Originally Posted by Mr. Elway
The reason the original movies were good was because they were collectively driven by a compelling main character who had a clear, believable conflict (Luke loses everything, discovers his true destiny, embarks on a quest to realize it). All the other great things about those movies are driven by that theme. The prequels sucked for many reasons, but fundamentally it was because they lacked a driving dramatic force. The only way to make Anakin/Darth as compelling in his fall from grace would have been to make the series much darker and more psychological (see Walter White). Trying to make a family movie about a man's spiral into personal hell is an ill-advised concept. The best moments of the Revenge of the Sith explored that theme, but it was too little too late, and because it wasn't properly set up in the first place it didn't ring true. Unlike Luke, it wasn't clear why Anakin fundamentally felt driven to be a Jedi, or why his mother's fate was so devastating, given that he willingly chose to pursue his career of becoming a Jedi over staying with her. Back on Tatooine, young Anakin literally pleaded with his Mom to let him go! There was no connection made to the events that eventually tipped him over the edge. It would have made more sense to have tragedy strike their family while it was still together, leaving him feeling powerless and desperate for some path back, like Luke. Or maybe Qui-Gon should have stolen Mom from Watto, tried to sneak her off planet, and she got killed in the process and Anakin feels responsible, or better yet feels like Qui-Gon was responsible. If Qui Gon had talked Anakin into going, or better yet tricked him or forced him, that would have nagged at Anakin and caused him to mistrust the Jedi and this could conceivably drive him insane. To do that, Qui-Gon's motives could have been explored - there was plenty of room to do this type of thing in the first prequel. Great tragic characters are driven by psychological traumas. For Luke, becoming a Jedi was the only choice left to him ("I want to come with you to Alderan. There's nothing for me now.") The prequels failed to explore Anakin's psyche, choosing instead to focus on politics and weird characters and subplots, none of which are capable of being interesting without linking them to the main characters' motives. They came off as irrelevant and annoying.
I love Star Wars, but I really don't care how true they stay to the existing fiction. Expectations amongst the nerds is so high that you're never going to please everyone. If they can make a movie as dramatic, absorbing and imaginative as the originals, I'll be thrilled.