It occurred to me this week that in May, we will reach the 15th anniversary of the release of The Phantom Menace. Yes, fans, the prequel trilogy is a decade and a half old. If you'll recall, when that movie first came out, a lot of fans who grew up with the first trilogy derided the more juvenille film as a film that played like it was made for eight year-olds.
Well that means that those eight year-olds are now 23. College graduates. Maybe some of them are even readers of this blog. In fact, I hope they are.
I've heard George Lucas often quoted speaking anecdotally about young fans who came to the series via the prequels and as a result, they find the original trilogy outdated and boring. It also seems there's a decent subset of fans whose entry into Star Wars was The Clone Wars series. Lucas claims that some of those fans don't even seem to be aware of the films.
When I was growing up, Star Wars was pretty much three films. That was it, unless you want to count the "extended universe" of novels and games that sprung up in the 90s. But generally speaking, until 1999, most everyone experienced Star Wars the same way. And because of that, a lot of people of my generation have similar reactions to the elements that came after.
But now that the youngest of the prequel viewers are now older than I was when the prequels came out, I'm sort of curious to hear the perspectives of the audience the films were aimed at at the time.
So if your introduction to Star Wars came by any means other than the three classic films, please sound off in the comments, particularly if you're among those subsets that prefers the prequels or the Clone Wars animated series. How did joining the series via those on ramps affect your perception of the story as it played out in the original trilogy?
It would be nice if we could keep the prequel bashing to a minimum, at least from the members of my generation.