|The stupid question is the question not asked|
I liked Episode IV the most -- there was a lot of excellent cinematography, acting, and it was a properly-executed coming-of-age story.
Fast forward to the crap that Lucas has unleashed upon the world. Episode I failed. Miserably. From "midiclorians" to a virgin birth, from Jar Jar Binks to the pod race, from Anakin's poorly delivered lines to Anakin's poorly delivered lines... it was awful.
And then there's Episode II. First of all, there is absolutely no excuse for Yoda's abilities -- and his use of a cane to walk is not funny, it's ridiculous. Lucas is doing the wrong thing: using COMEDY instead of HUMOR. There is a difference, and he once knew it; when C-3P0 and R2-D2 exchanged banter in Episode IV, that was humor. When Jar-Jar Binks came onto the screen, I knew it was comedy, and comedy, frankly, has no place in this saga. Things can be funny, it's true, but things like that are there for pure idiotic laughter. I think the problem is that Lucas has lost the ability to get any emotion from his movie and from his audience, so he has to settle for the cheapest: the cheap laugh.
Episode II was stale -- the scenes between Anakin and Padme (good Lord, couldn't he have developed a less obtuse name than Padme Amidala?!) were torturous to watch (and by the way, Lucas designed one of Amidala's outfits... the BLACK LEATHER ONE), the dialogue was coarse and forced, the action was obligatory (meaning, "oh, it's time for an action scene!"), there are plot holes and rather obvious goofs, and the USE OF SPECIAL EFFECTS RUINED THE MOVIE ENTIRELY. Let me repeat that for you in a way that might make more sense. Lucas has placed the success of his movies in the special effects team, and neglected the actors. WHY?! You might as well make the next movie be entirely computer-generated.
I'm in the process of writing outlines for an ALTERNATE pre-trilogy to episodes four through six. I'm serious about them. I'm going to release them as fanfic or whatever.
Finally, here are a few gripes about Episodes I and II.