“I have a bad feeling about this.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace & Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones, Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, Han Solo in A New Hope & Return of the Jedi, Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back, C-3PO in Return of the Jedi, and me, Tim Hoyt, before re-watching the Star Wars prequels for the first time since their initial theatrical runs.
I watch a lot of really good movies, some pretty good movies, and even the occasional just okay movie, but very rarely do I willingly subject myself to an actually bad movie unless it’s a so-bad-it’s-good kind of a thing. Recently, however, that’s changed, as I just finished watching three really bad movies in as many days. If you’re wondering why I would do such a thing to myself, you’re not alone, so I’ll just tell you: I was feeling guilty about the possibly baseless ridicule I had been heaping on that bane of movie geeks everywhere, the Star Wars trilogy… of prequels. Not that I seriously doubted the validity of such trash talk, mind you, but as nearly thirteen years had passed since I’d seen the first installment as a fifteen-year-old kid, I figured my vitriol might be in need of a refresher just in case. It had also been almost ten years since I’d seen Episode II and seven since Episode III, and while I was confident that they were unquestionably bad movies, I was no longer able to say just how bad with any certainty. After all, I’ve changed a lot in those long, prequel-less years: my tastes have changed, I’ve been exposed to more films and more diverse styles of filmmaking, and my once dull critical senses have (hopefully) sharpened a bit.
And so, with motivations more clearly defined than those of any character in the entirety of Episodes I – III, I considered the challenge before me: