Until Disney released the Star Wars sequel trilogy, the Star Wars prequels were some of the most disliked stories in the fandom. Today, they’re still viewed as lackluster, boring, and poorly acted. So what would you say if I told you the prequel trilogy is my favorite Star Wars trilogy—and it’s not even a close competition? While A New Hope will always hold a special place in my heart for being my introduction to the world of Star Wars, the prequel trilogy has my heart. Why? Let me tell you!
A big factor in my love for the prequels is nostalgia. Though I didn’t watch The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, or Revenge of the Sith until just a couple years ago, I saw several episodes of The Clone Wars when I was younger. Because of that, the world of the prequels—characters, planets, and the general vibe—were a part of my formative years. When I finally watched the prequel trilogy as an adult, it was like coming home.
Besides the nostalgia factor, I also love many of the characters in the prequels. Anakin is a tragic young man, but also likable. Padmé is my favorite heroine of all three trilogies (I might like Jyn from Rogue One better, but that’s another post). And Obi-Wan is my favorite Star Wars character, period—I love him in all three prequel films, but especially Revenge of the Sith. He endures so much tragedy (losing his mentor, his best friend, and the love of his life) and yet he remains courteous, honorable, and kind. Getting to see his character mature over the course of the prequel trilogy is wonderful.
Then there’s the tragedy found in the prequels. This is a trilogy of films about one young man’s fall to the dark side. One of my favorite tropes is the ‘downward spiral’, where a good character gradually becomes the villain of the story (or the villain). I love the angst, tragedy, and bittersweet-ness (if the character finds redemption) in those stories. Revenge of the Sith, in particular, delivers all the tragedy, heartbreak, and drama I could ask for. Whether it’s Padmé’s final conversation with Anakin or “You were my brother!” or Anakin learning Padmé is dead after all, I’m emotionally hooked and I love it. I enjoy crying over fictional stories, after all.
In the end, perhaps what I love most about the prequels is the hope found within the very last scene. Even though we’ve just seen a young Jedi become one of the greatest movie villains of all time, the final shot of Revenge of the Sith offers hope for the future. The baby Aunt Beru cradles in her arms is Luke. Luke, who will defeat Darth Vader and restore Anakin to what he once was: a man who loves his family deeply, fiercely. The poetry and poignancy of that scene moves me even now, as I sit here typing this article.
All of this to say that even though the Star Wars prequels are not perfect, they are perfect for me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eva-Joy Schonhaar is an aspiring author who has written several novels and hopes to be published some day soon. She’s a Christian fangirl who drinks insane amounts of coffee, thinks that chocolate chip cookies solve pretty much everything, and always uses the Oxford Comma. In her spare time she can be found geeking out over superheroes and reading The Hunger Games for the millionth time.