I just read a rather interesting post by Ross Douthat, made in responding to Michael Lind’s criticism of Star Wars as “primitivism”. Douthat argues that the prequels were more like Lind’s preferred Star Trek, writing:

“…the lost Old Republic that the rebels fight to restore in the original films was revealed to be , well, ‘a sort of galactic League of Nations or UN,’ with the Jedi Knights as its peacekeeping force and the lightsaber as the equivalent of the blue helmet.

For Lind, then, I can only assume that watching the prequels was an immensely gratifying experience. And for the rest of us, the knowledge that Lind’s prescription for “Star Wars” helped produce three of the most disappointing science-fiction blockbusters ever made should be reason enough to reject his prescription for America.”

I agree with Douthat’s analysis, though not his conclusion. Because, you see, I thought the prequels were better than the originals. No–that’s not quite true. I thought A New Hope and The Phantom Menace were about equally good. Other than that, the prequels were better.

Someday, I’ll have to write a post about that.

[Note: I wrote this post awhile ago, but didn’t publish it. Then I was reminded of it by thingy‘s comments on this post combined with reading this post by Nameless Cynic.]

Do you have any favorite works of art, music, literature or entertainment that you really like, but that the vast majority of critics hate? I’m not talking about stuff that’s “so bad, it’s good” here, I’m talking about something where you and a friend can be talking about this thing, and it’s like you’re talking about two different subjects. Your friend hates it for reasons you just don’t see, and you can’t make your friend see why you like it.

I think I might have some sort of mental issue with this, because there are all sorts of examples I can think of from my life. For example, remember those Star Wars prequels that everyone hated? Yeah, well… I loved them. I think they’re honestly better than the originals. [Prepares to be flamed.]

Take another example: Obsidian Entertainment‘s video game Alpha Protocol. The critics and videogamers generally hated that thing. Destructoid gave it a 2 out of 10. That just isn’t done in game reviews. I, meanwhile, thought it was an excellent game–in some ways, better than Mass Effect 2, even. [Prepares to be flamed, again.]

Even in my enthusiasm for Gilbert and Sullivan, this issue crops up. The Grand Duke was G&S’s last operetta, and the only one to be an utter failure. And despite the lasting popularity of Gilbert and Sullivan’s works, The Grand Duke has been ignored from its 1896 premiere to the present day. Most G&S fans hate it. And yet I love the thing. It’s my third favorite of their 14 operettas. [I probably won’t get flamed for this, but better safe than sorry]

It’s not like I don’t realize there are flaws in all these works. Yes, the dialogue in the SW prequels is very weak. Yes, sometimes the textures in Alpha Protocol don’t put in an appearance until you’re well into a mission. Yes, it occasionally seems like W.S. Gilbert utterly lost his knowledge of how rhyme and syntax work for The Grand Duke. But somehow, these flaws just don’t bother me like they do most people.

But anyway, enough about my eccentricities. I’m just curious if anyone else has ever experienced anything similar to this.