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 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 5:19 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I'm curious as to whether anyone here who grew up enchanted by the Star Wars prequel films? Perhaps even more than other films from that time, like The Matrix and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'm thinking of those here who were maybe seven in 1999 and perhaps hadn't seen the original trilogy and their first Star Wars experience was seeing The Phantom Menace and were positively swept away by the ensuing trilogy (and its vast merchandising).

If not, then what were the movies that defined or otherwise came to form an important part of your formative years?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 6:09 AM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

I'm pretty sure the overwhelming majority of forum members here are old enough to have grown up with the originals (or older movies than those, rather than newer ones), but I do know there are plenty of younger moviegoers who have grown up with the prequels. Remember, Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out over fourteen years ago now (yeah, I feel ancient), and there are people who were kids when it came out who are now adults with kids of their own.

And yes, I've encountered such people who grew up with the prequels, and who embrace them as many (most?) FSMers have the originals. Like most of us I don't think the prequels are nearly as good as the originals, but there are indeed plenty of younger viewers who don't find them all that bad, and at least some of whom actually find them a bit more palatable than the originals, for various reasons most of us would probably find depressing.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 6:46 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

That is well stated Joe E.

The term 'hollow effects' comes to mind with the prequels. The do look pretty good, but are really lacking in the story and character area. One of the big problems was bad casting on Hayden Christensen, he cannot act at all. The last one is the best of the prequels.



 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

I was definitely not a child when I saw them (well, maybe at heart), but I did enjoy them. I guess, from other people's reactions to them, I'll forever have to list them, as I did elsewhere on this message board, as "Guilty Pleasures". (Oh well; too bad we're sometimes pressured to refer to things we like that way, but what can you do?)

smile



 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 7:59 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

The originals were for the "child" in all of us. Not so much the prequels.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 8:03 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

yeah, the virtue of the early ones was simplicity like a fairy tale. The newer ones, I mean, a major part of the plot of Phantom Menace was trading, taxes and tariffs, really George? That was really complicated, needlessly, and not interesting. And really in spots of all three of the newer ones I was not really sure what was happening plot wise, or in terms of the action and effects. Too much, too fast. And there are amazing effects, that are really just was too amazing, so much in some of those space battles that you cannot really absorb it, it is just too much overkill.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 9:07 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Phantom Menace came out the year I graduated from high school. It was a nice time to be alive and though the film is certainly rife with problems, I still had more fun with it than I do most other things that have come out in the last decade.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 12:23 PM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

My formative films were JAWS*, STAR WARS*, CE3K*, SUPERMAN-THE MOVIE* and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK*.
They were the early films in my childhood that I saw at the cinema that truly dazzled me as a kid.
I saw Jaws aged 10 (scared the shit outta me/thrilled me in equal measure) and TESB at 15. I saw lots of other films in between, some I also loved, others...not so much.
To this day, those 5 films remain amongst my all-time faves.

On the prequels, I've learned to largely ignore them, in relation to my love of the first two SW films.
Lucas didn't write anything for them that endeared me any more to his universe. Most of his situations and outcomes largely ruined my imagined scenarios and I generally choose to ignore them now, if I'm watching the first films.
They sure do dazzle the eyes (the prequels), but the scripts and acting never thrilled me the way the first ones did. Sometimes you can type that shit and you really can't say it!

*There's a constant to those five films, of course. The genius of John Williams.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 1:31 PM   
 By:   Mike_J   (Member)

Not from my own point of view - love Star Wars and Empire, not a fan of any of the others.... However my son Rob was pretty much introduced to cinema with Phantom Menace.

He'd seen a couple of kids movies before, but Episode I was the first movie that absolutely grabbed him,to the extent that we saw it together several times and he collected the toys etc.

Tow significant things to mention - firstly, he also fell in love with John Williams' scores as a result of his exposure to Phantom Menace and played the soundtracks constantly. the other thing! which I think is very telling is that when I introduced him to the original trilogy, his favourite was by some margin, Return of the Jedi. He was 5/6 at the time. That demonstrates to me that Jedi was very much the kiddies Star Wars film of the original trilogy and that the prequels all followed that path.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 7:02 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

. . . the other thing! which I think is very telling is that when I introduced him to the original trilogy, his favourite was by some margin, Return of the Jedi. He was 5/6 at the time. That demonstrates to me that Jedi was very much the kiddies Star Wars film of the original trilogy and that the prequels all followed that path.


It's even more telling when you've read Lucas' opinions of his original trilogy, and which among them he liked best. A big part of the remaining negative feelings about the prequels IMHO is the memory of the bitter disappointment when they didn't live up to the decades of accumulated warm nostalgic feelings for the perceived(?) greatness of the originals. Realistically, there may have been no movie(s) that could possibly satisfy such inevitably high expectations. But those expectations seem woefully misguided when you read what Lucas was saying in the press in 1983.

I fooled myself into hoping that he was just talking-up ROTJ, fightin' teddy bears and all, as a common-sense business practice. You don't want to badmouth your own product, or even risk damning it with faint praise. He must have "grown up" a little since '83, I deluded myself. (And I'd already seen "Radioland Murders" too.) TPM taught me in just a few minutes that George had meant every word. He really did like ROTJ best, damn it.

What can you do? At least Williams reliably delivers the same level of artistry and imagination to today's youth, if they're interested.

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 4:06 AM   
 By:   GOLDSMITHDAKING   (Member)

I certainly was not a child when the prequels came out but was in my early twenties and i LOVED the prequels.

I saw The Phantom Menace five times that summer of 1999, it was the biggest movie of 1999 so it was playing in theatres for MONTHS.The beautiful scenery, the battles, the podracing, and of course the epic final lightsaber battle was a pure joy to watch.

To me they are a very underrated set of films and feel those who criticise them the most had gotten bitter and cynical with age and hated them simply because they were very different to the original trilogy so it didnt remind them of their childhood.

I love all six movies and the clone wars tv series in particular is fantastic.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 4:33 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

I certainly was not a child when the prequels came out but was in my early twenties and i LOVED the prequels.

I saw The Phantom Menace five times that summer of 1999, it was the biggest movie of 1999 so it was playing in theatres for MONTHS.The beautiful scenery, the battles, the podracing, and of course the epic final lightsaber battle was a pure joy to watch.

To me they are a very underrated set of films and feel those who criticise them the most had gotten bitter and cynical with age and hated them simply because they were very different to the original trilogy so it didnt remind them of their childhood.

I love all six movies and the clone wars tv series in particular is fantastic.


Yeah, I would argue that Clone Wars is better than the prequel movies, at least up until the last picture. Clone Wars is more tight and entertaining. I mean tarriffs and space taxes in Phantom Menace?

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 5:21 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Excellent comments on the prequels. I'm not trying to make a value judgment on the films but am more interested in seeing if they evoke the same warm glow of childhood to those of a certain age. I thought we had a fair number of twentysomethings around here and was hoping they would chime in. Perhaps the Matrix, LoTR, Harry Potter, and whatever else was popular at the time had more impact than these films did.

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 6:12 AM   
 By:   mstrox   (Member)

I was 14 years old when TPM came out, and I was let down pretty terribly (with the exception of Williams' score). I was let down as well to varying degrees by AOTC and ROTS, although those expectations were tempered by TPM.

I rewatched the prequels when the BluRays came out, and I felt like, for the most part, they really didn't hold up too well. I would call them "just okay." I certainly can't sit down and watch them like I can the original trilogy. A lot of that might be due to nostalgia, that toxic thing that blinds us all in certain capacities. However, I've watched many other things that I've felt nostalgic about, and just sat there bewildered at why I would have liked it in the first place. The way I see it, the prequels were made for people 7-10 years old, and the original trilogy was made for people 12-15 years old - an age group I can probably identify with as an adult.

One thing that I still don't care for is the sped-up lightsaber fighting from the prequels. All of the jumps and flips, etc, really suck the drama out of the confrontation - more about hacking away than about the two people facing off. I was kind of numbed to the Anakin/Obi-wan drama in ROTS, which started with a sentence or two, then had them fighting for twenty minutes without dialogue, Tarzaning around a lava floe on vines or whatever. The only duel that I thought was done interestingly was Christopher Lee vs. Obi-wan/Anakin in AOTC - again, because it was slowed down and was more about protagonist vs. antagonist rather than FIGHTFIGHTFIGHT.

All my opinion, of course. I know there are children and adults both who love the prequels. I won't begrudge them their love, and I wish I was there with them!

The Clone Wars was, in my opinion, really great Star Wars, and in my opinion probably the best and most "Star Wars-y" thing since The Empire Strikes Back. Unlike the prequels and in hindsight, ROTJ, which seemed to me to be a weird mix of galaxywide epic action drama and goofy fart jokes, The Clone Wars really returned Star Wars to its roots as adventure serials. It had a nice balance of battles, well-handled comedy, gritty underworld stuff. It added much more life to the characters of Obi-wan and, especially, Anakin than the prequels. Every misstep that I thought was taken (Anakin's apprentice Ahsoka, the resurrection of Darth Maul, arcs based around Jar Jar Binks) turned out to work well and shut me up.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 6:21 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Honestly I have more warm feelings for Harry Potter series, up till Prisoner of Azkaban. The last few pictures of HP were well made, but wow is sure got dark, a little too dark for me. As much as people gave Chris Columbus a hard time on the first two pictures I thought that they had a nice warm glow and a sweetness to them that became lost later. I am one who thinks growing up does not have to mean losing that warm glow.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 6:30 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I've talked to a lot of young kids in my teacher experience that grew up with the prequels. To them, it's as big as the originals is to my generation (even though I wasn't really exposed to them untill the mid 80s). Fortunately, I like the prequels too, so we have something in common.

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 10:32 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

I'm 30 years old and I discovered lots of movies early due to my six year older brother who would rent and watch lots of movies and I'd want to see them too of course wink.

We'd mostly watch movies we'd rent and that's how I discovered the original Star Wars trilogy, also it was still big when I grew up as it got SNES games and the toys were ever popular. I think I was 14-15 when the 'special editions' got released in the theater and I went to see the first one with my grandfather. By then I had seen the trilogy mostly on vhs and it was cool to see them on the big screen.

Then came the prequel trilogy.

The year was 1999. Before Phantom Menace actually came out in Belgium, a friend of mine had gotten hold of a cam version and we went to see it at his place; on a square pc screen with low resolution we sat and watched a constellation of pixels that somehow was the new Star Wars movie. The image quality was shitty, the sound even more and add to that a group of friends who can't sit still during a movie and chatter about and after I saw it I'd really seen very little of it. "It can't be that bad!" I thought, I'm sure it will be better when I see it in the theater in its full glory.

So it finally arrived in the theater in Belgium ten years later or so wink (back then the scheduling delay was horrendous, I'd watch people announce movies on Conan and Leno on NBC europe that wouldn't get released for another year in Belgium). I went to see it and hated it. It was shit. CGI shit. A green screen covered in shit. Jar Jar bad. The only fond memories I have of Phantom Menace was the pc videogame which was ok. So I saw the prequels starting at age 16 and I hated them. It was not Star Wars. I did go and see a Star Wars exhibition at a filmfestival in Brussels and enjoyed some of the making of and props from the prequels, more interesting than actually watching them.

Ok, that is chapter Star Wars. I will say that Star Wars to me is nostalgic but definitely not the only movies of my childhood. I think the movies of my childhood are more the Indiana Jones trilogy, Jurassic Park, Alien trilogy as well as lots of horror movies (Nightmare on Elm Street, Exorcist I & III, Hellraiser trilogy, Romero's dead trilogy, tons of Stephen King adaptations; Shawshank Redemption, Pet Sematary, The Stand, It, Salem's Lot, ...). Those had a big impact early on and I love to revisit.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 12:42 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

I certainly was not a child when the prequels came out but was in my early twenties and i LOVED the prequels.

I saw The Phantom Menace five times that summer of 1999, it was the biggest movie of 1999 so it was playing in theatres for MONTHS.The beautiful scenery, the battles, the podracing, and of course the epic final lightsaber battle was a pure joy to watch.

To me they are a very underrated set of films and feel those who criticise them the most had gotten bitter and cynical with age and hated them simply because they were very different to the original trilogy so it didnt remind them of their childhood.

I love all six movies and the clone wars tv series in particular is fantastic.



I'm totally with you.

STAR WARS didn't change; the fans did. I know it sounds silly, but when I talk to those who didn't like the prequels, it does almost seem like they went in looking for something to hate. That was my reaction at the time.

When they said, "Don't be ridiculous. Why would I want to hate it? I waited 16 years for that film!", I couldn't really argue with them; they were (sort of) making a good point. But when I read or hear stuff like, "I knew the film was in trouble right from the opening rollup...", it does seem like these poor cynical people have turned to the dark side.

wink

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 3:10 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

But when I read or hear stuff like, "I knew the film was in trouble right from the opening rollup...", it does seem like these poor cynical people have turned to the dark side.

wink



I admit I experienced something similar when I went to see TPM in 3D. Along with the glasses, they gave everyone a tiny plastic toy on the way in, like you'd get out of a gumball machine, as part of the admission price. There were just a handful of middle-aged bald fat guys, some geeky teenagers and me. I felt fat, but not bald, by comparison. And yes, some in the audience wore the robes of a Jedi.

When the movie began, I was more thrilled by the music than by the 3D effect or anything else. In the scene where Qui-gon and Obi-wan save Jar-Jar's life, the Jedi geeks shouted and cursed in protest. I began to think, "What am I doing here?" These are the REAL fans drowning out the dialogue. They'd paid for the privilege of heckling a kids' movie, which is, after all, what it seemed like to me, more than ever. I still have my souvenir mini-plastic-thingamajig, as proof.

I finally saw a Star Wars movie for what many have seen them as since 1977 - an elaborately wrought, occasionally ingenious, but mostly juvenile waste of time. --A kids movie, that's all, with some really great music. I wasn't as disappointed this time about what the movie ISN'T, or what it COULD have been.

Viewing TPM clear-eyed, through 3D glasses, I may have "cured" myself of my nostalgic delusion. I still hope some filmmaker more talented than George Lucas, presumably, can someday "infect" me again. Until that day, I can still resurrect those fond movie memories of when I was six by listening to the scores.

. . . And now we've got "Buck Rogers" CDs too!

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 5:23 PM   
 By:   Tom Servo   (Member)

Well, I know I am not the type of respondent that Jim requested, but I am an old-school lifelong Star Wars who saw "The Phantom Menace" in '99 at the age of 26. I thoroughly enjoyed it and went back to see it twice more, really digging the new surprises, the character of Qui-Gon and the theme of dualism and symbiosis portrayed in both character (Qui-Gon/Obi-wan, Sidious/Maul, Queen/handmaiden) and story (Gungan/humans on Naboo). Episode III is my second favorite film of the series and I continue to revisit the films from time to time, more frequently than the original trilogy in fact. I really like the depth of story that unravels across these three films, on both micro and macro levels, such as Anakin's personal journey in the former category and the dissolution of democracy in the latter. It's great fun to watch Palpatine ascend to power and pull the strings of government and I love Ewan McGregor's portayal of Obi-wan and the variety of trials and adventures he encounters.

 
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