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Thursday, 24 December 2015

10 Reasons To Love Star Wars Prequels

My dearest padawans,

In case you have not noticed the media outrages happening lately in terms of movies - and to be more precise, around the new Star Wars movie - than I have no clue under what rock you stayed the last year (or cave... you can pick your poison!). I remember I was a wee lass when my father brought me to my first Star Wars movie to the cinema - I believe he never thought how much these movies would mark my life and make me the nerd I am, favorising all sci-fi / fictional books and movies. You never know how kids would react but I remember clearly how much I loved it. I was in love with this new world that I had discovered and I remember drawing non stop scenes and characters - I remember loving the design of the Millennium Falcon and the Imperial Fighters but also wishing I had my very own R2-D2. The world opened up to all the new planets and galaxies that George Lucas brought to life.
When I was older I used to watch and rewatch Star Wars as many times as I could on  TV. When I had my very own laptop I kept a copy - just in case I wanted to rewatch it. It never gets boring and even though now I know the scenes and lines by heart, I always take joy in watching it again and again. Then... I remember clearly, I was in school when the Prequels started... I remember being hyped and if when I was small the first book I remember buying with my money was the old Star Wars initial trilogy, than at that time I used to spend all my money on products that even had the Star Wars name on it. I was as excited about the Prequels as I was of the original, buy now - after many times of watching and rewatching them I know they could have been way better (especially without Jar Jar Binks...).
But without further ado, let me tell you my 10 reasons why one should love the Star Wars Prequels:
1. The Visuals - considerably more impressive due to the access to the latest technology; but what I refer here is not the CGI effects but the beauty that Lucas brought us to. Take for example Naboo - one of my all time favourite planets - with its luxorious green and it's sparkling lakes and soft sand. Or the wonderfully-reaching-for-the-stars Coruscant - "the entire planet is one big city" - skylanes, skyscrapers, you name them and they have them; it's the city of the future... Plus, don't get me started on those amazing costumes! Take only Queen Amidala's (Padme) wardrobe in Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace - at least and you will understand what I mean. The fact that they get better and better - I wish I could own all her outfits from Episode 2! - only shows the attention  to the details that the team has brought. Also, during the 3 episodes you can see clearly the changed though which Anakin goes to become Darth Vader and join the dark side - even the clothes he wear reflects that + have a close look to his hair color changing from light blonde Ani to dark Anakin.
2. The Politics - that is always a touchy subject by the Star Wars fans and I have seen close to none whom said that they were happy to see the Prequels so immersed in dense politics. Well I believe they were necessary to explain how the Emperor came to govern the Empire and how the Republic was dissolved. I truly belive that episodes 1-3 filled a lot of gaps and answered a lot of questions that the fans had. If they were not happy about it... well that is another thing! It is hard, truly, to understand how a single person could come to power and have so many people fall into his manipulations; but if you look at history until now, you just need to only look as close as World War 2 - Adolf Hitler - and you will see a lot of similarities. Of course, I am not saying all of the politics made sense for me,  but then again I am not fond of politics in real life so maybe hidden meanings slipped though my inexperienced fingers...
3. The different view over Star Wars - let's face it, we watch Star Wars and we know that in the end it is the Light Side of the Force that wins. Well when it comes to episodes 1-3 it was a clear "hell no!" - you are not getting away with a positive experience there: you will see a small boy, The One who will bring balance to the Force, being seduced by the Dark Side and becoming the world's worst villain: Darth Vader. And as much as you know where the Prequels lead, you will still not be ready for it! It will show you the long dark fall and the changes from being a Republic to a Galactic Republic to the Empire that we know of... it will be hard, but it is also rewarding when it comes to the knowledge that the Prequels give us.
4. The Light and Dark Side of the Force - the explanation - finally!!! Starting to how the Force flows through all beings and how it manifests in the form of midiclorians; how Anakin has the largest number of midiclorians recorded, even greater than master Yoda! And how Ani actually does not have a father and he came to life through "immaculate conception" to his mother, with the help of these tiny little bulbs of energy - the above named midiclorians. We learn more about the Dark Side and how one could turn dark; things are much more clear: "hate leads to anger, anger leads to suffering, suffering leads to death" - the exact path that Anakin follows, while becoming Vader.
5. The Jedi's world - gets also very cristal clear pictures: the Jedi's have an academy, strict rules, structure (from padawans to being Jedi Master and becoming part of the council), code of honor (never to love a single being but love and protect the galaxy), even different physical appearance during their growth in the power of the Force. It is wonderful to see the Jedi's being so well established and respected, everyone knowing what they could do with their power. It is also nice to see how the Jedi's focus their attention on different planets and the different issues that their inhabitants have. They have their own status in society and few can be considered higher - "the taller they stand, the greater their fall"...
6. The Anakin - Darth Vader change - I always wondered how Darth Vader came to be this evil dark mass that terrifies everyone, I always wondered also about his feelings (especially after it was revealed to us in the original trilogy that he was Luke's (and implicitly Leia's) father...). For me it was certain he had a great attachment to the Emperor (though I did not know then why) but I could also see that not all his feelings were of hate. I could clearly see that he wanted his son next to him, he wanted them to be together. That is also why, in the end he single - handed (no pun intended) kills the Emperor when he tries to finish off Luke. It was wonderful to see him as a small 8 year old boy, flowing with energy and spark ans conviction that he can save the world and make it a better place and one day come to see his mother again... wait... that went wrong... the next time he sees his mother is when he saves her on Tatooine and she dies in his arms... and he ends up killing all the tribe (women and children included!). Taken aside the pains of episode 1 and 2 of Anakin growing up, episode 3 is pure genius - dark and twisted, showing the great change in Ani's life.
7. Obi Wan's friendship with Anakin - "we were like brothers! I trusted you!", Ben spits it up towards the burning mass that was Anakin... as he says that I feel always tears burning down my cheeks... I know that this is done for and the pain and lust for revenge in Anakin is growing, making the final step to become Darth Vader. It was interesting also watching Obi Wan grow, himself being a padawan of Qui Gon Jinn - played beautifully by the one and only Liam Neeson. If you feel the casting was not right for the Prequels, think again! Take only Ewan Mc Gregor as Obi Wan - for example! He is both wise and young and cheerful/playful at the same time; he grows as Anakin grows and it's like having a smaller brother. I belive he was the best choice to like the old trilogy with the new, blending in nicely even the tics he developed so he would be more like Alec Guinness (the old Obi Wan).
8. The swordsmanship of the Jedi's - I mean, I was in love with this new world that Lucas brought to life; but when I saw Episode 1 fighting scenes... my heart skips a beat each time I watch Obi Wan and Qui-Gon fight with Darth Maul (who in real life is a capoiera master!). You know what I am talking of; that's right: The Duel of Fates (you know that you already have that soundtrack playing in your head now ;) no worries we all do...). The way they fight is sometimes not human possible, but they are Jedi (I remind myself) and the Force is strong with them! Sometimes I hear people (sometimes even myslef) asking why have such a huge difference in style between the Prequels and the old trilogy type of fight; and then I remember how much time has passed between the 2 periods of time & the fights we see... we see only Luke against Darth Vader or the Emperor. Luke is young and inexperienced when it comes to fighting someone that has the Force strong and also has a lightsaber. Darth is a machine mostly - his feet were cut, he has only one real hand, he had body burns of the highest degree possible... - so he can't just do back flips; can't he?! The Emperor mainly uses his light-bolt-electric powers... so no fun!
9. "Execute Order 66" - well that was something nobody saw it coming... maybe except Yoda! But he was unfortunately too late :( they could have named it order 666 but that would have been much too obvious. Truth said, Episode 3 is a tear-jerker from head to toes. This scene is one of the saddest ones as we witness the death of so many Jedi's at the hands of the Clone Army - oh, if only they could have had conscience as Finn has in Star Wars 7 :((( You know you witnessed Anakin killing the younglings and paving his path to becoming Darth Vader, you know that by the begging of Episode 4 the Jedi's are extinct, you know what's coming up next yet you feel your heart breaking bit by bit... a plus to the scene is Chewie and his father saving the day, saving Yoda in the hidden Pod.
10. The constant links to the old (original) trilogy - always made me smile wide and feel very much at home. The moment I saw R2-D2 and C3PO I knew there were at least some things that they would not go wrong with. The fact that Ani is the "maker" of C3PO was ok but hey, that little shiny blue robot can warm everyone up - the things he has seen and the fights he has been through, his magical artifical intelligence (way brighter than C3PO and good also with the emotional intelligence) makes him the cutest and most adorable droid in the Galaxy! When I was small I always wished I had one and I would draw him a lot of times, always close to Leia ;) "Save me, Obi Wan. You're my only hope!". Take also the ending moment when baby Leia is given to Senator Bail Organa & baby Luke is given to his aunt and uncle. Focus on baby Luke, held tightly by his aunt/uncle while they watch the sunset of the twin suns. Twin sun = twins = Leia and Luke. Sunset as the Darth Vader rises to power. Fast forward to Episode 4 "A New Hope", where at the beginning we have Luke standing at the exact same spot, watching the twin sun rise... he is the new hope that will make like in the darkness that Vader brought...

A bonus of the Prequels are the beautifully places lines like "So this is how Liberty dies... with thunderous applause" (my very fav line of Padme) or "This party's over" (Mace Windu). The storytelling has its bright moments but there are of course a lot of flaws, that makes a lot of people say that the Prequels were a huge flop. I see them as an image of Anakin's coming to the dark side - rough and heartbreaking. How do you feel about them? Have you ever seen the Star Wars Prequels? Are you a fan of Star Wars? Have you already seen Episode 7 ;))) how many times? Tell me what you thought of it!

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug - very much forever in love with Star Wars