It's a tricky state the current Star Wars franchise is in. Solo: A Star Wars Story was the first time one of the movies has genuinely flopped, and The Last Jedi got a reception that was brutally split. With even the mention of it a year later, it's guaranteed to rile a talkback forum into near riot-like heights.
Yet, what's stranger is how surprised everyone has been about the reactions, when fans getting angry about Star Wars is pretty much what internet talkbacks were born on. They forgot about the polarising reactions to The Phantom Menace and Jar-Jar Binks, a sidekick so annoying he retroactively made the Ewoks get a pass from fans. George Lucas would continue with his prequels to consistently mixed reactions, although all would be ginormous hits regardless. Funnily enough, due to the recent bitter responses to the current movies, a lot of audiences are now retroactively giving a lighter response to the prequels.
In all honesty, the prequels had plenty of ambition, a distinct identity, and solid action—in fact, it holds likely some of the strongest lightsaber duels committed to the franchise. Sadly, there's plenty of bad stuff going along with that, especially with Lucas' completely carefree sense of continuity and commitment to rewriting the original sequels. The prequels' epic-sized plot gaps not only left plenty confused, but would go on to create a ripple effect of the nonsensical that trickled into the original trilogy. So let's 'force' out the most blatant examples of them, without further ado...
25 Why Did Obi-Wan Hang Out In A Cave For 19 Years?
At the end of Episode 3, as all plot threads are beginning to come together to lay the groundwork for the original films, so are huge major plot holes. Obi-Wan walks away from his victorious but devastating battle that has transformed Anakin into the nefarious Darth Vader.
So what does the Jedi decide to do after that major win?
Well, he decides to sit back on the planet of Tatooine in a cave. Sure, it's in the vicinity of Luke Skywalker, but why not take him under his wing straight away? Aren't Jedi meant to be trained from a young age?
24 Why Was Yoda Chilling In That Swamp?
Same thoughts for Yoda. At the end of Revenge Of The Sith, the little green fighter has a massive battle with Emperor Palpatine... then just sulks away and hides on a swamp planet for close to two decades?
He even had the upper hand for most of the fight—are we to believe when the Galaxy needs him the most he would just turn his back on it? Yeah, it doesn’t really add up. Why would Yoda and Obi-Wan, as the last remaining (and very capable) Jedi, just sit on their hands and let the entire Galaxy go to waste?
23 Why Was The Technology Better Back Then?
A glaring point apparent from just the outset of the prequels is how slick, fancy, and cutting-edge all the technology is. Sure, we can keep in mind that special effects vastly advanced between 1986 and 1999 within the industry.
Yet, why is it so blatantly apparent on-screen, considering the last prequel episode is 19 years prior to A New Hope?
Did all tech regress? Apparently so. Certainly, the Empire laid waste to the Jedi Order, but are we to believe it does so to all technical advancements as well?
22 Why Stage Palpatine’s ‘Taking’?
In the opening of Revenge Of The Sith, Chancellor Palpatine has been captured by the Sith forces. In the rescue mission, Anakin manages to save the day and off Count Dooku.
Later on in the film, it was revealed that Palpatine has been a Sith Lord the whole time, meaning that the whole opening was a staged event—but what purpose did it really serve? It severely messed up Palpatine's army forces, not to mention it was an over-elaborate way to coax Anakin to off Count Dooku. Maybe a less extravagant method could have worked just as well?
21 Why Did Obi-Wan Completely Forget About R2-D2 And C3PO?
As shown in the prequels, the bumbling duo of robots were not only passive observers of the Clone Wars (as hinted in A New Hope) but also active participants, especially R2-D2 who was Anakin Skywalker's robot companion in battle. Obi-Wan was not only there for C3PO's conception, but also was involved in many adventures with the metallic pair—yet, when he finally sees them again in A New Hope, he doesn't give them a second glance. Has his old age worn him down?
20 Why Is Vader's Force Ghost A Young Anakin Skywalker?
In the original ending of Return Of The Jedi, the ‘force’ apparitions of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and a redeemed Anakin (played by Sebastian Shaw) all chill out at the Ewok campfire together like old buddies.
In the revamped DVDs, Lucas swapped Shaw out for the much younger Hayden Christensen instead.
This left the head-scratching notion of why the other Jedi appear at their age of passing, but Anakin didn't? There's never been a worthwhile explanation for this unnecessary shoehorning of the prequels into the originals.
19 What Was The Actual Reasoning For Padmé Passing On?
Another plot-hole concerning Revenge Of The Sith’s third act; Padme manages to churn out two kids (Luke and Leia) then simply perishes. The reason? Because of a broken heart—yep, that’s the straight-up reason the film gives for her closing her eyes and never waking up again. Sure, the franchise isn’t renowned for its science facts, but the notion remains that even in that reality, deciding to pass on without physical reasoning is a stretch—oh wait, there was that last scene in The Last Jedi.
18 The Sith's 'Rule Of Two'
In the prequels, we got a chance to delve further into the mythology of the Sith order. One vital rule is mentioned, that the Sith always exist in a pairing of two—one Sith Lord and one Apprentice. The amount is no more or no less.
While this holds up throughout the prequels, it sort of makes all of the subsequent timeline a little confusing. Especially Darth Sidious coaxing Vader to bring Luke over to the dark side with them in Episode VI, or how Commander Snoke even exists in Force Awakens after the Sith order are snuffed out.
17 Obi-Wan's Crazy Aging Between Episode III And IV
In the final moments of Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan, as played by Ewan McGregor in his mid-thirties, retreats into the deserts of Tatooine to hang out in caves for 19 years until the events of A New Hope have him finally meet up with Luke Skywalker.
When he reemerges, he's played by an elderly Alec Guinness in his mid-60s. How come ten plus years got added onto this impeccable Jedi master? Must be that sandy air and muddy water diet.
16 Why Keep Jar Jar Binks Around?
During the plot of Episode 1, Jedi's Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are tasked with the ultra-secret mission of keeping Queen Padmé safe from the numerous enemies hunting her while en route to a council meeting to talk about taxes... or something like that.
The highest mandate of the mission is to be incognito, so why do they keep Jar Jar—a loud, dumb alien that constantly creates conflict and draws attention to them everywhere they go—around them? He's not only annoying but also a massive liability.
15 What Happened To R2-D2's Rocket Boosters?
The loveable little tin bot R2-D2 was a prevalent part of both the original films and the prequels. In fact, he was even re-written into becoming a large part of the Clone Wars, with him serving as Anakin Skywalker's go-to-robot companion. During that time he sported all kinds of cool and useful gadgets—the most apparent and oft-used were his jet blasters.
Yet, in the originals, he never used them once. Maybe that nefarious Empire put out some kind of oppressive action against robot jet-blasters?
14 Qui-Jon Jinn (Not Yoda) Trained Obi-Wan
In Empire Strikes Back, the ghost form of Obi-Wan visits young Luke Skywalker and tells him to search for Yoda—the Jedi 'that instructed him.' This lead to some iconic training on Dagobah and a floating X-Wing.
Yet, when it came time to jump back for the prequels, Obi-Wan quite clearly is the padawan learner of Qui-Gon Jinn in Phantom Menace. Yoda shows up too, but he's a senior member of the Jedi Council and never is seen doing any training of any sort involving Obi-Wan.
13 Why Did Luke Keep The Skywalker Name?
At the tail end of Episode 3, Padmé's children are put into hiding from their vengeful sith lord of a father Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader. Leia goes into a new life with a new identity being raised by political figure Bail Organa—so far it makes sense. But Luke is placed on Vader/Anakin's home planet to live with his direct relatives and even given the moniker Skywalker? Maybe they figured hiding him in plain sight was the best action, right?
12 Why Did Obi-Wan Keep Kenobi?
The same point goes for Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who decides to hide from the Empire in the vicinity of Luke Skywalker, the secret son of his enemy, Vader—not the slickest ploy but whatever.
What's worse, though, is he even adopts a new alias of Old Ben Kenobi. That'll keep the Sith guessing for sure! Not only does he keep his surname, but adopts a nickname close to his real moniker. If he was actually going to bother changing it, why not go with John Smith or something instead?
11 How Can Leia Remember Her Mother If Padmé Passed During Birth?
In Return of the Jedi, there's a strong moment when Luke finally reveals to Leia their family bond and connection to Vader. Leia also reminisces about their mother; "she was beautiful...kind, but very sad."
It was an interesting tidbit in the originals—yet, the prequels have rendered this scene nonsensical. How? Well, we witness Padme birthing Luke and Leia. She pushes them out, gives them names—then passes on. Unless Leia has a photographic memory since her birth moments, this just doesn't link up all that great.
10 How Is Padme An ‘Elected’ Queen?
One sentence George Lucas certainly copied and pasted a lot during the script process on Episode 1 was Padmé waxing on about how she has been 'elected by the people—yet, she's a Queen... so, huh? Sure, the fantasy trappings of the Star Wars universe don't need to follow real-world regulations. But why establish a Royal monarchy in the first place if it doesn't mean the same?
Plus, Phantom Menace is chock-full of boring real-world parallels like Tax Federations and Council assemblies—certainly the title of Queen must mean something.
9 Why Is Vader And Obi-Wan’s Lightsaber Fight In A New Hope So Lame Compared To Episode 3?
As rough a time as the prequels get, there is one area where the originals pale in comparison—and that is with the lightsaber duels. Revenge of the Sith sported arguably the most memorable and dramatic, featuring former friends Obi-Wan and Anakin facing off in a brutal fight that left the later in a deformed state that morphed into Darth Vader.
Yet, what about their rematch in A New Hope? It's a pretty tame bit of action, to be honest. Lucas has argued that they are old and weary at this point, but he misses out that they are both still ridiculously powerful.
8 Sifo-Dya's Motivations For The Clone Army
An intriguing thread throughout Episode 2 was Obi-Wan's subplot as he tracks down the AWOL Jedi Sifo Dyas. His detective like path leads him to discover that Dyas had financed an entire secret army of clones; soldiers that would later become the Empire's clone trooper army. It's a great a-ha moment, so much so that Lucas never bothered to follow up any explanation of why Dyas did it and what happened to him afterward—in fact, he's completely forgotten about.
7 What About Those Midichlorians?
A highly controversial element introduced in Phantom Menace was the concept of Midichlorians being the reason behind some being able to learn Force powers, while others not. This was a pivotal point for who gets accepted in the Jedi's order, etc.
A lot of dedicated fans detested converting the spiritual concept of The Force and changing it into some pseudo-science. Regardless, it was a part of canon history—and we had to face that it was staying. Yet, no one ever mentions it again.
6 Anakin And Padmé's Varying Growth In Attack Of The Clones
The chemistry between Padme and Anakin in Phantom Menace was a little awkward—she was a teen (14 years) and he a little tyke (9 years)—yet we all knew they were destined to fall in love at some point.
Then in Episode 2, the leap in ages is kind of flabbergasting. Certainly, it works on paper, as there is now a ten-year time jump. But Anakin has become a strapping young lad and Padmé looks like she hasn't aged a day since Episode 1—which is kind of weird, isn't it? Let's just blame it on those pesky midichlorians.
5 How Did Anyone Let Jar Jar Binks Become A Politician?
After the toxic reactions to Jar Jar in Episode 1, his role was massively reduced in the later installments—although his subsequent plot is a little head-scratching.
Certainly, his purpose was to serve as a punchline for kids to buy toys of—if taken as cold facts, he was a genuinely useless creature that survived events by the skin of his teeth. What does the Galactic Council decide to do with him subsequently? Upgrade him into a major political figure, of course.
4 Why Hide Luke On Vader's Home Planet?
This one echoes the earlier entry that asks why Luke keeps the name Skywalker if he is actually hiding from Vader.
So, to continue, from the vast intergalactic smorgasbord that is the Star Wars universe, with a bevy of planets to choose from, Obi-Wan and Yoda decide it best to put Luke in hiding on Vader's home planet Tatooine? It could come down again to hiding in plain sight, I suppose, yet Vader is a good one for snuffing out a fib, so this wasn't really the best plan of action.
3 Why Does No One Know Padmé Is Carrying Twins?
During Episode 3's events, Padmé is in late pregnancy stages yet it is unknown it is actually twins. Anakin, as a master of the Force, is unable to figure this out, so is Obi-Wan. In fact, no Jedi or Sith are able to figure this out until a midwife robot announced a second baby is arriving at the moment it is literally popping out.
Now, of course, it's a natural oversight for someone to not expect twins; yet these Jedi are able to sense out the presence of someone across an entire space stream. Is it too much of a stretch for Anakin to not sense a second baby in his wife's womb?
2 Who Taught Anakin To Enter Ghost Form?
Qui-Gon returns as a spectral form to Yoda in Episode 3, telling him he has figured the trick of existing as a 'Force Ghost.' Yoda mentions to Obi-Wan that he will teach him this trick as well.
So that explains why they are all are able to return in that specific form after they pass. Yet, Darth Vader is able to do this himself after being offed as well. Since Lucas has paired back that 'force ghosting' is no longer a spiritual state you need but something you specifically had to learn—who the heck taught Vader and when?
1 If Becoming A Jedi Takes Years, How Did Luke Become One In Days?
The prequels manage to open up the ins-and-outs of the Jedi Order; one new chunk of information we learned is that the process of becoming a Jedi is an arduous one. One where the student must start from an incredibly early age (with even a Jake Lloyd's Anakin considered too old).
So if that is the case, how come the much older Luke is able to learn enough from Yoda in a few days to bust Force related moves in Empire? Give him a few more months and he's a straight-up Jedi Master in Return Of The Jedi—doesn't really add up, huh?