Some people, myself included, loved The Last Jedi. A lot of people hated it. That's fine!
Everyone's entitled to their opinions — I hated Rogue One, after all, but I'm happy for those who got enjoyment from it. But when people say The Last Jedi is 'worse than the prequels' I have to question things because really, have you guys seen those movies recently?
I finished up 2017 with pain and suffering this year by re-watching the prequel trilogy back-to-back, and let me tell you: there's no way these movies are better in any way than The Last Jedi, no matter how much you dislike porgs. Let's recap. Here are 20 reasons why the Star Wars prequels are super bad and everyone just needs some perspective.
1. Those terrible racial stereotypes
The movie literally opens on Nute Gunray, the Gumby-looking alien Viceroy of the Trade Federation who just happens to have an insultingly stereotypical Asian-esque accent. Because he's an evil... trade... something.
Seriously this movie opens with some pretty dense stuff about trade and taxes that I don't think anyone has ever cared about. As a kid I had no idea what was going on there, and as an adult I don't care enough to decipher it. Next!
2. Jar Jar Binks
Yes, he's the obvious butt of the joke, but it's easy to forget the fact that he appears in pretty much the first ten minutes of The Phantom Menace from within a sea of plasticky CG animals running from plasticky CG droid tanks. The effects in this movie do not stand up. Were they rendered on a Nintendo 64?
From this point onwards, we're stuck with Jar Jar Binks forever (spoilers: they don't kill him off) and I don't think I need to convince you how awful he is.
3. That's not how the Force works
What really stuck out during this rewatch was just how keen George Lucas was to show everyone his cool Force tricks. Almost every battle scene has a shot where one of the Jedi uses a force push to knock over a bunch of droids, intercut in a way that really slows the action down. I don't get it. It's not really badass to just... push someone over.
The first Force push in the trilogy became a bit of a meme back in the day, but it's certainly not the only one in the films. Then add in all the times Jedi use the force for mundane things like opening and closing doors or, you know, Anakin force-floating Padme's pear (which she's trying to eat with a knife and fork for some reason) across a table only to cut it THE WRONG WAY and then send it back. The Force is sacred, guys.
Okay guys it's about to get cool, we're going to meet young Darth Vader. Wait... that's him? That creepy little blonde kid who's already hit on Padme twice despite the fact that he hasn't even hit puberty yet? Okay.
Also can we accept that maybe Qui-Gon is not a great person? He literally steals Anakin's blood to test it for midichlorians, telling the kid that he's just checking his health. Pretty sure that's super unethical.
5. The pod race
Let's be real, the pod race was actually really cool and holds a special place in my heart (mostly thanks to the fantastic Nintendo 64 game) but the reason for having it seems flimsy and kid-Anakin makes everything annoying. Can we do pod racing again but good please, Star Wars?
6. Darth Maul's scooter
Darth Maul is a badass. The scooter is not.
7. I move for a vote of no confidence in George Lucas
What is this, an Australian leadership spill? As topical as it is for us Aussies these days, Amidala's solemn motion to the Senate feels like it's meant to be a big iconic moment, but it's really kind of boring.
8. That fake Death Star
Where do I even start with the fake Death Star? It's obviously included as a kind of throwback to its corresponding movie in the original trilogy, A New Hope, but there was no establishment of what this big, slightly ball-like space station actually was until the fighter pilots go up to attack it. It could be an orbital hospital for all we know.
Anakin accidentally ends up here too despite being literally nine years old, and is somehow able to fly right up to the reactor core without anyone even noticing, let alone trying to stop him. I really feel bad for all the professional fighter pilots who were shown up by this kid who snuck onto their mission.
9. This is how you ruin Duel Of The Fates
Duel of the Fates (and, by extension, Darth Maul) is the only good part about this film. In fact it's probably the best lightsaber fight sequence in any Star Wars film ever.
Only, I forgot that it was intercut with gratuitous scenes of Jar Jar Binks being a 'bombad general' and killing lots of droids through sheer incompetence. Please end this suffering.
10. It only gets worse from here
Some people think The Phantom Menace is the worst movie of the trilogy. I want to know if they've seen Attack of the Clones. It's a full 142 minutes of shit all happening, with the main focus being on the poorly-done love story and the best character, Obi Wan, being wasted on a weird subplot that only exists to explain clones and ruin Boba Fett for everyone.
11. Anakin just... stop
If you thought kid Anakin was bad, teen Anakin is here to ruin your day. There's a scene in this film where he complains to the girl he's trying to woo that his teacher just doesn't get him, and that he's probably already better than Obi Wan anyway. I think this is meant to count as flirting.
Here are some other lines that I think are meant to count as flirting:
- "Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi's life. So you might say, that we are encouraged to love."
- "From the moment I met you, all those years ago, not a day has gone by when I haven't thought of you. And now that I'm with you again... I'm in agony. The closer I get to you, the worse it gets. The thought of not being with you- I can't breath. I'm haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me. My heart is beating... hoping that kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me."
- (Then, when she doesn't answer) "If you are suffering as much as I am, please tell me."
- "I killed them all. And not just the men. But the women... and the children too."
- "You're asking me to be rational. That is something that I know I cannot do. Believe me, I wish I could just wish away my feelings, but I can't."
- "So have you, grown more beautiful. For a senator, I mean."
- "I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere."
And here are some of the lines that are Padme clearly trying to shut him down:
- "Please don't look at me like that. It makes me feel uncomfortable."
- "Ani, you'll always be that little boy I knew on Tatooine."
- "We live in a real world, come back to it."
The hardest suspension of disbelief in this movie isn't spinning jumping lightsaber master Yoda, it's believing that somehow Padme found Anakin endearing enough to fall for him. He's the kind of dude you ghost on Tinder after he starts getting way too intense and telling you about all his childhood trauma straight away.
It feels like the first half of the movie is written by someone who doesn't believe Padme could ever get with Anakin, and the second half is written by someone who is stressing out because them being together is kind of the whole basis for the third movie.
12. Padme is in a bucket
Padme is in a bucket. Padme spends an unreasonably long time trying to get out of said bucket.
13. Congratulations, you just made lightsabers uncool
I didn't think it was possible, but the huge battle scene on Geonosis made Jedi look really uncool. There's something about all those lightsabers flashing around that just becomes really comical really quickly. It looks more like some kind of MMO, where every character is a player-made custom with clashing outfits and special powers. Plus, how do so many Jedi die when we've already seen single Jedi holding off way more droids than were in the arena?
I don't think I want to be a Jedi anymore.
14. There's comic relief, then there's this
Even with Jar Jar in the picture, I think this wins the prize for worst comic relief gag that's dragged out the longest.
15. Yoda with a lightsaber
I think I liked it better when Yoda's mastery of the force was left to the imagination.
16. Ewan McGregor gives up on the franchise
By the time we get to Revenge of the Sith, you really get the feeling that Ewan McGregor has given up on trying to salvage something good from this trilogy and is just hamming it up. This makes Obi Wan's face off against Grevious (hey new evil character for no reason) just really odd.
From "I am the senate" to "UNLIMITED POWER" Palpatine's rise in Revenge of the Sith has become such a meme I don't even know if it's good or bad anymore. At least it's entertaining.
18. Anakin doesn't know how childbirth works
Seriously, the thing that makes Darth Vader become Darth Vader is his concern that his wife is going to die in childbirth? All of this could have been avoided if he'd just, you know, talked to an obstetrician.
19. Quickest dark side turn ever
Though Revenge is by far the strongest movie in the prequel trilogy, this is still the most heinous offence in this list. Anakin's turn to the dark side is pretty much the entire point of this trilogy, and when it comes down to it, it just doesn't work.
How does Anakin go from "Mace Windu shouldn't kill this evil Sith lord because that's not the Jedi way" to "let's kill this entire temple full of younglings" in the space of about thirty minutes? Poor form, prequels, poor form.
20. I have the high ground!
Worst metaphor ever, also Darth Vader's terrible injuries and scarring is because... he couldn't jump high enough. This is the moment Star Wars fans were waiting for for 22 years?
If you have a spare day and no regard for your mental health, it's worth rewatching the prequels if only to remind yourself: Yes, they are exactly as terrible as you remember them being. So say what you will about The Last Jedi, but as Star Wars fans we can never forget the catastrophe that was the prequel trilogy. After all, it's not a story the Jedi would tell you...