Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Well, damn, I think I just got all the hate for the Star Wars prequels

Before you read much further, you ought to know: I still love the Star Wars prequels.  I still love The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith.  But I think I finally get why they're so easy to hate.

And no, it's not what you think.

So let me explain.  I also love the Pirates of the Caribbean films.  I love Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest, At World's End.  But I don't love On Stranger Tides.  And so there's where we reach my point.  On Stranger Tides is the Star Wars prequels of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  As in, I don't really understand why its exists.  And the thing is, there's soon going to be another one, Dead Men Tell No Tales.  And I suppose the book's still open on that one.  But still.  The original three tell such a complete story.  The next two don't seem...relevant.  That's what I mean. 

Dead Man's Chest is actually hugely relevant to this analogy.  It's the second of the Pirates movies, and like The Empire Strikes Back (the second of the original Star Wars trilogy), it expands on everything that made the first one good, while doing it so well and in such a way that it makes both easier to love and gives the first further justification by making the experience deeper than it previously seemed to have any right to be. 

And like Return of the Jedi (for some fans, anyway; this is the third film in the original Star Wars trilogy, of course), At World's End finishes out the story, but doesn't quite measure up to its predecessor(s). 

On Stranger Tides focuses almost exclusively on Jack Sparrow, the breakout character of the original Pirates trilogy, just as the Star Wars prequels focuses almost exclusively on Darth Vader (specifically, his origin story).  To my mind, I don't see the point, if Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann aren't there somewhere, too.  Star Wars fans rightly kind of began to view the original trilogy to focus at least as much on Han Solo as any other element, Harrison Ford going on to be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and all.

So the Star Wars prequels, more or less, whatever their creative merit, probably seemed downright incomprehensible to fans of the original trilogy.  That's what I'm saying.  Incomprehensible, inexplicable, everything they...really didn't want to see.  That's it, really, they rejected these things because they seemed pointless, offensiveness in any number of ways because they didn't conform to what fans loved so much about the originals.

That's On Stranger Tides for me.  Dead Man's Chest, I loved it so much when I first saw it, became one of my all-time favorite movies, period, in and out of the Pirates movies.  I care about the Pirates movies today because of it.  But I'll never have that relationship with On Stranger Tides

I really, really don't get that one.  I just don't see the point.  Clearly much of it was developed to ape as much of the originals as possible, but because it lacked the specific cast that made them so memorable, the specific story, and replaced them with plug-ins that meant...less, I just can't understand the point of taking it seriously.

So that's what I assume Star Wars fans think about the prequels.  Feel free to disagree, but that's my theory. 

10 comments:

Kate Larkindale said...

I think these spurious extra parts of series come about when a series becomes so successful fans are clamoring for more and more, yet the story has actually finished already. It was never intended to go any further, but for financial reasons, the studio and/or filmmakers are forced to keep going even after the natural arc is completed. Happens with TV series too...

Birgit said...

I love the first 3 that came out. The 2nd were not as good and i have seen the 1st one but not the most recent. I liked the 1st in the latest series. Well thought out actually

Tony Laplume said...

Sherlock Holmes and the Oz books greatly benefited from fans pestering for more material. It's not really the additional material or how or why it happens that's the problem, but whether it actually adds anything of worth to the legacy.

Spacer Guy said...

Rogue One and Return of the Jedi were good entertaining movies. I was devastated to see vader die but to see that withered creature behind the mask, that wasn't Vader.

The Armchair Squid said...

I have never felt as drawn to the Pirates.

As for Star Wars, I am grateful for what the prequels did to expand the story. I just don't feel the storytelling is quite as elegant.

Tony Laplume said...

I watched the first Pirates movie for the same reason everyone else did, because of Johnny Depp's breakout character. But the second one, it fired on all cylinders. It amazed me and reminded me of everything I love about blockbuster movies.

Tony Laplume said...

Alas, poor Vader, I knew him, Horatio.

Tony Laplume said...

I thought it was pretty clever.

Pat Dilloway said...

I hated the first Pirates movie; it literally put me to sleep. I only saw the second one because someone else wanted to; I haven't seen the rest, nor do I want to.

Tony Laplume said...

Well, not everything is for everyone.

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