How to value the Star Wars prequel trilogy remains a point of contention among fans. Some think they're irredeemable while others appreciate them as much as they do the original trilogy. Some find important themes hidden beneath the surface. RPG designer Scott Malthouse decided to start that conversation anew by asking folks on Twitter to say something positive about the prequels. Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, no stranger to divisive Star Wars movies, showed up to offer his take on the prequel trilogy. Johnson casts Episodes I-III as one long, innovative children's movie with valuable lessons to teach.
"[George] Lucas made a gorgeous 7 hour long movie for children about how entitlement and fear of loss turns good people into fascists," Johnson tweeted, "and did it while spearheading nearly every technical sea change in modern filmmaking of the past 30 years."
The prequel trilogy came up while the team behind Star Wars' first live-action series, The Mandalorian, discussed the franchise on Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. They mentioned the numerous filmmaking patents Lucas obtained while pioneering new technologies. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy explained why Lucas directed the prequel films himself.
Lucas made a gorgeous 7 hour long movie for children about how entitlement and fear of loss turns good people into fascists, and did it while spearheading nearly every technical sea change in modern filmmaking of the past 30 years.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 29, 2020
"With anybody like George, and anyone who's a filmmaker, they get antsy after a while at not being able to be on that floor telling stories, making movies," she said. "And his love of pushing the technology, obviously, we were doing a certain amount of that with each of the Indiana Jones movies, but it wasn't like Star Wars, and I think that each time we would push the technology, in making those movies, he got the bug to start thinking about what that might mean for Star Wars."
Producer Dave Filoni, who has been the principal architect in bringing Star Wars to television, offered a compelling interpretation of the climactic lightsaber battle in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
"So [Qui-Gon] 's fighting for Anakin, and that's why it's the Duel of the Fates. It's the fate of this child. And depending on how this fight goes, his life is going to be dramatically different. So Qui-Gon loses, of course, so the father figure [is gone]. Because he knew what it meant to take this kid away from his mother when he had an attachment, and he's left with Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan trains Anakin, at first, out of a promise he makes to Qui-Gon, not because he cares about him. He's a brother to Anakin, eventually, but he's not a father figure. That's a failing for Anakin. He doesn't have the family that he needs. He loses his mother in the next film. He fails the promise to his mother, 'I will come back and save you.' So he's left completely vulnerable, and Star Wars is ultimately about family."
The Star Wars prequel trilogy is streaming now on Disney+.