The Prequels Strike Back: A Fan’s Journey is a documentary about the controversial legacy surrounding George Lucas’ Star Wars Prequel Trilogy (1999-2005).
Independent film studio Ministry of Cinema originated the film as a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.com, which raised US$12,773.
Ministry of Cinema’s previous credits include A Timeline of World Cinema, Film Genres and Hollywood, as well as several shorts. All of these are available on their YouTube Channel.
The title, to say the least, is certainly a provocative one, even potentially misleading. In the comments section for the trailer, YouTube user “Playhouse76” raises some common concerns surrounding the discussion of The Prequels Strike Back.
For the sake of brevity, we can sum up the gist of those concerns in a couple of points.
1. Why defend “objectively” bad films as if they were overlooked masterpieces?
2. Even if the point is to appreciate and consider great ideas that George Lucas failed to realize, it doesn’t make up for where the films go wrong.
In response to the comment, Ministry of Cinema had this to say:
“We agree. A film that is purely defensive of the prequels would do no good. We want to explore the arguments you’re making and many more on both sides, for better or worse.”
Based on that answer, the film’s approach is tamer than the all-out defense that the title suggests. At the same time, it implies the filmmakers will not automatically assume anything, even the common argument that the films are “objectively” bad. It seems reasonable to predict that the film will feature interviews with people on both sides of the debate and everyone in between. I think what the filmmakers are asking of their audience is to approach with an open mind.
While the film isn’t a defense, it appears to be an exercise in sharing the mic. In a fandom where prequel detractors have dominated the discussion for so long, that is exactly what is needed. The fandom should not be a place where one voice drowns out the others because, when that happens, instead of being a place of refuge, fandom becomes a place to be taken refuge from.
The digital version of the film was released today, available through VHX, Amazon, and YouTube.
You can also pre-order the DVD at The Prequels Strike Back webpage.
An upcoming screening is scheduled for October 6th, 2016 at the Alamo Drafthouse - South Lamar, Austin (TX). A pre-show will take place at 7:00pm with the screening at 7:30pm. Tickets are available for purchase here.
You can view the trailer below: