It’s Fine To Think The Star Wars Prequels Suck

After a certain amount of time, every critically panned film is reappraised and determined to be good, actually. From Alien 3 to the maligned Matrix sequels, if a movie had a hard time at release, chances are future viewers will be a lot kinder to it. I personally think Alien 3 is a misunderstood masterpiece, so I'm all for this. I'm glad modern audiences appreciate how bold and subversive David Fincher's sequel is, even if it left '90s moviegoers frustrated. Some films are just too ahead of their time.

Today, with the press for Disney's Obi-Wan series spinning up like a hyperdrive, the Star Wars prequels are next in line for rehabilitation. An endearing clip of Ewan McGregor has been doing the rounds on social media, in which the actor says he feels much better about his involvement in the prequels these days. Young fans who grew up with the movies approach him and tell him how much they love them, which must be a nice change from constantly being told how much they blow.

I'm a big fan of McGregor (especially his Long Way Round travel documentaries), and I found this clip sincere, charming, and surprisingly heartwarming. But I also think the Star Wars prequels are terrible. I find them wooden, joyless, flat, and deeply boring. The languid direction, fake-looking CG sets, stilted dialogue, and contrived scripts make them, for me, basically impossible to enjoy. I appreciate fans' attempts to paint them as misunderstood or underrated, but nah. I hate them.

If people want to change their minds about the Star Wars prequels, that's fine. I'm happy for them. Confused, but happy. However, something I find irritating is the idea that, if you don't like them, it's not because you sincerely have issues with them—it's because it's cool to 'hate' on them. You're mindlessly repeating the common consensus, thinking what you've been told to think, automatically dismissing these films out of hand. I've seen a lot of this kind of sentiment online lately.

Truth is, some people are incapable of consuming media critically. They decide they like something and become an absolutist, furiously defending it against imagined attackers. The mildest criticism of a popular movie can result in an avalanche of messages from aggressive fans taking it personally. It's just weird, and stifles healthy debate and discussion. I should be able to say The Phantom Menace isn't good without getting a DM from JarJarLover69 telling me to fuck off and die.

We're very close to the Star Wars prequels being widely accepted as good. I can feel it in the wind. Obi-Wan, whether it's well received or not, will help the cause massively—as will future callbacks to the movies in The Mandalorian and other Star Wars shows. But hold the line. By all means, give them another chance. You might be a convert. But if you earnestly hate these films, don't be bullied or guilt-tripped into thinking otherwise. You aren't a hater if you do; it's just, like, your opinion, man.

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