The contrasts between the original Star Wars trilogy and its prequels were stark. Where Episodes IV to VI were told economically, the prequels felt bloated. Where the originals used practical effects, puppets, and people to build its galaxy, the prequels leaned on computer effects to make a universe that felt fake. Where A New Hope introduced characters we wanted to root for, The Phantom Menace featured a cast of punchable irritants, led by a character so annoying his name is shorthand for "the worst."
But now, less than a hundred days from the premiere of The Force Awakens, fans are finally finding some parellels between the two Star Wars trilogies — particularly in the way they are shot, with the prequels echoing scenes first put on film 25 years before. Filmmaker Pablo Fernández Eyre has put together a compilation of strikingly similar scenes shared between the movies, juxtaposing them into the same shot to show how closely some of them mirror each other. In the Empire Strikes Back, for example, the Millennium Falcon hides clamped to the bridge of a Star Destroyer. In Attack of the Clones, Obi Wan uses the same trick on an asteroid in his Jedi starfighter. Both are chased by an even sneakier bounty hunter — Boba Fett in the original trilogy, his dad Jango in the prequels — who was waiting for them to move.
If only Lucas had copied more for the prequels from the original trilogy
The video reinforces Star Wars' concept of time existing in cycles, with the galaxy's fate decided by vast political bodies, but also by a handful of powerful force users. If you slogged through the books of Star Wars' expanded universe, tracking Jacen Solo's transformation through the New Jedi Order and further, you'll be even more conscious of these cycles, as balance is brought to the force by alternating masters of dark and light. You'd also probably want to tell members of the Skywalker family to stop having kids: it doesn't always end well.
The video doesn't try to defend the prequels — they're too bad for that — but it does at least show that Episodes I to III shared the same love and reverence for the original trilogy that we do. If only Lucas had tried to copy more than just certain shots from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi for his newer movies — their stories, perhaps, or their heart — then we might have got something worthy of the Star Wars name.Verge Video: Inside ILM's secret Star Wars lab