Well, we all know that George Lucas took Ben-Hur as the starting point
for the Pre-quels, and riffed on it from there. One can see his
reasoning: Ben-Hur is one of those socially concious movies that
critics love, and most people who are into film will say they've
watched it, but let's face it. Most of us kinda wait until the
chariot race and sleep through the rest, except to get up to get
snacks from the kitchen.
It's got slavery! It's got pathos! It's socially concious! It's
got court intrigue! It's got the Savior and Immaculate conseption!
It's bloody boring.
You know the tendancy to throw slavery into the movies is kind of
like the movies from the mid-20th Century about Devil Worshippers.
There are no actual Devil Worshippers out there with more than 2
functioning brain cells, so I have to wonder why there were so many
Devil Worship movies.
I never understood Devil Worship anyway. If you believe in the
Judeo-Christian theology at all, why would you pledge loyalty to
the losing side? You know, the side that tortures all it's followers?
Never made sense to me.
It makes even less sense to make them the villians in so many movies.
Same with slavery today. Is slavery actually a problem out there?
(Actually, it is. According to a recent news report, there are 30
million people in the world living under slavery. Now, if we take
this as an exaggeration, and cut the number in half, that's still
15 million slaves out there. Reportedly, there mostly in India and
Asia and the Mid-East. But, if you're going to make a statement
about Real Slavery in a Star Wars film, you're going to have to
introduce some Islamic types, because they're the ones who own slaves
not Jews as was shown in the Pre-quels.)
Anyway, as a result of Lucas kicking off Star Wars with Ben-Hur and
slaves, we set the tone for the rest of the Pre-quels which we all know
ends up in a big bag of Suck.
You know if only Lucas had started off with a GOOD story, the pre-quels
would have been totally different.
Imagine if you will if The Phantom Menace hadn't been a Ben-Hur ripoff,
but a ripoff of The Three Musketeers!
It's got Action! It's got Adventure! It's got Romance! It's got the
teamwork, loyalty, and spirit of the original Star Wars!
D'artagnan, a young adventurous Wanna-be-Jedi comes to Courocant, and
meets up with 3 of the best Jedi on the planet. Together, they run afowl
of Cardinal Sideous and his Sith Guards. There's the threat of war with
the neighboring empire. There's court intrigue, attempts at Coup d'etat,
there's decadent rulers and evil plotters, there's pretty girls in
elaborate costumes and lots of light sabre swordplay.
There's also one thing that the first movie had, that was downplayed in
the rest of the first trilogy and utterly vanished from the pre-quels:
Comradeship. Luke, Leia and Han were Friends.
Kenobi and Anakin were never friends. They bickered and argued, and never
listened to each other. Anakin was in a perpetual sulk that only a spoiled
and surly teenager can manage, and Kenobi was in a perpetual eye roll.
Alexandre Dumas's story has been around for over 170 years, it set the
the standard for comradeship for most of that time. Even people who don't
know the story know that The Three Musketeers stood "All for one and one for all!"
What did Annakin and Kenobi stand for? I just don't know. The Prequels
were all about special effects, not story. I sat through the films and
I'm still not sure what they were about.