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Alternative Prequel Ideas

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Moving the discussion from the Unnoficial Revisited Saga Ideas thread.

This will be a hub to discuss any alternative prequel ideas too extreme for a fan-edit to accomplish.

Feel free to repost any of the ideas you’ve already posted in the Revisited Ideas thread and continue the insightful discussion my friends 😃

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Bah. I shall not be relegated to this desolate backwater of a forum! It’s too quiet here.

Speaking of, how do you feel about your idea to Remake the Prequels, now that Star Trek fans have run into trouble for their own fan film?

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Star-Trek-Movie-Hollywood-Really-Doesn-t-Want-You-See-79287.html

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Meh. Paramount has always been a bit more uptight about fan films. Especially GOOD fan films. I feel like fan film quality is in direct correlation to how much the studios care. Haha.
Lucasfilm tends to be much more accepting of the fan film community as a whole and I can’t think of an instance where they pressed any kind of legal charges so long as nobody is making money. We haven’t really been given much of an indicator in these past couple years as to how Disney will handle fan films going forward, but so far they’ve kept relatively quiet which I suppose is a good thing.
I still hold that if somebody were to put the time, effort, and money into it, an entirely fan-made prequel trilogy could be made.

(come to think of it this could kind of be thought of as a rebirth of that early thread of mine)
That being said, once again, everyone feel free to spout off your ideas :p haha

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Very well. I will repost an expanded compilation of some of the stuff I’ve written elsewhere. 😃

I think the PT needs to be a self-contained story with a beginning, a middle and an end. I don’t care if the ending is happy or devastating, but the alternative prequels must not wait 20 years for a conclusion to their story. I believe this basic premise is not compatible with the story scope what the official prequels presented. Ending the trilogy on Anakin becoming Darth Vader and Republic becoming Empire, while everyone is either killed off or exiled for two decades is just terrible. Instead, I can see two possible stories to tell:

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  1. A story about how a young pilot Anakin and a Jedi teacher Obi-Wan meet, how Anakin discovers the Force and fights besides Obi-Wan in the destructive conflict known as the Clone Wars. We could see the two characters share some traits, while having some minor differences, such as political views (Anakin being a supporter of the harsh policies of chancellor Palpatine). While serving the king of Alderaan during the war, Anakin becomes romantically involved with the queen’s handmaiden and his and Obi-Wan’s journeys diverge, with Anakin staying on Alderaan and Obi-Wan moving on to train more students in the ways of the Jedi.

Not sure how Anakin’s background would be handled. Perhaps he was ashamed to have been brought up on a farm and even claimed to be an orphan, while changing his surname from Lars to Skywalker? Also I have no idea if why and how Obi-Wan changes his name to Ben. That could very well happen off-screen, between the trilogies, I think.

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  1. Let PT tell the story of the fall of the Republic and it’s transformation into the Empire during the Clone Wars, however keep the focus on a different set of characters. Obi-Wan & Anakin could still appear as minor characters, but the audience doesn’t follow them very closely, so that when Vader appears later in the story, there is no reason to suspect he is in fact Anakin.

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No matter which of the two stories my alternative prequels would end up telling, they would be set in the same universe. In this universe the Jedi are not a centralized order with political ambitions. Instead they are a heterogeneous group of Force users that share some basic principles, and are generally known to be advocates of peace and harmony throughout the galaxy.

Also, the Republic has a professional army (pre-stormtroopers of sorts). The purpose of the Republic is very much aligned with the principles of the Jedi, as it is a loose federation of planetary systems that work together towards common goals. Only after the war erupts does the Republic begin its transformation into a different body, with a tighter grip. Only at this point the idea of separatism slowly begins to sound the same as treason.

The Clone Wars are in fact started by the Republic’s antagonist force – a competing and a much smaller union that decides to take on the Republic’s troops with the use of cloned army (not necessarily all the same and all humanoid). The idea of cloning living beings to kill and die in a war is generally frowned upon in the Republic. It is a recurring mystery how this unnamed adversary group to the Republic could muster the resources for such a project. Unbeknownst to all, Palpatine is in fact secretly financing the other side and manipulating its leaders to create a conflict which would help him gain more power. At the same time he is very much interested in the idea of cloning, secretly hoping that it could help him achieve immortality. It is no secret that Palpatine is in fact knowledgeable about the Force, having undergone a training of some sort in his youth. In the eyes of his supporters (a full-blown personality cult, perhaps), this experience is yet another proof that Palpatine is truly an enlightened ruler.

If anybody managed to read this awful wall of text, or at least skimmed through it, I would very much like to know what you think about these ideas. I would love to expand on it some more in the future.

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I think those ideas are excellent. I once developed an outline for an Episode 3 where Anakin and Obi-wan were sent to the beautiful and beguiling planet of Alderaan to help the royal family. My idea at the time was that people on Alderaan, and the royalty in particular, had developed a resistance to the natural force abilities of many of the planet’s native species, which used the Force to trick and trap their prey. Alderaan was thus a dangerous planet and a marvel of the galaxy, which is one reason why Obi-wan says ‘You must learn the ways of the Force…if you’re to come with me to Alderaan.’

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Might as well outline my concept for preserving the reveal in Empire while still providing a story with a beginning, middle, and end, not making Ben sound like a liar, and not making the audience feel like they’re missing information (even though they are).

The idea is that there is a new character named Darth Vader (Name. Not title.). In Episode 1 Vader is a young Jedi apprenticed by Obi-Wan (and I guess Qui-Gon if you really want him there). Feeling insulted by the Jedi for ignoring his talents and potential by pairing him with such a young, inexperienced Jedi like Obi-Wan, he joins the dark side, staging his own death at the beginning of the film, only to reveal himself as the one behind it all toward the end. (If Qui-Gon is there he can be the one to kill him, adding more personal rivalry between he and Obi-Wan.)

Obi-Wan meets Anakin, takes it upon himself to train him as a Jedi, yadeeyada. Eventually, Anakin’s pushing of himself and lust for power turns him to the dark side, teaming up with Darth, his enemy, but Palpatine the puppet master’s plan is to pit them against each other for the more powerful one to be his ultimate apprentice.

Everything leads to a three way duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Darth Vader atop a massive volcano. Obi-Wan get tossed aside and topples down the side of the volano. Miraculously he survives and watches in horror from a distance as his greatest enemy and his former best friend duke it out atop the volcano.

Both of their lightsabers get tossed aside. They struggle with each other physically. The volcano trembles as the two let out their anger. They push and pull at each other ferociously until they both topple over, disappearing into the fires of the volcano.

Obi-Wan assumes them both dead and leaves, taking Anakin’s saber as a memento of his fallen friend.

Much later we cut back to the edge of the volcano where a charred hand reaches out from the volcano and grasps Vader’s saber lying in the rubble.

Fast forward to A New Hope. Obi-Wan says: “A young Jedi named Darth Vader who was a pupil of mine until he turned evil helped the empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights.” Check.
“He betrayed and murdered your father” Check.
You may feel like Obi-Wan is withholding some information to spare Luke’s feelings, maybe hoping to tell him the whole story later, but you never get the sense that he is outright lying to Luke.

Fast forward to The Empire Strikes Back: “Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.” You’re thinking ‘he’s going to tell Luke that Anakin turned to the dark side before he died to convince Luke to join him’
Then he drops the bomb “No. I am your father.” Suddenly it makes sense. Anakin is the one who crawled out of the volcano, not Darth. Anakin emerged and took over the mantle of Darth Vader, leaving the last trace of his old identity behind him.

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NeverarGreat said:
Alderaan was thus a dangerous planet and a marvel of the galaxy, which is one reason why Obi-wan says ‘You must learn the ways of the Force…if you’re to come with me to Alderaan.’

Interesting. I always saw Obi-Wan’s line as a figure of speach to tell Luke that he needs to learn stuff to be able to go on an adventure and save princesses, but I really like the idea of Alderaan being a psychedelic wonderland. 😃

Darth Lucas said:

You may feel like Obi-Wan is withholding some information to spare Luke’s feelings, maybe hoping to tell him the whole story later, but you never get the sense that he is outright lying to Luke.

So when does Obi-Wan learn the truth about what really happened at the volcano? And what is Anakin’s motivation to keep going as Darth Vader?

I get the idea of two apprentices. Naming the other one Darth Vader is a good red herring. But Anakin’s decision to take up Vader’s identity seems like a really difficult plot-point to write convincingly. But perhaps you have it figured out already. 😃

I don’t really like the idea of official apprenticeships that need to be validated by the Jedi order HQ. I think the Jedi who feel up to it should simply take learners as they see fit, passing on their knowledge like Obi-Wan and Yoda did in the OT. Also, I think Obi-Wan shouldn’t be a Jedi underdog. The guy was trained under Yoda, after all. In my vision, Yoda is a legend. Nobody seems know where he can be found, what he looks like or even if he is still alive (or if he ever was). But apparently he taught Obi-Wan all about the Force and that makes Obi-Wan kinda special.

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I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think he learned at some point in between the trilogies. :p I will admit that’s the one thing I can’t quite figure out with this idea.

Well I haven’t exactly planned out all the motivations and everything with Anakin. It was just an idea I’ve been sitting on for a while for how to solve the problem of preserving the reveals while not letting the audience feel like they’re missing information. It would have to be something of Anakin becoming weary of his own identity and finding solace and power in taking up the identity of somebody else. Maybe it all comes down to simply the Emperer’s manipulation of him.

Well the idea of official apprenticeships is certainly not a make or break thing for this to work well. Maybe Darth’s motivation for joining the dark side isn’t disappointment in the Jedi order itself, but a more personal disappointment specifically in Obi-Wan as a teacher. A line could be thrown in about how “I expected so much more from the protege of the great Yoda, but you’re just so weak.”

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I kinda like the idea of Obi-Wan’s apprentice (any of them 😃) being disappointed that the Jedi training is in fact quite dull and nowhere near as exciting as he hoped.

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I find it hard to believe that Obi-wan would willingly train someone who was called ‘Darth Vader’ to be a Jedi. It’s one of the most villainous sounding names ever devised.

The problem with Obi-wan’s speech is that it’s simple enough without ESB and ROTJ:

Obi-wan had at least two students, one of which was later known as Darth Vader, betraying and murdering Anakin. Simple, effective, and good motivation for Luke to become a Jedi.

But with the rest of the story it becomes:

Obi-wan had a student, Anakin, who was seduced by the Dark Side into becoming Darth Vader, after which he hunted down and killed the Jedi. However, Anakin was not only seduced but betrayed and murdered by this aspect of himself called Darth Vader, implying an almost schizophrenic relationship with himself.

The problem with this more complicated version of events is that we’re made to think that Luke is very much like his father. This works with the first version of the story, where Anakin can be made to be a good man through and through, but not with this second story, where Anakin is betrayed by an aspect of himself which has been ‘seduced’ to the Dark Side. Among the dozens of fan theories I have read on this transformation, none of them rings particularly true to me, and I think that’s because Anakin can’t be both the good if impatient man that Luke is in ESB, and still be seduced by the Dark Side.

Anakin is the Schrodinger’s Cat of characters, at once good and noble, and also power hungry and evil.

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To understand Anakin, it would be helpful to understand the way in which a Jedi is trained. From what I gather in the OT, Luke’s training begins with Obi-wan telling him to trust his feelings. This preliminary part of training gradually opens the initiate’s mind to the Force, allowing them to go as far as even levitating small objects. Next, the student augments their skills with rigorous acrobatics training and exercise. At some point, the teacher will use some method (like the Dark Side cave) to determine the student’s greatest fear. With practice, the student is able to face this fear in their mind. Finally, the student’s training is complete with the construction of a lightsaber. However, this doesn’t make them a Jedi. The final test of a Jedi is to confront their greatest fear in person, if possible. This test is ultimate, and is pass/fail. There is no running away. Either the student conquers their fear through the use of the Force, or they die. If they use the Dark Side to achieve victory, they must be killed. Yoda’s warning about fear is well placed.

The problem of Anakin can perhaps be solved by recognizing the effect this training could have on students and masters. What if the student’s fear is great, but reasonable? What if the student fails in their final test, but understandably so?

What if Anakin were to realize that his greatest fear was his own death?

When the test of a Jedi is against an enemy, the test is simple. When it is against death itself, how can any test be devised? Ironically, the Lucas Prequels have almost this same test in the character of Palpatine. If Anakin destroys Palapatine, he is severing the temptation to use the Dark Side to become immortal. Since he cannot destroy the promise of immortality, Anakin falls and becomes Darth Vader. This aspect of the prequels, if seen through the lens of the ‘Final Test’, succeeds. Anakin doesn’t even need to commit evil acts. His fall was the ultimate irony - saving a life. However, through the lens of this test, it is essential that Obi-wan kill Anakin, but since Anakin’s fall is entirely human and reasonable, Obi-wan is massively conflicted. The Mustafar duel could play out essentially as it does in the prequels, and over the next twenty years Obi-wan would try to convince himself that Anakin was indeed ‘seduced’ to the dark side by Palpatine. Anakin and Obi-wan are both tragic characters in the end, and when Anakin destroys the Emperor, he finally makes good on his test to become a Jedi.

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NeverarGreat said:

The problem with Obi-wan’s speech is that it’s simple enough without ESB and ROTJ:

Obi-wan had at least two students, one of which was later known as Darth Vader, betraying and murdering Anakin. Simple, effective, and good motivation for Luke to become a Jedi.

Actually, if you go only by the original Star Wars, Luke’s father was never established as Obi-Wan’s student. Only Vader was. Anakin was merely ‘a good friend’. Only after the two characters merged in ESB, Anakin is soft-retconned into being Obi-Wan’s apprentice.

Once again I would like to put forward the idea of dismissing the official master-apprentice relationship altogether. Anakin spends some time with Obi-Wan and is taught about the Force. Does that make him Obi-Wan’s apprentice? Perhaps it does, perhaps it doesn’t. This way when Ben later refers to his apprentice, he may very well be talking about Anakin, or maybe some proper student he gets involved with some time later. It works either way.

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Wexter said:
Actually, if you go only by the original Star Wars, Luke’s father was never established as Obi-Wan’s student. Only Vader was. Anakin was merely ‘a good friend’. Only after the two characters merged in ESB, Anakin is soft-retconned into being Obi-Wan’s apprentice.

Good point. But the fact remains that by the end of the OT, Anakin is definitely Obi-wan’s apprentice:
“When I first knew him, your father was already a great pilot, but I was amazed at how strongly the Force was with him. I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi. I thought that I could instruct him just as well as Yoda. I was wrong.”

‘Train’ and ‘Instruct’ are rather strong words to use about someone you just hang around with.

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NeverarGreat said:
by the end of the OT, Anakin is definitely Obi-wan’s apprentice:
“When I first knew him, your father was already a great pilot, but I was amazed at how strongly the Force was with him. I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi. I thought that I could instruct him just as well as Yoda. I was wrong.”

‘Train’ and ‘Instruct’ are rather strong words to use about someone you just hang around with.

Perhaps Obi-Wan wanted to train Anakin properly, but Anakin got distracted by other priorities (mainly his love for the future mother of his children) and it didn’t work out. So they part ways amicably and Obi-Wan departs to search for other talented novices, as the final credits roll.

Another issue that needs to be settled: if we dismiss the idea of a centralized Jedi order, what really makes a Force user into a Jedi knight? Perhaps Anakin could be knighted for his services to Alderaan by king Organa shortly after he began learning about the Force. Obi-Wan himself received the very same honour at some earlier point in time. Shortly after that, a conversation such as this one could take place:

  • Very well, Anakin, you are now a Jedi Knight.
  • A Jedi? Hardly. I still have too much to learn.
  • Don’t we all?

This ties in nicely to the OT:
“I was once a Jedi Knight, the same as your father.” Obi-Wan considered Anakin almost a full-fledged Jedi Knight, while Anakin felt he needed more training to earn the title. Vader’s dialogue further supports this notion: “When I left you, I was but a learner. Now I am the master.” and “The Force is with you young Skywalker. But you are not a Jedi yet.”

On the other hand, Luke seems to be a lot less diligent than his father: “I can be a Jedi. Ben, tell him I’m ready. I’ve learned so much.”

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My idea for Anakin is that he simply pushed himself too hard. He’s the kind of person that constantly wants to be better. He always feels like he could have brought down just a couple more bad guys, saved just a few more people, pushed his own boundaries just a little farther. No accomplishment feels good enough for him, because he knows deep down he can be better. Of course this is excusable at first and can early on be seen as a positive trait, but as time goes on, his pushing himself slowly becomes a lust for power. It becomes an unhealthy obsession with wanting to be better. It leads him to foresake his friends, his wife, and his own morality in his search for more power, wanting to find what he’s capable of. He feels there is only so far the Jedi teachings can take him, so he seeks out other darker ways of the force.

I think it’s important that maybe Palpatine opens the door for him to turn, but that HE is the one to walk through it. Maybe all Palpatine really has to do is plant the idea in Anakin’s head that perhaps experimenting with the dark side, which the Jedi won’t teach him, can lead him to unlock the potential he is looking for, then Anakin himself makes a conscious decision on his own to seek out a Sith Holocron or something like that. The manipulation of Palpatine should be subtle and as simple as flicking the switch on a bomb that has been ready to blow for some time. It is his own ambition that is his undoing. Rather than being a “tragic” story of somebody doing something bad for a seemingly good reason (“love won’t save you Padme.” Yawn), it is a story of how good intentions can turn into bad intentions. A LOTR style story about how power can corrupt even the most good-hearted people.

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That is completely in line with my take on Anakin. Except I wouldn’t show him walking through the door, I want that to happen off screen in between the trilogies. 😃

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In a way, it’s kind of the same idea of an athlete that turns to steroids.

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NeverarGreat said:
SNIP The problem of Anakin can perhaps be solved by recognizing the effect this training could have on students and masters. What if the student’s fear is great, but reasonable? What if the student fails in their final test, but understandably so?

What if Anakin were to realize that his greatest fear was his own death?

When the test of a Jedi is against an enemy, the test is simple. When it is against death itself, how can any test be devised? Ironically, the Lucas Prequels have almost this same test in the character of Palpatine. If Anakin destroys Palapatine, he is severing the temptation to use the Dark Side to become immortal. Since he cannot destroy the promise of immortality, Anakin falls and becomes Darth Vader. This aspect of the prequels, if seen through the lens of the ‘Final Test’, succeeds. Anakin doesn’t even need to commit evil acts. His fall was the ultimate irony - saving a life. However, through the lens of this test, it is essential that Obi-wan kill Anakin, but since Anakin’s fall is entirely human and reasonable, Obi-wan is massively conflicted. The Mustafar duel could play out essentially as it does in the prequels, and over the next twenty years Obi-wan would try to convince himself that Anakin was indeed ‘seduced’ to the dark side by Palpatine. Anakin and Obi-wan are both tragic characters in the end, and when Anakin destroys the Emperor, he finally makes good on his test to become a Jedi.

Remarkable.
This has to be the most well structured, interesting, and dramatically satisfyimg idea I’ve ever read on this topic.

The theme is excellent and coherent.

Perhaps too intelligent for Hollywood. Really compelling.

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Darth Lucas said:

Might as well outline my concept for preserving the reveal in Empire while still providing a story with a beginning, middle, and end, not making Ben sound like a liar, and not making the audience feel like they’re missing information (even though they are).

The idea is that there is a new character named Darth Vader (Name. Not title.). In Episode 1 Vader is a young Jedi apprenticed by Obi-Wan (and I guess Qui-Gon if you really want him there). Feeling insulted by the Jedi for ignoring his talents and potential by pairing him with such a young, inexperienced Jedi like Obi-Wan, he joins the dark side, staging his own death at the beginning of the film, only to reveal himself as the one behind it all toward the end. (If Qui-Gon is there he can be the one to kill him, adding more personal rivalry between he and Obi-Wan.)

Obi-Wan meets Anakin, takes it upon himself to train him as a Jedi, yadeeyada. Eventually, Anakin’s pushing of himself and lust for power turns him to the dark side, teaming up with Darth, his enemy, but Palpatine the puppet master’s plan is to pit them against each other for the more powerful one to be his ultimate apprentice.

Everything leads to a three way duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Darth Vader atop a massive volcano. Obi-Wan get tossed aside and topples down the side of the volano. Miraculously he survives and watches in horror from a distance as his greatest enemy and his former best friend duke it out atop the volcano.

Both of their lightsabers get tossed aside. They struggle with each other physically. The volcano trembles as the two let out their anger. They push and pull at each other ferociously until they both topple over, disappearing into the fires of the volcano.

Obi-Wan assumes them both dead and leaves, taking Anakin’s saber as a memento of his fallen friend.

Much later we cut back to the edge of the volcano where a charred hand reaches out from the volcano and grasps Vader’s saber lying in the rubble.

Fast forward to A New Hope. Obi-Wan says: “A young Jedi named Darth Vader who was a pupil of mine until he turned evil helped the empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights.” Check.
“He betrayed and murdered your father” Check.
You may feel like Obi-Wan is withholding some information to spare Luke’s feelings, maybe hoping to tell him the whole story later, but you never get the sense that he is outright lying to Luke.

Fast forward to The Empire Strikes Back: “Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.” You’re thinking ‘he’s going to tell Luke that Anakin turned to the dark side before he died to convince Luke to join him’
Then he drops the bomb “No. I am your father.” Suddenly it makes sense. Anakin is the one who crawled out of the volcano, not Darth. Anakin emerged and took over the mantle of Darth Vader, leaving the last trace of his old identity behind him.

That scenario is totally and completely devoid of logic.

If that scenario was the backstory of the original trilogy, how come Obi-Wan says in Return of the Jedi that he only told Luke the truth “from a certain point of view,” implying that he purposefully lied through mental equivocation? If that scenario was the backstory of the original trilogy, how is Obi-Wan aware that Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader?

Obi-Wan lied. Get over it.

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