I spent the first half of the day ranting about Prequel bashers, triggered mainly by reading the following tweet on Twitter: "Talk to your kids about the Star Wars Prequels, because if you don't, somebody else will." Cue Liz's back immediately getting up, and me bristling as I typed this reply: "Talk to your kids about SW Prequel bashers, because if you don't, somebody else will. ;)"
I get so annoyed when I see or hear people ragging on the prequels, because NEWSFLASH, some of us BECAME STAR WARS FANS by watching the Prequels! I am 23 years old. Therefore, I wasn't born yet in 1977 when Episode IV was released. Or in 1980, when Episode V was released. OR in 1983, when Episode VI was released! My father tried to introduce me to the Original Trilogy when I was twelve, and guess what? I fell asleep about ten minutes into A New Hope, and woke as the credits were rolling. I then pronounced it the most boring movie I'd ever seen, and told my father that under no circumstances was I watching the others. I consider it one heck of a miracle that Dad managed to get me anywhere NEAR the theatre in 1999 when Phantom Menace opened. After all, it had the "Star Wars" label attached, and I had it in my mind at that point that suggesting, "Want to watch Star Wars?" was equivalent to, "Want to watch grass grow?"
I know, I know, the above all sounds absurd now. I adore Star Wars. I write fanfiction. I edit a SW fandom newsletter. I'm neck-deep (to the tune of 564 pages and 236,995 words, thank you very much) into a SW AU fic. But once upon a time, I hated the whole damn concept. It wasn't until I'd seen TPM and had a chance to connect with a young woman named Padmé Amidala that I was even slightly more favourably disposed towards George Lucas' creation. And I had watched the Prequels, all three of them, multiple times before I would consider trying the OT again.
And even now, A New Hope, the film with which many SW fans seemed to fall so much in love, doesn't do a whole lot for me. I accept it as part of canon, I always watch it when I hold a Star Wars marathon, and it will have a significant part in TIS. But it's not my favourite. In fact, it's my least favourite SW movie. Episodes III and V are my faves, the ones I'd take with me to a desert island, the ones I could watch over and over again. I will always pick the Prequels over the Originals because of Padmé.
Does that make me a blasphemer? Well, I suppose it must. Not that I'm not used to this, mind you. ;) Unpopular opinions are practically my modus operandi. And I will very happily stand up and state unequivocally that I LOVE THE PREQUEL TRILOGY. I was raised on it, just as OT preferers were raised on the OT. I identify with its characters, just as OT preferers identify with OT characters. I could watch it over and over, just like OT preferers could watch the OT. Also:
- You say you stood up and cheered when Leia grabbed a blaster from Luke and shot down the Death Star hallway before ordering Han & Co. into the garbage disposal? Well, I stood up and cheered when Padmé Amidala planned the successful incursion into Theed in TPM, and I cheered even more loudly when she took an active role in that plan's execution.
- You say Han/Leia was your very first childhood OTP? While I will not dispute the inherent AWESOMENESS of that ship, I will also say that Anakin/Padmé was mine. Crappy dialogue and all. Deal with it.
- You say you found inspiration in the redemption story between Luke and Anakin? I find inspiration in that too, but the breakdown of the brother-bond between Anakin and Obi-Wan in Episode III was just as compelling for me, and just as likely to play on my emotions. More likely, in fact, than the ending of A/P's relationship.
Those are just three examples, but I could go on. For almost every point supporting the OT, I can find a counterpoint for the PT. There's an argument - friendly, but still an argument - that Katie and I have been having ever since I got into Star Wars, that centres on the question: "Which trilogy will you show your kids first?" She's going to start with the OT. I will start with the PT.
Look, folks, I'm not disputing your personal right to prefer the Original Trilogy, not at all. That's your opinion and you are perfectly entitled to it. But, all I'm asking for is a bit of simple courtesy. You wouldn't like someone to constantly demean and insult you for prefering the Originals, would you? Well, PT-lovers don't enjoy it much either when it's done to us. The bottom line is that ALL OF US, whether we like the PT or the OT, love Star Wars. And in my humble opinion, that's all we need.
ETA: As several astute f-listers have mentioned (well, more astute than I, anyway!), the 4th thing is probably just because it fits into "May the Fourth be with you!" But I liked my explanation better. ;)