Now we come to the only prequel that seems to receive positive opinions. I’ve even heard people say you should just skip Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones and just watch this one. I disagree. Both movies do set this movie up, and let’s not forget the original trilogy wasn’t perfect.
If the original trilogy can be called an outer space version of Campbell’s famous “Hero’s Journey”, then the prequels can be its polar opposite: “The Shadow’s Journey”. The Hero’s Journey is a quest for glory. The Shadow’s Journey is a journey not to glory, but to darkness.
Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship has taken a turn for the worse. His romance with Padme is far from secret, and now he has a child on the way. But dark visions plague him–he sees again and again that his wife will die during childbirth. Anakin has never really gotten over the death of his mother, and still wants to find a way to stop people from dying, as he had promised in the previous movie. And now Palpatine is offering him a chance to fulfill that promise.
One could almost sympathize with Anakin. We’ve all lost loved ones at least once in our lives. Like him, in his position who’s to say that they wouldn’t take his offer? And thus begins his path to the Dark Side. I like this idea, because the betrayal makes sense to me.
We also see how the Sith defeated the Jedi, to the point that by A New Hope, they have now become all but extinct. And Anakin assists them by killing younglings of his own. Padme is devastated by this news. This is why she dies. She does not wish to be by Anakin’s side any longer. Palpatine is right. “In the end, you killed her.”
The movie sets up A New Hope at the very end. Not only do we see Anakin’s transformation into Darth Vader, but we see the twin children separately raised. We see Vader and Palpatine overseeing the construction of the Death Star.
I hope that my reviews of the prequels have put them in a new light for those who disdain them. Next month, I begin my reviews of the Disney movies thus far, starting with The Force Awakens.