Now that the Star Wars movie Prequel Trilogy is way, way behind us, plenty of fans look back on the action movies with love and affection. They’ve taken the quirks, strange dialogue, and lore, and have learnt to embrace it.
Nevertheless, there is still a staunch number of Star Wars fans who look at the prequels and simply think: ‘why?’ For those, George Lucas has a very specific response.
Speaking to StarWars.com back in 2019, the filmmaker explained that the Prequel Trilogy had to be made because audiences just weren’t understanding what the Original Trilogy was all about, and they needed more context.
“The original idea for Star Wars was one movie about the tragedy of Darth Vader. But as the story grew, it ended up being three movies and the backstory was never explained,” he said.
Lucas continued, “I decided that it would be important to finish it off and do the backstory because things that I thought would be self-evident about the story, the audience didn’t get. Over the 10 years after Return of the Jedi, I realized people misunderstood a lot – such as where Anakin came from. So it was a way of finishing the whole thing off.”
It’s clear that Lucas’ view is very much that the Star Wars movies are about Darth Vader, and that the story of Luke Skywalker is only a means of exploring that. The cybernetic Sith lord is undoubtedly the most interesting aspect of the Original Trilogy, as we watch his story unexpectedly intersect with Luke and learn that he was once a close friend Obi-Wan Kenobi.
What we learn from the Prequel Trilogy is how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, which does reframe the events we see in the first three science fiction movies. So hopefully fans now see Star Wars as George Lucas envisioned, for better or worse.