Opinion: Star Wars, Original or Prequel?


Ever since the release of the prequel trilogy, fans have argued which of the movie series was the superior. The Prequel Star Wars trilogy sometimes gets a bad rap, but the battle between them rages on.

By Schuyler Yager, Columnist, Op-Ed Editor

With the new movie blasting into theaters, the Star Wars movie franchise has been all over. Products in stores, trailers and commercials on every commercial break, the new movie is a reminder to all Star Wars fans why they love the series. But any true Star Wars fan should appreciate the original three movies– A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi– as the superior three movies of the six, now seven movie set.


While the special effects in the originals were cutting edge at the time, that was nearly 40 years ago. Today they might not stand up to the computer generated effects in nearly every movie that hits the box office. That doesn’t make them bad in today’s movie magic world though, you can sense the care and effort that would have had to go into making those practical effects look the way they do.

Orignial Star Wars Movie Poster (Lucasfilm)


One perfect example is the iconic opening text scroll. Those yellow letters are animated in the modern movies, but in the original Star Wars the crawl effect was accomplished by the camera moving along a model of the text they made. It was difficult and time-consuming to achieve a smooth scrolling effect. And to add icing to the cake, they had to repeat it for every language they released the movies in.


The special effects weren’t everything fans loved though, and that’s where Lucas went wrong with the prequels (Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith). He really wanted to focus on the visual effect aspect of the films rather than producing a great story. Sure, the lightsaber fights were cool looking, but they didn’t carry the meaning that the duels did in the originals. For example, the first time any two lightsabers touched in Star Wars wasn’t the most action packed fight in the series, but so much story development happened. Luke first saw Vader, Ben died, and it showed Luke why he needed to fight for the Light side of the force.  


The original story felt far away, but the characters were well developed and were relatable. A young boy who thinks he doesn’t matter much in his world who stumbles upon his destiny to save the galaxy. That’s kind of everyone’s dream in a way, go from the average Joe to the one person everyone needs and looks up to.


The original trilogy found the right balance of story and effects. The out of this world movie magic caught the attention of the audience, while the deep story kept you locked into the film. Too much of either element can make the movie a disappointment, like the heavy emphasis on effects in the prequels. The perfect mixture can make great movies, like the original trilogy in the Star Wars series.


After seeing The Force Awakens twice on the big screen it’s pretty easy to see that Lucasfilm and J. J. Abrams found that great balance again. The movie jumped off the screen with great effects, but the twists in the story can make you jump out of your seat in excitement, or even shed a tear. In the end, any Star Wars fan will come out of the theatre wanting more. Hopefully the next director for Star Wars will follow this same path and keep the movies on the light side of the series.

By Hannah Metzger, Columnist

With the newest instalment of the Star Wars franchise recently being released, the original six movies have been a popular topic of discussion. This new interest in these old movies has brought up a question debated many times over the last ten years- which trilogy is better?

Although the most common answer would be that the originals are far superior to the prequels, I disagree. The Star Wars prequels are not only visually superior due to the advancement in technology, but are also better overall. Anakin’s character development, the use of the force, and the far more interesting villains in the prequels surpass that of the originals.

Even those who hate the prequels the most cannot deny that the lightsaber battles in the first three episodes are much cooler than those in the original trilogy. Not only did the look and sound of the sabers improve, but the choreography also dramatically advanced.

The lightsaber duels in the prequel trilogy brought to life what a fight to the death with laser swords should look like. When the sabers were used in the original movies it was slow, awkward, and lacked the intensity of the fights in the prequels.

The first episode of the saga sets the audience up to love the boy-genius Anakin. He was the adorable underdog and we all rooted for him. During the second episode his character became more powerful but less likeable because of his “whiney” behavior. However, this stage in his life was necessary in order to contrast the person he became after he was consumed by the darkside. Similarly, the lovey-dovey scenes between he and Padme were important because it showed how powerful the dark force can be when we watched him use the force to choke his pregnant wife.

A common complaint about the prequel trilogy is that Anakin is annoying and that there are too many “boring love scenes” between him and Padme. However, both of these elements are crucial to the story line.

Anakin undoubtedly had the largest character development from good to evil and back to good and the prequel movies were essential in displaying this transformation.

Another obvious example of the prequel’s superiority to the original trilogy is the use of the force. The force is the most important concept in the Star Wars universe; however, because of the few remaining Sith and Jedi members in the original trilogy, there’s a weak visual sense of what the force can do- other than levitation or Vader occasionally choking someone.

In the prequels the force is used much more often and in greater fashions. In Yoda and Dooku’s battle in Attack of the Clones we see the force being used to crush a wall and throw the pieces, collapse the roof over Yoda’s head, and we see Yoda absorbing and redirecting a Force Lightning attack from Dooku. During the various battles the audience is truly exposed to the force being a weapon and not just a presence.

In the original trilogy, the most powerful villain who controlled the Empire and the Sith was Darth Sidious. However, we see little of him. He’s merely a hologram who dies minutes into his first in-person appearance. In the prequels you get to watch Chancellor Palpatine slowly reveal his evil alter ego and display his true power when killing Mace Windu and converting Anakin to the dark side.

Another incredibly underrated villain from the Star Wars prequels is Jango Fett. Jango’s constantly overshadowed by his “son” Boba; however, Jango plays a much more important role in the Star Wars universe. The fact that he essentially created the entire clone army makes his influence far greater than Boba’s. Also, although they both met their demise, Jango died in a much more honorable way — during a battle and at the hands of Jedi Master Mace Windu, while Boba was accidentally pushed into the mouth of the Sarlacc by a blinded Han Solo.

Contrary to popular belief, the Star Wars prequel trilogy is superior to the original trilogy. Besides the obvious advancements in visual effects, the storyline and characters are deeper and more interesting in the prequels than in the originals