Charlie, Cameron, and Collin Grade the Star Wars Movies: Prequel Edition


Episode I: “The Phantom Menace:”

Cameron: D

I think when you watch “The Phantom Menace” it seems longer than two hours. Yet, in scenes such as the pod racer scene, it cuts away from actual plot to show something dumb or useless. “The Phantom Menace” introduces interesting and unusual characters to distract from a bad story. Although it does have some of the best lightsaber combat in all of the titles, it is not redeeming enough to save it from a long and overall bad movie. It feels as though you could cut an hour and half of the movie and it would make as much sense and would be better. It is stunning how bad the acting is, yet you can not blame the actors because the characters seem so underdeveloped. This movie does not even do action scenes right because when you watch it, it seems like the movie spends more time on galactic politics than battle scenes. Overall, if you like galactic politics, overly long movies, bad acting, and underdeveloped characters then this is the movie for you. 

Charlie: C-

I would like to say that I am a big Star Wars fan, but I am not the biggest fan out there. I do not read the Star Wars books or care about every last detail of each movie. That being said, whenever there is new Star Wars content out, I become temporarily obsessed with the franchise and watch a lot of my favorite Star Wars movies to prep for the next one. I spent the past few months watching “The Mandalorian” with my brother and loved it. Baby Yoda is the cutest character I have ever seen. Now onto “The Phantom Menace”–it is nowhere near my favorite Star Wars movie. It is a tough rewatch. This movie has a few unique things it offers to the Star Wars franchise. One of those things is Darth Maul, who might be the coolest character in the entire series. The double lightsaber and overall vibe of Darth Maul is incredible. I would love to see more Darth Maul content in the future now that Disney+ is a thing. The Anakin pod racing has been a memorable moment in the series, just based off of the absurdity of it alone. There is also Young Obi-Wan Kenobi and the meme of Jar Jar Binks. Even with these unique factors in mind, this movie is tough to watch. I am not a fan. It gets a C- from me. 

Collin: C-

“The Phantom Menace” is mainly considered one of, if not the worst, Star Wars film. It is a complete incoherent mess. Trying to understand the plot of the movie is tough for adults much less the target audience of the movie: kids. While there are some redeeming qualities such as the pod racing scene, and the duel on Naboo, the bad heavily outweighs the good. The one thing that keeps me coming back is the score. The music is easily some of the best in the series with Duel of the Fates being one of the many iconic themes from the series. Also Jar-Jar Binks, seriously why is he in this movie.  


Episode II: “Attack of the Clones”:

Cameron: B-

“Attack of the Clones” is somehow the best and worst Star Wars movie I have ever seen. I think when you look back at the movie it gives you so much bad: bad acting, bad graphics and a bad story. Yet, the one large battle scene at the end of the movie, starting with the Jedi at Geonosis Colosseum and ending with the Dooku battle scene is at least a top 3 all-time battle sequence of the franchise. It hinges on cheap thrills to keep it afloat. Personally, I felt like the battle sequence was fulfilling but I will not scorn someone who did not like the movie.

Charlie: D-

“Attack of the Clones” is awful. Almost unwatchable at times. Anakin gained almost 15 years of age between Episode One and Episode Two. The Naboo love scenes are so cringeworthy. The part where Anakin uses the force on fruit is kind of cool, I guess. I liked the Jango Fett vs Obi-Wan Kenobi fight and some of the Jedi battles. Regardless, this is the worst movie in the franchise and gets a D- and not an F because I am nice and like lightsabers. 

Collin: D+

“Attack of the Clones” seems to have learned nothing from its predecessor. Even though “The Phantom Menace” is bad, it still can be fun every once in a while and has some memorable scenes. This movie lacks a lot of identity compared to the others with the most memorable scene probably being the Arena battle near the end. The movie is just so boring to watch in between action scenes which are pretty infrequent to begin with. The dialogue is also just awful. Also Jar-Jar is back. Yay. 


Episode III: “Revenge of the Sith”:

Cameron: B+

“Revenge of the Sith” is definitely the best movie in this trilogy. The graphics are much more refined, the acting feels more convincing, and the story is more coherent than the other movies. When I mean more coherent, that is not a praise of this story but a reprimand of the other movies. This movie does have some plot holes. It does not seem likely that Anakin would just join the dark side because of visions of Padme dying. A Jedi master would know that visions do not always tell the truth yet he is taken advantage of by Palpatine, which is not believable. Another plot hole is how Mace Windu brought only a couple of Jedi to deal with the universe’s most dangerous man. But, overall it has some of the coolest battles, such as the one on Kashyyyk or the duel on Mustafar. The movie struggles to always make sense of its actions.

Charlie: B

“Revenge of the Sith” is easily the best movie in the Star Wars prequels. I remember it for the iconic last battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin, and all of the memes that come from that. I also remember the iconic shot of Anakin opening his lightsaber on the young Jedi. The transition from Anakin to Darth Vader is epic. The fact that the best movie in the prequels is still a giant meme is what holds me back from grading this movie higher. In my opinion, the only movie in the original trilogy that this could challenge is Return of the Jedi. “Revenge of the Sith” should feel blessed to get a B grade from me. 

Collin: C+

“Revenge of the Sith” is the only prequel that kind of sticks the landing. It really is 50/50. It definitely has its own identity and contains what could easily be the coolest lightsaber fight in the series, among other things. The main thing that bogs down the film is the emotional weight of the climax, or lack of. While it is sad most of the Jedi are killed, all of the main important ones survive. Obi-Wan and Yoda go into hiding while the only somewhat important Jedi that dies is Mace Windu, and you do not have a real connection with him anyways. Anakin’s quick turn to the dark side almost feels forced and his decision does not necessarily make sense based off what we are told about him in the film. The standouts in this are easily the duel on Mustafar, the opera scene, and Order 66. And thankfully it has the last appearance of Jar-Jar in the series.