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Rian Johnson Explains Why George Lucas’ Star Wars Prequels Are Great

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Rian Johnson reiterates why he believes George Lucas' Star Wars prequels are great movies. Kicking off with The Phantom Menace in 1999, the prequel trilogy proved to be very divisive when it was first released. Longtime Star Wars fans were upset by everything from storytelling choices to filmmaking techniques, feeling the prequels were a far cry from the original trilogy. Though the prequels always had their fair share of fans, a largely negative stigma was attached to the films for a number of years. However, that has changed more recently.

In the decades since its original debut, the prequel trilogy has been reevaluated in a much more positive light, with viewers gaining an appreciation for what they brought to the Star Wars franchise and what Lucas was trying to achieve with them. One of the more high-profile prequel supporters out there is The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, who previously shared his thoughts on why he likes them. Now, he's added more to his initial review.

Johnson responded to a Twitter prompt asking people to say something nice about the Star Wars prequels. In addition to reiterating his past thoughts about the trilogy's compelling narrative arc, Johnson also mentioned the films' technical merits. Take a look at his post in the space below:

 

Much like how the original Star Wars movies revolutionized Hollywood's visual effects industry, the prequels were notable for having their own standout innovations. Jar Jar Binks was the first main CGI character in a feature film (paving the way for Gollum a few years later) and Attack of the Clones was the first tentpole to be shot entirely on digital. Both of those developments were vital for the business and served as a precursor for continued evolutions over the past handful of years. As evidenced by The Mandalorian's virtual production setup, Lucas was truly a pioneer well ahead of his time; he tried to do the best with what was available to him and pushed the envelope as far as he could. It'd be interesting to see what he'd be able to design with the benefits of modern technology, but he's retired from filmmaking.

As for Johnson's comments on the prequel narrative, most would be in agreement it has solid story concepts and the potential was always there - the movies just weren't executed in the best way. The heartbreaking tragedy at the films' core was negatively impacted by stilted dialogue and wooden acting, though people are now more willing to look past those flaws than they were before. The prequels helped broaden the scope of the larger Star Wars saga, introducing elements that informed the story of the sequels (most notably the Jedi Order's hubris). They may not have been exactly what fans wanted or expected back in 1999, but it's encouraging that viewers have made peace with the prequels. Johnson's perspective on them certainly is fascinating, and will probably give audiences food for thought when they decide to rewatch them again.

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