'Star Wars': What the New Trilogy Should Take from the Prequels

Who knew Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow should be studying the 'Phantom Menace' podracing scene?
Photofest (Christensen)

You know what the new Star Wars trilogy could use a dose of? The prequels.

At least, that's the sure-to-be controversial argument Heat Vision contributor Chris Hartwell makes in a recent video essay he created for Schmoes Know.

At the crux of Hartwell's essay is a deep dive on the podracing scene from Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace — which does put the sequence in a new light. Though some might declare its buildup dull, Hartwell points out it all builds to quite a crescendo, with real stakes — and it's all testament to George Lucas' directing prowess. 

The video was was created before Star Wars Celebration and the revelation of Last Jedi teaser trailer. So would Hartwell change his argument now that the trailer has dropped? Not exactly.

"Nearly every castmember made it a point, at The Last Jedi’s Star Wars Celebration panel, to mention the brilliance of Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII script.  Even before that though, I knew that we had nothing to worry about when it came to the filmmaker’s screenwriting abilities," says Hartwell. "His previous films — BrickThe Brothers Bloom and Looper — all have proven that he knows how to construct a compelling narrative and strong dialogue.  With that said however, none of films have required Johnson to construct a large-scale action set piece like those found in a Star Wars film.  As such, I hope that the director was wise enough to learn from a master of action sequences: George Lucas — yes, even his work on the prequels."

Check out his essay below:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens Dec. 15.

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