An alternative take on the Star Wars prequels
By midlandsmovies, Feb 1 2015 10:29AM
In a Galaxy Far, Far Away...
Well, like many I’ve always had a problem with the Star Wars prequels and although some make apologies for their inconsistencies, the sad truth is that they are both badly made (and incredibly badly plotted) and, for me at least, DO trample on my memories of the original trilogy that I remember from my childhood. I won’t go into detail about why they don’t work – see Mr. Plinkett’s (Red Letter Media) awesome deconstruction of Episode 3 at this link in which I wholeheartedly agree with everything he says.
In addition there have also been many folk on the internet proposing how to “fix” them (a removal of Jar Jar here, a fan edit there) but what I’m going to propose is a radical rethink of the whole story with an almost complete disregard of what went before.
I will obviously use the references in the original trilogy (OT) to help as a starting point but what were these allusions to the past really? In reference to the universe’s history, we are given so little information from those three films:
a) There is a clone war which Anakin and Obi Wan fight in
b) Obi Wan is a mentor to Anakin and is then betrayed
c) Anakin is the best fighter pilot in the galaxy
d) Anakin is the father of Luke & Leia
And in reality, that is it! Most of the original trilogy is about the future – a focus on the rebels’ efforts to defeat the empire and the empire’s resistance to that.
There are so many things you think should be in there but actually were a creation of the prequels and my draft ideas do not have to include anything from them at all. With the description of a war and the break-up of a deep friendship, I am still amazed that Lucas chose an intergalactic trade dispute as the beginning of this epic tale. Well my suggestion is there will be none of that in my film. No voting! No trade federation! No Jar Jar!
So, I need some boundaries from which I’ll try not to stray from to avoid heading into the dark side of unnecessary and shoe-horned in characters or midichlorian nonsense! The first being is that nothing is sacrosanct. Even the bits we liked should be considered up for removal. One example is the rise of the Emperor/Palpatine. Do we need so much information on this at all? Yes, he can be Anakin’s master at any point. So if I were to scrap his political campaign then I’d argue this was a good thing - how is that character arc in any way Star Wars-esque? A despot tyrannical leader who has let his political dominance go to his head and subsequently started using his might in unconventional ways. I literally don’t care how he was voted in. Hitler was voted in and became a dictator once but more of this later.
More importantly though, let’s start with a major point I have to address. Prequels have a problem. That problem is the audience’s foreknowledge of characters’ outcomes. Anakin has to become Vader. Fact. So, my first decision is that the only way to make it more exciting is to simply remove him. Yes, you heard right. Make the film(s) more about the search for Anakin and the Sith. A powerful Jedi that can change the course of history. What a power! Now where is he? This set-up gives the film a drive as two sides battle to find a man with the strength to influence the fate of the entire galaxy. What does that mean to everyone? Well, to the audience at least it means you have a driving plot point to keep you interested moving forward. The stakes are raised and are CLEAR from the outset. The film MacGuffin is simply Anakin himself.
Therefore, with all that in mind here’s a proposal for a Star Wars Prequel Trilogy (I’ve kept the trilogy structure as it seems to fit) which takes a very different angle to what we have seen so far...