Friday, March 11, 2011

Ep. 9 - STAR WARS PREQUELS - February 2011

Featuring Classical Studies scholar and “Star Wars” guru Steve Hernandez

Considering the Sequels is a monthly film podcast that examines the merits and weaknesses of specific movie franchises. Right-click the title of this post to download this episode free.

In Episode 9 we consider the “Star Wars” Prequel trilogy. This episode also includes a Concept Discussion in which we’ll analyze Robert Zemeckis’s “Cast Away.” And, as always, we each give Mini Reviews of recent film releases and whatever else we’ve been watching lately.

Your hosts are Andy Howell, Karl Huddleston and Jason Pyles. Download this episode to hear why General Grievous has an asthmatic wheeze.


I. Introduction

II. Considering the Sequels: Star Wars Prequels

- Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace (03:55)

- Star Wars: Episode 2 — Attack of the Clones (37:09)

- Star Wars: Episode 3 — Revenge of the Sith (52:11)

- Franchise Overview (1:15:02)

— A Brief Message About Our Sponsor, Heftel Studios (1:19:16)

- Tune in to our next LIVE broadcast on Ustream (1:20:25)

III. Mini Reviews

(1:20:51) - Steve Hernandez: Dances With Wolves, Cold Souls, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Children of Men, V for Vendetta

(1:25:25) - Andy: Live and Let Die, The Next Bond Film and Javier Bardem, Street Fight

(1:33:05) - Jason: The “Planet Macabre” and “The Creepture Feature Horror Show” Podcasts,, Buried, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

(1:44:31) - Karl: The King’s Speech, The Rite

IV. Concept Discussion: Analyzing “Cast Away” (1:49:00)

Wrap-Up / Credits (2:09:18)

End Time (2:11:40)

Steve Hernandez, Andy, Karl and Jason give their collective verdict on this franchise, from 0 to 100:

Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace = 54

Star Wars: Episode 2 — Attack of the Clones = 75

Star Wars: Episode 3 — Revenge of the Sith = 70

Overall Franchise = 70

BONUS Show Note:

Dave “Dr. Shock” Becker’s Top 10 Best Zombie Movies of All Time - This list came about when Dr. Shock was in our chat room during the live broadcast for this episode. He was asked for his Top 10 Best Zombie Movies of All Time, and this the list he presented in the chat room:

1. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

2. Night of the Living Dead

3. Zombie (1979)

4. Shaun of the Dead

5. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

6. Dead Alive

7. Cemetery Man

8. Fido

9. 28 Days Later

10. White Zombie

Learn more from Dr. Shock at

Contact Us:

E-mail us with questions, comments, suggestions:, or catch up with us on Facebook by searching “Considering the Sequels.” Visit our Considering the Cinema discussion blog, where we write about unusual films. The CTS podcast is also on Twitter now: @considersequels. And if you’re really bored, follow Jason’s mostly film-related remarks on Twitter.


Thanks to our official sponsor, Heftel Studios, and thanks to the Dave Eaton Element for the use of Dave’s music. Thanks to our guest, Steve Hernandez, for appearing on our show. Thanks to Kara Brewer for her graphic designs and Bill Barnes for his artistic vision.

This episode is dedicated to Carla Yates and was recorded on February 20, 2011.


  1. I am deeply disappointed by this verdict. The entire prequel trilogy is nothing if not the very definition of cinematic dead horse beating. Also, "Attack of the Clones" is definitely more useless than "The Phantom Menace." "Revenge of the Sith" is better than the other two, but only in the same way that a kick in the pants is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Plus it has the single worst moment of the entire prequel trilogy with the unveiling of Darth Vader.

    I almost relish the thought of listening to this podcast so that I can entertain myself by mentally ripping its pro-prequel arguments to bloody shreds.

  2. Cody - I forgive you for not singling me out for commendation. And I'm glad to know I'm not the only prequel hater in the valley.

  3. You would seriously rather watch the ewoks than darth maul? ugh. I just watched Return of the Jedi again. That's painful. Granted the prequels are even more painful as a whole. But I can at least get excited for the final sword fight at the end of phantom menace. There's nothing exciting about Return of the Ewoks Who Were Meant to Compete With ET - oh I mean Jedi. :)

  4. Thank you Steven for telling me about this Podcast. I really enjoyed it.

    For most kids (and some forgiving adults--myself included), it doesn't get any better than Star Wars for some easily-digestible cinematic fun. The prequels are no exception. Sure, the films have some problems, but the story and the world that Lucas created is really hard to top. I am impressed with the way the prequels tie in to the original trilogy. Fun stuff, much better than other mindless popcorn movies they make these days (Transformers 2, G.I. Joe, etc.)

    @K-HUD: I agree. The final sword fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul is awesome. I for one find myself coming back to the prequels more than the original films, especially Return of the Jedi. People gripe about Jar Jar Binks all the time, but nobody seems to mind those silly Ewoks.

  5. To Steve Hernandez, our resident "Star Wars" guru:

    I work with one of our most faithful listeners. He had a question that he wanted me to ask you specifically. [Spoilers ahead for "Revenge of the Sith"] At the end of Episode 3, when Mace Windu is striking down Sidious and has him "on the ropes," Anakin's delay in saving him results in Sidious's disfigurement, not to mention pain.

    So, my pal, Geo, wants to know if the Emperor's cruelty toward Vader (such as the pain-inflicting suit and such) is a result of a grudge he's holding over Anakin's delay at saving him.

    Geo and I would love to hear any thoughts you might have on this.

    Thanks, Steve.

  6. Hi, Geo. Good question! Sorry for the delay in my response; I wanted to give it some thought before responding. Here goes.

    I’m not sure Emperor Palpatine would have given much attention to his disfigurement or avenging something like that. The Emperor seemed to be a single-minded being: he thought only about accruing power by means of taking it from others (think of what Sidious screams while electrocuting Windu: “Power! U-N-L-I-M-I-T-E-D POWER!”). To that end, anything that happened along the way was trivial be it military casualties (TIE fighter pilots, Stormtroopers, etc.), genocide (Alderaan), or even personal disfigurement. In Episode III, once Anakin enters the room with Windu and Sidious, everything that Sidious does is bait to lure Anakin to becoming Sidious’s apprentice. In other words, the facial disfigurement was inconsequential to Sidious; it was just a means to more power (i.e., making Anakin his apprentice so Vader could be used as the Emperor’s lapdog).

    I think the big reason for Sidious doing things that vexed Vader was to keep Vader angry so he could forge a deeper connection to the dark side which continued Vader’s training as a Sith. Sidious did all he could to anger Vader: stuck him in a torturous suit (see pages 58-63 in James Luceno’s Dark Lord: The Rise of Lord Vader), associating with people in a way that bothered Vader (e.g., the Emperor’s various “Hands” such as Mara Jade), sending numerous assassins after Vader, etc.

    All this said, there’s still a lot we don’t know about Sidious because George Lucas has been fairly tightlipped about him. If you’re into novels, you might want to keep an eye out for a highly anticipated novel that comes out in the near future that may shed more light on what was going through Sidious’s mind: Also, if you’re still interested in some more Sith lore that is connected to Sidious, check out Michael Reaves’ Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter.