NOTHIN' BUT STAR WARS: "Everyone hated the prequels"
Man, that one bugs me
It’s May 19th, and here’s where we are…
It’s full of interesting information about where Kathleen Kennedy’s head is, and by far, the most encouraging thing she says comes near the end of the article when she talks about how she’s recently realized how important it is that the people who tell the stories are telling them for the right reason and that they’re having fun adding new chapters to this massive ongoing story.
She also said something I found confounding, about how the main lesson of Solo’s box-office performance was that they can’t cast new actors as the familiar Original Trilogy characters because audiences won’t accept them. This is, I would point out, in the same article that is all about how exciting it is to see Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again, a character originally played by Alec Guinness. I am unreasonably excited about Obi-Wan episodes arriving next week, and I can’t wait to see him in the part. I thought he was one of the best things about the prequels the first time around, and it’s great to see him suit up again, especially with Hayden Christensen returning as Vader and, I presume, Anakin for some flashbacks between the two.
I saw a clip from the press tour for Obi-Wan where Ewan was talking about his gradual thawing towards the prequels and his realization that there was a generation who grew up loving the films, and he repeated the often-vocalized sentiment that “Everyone hated the prequels” again. It’s been 23 years today since The Phantom Menace was released, and for 23 years, it has certainly been the angriest voices that have been the loudest.
But did everyone hate the prequels?
I know that’s the story, but it’s not true. It’s not the way I remember the releases. My friends and I had a great time with the Star Wars prequels, all three of them, and my reviews at the time were hardly what I would call negative. Nor was I alone in how I felt, and just because there were people who I respect who were violently negative toward these movies, it didn’t change how I felt or how I reacted.
I thought what I’d do today for the 23rd anniversary of the prequels kicking off was reprint all three of my original reviews. These are the reviews that ran on Ain’t It Cool in 1999, 2002, and 2005, and I thought it would be fun to see how much these reflect my current view on the prequels.
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