When J.J. Abrams was initially brought on to direct “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, it seemed like part of his job was to assure everyone that this new trilogy wasn’t going to be like the prequels (“The Phantom Menace” through “Revenge of the Sith”). Thankfully, he managed to make this new trilogy feel distinct from those movies. Now, he’s promoting “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”, the final installment in the trilogy he helped launch.
In a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Abrams set aside some time to discuss his favorite scene from the prequel trilogy. As it turns out, that scene is in “Revenge of the Sith”, and it comes when Chancellor Palpatine, played by Ian McDiarmid, sits down with Anakin to discuss the story of the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis. It’s a scene that’s instrumental in turning Anakin toward the dark side of the force. Watch the full scene below:
“There’s just something about that scene,” Abrams said. “There’s just two people sitting there. It’s visually interesting. But I just think Ian’s performance in it is spectacular.” Ian McDiarmid is definitely a huge part of what makes that scene in particular work so well. He’s able to seem sinister to the audience, who already knows he’s a Sith Lord, without coming across as evil to Anakin. It’s a balancing act that many actors may not have been able to handle.
Elsewhere in the interview, Abrams touches on his opinions about Darth Maul, saying that the lightsaber battle between the Sith Lord and Qui-Gon Jinn “was over too quickly.” Abrams may not think the prequel trilogy is perfect, but there are clearly aspects of it that he admires.
Thankfully, no one brought up the mess that is “Attack of the Clones”. The prequels are not as messy as many believe them to be on the whole, but “Attack of the Clones” is pretty hard to get through. “Revenge of the Sith”, on the other hand, isn’t terrible at all. Abrams was right to single out the story of Darth Plagueis as one of that movie’s best scenes.
What do you think about the prequels? Are they overrated or underrated? Let us know in the comments below.