I'm late to the game. I know this. Up until a little over a month ago, the only Star Wars movies I've seen were A New Hope, and the Phantom Menace. I'm also almost 27 years old, so something had to change. So I decided I was going to watch the movies in chronological order instead of order of release. Why this way instead of just focusing on the original trilogy? Well, I heard that the prequels weren't all that great. At the same time, I recognize the potential for some bias and nostalgia impacting people's views on the films. Being a bit of a nerd, I knew much of the necessary background info for the films. So I "acquired" some HD copies of all six movies. As of last night, I just finished Episode 3.
Episode I, as most people here know, really was unnecessary. The first time I saw it was when it came out in theaters. A friend invited me opening weekend. After viewing it again years later (sometime in Feb 2010), I see why people complain about it. Jar Jar is annoying. The story tries too hard, and the acting is pretty wooden. After seeing the other prequel movies, it does set the stage and introduces characters, but it still felt a bit unnecessary. That being said, it still had it's moments. The pod race in particular was pretty bad ass.
Episode II was much better. You really get a much better feel for how the characters fit into the story, and what the overall plot actually is! It has it's faults, but it was still solid. Like that factory that Obi-Wan and Anakin fought there way through... what was up with that? It was almost like a level out of a video game for crying out loud! The wooden acting was still present, but not as noticeable. And the Yoda fight seemed to be there for the sake of humor (yeah, I know, he also trained the bad guy and there are parallels and crap). I did find it a little creepy (and forced) that Anakin and Padme got "involved," but whatever, I knew it was coming. It was still a cool movie, with some pretty good action scenes, as well as some decent, if stereotypical, character development.
Episode III is by far my favorite thus far. Action packed throughout. Great story too. Anakin's final turn to the dark side felt a bit contrived, but it still worked. And the Chancellor just felt awkward with a light saber. But I liked all the backstabbing and questioning and stuff. And pretty much every fight scene/action scene was badass. The fall of the Jedi and the rise of the Sith was just plain fun to watch.
I am now even more excited about seeing the original trilogy. I hear they are even better. It may take me another month an a half, but that is small bones compared to 27 years! I'm glad I saw the prequels first, as it definitely has a grand stage set for this space opera. When I finish the original trilogy, I'll be sure to post my thoughts once again.