Recently I watched the Star Wards prequel trilogy (1, 2 and 3) in one sitting and sat there and decided that something about it was disappointing, something lacked what made the original trilogy (4, 5 and 6) so good.
After a good while thinking and reading what other people thought, this is what I came up with:
I think the first and largest thing that does make the prequels disappointing for me is that I believe Hayden Christensen’s performance in Attack Of The Clones (AOTC) and Revenge Of The Sith (ROTS) was very, very, poor. His character is supposed to be the “chosen one” and “he who will bring balance to the force”, so in my eyes he should be a strong Jedi that upholds a lot of the Jedi code and gets enticed over to the dark side.
However, the poor performance from Hayden Christensen leads you with a character that is young, arrogant, stroppy, who when he does not get his own way, he up’s ship and moves to the next “highest bidder”.
The prequels were supposed to be about the fall of a great man, a great Jedi, but it became two films watching someone throw a rather large strop and massacre some children and kill the one he loves with his hatred. When Hayden Christensen has to act along other characters particularly with Padme, you can clearly see how poor his performance is. There is no emotion, you cannot feel or see any emotional attachment that should be there.
To top it off, at the end of the film, when he is built into his Darth Vader suit, he just shout’s “No”. Really? Surely something could have been written to portray his grief a little more than just the standard clichéd “No”?
Another thing that make the prequels disappointing was the abomination that was Jar-Jar Binks. For me, he was a character that was there solely for a bit of comic relief for children, maybe also to bring in some extra merchandise revenue. His character was idiotic, but kids wept at his hilarity – is this what we should expect from Disney’s future versions? 3 documentaries about Jar-Jar Binks?
Maybe I am taking the films too seriously and just finding reasons to strengthen my dislike to the character, but he spends a good amount of time running around like an idiot in a battle and chances are he should have been shot.
The lack of Darth Maul in the prequels was also rather disappointing. To me, he was a better “bad guy” than Darth Tyrannus (Count Dooku). I can’t out my finger on why I like him, possibly all them horns, but I feel as if he did not get as much screen time as his character warranted.
I know in other Star Wars media he has more of a story line and plot, but his character deserved more than a few lines and 2 fight scenes in The Phantom Menace (TPM). Something that did bug me about Darth Maul though, was that he spoke in clean English. Most non-human species spoke with, what I can only describe at this hour as an accent, but he didn’t.
As much as I want Darth Maul to get more screen time, I would not sacrifice the Dooku-Yoda fight scene.
Was it just me that finds Mace Windu rather disappointing as well? I’m not sure whether it was the character or the actor. Samuel. L. Jackson is a wonderful actor, we’ve seen this throughout his career, so you would think with hiring him to play Mace Windu that he would get more action than a scuffle, in AOTC, whilst sitting in a chair, having a chat and having his ass handed to him by Darth Sidious. In all fairness, there wasn’t much chance of any more Mace action, which leads me onto my next point.
The plot of ROTS could have been better. The build up from AOTC could have led to more big battles between the Clone Army and the droids rather than what we actually got was Obi-Wan ambling around the galaxy after a robot with 4 arms, who was easily killed, but the whole thing was drawn out.
They could have killed him off when rescuing the Senator, but instead it was all drawn out and rather boring. The same things could have happened with Sidious enticing Anakin over.
A quick thought on the other Jedi’s in ROTS pre-clone backstabbing … They are completely incompetent. The Jedi I am talking about are the ones who enter Darth Sidious’ room when Mace Windu attempts to arrest him. These guys were so easily killed by Sidious that I was embarrassed for them. They are supposed to be “Jedi Knights”, the cream of the crop and they seemed to just give up as soon as Sidious started attacking.
Again I want to make it clear that I do love the films, but as stand alone films, rather than as a trilogy; particularly one that was the prelude to the iconic originals. A declaration of my admiration to Ewan McGregor’s for his exceptional, probably the stand out, performances in all 3 films – although it didn’t take much to beat the rest of the cast.
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