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Reconstructing the prequels from what was implied in the original trilogy

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 (Edited)

So I think it goes without saying that the prequels fell short of what people were anticipating.

What was your favorite concept for how the prequels should have unfolded?

  1. What were the Clone Wars actually?
  2. How did the Republic fall and the Empire form?
  3. What was Palpatine’s actual backstory? (He was a puppet in ANH, ultimately becoming a Sith Lord in ROTJ)
  4. What were the Jedi really like?

For myself, I think that the cobbled together nature of the original trilogy works for 4-6 but creates plot complications. They are easy to overlook when they’re just backstory but become hard to reconcile when actually dramatizing them. There’s two kinds of problems, the canon established in the OT and the unforced errors Lucas introduced. A canon problem is how it doesn’t make any sense to hide Anakin Skywalker’s son with his uncle under his given name. An unforced error is introducing Anakin as a child when it was clearly stated that when they met he was already the greatest pilot in the galaxy. Another unforced error is deciding that Kenobi’s desert attire, similar to what others were wearing on Tatooie, now represents Jedi robes. This would be akin to the Nazis winning WWII and the last rabbi is in hiding but still dressed like an ultra-orthodox on his way to temple.

I think the basic structure of the prequels should have been like this:
Episode 1 – thematically like ANH. Introduced to a 20-something Anakin who is a spitting image of young Luke. A triumphant adventure, bonding with Obi-Wan, feels like there’s great things in store for these two. Would be set during the last Clone War.

Episode 2 – The tragedy of Anakin Skywalker. The wars have ended and the Republic is busy losing the peace. He’s married the love of his life in the period between the first and second films. He’s becoming disenchanted with the obvious flaws of the Republic and he’s not wrong, those are serious flaws. He meets Palpatine, a sector governor during the last war who has now entered the Senate. The movie follows his disaffection from the Jedi, from Obi-Wan and his conversion to Palpatine’s point of view. Palpatine is not cackling crazy evil here, he’s presenting a very cynical and Machiavellian take on democracy and self-rule and the Republic’s rulers do little to provide a good counter argument. Palpatine becomes the leader of a populist reform movement with obvious fascist echoes and the Jedi eventually are moved to enter domestic politics and oppose it. The movie ends with the famous duel and Anakin is left for dead and he clearly must be, look at those injuries.

Episode 3 – Jedi Holocaust. You have the Jedi resistance treated as a Reichstag Fire moment and Palpatine is given emergency powers. It’s pretty much like a horror movie as the Jedi try to escape the borders of the Republic as they are hunted down. Pretty much every Jedi we meet in this film dies. Vader is introduced but is treated as a mystery. Who is this guy? He comes out of nowhere, he’s radiating the Dark Side like a reactor in meltdown and he’s slaughtering anyone who stands in his way. This mystery is hinted at when Obi-Wan survives an encounter and appears shaken, like he recognized him but it’s not confirmed because the mystery should be preserved for anyone watching the whole series in chronological order for the first time. The film would end with Palpatine being declared Emperor and the Republic becoming an Empire.

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I’ve been working on something like this in my head over the past few weeks. I plan on fleshing this out and expanding to full synopsis of each episode. My idea is to be true to the concepts developed in the OT while fleshing them out with cinematic and literary influences which are thematically close to the OT. Essentially my idea is to make the prequel films direct Kurosawa knock-offs set in the Star Wars galaxy.

Episode I will be a hybrid of Seven Samurai and Yojimbo. Anakin, 19, is a freelance pilot and scavenger on a mission to find an ancient jewel on a jungle planet. The opening scene is straight out of Raiders as Anakin finds a kyber crystal in an old Jedi temple but is chased away by pirates as the temple is destroyed. The pirates chase Anakin through space, damaging his ship and causing him to crash land on Tatooine. Anakin awaken to find Jawas dismantling his ship for junk parts but he is saved by the Old Man Lars. They go back to the Lars Homestead and meet Old Man Lars’ children - Owen and Padme (I’m only naming her this so it’s not confusing who the character is) - both around the same age as Anakin. When the homestead is attacked by a group of Tuscan Raiders and a bounty hunter, Anakin suggests fighting but Owen resists and Old Man Lars devises a plan: they must go to Mos Isley and hire a Jedi. When they get to Mos Isley, they meet Obi-Wan and discover he is involved in a quarrel between rival Hutts. The group is able to help Obi-wan and Anakin offers him the kyber crystal as payment to help against the raiders. Kenobi offers his help for free, but says even a Jedi is only one against a group of Tuskin Raiders. After the group returns to the Lars homestead to discover Old Man Lars killed and Padme kidnapped, they’re forced to go into space and find other Jedi to help in the rescue mission against the Hutts. From there, Obi-wan urges Anakin to become a Jedi and join him in the Clone Wars.

Episode II follows Anakin and Obi-wan as they return from the Clone Wars and Anakin falls to the dark side. It will be based on Throne of Blood/Macbeth.

Episode III will be told Rashomon-style with different people recounting stories of a mysterious Darth Vader killing the Jedi and the Empire taking over.

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Those ideas sound interesting. I’ve been outlining on my own to see how I think the PT and ST should have gone. I think I might try writing them out at around the same complexity as the original Star Wars novelization. Try to fit the mood, themes, etc.

What you’re trying to do sounds like that Dark Horse comic “The Star Wars” which was an adaptation of the very early Lucas Whills script. I haven’t read how they adapted it but I have read all of the Lucas drafts and they’re indescribably terrible. So much of Star Wars is carried by the style, not just the substance. It’s not Star Wars without the John Williams score, the classic sound design, the life the actors breathed into lines that just don’t pop when you read them on paper.

What’s funny is I saw the original nine films as envisioned by the original writers. Let me paste it.

Ok, having a little trouble finding it but this is gold, what this guy wrote. This guy paid attention. This is what was ignored when the prequels were made.

https://www.mikeruso.com/blog/alternative-star-wars-prequels-some-ground-rules/

And here’s some good points about how Lucas almost accidentally wrote a good prequel trilogy. It’s there in the bullet points and, with different execution, would be terrific. You just have a hard time seeing it through the horrible execution we got.

http://www.gamesradar.com/george-lucas-nearly-wrote-perfect-prequel-trilogy-he-just-didnt-seem-notice/

Yeah, I can’t find it. There was a bullet point list of what the nine movies were going to be hashed out around the time Empire finished filming. The films were going to be:

  1. History of the Jedi, how they got made
  2. Obi-Wan and Anakin fun time
  3. Fall of the Jedi
  4. ANH we got
  5. TESB as we got
  6. ROTJ would have been different. Leia is elected president and Han dies. Luke becomes big ol’ Jedi Master. Emperor doesn’t die yet.
    7-9 were not really outlined well but Luke eventually defeats the Emperor.
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 (Edited)

jollyreaper said:

Those ideas sound interesting. I’ve been outlining on my own to see how I think the PT and ST should have gone. I think I might try writing them out at around the same complexity as the original Star Wars novelization. Try to fit the mood, themes, etc.

What you’re trying to do sounds like that Dark Horse comic “The Star Wars” which was an adaptation of the very early Lucas Whills script. I haven’t read how they adapted it but I have read all of the Lucas drafts and they’re indescribably terrible. So much of Star Wars is carried by the style, not just the substance. It’s not Star Wars without the John Williams score, the classic sound design, the life the actors breathed into lines that just don’t pop when you read them on paper.

What’s funny is I saw the original nine films as envisioned by the original writers. Let me paste it.

Ok, having a little trouble finding it but this is gold, what this guy wrote. This guy paid attention. This is what was ignored when the prequels were made.

https://www.mikeruso.com/blog/alternative-star-wars-prequels-some-ground-rules/

And here’s some good points about how Lucas almost accidentally wrote a good prequel trilogy. It’s there in the bullet points and, with different execution, would be terrific. You just have a hard time seeing it through the horrible execution we got.

http://www.gamesradar.com/george-lucas-nearly-wrote-perfect-prequel-trilogy-he-just-didnt-seem-notice/

Yeah, I can’t find it. There was a bullet point list of what the nine movies were going to be hashed out around the time Empire finished filming. The films were going to be:

  1. History of the Jedi, how they got made
  2. Obi-Wan and Anakin fun time
  3. Fall of the Jedi
  4. ANH we got
  5. TESB as we got
  6. ROTJ would have been different. Leia is elected president and Han dies. Luke becomes big ol’ Jedi Master. Emperor doesn’t die yet.
    7-9 were not really outlined well but Luke eventually defeats the Emperor.

Your RotJ sounds a lot like the original plan for RotJ + original ST from the 80’s. Vader would die, the emperor would become the new bad guy, and Luke’s sister would be the new protagonist.

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Your RotJ sounds a lot like the original plan for RotJ + original ST from the 80’s. Vader would die, the emperor would become the new bad guy, and Luke’s sister would be the new protagonist.

I’m not so much a fan of it but they also didn’t put much thought into it so there’s not much to ignore.

the link above about what the prequels should have required does a great job of describing what needed to happen to fit with OT canon. The ones that stuck out most to me is that the Empire felt older but is literally the same age as Luke. And the whole celibate monk angle for the Jedi feels like a very late development.

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These all sound amazing. If these ever get into production I can do voice over work. I would love to help make these come true and watch them when they are done.

I can answer almost all questions anyone might have about the Sith from Star Wars Legends, and please do PM me for the bd25 DEED(Despecalised Editions), as I have this version. Auntie Derry/Rumpelstiltskin.
Do not go gentle into that good night, Though wise men at their end know dark is right, They
Do not go gentle into that good night. “Stay Phrosty” - Lemar Kentell, my other half.

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It would just be prose. Just getting it written will be more than enough of a task to accomplish!

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jollyreaper said:

It would just be prose. Just getting it written will be more than enough of a task to accomplish!

If you ever were to want a voice actor for your this, I’m just a PM away.

I can answer almost all questions anyone might have about the Sith from Star Wars Legends, and please do PM me for the bd25 DEED(Despecalised Editions), as I have this version. Auntie Derry/Rumpelstiltskin.
Do not go gentle into that good night, Though wise men at their end know dark is right, They
Do not go gentle into that good night. “Stay Phrosty” - Lemar Kentell, my other half.

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LordZerome1080 said:

jollyreaper said:

It would just be prose. Just getting it written will be more than enough of a task to accomplish!

If you ever were to want a voice actor for your this, I’m just a PM away.

What he Said!

I’m a bit cluttery.

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These are interesting ideas.

I’ve also contemplated the issue of Luke using his Skywalker name. Sine we really can’t get away from that I think the thing to do is:

  1. Make Obi-Wan the protagonist of the film. He’s the character we follow in the trilogy.
  2. Play this thing out where Anakin has no idea of kids at all. Maybe he’s been made to believe Amidala is dead by episode 2 in a very convincing way. I think the only way to help this as mush as possible is to portray it as Anakin has no clue kids were conceived or born at all.

That last bit would have to be achieved by having a lot have to happen in Episode 2. Maybe “The act” happens in episode 2, but the fake death of Amidala happens there as well which would plunge him deeper into the dark side.

The third film takes place 9 months later. The birth of the twins occurs, and a side-bar adventure is Padme going through a series of events to hide the kids, and act that at one point leads to a sacrificial death. None of which Anakin is privy to as he’s busy with his Jedi Holocaust.

The artist formally known as MrBenja0618.

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jollyreaper said:

So I think it goes without saying that the prequels fell short of what people were anticipating.

What was your favorite concept for how the prequels should have unfolded?

  1. What were the Clone Wars actually?
  2. How did the Republic fall and the Empire form?
  3. What was Palpatine’s actual backstory? (He was a puppet in ANH, ultimately becoming a Sith Lord in ROTJ)
  4. What were the Jedi really like?

I was looking at your post and it brought me back to a thread from almost 10 years ago. There was a thread for an animated PT on the forum. Collectively, we worked out what specific info we learned about the PT era from the OT. Anything else we could create from scratch.

For myself, I think that the cobbled together nature of the original trilogy works for 4-6 but creates plot complications. They are easy to overlook when they’re just backstory but become hard to reconcile when actually dramatizing them. There’s two kinds of problems, the canon established in the OT and the unforced errors Lucas introduced. A canon problem is how it doesn’t make any sense to hide Anakin Skywalker’s son with his uncle under his given name.

Actually, this does NOT have to be a problem. Luke is only “LUKE” the entire time they are on Tatooine. That gives you a lot of leeway into how you want to tell your story. For all we know, he could have had the name Luke Lars (heck, they could be hiding out on Tatooine - the farthest planet from the bright center of the galaxy - under an assumed name to avoid persecution for being related to a Jedi). He only takes back his father’s name after his aunt and uncle were killed and he decides he wants to “learn the ways of The Force and become a Jedi like my father.” THEN he uses his father’s name for the first time and introduces himself to Leia as LUKE SKYWALKER! It all depends on how you tell the story of ep3.

An unforced error is introducing Anakin as a child when it was clearly stated that when they met he was already the greatest pilot in the galaxy. Another unforced error is deciding that Kenobi’s desert attire, similar to what others were wearing on Tatooie, now represents Jedi robes. This would be akin to the Nazis winning WWII and the last rabbi is in hiding but still dressed like an ultra-orthodox on his way to temple.

This always bothered me as well. I think Jedi should have a simple UNIFORM, like a warrior monk idea, but it should be very distinctive. At the height of the power, Jedi should be recognized immediately and shown respect for their role in defending The Republic.

I think the basic structure of the prequels should have been like this:
Episode 1 – thematically like ANH. Introduced to a 20-something Anakin who is a spitting image of young Luke. A triumphant adventure, bonding with Obi-Wan, feels like there’s great things in store for these two. Would be set during the last Clone War.

Episode 2 – The tragedy of Anakin Skywalker. The wars have ended and the Republic is busy losing the peace. He’s married the love of his life in the period between the first and second films. He’s becoming disenchanted with the obvious flaws of the Republic and he’s not wrong, those are serious flaws. He meets Palpatine, a sector governor during the last war who has now entered the Senate. The movie follows his disaffection from the Jedi, from Obi-Wan and his conversion to Palpatine’s point of view. Palpatine is not cackling crazy evil here, he’s presenting a very cynical and Machiavellian take on democracy and self-rule and the Republic’s rulers do little to provide a good counter argument. Palpatine becomes the leader of a populist reform movement with obvious fascist echoes and the Jedi eventually are moved to enter domestic politics and oppose it. The movie ends with the famous duel and Anakin is left for dead and he clearly must be, look at those injuries.

Episode 3 – Jedi Holocaust. You have the Jedi resistance treated as a Reichstag Fire moment and Palpatine is given emergency powers. It’s pretty much like a horror movie as the Jedi try to escape the borders of the Republic as they are hunted down. Pretty much every Jedi we meet in this film dies. Vader is introduced but is treated as a mystery. Who is this guy? He comes out of nowhere, he’s radiating the Dark Side like a reactor in meltdown and he’s slaughtering anyone who stands in his way. This mystery is hinted at when Obi-Wan survives an encounter and appears shaken, like he recognized him but it’s not confirmed because the mystery should be preserved for anyone watching the whole series in chronological order for the first time. The film would end with Palpatine being declared Emperor and the Republic becoming an Empire.

I always felt that the trick to making an awesome PT is to give the audience what they think they want: Things like badass Jedi and then flip the tables on them when they realize they’ve been cheering for and supporting the WRONG SIDE. The PT should end with the GALAXY cheering the rise of The Empire, but our hero (Obiwan) and the audience realizing how now things are worse. For Example, in the movie Swing Kids, as the Nazis invade neighboring territories, the German people are listening to the radio with pride, but you can see in the face of the boy in the back, that he KNOWS what they are doing is wrong…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRMTr6SniY8&feature=related