How The Prequels Went From Hated To Loved In 10 Years
How Did This Happen?
The Star Wars prequels were once upon a time not as beloved as they were right now in the discourse of Star Wars. Once they were hyped, but when The Phantom Menace was released, one saw a bit of a shift in the discourse. Sometimes, it would turn downright ugly. Talk about how Star Wars had lost some of its magic or how George Lucas didn’t understand his own franchise. All those sorts of things are negative and otherwise. However, around the time of the mid-late 2010’s, we saw a shift in the dynamic regarding the prequel trilogy. More and more people over time started to come out from the woodwork saying that the prequels were their favorite Star Wars movies and in some cases loved them more than the originals.
So what changed, why did the discourse around the prequels start to happen? Was it that people were finally waking up and realizing a genius that they just didn’t understand? Perhaps, or there are other reasons. Do the winds of Star Wars discourse change things over time? Or it something else? What was the great change of the opinions on the galaxy far, far away?
Changing of the Guard
Star Wars fans tend to think of themselves in terms of generations. OT, PT, and now ST; originals, prequels, and sequels. The generation that dominates the fandom tends to dominate the discourse.
For the longest time, of course, it really was just the original trilogy generation that dominated fandom. Sure, there were the books and the Expanded Universe that came out, but that was in many ways a subdivision of the main original trilogy fanbase. It honestly was not until the prequels came about that we saw the first real change in fandom discourse.
The prequels and George Lucas were smart enough to know who their target audience was, and that wasn’t necessarily the older generation, but in reality the new one. The prequels, at the end of the day, were meant for a whole new group of kids who would get into Star Wars. Thus, it may have made older generations feel a bit alienated at the time. And because they still controlled a lot of the discourse media at the time, it was their voices that were amplified the most.
It really wouldn’t be until the 2010’s that the prequel era kids started coming of age. Some as teenagers entering the social media sphere, but not until the later 2010’s when they were full grown adults and began really dominating the social media sphere, with podcasts, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.
The Clone Wars Redemption?
One aspect people have argued back and forth on is whether The Clone Wars TV show redeemed the prequel films. Whether or not that is true seems to be a subject up for debate depending on the person. However, if anything, the show did seem to at least give people another glimpse into the era.
Spending a lot of time in an era can make one appreciate the ideas even more, especially if the execution is far different than what it was in the films. So that appreciation grows over time if that is what one is used to. Plus, seeing one hundred plus episodes of an era compared to a few hours is bound to have an effect on some people's feelings towards an era of Star Wars.
Hate to Love
Regardless of whether it's a true, reevaluation, or a changing of the guard, opinions of the prequels have changed for the better. It is important to remember that no fandom is stuck in one state forever. It changes, ebbs, and flows over time. Movies once loathed become loved, and the people who are now dominating Star Wars discourse now have a new perspective on things because of how they grew up. They see things differently, they see the saga differently, and thus their takes and opinions are different as well.
To quote a wise Jedi master, always in motion the future is, and thus always opinions are as well.
Written By Joel Davis
Syndicated From Culture Slate