More ‘Star Wars‘ films? Yay! Hold your yays folks, because these are the prequels. Made 20-odd years after the original trilogy, George Lucas promised a thrilling new journey into a galaxy far, far away showing the Jedi Order at the height of its power, the Clone Wars and the young Anakin Skywalker’s transition from Jedi knight to dark lord of the Sith, Vader. What we got was long boring speeches about the government in the senate, terrible dialogue, even worse acting, dodgy CGI and idiotic characters. A trilogy of films far, far away from the glory of the original trilogy….
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
It starts fairly promisingly. Actual Jedi knights fighting battle droids if pretty cool. But then it very quickly becomes boring senate meetings, wooden acting and bad dialogue. The Sith are making a comeback after thousands in the shadows. Jedi knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi are tasked with protecting the dull and always annoying Queen Amidala from the evil Trade Federation, who want to… you know what? I barely even know! It’s so boring that I can barely keep track of the convoluted and dire plot. I just don’t have the attention span for it!
There are a few small good additions. Darth Maul is a pretty good villain and the lightsaber fights are pretty great. Skillful, quick and well choreographed, they are a real update from the wood-chopping of the originals. That being said, it doesn’t make up for the amount of terrible characters and how stupid they are. Jar Jar Binks is obviously the worst thing ever created so I won’t waste my time of him. Qui-Gon is an idiot for taking on the annoying young Anakin as an apprentice, despite everyone telling him not to because they sense he’ll turn out super evil. The bad guys are idiots, the good guys are idiots. This film was made by idiots…
JACK’S SCORE: 1/5
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
As if the franchise couldn’t get any worse, they prove me wrong. ‘Attack of the Clones‘ is in my humble opinion THE WORST Star Wars film there is. It’s way too long and nothing happens. Obi-Wan is investigating a bounty hunter which leads him to discover a clone army ordered by a dead Jedi which, might I add, is never explained! I know it has been in books and comics since, but the movie gives no indication as to what the hell is going on! Anakin and Padme go on their own little adventure and their ‘relationship’ with each other begins. I put relationship in quote marks because it’s barely a relationship. Saying you don’t like sand is not a good conversation starter. The dialogue is the worst!
Christopher Lee as a Sith lord is a pretty casting chocie, but all he does is wander around talking rubbish until he is replaced with a CGI stunt double to fight a CGI, flipping and bouncing rubber ball version of Yoda. It’s horrible. It feels like nothing in this films is really there. CGI droids fighting CGI clone troopers in a CGI landscape. It all looks rather horrible. There’s very little to like in this film except for the noise that Jango Fett’s rockets make in space and a brief fight he has with Obi-Wan. This film ruins Anakin as a character, ruins Boba Fett more than him being an idiot in ‘Return of the Jedi‘ and ruins what could have been a really interesting story in the Clone Wars.
JACK’S SCORE: 1/5
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Things finally start looking up for the prequels in this, half good half bad final entry. This time the Clone Wars are coming to an end as Darth Sidious makes his final moves in order to take control of the galaxy and crush the Jedi Order. Right so, the things I like. The transition of Anakin into Vader is fairly good. You get why he’s doing it, even if it’s a bit stupid and it plays out like a bad soap opera. The lightsaber fights are pretty good. Anakin vs Obi-Wan is pretty epic, even if it does go on for a little too long and change settings more than a videogame boss battle. The story isn’t too bad overall. There’s slightly less politics and more plot progression and action. General Grievous is a good villain while he lasts and the CGI battle look a bit better.
With that being said, there’s still a lot of bad stuff. The writing doesn’t get any better with every sentence sounding like it was written with crayons. The CGI is still a bit iffy in some places and some of the ‘sets’ (green screen backdrops) just too fake and empty. The story is a bit long and drawn out with a lot of sequences that could have been cut. Some stuff is a bit poor (I’m looking at you Yoda vs Palpatine) but I’d say at least half of it works. It lines up with the original trilogy quite well too I would say, and provides quite a fitting wrap up to what should have been a much better trilogy.
JACK’S SCORE: 3/5