Defending the Star Wars prequels from Clone Wars

Perhaps the best thing you can say about Star Wars: The Clone Wars (reviewed here) is that it’s not as bad as 1980’s “Star Wars Holiday Special.” It’s certainly the worst theatrical film with the name “Star Wars” attached to it and represents a hyper-leap backwards for the Star Wars prequels of the past decade.

The prequel trilogy, namely The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, qualify as one of the most reviled pop culture franchises in modern memory. Aggrieved fans on-line describe Phantom Menace, in particular, as a national trauma and loss of innocence in terms better suited for the Kennedy Assassination. They’re unquestionably deeply (if decreasingly) flawed films encumbered with misguided comedy, tin-eared dialogue and robotic performances. If you only knew Natalie Portman’s work from these films, you’d think she was one of the worst actresses of her generation.

Yet despite the flame wars against creator George Lucas’ prequel trilogies, they actually contain underappreciated virtues. I actually prefer Revenge of the Sith to Return of the Jedi, the final chapter of the beloved original trilogy. (Incidentally, here are 50 Reasons Why Return of the Jedi Sucks.) In addition to the generally gorgeous CGI designs of alien planets, space ships and creatures, prequel trilogy deserves a little more credit that it gets — and certainly doesn’t deserve The Clone Wars as a send-off:

kml_flashembed movie=%22 width=%22425%22 height=%22350%22 wmode=%22transparent%22 /