The Star Wars prequels are currently in the midst of a big resurgence. Partially down to the lacklustre conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, but also because of recent media like The Clone Wars expanding upon the Prequel Trilogy in new and exciting ways, Episodes I, II and III are all benefitting from a reappraisal that - quite honestly - has been long overdue.
Consensus has dictated for sometime now that The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are abject efforts that, save for a few saving graces (like the memes - we all *love* the memes), detract from the Original Trilogy. Said consensus has primarily been driven by older fans - those who knew a version of Star Wars before all the talk of midi-chlorians, Gungans, and how C3PO was secretly built by Darth Vader.
But here's the thing. Those kids who grew up with the prequels - with Jar Jar, Jango Fett, and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi? They've grown up, and are slowly, surely, redefining the prequels as a beloved and essential part of the Star Wars saga - one which is deeply flawed, but filled to the brim with interesting ideas and elements that enrich the franchise for the better.
The prequels have always been my Star Wars - warts and all. And you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.
10. They Had Some Fascinating Ideas (Even If The Execution Wasn't Always There)
The best thing about the prequels were the ideas on display. The problem was that the execution was all too often found wanting.
At the core of the Prequel Trilogy lies two fascinating questions: how did Anakin Skywalker - the best of the Jedi Order - succumb to the Dark Side of the Force? And how was the Emperor able to destroy the Jedi and Republic and build an Empire in their ruins? No one can argue that those aren't fascinating topics to address, or that while the prequels fumble in their attempts to answer those questions, the simple act of seeing them conveyed on screen is inherently compelling.
Arguably the most interesting aspect of the prequels however was the way in which George Lucas depicted the Jedi Order. Rather than conform to the vision relayed to Luke Skywalker by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars, Lucas showed a version of the order long past its prime, absorbed by politics and a kind of zealotry that would, ironically, prove to be its undoing.
Yes, they were war heroes - like Obi-Wan said - but that was precisely why they failed to defeat the Emperor. There's an element of poeticism there that is all too often overlooked, and one made all the better by the timely way in which Lucas handled Palpatine's rise to power.