In Defense of the Star Wars Prequels
Contrary to popular criticism, the prequels of the beloved saga, Star Wars, particularly The Phantom Menace, are brilliant pieces of art. They are masterpieces in their own right. The prequels enhance the original trilogy and in some ways The Force Awakens in more ways than one. Before getting to why, it is only fair to take a look at some of the hard work that went into this masterpiece, in the form of a music video of the ‘Duel of the Fates.’
It’s an unpopular opinion these days, especially with The Force Awakens newly released. More and more fans assume that the prequels are cut out of the Star Wars chronology entirely since The Force Awakens hit cinemas. Building from what some esteemed colleagues of mine wrote, I would like to deliver an outright defense of the prequels, from their dialogue to the annoying side characters to even the plot itself and the Universe building. I will go further to say that the prequels are not bad but inherently brilliant to their core. Not only that, but since the prequels are held in godly regard, I will also point out inherent flaws in them to show, once and for all, that all movies are created equal, flaws and all, and the best of classics are no exception. My thesis: Make no mistake, the Star Wars prequels are brilliant masterpieces. Now, before readers close the window in distaste, hear the argument.
Part of what it is to love something is to acknowledge the good and bad. While the prequels are not perfect (at all), they are not wholly horrible either. And while the original trilogy is not perfect, it’s not wholly brilliant as some like to say. First, let us look at the common arguments against the prequels: Horrible acting, contradiction to the original trilogy, and JarJar Binks.
Acting -- It’s Coarse and Rough and Irritating and it Gets Everywhere
One of the things critics point to is the horrible acting by some of the actors. There is Jake Loyd who played young Anakin Skywalker and who is reported to have grown up hating the role he played. There is also Samuel L. Jackson, for whom George Lucas is reported to have especially made the character of Mace Windu. As if that were not enough, Hayden Christensen butchered Anakin’s role further in the later prequels. This is perhaps the biggest of all mishaps George Lucas engineered: the failure of portraying Anakin Skywalker the right way. Even worse, the chemistry between him and Natalie Portman just fell apart and dashed the hopes any old fan had of seeing Anakin portraying his fall to the dark side in a relatable way.
Perhaps this is what really angers fans about Hayden Christensen. It is not his acting individually but his two-way chemistry with someone who is supposed to play his romantic partner. It is difficult to portray any chemistry on screen, especially when the two characters suffer from a significant age gap. Padme is already something of a teenager, if not a mature adult in Phantom Menace. How she became democratically elected Queen of Naboo at such a young age is never explained, and the age gap between her and a young child makes it seem a lot less legitimate. If we had more information on Padme’s past, the chemistry may have been better served. Fans watched hoping for a story of star-crossed lovers, ready to see what was alluded to in the original trilogy, the mother of Luke and Leia and the descent of Anakin to the dark side.
Of course, such age gaps are not absent in the original trilogy. Leia is about seventeen, and she ends up with a matured adult man who has to be at least middle aged. That’s probably a bigger age gap than what we had to sit through in the prequels. Some may insist Han’s age is never mentioned but someone who is an experienced pilot, someone who ‘made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs,’ someone who won the Millenium Falcon off gambling with an old friend who is already very established on Bespin, someone who has been from one side of the galaxy to another cannot possibly be younger than his thirties. If Phantom Menace is set thirty years before A New Hope, and Attack of the Clones takes place ten years later with Revenge of the Sith three years after that, Luke is exactly what Vader coined him, just a boy. His twin sister then will be the same, just a girl. And that ‘girl’ married a middle-aged Han. How is that fair, but a young man marrying an older woman is not?
People will respond that the age gap presents more problems too. Padme being older than Anakin made Anakin look like an inferior, whiny brat as opposed to the great Jedi Knight we were told of in the original trilogy. This is not a bad thing though. In fact, this can easily be turned around to point to Anakin’s strength as a character. Fact is, he did have an inferiority complex. That’s what motivated him to become a great Jedi. As a child, all he wanted was to be a Jedi and see the planets. But as a nine year old child taken from his mother and placed down the path of a celibate monk, this will almost definitely be the effect. Without a mother figure to nurture him, he turns to the closest thing he has to a mother and marries her: Queen Padme Amidala. He is a Freudian case if ever there was one which goes further to give Anakin a plentifully justified psychological background. Add to that, he is a skilled Jedi Knight and does train a skilled apprentice.
Another point people wage against Anakin’s character is how whiny he was in opposing the Jedi, people he supposedly wanted to be like. This of course is a fallacious argument. Anyone taken at the age of nine where his mind is already on a developing path and told to become a celibate monk and take one certain path as opposed to the fantasy path he always imagined will have those problems. He was not molded from babyhood like all the other Jedi were. The Jedi were born into this world, Anakin had to adapt and he had to reconcile the fantasy Jedi he imagined being and the real Jedi he was. That is a tall order, and the Jedi make is clear that he is too old to begin the training. Yoda said the same of Luke, but Anakin presented dangers and risks the Jedi preferred not to take. They might not have if Qui-gon hadn’t given a dying wish and this present yet another psychological background to Anakin Skywalker and in this case, Hayden Christensen’s flat performance suddenly feels justified. Because Anakin is meant to be a flat character, at least in terms of the prequel trilogy.
Anakin is Darth Vader, and the whole point of Anakin’s character is to show the other side the coin that was Darth Vader. Since the prequels are meant to show only one side of the coin, of course he’s supposed to be flat. It’s only one side we’re seeing, with only hints of the other side. It’s this side that makes what Vader was so incredible. It gives him a whole new perception. As argued in The Lost Path of the Jedi, Anakin turned on the Jedi order because they lost their original path, they were not who they were meant to be and Palpatine was simply the better of two evils. This gives Vader’s ultimate desire to ‘destroy the Emperor’ so much more meaning. In conclusion, though Hayden’s performance may not be the best, if he portrayed Anakin in a flat way, he did his job.
Contradictions -- There is a Great Disturbance in the Force
Some common arguments made against the prequels are the so-called contradictions between them and the original trilogy, thus destroying any credibility they had. Of course, this is not necessarily true. When taken all together, one could argue you practically need the prequels for a clear story. Very little in the prequels contradicts the original trilogy. When people and fans start getting together and explain how the prequels should have gone and what decisions should have been made we’re just splitting hairs. Anything can be made to look bad with that logic. No movie is a good movie with the logic that some characters didn’t make the right decisions. In reality, it’s just not a fair criticism to make.
Many complain that the existence of midi-chlorians contradicts the idea of the force being the powerful energy field that penetrates and binds the galaxy together, basically as some sort of deity. Of course, when really thought about, all this really contradicts is how the fans themselves imagined the force. Not what it actually was. What do we know about the force?
Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together…
“May the force be with you.”
Taking it as a sort of deity figure ties right in with what we’re given. But what the Force is, what it actually makes up, is not clear. From there, Lucas took liberties. Han thought it was an all powerful force controlling everything. It’s not, though. It’s just a living energy field Jedi can feel flowing through them. The fans saw it as that. Then, Qui-gon came and spoke of midi-chlorians.
The deity figure, the Force, is now established to be both. It surrounds, penetrates and binds all life forms together. Some life forms are sensitive to the force, those with midi-chlorians, and those life forms are taken in as Jedi. Those Jedi are taught to meditate, basically what Yoda was teaching Luke to do in Empire Strikes Back, to hear the will of the Force through them. Now, some take this to mean that the Force plays favorites. Well, unfortunately, the Force playing favorites is present from the original trilogy, when Yoda tells Luke straight out, The Force runs strong in your family. If that’s not playing favorites to the Skywalker family, nothing is.
Let’s remember Yoda’s memorable lines in Empire Strikes Back:
There he says, life creates it. Life, which is host to midi-chlorians is what gives the Force its power. The Force and the Jedi with midi-chlorians show a symbiotic relationship, a circle of life and death, where one returns to the realm of the force and continues to give life to other luminous beings. This gives a whole new take on the Force itself. Really, there is nothing inherently wrong with midi-chlorians or what they are. They simply give Jedi a gateway to the force, and these Jedi are born with them. Babies born with them are sensed, and taught about the living Force, and later become Jedi themselves. It really is that simple.
It does not stop there, however. Contradictions know no bounds. A common one people point to is the lackluster uselessness of the Clone Troopers as opposed to how good they were at killing Jedi in Revenge of the Sith. Indeed, in A New Hope, nobody dies in the infiltration of the Death Star. They all escape. The only death was Ben Kenobi and he practically planned this. Of course, even this has an explanation. It really does. It was stated by Moff Tarkin that they literally let the rebels escape with a tracking device on the ship to track the rebel base. This was their plan, so of course the Storm Troopers were going to fail. They wanted to fail. The plan nearly worked too, because when they did track them, they were seconds away from wiping the rebellion out and it all came down to a single pilot, because all the other rebels died by- you guessed it- Storm troopers. In ships, granted, but ships that were being piloted by those so-called useless Storm Troopers.
The Storm Troopers had a numbers of successes. They captured Han in Empire Strikes Back, they nearly had Leia and Lando taken before they escaped. Even in Return of the Jedi, they succeeded in capturing Han and the rebels when they were discovered. The only thing they failed at was shooting a bunch of Ewoks. However, since the Ewoks are tiny they did have a certain advantage over the Storm troopers who were more likely to deal with rebels than little bears. In the very end, the rebels were outnumbered and it all rested on the duel in the Death Star itself.
There is also what seems to be a contradiction in how long the Republic existed. Palpatine said in Attack of the Clones that it has stood for a thousand years where Ben stated in A New Hope that it was a thousand generations. Of course, many forget that Ben was referring to the Jedi’s role, not the Republic itself. And the Jedi have indeed been the guardians for a thousand generations. Nothing ever contradicted that. The rest of the problems are what-should-have-been’s and why one decision was not a good one. In the very end, everyone does need to understand that this level of attack can be used against literally every single story ever told.
But why focus on possible contradictions? Many of the best works have some contradictions within the story but that never made them less enjoyable. The creators, after all, are imperfect humans just like us. Let’s focus on the good points of the prequels.
Dialogue -- We Must Rely on Negotiations
The dialogue gets a lot of beef for being pretty bad in the prequel trilogy. The Phantom Menace in particular gets most of the blame. This may be a matter of opinion, but it can certainly be argued that the opposite is true instead. In fact, it could be argued that of all the prequel movies, The Phantom Menace has the best dialogue the prequels have to offer, the best lines, the best- well- just about everything related to speech. Again, we have to bring up the original trilogy and compare the prequels to them and their dialogue. One could see it really is not all that different and if some lines are lame, well, the original trilogy is not perfect itself. In some ways, the prequel trilogy can enhance the dialogue in the original trilogy. Yes, you heard me, it enhances the dialogue.
At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last, we will have revenge.
This line speaks volumes of so much to come. The Sith, those who were beaten by the Jedi a millennia ago, are back and they want vengeance. The scene in which this line is spoken shows Darth Sidious and Darth Maul overlooking the skies of Coruscant. Darth Maul had tracked the Jedi and the Queen down to Tatooine and intends to find them take out the Jedi guardians. It speaks of the Sith’s return to power, implies their coming victory we all know happens due to the original trilogy. That line speaks what fans know already. That the Sith will have their revenge. The Jedi Order will indeed be wiped out and now we have a small idea of who exactly instigates this.
Anakin, as we know from Shmi, was conceived immaculately. There was no father, he just appeared and she can’t explain why. Qui-gon passes this knowledge to the council, and we learn why he takes such an interest in Anakin. Because of a prophecy, a prophecy speaking of someone who will one day bring balance to the force. A lot of fans argue this point, wondering if it was Luke who was the prophetic child Lucas was speaking of, and not Anakin. However, it most certainly was Anakin. This line enhances both the prequels and the original trilogy. When Anakin kills Dooku, he takes his place as Palpatine’s apprentice. He wipes the rest of the Jedi Order out except for two, Obi-wan and Yoda. Due to Anakin’s betrayal, the Sith and Jedi are equal in balance. In the prequels, Obi-wan dies, Luke takes his place but Yoda dies next, so there must be one Sith left as well. That is when Vader starts turning on Sidious. In the end, it is Anakin who defeats him.
This is probably one of the more underrated pieces of dialogue in the film. The conversation between Mace Windu and Yoda:
Both wonder and warn that if there was one Sith, there must be another. Qui-gon warned them, and when Qui-gon died, they knew that the only being who could kill a Jedi with a Lightsaber is a Sith Lord. This also gives new meaning to Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader and Darth Sidious make a personal appearance. The rule of two applies to them as well. Each time one Sith is defeated, another takes his place. This also explains why Sidious was so intent on seeing Luke defeat Vader, so Luke may take Vader’s place by the Emperor’s side instead. Without this line, Sidious strikes one as some arrogant villain who thinks he only needs one apprentice because he’s so powerful by himself. Now we know he’s smarter than that, there was philosophy behind it.
Even Attack of the Clones, a movie many fans consider worse than Phantom Menace, has lines that just scream the truth to you, a truth the Jedi have become too cluded to see for themselves.
What if I told you that the Senate was now under the control of the Dark Lord of the Sith?
You cannot help but feel goosebumps at this mention, the knowledge that Palpatine, the man Padme trusted so much, is in reality the main villain the Jedi are after. Nonetheless, they did use logic and intellect and suspected Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. With no proof, little can be done.
Going through all the lines in Phantom Menace would be long, even the good lines. It’ll take longer to go through the good lines in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Sometimes, fans don’t want good, meaningful lines. They want epic lines, lines that prelude some epic fight in the skies that will determine the fate of the galaxy. Say, a line like:
Wipe them out. All of them.
They want wise lines. Lines that make the watcher pause and think carefully about it. Yoda had lines in Empire Strikes back, which easily falls into the fan’s favorite of the original trilogy:
You do or you do not. There is no try.
The original trilogy is not all the movies were intriguing lines, though. Let us remember his lecture to Anakin in The Phantom Menace:
Many criticize this for making no sense, saying interchangeable emotions cannot lead to one emotion. Fear could lead to depression, it could also lead to hate. Really, though, it ties quite well to what Yoda was saying in Empire Strikes Back.
Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will…
Yoda was not speaking of one emotion specifically leading to another. Taken as a whole, with both lines considered, he really means that fear simply leads down the dark path. It is synonymous with anger and hate, for the two are closely are related. What Yoda means is that the close relation between such emotions lead a Jedi down a dark path from which there can be no return. Anakin showed fear, but it did not lead to anger, his mother’s death led to anger. His hate came from the betrayal he felt from the Jedi Order, not from his anger. If Yoda had indeed meant it the way people take it, then the story would have gone very differently.
Your focus determines your reality.
Feel, don’t think. Use your instincts.
Those lines mean so much, to a Jedi and to a human even. Instinctual humans who take pride in their instincts and immediate emotions. They advise that with more focus comes a brighter future. Fans, however, also want lines with passion and emotion, to show the character is human, to show that the actor playing the character is revealing that emotion. A line like:
You were my brother! I loved you!
Whatever line a fan wants, there is a little for everyone in the prequel trilogy.
Duels -- Wipe Them Out… All of Them
It’s rarely acknowledged that the Star Wars prequels have some of the best sword fights in cinematic history. The fight between Qui-gon and Darth Maul on Tatooine is one such example of this but in The Phantom Menace, it gets better. The lightsaber fights in the prequels, at least when it comes to choreography, are far superior to their original trilogy counterparts. The best fight would have to be the final battle on Naboo. The acrobatic stunts of Darth Maul easily made him the most loved villain in the prequels. So much so, that even the critics find little to complain about Darth Maul. Most wish he lived. The pumping action of Obi-wan when he got himself in the one-way duel with Dark Maul and defeated him was great, but the beginning when they took him together is what started it.
A common complaint of the duels in the prequels is that they lack meaning. Lucas went for style over substance here. It’s worth noting that in this case, there’s too much to live up to. People compare those duels to Empire Strikes Back and the big reveal of Vader being Luke’s father. They compare it to the internal clash within Luke as he faces his father in Return of the Jedi. What many forget is that the prequel has meaning. The beauty of Star Wars is its ability to have meaning without words. Showing Luke’s face half-lit as he hid from Vader had a very clear contrast within himself, and then the dark side won over and he defeated Vader out of anger. It was only afterwards when he shed that side of him and stayed a Jedi. They didn’t need words.
The same holds true in The Phantom Menace. As Qui-gon and Obi-wan duel Darth Maul, John William’s orchestra plays in the background. Its music is familiar, the same and widely loved. It’s the ‘Duel of the Fates.’ This represents the first clash between Sith and Jedi in a millennia, it represents the true revenge of the Sith finally starting and the first casualty is Qui-gon. It’s another clash of light and dark but this time personified, shown between Jedi and Sith, two users of the force with very different ideals and plans for the galaxy. A clash between two ideals is indeed befitting of the name ‘Duel of the Fates.’
This music made itself known in Revenge of the Sith too. The duel between Obi-wan and Anakin was the climactic battle everyone had been waiting for. The fight between student and master, between brothers, and between friends and comrades, and the entire while, the ‘Duel of the Fates’ egged them on. While the first duel saw the victory of the Jedi, the final duel saw the victory of the Sith, and one of the two fates clashing had finally won. Everyone knew it had to come to this eventually and it did so in a moving way. Even haters of the actors acknowledged the emotion in that scene as Obi-wan yelled his sorrow at Anakin, and Anakin screamed his hatred as he was left in the lava pit to die.
As for Attack of the Clones, some may claim that the duel between Yoda and Dooku lacked the meaning they looked for. In the very end, that duel was made especially for Yoda to show off his strength, for everyone to know just what made him a Jedi Master to begin with. Who didn’t want to see Yoda fight? And the acting by the late Christopher Lee just made those scenes better to watch. Of course Yoda is going to show his powers off- we need to see it. In the original trilogy, he was just a lone hermit who died of old age. Now, we see he’s twenty years younger in Attack of the Clones and we see everything we’ve been hyped up to see. Expectations were met and exceeded.
Kids -- Not Even the Younglings Survived
In the end, Star Wars was made for kids. When fans first saw the original trilogy, they were kids. So, when The Phantom Menace was released, Lucas released it not to the older fans but to a new generation of kids, which is completely understandable. Judging by the wide critical acclaim for the prequels in the eyes of those younger fans he targeted, he certainly did his job too. In the end, the opinions of the veteran fans of the original trilogy did not mean as much to him as the opinions of the kids he wanted to draw into his universe.
What did he do? He introduced us to JarJar Binks, a clumsy oaf of a Gungan. JarJar is the comic relief of the show and probably the most hated character. In fact, he’s become the icon of hate for the prequels. Well, except for the younger fans who fell for him hook, line and sinker. The only thing everyone is grateful for from him is that he had limited appearances in Attack of the Clones and almost nothing in Revenge of the Sith. Still, JarJar, though hated, is limited in his overall role. The only major impact he had was leading the Gungan army to defeat when fighting the droids in Phantom Menace. He means little in the prequel trilogy. At least the gungans were better than the Ewoks. And some did die, unlike those invincible Ewoks.
Still, to attack an entire movie based primarily on him… why not attack Return of the Jedi based primarily on those childish bear-like creatures called Ewoks? Once again, Lucas always intended to gear this toward kids. As kids, fans loved the original trilogy, Ewoks and all. And as kids, fans love the prequel trilogy including JarJar Binks. Logically, there’s just no reason to hate the prequels based on a character like that, especially when his impact in the bigger picture is next to nothing. The only thing we could hold against him would be that he gave emergency powers to Palpatine but by that point, everyone had fallen for his act, it hardly seems fair to focus blame on JarJar. Palpatine was just adept at disguising his identity.
There are Easter eggs for the older fans too though. Anyone caught Jabba the Hut and his henchmen in Tatooine? Anyone else noticed Panaka naming someone called Antilles from Malastare? Or the mention of Alderran? Antilles is a rebel commander, Jabba is everyone’s favorite earthworm, and their mention and appearances are great to see for someone who watched the prequel trilogy first. It could be said that giving Tatooine about half the movie meant so much too, because we all know Tatooine, but we all know Mos Eisley. Now, we’re in Mos Espa, another settlement on the otherwise barren desert planet, and pod race gave us the scenery of that planet, focusing as much on the scenes as it did on the race itself and Anakin’s knack for piloting.
While many criticize the podrace, it’s worth mentioning the importance of showing Anakin’s piloting skills. After Ben Kenobi said he was the best star pilot in the galaxy, we were due for this and seeing Anakin fly around and taking the droid control ship down, or winning a podrace as a nine year old boy were infinitely more important than showing adult Anakin flying a starship when any adult his age was shown to do the same. It’s his prodigious skill as a boy that made this so apparent. The podrace, though disregarded as filler by a lot of veteran fans, was important for that reason. We never would’ve understood Anakin’s prodigious skill without it.
The Attack of the Clones had a very significant Easter egg. The Clone Wars has begun. The Clone Wars was mentioned back in A New Hope by Ben, Luke and Leia. It was the precursor to the Galactic Empire. Even the Imperials refer to an old Galactic Senate that had finally been dissolved. Leia was supposedly a member of the Imperial Senate like her mother before her. Knowing her mother now, as Pamde Amidala means so much, knowing what her future daughter became (though even the original trilogy fails to explain properly what exactly makes her a Princess.)
Showing the Senate and the Clone Wars was so significant to the prequels, it keeps the original trilogy on its feet. Let’s face it, in the end, A New Hope makes as little sense as anything else. Basing it all on some fabled war that took place so long ago with no explanation to back it up is not a coherent plotline. All we know without the prequels is that there is a big evil Empire who wants to destroy the rebels. Why? What is their motive? We don’t know anything about the Empire except that they want to destroy the rebels? Which government in power wouldn’t? What makes the Empire so special? What makes it evil? All we know is Ben trained the evil villain Darth Vader during some fabled conflict called the Clone Wars and he’s fighting him again where he dies with no explanation.
The Empire tracks the rebels down and it comes to a climax. Imagine if Harry Potter was just Book 7, with the events beforehand only referred to. Would that make much sense? We’d know that the big bad noseless villain is evil, but not much else. Just like we know that the big bad Empire is evil and it must be destroyed. What if I want to challenge the assertion that they’re evil? Maybe they’re good because they united the galaxy. At least the prequels explain this. No, it’s what Empire Strikes Back does afterward that makes it important. It builds on it, prolongs their struggle, and finally reveals some more backstory.
A New Hope was originally meant to be filmed as a standalone, and its success propelled Lucas to tell the rest of his story. Had it not met the success it had, it would’ve been a very poor, and overrated movie indeed. Then, you get to Return of the Jedi which is as boring as critics accuse The Phantom Menace as being. They sexualize Leia with Jabba and ruin our image of her as a feisty girl forever, they have a drawn-out fight with Jabba, a long discussion about Rebels and backstory, and then we’re forced to sit through an hour of Ewoks celebrating and C3PO and his monologue in a different language as he tells the entire story we already know. It doesn’t get interesting till the fight and let’s face it, we’re far more interested in Luke than the Ewoks at this point.
Villains -- The Force Shall Free Me
Star Wars is known for having the best villains in modern cinema. This goes for prequels and originals alike. No villain is badly done. Darth Vader and Darth Sidious started this all, particularly Darth Vader for his iconic mask and ominous breathing. The prequels gave rise to Darth Maul and Darth Tyrannus (we will know him better as Count Dooku), and that’s not counting General Grievous, and, for those who watched the Clone Wars TV Series, Dooku’s assassin Asajj Ventress. They are all unique in their own way and serve the franchise in different ways.
Darth Vader is known for being the iconic face of the evil Empire. He is one of the first faces fans see in A New Hope, his force choke grip is widely feared and he’s one of the few characters who believe fully in the power of the Force. There is his ominous breathing, his robotic black suit, his red lightsaber and his urges towards the dark side, all are incomparable. Even his underlings like Grand Moff Tarkin are fantastic villains in their own right, running the battle station, tracking the rebels down, destroying Alderran, and living in constant fear of Vader’s displeasure. The Imperials are all just men working for the Empire, like military soldiers.
Darth Maul was also a great villain. Many fans truly got displeased that we lost him so early in the series, knowing he could’ve made a fantastic villain in his own right. His double-bladed lightsaber, his red and black skin-tone, and multiple horns on his head and his deep voice and acrobatic way of fighting made fighting him a pain. With acrobatics come maneuverability, and maneuverability along with the Force and a lightsaber with two sides made him a difficult enemy to beat. Indeed, the fans lost a lot when he was beaten at the end of The Phantom Menace, hence why the Clone Wars TV Series brought him back.
Compared to Darth Maul, Count Dooku, or as Sidious called him Lord Tyrannus, was measly. He was helped mainly due to his ability to use Force lightning like his master, something Darth Maul did not seem able to do. He was also helped due to the actor playing him, as Christopher Lee is well known for being well able to play a villain’s role stupendously. Count Dooku was even able to go up against Yoda and live to tell the tale. However, what really makes Cout Dooku memorable is the role he played as the leading side of the Separatists during the Clone Wars. This role, on top of being the subordinate of Chancellor Palpatine, is what made him unique and what gave Palpatine ultimate victory.
See, Chancellor Palpatine, widely known as Darth Sidious, was a genius and the prequels show him and how he played his cards to gain victory. He used Padme’s trust in him to become Chancellor, using his connections in the Senate to nominate him. Then, he gained an apprentice named Count Dooku who led the Separatists to split from the Galaxy. There, Palpatine is in the best position possible. No matter which side wins in the war, he wins in the bigger picture. His apprentice would theoretically be acting as his puppet ruling the Galaxy, or Palpatine himself uses Anakin, Padme, the Jedi and the Senate to sway things in his favor and consolidate power even more. No matter how the war went, he would’ve won. The only risk (what plan is without risk) is banking his fortunes on Anakin. It paid off and he took over.
So, we need the prequels. They enhance the Star Wars universe, including The Force Awakens, a point a fellow contributor made. They told the story we needed and that’s what’s important, because they give the original trilogy back story. Inherently, there is little wrong with them. Yes, poor acting decisions were made and yes, Lucas could’ve used more critical hands on deck, and maybe there were a few problems in the coherency department, but many of the usual lines of attack are invalid or can be explained. In the end, we must remember they were made for kids and no movie is perfect, and Return of the Jedi can attest to that. So, A New Hope has an incomplete back story Empire fails to fill, Return of the Jedi is boring, and the prequels all suck, what’s left of Star Wars to like? Even without the prequels? And… whoever doesn’t like Star Wars… well…
What do you think? Leave a comment.