Perhaps the most notorious of all cinematic prequels (and sequels) are the Star Wars prequels. The first three episodes of the most beloved space-age saga left fans worried about the future of the franchise. While they weren't the bad, most loyal audiences couldn't help but compare it to the caliber of the first three films. And while I agree that they're not on the same level, they're still worth watching as a Star Wars Fan. Here are a few reasons why.
They Provided Context
As much as I enjoyed what was going on in the first few films, I didn't know what the hell was going on. Suddenly, we were part of this outer space saga with imprisoned princesses, talking robots, and villain who really needed his inhaler! And as much as the legendary Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi and little Yoda tried to establish this world's backstories with their narrations, it was still too hard to absorb. We all just enjoyed the action, the comedy, the romance, and more. Enter the prequels! With three moves on offer, now the fans got to know why everything was what it was in the first trilogy. Everything made perfect sense!
They Established the Mythology of Star Wars
More than just your average space-age adventure stories, the Star Wars prequels helped establish the mythology of it all. They introduced to us the kingdoms that reigned in the "galaxy far far away," what the force really was and its importance during the height of the Jedi race. All the fairytale-like stories that helped build the wonderful world of the first Star Wars movies, they were better defined in this trilogy. Perhaps the most memorable of them was the love story of Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker. How the former died and left Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker as orphans to how the latter became the most feared villain in the original trilogy.
They Made it Grandiose
Admit it, as much as they pulled it off, the special effects of the first movies pale in comparison to the prequels and the present sequels. With the advent of CGI at the time, the filmmakers behind the Star Wars prequels were able to concoct a life-like galaxy far far away that you'd love to visit. The characters were no longer just in spaceships, forests, and desserts. Suddenly they were in grand kingdoms, ostentatious senate halls, and even cool Jedi training facilities. The world seemed more real, and while the original trilogy will always be better, this is an ace the prequels will always have over them.
They Made the Star Wars World More Real
Beyond creating a grandiose world that was more life-like, their creatures, robots, and other characters also seemed more real. Admit, as much as you marveled at Jabba the Hut, that big-a** lizard thing could only ut out its tongue and wink. It was obviously a puppet, and while it was a very good one, the amazing aliens and space beings in the prequels were a lot more convincing. Take Jarjar Binks, for instance. I know many consider him the be the worst character in the whole franchise (the long-eared di**!), but you can't deny he seemed especially real and life-like, albeit annoying!
They Expanded the Fandom
I'm sorry keyboard warriors, Star Wars is for everyone! It's not just for the middle-aged nerds who saw the original trilogy when they were kids. It's for everyone and the Star Wars prequel opened it up to more fans and audiences. Suddenly, young boys wanted to be investors of robots and gadgets. Young girls wanted to be queens of Naboo (and wear sick costumes too!). And parents wanted to raise their teenagers as well as young Obi-Wan did with adolescent Anakin Skywalker. The prequels better established the family-friendly narrative of Star Wars by involving other dynamics into the mix that was familiar to a wider audience.
The next time you want to brush off the star Wars prequels, try watching it again. You might see that it did less harm to the franchise than you might think!