- Fans have found issue with the inconsistency of the Jedi mind trick ability in the Star Wars prequels, particularly regarding characters like Jabba the Hutt and Watto.
- The addition of new concepts to the Star Wars lore is not the problem, but rather the difficulty of effectively incorporating them in the short runtime of the prequel films.
- Instead of constantly dissecting and tying back to the prequels, fans and Disney should focus on new and original stories and adventures in the Star Wars universe.
The Star Wars prequel trilogy has seen a surge in fan appreciation recently. However, fans still have a few gripes about changes George Lucas made to the lore of his iconic franchise between the original trilogy and the prequels.
Star Wars first hit theatres in 1977 with the retroactively named Episode IV: A New Hope, gaining a massive following and enough acclaim and box office success that many fans believed the sci-fi franchise had earned itself a prequel trilogy, which would eventually manifest decades later when Episode I: The Phantom Menace hit theatres in 1999. The Star Wars prequels were initially criticized for contradicting or detracting from the original trilogy. However, over time, they have been embraced by a wider audience as a valuable addition to the franchise.
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While the perceived faults in the prequels have been commented on by Star Wars legend Ewan McGregor and discussed at length by fans across all forms of media, one internet user has found another bone to pick with the films. On the Star Wars subreddit, user Wolphthreefivenine highlighted one such issue he had with the prequels by singling out one powerful Jedi ability. “In [A New Hope], we learn the Jedi mind trick works on the weak-minded,” they wrote. “Generally speaking, I interpreted this as being stupid. In [Return Of The Jedi], Jabba the Hutt brushes off Luke’s attempt to use it with no explanation, and since he runs a criminal empire, I assumed he was just too smart to be tricked with it.”
The post then highlights a moment from the first Star Wars sequel film that weakens the preestablished workings of the ability as presented in the originals. “Then in [The Phantom Menace], Watto resists it, and says his species are immune to it…I found this strange. Why not just maintain that Watto was too smart to be fooled by it? The guy runs a shop exchanging tons of different currency, so it would’ve been easy to pin it on his implied intelligence rather than his species.” The post elicited a lot of agreement from other fans, many of whom had either glossed over this initially or had formulated their headcanon to explain the strange choice for such an important ability. The Jedi Mind Trick is such an iconic part of Star Wars and popular culture that the ability even came up when discussing the creation of the original Xbox.
While not the worst of the Star Wars prequels, The Phantom Menace gets its share of flak as the first and most exposition-heavy of the trilogy’s films where most of the delineation happens. While this is a weird bit of dissonance in canon, the idea was even more fleshed out in Legends, where an entire species was so far gone from the Force that they were effectively immune to all the Jedi’s abilities, leading to a dire situation for the galaxy far, far away. The relatively unproblematic nature of this addition shows that the issue wasn’t so much the addition of things to the Star Wars lore but the difficulty of sufficiently incorporating these points in the relatively short runtime of the prequel films, let alone a throwaway line in one scene.
All in all, the Star Wars prequels need to be left alone rather than picked apart perpetually and tied back into the conversation by new projects that insist on bringing in concepts and characters from that era. Fans and the creatives at Disney should instead look ahead to new and novel stories and adventures that can be told.
The Star Wars franchise is available for streaming on Disney Plus.
Star Wars is a multimedia franchise created by George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd with the 1977 motion picture. The science fiction franchise follows the adventures of characters (both humanoid and alien) in outer space, including those who can wield a mystical power known as the Force. Since the release of the original trilogy movies, the franchise has expanded to include multiple films and branched out to other mediums like comics, video games, TV shows, theme park attractions, and more. The IP and Lucasfilm were sold to Disney in 2012.
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