Random rant time.
I hate prequels.
Most of the time they serve as info-dumping cash grabs that answer questions you never had about a story that had already finished well. If it ain't broke, people!
From Star Wars to the Hobbit to the not so Fantastic Beasts, Hollywood and even the world of publishing has hopped onto the trend of publishing and promoting prequels. With no where else to go forward in the story, and pockets to fill with money, people went (you can guess it) backwards. Yet they never seem to have the same luster or praise as the originals.
First of all: it's a cash grab
Plain and simple. I would list the Star Wars prequels as an exception, but those have such horrendous dialogue, that they don't do much for planned prequels.
Second of all: movie makers and writers have to raise the stakes with successive installments (including prequels)
Contrast the first X-Men movie with the newest versions of the prequels. Characters come far closer to death in the latter. The visual effects also in the "prequels" blow the first one out of the water.
Same goes for the Hobbit movies.
This hurts both the prequels and the originals because viewers will re-watch the originals and say something along the lines of, "Well, I don't know why Wolverine is struggling in this scene. In the prequels, he took on threats three times this big."
Third of all: they scrape the bottom of the barrel
If Anakin has time to talk about his hate of sand, the movie needs a content makeover.
Prequels tend to introduce characters who the audience knows they'll kill off (after all, they never made an appearance in the original), stumble through convoluted plots which are really just a sequence of unrelated scenes with explosions and pretty visual effects, and even put the protagonist in mortal danger. The last one makes absolutely no sense. Why on earth should I be afraid if Bilbo might get eaten by a spider, or Gollum, or really anything else that wants to eat him? He shows up old and very much alive in LOTR.
Fourth: they're like prologues; everyone ignores prologues
Publishers have actually moved away from prologues because readers tend to skip them.
We should probably do the same with prequels.