Star Wars: The Last Jedi Director Rian Johnson Defends George Lucas’ Prequels

Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith

Today it seems like no movie topic is so hotly debated as the relative quality of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. However, years before everybody had an opinion on those films, everybody had an opinion on George Lucas' prequel trilogy. Of course, in that case, a lot of the opinions are very similar. People tend to have little good to say about the prequels, but one person who has some positive comments about the films is Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

A tweet went somewhat viral this week when somebody on Twitter challenged people to say something good about the prequel films. He likely wasn't expecting a direct response from a Star Wars director, but Rian Johnson made a pretty strong argument that the prequels are important from both a technical standpoint as well as the message they mean to convey.

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Certainly, there are issues with the prequels, I'm not sure even Rian Johnson would disagree, but it's hard not to accept his assessment of the films. The description of Anakin's character arc is spot on. The technical steps forward that George Lucas took are obvious. And it also can't really be argued that the films are meant for a younger audience. George Lucas has always said that about the entire Star Wars franchise.

People have very passionate views on the Star Wars franchise (I know, shocking) and so as you can guess, there are some strong responses to his comments. Many embrace them, others, not so much. There are still some pretty strong feelings about The Last Jedi, and one gets the impression some of the social media audience might be more open to comments like these if they came from somebody else.

Of course, even if you agree entirely with Rian Johnson's comments, it doesn't necessarily absolve the prequels of all their perceived faults. The movies do have some issues, that maybe mean the films aren't as good as they could be, but neither are they completely without value despite having those faults.

Even people who seriously love Star Wars would be forced to admit that not all of it is perfect. There are elements of the franchise that we love, and others that we don't. And with the Star Wars universe expanding, that's only going to increase. But in the end, that's a good thing. Everybody will find parts of Star Wars that they love and everybody gets to be a fan to one degree or another.

With new Star Wars movies, TV series, and books on the way, there's going to be just that much more Star Wars coming into the world. Odds are not everybody will like all of it. Perhaps, like the prequels, most people will take issue with some of it, but the odds are just as good that at least some of it will be excellent. And if nothing else, we'll continue to debate it all.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.