Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Prequel Trilogy vs. Original Trilogy

By Savanna Kiefer

Welcome to the very first article for my new weekly post series about heated Star Wars subjects! In this post, I'll be discussing my views on one of the most controversial topic among Star Wars fans, Prequel Trilogy vs. Original Trilogy.

As many of you know, the prequels get loads of useless hate from fans who grew up watching the original trilogy and were disappointed by the newer Star Wars films. While I can agree with some of their statements about the prequels not being fantastic, I do have to defend these movies. Fans need to remember that The Phantom Menace came out in 1999...a time when CGI effects and techniques were still "new". As much as I hate Jar-Jar Binks to death, George Lucas and the Lucasfilm animators deserve major props for creating a completely computer-generated character, making him interact with real live actors, and doing it fairly well! Even though I have much distaste for Jar-Jar's annoying comedy, he is a technically impressive character that I can respect for that aspect. Another thing that people usually hate on in Episode I is Jake Llyod, the boy who portrayed little Anakin Skywalker. There have been so many horrible things said about this actor when he played young Ani. Personally, I think that for his age, he did a great job at acting! If you're going to pitch a hissy fit and whine about how "bad" Jake acted, go and do better yourself! Make a fan film or something...I'm sure you'd fail way more than you think Jake did in TPM.

Then there's Hayden Christensen who played Anakin during Episodes II and III. Yet again, I can (slightly) agree with the haters when they say that Hayden didn't do a great job at emoting anger, frustration, and love in Attack of the Clones. However, from a certain point of view, I think that George Lucas may have been directing Hayden in a way that forced him to become this over emotional at times which came off as bad acting. Next we have Natalie Portman who brought the character Padme Amidala to the big screen. Here's one thing that I can wholly agree with the haters on. Sure, she's a beautiful girl with a nice personality but, as an actress in Star Wars, she's very weak. I cannot bear to watch any of the romantic scenes in the prequels because she and Hayden were both incredibly awkward. Like really, really awkward! I can see how their relationship may be weird at first because they were both young and had probably never experienced love but, you'd think that they would become more comfortable around each other after a while. There are tons of fans out there that absolutely love Episode II, but I find this to be one of my least favorite films. The romance bores me and the action isn't all that great. Jango Fett is a cool character, the clones are interesting to watch, and the big arena fight is epic but, in comparison to my other favorite Star Wars movies, this one lacks in a strong plot for me.

Moving onto Revenge of the very favorite prequel story! Episode III has everything that I love- tons of action and epic drama while everything unravels in Anakin's life. The animation of this movie was mind blowing and Nick Gillard's incredible lightsaber duel choreography is absolutely stunning. There are very few things that I don't like about this movie and I'm not even going to mention them because they are so minor.

So to quickly wrap up the prequel section of this post, I'd simply like to say that the prequels have both good and bad. Most of the time I'm an optimistic person, therefore, I like to recognize the good things about these three films and ignore the bad. People that spend all their time hating and boycotting the prequels is just stupid and, quite frankly, immature. If you can only see the bad things in the prequels, then you're NOT a Star Wars fan...and don't even dare try to prove that statement wrong. True fans appreciate Star Wars as a whole- prequels, originals, expanded universe, whatever! You may not love every second of these movies but, that's okay! Accept the prequels for what they are because George Lucas isn't going to remake them just to please the haters. Don't let the bad things consume the time that you could be using to enjoy the good things.

Now getting into "classic" Star Wars, also known as the original trilogy. There isn't too much hate on the OT because these are the movies that defined Star Wars and made the franchise such a huge success. We all know about the wonderful aspects of the original trilogy so I'm not going to spend too much time stating the obvious. Episode IV is such an iconic movie because it had such an elegant story with enough grit to hold all the action and battles together. A New Hope had the damsel in distress who turned out to be quite spunky, discouraged farmboy who found his true self, and the sinister villain in a shiny black helmet who threatened the Rebellion. The Empire Strikes Back is my all time favorite Star Wars movie because it had plenty of action but still a good paced plot with thick character development. The romance in Episode V was also done perfectly. I'm usually never a fan of romance but, Han and Leia are such a sweet couple and compliment each other so well. 

I'd like to say that the original trilogy is perfect and has zero flaws but, that would be complete lie. Sure, Episodes IV and V win lots of praise from me but, in my opinion, Episode VI isn't so great. While the Ewoks were adorable and super cute, their purpose was a little confusing. Umm...teddy bears taking down biker scouts?! Yeah, kinda weird. Jabba the Hutt is repulsive to look at and Leia needed to put some clothes on. It should also be known that I am not a big fan of Mark Hamill. His portrayal of Luke Skywalker comes off as annoying and whiny sometimes. When Luke's character did "grow up" and he became a Jedi, he was overly serious yet obnoxious. For example, Anakin and Obi-Wan always had some sort of great humor in the prequels but, Luke's personality is really dry. 

In the end, when I compare both the prequels and the originals, I have to say that I like them equally but for different reasons. They both have flaws yet they are fantastic trilogies and together they create an amazing saga. Finally, I ask that you leave a comment below about your thoughts on prequels vs. originals. Please keep in mind that this post was fully and 100% my own opinion. You do not have to agree with me! With that said, don't leave a comment that insults me for having personal thoughts and views on Star Wars. We are all entitled to our own opinion and should respect each other's with a mature attitude. I hope you enjoyed reading this first opinion article! Don't forget that there will be a new one every Sunday. If there's a Star Wars related controversial topic that you want me to discuss, shoot an email to