I Forgive the Star Wars Prequels
Can we all just come out and admit we like the Star Wars prequels now?
Oh, I know, we used to hate them. It was a genuine, red-hot hate usually reserved for abusive mothers and slow drivers on the left lane of the highway. And we loved to share that hatred with each other.
But somewhere along the way, that hate turned into a guilty pleasure, and then genuine love hidden beneath the old rhetoric. It’s hard to say when, exactly, the transformation occurred, but now, every time someone makes a crack about a newer movie’s bad CGI making it look like The Phantom Menace or another fanboy with nothing better to do makes a phony trailer for The Force Awakens with Darth Jar Jar as the main villain, it’s present, not even well-hidden actually, because more and more we’ve come to realize how the Star Wars prequels have increased our love for Star Wars, instead of diminishing it. So can’t we just admit our love openly, the way Jesus would want it to be?
The original films always had stupid stuff in them, but nobody ever let it ruin their enjoyment of those movies. In fact, the stupid parts of TOS are often the most fondly remembered. Case in point: why is Chewbacca cool, but not Jar Jar? Is a Wookie really any less retarded than a Gungan? Really? A giant shag carpet Sasquatch that communicates by screaming is somehow more respectable than an aquatic rabbit with a Jamaican accent?
Just imagine how weird Wookie genitalia must look. With the Gungans, I bet it’s some sort of respectable cloacal, eggs and spawning sort of situation, like that of the noble Pacific salmon – but Wookies? While documentary evidence is lacking, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Chewbacca is equipped with a retractable red rocket (Remember the dog you had growing up? Remember how he liked to hump your stuffed animals? You know that tiny finger-shaped excrescence that poked out of his crotch as he approached ecstasy with your sister’s Teddy Ruxpin? Yeah, that thing).
But that’s all guesswork. Wookies are, after all, an alien species. Just because they appear mammalian doesn’t mean they are anything like the mammals we know (just look at two examples from our own world, the platypus and the echidna, to see how weird things can get). For all we know, Chewie’s dick is 100% cray beneath that carpety layer of fur he keeps in lieu of clothing. There, behind that unshampooed mane of pure animal, could lie something wetter and more hideously alive than anything previously contemplated. What if it’s just this pink, constantly agitated hole, winking and clicking when exposed to natural light?
The only way to find out would be to seduce a Wookie. You’d be at the bar, having a drink or three, when you catch the beady black eyes staring at you from the corner. The two of you’d go home – his place smelling like wet Spanish moss and unlaundered stockings, with glossy portraits of orangutans in suggestive poses lining the walls above his collection of empty beer bottles and novelty pipes. After some token conversation (You: “So, do you like Steven Soderbergh movies?” Him: “ARRRRRRRRRRRAAA.”), one of you makes the move and you end up on his bed, tugging desperately at his back fur as he undresses you, teasing every inch of your skin with his pink Wookie tongue, working his way down to your sex as you laugh and go for the reach around, ready for whatever your eager fingertips might find behind that tangled curtain of mystery.
The point is, we don’t know.
All of this had something to do with the Star Wars prequels. My point is the criticisms frequently lodged against the films are inconsistent. Incredibly dumb stuff found in the originals gets a pass while genuinely impressive elements introduced in the prequels are ignored or downplayed, all in support of this narrative that the first trilogy is an unimpeachably perfect series while the newer films fail in every aspect, whereas in reality, the two trilogies are far closer in quality than anybody gives them credit for.
Really. Why do we not give credit to Lucas and the rest for the bitchin’ opening sequence from Sith, but TOS is completely absolved from everything Ewok related?
Yeah, they’re dumb. But so what? When has a movie’s dumbness ever prevented you from enjoying a film in all it’s badness – or because of its badness?
If you’ve ever watched the original Total Recall, Independence Day, or anything with John Claude Van Damme in it, had a good time, AND talked shit about the Star Wars prequels, FUCK YOU.
The annoyingly kiddie-pandering Phantom Menace, the nauseous, faux-romantic Attack of the Clones, and the uneven, chronically tone-deaf Revenge of the Sith are not merely bad movies – they are a festival of badness, and they’re all the more wonderful because of it. You can watch them over, and over, and over again, and never get tired of them for the same reasons The Room is now a classic of American cinema. And in the same way an MMA fighter learns to take hits to the head as part of the “fun” of the sport, so too have the magically shitty Star Wars prequels earned a place in our hearts after a decades-long trial by fire. A bad movie’s a bad movie, but a spectacularly bad movie is in its own way a kind of masterpiece – I mean, we’re still talking about these films, for some reason, aren’t we? (And after all, you’re here, reading this article.)
So, put the tired old criticisms aside, fire up your BluRay player, and pop in the nearest copy of George Lucas’s Sistine Chapel. Jake Lloyd’s terrible acting, longwinded sequences shot in the deadest cinematography possible, R2’s rockets – I want it all!
And did I mention there’s Jar Jar??????