The ring theory that Mr_Pink shared and this video helped me appreciate the prequels more and put a finger on what Lucas was going for.
Unfortunately, he just dropped the ball.
In plot, in directing, in dialogue, in emotion, etc, etc, etc, they just don't compare to the originals. And it's a shame. Because the overall idea of the prequels had the potential for great storytelling. It just failed in the execution.
This movie highlighted one of the main problems with the overall trilogy: Anakin's fall is poorly developed.
The films basically tell us that Anakin turned to the dark side because he couldn't handle losing people he cared about. This is aspect is actually explored a bit with the massacre on Tatooine and the scenes with the Emperor. He joins the Sith specifically to save Padme according to Episode III.
But he pledges allegiance to the Emperor without ever even knowing the the Emperor can actually save Padme. This makes Anakin come off as a bit of fool, which isn't really how anyone wanted to feel about Darth Vader.
The film also tries to tell us that he has issues with the Jedi and thinks they are "evil."
This is never really explored at all. He basically goes from turning the Emperor in to thinking the Jedi are evil, being completely subservient to the Emperor, and being willing to kill "younglings" in twenty minutes. The movie tries to tell us that the Jedi Code is problematic, but besides the "people can't love" rule that randomly showed up, we're never shown any moments when the Jedi Code becomes too dogmatic.
The only times Anakin runs into conflict with other Jedi is basically when they won't let him do whatever he wants. It make Darth Vader come off as a spoiled brat, which is not what anyone wanted either,
Watching the prequels now made me feel like the movies should have begun with the Clone Wars and a young adult Anakin. The conflict with the Jedi could have been more heavily explored, his friendship with Kenobi could have been more explored, his rise in the order could have been more explored, and his subsequent fall would have had more emotional weight to it.