New ‘Star Wars’ Documentary Re-Examines The Prequel Trilogy

“No one hates Star Wars like a Star Wars fan” may be an apt description for George Lucas’ prequel trilogy, but a new documentary is aiming to re-examine the much-maligned films and their place in the larger context of the iconic space opera.

The documentary in question is titled The Prequels Strike Back: A Fan’s Journey, and has been produced by Ministry of Cinema, according to ComicBook.com. The film aims to frame the now decade-old experience of the prequel trilogy in a new way, using interviews with prop-makers, creative staff, and notable Star Wars fans like Kevin Smith. As he notes in the documentary’s trailer, Smith himself believes the prequel films are likely to have a drastic effect on the next generation of Star Wars fandom.

“You’re going to see a generation of kids that grew up watching the prequels that didn’t feel the same way that we did. Ya know, we’re just the loudest voice in the room.”

Reviled by some fans, the prequel trilogy has nonetheless developed quite the following over the years, and remains one of the most divisive aspects of the Star Wars universe. Addressing some of the biggest moments in the series’ lore, like the fall of the Republic, and Anakin Skywalker’s turn to the Dark Side as Darth Vader, the films were in many ways created against an impossible set of expectations. The Phantom Menace, for instance, was immediately met with hostility by some fans upon its release, in many cases simply because of its marked and intentional differences from the original trilogy.

Despite this general attitude, the films are loved by some Star Wars acolytes, and The Prequels Strike Back is set to address the good aspects that reside within the trilogy as well as its less-revered elements. In addition to featuring interviews with some of the architects of the series, the documentary will examine many of the fan theories that surround the prequels, like the “ring theory” advanced by Mike Klimo. As Cinemablend notes, this extensive think piece posits that the prequel trilogy is actually an intentional rip-off of the first three films, and that a symbiotic architecture underpins the entire six (now seven, and soon to be eight, as the Inquisitr has previously reported) movie cycle. Well known among fans, the ring theory is endlessly debated online, yet it represents just one of the major theses postulated in the Star Wars community.

That online fandom is key to the universe of Star Wars, and they are well represented in the documentary by Michael from Belated Media, who has authored a series of YouTube videos critiquing the prequel trilogy and arguing for ways in which they could have been improved. The internet has always been kind to Star Wars, so much so that fans even go so far as to actively argue what is the best order in which to view the films if you’re a newcomer to the franchise, as Vulture notes. While some fans (as well as George Lucas himself) argue that the Star Wars films are best watched in chronological order, others suggest watching the original trilogy first, followed by the prequels. Most interestingly, some fans suggest watching A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back before “flashing back” to the prequel trilogy, and then ending with Return of the Jedi.

Whatever anyone’s personal feelings regarding the prequel trilogy, time has seemingly strengthened the divide between those who loathe them and those who revere them. The Prequels Strike Back will address this on September 14, giving fans a new, and perhaps even fresh, take on some of the most maligned moments in all of Star Wars lore.

[Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]