On IMDB the prequels have average ratings of 6.6, 6.8, and 7.7 out of 10, respectively. On Rotten Tomatoes they have critical ratings of 57, 67, and 80 percent, and audience ratings of 60, 60, and 65 percent. So, despite all the bashing they get, the numbers indicate that most people like the prequels. Obviously popularity doesn't prove quality, but it seems to me like there's a discrepancy between the amount of bashing they get and the overall opinions of the general public. I think sometimes movies get a reputation for being more unpopular than they actually are, and this is a good example.