There was a lot of hype when the first Star Wars prequel made it to theaters in May of 1999. People dressed up in costumes and stood in line for too long to go back to the universe far, far away. While the movie was a huge hit with kids, adult fans took umbrage with the slow storytelling and a seemingly unnecessary focus on politics, which included extended scenes featuring the senate of the Galactic Republic.
Over on the subreddit r/StarWars, user Arvedui_Last_King sparked quite a debate when they said “The political scenes were my favorite parts of Episode I. Their only flaw was that they were not long enough.”
The idea that there should be more politics, not less, is not a popular opinion in the Star Wars fan world, but it does exist. Turns out there are other fans who feel similarly, like WillThePerson.
“I’d argue that episode 2 should’ve swapped most of the romance for politics, Dooku had lots of on-screen potential being a political idealistic former Jedi.”
More politics? Who are these people? A lot of the discussion stems from the talk that the upcoming show Andor will take a deep dive on galactic politics in the universe. User DoingItToEm had a more measured approach of thinking about the senate scenes.
“Incredibly strong concept, often poor executions; the poor writing lets these scenes down and removes all tension. Hoping Andor streamlines these ideas, because I did like them once I could understand them.”
Two other users showed a ton of love for the offending scenes. OMDTartWasJoseph said “I would absolutely love Darth Plagueis to be adapted to a movie. Word for word. I love the political machinations and the depth. So I’m with you!”
User Rattfink45 agreed. “I love the senate debates. The will they/won’t they gets kinda old especially in ep.2 but for the first bit when it’s fresh and they do the big pull away from the chambers showing the whole galactic senate? Dope.”
User DadBodftw pointed out what everyone else was thinking. Everyone that wasn’t a fan of space politics, that is.
“Which is funny because they’ve been most ppl’s least favorite parts of the prequels. I’m sure George appreciates ppl like you.”
Someone else pointed out that maybe the reason people hated The Phantom Menace wasn’t because it just wasn’t good, but because it was so politically complex. User spacecadet2023 explains:
“I liked the political scenes too. I often think that’s why Phantom Menace gets so much hate because the majority of people don’t understand what’s going on.”
User the_Odium responded with a poignant reminder of the past: “Jar Jar Binks says hi.”
You can read the whole thread over on Reddit.