I just read an interesting article called “The Hidden Artistry of the Star Wars prequels”, by Mike Klimo. It’s a very good (and very long) reinterpretation of the prequels that defends them very cleverly. Klimo argues that they have a lot of hidden symbolism and intentional echoes of the original trilogy, to a degree few realize, designed to create an intricate story structure. And indeed, some of the shots in the prequels are uncannily similar to scenes in the original.
Frankly, though I am a staunch defender of the prequels, not all the arguments persuaded me. I think in some cases the reason for the similarities between the two trilogies is that “George Lucas likes those kinds of shots”, rather than “George Lucas was deliberately telling a subtle and complex visual narrative.” Because frankly, one flaw in the Star Wars series is that the six films do not fit together visually–the switch from Episode III to Episode IV is incredibly jarring, and makes it feel like a completely different series.
Nevertheless, it is a very good article, and raises interesting observations and details, as well as talking about a style of narrative I’d never heard of before. If you have time for a long read, it is quite thought-provoking for anyone interested in movies.