In a Galaxy Far, Far Away, the Star Wars Prequels are Actually Good: Why are there so many plot holes? - Part 2

Read Part 1


Episode 1: The Phantom Menace clearly had its flaws but perhaps it’s too early to judge. There was an overwhelming amount of negative criticisms, with Episode I being ranked as one of “The 25 Worst Sequels Ever Made” by Entertainment Weekly” and the worst sequel of all time by Comcast, which is why it’s no surprise that The Phantom Menace is the lowest rated Star Wars film of the prequels and the original trilogy.


Okay, Lucas dropped the ball on this one. But now that he knows what he did wrong, surely he’ll make up for Episode 1 with Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. He’ll tie up the loose ends he left in the first one and hopefully progress the story in the traditional way of the original Star Wars.


Or not.


I was still a young child when Attack of the Clones came out and, still not realizing my disappointment with the first prequel, I was excited for another Star Wars movie. My standards were still relatively low; being that there must be at least one lightsaber battle, preferably in midst of lasers, explosions and space.


That was what I thought of when I heard Star Wars, and undoubtedly that’s still one of the main marks of Star Wars.


This time, though, I was left feeling slightly confused. I didn’t know whether I liked the movie or not. It wasn’t like Episode 1 where I ignored the entire movie just to watch the lightsaber battles, like a kid who skips a meal and goes straight for the desert. It was lacking in pretty much every aspect much like Episode 1 but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong with it.


And like Episode 1, years later I realized my disappointment in this film, like getting a stomachache after eating too much desert.

The Beginning – A Threatening (?) Separatist Movement and Border Disputes


The movie begins with the information that thousands of systems want to leave the Republic, known as the Separatist movement and led by the Jedi Count Dooku. The rest of the Jedi Order claim that this will make it too difficult for the Jedi to keep peace and order in the galaxy, and that they might need an army to back them up. Queen Amidala, who is now a Senator, is going to Coruscant to vote on this issue.


I might be being picky here, but I don’t see how thousands of systems leaving the Republic will make it more difficult for the Jedi to keep peace and order. It’s the same number of planets and systems that you had before.


In fact, if your Jedi protection is limited to the systems that are actually part of the Republic (which was implied in Episode I), this will make it easier for you to protect it because there are less systems that are part of the republic. Why do you want an army all of a sudden?


Oh, but maybe if these systems leave they’ll have to come up with new tax regulations, the number one priority of these Jedi. Now it makes sense – the Jedi simply don’t want to be overwhelmed with these tax regulations.


"Pictured: solution to tax regulations"
"Pictured: solution to tax regulations"


And what makes you think that this separation will require an army’s assistance to make it go smoothly, or that there’s any risk of war? The Separatists weren’t threatening anybody; they simply want to leave the Republic. If I didn’t know that the Jedi must be the good guys in this film, I might even suspect them of being evil because trying to raise an army under the guise of “protection” when there really is no threat is just a tad bit suspicious.


We see a ship slowly descend to the planet Coruscant, and as it lands it blows up. Luckily, Amidala wasn’t in the ship, again using her body double to protect her. Just like in Episode 1, I did not care for this switcheroo.


What I did care was noticing that her new Captain here is not Captain Panaka, but instead Captain Typho. And that’s simply unacceptable! Panaka is a much better name than Typho. Typho sounds like some kind of disease. Already I’m disappointed.


It now cuts to a scene where Chancellor Palpatine is discussing the issue of the Separatists with the Jedi. He claims more and more systems are joining the movement, and Mace Windu informs him that if the negotiations fail there won’t be enough Jedi to protect the Republic (err, from what?). The Chancellor then turns to Yoda and asks “Do you think it will really come to war?”, and I’m completely dumbfounded.

"Kind of like that."
"Kind of like that."


War? Why? Again, they’re not threatening anyone, they’re just leaving the Republic! It almost sounds like it’s “stay in the Republic or die”, which just makes you wonder why the hell the Jedi are even going along with this.


Amidala comes in and suggests the assassination attempt was by Count Dooku. The Jedi disagree, claiming that he is not capable of that, being a Jedi at one point in time, and that it’s more likely that disgruntled miners on the moons of Naboo did such a thing.


It’s such a minor point but I have to address it here.


First of all, having been a Jedi at one point in your life does not guarantee that you won’t commit murder. You Jedi should know better than anyone that being good but later turning to the dark side is a risk, and a likely one at that!


And secondly, if there are disgruntled miners on the moons of Naboo orchestrating terrorist attacks, don’t you think that you should, I don’t know, address their issue? I’m assuming mining is still not an easy task even with the advanced technology, so if they’re not under proper work conditions and if everyone is ignoring them I think a terrorist attack would be one of the ways to get attention.


But seriously, what kind of Jedi are you? Worried more about people trying to leave the Republic and tax regulations than slavery and improper work conditions?


I would have ignored all of that if it weren’t for the fact that we later learn it WAS Count Dooku who tried to assassinate her. Man you Jedi are just…ugh. God.


Anyway, the Chancellor suggests that Senator Amidala should receive additional protection from the Jedi, perhaps from an old friend like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Windu says that this is possible because Obi-Wan has just returned from a border dispute.


Border dispute? Add that to the list of meaningless tasks the Jedi care about. Maybe that’s why they need an army for the Separatist movement, because there’ll be a ton of border disputes.

Character Assassinations (Figuratively and Literally)


Amidala reluctantly accepts, and we go to a cut scene with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker preparing for their mission. The legendary hero is now a young man and we finally get to see how he’s aged and matured. In the original trilogy Obi-Wan described him as a kind and wonderful Jedi, and his fall to the dark side was a surprise to everybody.


Now we get to see what he was like before that. We get a chance to appreciate just how much of a shock it was that he fell to the dark side and what it means when your greatest hero becomes your worst enemy.


As they take the elevator to Amidala’s complex, Obi-Wan comments on how nervous Anakin seems, almost as nervous as that one time they fell into that nest of Gundarks. Anakin remarks that he hasn’t seen Padme in 10 years.


Almost as soon as they enter, Anakin starts openly defying Obi-Wan and completely undermining his authority. Obi-Wan states that they are not there to start an investigation, and immediately Anakin replies “We will find out who is trying to kill you, Padme”.

"Undermining Authority 101"
"Undermining Authority 101"


He completely disregards whatever his master said, thinking that an investigation is implied in their mandate to protect Padme.


Obi-Wan chides him and insists he follow his lead, and Anakin questions “why”. You’ll notice he does this throughout this movie and eventually just altogether skips the “why” and just makes his own lead.


In all honesty though, I can’t blame him for questioning their mission. Things like tax regulations, border disputes and security are hardly the tasks of Jedi. He’s got a point in trying to determine exactly who is trying to kill Amidala, even if disgruntled miners were the ones that tried to do it. It’s common sense that they should try to find who tried to do this and why in order to try and resolve the matter.


In fact, the Jedi council later assign Obi-Wan to track down the bounty hunter and leave Anakin to guard Padme, so Anakin’s suggestion was good enough that the council themselvesmake it a mission (although that’s hardly a measure of whether that’s a worthy mission or not, but you get my point).


Even so, Anakin is a bit of an ass. It might just be Hayden Christensen’s acting which is not nearly representative of a hero but instead makes Anakin more like an arrogant, spoiled teenage brat acting out. Christensen should have portrayed him as a calmer, more composed and respectful individual, qualities of a great Jedi. If I didn’t know any better I would have suspected him of turning to the dark side right now! Also, it doesn’t help that he tries to defy Obi-Wan just for the sake of it.

"I hate you Obi-Wan! It's all your fault!"
"I hate you Obi-Wan! It's all your fault!"

Side Note


If you want a good example to this “hero becoming villain” archetype, you should learn the story of Revan from the game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.


He was a revolutionary hero at the time, being the crucial figure during the Mandalorian Wars and he was one of the main reasons the Republic was victorious. He was a kind and powerful Jedi, and wasn’t afraid of doing what he felt was right, even going against the will of the council.


Ultimately this rebellious nature led him to the dark side even though he was one of the best Jedi the order had ever seen.


And worse, I find that I still can’t blame him, at least not entirely. Obi-Wan has been scolding him and treating him like a child this entire time, which isn’t exactly helping his rebellious nature.


In the first film, you can see Obi-Wan giving suggestions to Qui-Gon but Qui-Gon doesn’t scold him or tell him to “learn his place”; he praises him for it! Qui-Gon welcomed criticism and new perspectives, and was not afraid to speak his mind even against the council. But unlike Anakin, Qui-Gon defied the council out of respect; he respected them so much that he was not afraid to say “hey guys, I think you got this wrong”.


And this defiant yet respectful nature should likewise be present in Obi-Wan as well, and it was! He openly tells Yoda that he will train Anakin whether the council likes it or not in Episode I. Somehow he has become subordinate and almost a pushover to whatever the council says, even if what they say is, well, stupid.


In short, both the characters of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are not being representative of their true characters. They’re being almost the complete opposite. And this is only in the first few minutes of their appearance!


They stand watch in Padme’s quarters, and Obi-Wan notices that Anakin looks tired. He claims that he hasn’t been sleeping well, and that he keeps having dreams of his mother. And I think –


…wait she’s still in Tatooine??

"Pictured: Tatooine's amusement park."
"Pictured: Tatooine's amusement park."

It’s been 10 years, why did nobody think of saving this woman?? Or the slaves in Tatooine for that matter??


And keep in mind that she is the mother of the Chosen One, the one who will bring balance to the Force. I mean that sounds pretty important, don’t you think you could have at the very least bought her out?


Why did the Jedi never go back for her? You took her child and your repayment is to just leave her in a god-forsaken desert as a slave?! What kind of Jedi are these??

"Busy with border disputes, we are."
"Busy with border disputes, we are."


It is telling when characters can easily do something that they would logically do but end up not doing it. It’s an obvious forced plot point to conveniently carry the story Lucas wants/needs.


Even so, what comes in the next film because of this story line becomes even more forced. It ends up being a pattern of forced plot points to progress a story to necessitate more forced plot points to progress the story. This’ll be more evident later on.


During their watch, they foil another assassination attempt on Padme and follow the bounty hunter that tried to kill her. Again during this entire time Obi-Wan is scolding Anakin about taking too long, losing track of the bounty hunter (which he didn’t, he was simply slightly ahead) and later dropping his lightsaber in a conflict (which Obi-Wan did in the last film and does later in this one).


Keep in mind that Anakin has supposedly saved Obi-Wan from many dangerous encounters, like the Gundark nest. Would it kill Obi-Wan to have some faith in his apprentice, the same faith his master had in him, and to show him a bit of respect as opposed to condescension?


The two Jedi catch up and apprehend the bounty hunter but she was killed with a poison dart by another bounty hunter before she told them anything. Now the council gives Obi-Wan the mission of tracking down this second bounty hunter (which is clearly not a disgruntled miner) and leaves Anakin to protect Padme in Naboo.


Obi-Wan fears that Anakin isn’t ready for this mission, and Windu reminds Obi-Wan that if the prophecy is true, then Anakin will bring balance to the Force…which has nothing to do with Anakin not being ready for the mission. It’s just one of the many examples of poor dialogue in these prequels.


Speaking of poor dialogue…


When Anakin and Padme are alone the amount of crappy dialogue is increased tenfold.


One moment Anakin is praising Obi-Wan and the next he’s criticizing him and claims that Obi-Wan’s holding him back.


One second he offers Padme the wisdom that sometimes you have to swallow your pride and do what is requested; a few moments later Anakin completely ignores his own advice, arrogantly claiming that he’s ahead of Obi-Wan and that he’s ready for the Jedi trials.


And somehow this isn’t even the worst of the dialogue between these two.

"Missing planet Kamino. If found, please call your local planet shelter."
"Missing planet Kamino. If found, please call your local planet shelter."

Unauthorized Cloning and Boring Romance


Obi-Wan discovers that the poison dart was manufactured on the planet Kamino, which is home to a species that is proficient in cloning. However, the planet doesn’t show up in the archives and Obi-Wan thinks it doesn’t exist.


A child knows better, though, and suggests the information was erased from the archives. Yoda claims only a Jedi could have erased the data.


I don’t know why Obi-Wan couldn’t have just gone to the planet’s coordinates which he had this whole time, and went so far as doing research on the gravitational pull of the sector and reasoning that there must be a system there with a star and planets. Common dude, really? Don’t you think it would have been easier to just go to the coordinates of the planet?


I have to point out that during these prequel films Yoda is boring, overly serious and not even that wise to be honest. Most of the time he happens to point out something that is completely obvious to everyone else, or at least to us watching the move.


In the older films he used to be comically entertaining as well as wise, providing a stark and refreshing contrast against the norm that most wise people are dull, old and boring. It created a sense that he was so wise he knew the value of humour and wasn’t afraid to use it. Or maybe he was just kind of eccentric. Either way, yet another character that seems to be doing the complete opposite of what he is known for.


Meanwhile, Anakin begins bonding with Padme and yada yada yada. Boring. During one of these conversations though, Anakin expresses his opinion that people should be made to agree, kind of like a dictatorship. Actually, exactly like a dictatorship. Even as a Padawan he shows signs of being a megalomaniac.


Obi-Wan finds the planet is where it’s supposed to be (shocking) and meets with the cloners. They tell him that his Jedi master Sifo-Dyas, who has been dead for almost 10 years, gave the order to build this clone army for the Republic, but Obi-Wan knows that the council never authorized the creation of this clone army. In fact, the council had no idea that a clone army was even proposed for the Republic.

"Hey guys, did we get a little too high in our meditation and order 1,000,000 clone troopers? And then forgot about it?"
"Hey guys, did we get a little too high in our meditation and order 1,000,000 clone troopers? And then forgot about it?"

The template for these clones is a bounty hunter named Jango Fett, and Obi-Wan suspects that Jango was behind the assassination attempts. The council asks Obi-Wan to bring Jango there for interrogation.


Obi-Wan catches Jango starting his ship and trying to leave the planet. In a stupid fight scene where Obi-Wan loses his lightsaber after explicitly scolding Anakin for losing his, Jango gets away but is tagged with a tracking device.

Tatooine: Boring Desert Where Slavery STILL Exists


Anakin begins having nightmares about his mother again, and he thinks she’s suffering. No really? You think being a slave for another ten years is just fun and games, don’t you?


He tells Padme that he’s sorry for breaking his mandate and that he needs to help his mom, that he doesn’t have a choice. Of course you had a choice! You had ten years to save her and you didn’t even think about her! You couldn’t stop thinking about Padme but your mom was rotting out in Tatooine this entire time!


Padme agrees to go with him to Tatooine, against his orders. I can’t help but think that Anakin also believed that his mandate of “protecting Padme” also implies that he should go to Tatooine and free his oppressed mother.


Ten years have passed and Tatooine looks exactly the same. It’s still a godforsaken desert and they’re still using slaves when they don’t need to. Anakin finds Watto and learns that his mother was sold to a moisture farmer, who freed her and married her.


Wow, finally a half-decent person!

I mean no pun on the "half".
I mean no pun on the "half".


The guy who married his mom, Cliegg Lars, tells him that a month ago that Shmi was captured by Tusken Raiders (Sand People). If only there were a group of peacekeepers of the universe, guardians of truth and justice that could help him and the people of Tatooine.


So Anakin tracks down the Tusken Raiders and finds Shmi captured and near death. She tells him that she is now complete and dies. Furious, Anakin proceeds to kill every one of the Sand People, including women and children. This is important to note later on.


Speaking of important notes, let’s back up a bit and revisit another plot hole. In my first review, I specifically pointed out that in Episode I, the young Anakin said that he had a dream that he was a Jedi, and he came back to Tatooine and freed all the slaves.What did he do instead? He ignored the fact that for the past 10 years of his training there have still been slaves in Tatooine, one of them being his own mother.


When it was too late to save her he commits mass genocide of the Sand People and completely forgets about the rest of the slaves on that planet, some of which might have been his friends when he was younger.


Lucas, how the hell do you come up with this garbage? You give the protagonist a significant and noble cause of abolishing slavery and then he forgets about it completely? Considering Anakin was a slave for half his life, and that some significant people in his life were slaves (namely, his mother), it’d be almost impossible for him to forget his cause.


And worse, he goes into this fit and wonders why he couldn’t save her, that he should be all-powerful and that this is all Obi-Wan’s fault.

"I hate you Obi-Wan! This is still all your fault!"
"I hate you Obi-Wan! This is still all your fault!"


Of course
you could have saved her! You had ten frickin years to do something about it! And this is not all Obi-Wan’s fault, although to be fair Obi-Wan and the Jedi council didn’t do anything to save his mom. In fact, Obi-Wan tries to contact Anakin on Naboo and finds him on Tatooine and remarks “what the blazes is he doing there?”, as if there is no conceivable reason whatsoever for Anakin to be on Tatooine.


"Pictured: Jedi Master (right)"
"Pictured: Jedi Master (right)"


How do you guys have the balls to call yourselves Jedi? The closest thing to a Jedi in this entire movie was the guy who bought Shmi and married her, and he's stuck in a wheelchair!


At this point, Yoda is meditating and finds that Anakin is in great pain. Hmm, I wonder why, oh wise master. I mean, all of the tax regulations and border disputes have been dealt with. What could he possibly be suffering from?


Around this time, Obi-Wan tracks down the bounty hunter to an industrious planet that’s mass producing battle droids. Count Dooku is seen and Obi-Wan overhears that it was he who was behind the assassination attempts (and not disgruntled miners).


Dooku gets many of the systems to sign his treaty, and their combined technology should overwhelm the Jedi and that the Republic will give in to all of their demands. Okay, I thought you guys just wanted to leave so I don’t understand why you hate the Jedi.


Wait, that’s not true. I totally understand why you hate these Jedi. But what are your demands aside from leaving the Republic? What the hell do you want? I can understand them making an army in response to their demands not being met, but they’re skipping the “making demands” part and just going straight for the army!


Oh, I didn’t mention that Anakin confessed to murdering all of the Sand People to Padme, and she just passes it off, claiming that “to be angry is to be human”. I wonder how your tune will change when Episode 3 comes around and Anakin starts killing – wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Keep in mind though, that Anakin committed mass genocide and Padme does not care. Again, this is important to note as we’ll see later on.

Stupid Deaths, Stupid Warfare and Stupid Lightsaber Battles


Anakin manages to relay a message from Obi-Wan to the council. He states that there’s a large droid army being produced on the planet Geonosis and that Count Dooku is responsible, but the video transmission shows Obi-Wan getting attacked.


Windu tells Anakin to stay where he is and to protect Padme, and since Anakin ignored orders earlier he is now willing to follow them just so Obi-Wan gets what’s coming to him. However, Padme says she’s going to help Obi-Wan and Anakin will just have to tag along.


Some of the senators begin thinking that they now need a clone army to combat the Separatist army (who is making an army and planning to use it for no apparent reason). One of them says that the senate will never agree to the use of a clone army before the Separatists attack, so Palpatine suggests that one of the senators give the Chancellor emergency powers so that he may approve the use of clones.


That’s where Jar-Jar saves the day by convincing the Senate that the Separatists are dangerous and that the Chancellor needs emergency powers. And they all agree.


Which makes no sense.

"Fitting for a character whose existence also makes no sense."
"Fitting for a character whose existence also makes no sense."


I mean if you’re going to vote emergency powers for the Chancellor so he can approve the use of clones, why didn’t you just vote for the use of clones in the first place? Basically, the Senate would vote against the clones, but they’re also willing to vote for the Chancellor so that he would approve the clones. Are they really that stupid that they didn’t realize this was circumventing themselves?


So then Obi-Wan gets captured and meets with Count Dooku, who was apparently Qui-Gon Jinn’s master. Dooku claims that this whole situation is a mistake and that he’ll be released immediately. He then begins explaining why he is supporting this Separatist movement in the first place.


Apparently, the Republic is under the control of a dark lord of the Sith, and it’s him who has been clouding the Jedi’s ability to see the future (I would also say judgment but that seems to be the Jedi’s own stupidity). The Sith lord named Darth Sidious has control hundreds of senators in the Republic, and Dooku begs Obi-Wan to join him.


Obi-Wan says he’d never join Dooku, which means that the Separatists are worse than a dark lord of the Sith manipulating the senate (and this Sith lord could very well be the reason the Separatists are leaving in the first place!).


Anakin and Padme land on Geonosis and begin looking for Obi-Wan. They get trapped in this droid factory and eventually get captured. They’re taken to this gladiator arena along with Obi-Wan, who again gives condescending remarks to Anakin for their failed attempt to rescue him.


They fend off three creatures, a spider-like thing, a rhino-like thing and a tiger-like thing, but eventually droids apprehend them and are about to execute them when Mace Windu and a bunch of Jedi show up.


A massive battle erupts between the Jedi and the droid army. During the battle Jango Fett dies in what I can only describe as one of the dumbest deaths I have ever seen. Jango dives for Windu’s lightsaber, the rhino-like thing runs over his jetpack, and he gets decapitated by Windu.

Side Note

Something I noticed during these battles is that, for some inexplicable reason, both the droids and the clone troopers run forward as if wanting to collide with one another, when technically the blaster has a good enough range from a considerable distance.


It’s annoying to think that in the Star Wars galaxy these civilizations have such advanced technology and yet resort to such obsolete military tactics. In Episode 1 they at least introduced a mobile shield concept with the Gungan species, but here it’s just a mess of blasters and explosions.


This is on par with Darth Maul’s crappy death in Episode I because both Darth Maul and Jango Fett are incredibly good at what they do, but for some inexplicable reason they begin acting stupid and die.


They don’t lose because of their own character trait (like Anakin with his overconfidence) or because they were simply outmatched (like when Luke Skywalker beats Darth Vader); they die because they got a sudden case of “mental retardation”.


Eventually, the Jedi are overwhelmed but then Yoda shows up with the clones and another massive battle ensues. The Jedi are rescued and Yoda says that if Dooku escapes he will rally more systems to his (unknown) cause, so naturally Yoda leaves Dooku in the arena complex, giving him a chance to escape.


Anakin and Obi-Wan try to catch up to Count Dooku while the rest of the Jedi command the clone troops. At this time Anakin suggests the ships to aim above the fuel cells of some energy buildings, which works effectively and prompts Obi-Wan to give Anakin his first compliment in the entire movie, “Good call, my young Padawan”.


The two Jedi catch up to Count Dooku, and Obi-Wan says to Anakin that they’ll take him on together. Anakin ignores this and tries to attack Dooku alone, and gets zapped by lightning. Remember when I said that he eventually skips the “why” and just tries to make his own lead? This is one of those times.



Dooku and Obi-Wan duke it out for a while, but then Dooku gives Obi-Wan two little cuts which prompts him to topple to the floor, cringing like a soccer player diving. Luckily Anakin saves him just in time, but shortly after he gets his arm chopped off and gets knocked unconscious. Then Yoda shows up, they duel for a bit and Dooku topples a column on top of Obi-Wan and Anakin, to distract Yoda and escape.


I think this was honestly the worst lightsaber battle out of all of the Star Wars films, and if you remember my standard for judging good Star Wars films, I explicitly said I needed at least one good lightsaber duel. This was boring. There was barely any athleticism, there was zero emotion (and zero music to accompany it) and it was only like two minutes long!


Episode 1 showed a great lightsaber battle (even though it had its flaws), but even the old Star Wars films had better lightsaber battles than this! Obi-Wan barely put up a fight, Anakin hardly did any better and Yoda just jumped around a lot and didn’t accomplish anything.


After the battle, Obi-Wan asks Windu and Yoda if Count Dooku was telling the truth about a dark lord of the Sith being part of the senate and manipulating it. Yoda tells him that Dooku has gone to the dark side, and that his ways are of treachery and deceit, implying that this is probably a lie created by Dooku.


Okay, so basically you have evidence that these clones were created unauthorized, in secret by a Jedi who also happened to delete the evidence of the clone planet. Your ability to foresee the future with the Force has also extremely diminished.


And you still don’t think there’s anything fishy going on?


"Something IS fishy...these chairs are not that comfy."
"Something IS fishy...these chairs are not that comfy."

Somehow I’m not surprised given your incredible ability in dealing with assassinations, blockades, border disputes, tax regulations, mission assignments, slavery, the Chosen One’s family members…


Back on Naboo, Anakin and Padme get married. Anakin now has a mechanical arm, and the clone wars have begun. The end.


So the clone army is created, there’s more evidence that the dark Sith have returned and all of this may be a ploy to destroy the Jedi. But I’m sure the Jedi will deal with that in the next and final prequel film.


Oh and Tatooine is still in slavery, but I have a feeling the Jedi don’t care.


Stay tuned for Part III

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Comments 27 comments

flagostomos profile image

flagostomos 5 years ago from Washington, United States

Looks like it's a good read. I need to head off to bed now but I'll read it first chance I get.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago

Pretty funny stuff, as I have to agree again with all your points. Although I wouldn't be too hard on the actors of this prequel trilogy; particularly Hayden Christiansen. I know during some of the behind the scenes interviews, Hayden actually did complain to Lucas about his character coming off as too whiny in this trilogy that he thought the character would've been better served as being the strong silent type that repressed feelings instead of the version of Anakin we saw in the prequels. According to Hayden, Lucas wanted him to portray Anakin Skywalker as emotional as possible; while using the analogy of Anakin coming off as a rebellious teenager, and Obi-Wan is allegedly the strict father figure which is used to explain how Annie goes to the dark side. At least, that's what some of the behind the scenes interviews say about this movie.

I think the biggest problem with the way the prequel trilogy was handled besides Lucas being more of a businessman versus a creative visionary he used to be, he became less collaborative over the years as well. Although I'm sure you probably know this already, but I know when it comes to directors, I tend to notice there's usually two different types. There's a dictator and a collaborative one. A collaborative director will not only listen to the input of his actors and writers, but he's open to the possibility that even his vision could be wrong, so he's always willing to improvise for a better product.

Whereas a dictator, it has to always be his/her way or the highway. Unfortunately, Lucas used to be collaborative when he was younger, but he's more of a dictator now from what I've learned about him in the past. Which sadly means that all the characterization in this prequel series operated on his singular vision alone, with none of the actors inputs. Something that I felt like was a mistake. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he never should've been involved on some capacity, as it is his creation. However, I think if Lucas had allowed another director to do the prequel trilogy, while being a bit more collaborative like in the past, then I think this series would've probably been almost as good as the original.

Unfortunately, Lucas didn't really allow anyone to put in their thoughts into this trilogy outside his own, as he clearly only saw these prequels as something of a marketing ploy, then this is what we end up with. A rehash series of prequels with poor dialogue and badly written characterizations. Oh well. What can you do?

Anyways, good hub, as I look forward to reading part III soon. :)


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 5 years ago from Canada Author

Hope you like it flagostomos, I'll be awaiting your comment :)

Ah, I didn't know Hayden actually wanted a different portrayal of Anakin. Surprise, surprise, Lucas again screwing things up. I think the strong silent type would have worked much better than being whiny all the time. I now have new-found respect for Christensen. I never thought he was a bad actor, because frankly to judge him based on Star Wars alone is a mistake (which is the same reason why I don't judge Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman and others for their performances here). I haven't seen any of his other work but I heard his performance in Jumper was better. He does seem to have good potential as an actor and his portrayal as a whiny Anakin certainly gave the impression of a rebellious teenager, but it just doesn't fit with the character. Of course, this does seem to be Lucas' fault (again) so I can hardly blame Hayden.

I agree with you wholeheartedly about his directive style. The prequel series had great potential but having only one perspective work on it limits it greatly, even if it is the perspective of the guy who created it. At the very least inviting more viewpoints to see different ways of portraying the scenes, the characters, the dialogue. He doesn't have to accept them but at the very least consider them. But the way he does things now, I honestly feel like aliens captured the real George Lucas and replaced him with the dictator businessman George Lucas.

I think the most we can do is do an entire new trilogy or even a new take on the 6 films? I think it might be too soon to redo the original trilogy but it's something to think about in the future. That way we can line up all 6 films coherently and without any huge flaws.

Thanks again for reading Stevennix, and Part III is on the way (and it's a doozy!)


flagostomos profile image

flagostomos 5 years ago from Washington, United States

Have you watched the animated series? Panaka gets his glorious return there. That's a good point you raise about the Jedi should have known about Dooku; if you read some of the expanded universe stuff about him, you'd realize that if a Jedi that powerful left the order, the Sith would be all over him! But you can't make that point because the movies are separate to the expanded universe.

Again with Anakin, why his fall was such a shock. Following the movies strictly (Which I guarantee you is how Lucas originally intended) you're completely correct. But look at the expanded universe, like the animated series, and he really was a kind and gentle man.

The problem with Lucas is he did have collaborators, but they all just sucked up to him. That was one good point that Plinkett brought out in his reviews. You raise good points Stevennix. Jail time must have really done in Lucas.

You raise a good point too, about having someone else do the prequels. Just look at the expanded universe stuff, animated series, books, games; obviously there are people out there who can do Star Wars a lot better than Lucas.

As always, good Hub, and look forward to 3!


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 5 years ago from Canada Author

Ah I haven't watched the 3D animated series, so I'm afraid I'm missing out on Panaka. Not that I really cared for him, I just liked his name :P

That's an interesting point - these characters and their plots were more defined in the expanded universe than in the movies, and in some ways the movies completely contradict not only the expanded universe but the original trilogy. Of course it's not expected for everyone to know the details of the expanded universe, but at least have it matching up the originals!

And sadly, I think it would make matters worse to have collaborators that simply suck up to you, because it makes it seem like you have all the answers. That might have happened with Lucas. His ego kept getting fed and soon enough he wouldn't tolerate anything outside it.

Stevennix did mention having someone else write and direct a new trilogy, and suggested someone like the guy who did Star Trek and Super 8. Seeing how well both of those movies turned out, I couldn't agree more. With any luck we'll have more Star Wars in the future, and done properly this time.

Thanks for the comment flagostomos, always appreciated :) I'll do the third one and maybe another recapping what I thought were the biggest flaws in the prequel films. I'm also compiling a list of the stupid deaths and non-deaths that occurred in these prequels, so lots more to come!


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 5 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

Another hard-hitting review, mrpopo, and voted up for interesting. I suppose, like many people, I was just blinded by the legacy of STAR WARS to such an extent that I had uncritically accepted these prequels as okay, competent efforts, even "pretty cool."

But your hubs have made me see those films in a very different light. Your characterization of the plot is spot on: as you say, one forced plot point after another, in order to pave the way for another series of forced plot points.

However, I am going to defend Anakin's arc of descent into the dark side. On one hand, he seems to be a young man who should have never been trained by the Jedi! On the other hand, to be fair, Anakin is taken onboard at a time of transition for the Republic. There is a transition of philosophy as the Republic becomes the Empire.

Some go with this transition and become imperialists and some reject the "post-9/11" mindset and remain republicans (small 'r') and join the Separatists/Rebels. Even Yoda eventually poses the question "Are we on the wrong side?" He is talking about himself and the Jedi, as well as the good people fighting for the "unity" of the Republic.

Since you mentioned this several times, let me say that we're talking about politics here, and The Force does not automatically allow people to make "correct" analysis and decisions about politics. You talked, before, about how Yoda was not the Yoda we know and love from the original movies.

You got to keep in mind that, with these prequels, we are looking a the character's growth arc in REVERSE! In other words, with these prequels we are seeing Master Yoda as he was (not as he is); the events of the late Republic (just before it became the Empire) changed Yoda, and his personality evolved into what we know it today.

Why did the Jedi not put an end to slavery on Tatooine? Putting aside your quite valid objection (the level of technology which makes human slavery quite unnecessary), I think we should keep in mind the fact that the Jedi were never a social justice movement. They never saw themselves this way.

The Jedi, during the time of the Republic, were basically interplanetary cops or security forces. Their job was to maintain the OVERALL order of the federation. As I understand it, the Republic was a federation of planets bound together for mutual aid and defense. Otherwise, the internal sovereignty of each planet was respected.

And yet we can understand that Anakin would not understand that. On the one hand he is grateful to the Jedi for rescuing himself from slavery and teaching him the ways of the Force, and giving him a better life; at the same time he would have to be resentful of the Jedi for leaving his own mother and the rest of his people in slavery.

There is a conflict within him which can even be understandable in that admittedly piece of bad dialogue between Anakin and Padme -- where the young Jedi praises Obi-Wan with one breath and then slams him with the next.

Anyway, that was just a minor quibble. I agree with you wholeheartedly overall, mrpopo, especially about the stupid ways that fine warriors get their ticket punched!

Another very solid effort. Thanks.


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 5 years ago from Canada Author

Very glad to hear you enjoying these reviews, Winged Centaur! I think you're spot on when you said we are blinded by the legacy of Star Wars and just take it for granted that ALL Star Wars are good, if not as good as the original.

I'm not sure if I really touched Anakin's descent to the dark side - yet. All I'm complaining about is that he's acting as if he's already on the dark side :P there's no descent into it!

I'm not entirely caught up on the politics of Star Wars, but I'm pretty sure the Rebels in movies 4, 5 and 6 are not the same as the Separatists we see in movies 2 and 3. Actually, that would make more sense to see the Jedi are actually on the wrong side (to establish the point that even they could be wrong), but the Separatists begin war against the Republic for no reason! At that point, they're still the Republic - they only become an Empire after Palpatine kills the Jedi and takes over in Episode 3.

The Trade Federation is also part of that Separatist movement, and like the rest of the movement they don't give any mention of why they want to leave the Republic or any demands that they made to the Republic to reach a compromise. Actually they just want Queen Amidala/Padme to be killed, but that's just cause she stopped their attack on naboo. In any case, it's possible that while the Jedi might not be on the "right" side, it's obvious that the Separatist movement is just completely wrong and stupid in all senses, with no "goal" in mind.

I'm not sure if I said that the Force allows for correct analysis of politics or other things, but I think they can certainly "feel" the outcome of scenarios and that could be applicable to politics. But I'm not even advocating for foresight. I'm advocating for common sense. Leaving Dooku alive, sacrificing hundreds of Jedi for almost no reason and using the unauthorized clones (I'm getting ahead of myself here) are just not sensible actions, with the Force or without! Capture Dooku if you must! Use those hundreds of Jedi in better missions before they have to go in a do-or-die scenario! Use the clones if you must combat Dooku's army, but then go to the cloners and try to figure out who ordered these, how he payed for them and the exact characteristics of these clones! In other words, did those clones have any sort of secret codes that makes them all start killing Jedi? I mean, clearly the cloners had to input that feature so they knew about it and would probably notify you if you asked. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I completely understand the character reversal of Obi-Wan (I mean, aside from the character reversal of him being a patient Padawan in Episode 1 to a harsh father figure in Episode 2). But Yoda, he's like 900 years old! How much could he have learned in 20 years? The wisdom should be there by now!

As for Jedi, I picture them more as peace keepers, but you may be right in saying they're more like a police force. I thought their manta for peace and justice shouldn't be restricted by their government radius - like most peacekeepers when they go to missions in other countries, as an example. I guess it's a matter of if they care more about peace and justice to the entire universe or just to their own realm. I think it should be the former.

But even picturing them as a police force, I still find many flaws with them. They might not be a social justice movement, but that goes against their ideals of stopping pain and suffering. Although MANY of their ideals are contradictory to themselves! For instance, how can they value life if they have no emotional connection to them? How can they be compassionate, a complex emotion combining feelings of empathy and sympathy, when they aren't allowed to have feelings? That would be akin to a psychopath who feels no remorse for killing someone! - except backwards, as in the Jedi would feel no reward in saving someone's life.

If they're a sort of security force, they should have better support i.e. ships, technology, weapons to disarm or apprehend a suspect (I'm getting ahead of myself, this is Episode 3). They just kind of sit around and complain about the most trivial issues that no sort of international security force should have to worry about.

I would totally see Anakin not understanding, but the thing is that he neglected the fact that his people and his mother are in slavery for 10 years! And then, after his mother dies, he doesn't even try to free the slaves! How can he resent the Jedi for not saving his mom or the slaves when he didn't seem to try in the first place?

I'm glad you pointed out the poor dialogue between Anakin and Padme. I agree, it is completely understandable that he can praise and resent his master at the same time; what ticks me off is that he gave Padme the advice that would help solve his own dilemma, and then completely ignores it a second later!

Honestly, these are just so minor compared to what happens in Episode 3... it's incredible that it's considered the best of the films when I think, strictly speaking about the plot, it is the absolute WORST. To be fair though, I did enjoy Episode 3 lot more than Episodes 1 and 2, but that might just be because not a lot happens in those two.

Goodness, I basically wrote another essay for this comment! I'm glad you inspired it though Winged Centaur, I think it'll motivate me to set out some time and finally finish Part 3. Thanks again for reading it, and I hope you'll continue to contribute more of your viewpoints. They're always appreciated!


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 5 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

When do you think you'll have part three ready? You're a good movie reviewer.


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks. I've started working on it and a couple of other Star Wars related Hubs, so hopefully soon!


Jason Oleinik profile image

Jason Oleinik 5 years ago from Richmond, BC, Canada

Oh god, I can't wait for part three. It's arguably the better of the three, but the way they make Anakin turn to the dark side is just so badly done.


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 5 years ago from Canada Author

I agree Jason. There are so many things wrong with part 3, even if it the most enjoyable of the prequels. Thanks for the comment!


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

Good hub. I wondered about anikins mom too. It seems like the jedi could have held a bake sale to buy her freedom. I was/am confused about the clone army. To start with if all the clones are from one person are they all named Jango? Also wouldn't they all have the same talents/skills. How could any one clone become a sargent or captain above his brothers?

If the clone army was made without jedi authorization why would the jedi then use them in their war with the seperatist.


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks for the comment ruff. LOL a bake sale. I bet that would work too.

I assume the clones would be given different names. I think there was a clone captain that Obi-Wan referred to as a name or a number. I can't remember.

Some of the clones could have their DNA altered to make them better at leading or following. I know they tampered with the DNA as it was to make them less aggressive and more subordinate than Jango is normally, otherwise they'd have a bunch of individual mercenaries fighting. It wouldn't work in a war.

To answer your last question: the Jedi are dumb.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago

Hey Mr. Popo, you think the prequels are bad? Trust me, you ain't seen crap until you've seen George Lucas' "Star Wars: Holiday Special." Allegedly it's so freakishly bad that Lucas publicly denies it's existence to this day. However, it exists alright, and I watched it too! And trust me, you think the prequels are bad? Trust me, "Star Wars: Holiday Special" makes all the prequels look as great as "The Empire Strikes Back" by comparison. It's that bad. By the way, here's a link to a review I wrote on it if you want to read it, as I think I also have a link in the comment section to the youtube version of the tv movie. Watch it, and cringe! lol

http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Star-Wars-The-Ho...


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 5 years ago from Canada Author

I wouldn't blame George for denying the existence of something that's WORSE than his prequels. I'm almost scared to watch...


adil1978 4 years ago

Another great review. loved the first review and this one is even better!

When can we expect to see part 3 and all that is wrong with the third and final prequel?


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 4 years ago from Canada Author

Hi adil, glad you liked these reviews!

Sadly I wanted to write up part 3 back in August but I wasn't able to watch Episode 3 (just to make sure I get all the details correct) and ended up leaving for vacation prior to starting part 3. Since then I've been swamped with work and school, but I have an idea that will let me be able to get back to writing again. I do have everything in mind on what I want to write, it's just a matter of transferring it to paper (or in this case, Hubpages). So stay tuned!


adam 4 years ago

Great review, I agree with all your points, but when will you have part 3 done and uploaded? I have been waiting for months now.


my_war 4 years ago

still hoping for part III!


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 4 years ago from Canada Author

Hey adam and my_war, I've been pleasantly surprised with the amount of requests for Part III, and I would never have expected such a demand for an article like this (but then again, it is about Star Wars). These articles were done just because I felt like it, but to receive this amount of praise is inspiring, so thank you guys for the feedback.

I want to finish Part III, especially because it has the biggest amount of flaws in all of the 3 films (even though it is the most enjoyable of the 3), but I can't give you a timeline on when I'll get around to doing that. I hope soon though.


James Yolo smith 2 years ago

Do part 3 please


Yuval 2 years ago

Oh man, I know it has been three years but can you please do part III?


Anate profile image

Anate 2 years ago

Yet another excellent review. In all fairness, George Lucas is somewhat following parts of portrayal of Jedi in some pre-movie book series like Tales of the Jedi, where they support a military conquer, who sets up force labor camps. The entire wanting to crush dissidents is apparently not new.

I utterly agree with your side bar on Darth Revan. They way they set up his backstory, and the back story was brilliant. Yet again in those games we see the inactivity of the Jedi Council as they refused to get involved in the Mandalorian War, which forced Revan to disobey their orders.

Finally, there could actually be a logical reason from the Jedi point of view not to free Shimi. They seem to take children away from their parents at a young age so that they do not form emotional (because emotional bonds are bad). Anakin has already formed an emotional bond with his mother, and they now need to make sure that said emotional bond is broken. So they don't free because they want her to have nothing further to do with Anakin's life.


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 2 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks again, Anate.

I'm sure you're playing Devil's Advocate, but if Anakin already has an emotional bond formed with his mother it's in the Jedi's best interests to remove her from Tatooine and give her a semblance of a normal life. As Jedi they should be aware that the Force allows for foresight and empathy links. From their point of view, someone so gifted in the Force such as Anakin could potentially experience powerful visions and feelings of someone he has an emotional bond with. Which is why Anakin had nightmares about his mother in Episode 2, followed by Padme in Episode 3. And if I recall correctly, he told his masters that he was suffering from such nightmares about his mother, and they did next to nothing about it. Had she been freed, he would not be suffering her sufferings as a result of this Force link. She doesn't necessarily need to be a part of his life, but he can take comfort in her being free and relatively safe from harm.

In the end, the recurring failure of the Jedi is their narrow-sighted view of positive emotions. They demand absence of all emotions, as opposed to mastery of them. Look at their Jedi Code:

There is no emotion, there is peace.

There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.

There is no passion, there is serenity.

There is no chaos, there is harmony.

There is no death, there is the Force.

Complete absence or denial of these realities is probably not wise for individuals that are supposed to be guardians of peace and justice in the universe. How can you feel empathy if all you are being is apathetic?

What's interesting is that the original Jedi Code seems to imply not absence of emotion, passion etc. but rather mastery of them:

Emotion, yet peace.

Ignorance, yet knowledge.

Passion, yet serenity.

Chaos, yet harmony.

Death, yet the Force.

As Nelson Mandela once said, "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." The duality of these emotions seem to suggest that their counterparts are not necessarily absences of one another, but masteries of them, and that the Jedi are mistaken in attempting to suppress emotions altogether rather than master them.


Anate profile image

Anate 2 years ago

I totally agree with you with the Jedi's mistake. I probably was playing less devil's advocate and more mocking the Jedi as I really hated the entire no emotional bond thing . This is mainly because I can give at least three good examples of times emotional bonds saved people from the Dark Side. You have Ulic Qel Droma after he killed his brother Cay Qel Droma in Tales of the Jedi (though I did not particularly like that series). You have Bastila and Revan in KOTOR where Bastila is drawn back to the Light Side due to the emotional connection with Revan. You also have the greatest example of them all with Vader in Return of the Jedi. So I actually do agree with you. That was more mockery of the Jedi than anything else. I probably should have noted something there to make that a bit clearer.


mrpopo profile image

mrpopo 2 years ago from Canada Author

Three awesome examples. I bet you could make a great Hub about emotional bonds with Jedi, using those three. Maybe even include Jedi who go against the grain like Qui-Gon or Jolee Bindo.


Anate profile image

Anate 2 years ago

I may just do that actually.

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