should be excised. There are a number of fan-edits that VASTLY improve the prequels and make them worthy of being included with the original trilogy.
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2016 07:09 pm
I agree about the movies having faults; but then the original trilogy has the same kind of faults too.
The angle I'm looking from is the idea that the prequels are trying to reflect cycles of reality, or the story of reality. The characters appear wooden in speech and behaviour as if to reflect the idea that reality is about repression - and Palpatine's outlandish behaviour in Revenge of the Sith is meant to show the pattern of violence as an inevitable reaction to repression.

With regard to TFA, I think the prequels were right not to be emulated, but nevertheless think they were right to be made the way they were.

Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2016 10:47 pm
I enjoyed the prequels. I know a lot of people didn't but don't really understand why. They are entertaining and imaginative and exciting. Good story, interesting characters, beautiful imagery. What else can anyone ask from a movie?
Reply Fri 15 Jul, 2016 02:35 am
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Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2016 11:20 pm
Thomas33 wrote:
but nevertheless think they were right to be made the way they were.

You've never seen how much better a good fan edit can make the prequels though.

If viewing the series chronologically (starting with 1 and ending with 6) the "Fall of the Jedi" fan edits by Q2 not only improve the movies drastically, they remove any plot spoilers that get revealed too early. Someone who sees the Q2 version of Revenge of the Sith and then watches Star Wars '77 won't be saying "Dude you just kissed your sister!"


On the other hand, many people watch in the Machete order (4, 5, 2, 3, 6) where you start with Star Wars '77, then watch Empire Strikes Back, then with the cliffhanger ending of wondering if Vader is Luke's father you go back and watch prequels 2 and 3 (skipping #1 altogether) which shows that Vader is indeed Luke's father and sets up the Emperor as a terrifying adversary, then watch Return of the Jedi as a finale.

With the Machete order there is no longer any need to cut plot spoilers out of the prequels. However there is still huge room for improvement. The fan edits by Hal 9000 do an excellent job of delivering that improvement.


I linked the page describing his version of Episode 1 too even though it has no role in a Machete order viewing. Note that there are different revisions of the Hal 9000 fan edits. Version 4 are the latest and are a big improvement over version 3.

It also matters which versions of the original trilogy you watch. Lucas tinkered with the movies incessantly, always changing them for the worse.

For example, the Han Shot First controversy. In the original Star Wars '77 Han shoots Greedo in cold blood to prevent being captured, setting him up as an amoral scoundrel who then gradually grows over the movies and ends up a hero of the rebellion by the end. By changing it so that Han shoots in self defense, Lucas completely messed up Han Solo's character development.

Another example is the end of Empire Strikes Back. In the original after Luke escapes by jumping off the platform and is rescued by Lando and Leia, Vader orders his shuttle and the movie goes directly to Vader pursuing the Millennium Falcon in his star destroyer. There is a sense that Vader is close on their tails as they flee Cloud City. However Lucas changed that in later versions so that after ordering his shuttle, there is a pointless scene of Vader's shuttle slowly approaching his ship followed by a pointless scene of an honor guard ceremony as he boards his star destroyer. By the time we get back to chasing the Millennium Falcon the movie has lost all sense of Vader being right on their tail as they flee.

So it is important to watch the original 1977, 1980, and 1983 versions of the original trilogy.

In this case what you want to watch are Harmy's Despecialized Editions:

Current versions of the Harmy restorations are:
SW '77 -- Version 2.6
ESB -- Version 2.5
RotJ -- Version 2.5

These are notably improved over earlier versions. Version 3.0 are in the works, but are a major project and it'll be some years before we see them.
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2016 07:46 pm
Thanks. On the topic of Han shooting first, I also prefer the original version; it doesn't just honour the character, it's actually very funny.
I'm also intrigued tat you reference TESB; "Bring me my shuttle!" is a far better line of dialogue than "Inform my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival". Not only is the first more to the point, but the way Vader says it is really cool, and the latter line is said in a way that's somewhat detrimental to the character.

I am curious about Lucas, and his editing talents; sometimes I can't help but think if his changes for the worse are intentional, because he's angry at the fans.

I respect the prequels, and don't believe in the fan edits because I believe in the vision of the artist. Attack of the Clones isn't a great movie, but it's a special movie (one which I regard much more preciously than the vast majority of the current MCU). And Revenge of the Sith is still a movie which I consider a masterpiece, better than the original trilogy.

TPM has the nostalgia, and it does have some ideas of merit (I always liked the close-up shot of Padme in Coruscant, in the living quarters by the window, next to Jar Jar Binks - I found it sexy, and perceived it as perhaps meant to be about something).
TPM also has a tone and a score that's beautiful, and the early scenes on Naboo are kind of transcendent.

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