Star Wars: 10 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About The Prequels

Not of all of these are true. From a certain point of view...

Star Wars Revenge Of The Sith

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…

10. Everything Was Shot On Blue Screen

Star Wars Revenge Of The Sith
Star Wars Phantom Menace BTS

Before we get into the stuff that’s up for debate, let’s kick off with one that’s objectively untrue. The sets of the Prequels weren’t all blue or green screen. Over the course of the three movies, location filming included locations in England, Italy, Spain, and Tunisia, with second unit work in Switzerland, Thailand, and Sicily. And as behind the scenes material shows, full or partial sets were very much the rule rather than the exception.

A lot of the time, if a set wasn’t built, it was either because it was a reshoot (Attack Of The Clones’ droid factory sequence) or for practical reasons. The Jedi Temple’s beacon control room is a model because it’s only onscreen for a few seconds. Which would make building the full set a complete waste of time and money. While the Geonosian arena was simply too massive to build as a set. So a miniature was constructed and composited into action shot on blue screen.

Which is exactly the way the Original Trilogy was done. Parts of Cloud City, the bridge of Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer, and rooms on both Death Stars were all partial sets filled out by matte paintings. In that sense, the Prequels are no different from the Original Trilogy.

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JG Moore is a writer and filmmaker from the south of England. He also works as an editor and VFX artist, and has a BA in Media Production from the University Of Winchester.