A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, the force was not strong with the “Star Wars” prequels, said the self-proclaimed “professor of badassery” and second-year education major Blake McGready.
Armed with puns, character impersonations and a plethora of knowledge regarding George Lucas’ classic space operas, McGready stood in front of over 30 students in Lecture Center 107 and presented his lecture “Midi-Chlorians and Other Failures of the Star Wars Prequels,” on Thursday, May 3 as part of an event hosted by SUNY New Paltz’s chapter of Dumbledore’s Army.
“I have a lot to say about these movies,” McGready said as he started his presentation. “I will try my very best not to point out just the plot holes, I am not a screenwriter or a Hollywood executive – just a man…But boy do I have a lot to say.”
McGready said focusing on plot holes within the film would have been an entire separate lecture, so instead he hoped to showcase why films like “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” were disappointments when compared to their revered counterparts.
In fact, McGready said in the beginning of his lecture that he would not approach the subject of Jar Jar Binks — one of the most common complaints fans have with the films.
“What more could I possibly say about this character that hasn’t already been said before?” McGready said.
Acting as a Yoda-figure set out to teach his younglings, McGready’s lecture went through each of the prequels one-by-one, meticulously picking apart each scene. The “Badass M.C.” analyzed exposition, dialogue and other film aspects to prove how the prequels did not stack up to the other films in the series.
“Episode I starts out with a trade federation blockading Naboo,” McGready said. “Naboo is part of the republic, the Jedi are part of the republic…[and] the trade federation is part of the republic. So why does the republic, send the republic to protect the republic from the republic? It doesn’t make any sense.”
Later in the lecture, McGready had volunteers act out certain scenes from both the original trilogy and their later additions to showcase how the quality of writing had decreased in the new incarnations of the “Star Wars” series — and at one point even likened Anakin and Padme’s
romance to Napoleon Dynamite.
Another major issue McGready had with the films was Lucas’ decision to make the force a scientific phenomena rather than a spiritual ideal that anyone could accomplish. By doing this, McGready said Han Solo’s famous acceptance of the force in “A New Hope” became essentially meaningless.
Finally, McGready became feverish when discussing Lucas’ choice to make Anakin a Christ-like figure, born of supposed immaculate conception.
“Anakin is not space Jesus,” McGready said.
Elizabeth Pinto, a third-year creative writing major and organizer of the event, said McGready’s lecture was eye-opening and a fun cap off to the club’s semester.
“We wanted to have something fun so we could have a laugh before finals,” Pinto said. “I feel a bit more strongly about the movies now, I saw them when I was really young and now I definitely have a different opinion than I did before.”
McGready volunteered to do the lecture, not only for entertainment, but to talk about the movies that have been close to him all his life.
“‘Star Wars’ has always been a big part of my life,” McGready said. “The first movie I rented was ‘A New Hope’ from the local library.”