Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Problem with the Star Wars Prequels

I've already gone on record as stating that the prequels were not a total waste. That said, there are certainly big problems with them. My biggest problem with the prequels has nothing to do with Jar Jar Binks or the acting of Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen (although those were definitely bad), but with the fact that the prequels created more questions then they answered.

When I dreamed of Episodes I, II, and III during the dark days between 1983 and 1999, the questions I wanted answered were: 1) what were the clone wars (Answer: Boba Fett's clone brothers verses an army of bumbling robots--lame!) and 2) how did Darth Vader become Darth Vader (Answer: Obi Wan chopped him up on a volcano planet--something we all knew as early as the late 70s). I never wondered about Boba Fett's father or Midi-chlorians. I'm convinced that everything could have been wrapped up in one, much more satisfying movie.

The prequels created a bunch of questions that just don't jive with what we know from the original trilogy. To wit:
  1. Why doesn't Obi Wan recognize R2 D2?
  2. Why doesn't R2 recognize Obi Wan or, for that matter, simply relay to Luke everything he knows about the Jedi Order, his parents, and the Emperor?
  3. Why doesn't Chewbacca stand up for Jedi-kind and his dear friend Yoda when Han bags on them?
  4. How does Leia have any memories of her mother when she dies ten seconds after Leia's birth?
  5. Speaking of Amidala, how did she go from being a strong-minded Senator and droid fighter to someone who dies of a broken heart even though she knows she has two children to care for?
  6. How does Vader become a Jedi ghost when it's established that the only Jedi who knew how to do that prior to Yoda and Obi Wan was Qui Gon Jin?
But my biggest unanswered question from the prequels is this: What was Yoda's plan to take back the galaxy from the Emperor? Because it sure couldn't have been the events that transpired within the original trilogy. If Yoda's plan was to let Luke and Leia overthrow the Empire then why not take the twins with him to the force-shielding planet Dagobah and train them up into awesome Sith-killing Jedi? I've spent an unhealthy amount of time* on that question in the years since Revenge of the Sith premiered and I believe I have an answer to that question. One that I will share tomorrow.

*This is obvious based on the ridiculous length of today's post.


  1. Answers to some of you questions.
    R2D2 and Chewbacca are Rebel secret Agents.

    1 & 2. As we know, the rebel Alliance was founded by Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Bail Organa. If R2D2 was a secret agent neither R2 or Obi-Wan would betray the fact that they know each other to Luke or anyone else until the Empire is destroyed.

    3. Han was just a Pawn for Chewbacca, used as a way for travel around the galaxy and not be noticed since Han was the flashy type. Yet somehow he was the one that got the ride for Obi-wan and Luke. If he is an Agent he wouldn't let on by defending the Jedi.

    4. Leia didn't know she was adopted until Luke told her that she is his sister. So she remembered her adopted mother.

    5. She spent too much time as a senator and the Emperor had time time to poison her mind so he could gain Anikin as his Sith Apprentice. Or as Lucas wants us to believe, she did of a broken heart due to Anikin's actions.

    6. Obi-Wan became more powerful then Vader could possible imagine, who's to say he couldn't teach Vader in the "Jedi Ghost World" how to project himself in the real world?

    Can't help you with your biggest question. Maybe he was just waiting for the Emperor to die so he could go find new padowans to train in the Force?

  2. Wow! Wow!!! All I can say is, Wow!!!! (quote from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, in case it sounded familiar to you)

    You two (Arie and Jon) have achieved a level of Stars Wars fandom I can only dream of (your midi-chlorian level is clearly much higher than mine). Having seen the prequels only once--and the entire time being fixated on Jar Jar--I missed every single enigma that you cite. And what the heck is a Bail Organa? Is that a type of veggie wrap at a new-age restaurant?

    All I know is that I've now got to view the whole 6 movies again to try to figure all this out.

    And finally, how painful would it be to be sent on a mission to the Hoth planet?

  3. I am hoping that by the end of your Star Wars posts this week, we discover that Elder Van Dyke's adopted missionary companion has high levels of midi-chlorian and the two Elders tract into his long-lost, evil father...who later decides to join the church:).

  4. *slumps in chair*

    These are the questions I cry over every day, and the Expanded Universe attempts to bridge the gap, but they still tend to be woefully inadequate. I will, however attempt to answer them.

    1. Obi-Wan doesn't recognize Artoo because he's much older. After 18 years (or so), his memory isn't what it used to be. The R2 series was the most popular of the many that Industrial Automation made. There was probably more than one that looked exactly like our beloved chrome-dome, so Ben probably didn't think "Oh my. This is the same little guy that I knew back at the end of the Republic." Besides, Obi-Wan may have put up a mental block to defend against the extreme emotional pain of Anakin—as close as a brother/child—doing worse than dying. Besides, Obi-Wan never said he didn't *recognize* Artoo. He said he "...never remember[ed] owning a droid." Very interesting.

    I actually answered all of the questions, but the response was waaaaaaaay too long to fit into a response. So I went ahead and resposted the questions and my attempts at answering them over on my blog: - come check it out!

    Jeff Diamond
    501st Stormtrooper TK-5147
    Long Live the Empire!

    1. Jeff,

      Thanks for the insight. I'm quite honored to have a member of the 501st commenting on my blog (although we are definitely pro-rebellion in these parts).

  5. 1. Astromechs all look alike.
    2. Bail modified R2 memories at some point of the two of them hashed out a plan they thought was best.
    3. Chewie owes Han a life debt doesn't he? Maybe so much has happened in his life that it didn't seem important to bring up at the time. Besides, maybe he had his doubt about if Obi-wan was a legitimate Jedi.
    4. Ever since I was little I realized that Leia must have been force sensitive like Luke but differently and always assumed the Force left her with that memory.
    5. Pregnancy Hormones?
    6. I always assumed all jedi can become ghosts and come back and visit family members, I think it's trickier if you're visiting someone else in a variet of locations.

    Just my thoughts.
    -Julia who should be working and not discovering silly websites...

  6. Hey Arie, here is my take...

    1. He is an old geezer, I mean he is so senile he forgot he was fighting and trend his light saber off in the middle of a battle with Vader...

    2. There is a book where they address this. R2 had sections of his memory locked so Luke wouldn't know about some things.

    3. Chewbacca is just being agreeable, he does this again and again, going along with Han's plans throughout the books.

    4. Got me.

    5. I like Jons answer

    6. He learned it from the sith.