• Thomas Loftin

The Prequels Strike Back: An Interview with the Director

We recently had an opportunity to connect with Brad Weatherholt, the man behind the upcoming Prequels Strike Back documentary that has been making a lot of news after the official trailer debuted earlier this month. The Prequels Strike Back: A Fans Journey looks to clear up the debate about some of the greatest films of the greatest cinematic saga ever created. All of the pod race fans at Honor The Force are proud to present a peek inside the mind of the man responsible for this prequel documentary that Star Wars fans have been waiting for.

Honor The Force: What was your first experience with Star Wars and how did it impact you?

Brad: Memories are fuzzy, and I'm not sure I can pinpoint the exact moment. However, I do remember many a night were spent with Star Wars DVD's (and VHS's!). Star Wars dominated my childhood, and like many, it was a springboard to a further interest in film.

Honor The Force: The Prequels Strikes Back is an independent documentary that takes a look at the debates surrounding the merits and shortcomings of Episodes I-III. What was the inspiration for this project?

Brad: I think the idea came up when the team stumbled on Mike Klimo's essay on Lucas and ring composition. I reached out to Mike, and we developed a Master-Apprentice relationship, as he highlighted cinematic tidbits from the prequels that I had completely missed. The essays, as well as these discussions, sparked the majority of the content that is now in the film.

Honor The Force: To get the project funded you looked to fellow fans on indiegogo.com, can you describe the overall reaction from that campaign?

Brad: It was pretty insane. I remember before launch Kyle Broduer (producer) and I were exploring best/worst case scenarios. We definitely underestimated the warm welcome we would have by the community. Well, it wasn't always warm, but that's Star Wars fandom…

Honor The Force: During the production you spoke with several experts about the Prequel Trilogy, who can we expect to see appear in this documentary?

Brad: We have a really impressive talent pool in the film. This is probably what I'm most proud of. Expect to hear from film critic James Berardinelli, academic Dr. Anne Lancashire, model artist Fon Davis, ring theorist Mike Klimo, and many more. I think there's someone for everyone, no matter your personal or intellectual persuasion.

Honor The Force: Klimo's Ring Theory has been widely acknowledged and accepted by prequel fans all across the globe. How relevant do you believe that theory is to the reuniting of the Star Wars fandom?

Brad: For me, it was a gateway to exploring more with the prequels, and that's how we frame it in the film. Ring composition assumes a maestro behind the saga, and I think that was our angle with Lucas. A lot of the project reminds people of his past, interests, and intentions.

Honor The Force: Now that the sequel trilogy has begun to influence a third generation of fans, the oldest generation being those who grew up with the original trilogy, do you find that age plays a factor into the dislike of the prequels?

Brad: The story of Star Wars is largely generational, both literally in the subject matter of each trilogy, but also in the real world, where the generation gaps of fans explain a lot of the conflict and status quo. I think the oldest fans have had the loudest voices, often times for the better, but also many times for the worse. I think diversity of opinion is much needed in the community.

Honor The Force: The quote "Nobody hates Star Wars like a Star Wars fan." appears in your official trailer. Fans are divided on several other topics including the Special Edition alterations and the rebranding of the Expanded Universe as Legends. Do you foresee that Ministry of Cinema will dig into these controversies in the future?

Brad: It's hard to tell. We aren't exactly "Star Wars" guys or anything, so I don't think we would spend much more than the 18 months we've already spent on the project, but who knows, Lucas is a person who could warrant a lifetime of study.

Honor The Force: Obviously many Star Wars fans will be introduced to your company's body of work through The Prequels Strike Back. What other projects can we check out, or look forward to from the Ministry of Cinema?

Brad: We released a history of Hollywood and genre film making that I'm proud of, and we have a lot of ideas for future projects. We haven't committed to anything yet, but expect more information soon!

Honor The Force: The official theatrical release of The Prequels Strike Back will be October 6th at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX. How can fans unable to attend the screening get their hands on a copy of the feature?

Brad: We release digitally on September 14th on VHX, Amazon and YouTube! You can buy physical copies on VHX. I'd want a physical copy for the DVD commentary! :)

Honor The Force: What is one bit of advice that you would offer to an aspiring film maker?

Brad: Watch classic movies, at least one a week. Build a support system with your family and friends. Trust your crew and cast. Never give up! The deck is stacked against a creative lifestyle, but persist and you won't regret it.

Honor The Force: We are certainly glad that all of you fine folks as the Ministry of Cinema persisted in making this documentary for all of the Star Wars fans around the globe. Thank you for your time, Brad, and for helping us honor the force!

For more information on The Prequels Strike Back, visit their homepage. Or connect with the following links:

Ministry of Cinema

Ministry of Cinema on Facebook

Ministry of Cinema on YouTube

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