January 1, 2013

What the Star Wars Prequels Got Right

We all love to dump on the Star Wars prequels (mostly due to Jar Jar), but let’s face it, they are still Star Wars and if you watch closely there is something to enjoy in all 3 of the prequel movies. Here are several things which I actually really like about them.

Darth Maul: Although criminally underused, he remains one of the coolest Star Wars characters of them all. With his fierce countenance, double edged lightsaber and awesome martial arts skills he remains the strongest addition to the Prequel movies. Killing him off was a fatal mistake and as much as I enjoy the Clone Wars, bringing him back from the dead was complete bollocks.

Qui Gon & Obi-Wan vs. Darth Maul: Following on from the addition of Darth Maul, his grand finale against Qui Gon and Obi-Wan is a jaw dropping display of acrobatics and martial arts prowess. Ray Park was fantastic as the Sith Lord and really made him a believable threat. When Qui Gon dies, it’s one of the most emotional scenes of the franchise. Wait, did you just kill Liam Bloody Neeson? Noooooo!

The Music: Episode 1 has Duel of the Fates which is one of the greatest pieces of film music of all time. It’s unlike any Star Wars music than came before it and is one of John William’s finest hours.

Liam Neeson: There really shouldn’t be an explanation required because Neeson could class up a Brothel by simply walking past it. He gives Qui Gon a noble countenance and isn’t afraid to speak his mind to the Jedi Council when he disagrees.

The Pod Race: Sure it goes on a bit too long, but it is a really well executed scene and I just loved the Pod-Race game for the N64, many a good time was had playing that.

Jango Fett: Up there with Darth Maul in terms of the coolness factor, Jango is the father of renowned Bounty Hunter Boba Fett and is played to perfection by Tumuera Morrison. He makes Jango cool, detached, tough as nails and yet kinda likable too. His fight with Obi-Wan on Kamino is the stuff of legend too.

Seismic Charges: You might be thinking “dude, what?” but these are the awesome explosives Jango has in Slave 1; they create a bluish explosion and make the coolest sound effects of any explosions, ever.

The Opera Scene: When Palpatine slowly manipulates Anakin while watching a (very weird) opera and tells him all about Darth Plagueis the wise. It’s a brilliantly executed scene and is arguably my favourite non-action scene of the prequels.

Anakin vs. Obi-Wan: The final battle between the two “heroes” has been worth the 20 year wait. We SW geeks have oft wondered what the battle would have been like between Anakin and Obi-Wan. The battle takes place on the fabulously realised planet of Mustafar, which was created with CGI and real volcano footage making it look sweltering hot and hellish. It is the perfect metaphor for Anakin’s inner hell.

Yoda vs. The Emperor: Although the Emperor is hilariously over the top, the final duel in the senate is a sight to behold.  The senate crumbling around them is a fantastic metaphor for the fall of democracy.

The Immolation Scene: “I HATE YOU!” is pretty much the only line that Hayden Christensen actually delivers well, but the whole scene is one the most disturbing of the series. I mean why would Obi-Wan leave him there to burn? The more humane thing would have been to kill him and put him out of his misery. Watching Anakin burn sticks in the mind because it leads up to…

The Return of Darth Vader: Now before you say “Are you crazy?” I’m not talking about the god-awful “NOOOOO” bit but everything before that is pure Greek tragedy. When the mask is put on him for the first time and his eyes widen in fear; when he gets angry The Emperor just smiles malevolently at his creation.

So there you have it; for every Jar Jar flavoured moment there are some moments of genuine greatness in the Prequels which is why I keep going back to watch them. I just press MUTE when HE is on screen.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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