Okay, this was just an excuse to get another Star Wars rant off my chest. This time I'm defending... the prequels. When they first came out I was underwhelmed and a little disappointed, but it's been more than ten years since they started, I was a fanboy and I was disappointed but I've gotten over it. I watched them all together through a new lens and I've come to appreciate them more. While they're nowhere near as good as the originals, I see that therein is the reason people hate them. They had impossible standards to live up to, and that is be as good as or better than the originals. I appreciate that people don't like them as much as the classic trilogy, but the nitpicky whiny OT loyalists that can't get over their own pride and egos need to lighten up. Clearly they had no idea what the story was all about.
So why do people hate them? I think I've narrowed it down.
1. Obviously they can't measure up to the old ones, that's impossible, and so people had unreasonable expectations.
2. The new CGI made everything look far more advanced, even though it was supposed to be in the past. Well... YEAH! The original trilogy takes place in a sort of post-apocalyptic setting, and the prequels are about the galaxy in its glory days. Technology, pomp, and corruption were at an all time high, which is how the Empire came about by exploiting these weaknesses. During the Empire's reign we can see the differences between upper and lower class in which only the upper class has high technology.
3. The Jedi didn't measure up to how they were described in the OT. Even the Jedi Order was corrupt. They should have been living in harmony with nature and only using the force for knowledge and defense... instead they were living in the technological hub and quite trigger happy. Well, maybe this is why they got wiped out, that was the will of the force, the order was corrupt and had to begin anew.
4. Jar Jar... yeah everyone loves to hate him, but I don't mind him. At least not TOO much...
5. Dialogue, this is a biggie. The story and setting were fine but oh... my... god... some of those lines were just painful to listen to. It reached its peak in AOTC and again with that really awkward scene in ROTS between Padme and Anakin. Yet... I've grown to respect even those scenes with their subtle foreshadowing that many of us missed with our focus on the awful dialogue.
6. Continuity. Bridging the gap, yeah there are a few holes between the new and old trilogy. Anakin's lightsaber, Leia's memories of her mother, Obi-wan never remembering owning a droid (particularly the exact same one he'd been through much with...). I suppose you can justify these in whatever way you can think up, but they are a little bothersome.
7. Maybe this is just me, but I really didn't like Boba Fett's backstory, particularly just because they gave him a backstory, I liked him better as an enigma.
8. Puppets vs CGI. I guess this is debatable since the CGI did improve things in some ways... more detail and all that but I personally think models and puppets looked better since the CGI didn't always blend seamlessly with the real elements.
9. NOOOOOO! Oh please... why do people hate this line so much? Because Vader is supposed to be cool and calm? Please, he just realized that his one reason for going to the dark side and betraying his friends was now dead, he essentially had just lost everything for nothing. I'd shout NOOOO too frankly. "But... but... but Vader's not supposed to have any emotion!! Whaaa!" So you put on a new costume and instantly change who you are? The transformation was a slow one, he was still the same passionate person and it would be some time before he kept all his emotions in check.
10. Turn to the dark side... I used to think Anakin went over way to easily, like he just turned evil in that moment Sidious killed Windu. After rewatching the prequels I've come to appreciate all the foreshadowing and seen Anakin's transformation was a slow process. Here's how I think it went down... 1. Anakin has control issues, he can't deal with change and anything he has no control over. This is shown when he leaves his mother and whenever he mentions his distrust in democracy. 2. Chosen one, adjusting to this new life as a Jedi changed him from the nice kid he was to being egotistical and arrogant. 3. Raw unchecked emotion. Anakin is passionate, and he can't control his emotions, particularly his anger and his love. 4. Death of his mother. This was a pivotal moment, not just because he gave in to his rage and murdered several beings, but this is when his obsession with cheating death began, which goes back to his need to control things. 5. Loss of a limb. Lucas loves using this symbol, over and over and over. It's a loss of innocence, a humbling experience, and the beginning of the loss of his humanity. 6. A dark turn. You can see in episode III as a Jedi he has been sobered by his experiences. He has learned patience and wisdom, even advising Obi-wan to be patient. I think this is all a conscience decision on his part to counteract his inner fear, anger and darkness. 7. Fear of losing his love. I hated Padme's "Love has blinded you?" line, but now I see that it's actually a bit of good foreshadowing. Love is his underlying motivation in all this, but he is so obsessed that he loses sight of why he is in love. 8. Jealousy of Obi-wan. He never outright says it but it's clear that Anakin is suspicious of his wife and best friend... 9. Curiosity for the dark side. Palpatine's teachings go to Anakin's head, and now he's wondering what he could do with the power the Jedi won't teach him. 10. Confused morals. This was the breaking point for him. The Jedi have sunk to a new low in the name of the greater good. Their plotting and scheming to remove Palpatine from power at any cost causes Anakin to see the validity of Palpatine's claims. The place of a Jedi is to serve not govern, in fact Luke Skywalker realizes this is happening to his own Jedi Order years later and removes them from politics. Essentially the Jedi have fallen into a trap that the sith intended. And then there's one honorable mention from the Clone Wars mini-series, the vision Anakin had beautifully illustrated his downfall strictly visually. A warrior protects his loved ones from a dark power which he defeats, but suffers a wound from it. This however grants him unimagined power which he uses for good at first, but the more he uses it the larger and more uncontrollable it becomes until it destroys the ones he loves and consumes him. Isn't that the story of Vader in a nutshell?
That's all I can think of for now. Please comment if you have any thoughts, positive or negative, I'm open to the exchange of ideas and debate here.