In 1993, Star Wars fans around the world lost their minds when it was announced that George Lucas, was planning to create a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, ones that would tell the story of how Anakin Skywalker became the “baddest” man in the universe – Darth Vader. While financially the prequels were an undoubtable success, critically the films fell flatter than the Rancor after Luke dropped a door on his head.
There are many aspects to complain about in the prequel trilogy – midi-chlorians, Jar Jar Binks, or the fact that they turn Darth Vader into one of the scariest villains of all time, into a whiny teen – but in reality, they were not terrible films, they just had the impossible task of living up to the expectations set by the original trilogy. There were actually some good parts of the prequels– not just specific scenes, but aspects that actually enhanced the originals by expanding on the universe and story.
So if you are a hater of the prequels, or you just can’t remember anything redeeming from Episodes I – III – here is a list of 15 Things from The Star Wars Prequels that Didn’t Suck.
15. The Birth of Darth Vader
As mentioned in the intro, the potrayals of Anakin weren’t great. Whether you want to blame bad direction, horrible dialogue, or Hayden Christensen’s wooden acting, the portrayal of the character left a lot to be desired. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t cool to see to see how Vader came to wear the bio-mechanical suit.
Despite the flaws noted above, Anakin’s plight was simple, effective storytelling. A young man, who struggles with guilt following the death of his mother – who he abandoned to seek a better life – will do anything to prevent his visions that foreshadow the death of his wife from coming true.
Once Anakin knelt before Palpatine to swear his allegiance to the dark side in Revenge of the Sith, the whining turned to anger and the transition had begun. Granted it was all a bit rushed – one minute you’re watching a weird floating water bubble with your surrogate Grandad and the next you’re murdering kids to save the woman you love – but seeing Anakin go full-on rage mode was a joyous experience.
14. The Expanded Universe
The Star Wars expanded universe is a vast library of books, comics, and video games. Unsurprisingly – before The Phantom Menace was announced – the majority of these were based on the original trilogy or set during the aftermath of Return of the Jedi. Then the release of the prequels gave authors and developers a new timeline in the Star Wars universe to explore.
Many aspects of the prequels were expanded upon in these books, comics and games. Pod-racing got its own video game, and Darth Plagueis The Wise, who – despite only being mentioned briefly by Palpatine in the films – got his own novel explaining how he came to take Palpatine as his Sith apprentice.
In particular, the Republic Commando series, based on the Clone Troopers, proved to be extremely popular – spawning five books, three comics, and a first person shooter video game.