So, confined to my bed by illness, I thought about this movie again. Precisely I once again though about splitting up Amidala’s role, making Padmé and the Queen two separate people. To convincingly achieve this, I would age the Queen up considerably with a deep fake and remove her double from the final battle. Additionally I would record new dialogue for her and maybe something new for Gunray as well.
At this point it should be noted that though my train of though started with an edit, which I myself could actually make, it quickly shot off to the distant lands of the unfeasible. At least without a lot of help.
So, back to the meat. These changes would allow to alter the narrative substantially. In this version, the Trade Federation would initially side with the Queen, due to rising tension between the Gungan and the Naboo. They would garrison the land in the promise to aid the Naboo in case of an attack, but in reality, they would already be fighting and enslaving the Gungans. Gunray in particular would play a role akin to Grima Wormtongue, poisoning the aging regent with ill advice, thus turning her into the perfect personification of the fading Republic. Conceptionally this story should betide around her sitting quietly in the centre. In the decisive moments it comes down to her actions, but the story is about the people around her that shape her decisions.
Now, about the crawl, it should put emphasis on complacent state that the republic is in and like Faraday I fancy the wording of “a golden age is ending”, so that should make the first paragraph. The second should focus on the tensions on Naboo and the third should elaborate on the Federations part in all of it and mention the republic ambassadors.
Then, pan down to the evergreen Planet surrounded by war ships. Federation dropships descend to the surface. The holographic image of Gunray and his advisor appears and orders the droid commander of this landing force to search the swamps for Otoh Gunga and capture any Gungan alive.
Transition to Theed, accompanied by their closest advisors, Gunray and the Queen descend the stairs in conversation. The Queen stresses her intend to find a peaceful solution and Gunray describes thart a Gungan army is gathering in the marshes, expressing that the time of diplomacy has passed. However the Queen places faith in the republic ambassadors. At the bottom of the stairs a battle droid informs the Viceroy that his ship has arrived.
Then follows the original opening sequence, minus any mention of Sidious. After the Jedi spot the invasion army and decide to go and warn the Naboo, we cut to Battledroids taking a number of Gungans prisoner and see Jar Jar hiding under a cart, while observing the scene.
Back onboard the federation commandship, the Queen contacts Gunray to inquire about the ambassadors. Subsequently the communication is disrupted and Sio Bibble suspects an attack.
Cut back to the Jedi, who meet up with Jar Jar and make for Otoh Gunga with haste. A few dialogue tweaks here and there, indicating that Jar Jar is a deserter. Shorten the under water sequence and cut the Sidious hologram. The invasion of Theed replaces his scene.
After that the Jedi arrive in the city, free the Queen, persuade her to go to coruscant and the plot proceeds normally until after they escaped the blockade. Again, I would drop the Sidious scene and also cut the Queen thanking R2 as well. If we replace R2 with Anakin, this scene could be reused to a better purpose after their departure from Tatooine.
The Tatooine portion of the movie would mostly stay the same. Maybe I’d pitch Anakin’s voice down a little and Amidala’s up and change Anakin’s introduction as suggested on here before. The bet should definitely be simplified though.Maybe Anakin helping Jar Jar could be worked into a small character moment that encourages Jar Jar to stand up for himself.
It would create a nice arc for his character. He goes from being a coward that is being pushed around by droids half his height. Then he learns to stand up for himself and in turn encourages the Queen to do the same for her people. And finally he himself would lead his people against this very same enemy.
Anyway back to Tatooine. During the dinner scene and the conversation about slavery, Jar Jar should add a small remark like “Gungans get pasty too, eh?”, to tie the grim fate awaiting the Gungans to Anakin’s reality, forming a strong motivation for him to help.
I think I would skip Maul and Sidious talking on Coruscant, I’d like to keep Sidious out of the picture for as long as possible. Instead Maul should be sent by Gunray, building him up to a Tarkin like villain.
After the pod race is won and we have left Tatooine, the Queen thanks Anakin for his help. Maybe she could even promise him to help his mother.
On coruscant things proceed similar the original. Obviously Palpatine introducing the Queen to the senate would need to be altered. We would need to use a new name for the Queen, it should be a name that McDiarmid uses in some other movie he’s in and it should still sounds nabooish, but I don’t know if there is anything usable.
The biggest challenge might lie in the meeting of the Queen and Boss Nass. Ideally she should unintentionally anger Boss Nass, almost spoiling her plan to forge an alliance with the Gungans. This is the moment that Padmé should step in, essentially saving their only hope of freeing their people.
The finale plays out as usual, although I would cut most of the Gungan battle, Jar Jar has to look heroic in this and there isn’t that much footage to support that.
Lastly I would like to add a line of dialogue to palpatines arrival. After he addressed Anakin, he should promise him that the republic will free the slaves on Tatooine.
That’s basically the brought outline of the changes I have in mind. Surely there are still many small tidbits of dialogue that would need some attention to sell this new plot, but nothing too serious, unless I forgot about a major scene.
Besides that I am struggling when to introduce Palpatine as the shadow figure. I would like to tie it somehow to Qui-Gon’s feeling that something else is behind the federations move, but I have no idea how to implement this into the story.
I hope this wall of text is somewhat comprehensive, I had to take a few brakes form writing to rest a little.
Anyways I would like to hear your thought’s.