“It’s easy to hate on the Star Wars prequels, and you wouldn’t be wrong to do so. When measured as the sum of their parts, they fall apart faster and harder than clone loyalty towards Jedi Masters post Order 66. Jar Jar is possibly one of the worst characters in movie history. The love story between Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker is cringe-inducingly bad. And Anakin’s decision to go from loving soon-to-be-father to younglings slayer is a bipolar pill that’s difficult to swallow.
It’s definitely not all bad, however. What follows is a collection of things that George Lucas got right in the prequel trilogy.
The light(saber) at the end of the tunnel
Sure, Episode I was more disappointing than watching Greedo shoot first in the Special Edition of A New Hope, but it got so much better beyond the political rantings of the opening crawl.
Granted, when ‘terrible’ is the starting point for expectations post-Episode I, it’s not that difficult to climb higher, but even Episode I saved its best part towards the end of the movie. We are, of course, referring to the iconic lightsaber battle between Darth Maul and Jedi duo Obi-Wan Kenobi / Qui-Gon Jinn.
This epic battle of laser-sword mastery showed the dominating, thousands-strong Jedi Order had a very big reason to fear the return of the Sith, even though the ‘death’ of Maul meant they only had to destroy one more Sith Lord to cleanse the galaxy. Stuntman-turned-actor Ray Park brought the rage-filled Darth Maul to life in such a way that he was a believable threat to his Jedi opponents. After Maul nixed Jinn, the ensuing duel between Kenobi and the Sith Lord escalates in intensity to the point where Lucas reportedly considered slowing the fight down for audiences because it felt too fast.
In Episode II, the Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi fight versus Count Dooku was less impressive, but gave way to a duel between Yoda and Dooku. Sure, watching Yoda jump around like a frog on a hot plate is a bit ridiculous, but the fact of the matter is the beloved Jedi Master a) has a lightsaber and b) proves the claim that he’s an amazing swordsman. Episode III has more lightsaber fights than the first two, and we get to see that Palpatine knows his way around a ’saber, while the Anakin versus Obi-Wan showdown is sufficiently epic (if you can ignore how it ends). […]
Read more at IGN.