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I disagree. Episode one introduced a new generation to the Star Wars universe. Sure a big part of the fan base were the people who watched and loved the original trilogy, but there was a pretty big gap between when ep 6 and ep 1 were released. They couldn’t make a movie that relied on the audience having knowledge from the first trilogy, they had to start a new trilogy that introduced a whole new group of people (kids) to the universe.
Think of it this way: episode one is the first part of the trilogy. It’s just act one. It introduces the characters and basic plot points, and nothing very important happens. Nobody criticizes the first Lord of the Rings movie even they basically nothing happens in it… The characters are established, they meet and start their journey, and then the movie just ends. If you look at The Fellowship of the Ring on its own it is a terrible movie, but that’s because it isn’t a whole movie. It’s just a third of a whole movie, only act one of three. Same type of thinking applies to the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
It is also worth noting that in ep 1 Aniken is only like 10 years old… He isn’t in love with Padme yet, and he hasn’t even encountered the dark side yet let alone struggled with which side to be on. Also, it is worth mentioning that the prequel trilogy is backstory. It is just more context for the original trilogy, it follows Aniken from childhood to his eventual corruption and destruction. The first movie is important because it establishes Aniken as an innocent child that later on in the second and third movie will be corrupted by the dark forces in the universe. If the trilogy started with Aniken already showing signs that he would eventually turn against the Jedi, the message of the trilogy as a whole would be very different.