Star Wars Prequels Only Have 1 Win Against Original Trilogy (Which Doesn’t Help)

Star Wars Prequels Only Have 1 Win Against Original Trilogy (Which Doesn’t Help)
Image credit: Legion-Media

The prequels are often criticized for their over-reliance on CGI, but you may be surprised at how much of the effects are actually practical.


  • The Star Wars prequel trilogy has been heavily criticized for its excessive use of CGI compared to the older films
  • In reality, however, the majority of what you see on the screen was achieved with practical effects
  • From miniature models to full interiors, the prequels have even more practical effects than the Original Trilogy

Despite the fact that most Star Wars fans today have warmed to the prequel trilogy, with some even embracing it wholeheartedly, the situation was quite different at the time of its release.

The films were criticized for a wide range of issues, but one of the biggest complaints was that the prequel trilogy relied a bit too much on computer generated effects in an attempt to make the most of modern (at the time) technology.

Fans felt that compared to the original trilogy, which used a lot of practical effects, the new movies felt more cartoonish, and as time went on, the problem became more apparent as the visuals became significantly dated.

When the sequel trilogy came out, one of the main selling points was that they were "going back to the roots of the franchise" and using practical effects as much as possible without replacing them with CGI puppets.

However, this is actually incredibly unfair to the prequel trilogy, as those films not only used a ton of practical props, but even more than the hallowed original trilogy.

The Amount Of CGI In The Prequels Is Greatly Exaggerated

If you take a look at the behind-the-scenes footage for any of the three episodes, it becomes absolutely clear how much love was put into creating the environments of the various alien worlds, starship interiors, and much, much more.

It is relatively well known that an entire small town, now a popular tourist attraction, was built in the Tunisian desert to serve as the set for Tatooine, and that the Naboo palace was filmed at the Royal Palace of Caserta near Naples, Italy.

The Movies Are Full Of Handcrafted Miniatures

But an enormous number of miniatures were also built from scratch, from the Jedi Temple Archives and the sinkholes of Utapau to the Petranaki Arena on Geonosis and the beaches of Kashyyyk, many of which were used for only one or a few scenes.

Many ships and vehicles, such as the iconic N-1 starfighter and the six-legged AT-TE, also had physical models that were used as references for the CGI ones.

So while an astonishing amount of CGI was indeed used, the claim that almost everything you see on screen while watching the prequels is CG is actually false, and the creative team deserves much more credit for their efforts.