Star Wars has now hit the big 4-0. Which it means it must be time for its midlife crisis. Trying to recapture its glory days, and lots of big flashy set-pieces and shiny new gadgets… Actually that sounds kind of familiar. But Star Wars’ fortieth birthday is also a milestone for the Prequels, with it now being eighteen years since Star Wars first returned to the cinema.
After nearly twenty years, the Prequels are still the black sheep of the franchise (though God knows what the makes The Holiday Special) and with that status in fandom, the negatives tend to drown out the positives. Which often leads to misconceptions. It’s a lot like Batman & Robin.
Most of the less than popular elements came from Warner Bros’ executives. But by virtue of being the director, Joel Schumacher continues to get the blame for it twenty years later no matter how fair or true that might be. And while most of things wrong with the Prequels are undeniably George Lucas’s fault, criticism of them gets more notice than praise.
Whether or not the Prequels are actually good films is something we’ll still be debating when Episode 37 inevitably comes out. But there’s more to discuss than just the quality of the movies as a whole. And a few truths that got lost along the way…