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Stop Complaining About the Star Wars Prequels

Star Wars fans are spoiled brats.

They’ve been given one the best movie trilogies of all time, tv shows, books, games, toys and comics based on those movies and all they ever do is complain.

They complain about editions, about title changes, about prequels, about casting and Disney and canon.

Look, at this point, a lot of the people who complain about the same old things are either aging or latching on to dead concerns. Take the video above for example. They make the joke (it’s not that funny of a video) that they’re refusing to call the first Star Wars movie A New Hope. Considering that the movie came out in 1977, I have a feeling that the people making Honest Trailer weren’t even around when it came out, or at least too young to care.

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You know what I’m gonna call this? A New Hope.

I’m on board with the special editions of the first three films having problems. Trying to watch A New Hope and having dated CGI get in the way of shots is annoying, because so much of that first film based in the grandeur of 70s film making. But there is plenty to like about them as well. Considering how much continuity matters to geek culture, the changes to make them consistent with each other seems like it should win people over. Lightsabers are the right color, voices are the right voices and actors are the same characters throughout. George Lucas ignored the Expanded Universe and fans found it annoying but if he made sure the films made sense with each other, they got angry.

And the prequels. They won’t shut up about the prequels.

I want to meet any child of 1999-2005 who had their life ruined by these films. I was thirteen when Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace hit theaters and I lived a pretty good life my teenage years, with Star Wars being an enjoyable part of them. When the Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones came out, I had a great time at the theaters and when it was over, I was more pumped for the franchise then ever before. I had seen the original trilogy and thought they were great, but they didn’t push me to be a huge fan of the series. When I saw Episode II, I just got excited about it. I started playing the games, reading the comics, watching the cartoons. I was hooked.

Ended my teen years and I was fine.

I understand the film is not great and as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized the last forty minutes are the best parts that don’t include Obiwan Kenobi, but it still got me (and plenty of people) jazzed for Star Wars. By the time Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was out, I was all in. I saw the film three times, even knowing what was wrong with the movie. The flaws are aggravating, especially when the good is so good, but it holds up. Maybe not to the hardcore Star Wars fan base who wants to relive their childhood over and over again, everyday of the year, but to someone who was a kid when the movie was happening, it was great.

So the Star Wars prequels didn’t ruin my childhood and they didn’t ruin the original trilogy for me either, and I have a hard time see how that would happen. They’re not great, and the first prequel is agreeably bad, but it’s not a scar I or any reasonable person carries around with them. My younger brother was ten when the last prequel came out, and he enjoyed the Lego Star Wars games based on the that trilogy, had a poster that has a lot of prequel characters on his wall and enjoyed the Clone Wars cartoon. Childhood saved.

Here’s the part that is driving me crazy lately. This hate for the prequels, and the changes of the original trilogy, is being transferred to a generation that could have been just fine. People who grew up when the prequels were out, who enjoyed them as kids and teens are now forced to say how much they hate the movies to not anger the real fans.

When I was in college, I had heard two people talking about the movies. One of them asked, “What’s a Midi-chlorian?” The other answered, “Something George Lucas made up to ruin Star Wars.” This kid was younger than me(!), probably didn’t see the films until the early 90s and was acting like he was there opening night of the first Star Wars and had to carry on the defense of changes and mistakes.

I tend to be a fan to the max degree. If I love something, I love it. But I try not to blind to the problems of what I love. I love the X-Men movies, but boy, do they have flaws. But my love for them lets me forgive those flaws, laugh about them, and enjoy the rest.

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Even if this is great, the fans will always complain about the prequels.

Star Wars fans haven’t been able to laugh since the 80s and it’s their fault. They can blame George Lucas, they can blame CGI and Hayden Christensen but they’re the one’s stopping them from enjoying the prequels and anything else that bothers them. If they could just roll their eyes and laugh when Anakin talks about sand instead of burning with hate, they could have a good time. Don’t they realize that hate leads to suffering?

You know what, I enjoy the prequels. They’re not amazing, not always well written or acted, but who cares. They’re still Star Wars, they have some great moments and characters, they gave us the Clone Wars and Ewan McGregor as Obiwan. The gave us John Willaim’s score for those films, each one with a standout piece (Duel of the Fates, Across the Stars and Battle of the Heroes). I don’t give into hating on them, because they didn’t ruin my (or anyone’s) childhood, they didn’t ruin the original trilogy and they won’t bother anybody as we move into the future.

As we prepare for J.J. Abrams entry into the series, the fans will come down on the prequels again, to hold Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens above them, even if that movie is just a greatest hits collections of A New Hope. But I’d prefer they just stop talking about, stop pushing your hate on the rest of us and grow up. Find something else to start talking about or just stop talking because ten years after Revenge of the Sith, you’re starting to need a new edition.

 

Why I Hate Lost (Even Now That It’s Done)

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I wanna get off now, thank you.

I don’t like Lost.

I know I’m not alone in this, but I feel like I’ve had a weird experience with the show. You see, when the show first started, I tried watching it, but like the passengers of the plane, I felt lost every episode. It wasn’t newbie friendly and I didn’t have Tivo, so I ignored the series. But people around my liked it, so I had to deal with listening to them talking about the show like it was God’s gift to television. This was before college and it was rough, but I made it through. I would see an episode on TV but I would skip it or, if I was with those watching it, I would ignore it.

Then, I entered college. This would be around the fourth and fifth season, so the show was losing people who came over to my side of the fence; people who felt like the show was going nowhere. But, most people in my dorm loved the show. Which meant I had to deal with more episodes playing then I had ever seen. Come the end of the show, roommates were crowding the common rooms as the watched breathlessly the show I had to keep shutting out with music or a book.

You would think, once the show ended, that I would be free it’s presence. No such luck, as of writing this, my wife is starting the sixth season on Netflix. Which means, two to three years after the show ended, I’m stuck having to see more episodes on my television.

In a way, having watched the series out of order and randomly, I feel like my experience with the island is very much like the characters on the show.

But I can’t stand the series. Sometimes, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills when people talk about how good the show is. All I can see is unlikable, obnoxious character who do whatever the writers need done, not what they would do. Mysteries that don’t get answered, plots that get covered in more plots to the point of having to measure time by the layer of soil on each thread and I can’t for the life of me understand why watching a bunch of people walk around on an island doing nothing is entertaining. Every episode I see moves at a snail’s pace and ends on a cliffhanger that will not have a satisfying resolution come next week. Sure, in the first season, I thought the Myst/Riven like atmosphere of the show was intriguing, but talk about throwing away all the goodwill you built.

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So. Freaking. Unlikable.

Maybe it’s because it was genre television for those who didn’t normally watch genre television, but not as good as Game of Thrones. Lost is science fiction lite or something, that if a book, would be sold in airports. It always seems to be so obsessed with itself, so self-assure and pretentious about how clever it’s being, just because it does everything it can think of. It’s like a cook thinking they’re the greatest chef in the world because they filled a pot with everything they could find in the fridge; sure, it’s stew but it’s not very good and I can’t understand why people like it.

I’m just worried that when my wife finishes the series, two years later I’m going to make friends with people who haven’t ever watched the show and are just starting it from the beginning. And then, my kids will want to watch it. Then, when I’m old and put away in a retirement home, some of my fellow elders will want to rewatch their favorite show from their youth and I’ll know they mean Lost.

And then I’ll die.

Or, you know, have a weird metaphysical experience on an island filled with never to work again actors.