While the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy is generally appreciated for reviving the Lucasfilm franchise more than a decade after the Original Trilogy concluded, the overall consensus about these movies is that they were less than satisfactory. From bad writing to retconning specific parts of the canon, the trilogy that ran from 1999 to 2005 is still a popular subject of critique among hardcore and casual Star Wars fans. However, in Mark Hamill's opinion, there is one element that that Star Wars prequels successfully delivered: being different from what had come before. In Hamill's words:
What I thought was great about the prequels was the different technology that I had never seen before. All that CGI. And the fact that [George Lucas] wasn't trying to do the same experience all over again.
The original Star Wars movies are often lauded for its practical effects, so much so that the new Star Wars movies frequently follow this same approach whenever possible in order to make these environments and events seem more real. However, for the prequel movies, George Lucas took advantage of CGI, which was still a relatively new technology at the time. That allowed him to create creatures, vehicles and other things that weren't possible when he was overseeing the original Star Wars movies. Moviegoers may not be as easily impressed with how CGI is used nowadays, but back then, it opened up new opportunities for Lucas' creation.
More importantly, though, is that Mark Hamill is appreciative of how the Star Wars prequels didn't try to replicate the formula of the original Star Wars movies. Sure, not everyone was wowed by the differences in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, but in the actor's mind, at least it was "brand new terrain." As Hamill noted to Metro, for The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams made more of an effort to follow in the Original Trilogy's footsteps. To Hamill, that's not a bad thing, but it was a different process from what George Lucas would have done, as he would have plotted out a "beginning, middle and end." Whatever your feelings about the Star Wars prequels may be, at least they helped keep the space opera franchise going on the silver screen, and thus paved the way for the new Star Wars era many fans are currently enjoying.
WATCH: Star Wars: The Last Jedi First Reactions
The Star Wars saga continues with The Last Jedi, which will start screening in theaters tonight and open wide tomorrow. Solo: A Star Wars Story will follow on May 25, 2018, and Episode IX is set for release on December 20, 2019. It's also been announced that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is working on a new Star Wars trilogy that will be separate from the Skywalker storyline, follow new characters and be set in a corner of the galaxy that hasn't been explored before.