Today is May Fourth, which has been adopted by Star Wars fans as a bit a punned holiday.
I first watched Star Wars in sixth grade. I walked in during a viewing of Return of the Jedi, and was so confused as to what was going on. I thought that there was some strange thing going on that every time that blond kid hit the machine man, he gained a maniacal part.
Well, my friends decided that was not going to stand, and eventually I watched all of Star Wars (well, until recently. Still need to watch VII). I watched Phantom Menace first, then the original trilogy. I think this set me up for an interesting look at the trilogy. Many of my friends grew up with the originals. They had time to build expectations for the Prequels. Thus they hated the prequels a little bit and I actually was able to enjoy them.
Not that I don’t see the flaws (and quite a few point to Lucas himself as a cause despite the blame I see cast towards characters and casting). The original trilogy was made in a 7 year period. They were right along side one another, and limited in the same ways by technology. The Prequels had 30 years of tech advancement. It gave Lucas & Company the chance to widen the scope of the universe they were playing in. Only I think Lucas decided this was his chance to take to the editing pen again and made too many small changes that make the fan who watched the original trilogy first and grew up with it go “Wait…that doesn’t fit.”
Prequels in general have this problem. Star Trek Enterprise had this problem, though not nearly as badly as Star Wars. Enterprise was filmed 32 years or so after the original series. The average person had more technology around them, and in some way the sets looked more advanced then the sets of what was supposed to take place 100 years later. Simply because they had to update it to be compatible with the reality.
It also had problems because it was new history and had to fit in with the older series, which didn’t always prove to be easy. And many people with the power to effect the show’s ability to stay floating quit long before the show started making strides in connecting it to the older series.
Of course, going back to Star Wars, I’ll have to see what almost 20 years with the Prequels (Phantom Menace came out in 1999)has settled in and biased me against (or for) the new movie.