The classical Star Wars trilogy has gone down in the annals as Film Making as brilliant. So, what does that say for the prequel Star Wars trilogy. George Lucas set out to create a prequel trilogy that would explain the rise of Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, the fall of the Old Republic and the collapse of the Jedi Order. His prequels did establish how these events played out, but have universally panned as failures. Why is that? Hopefully, during this article I can shed some light on the failures of the prequels and why they will not be remembered as classical films such as the original Star Wars trilogy.
The Phantom Menace
George Lucas began the prequel triology with The Phantom Menace this film began the prequel triology. But, was panned by critics for being too childish. Many of the characters in this film such as Jar Jar Binks were completely unnecessary and were just script fodders. The Phantom Menace did shed some light about the deterioration of the Jedi Order and the ascension of Senator Palpatine to Chancellor, but overall these were footnotes to the film. The film focues on two Jedi Knights as they attempt to guard the Queen of Naboo during the Trade Federation blockade on Naboo. The film focuses mainly on this event, the blockade of Naboo. While there is a short escapade on Tatoone where Anikan Skywalker is located, this doesn't do much to help the film. It simply portrays the film as more child friendly. Anikan is eventually adopted into the Jedi Order and after the death of Obi Wan Kennobi's mentor, Obi Wan takes him as his apprentice.
George Lucas could have focuses his first film on the rise of Palpatine and established a genuine threat to the Republic. But none of this is established. The second film begins this process.
Attack of the Clones
Attack of the Clones is the second prequel film and begins the downfall of the Old Republic and Anikan Skywalker. To a certain extent the two are linked and both under the manipulation of Chancellor Palpatine. The film focuses on the romance between Anikan and Padme, the growing seperatist threat, and the establishment of a clone army. No one ever questions who put the order for the Clones, this is very much glossed over, or why the seperatists begin to form. Both are established as premises and aren't expanded upon in any sense. The film really is about Anikan. Film critiques have panned the film as an hour of fodder and the last 20minuits as Star Wars. I agree. This film was mostly a love story and could have been condensed and explained a lot better.
Revenge of the Sith
The only prequel film that is even slightly good is Revenge of the Sith this film explains everything that needed to be explained. The film opens with the battle of Coruscant and the final real battle of the Clone Wars. Everything after the Battle of Coruscant was done to instrument the final nuts and bolts of Chancellor Palpatine's plan to subvert the Old Republic into the Galactic Empire. The clones, of course, were programmed to kill all the Jedi, by the Emperor. This is one premises the film shows that I don't particullarly like. Why would they be programmed to do such a thing and after five years of battle have never been revealed to have this function. The Jedi seem completely unaware of this function after serving with clones for five long years. They blantatly trust their clones and when the order is enacted, most die. The remainder are killed when Anikan turns to the dark side and destroys the Jedi Temple. The two lone survivors in the context of the prequels are Obi Wan Kennobi and Yoda. While there are probably others, they aren't shown. This film is about the fall of the Jedi, the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. George Lucas always stated that one of his prime interests was showing how an Empire can rise from a Republic. This is what he does in Revenge of the Sith and while it is more of the same in terms of the prequels, it does add a little to Star Wars lore. That is why it is slightly better than the rest.
Overall, the reasons the prequel triology failed was because it was too child friendly. George stated he was making movies for his kids not for his fans. It shows because these films are mostly for children. With the exception of Revenge of the Sith which is a little darker than the rest. Most of these movies are not very good, child friendly, and don't establish the layers of lore that needed to be established to explain certain things in the original trilogy. Overall I give the prequel trilogy a F.