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 about how hard his life is or a hapless Pawn of Prophecy, or a psychotic Stalker W Ith A Crush who used the Force to Mind Rape the woman he was obsessed with, 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-righteous 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?
Some like to think the Jedi are more evil/susceptible to the Dark Side than they admit due to certain actions, Obi-Wan and Yoda in particular get hit with Ron the Death Eater interpretations in regard to their training of Luke and hiding the truth about Vader to him.
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.
In Star Wars there is a power even greater than the Force - Plot Armor. It is what allows for Muggle pilots like Han, Lando and Wedge to fly ships through asteroid thickets or inside of Death Stars at high speeds. It also enabled Padme to escape being killed in the arena on Geonosis even as hundreds of Jedi were cut down all around her.
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.
Archive Panic: The Star Wars franchise is one of the biggest media franchises around—it consists of six movies (with three more on the way), numerous spin off films and animated cartoon series, a monstrous amount of comic books, comic strips, books and novels (Wikipedia lists at least 303 books total), over 120 video game tie ins and other misc. material (I.e. The radio and audio dramas, and enough toys and merchandise to fill the Executor). And new content is still being made to this day, and after 37 years, it is showing no signs of stopping.
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 enjoy the prequels but find the originals to be outdated, the fans who insist that the original trilogy is the best and that the prequels can piss off on account for their lower quality writing and the fans who believe that the entire series is good. 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.
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.
Anakin Skywalker in the prequels either had a well-developed fall or was too Wangsty. As far as an alien race goes, the Ewoks are tolerated or hated depending on the fan.
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."
Contested Sequel: Due to the virtrolic nature of the Broken Base, every movie after The Empire Strikes Back. Ironically, Empire was widely seen as this at the time of release due to being Darker and Edgier and having No Ending, though it was considered the Magnum Opus of the Original Trilogy once Return Of The Jedi was made.
The Prequel Trilogy as a whole is subject to this - though it's largely agreed that they aren't quite as good as the original trilogy (which was admittedly a Tough Act to Follow combined with nearly twenty years of hype and anticipation), whether or not they're good films in their own right is hotly debated - especiallyThe Phantom Menace. Within the Prequel Trilogy itself, fans can't seem to agree on whether Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith are Surprisingly Improved Sequels, Even Better Sequels, or symptomatic of Sequelitis. General audiences seem to be more welcoming to the movies than hardcore fans are, however.
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.
One of the poster boys for this trope is Boba Fett, thanks to his distinctive armor and spaceship in addition to his assertive demeanor despite getting very little screentime. His death in Return of the Jedi was eventually changed so that he survived falling into the Sarlacc pit in the expanded universe and having many EU works dedicated to him. George Lucas even stated he would've spared him had he realized how popular he would become, which might explain his family's retroactive importance in the prequels.
Boba's father, Jango Fett, is extremely popular too for actually getting to show off his Badassery in standing up against two Jedi, proving that being an ensemble darkhorse in in the blood.
Wedge Antilles, a Mauve Shirt who went from a single appearance in the first film to appearing in all three of the original trilogy and considerable EU following due to being an everyday man surviving each film's final battle. 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. His appearence in Star Wars: The Clone Wars also helped win over fans due to his laid-back personality and voice.
Also the fact that his last name is "Fisto" does it for some.
And of course, Darth Vader. Having a voice provided by James Earl Jones and a nice suit of armor had him go from simply being TheDragon-in-Chief in the first movie to becoming the face of the franchise itself to point where he's often seen as the main character when examining the whole franchise.
Prequel Obi-Wan Kenobi. The acting in the prequels is considered stilted and corny by a lot of fans, but Ewan McGregor's acting was so good in comparison that Obi-Wan is often cited as being one of the few good things about the prequels, elevating the character above the poor script and direction. This was despite McGregor claiming he gave a phoned-in performance.
Palpatine, especially in the prequels for having his actor reprise the role and giving an actual performance in contrast to most of the cast, especially in the third where he has the time of his life. The fact he's Dangerously Genre Savvy compared to the rest of the characters and a Magnificent Bastard ensures that no matter his screen time, he willsteal the show and is generally considered to be one of the best characters in the entire series and the most-liked thing from the prequels by its detractors.
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.
Even Better Sequel: The Empire Strikes Back is viewed as one to the original film (A New Hope).
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, Palpatine and Darth Maul in particular.
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.
Fan Hater: Towards its own fandom nonetheless! Wars over elements of the franchise, especially the prequels, can get ugly, in some cases leading to rather truly horrible things such as fans attacking each other and name calling (It's not hard to find forums or comments where people tell fans of the prequels to watch the Plinkett Reviews because they just can't live with the idea that people like them.
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.
Some fans already also considered the EU non-canon, even though that conflicted with Lucasfilm's former canon policy. Following the dropping of the EU in 2014, some longtime fans of the EU have stated they still consider it canon. Broken Base, much?
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."
First Installment Wins: All the films were financial successes and while elements from the series, particularly the first four (A New Hope through The Phantom Menace) are known among the general public, A New Hope is by far the most parodied and referenced. The Empire Strikes Back, however, is viewed as an Even Better Sequel as hindsight and the other films have their fans as well, making this a small point of contention among fans.
As a whole, the original trilogy was better received than the prequels despite having their fans.
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.
Franchise Original Sin: Nearly all the flaws of the prequel trilogy (Corny dialogue and acting, cutesy moments, scrappys), 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.
Heartwarming In Hindsight: Luke and C-3PO's bond throughout the original trilogy becomes more heartwarming when we see in The Phantom Menace that Threepio was originally built by Anakin, effectively making Luke and Threepio brothers.
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," which was a response to Anakin's bitter "I HATE YOU!"
There's quite a bit between C-3PO and R2-D2 as well, with the theory of the two being closet homosexuals being very popular for a long time.
Idiot Plot: Ties in with They Just Didn't Care - a frequent complaint about the prequel trilogy is that the plots only work because the heroes are too stupid to see that the real villain is right in front of them.
I Liked It Better When It Sucked: An argument that fans of the original cuts of the film make in regards to the Special Editions is that the movies had more soul to it without the touch-ups and added scenes. This is still a point of debate, as aside from some of the more controversial changes (such as Greedo shooting at Han), there are a still a handful of Special Effect Failures present in the original cuts that detract from the experience of the movies that said Special Editions fix.
Ink Stain Adaptation: The prequels were so poorly received, they noticeably affected public perception of the franchise as a whole. This is to say nothing of the fact of the characters who also got hit by this thanks to their prequel presentations.
The character most thoroughly ink-stained by this is, of course, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Prior to the prequels, Vader was known as one of the most iconic villains ever, a fearsome, black-armoured Fallen Hero who was as dangerous to incompetent subordinates as to his foes. The decision of the prequels to portray him as a scared little boy, then an awkward, horny teenager, then a generally unsympathetic, narcissistic, short-sighted, and occasionally megalomaniacal Anti-Hero forever sullied the image of the Dark Lord for many.
Really, a large amount of the plot is known among the general public for the entire series. The fact that Star Wars is commonly subject to Whole Plot Reference in many works doesn't help matters at all.
Iron Woobie: Obi Wan Kenobi endures an excruciating amount of personal loss and suffering without complaining about it or visibly cracking under the pressure.
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 Badass: Han Solo, with his charming personality and awesome ship.
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.
Memetic Sex God: Lando is quite the ladies' man thanks to his suave demeanor and mustache.
Han Solo is a minor case of it compared to Lando. This isn't too hard to believe as Harrison Ford is quite nice-looking himself.
R2-D2, of all people, has become this due to his constant pluggings into computer systems.
Moral Event Horizon: Palpatine crosses this when he tells his troops to execute Order 66. Subverted by Anakin/Darth Vader, who redeems himself after years of evil actions, but initially played straight either when he slaughtered Tusken Raiders (women and children included) in Attack of the Clones, or when he massacred Jedi children in Revenge of the Sith.
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.
Many of the other sound effects as well, such as the blasters and various spaceship noises. There's a reason other works steal them.
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). It was also the first franchise on this wiki to have it's own its own Narm page.
Narm Charm: Many scenes come across as being cheesy, but they don't detract from how awesome the films are that much. Many of the examples listed on that page qualify for this trope as well.
A lot of fans agree this is the reason why they might give the prequels a chance.
Nostalgia Filter: The arguments of a lot of Original Trilogy purists reek of this - never mind that the Original Trilogy had several flaws that weren't fixed until the Special Editions (which many of said purists ignore), and that a few of these flaws were actually avoided in the Prequel Trilogy.
Opinion Myopia: Occurs quite a bit among fans, especially the more zealous haters of the prequels who often insist the fans who like them are stupid and need to watch the Red Letter Media reviews.
The Problem with Licensed Games: Back and forth. Usually original EU games turn out fairly well (helped that they're games designed to stand alone products and not cash ins to the movies), with some even being considered classics but for the most part direct adaptations of the movies suffer. The Super Star Wars trilogy were not only the most notable aversion, but they're were also freakin' hard. The Rogue Squadron and X-Wing series, Knights of the Old Republic and the Dark Forces Saga are considered among the best Star Wars games. Lego Star Wars widely popular, and considered one of the best Lego games.
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.
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.
So Bad, It's Good: More forgiving fans sometimes view the prequels as this. The acting throughout the series at times as well.
So Cool It's Awesome: The original trilogy, particularly A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back (Return of the Jedi is starting to gain more approval), recieved critical acclaim and is beloved by many fans of sci-fi and film to the point of being considered must-see films in many people's eyes due to its enormous impact on culture. While the prequels are more divisive, they have their fans and both trilogies contributed to forming a very large and passionate fanbase that is still going strong nearly forty years later.
Tastes Like Diabetes: A common accusation from some fans is the willingness to stoop down and appeal to kids, particularly with elements like the dialogue and goofy characters like ewoks and battle droids. The insane amount of merchandise and endeavors the series gets involved in also is a target of hate.
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.
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 send-offs. As compensation, Boba's death was overridden to allow him survive in the Expanded Universe.
In Boba Fett's case, George Lucas himself stated that he would've given Boba a larger role had he realized how popular he was.
Too Cool to Live: Too many to count. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu, Jango Fett, Count Dooku, General Grievous, Darth Maul. Awesomely 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?
Wangst: Anakin does this in Episode II and III. A notable example being his complaining about having to wait to take the Jedi trials — ironically proving why Obi-Wan wants him to wait.
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.
Win the Crowd: A New Hope was initially seen as a bizarre avant-garde action movie when the initial trailers came out, but people went to see the movie anyway, figuring it would at least be So Bad, It's Good. The film managed to win the audience over with the opening crawl, seconds after the movie started, and kept audiences hooked with the initial blockade runner chase. John William's score probably had something to do with it.
Win Back the Crowd: Episode VII is attempting to do this by evoking the look and feel of the original trilogy, including the use of practical effects and bringing back its lead actors.