The Prequels Don’t Rely On Nostalgia
You know one reason why I really don’t like the sequels? They lean too heavily on nostalgia. As soon as I saw Harrison Ford in that first trailer for The Force Awakens, I thought, wait. We’re sticking with those characters? Because while we did get some fresh faces in the sequels, the fact that we were still also getting narrative threads from Han, Luke, Leia, and even freaking Palpatine (WHY?) just reeked of pandering to the old fans. At least The Last Jedi had Luke Skywalker chucking his lightsaber over his shoulder and Kylo Ren saying, “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.” The Last Jedi had some Midi-chlorians! (Midi-chlorians are balls, right?)
But the prequels don’t rely on nostalgia at all. Yes, we’re learning about the rise of Darth Vader, but the rest of the story is all new stuff. We’re not paying homage to the original trilogy. Instead, we have pod racing, new villains, and even an annoying new alien race called Gungans with its leading spokesperson, Jar Jar Binks. Say what you will about the prequels. At least those films felt fresh at the time.