So may as well tack something onto an older thread...
What's missing from the PT I miss from the CT?
-Military Structure... There's almost none. The story's not focused on a main group really, but kind of jumping around. IN the OT you've got the Alliance and Empire... 2 clearly defined sides from start to finish, embroiled in a galactic conflict. Instantly focused story.
With the PT you've got what starts out as a planetary milia/police force who seemingly are automatically overrun without even finghting against an unknown military. The Trade Federation, being the unknown military, are a corporation or business organization... not a military.
Then you throw in the Gungans... Whole other thing.
Then there's Episode II which starts to establish some military basis, and thus a real "Star Wars" kinda theme, but it barely starts it off and the military action we do see at the end of the film is hap-hazard, confusing, etc... it's not structured and realistic so much as it's fast and eye-candy.
-Another thing missing between the two, for me, is quality acting. Yeah, Hammil and Fisher weren't winning oscars but out of the prequals I feel lackluster performances have come from: Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, and Hayden Christensen.
Not much excuse for 3 main actors in the two prequals to deliver undoubtebly bad performances in my view. I'd say that, of the 3, Christensen has the best showing, with Portman having the worst (only because she's older/more experienced than Lloyd).
Only so much can be put on the dialogue and Lucas as far as blame... To me the actors need to hold their own too. They're paid more than enough to warrant some blame.
-Forgettable characters... It bares saying, but the classic trilogy you simply don't forget the characters. Even background characters stick in your mind. Jabba was genius at the time, Yoda's an unmatched piece of pop-culture, Tarkin's incredibly developed in depth, the droids are amazing, Chewbacca's everything he's intended to be... The list goes on.
With the prequals, you're slapped with Jar-Jar Binks immediately, and not only is he simply forgettable, but you find yourself striving to forget him. I guarantee if you take out 50% of his dialogue, give him subtitles instead of slave-speak, and you've got yourself a 100% improved character that intrigues people more. Hell, even the stepping in poop joke had its merits, but little else did.
Don't make him suddenly adept as a soldier and leading an army either. God that whole thing pissed me off... He's a numbnuts through the whole show then suddenly he's Patton at the end. Don't do that. Make him just a tag-along with Tarpals, and make Tarpals actually HEROIC... Show him kick some metal ass and DEVELOPE HIM.
Same goes for Panaka... Don't just leave the character with a couple lines, but actually show him kick some ass with the droids... Kill a Neimodian or something. Or... God forbid, kill the dork off while he defends the Queen! There's a novel idea, and one that would give the character more importance...
Episode 2 shares some of this too, though less. I'd say that Dexter Jetster (besides suffering from a piss poor last name) hurts for character development.
The Outlander Club's an ideal place to recreate the Cantina, to an extent, and wow the crowd/new viewers to the series... Do so! And don't breeze through the sequence really fast with little footage of the background. It's like a watered down Cantina with nothing of real interest in it.
-Don't cheapen military situations...
Combat should never be dumbed down or "cheapened". This goes for the Geonosis battle, The Trade Fed/Naboo Battle, the Naboo Space Battle... None of it.
Geonosis is the best of the prequal lot... Lots of action, nothing's really "funny" in it, though Amidala/Anakin exchanging witticisms while fighting is asinine and 3PO's bobblign around (while funny to me) wasn't needed.
The Naboo battle(s) are the worst though, as Anakin miraculously pilots a fighter, and dumb luck finds him destroying the TF's ship. I cry BS on that one... Either have the kid more in control of the ship and displaying actual SKILL and ability rather than luck, or have him simply not be a part of the conflict really beyond maybe helping knock out some fighters who are after the REAL heroes (God forbid we develope Ric Olie into a deep character who is the one that takes out the TF ship ala an old Wedge ANtilles).
On the ground, the human battle could've been bigger... Show an organized military engagement, with lots of troops... The whole thing was simply too contrived and silly to me. The Gungans should've been seen getting offed by the dozens, and the humans should've had simply more people there getting offed by the dozens too... Give a sense of loss for God's sake. The guy did it better showing 2 Ewok's get blasted than he could with an entire CGI army.
The irony is I enjoy the prequals, I just think these are some of the things missing.
BTW I'd have had the young Anakin be played by someone older and simply bumped the ages around. Have him be a teen so perhaps you have a deeper pool of actors to pick from who can do the job. Screw that little freak Lloyd and his now gargantuan cranium, because I think he is a plague on the Vader character. The proverbial zit on Vader's butt, forever there.