I like the Star Wars prequels, but I don't love them. I watch and rewatch them all the time because they are ridiculously entertaining films full of excitement, action, and amazing visuals. But there are a few, fundamental problems that simply hold me back from heaping upon them the same pure, unconditional love I show for the original trilogy.
And, no, it isn't Jar Jar. I kind of like Jar Jar. He's cute and he makes me laugh.
And no, it isn't Hayden Christensen or Jake Lloyd's performances as Anakin Skywalker. I actually think both are ok actors who did as much as they could with what they were given. These movies would've been far worse with less talented, charismatic actors. Well, ok, Jake Lloyd is pretty obnoxious, but he still isn't what kills this movie for me.
And no, it isn't midiclorians, too much talk about trade negotiations, political dealings, or senate hearings. All of that was boring to be sure, but no more so than talk about wamp rats or Beggar's Canyon back home.
No, what kills these movies for me is the depiction of the Jedi as some weird, Buddhist like religion and Anakin's downfall being do to his inability to... not love the people who are close to him. These concepts kill the films for me on a fundamental level not only because they are stupid and make no sense, but because they are contrary to the ethics on which I attempt to base my own life.
And we are really expected to believe that Anakin is corrupted to the darkside because he loves his mother and because he loves Padme? So love is bad? If it had just been because of his secret relationship with Padme -- including their secret marriage and her secret pregnancy -- maybe I could understand why that might be bad. But he shouldn't love his mother? He shouldn't miss his mother? Even though he left her as a kid to wallow and suffer alone as a slave on Tatooine? I'm not sure where George Lucas is from, but I've always thought that the people who don't love their mothers are the ones who turn out to be sociopathic followers of the darkside.
Basically what I'm saying this is: My ultimate goal in this life is still to become a Jedi, but when I do, I want to be able to bang chicks and love my mother without fear of turning evil. The prequels ruined that dream for me. But at least they have lots of cool space battles and lightsaber fights.