SPOILER alert: I don’t give away much, but best not to read if you haven’t watched it yet…
A lot of people are saying that, having seen The Force Awakens, they wish the prequels could be remade. But I feel slightly better about the prequels now that I’ve seen the latest instalment. Don’t get me wrong – let me say two points straight away:
- I was disappointed by the prequels. (All that pod racing!! And those CGI effects!! And the terrible acting by the Anakins!!)
- I loved The Force Awakens.
In comparison with The Force Awakens, the prequels seem utterly foreign – like a shiny, fake, over-the-top version of the Star Wars reality. It’s like the time I watched live comedy in a particular other country/culture, and couldn’t help but focus on the fact that, although the jokes were recognisable as jokes, they were presented in a way that was startlingly overstated – which is very unlike contemporary Western comedy. But it struck me as I was watching the latest movie that in fact, from the vantage point of episode VII, that’s exactly what the prequel age is: a foreign, over-the-top, era, which is barely imaginable within the present day world. If we think of the prequels as being mythical retellings from the vantage point of Rey’s era, they seem to sit with a little more sense: this could be the way people tell stories that are larger than life – with embellished characters, King James dialogue, and CGI imagination.