Saturday, February 13

Worst 8 Star Wars Prequel moments

    Ah Star Wars, one of the biggest and most important sci-fi/fantasy franchises in the world. Apart from the six main movies, there are tons of video games, hundreds of novels, comics, several TV shows...a movie based on one of the TV shows. To sum it up, the Star Wars franchise is huge. The original Star Wars movie is widely considered as one of the most important films of all time and the fact that the series is still going strong 33 years later certainly says something. George Lucas, the original creator of the series, only directed the first of the original movies. Just over twenty years later, he decided to direct three prequels. While the prequels did have their moments, they did not live up to the original trilogy in any way. With that, let's look at some of the worst moments of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy.


8. Battledroids - In the original trilogy, the enemy used Storm Troopers. They were humans in full body armor, and despite their inability to shoot our heroes, they were a frightening army. Heck, the name Storm Troopers has been used in history; infiltration specialists hired by Germany near the end of World War 1. So what replacement does the prequel trilogy provide us? Battledroids! OK, the concept of having robotic enemies kind of works, but when these droids are as fragile and silly-looking as they are, they simply can't be taken seriously. It doesn't help when they're controlled by a space ship orbiting the planet, or that they sound like cartoon characters in both their voices and their dialogue.

    In Episode 2, we got Super Battledroids, and they were a huge improvement. They smashed regular battledroids out of the way and fired lasers from their wrists. They looked like they could even take on terminators, and they could actually kill Jedi knights. These new super Battledroids were cool...until they spoke in Episode 3. They ended up being just as weak and silly as the regular battledroids, thus destroying all credibility they once had. The sad thing is these Battledroids could have been really cool, but in the end they just suck. After watching how badly the Clone troopers pwned the droids on Geonosis, one must wonder how the Clone Wars lasted three full years or why it was so famous in the times of the Empire.

7. R2D2 and C3PO - There are several things wrong with these two droids in the prequel trilogy, so I'll just talk about them here. In the original trilogy, these two robots were a pair. They worked together, they traveled together, and they had plenty of funny moments together. It makes sense that the prequel trilogy would show us how they originally met, but why did it take so long for them to join up? They never really paired up until the end of Episode 3. Yes, there were a couple mildly amusing moments between them in Episode 2, but that was it. Not only that, but C3PO doesn't even act like he did in the original trilogy. In the originals he's often scared and insecure, he complains a lot, but he's also very loyal to his master. In this new trilogy, he's just boring and helpless.

    Secondly, why did Anakin Skywalker have to be 3PO's creator? That's just cheap. They seriously couldn't have come up with a better origin for the golden interpreter droid? At least R2D2's origin made sense; a repair droid on a space ship. But C3PO being made by Luke's father in a small hut on Tatooine?

    Thirdly, what's with R2's rocket boosters? We never see any evidence of R2 having rocket boosters in the original trilogy or in Episode 1, so why does he suddenly have them in Episode 2? Also, if you decide to give a droid functions he never had in the future, you should at least give a reason why it never uses them anymore. We never get an explanation about where these rocket boosters came from or where they disappeared to. The way I see it, they're just lazy plot convenience. There's also a huge plot-hole with R2 in the prequel trilogy. In the original movie, R2 describes Obi-Wan as a former master, but in the Prequel trilogy Obi-Wan is never R2's master.

6. Darth Maul/Count Dooku/General Grevious - Don't get me wrong - Darth Maul was awesome, and Dooku wasn't too bad himself while he lasted. Grevious, well...he could have been better. Despite their short screen time, these three villains improved their respective movies whenever they showed up. Darth Maul was mysterious, he was exceedingly skilled with his lightsaber, and he was menacing. Christopher Lee as Dooku had charisma despite the crappy script he was given. Grevious was tough, really really tough.

    So what was wrong with these three villains? They hardly had any screen time. Part of what made Vader awesome in the original trilogy was the fact that you actually saw him do stuff - plenty of stuff. You saw him kill his own men, interrogate prisoners, and hire some of the most vile Bounty Hunters in the galaxy. Apart from the awesome lightsaber fight Maul had at the end of Episode 1, all you really saw him do was walk around with other bad guys and say a few sentences. Darth Maul is nothing but wasted potential. Dooku was similar. You only really saw him at the end of Episode 2, and he was killed off within the first eight minutes of Episode 3. Grevious was only in Episode 3, and all you saw him do was fight. The fight between him and Obi-Wan could have been awesome, but it just feels cheap.

    What would have worked much better is if there was only one or two of these guys. Make a combination of Dooku and Darth Maul and you could have even topped Darth Vader as the ultimate movie villain. I know Grevious is from the Clone Wars TV show, but he just feels like a wasted effort. They should have just had Dooku last half-way through the movie instead - that way we'd actually have a villain to worry about rather than just throw away three potentially awesome villains. The worst part - both Dooku and Maul were killed too easily.

5. Anakin Skywalker - Darth Vader was awesome. He is one of the greatest movie villains of all time. He was cold, he was merciless, he was...just plain evil. He killed off his own officers just for making mistakes, he threw people into walls, and he choked people without touching them. When he turned back to the light side of the force in Return of the Jedi, you saw him struggle throughout the movie before finally snapping.. So how do they introduce Darth Vader to us? As an annoying 9-year-old. Thus, we learn the easiest way to ruin one of the greatest villains of all time. Not only that, but he only progresses into a winy teenager in episodes 2 and 3. Even worse though, both actors portraying Anakin in the prequel trilogy simply cannot act. Jake Lloyd (episode 1) would have trouble out-acting a piece of wood, and portrays one of the most annoying main characters ever in a high budget movie. Hayden Christensen isn't much better either, although at least the casting was consistent.

    The worst part about Anakin Skywalker however, is how easily he turns to the dark side of the force. In "Return of the Jedi", Darth Vader struggles with internal conflict throughout the entire movie; especially when Luke Skywalker is captured. In Episode 3 however, his conversion takes place in less than five sentences. If this change was more drawn out, it could have worked, but here it just comes across as lazy. To make this even worse, we had to hear the new Vader shout "Nooooooo!" like the winy brat he is. I will give the prequels this though, the fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan was awesome, and for the most part the second half of Episode 3 was pretty good.

4. Anakin/Padme love story - There is simply no chemistry here. Part of the blame is on Hayden Christensen's poor acting, but most of the blame here lies on the terrible dialogue between the two. For evidence, let's look at the following conversation:

Anakin: "You are so... beautiful." 
Padmé: "It's only because I'm so in love." 
Anakin: "No, it's because I'm so in love with you." 
Padmé: "So love has blinded you?" 
Anakin: "Well, that's not exactly what I meant." 
Padmé: "But it's probably true."

    In addition to conversations like this, we have frolicking in the meadows of Naboo, conversations about sand, and other cringe-worthy conversations. Also noteworthy, Padme is five years older than Anakin. While age differences like that in a relationship isn't quite as uncommon as it used to be, that's still pretty extreme. Especially when you consider that the first time they met, he was nine and she was fourteen - yet they were still attracted to each other. I'm sorry, but that's kind of creepy. They only have one well acted scene together, and that's in Episode 3...when they're half-way across the city from one another. That's pretty sad. Also note worty is how Padme doesn't seem to age throughout the trilogy, even though there's a 13-year difference between Episodes 1 and 3.

3. Anakin accidentally taking down the Droid Control Ship - Ok, I can accept that Anakin shows remarkable engineering and piloting skills for his age. I can accept that he has enough natural skills in the force to "feel" his way through a podrace. What I cannot accept is that he accidentally enters a space battle and destroys a large capital ship. He spends nearly half the battle figuring out his little Naboo Space Fighter ship, and yet nobody shoots him down. Yes, this scene was better than the comical Gungan fight on the planet surface and the forgettable palace shootout. Still, this scene is unbelievably stupid.

    When Luke Destroyed the Death Star in the original Star Wars, you believed it. This was because Luke had already been described as a good pilot, and he would have been given a crash course on flying his X-wing. Add a natural sensitivity to the force and some introductory lessons from Obi-Wan, and you have a believable scenario. On the other hand, throw in a 9-year-old with no training, no battle experience, and no idea how his space fighter works, and...I simply cannot believe this. More than anything else, this scene just feels like a rip-off.

2. Jar Jar Binks - You probably saw this one coming. Jar Jar Binks is by far the worst character in the Star Wars franchise. He is annoying, he is useless, and the worst part - he never dies. All throughout Episode 1, he's bumbling around, saying stupid things in his annoying language. His clumsy acts of comedy fail harder than the failed comedy in Superman 3, and that's saying a lot. One of the worst parts is when he gets his tongue electrocuted and constantly speaks gibberish. Fortunately, his role is drastically reduced in Episodes 2 and 3, but we never get to see him die. Worse yet, his voice can be heard in the DVD edition of Return of the Jedi. Jar Jar Binks - the moment he came on screen was the moment the prequel trilogy died. So what could be worse than Jar Jar in the prequel trilogy? Well...it's very closely related.

1. Gungan army vs. Droid army - What is this? I have no idea what this scene is or what crackhead came up with this. Oh wait, George Lucas. The Droid Control Ship battle may have been stupid, but at least we sort of cared; at least it was Star Wars. This scene is just ridiculous. This battle is beyond silly; it's an embarrassment. You have Gungans using catapults and sling shots against an army of droids using blasters and tanks. This battle should have ended in less than a minute. Instead, the battle just drags on and on. Besides, if the Gungans have the technology to build an anti-laser sheild, shouldn't they have lasers themselves? Maybe something even more advanced? On the other hand, if the droids can walk through the shields, why can't the tanks drive through them? Beyond being just flat out silly, this battle just doesn't make any sense. Also, Jar Jar Binks doesn't die here either, which only makes this battle worse. I've seen worse battles in movies, but never a sillier or more annoying battle.


    There you have it, the 8 dumbest moments in the Star Wars Prequel trilogy. There are still moments that work in the prequels, like some of the lightsaber fights and the battle of Geonosis. Overall though, the original trilogy is by far the superior trilogy. If I ever show the Star Wars series to any kids I might have in the future, I'll most likely stick to the originals.

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