My Top 10 Favorite Things About The Prequels

In honor of Prequel Appreciation Day, I decided to participate in The Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Society’s event this year. If it weren’t for the Prequel Trilogy, I probably would not be a Star Wars fan. The Phantom Menace was the first movie I saw, and after watching it three times in order to completely understand everything that was going on, I decided to watch the other five movies “just once” to see what happened to Anakin Skywalker (who I knew somehow became Darth Vader). Well, I found the story so amazing that I had to watch the movies again, and again, and again. Then I discovered there were books…

But back to the point of this post. Here is my list of the top 10 things I love about the Prequel Trilogy:

10) The Music

All of John William’s Star Wars music is amazing, but the Prequel music in particular is on a whole other level. My personal favorites are Across the Stars and Battle of the Heroes.

9) The Books

The novelizations of the movies are awesome themselves (especially the ROTS novel by Matthew Stover) but without the PT we wouldn’t have great stories like Outbound Flight, Rogue Planet, The Last of the Jedi (series), and The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Prequels opened up a whole new era in which authors could tell exciting stories. The Prequels also had a huge influence on some of the later post-ROTJ novels, like the Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi series.

8) The Costumes

There’s no comparing the costumes of the PT to those of the OT. The wardrobe of Padme Amidala (deservingly) gets the most attention, but the costumes of other senators and royalty are pretty awesome too. Even the Jedi and bounty hunters get some cool apparel.

7) The Planets

Naboo, Coruscant, Kamino, Geonosis, Kashyyyk…there are so many amazing places in the galaxy far, far away, and the Prequels showed us a lot more of them. How could you not admire the waterfalls of Naboo, the soaring skyscrapers of Coruscant, or even the stormy waters of Kamino?

6) The Battle of Geonosis

I generally find large battles boring compared to the other scenes of the movies, but I love the Battle of Geonosis. It is one of my favorite scenes in the entire saga. It’s awesome to see so many Jedi in action at once, and the start of The Clone Wars is such an important moment. Plus I get to see my two favorite characters, Obi-Wan and Padmé, in action!

5) The Romance

Forbidden love…there’s something so fascinating about Anakin and Padmé’s story. I love to watch their relationship grow from friendship in TPM, to deep love in AOTC, and finally heartbreaking tragedy in ROTS. My favorite Ani/Padme scene is the meadow picnic from AOTC, but they’re all great in their own way.

4) The Jedi And Lightsaber Battles

As I mentioned earlier, TPM was the first Star Wars movie that I watched, so I didn’t have Obi-Wan’s brief explanation from ANH or any of the other background information on the Jedi from the OT. I found the concept of those weird guys in robes with laser swords pretty strange and confusing at first, and I don’t remember when exactly I got a good grip on what the Force was. But even though they were strange, I immediately found the Jedi and their power intriguing. It’s great to see them in their prime during the Prequel Trilogy, before they were nearly wiped out. And of course part of what makes the Jedi so cool is how skilled they are with lightsabers. The PT has some amazing lightsaber choreography and very emotional battles.

3) The Complex Storylines

I often hear complaints that the Prequels are too complicated and confusing—but that’s why I think they’re so great. There’s so much depth to each plot and you really have to pay attention and think to understand everything that’s happening. That’s a positive thing to me, not a negative. With Palpatine’s subtle manipulations, the deception involved with the Clone Wars, and the tragedy of Anakin’s fall, how could anyone ever be bored?

2) Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan is just an all-around great character. He’s got a bunch of witty one-liners, he’s great with a lightsaber, and he’s the perfect model of what a Jedi was supposed to be at the time. His relationship with Anakin—moving from skeptical disinterest to brotherly love and finally tragic heartbreak—is one of the best things about the Prequel Trilogy. The Obi-Wan we see in the Prequels definitely expands upon the old hermit we meet in ANH.

1) Padmé Amidala

And finally, my absolute favorite thing about the Prequels: Padmé Amidala. I was immediately drawn to her character and she remains my favorite character today. She was a strong, independent woman but she also knew when she needed help. She served her planet and her people from a very young age, and spent her life trying to make the galaxy a better place. She continuously put other people’s needs before her own. She loved Anakin with all her heart and never gave up on the idea that there was good inside him. She preferred peace and diplomacy, but wasn’t afraid to fight when necessary. She was kind, beautiful, and idealistic—someone that I could look up to. And of course, she had a gorgeous wardrobe. 😉 It was actually my interest in Padmé’s legacy (through her grandchildren, especially Jaina) that got me interested in the Expanded Universe, so if it wasn’t for Padmé, Skywalker Family FanPage wouldn’t even exist.

Enjoy Prequel Appreciation Day!

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Anakin vs Ben

I’m currently re-reading NJO, and I’d forgotten just how close Mara and Anakin were. They have a great aunt-nephew relationship, and at times Anakin seems to be more Luke and Mara’s son than Han and Leia’s. He often travels with them, and their adventures inevitably remind me of the ones Luke and Ben have together in FOTJ.

Mara and Anakin are so close that it makes me wonder if she actually knew Anakin better than her own son. She died when Ben was fourteen, so they never really had a chance for as many of those one-on-one bonding moments that Mara and Anakin had. I’m sure she and Ben spent time together, but Anakin was several years older during his adventures with Mara than Ben was when Mara died, so they were able to have more mature, philosophical conversations. Mara was also a great teacher to Anakin and made him question his use of the Force. It’s just sad that Mara never got a chance to have those kinds of experiences with her son.

Ben did get to have those bonding experiences with Luke, however. Their back-and-forth between witty banter and deep conversations in FOTJ give off much the same vibe as Mara and Anakin’s interactions in NJO. It would have been great to see Mara traveling with Luke and Ben (and that no doubt would have increased the amount of sarcasm and humor bouncing around in the Jade Shadow).

I guess my point here is that Anakin’s relationship with Luke and especially Mara was a lot like Ben’s relationship with Luke. It’s just interesting to see the similarities and differences between generations (because let’s face it, Anakin is basically a generation older than Ben and they lived in very different times as far as the state of the galaxy goes). Even though they faced very different challenges, Anakin and Ben are a lot alike, not only in their relationships with Mara and Luke but also in their personalities in general and in how other people perceive them. They were both eager to “save the galaxy” and make a difference, and they were both seen as a hero of their generation of Jedi–and as the next great leader of the Jedi Order. They both handled that burden incredibly well. Obviously that future didn’t happen for Anakin, and we may never know if it happens for Ben.

Just some of my random thoughts 😉