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Explaining Why The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy Hate Disappeared

After almost two decades of negative reception, the Star Wars prequel movies have finally become beloved by the trilogy’s original target audience. Hate for the characters and George Lucas’ direction has mostly given way to love and admiration for the ambitious scope he envisioned following the original trilogy’s success. Gaps in the story and logic that originally plagued the prequels have slowly been filled in over the years by series such as The Clone Wars, Tales of the Jedi, and other Star Wars books. Now that the prequels’ blank spaces have been filled in, there is no longer any room for complaints of misunderstanding.


It’s not much of a secret that the Star Wars prequels caused a lot of controversy when The Phantom Menace first released. The hatred for Jar Jar Binks especially was astounding, with many considering him to have single-handedly ruined the franchise. Even Darth Maul’s iconic double-bladed lightsaber reveal paired with John Williams’s epic score could not keep the first prequel from floundering in popular perception. Attack of the Clones did not fare much better with Anakin’s much-memed speech about sand and the glaring age difference in his and Padmé’s relationship. By the time Revenge of the Sith rolled around, most viewers had already given up hope.

Related: Clone Wars Paid Off George Lucas’ Star Wars Prequels Promises

The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy’s Audience Grew Up

One of the main reasons that the prequel trilogy hate has died out is due to the audience it was meant for having grown up. The children born in the ‘90s and ‘00s have instigated the Star Wars prequel trilogy’s redemption by giving a voice to all the admirable aspects of the trilogy. Many children who grew up in the prequel era were oblivious to the faults in the movies that irked the adults at the time. To the kids, Jar Jar was not a franchise-killing annoyance but a good-natured clown. Where adults laughed at the subpar acting, the kids laughed at the funny lines.

While many of the children who grew up during the prequels ignored the criticism by their peers, they had no voice with which to defend the movies they loved. The adults who grew up during the original trilogy have said their piece with regard to the prequels. Now that the prequel kids are grown up, they are able to express just how much Lucas’ movies meant to them. The Star Wars prequels’ cool new lightsaber designs were breathtaking for them, and many of them have fond memories of recreating the well-choreographed duels featured throughout the prequel trilogy.

Opinion Began Turning On Disney’s Star Wars Sequels

Star Wars 7 Trailer #3 - Rey Crying
Rey crying

Just as the adults during the original trilogy were disappointed by the prequels, many in the prequel generation are disappointed with Disney’s sequels. The sequels had the enormous burden of attempting to live up to two Star Wars trilogies—all while telling a uniquely compelling story. Star Wars fans seem split as to whether or not Disney was successful in their endeavor, with many hating the sequels in the same way the prequels were hated. In the midst of them scrambling to pick apart the sequels, many have completely forgotten the arguments that were levied against the prequels.

The Force Awakens copied some prequel tricks, such as Kylo Ren’s lightsaber reveal gimmicking Darth Maul’s. The sequel trilogy was mostly geared toward pleasing fans of the original trilogy. In this way, the sequel trilogy made little attempt to try and please the prequel fans—which has led many prequel fans to the sequels. However, Star Wars may be doomed to repeat itself since the sequel children have yet to grow up. When they become adults, they may sing the praises of the sequels they grew up with. While the prequel fans continue to get hung up on the aspects they didn’t like.

Related: Star Wars Brings Back The Prequels’ Best Obi-Wan Meme

Meme Culture Helped Star Wars Prequel Opinion

Anakin enjoys flying through the Battle of Coruscant in Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why the prequel hate has disappeared is due to the hundreds of memes that have kept it afloat. From the General Grevious lightsaber collection meme to Obi-Wan simply saying “Hello there,” the prequels are filled with quotes and scenes that the fans love to make memes about. It’s ironic, because some of the most popular prequel memes are from the trilogy’s most criticized lines. For example, Anakin’s cringe monologue in Attack of the Clones about how he doesn’t like sand has been repreatedly mocked.

Another reason why the prequel memes succeed is because they’re self-deprecating. The prequel era children took the “bad” dialogue that the adults criticized and laughed at and managed to turn it into something everyone can laugh at. Like many other memes, the prequel memes celebrate the cheesy areas of the prequels and provoke people to reevaluate their opinions. By ending Obi-Wan Kenobi with his “hello there” meme, even Disney recognizes the influence the memes have had on the Star Wars community. While many memes have been made about the sequel’s corny lines, whether or not they will change the public’s opinion of them remains to be seen.

The Star Wars Prequels Was A Victim Of Expectation

Jar Jar Binks on the ground during the Battle of Naboo in Star Wars: Phantom Menace

Perhaps more so than the sequel trilogy, an enormous amount of pressure was placed on the prequel trilogy. There was a 16-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace compared to the 10-year gap between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens. When adults first returned to a galaxy far, far away back in 1999, they expected to relive the same magic the original trilogy had brought them as children. Their disappointment is what fueled most of the criticism directed at the prequels, similar to how the prequel children criticize the sequels.

One day, the Star Wars sequels may find the same prequel-style redemption when the children of the sequel era have grown up. For now, Star Wars prequel fans can rest easy knowing that the perception of the movies they grew up with has changed since they were released—for the better. The high-expectations that plagued the trilogy back in 1999 are gone, and now viewers are able to enjoy the movies without constantly comparing them to the success of the original trilogy. All eyes look toward all the new series Disney has crafted and what the future of Star Wars will be going forward.

Related: Why The Mandalorian Opinion Has Shifted Since Season 2

While the prequel trilogy may have gotten its happy redemption, the children of the prequel era run the risk of becoming the very thing they swore to destroy by hating on the sequels. In reality, there is only one bad Star Wars sequel. While the other sequel movies may not be what the prequel children had hoped for, there is no need to repeat the sins of their predecessors by ruining the next generation’s fun. If Disney has done one thing right for the Star Wars community, It’s that they’ve kept a galaxy far, far away spinning for generations of Star Wars fans to come.

More: Andor Has Learned From George Lucas’ Prequel Trilogy Mistakes

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