Top 10 Best Moments From The Star Wars Prequels
With just a month to go until we finally see whether STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS can reclaim the wonder and excitement of George Lucas' original trilogy, we should reflect on the three most recent epics set in a galaxy far, far away. The prequels are three films widely hated by many STAR WARS fans but still feature some truly great moments that expanded the fictional universe and provided some breathtaking entertainment. Here is our ranking of the ten greatest moments from THE PHANTOM MENACE, ATTACK OF THE CLONES, and REVENGE OF THE SITH. If you think we missed one or disagree with our picks, feel free to let us know in the talk backs below.
Most people seem to really hate Jar Jar Binks. Whether it be blatant comic nature or vaguely racist design, Jar Jar was the brainchild of George Lucas and designed to serve in the same was for the prequels as R2-D2 and C-3PO did in the original trilogy. But, after the backlash against his role in THE PHANTOM MENACE, Lucas gave the ultimate screw you by having the Gungan make the deciding vote in tranforming the Galactic Republic into the Empire. Take that, haters!
A sequence that does run a bit long in THE PHANTOM MENACE, the podrace sequence is meant to showcase young Anakin's heightened abilities as a pilot but really serves as a special effects showcase for George Lucas' first STAR WARS film in 16 years. It is fun, fast, and brings a brightly-colored spectacle in the same vein as the speeder chase in RETURN OF THE JEDI.
While Qui-gon is a character, he imbued THE PHANTOM MENACE with something special. Part Zen, part Samurai, and all Jedi, Qui-gon died far too soon in the trilogy. Liam Neeson's presence would have made the films all the better if he had survived but even so we are still left with his mage-like guidance of both Obi-wan and young Anakin.
Both Yoda and Emperor Palpatine were characters who only showcased some elements of their prowess with the Force in the original trilogy. Their duel in REVENGE OF THE SITH shows why they were each so highly respected users of the Light and Dark Side. Their sprawling fight through the Galactic Senate chamber delivers one of the best lightsaber battles in the entire saga.
Think about this: the only Jedi featured in the original trilogy were Obi-wan and Yoda. Neither truly showcased their talents as warrior knights. The prequels delivered on the dreams of STAR WARS fans by showcasing dozens of Jedi wielding lightsabers and fighting to defend the Republic. The ATTACK OF THE CLONES closing battle on Geonosis gives us every Jedi dueling with the Trade Federation's droid army and the results are awesome. This scene sets the tone for the CLONE WARS animated series and helped visualize an era from the saga thought about since Ben Kenobi mentioned the war in A NEW HOPE.
Another character whose limited presence in the prequels added to his mystery and allure. Samuel L. Jackson's Jedi master is one of the coolest characters in the saga who wields a unique purple saber. From his entrance before the Geonosis battle to his final confrontation with Chancellor Palpatine, Windu is a badass presence who I wouldn't mind seeing appear in his own film.
The moment the Jedi are exterminated by the very Clone Troopers they have fought side by side with is a shocking and powerful montage that sweeps through the galaxy to cut down every knight, master and Padawan. But, it is Anakin's first act as Darth Vader in which he murders the youngest members of the Jedi that fully turns him to the Dark Side and delivers one of the most gut-wrenching moments from the entire saga.
It was the battle that brought the trilogy to a close and completed Anakin Skywalker's transformation into Darth Vader. The emotional battle in this sequence is possibly the most intense section of any STAR WARS film. Hayden Christiansen may not have been a great actor but he nails the final moments as Anakin writhes in pain as his mentor, friend, and brother looks on.
The best scene Hayden Christensen gave as Anakin Skywalker came as he dealt wit his mother's death at the hands of the Sandpeople. Less the actual massacre and more how he related the events to Padme, this is the scene that first showed us the glimmer of darkness inside of Anakin and hinted at the transformation to come.
Darth Maul may have died way too soon and his double-bladed lightsaber was the coolest part of the teaser for THE PHANTOM MENACE, but he still played an integral part in the lightsaber battle to end all lightsaber battles. General Grievous' multiple sabers was a bit of overkill, but Ray Park's acrobatic skills showcased what a trained Sith could do against a Master and his apprentice. The best scene in the prequels accompanied by one of the most significant musical pieces John Williams has ever created.