These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Alternate Character Interpretation: Quite a bit of this in fandom. Anakin Skywalker is a Base Breaker (as stated below) - is he a self-involved brat who always whines how hard his life is or a hapless Pawn of Prophecy or a poor misunderstood Jerkass Woobie who would have been fine if those cold and unfeeling Jedi had just tried harder to understand him? Well, it depends which fans you ask.
His mentor, Obi Wan Kenobi also gets his fair share and it's arguable that some inconsistencies are the results of Retcons in the prequels from things already established (or implied) in the Original Trilogy - and then there are things thrown in from the EU (such as the Jedi Apprentice novels). For instance, some cite his Chessmaster tendencies in the original trilogy and see him as self-righteousness and authoritarian in the prequels, but the novelisation of Revenge of the Sith characterises him as so self-effacing, that he genuinely doesn't realise his true value and abilities as a Jedi (His reaction when the Jedi Council announce that they are sending their "most cunning and most tenacious Master" to deal with General Grievous is both touching and amusing. He asks who they intend to send and then it dawns on him that everyone else is looking at him).
It could also be inferred that Obi-Wan himself is something of an Unreliable Narrator who tends to emphasise his own failures and relative culpability (which would fit in the self-effacing characterisation mentioned above). For instance, When Obi-Wan tells Luke that Anakin's fall was partially his fault because "I thought I could instruct him as well as Yoda. I was wrong." in Return of the Jedi it somewhat implies that Obi-Wan must have arrogantly demanded to train someone that Yoda would have been willing to train and done a better job with. Come The Phantom Menace this is shown clearly not to be the case. Obi-Wan is perhaps a little arrogant in the way he demands to train the boy, but it seems clear that a) Yoda was not willing to do the job and b) the demand is driven by his promise to a dying man rather that any belief in his own abilities as a teacher. And there doesn't seem to be any cases where Obi Wan tries to represent his role in events to be bigger or better than is actually seen or to place blame for his problems on others. Maybe he really is that humble and/or shy of taking praise or credit?
Yoda tells Luke in "The Empire Strikes Back" that a Jedi uses the Force only for knowledge and defense, but throughout the series (both original and prequels) we see Jedi casually manipulating people's minds, taking away their free will, sometimes for no better reason than the person was annoying them. For an example of the last, see the club scene in "Attack of the Clones" where a drug dealer tries to sell Obi-Wan deathsticks. In addition to this, Yoda and Obi-Wan essentially try to groom Luke into an assassin to send against Vader; Obi-Wan even says that Luke's hesitance to kill his own father means the Emperor has already won. Add to this Yoda's comment in Episode I about how the Dark Side is hard to detect, and it makes one wonder...Could the Jedi be more influenced by the Dark Side than they care to admit?
There's been some speculation that Jar Jar Binks is actually force-sensitive. The main citation (as per The Fool) is that with some of the crap he lives through and pulls off, there is no way all of that is purely incidental.
Angst Dissonance: It's very likely that Anakin himself in the prequels is deliberately written to be Wangsty, due to the fact that his anger leads to his path down to the Dark Side.
Better On Blu-Ray: If you get the Complete Saga collection, you'll get all six movies so that you don't have to buy them separately. This makes it slightly easier for a viewing experience, as both trilogies were originally sold separately. It counts also even for the regular editions (including as a DVD release), as all three films of both trilogies are collected in the set instead of separately.
There is a schism between fans who insist that the original trilogy is the best and that the prequels can piss off, the fans who believe that the entire series is good, and the fans who enjoy the prequels but find the originals to be outdated. There are also fans who enjoy the Expanded Universe and those who don't care for it. More generally, there is a related but not identical schism between pro-Lucas and anti-Lucas fans.
A schism which is now especially pronounced following the announcement of a further three episodes which are to be made by Disney, with Lucas as "Creative Consultant". Some fans say that this will mean "Three movies of Jar-Jar and Ewoks" and others point to The Avengers as examples of Disney turning out good live-action products.
However, much of the upset portion of the fanbase has either calmed down or accepted the new trilogy with the announcement of some of the people who are in on the production; Lawrence Kasdan (the screenplay writer for The Empire Strikes Back) J. J. Abrams in particular stand out.
Two of the home video releases, the 2006 "Limited Edition" DVD release and the 2011 Blu-ray release. Most other releases were either generally liked or generally hated.
For the 2006 "Limited Edition" with the original theatrical versions, some fans were gleeful/grateful that Lucas finally let them see Han shoot first, see Sebastian Shaw's ghost instead of Hayden Christensen's, hear Jason Wingreen as Boba Fett, watch Jabba's performers sing "Lapti Nek", etc. Other fans were extremely critical about the poor quality of the originalsnote they were simply a non-anamorphic laserdisc transfer and believed that Lucas was intentionally creating an inferior product to suit his own purposes.
For the Blu-ray versions, on one hand, you have the picture quality, the boatload of extras and the opportunity to watch all six movies in brilliant hi-def. On the other hand, you have the various edits (and Lucas' refusal to revert old unpopular edits such as Greedo shooting first), horribly lame cover art that shows how much Lucas loves Jake Lloyd, and the picture quality.
A fan has said this about the Star Wars fanbase...
"..If I got asked to direct Star Wars? I'd only do so under the guise of complete anonymity. If fanbases were countries, Star Wars would be Yugoslavia."
Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: The vocal Hate Dumb is not exactly hard to miss on any Star Wars related site. However, a particularly sad example can be found on the Amazon.com page for the Star Wars Complete Saga Blu-Ray collection. Well, long story short, there is more "it's not the original versions!" or "and replaced Puppet!Yoda in every film with the CGI model" than actual reviews for the collection explaining the legitimate problems the collection may/does have.
Deconstruction Fic: Deconstructing the morality of the good guys, particularly the Jedi, the Republic, and their successors. A lot. After all, there has to be a reason why technology never seems to advance.
Designated Protagonist Syndrome: A sizeable portion of the fanbase believe Luke to be the least interesting character in the original trilogy due to his status as an Audience Surrogate, starting the series as an inexperienced teenager and for being surrounded by more complex and interesting supporting characters.
Enhanced On Blu-Ray: The Blu-Ray release of Star Wars removes small mistakes in the original trilogy that were missed (such as the lightsabers in the Darth Vader and Luke fight in ROTJ) and includes re-rendered CGI for many scenes of the prequels and replaces the Yoda puppet from TPM with the CGI one.
Ensemble Darkhorse: With the amount of time Star Wars has been around, there have been many, but none so much as Boba Fett, whose death in Return of the Jedi was eventually changed so that he survived falling into the Sarlacc pit.
Boba's father, Jango Fett, is extremely popular too, proving that being an ensemble darkhorse in in the blood.
Wedge Antilles, who went from a single appearance in the first film to appearing in all three of the original trilogy and considerable EU following. The X-Wing series, anyone?
From the prequels we have Darth Maul (for being a very sinister-looking supreme Badass) and Mace Windu (a more heroic example - also for being a supreme Badass, but played by Samuel L. Jackson in this case). Both are exceedingly popular despite their reduced roles compared to other characters (especially Maul).
Kit Fisto also seems to be quite popular with fans of the prequels, even though he only appeared a couple of times briefly in Episode II, and once (before he dies) in Episode III. His grin seems to be what does it for most people.
Also the fact that his last name is "Fisto" does it for some.
Grievous as well particularly for his portrayal in the Clone War adaptations. His Revenge of the Sith incarnation is mostly seen as Badass Decay to the fanbase.
Epileptic Trees: There's a somewhat popular one that suggests that R2-D2 was actually a Republic and later Rebel spy throughout the entire series, essentially acting as The Mole amongst the main characters.
Evil Is Cool: Darth Vader kicked this trope into high gear and set the standard for future fictional villains. Most of the series' other villains are well-loved too.
Fandom Berserk Button: Bringing up just about anything involving the prequel trilogy has been known to tick off quite a few fans of the series. And on a minor note; do not call Darth Vader "Dark" Vader unless you really want to get on a fans nerves.
There is a small, but vocal, segment of fans that consider the prequels and edits to the original trilogy non-canon. There is also a substantial segment of the fan base that would like to pretend that all of Lucas's entries in the series after Return of the Jedi never existed.
Fan Nickname: For Luke, Farmboy or Wormie. For Palpatine, Sid, Palpy, Palps, or Palpidious. "Vaderkin" to refer to Vader between taking the name Darth Vader and the Mustafar incident. AT-STs are commonly referred to as "chicken walkers."
The original Star Wars film itself drew from many sources. The Hidden Fortress connection is well known. The Dune-Tattooine inspiration is pretty obvious. You can tell George Lucas must have seen at least Space Battleship Yamato episodes 26, 1, and 8, in that order, so we can probably pin his famous trip to Japan down to early 1975, when the series went into reruns. Isaac Asimov noticed some similarity to his Foundation series but didn't take it personally. Plus plenty of ideas and concepts from John Carter of Mars. As Wilson Mizner observed, stealing from everybody is just called "research."
Fountain of Memes: Star Wars is one of the most meme-heavy film franchises in the history of cinema; for the original film alone, virtually every single line is a meme and can be quoted verbatim by even casual fans, and almost every line will pop up on google search. Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi have also spawned a notable number of memes, the latter most infamously giving us Admiral "IT'S A TRAP!" Ackbar.
Franchise Original Sin: Nearly all the flaws of the prequel trilogy, notably excepting cheesy romantic scenes and Conspicuous CG, were present, albeit in reduced quantities, in the original trilogy as well. Rumor has it that the OT's love story would've been cheesy, had Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher not come up with far superior lines on their own.
Freud Was Right: To wit, Luke has a sexual attraction to his sister, hates his father while considering him a masculine role model, and wants to know about his mother. Anakin's first step to the dark side is avenging his mother.
Genre Deconstruction: The Prequel Trilogy can be viewed as a deconstruction of the Original Trilogy. The OT was standard Space Opera with all of its tropes played straight. The PT, however, is far more morally complex and ambiguous. In Revenge of the Sith, every victory that the heroes attained in the previous two films (and for the first part of that one) was in fact the villain's plan all along. Anakin becomes a near perfect deconstruction of the Messianic Archetype. Obi-Wan's bold statement of "Only the Sith speak in absolutes" is the exact opposite of what the everything else in the film depicts about the nature of the Sith and Jedi and their worldviews.
In anticipation of the release of Return of the Jedi, MAD once ran an article called "The Star Wars Log", framed as the official outline of the rest of the saga (which had been announced as a nine-film series at the time). The article was supposed to poke fun at the convoluted direction of the series up to that point, but a few of its predictions actually turned out to be eerily accurate. For example:
They predicted that Episode II would be titled "Send in the Clones", and that it would involve the revelation that Darth Vader and Obi-Wan were cloned from the same donor (Chewbacca's grandfather). Episode II was actually called "Attack of the Clones", and the revelation was about Boba Fett and the Stormtroopers being cloned from the same donor.
They predicted that the detail about Chewie's grandfather would set up a conflict between the Wookiees and the Empire in Episode III. As it turned out, a battle involving the Wookiees and the Empire actually was a big plot point in Episode III, and Chewie himself would have been a veteran of that battle.
They predicted that the later films would involve a "Great Droid War" of some kind. Though it wasn't actually called that, the later prequels did have the heroes at war with an evil army of droids.
They predicted that the series would end with the revelation that Luke's father wasn't Darth Vader...but that Luke was fathered by "the Force itself". In the real movies, Vader did turn out to be Luke's father after all, but Vader was revealed to have been conceived by the Force.
This parody◊ in an Italian Mickey Mouse comic made in 1997 is this, now that Disney owns Star Wars.
Ho Yay: Very little outside the Expanded Universe, but Luke and Han have a few longing stares in Episodes IV and V.
Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan and Obi-Wan/Anakin are both popular. Say what you will: George has figured out how to take Ho Yay out of the level of Fanservice for the ladies and some men and actually have it be meaningful, such as Obi-Wan's "I loved you." and Anakin's retort "I HATE YOU!!!"
The Droids cartoon has quite a bit between C-3PO and R2-D2 as well. Including "Artoo? You look lovely..." while suffering Amusing Injuries.
Internet Backdraft: Depending on what forums you go to, mentioning the prequels could start a war.
He takes on 4 Jedi Masters (one of them Mace Windu) and kills three of them in seconds. He only allows Windu to defeat him so he can present himself as a helpless victim to Anakin and get him to perform an irredeemable act that will turn him to the Dark Side. He's also not above using himself as bait in traps, exposing himself to considerable danger in the process. His kidnapping at the start of Revenge of the Sith was orchestrated to get Anakin into a position where he could kill off Dooku and potentially also get Obi-Wan killed in the line of duty and deprive Anakin of his restraining influence. More famously, in Return of the Jedi he used his presence aboard the unfinished second Death Star to make a sortie against the battle station all the more irresistible to the rebels, allowing him to ensnare them in a trap that would wipe out their ships and leaders, eliminating their ability to oppose his rein in any organized way once and for all.
Memetic Mutation: As mentioned above, everything. The original trilogy alone has easily the highest degree of quotes per movie ever; for example, doing a Google search for virtually any line from Episode IV will result in an auto-fill. The prequels slightly less so. Just as general concepts, "The Dark Side" and "The Force" have entered mainstream culture.
He'd orchestrated a major intergalactic civil war that has caused the deaths of countless billions on hundreds of planets solely to cement his political power and weaken or destroy all rivals to that power. And he'd been planning it for years prior, to say nothing of all the other evil stuff he ordered in The Phantom Menace, and everything we're told he'd done in the Expanded Universe up to this point. Moral Event Horizon? That hardly counts as Tuesday. He'd done waaayyyy more evil stuff than that throughout the series.
During the filming of the prequels, they had to keep reminding Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen to stop making lightsaber sounds with their mouths because their lips could be seen moving when they did it. In one interview, Liam Neeson also admitted to doing this in rehearsals.
Narm: A common complaint levied against quite a bit of the dialogue, especially in the prequels. Lucas admitted his weakness as a writer of dialogue, but is also a fan of melodrama (at one point, Hayden Christensen tried to deliver a line in a calm, realistic manner, but Lucas ordered him to redo it in an over-the-top fashion).
Protection from Editors: Widely believed to be at least partly responsible for the stumbles in the Prequel Trilogy. When making the Original Trilogy Lucas consulted other film-makers he was on good terms with (including Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola) and awkward dialogue was frequently replaced with ad-libbed lines. By the time of the Prequels, most of Lucas' film-industry friends weren't available, and everyone else was far more hesitant to criticize or question the man who invented Star Wars.
Rewatch Bonus: The fact that the reveal that Vader is Luke's father causes this is why the twist works so well.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The revisions made to the original trilogy were not well received by all fans. Those who grew up with the original trilogy and were considerably outraged about the changes that were made to the story and the music. And don't even mention the issue of Greedo shooting first.
This will be more prominent than ever now that the Blu-Ray release of the Original Trilogy has had even MORE changes to it.
Let's face it, Star Wars IS this trope, because even if we did get remastered versions of the original theatrical versions, people are still likely to complain for some reason.
Shocking Swerve: Rare successful examples: Vader's being Luke's father and Leia's being his sister. Neither is hinted at in any way (especially the second), but they're regarded as great twists all the same.
They Wasted A Perfectly Good Character: Darth Maul, one of the most badass characters in The Verse, after killing Qui-Gon (previously established as quite the badass himself)), lets Obi-Wan slooooooooooowly flip up onto the ledge behind Maul, and Maul just stands there and lets Obi-Wan kill him. They had Two more movies or more to keep him around as a villain, and a full-scale war in which to give him a decent death. Nope, we get stuck with Dooku, a talkative old guy, and Grievous, a Dirty CowardEvil Cripple in a crappy mech-suit as villains for the next two movies.
Both Fetts are seen as awesome characters by a good number of the fans, who also think they deserved better deaths.
Too Cool to Live: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu, Jango Fett, Count Dooku, General Grievous. Epically subverted by Boba Fett who was simply too cool todie and was retconned as having survived his fall into the Sarlacc.
Unfortunate Implications: Around 2004, George Lucas admitted that he based the Ewoks on the Viet Cong, which likewise carries a lot of negative implications of who the Empire was supposed to represent. It's even spelled out in PJTV's Afterburner with Bill Whittle, with the episode "Han Shot First."
Bill Whittle: Lucas has since said, by the way, that in Return of the Jedi, the Ewoks, the little native good guys, represent in his mind the Viet Cong, while the evil Empire, which we have spend our entire childhood rooting against, was in fact America. Feel better now? You're welcome.
The PJTV Afterburner episode in question had earlier referenced the interview with Hollywood Globe where Lucas said that the fans wanted Han Solo to be a cold-blooded killer who gunned Greedo down (which is both a major disservice to fans and an entry for the trope in itself), which was made just a few days prior to the episode, which likewise implies that Lucas made a similar and expanded comment about the similarities between the Ewoks and Vietcong (and if Whittle's words are to be believed, even stated that the Empire was America) in 2012.
This makes more sense when you consider another Word Of God statement that likened the Empire specifically to Nixon-era America (with Palpatine thus being Tricky Dick himself), a time period when virtually everyone wanted out of The Vietnam War.
And would you believe that the guy behind the lightsaber effect was also the guy who founded the unpopularAKOM?
Vocal Minority: Most internet polls of SW fans indicate that between 40 and 50% of fans are optimistic about the upcoming Disney sequels, with the majority of the rest being either undecided or ambivalent. The number of people saying that they think the films will be terrible is usually between 10-20%. However, an enormous percentage of the internet reaction to the news on sites like /b/, Memebase and This Very Wiki has been relentlessly negative.
Wangst: Anakin spends most of Episode II and III being a whiny man-bitch. The most particular is when he threw temper tantrums, while ranting about Obi-Wan "holding me back".
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: According to Word Of God. Lucas first claimed that Star Wars was for kids to defend the blunders in The Phantom Menace and seems to be leaning more towards this as time goes onnote for a recent premiere of The Phantom Menace 3D at Skywalker Ranch, the powers that be demanded that journalists bring their kids ages six to eighteen for interviews rather than the journalists themselves, probably as a way to claim that he knows what he's doing and that his various blunders are justified. He also used a similar defense for Red Tails.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Some viewers have noted that the Prequel Trilogy has a lot of things that could be construed as burns against George W. Bush and conservatism in general, especially when using Palpatine to pass similar decrees (eg, the Triad of Evil), although Lucas insists that it was actually meant to be a Take That against Richard Nixon.
The Woobie: Anakin grows up as a slave, loses his mother twice, the seconds time around she dies, he is forbidden to love by an old out-of-date set of rules, and ends up causing himself lose everything, including his best friend and wife! Jeez.
It gets worse when, if you loosen the definition of 'slave' even a little, the only time Anakin was his own master was the thirty minutes between dumping Palpatine down the shaft, and dying in his sons arms.
First he was the slave of a greedy machine shop owner, then an apprentice to Obi-wan (not knocking him, but an apprenticeship is essentially writing off your right to opinions until your training is complete), then a Knight in the service of the Jedi Order (the issues with that has already been covered), then an apprentice again to Darth Sidious who he grew to hate and yet cannot break from, in effect returning to slavery. And finally, after he has released himself from the bondage, he still cannot walk without the help of his son.