Monday, June 16, 2014

My Noble Sacrifice - A Star Wars Prequel Trilogy Re-Watch

The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy - even hint at its existence and a chunk of geekdom hisses like an insulted snake, baring its fangs as it readies itself to strike with years of anger, frustration and disappointment. It's no secret that the prequel trilogy is one of the most hated products of the Star Wars universe - if not 'geek' culture as a whole - and even today it still generates quite a strong negative reaction. I was about nine when The Phantom Menace arrived and at the time I really liked it, but I never had the same interest in the second and third films (in fact, I never saw the third film until around 2011/2012), so my own perspective on them has been a little different.

It does go without saying that the prequel films aren't as good as they should have been. We could be here all day listing the trilogy's flaws, but generally speaking these criticisms are valid and do point to issues that are still prevalent within Star Wars today – for example, my issues with the costuming of a lot of the female characters as well as the near-complete lack of LGBT+ characters in the official (and official non-canon) works. But I will say this much for the prequels. They have brought Star Wars to new audiences, they have captured the imaginations of millions of people, and we have had some good come out of them - an example being the extremely successful and popular Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon series, as well as arguably allowing the future fun of the quirky LEGO Star Wars mini-movies. They also keep us talking about franchises we consider important and show fans that their beloved properties aren't above criticism, but also could be argued to show production companies that bad products will often keep their negative reputations into the future.

I don't know what I will achieve by rewatching the films, but I hope that with a similar technique to my as-yet unfinished Harry Potter reading challenge I will find some merit in the prequels – moments to enjoy and to cherish – but also give my own take on why certain scenes or ideas are problematic. And yes, I will have a ~lot~ of fun with the much-loved and much-respected romantic scenes in Episode II.
Or just maybe I want to see two of my favourite bounty hunters again – Zam Wesell and Aurra Sing. Oh, girls, don't ever fail me with your awesomeness.

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