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How would you have handled Episode VI (6)?

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There's a forum member whose signature has links to possible ROTJ alterations for (I think) adywan's upcoming cut. It set me thinking: the biggest hurdle in these edits seems to be grappling with what's possible, impractical, or out of the question, all closely linked to budget. Common sense would say it's very much like film-making. Many awesome suggestions can never see the light of day because of cold, hard reality.

If you had the budget, the team, and presumably the storytelling talent, how would you have handled Episode VI? For example: would you have went for Wookiees instead of Ewoks? Would you have presented the Emperor as we know him, or gone a different route? etc. 

The products of your wide-open imagination are probably doomed to remain hypothetical. But then again . . . maybe the imagination can be the greatest big screen of all.

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ROTJ is very interesting in a sense that it's probably the weakest of the three overall as a feature film, but it has the most powerful, most memorable moments from the entire saga (to me, that is).

So the core of the film, the foundation of it is super solid. It's only the tiny things that seem rather off. The rather unoriginal opening scene, Boba Fett serving no purpose whatsoever and going out like a punk, Han tending not to act like Han sometimes, Ewoks taking down the Empire in an awkwardly implausible manner, some of the sets not having as much life & detail as one would hope...

Having ewoks be wookiees would probably give more motivation to our characters, Boba Fett not being in the film at all would  make his character even more mysterious & kewl [in ESB], Han acting more like an overconfident wise ass would spice the flick up a bit more, more detailed sets would make the flick seem larger and a powerful opening scene would make you even more excited about the whole thing (1st and last impressions being the most important ones... that type of thing).

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I've personally never had issues with the plot of ROTJ.  I always thought it tied things up nicely, which is exactly what it was meant to do.  Aside from its lighter moments and lack of death, ROTJ has a very heavy weight to it.

Removing some of the sillier elements like the dance number in Jabba's palace, and some of the droids banter would be a good start.  Additionally, making Endor the wookie home planet would have led to a much more effective ground battle.  Having enslaved wookies breaking free and join in battle with the rebels would be awesome.  It would also make the motivations of Han and Chewie far more meaningful.

Aside from these types of superficial flaws, there isn't really much else I would change.  I personally liked the fact that the first half hour is completely unrelated to the rest of the movie, and that Leia ended up being Luke's sister, etc...

Hindsight is always 20/20, but I've never put much thought into what I would have done if given a blank slate.  These are just the issues I have with the existing film.

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i would've tightened the pace, its rather logy compared to the other two films.

same goes for the prequels, although i wouldve left in the padme scenes in rots.

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I would've opened it with Luke thinking that Leia would always love Han, so Luke goes back to his roots on Tatooine and hooks up with his Academy sweetheart. She's now a single mum of a cute kid that says "Yippee" alot (It's like music) and he acts as a surrogate father and takes them both on picnics to beggar's canyon. He also finds time to rescue some workers from a burning spice refinery (The refinery was experimenting with a deadly form of toxic spice!).

Meanwhile Leia goes off to rescue Han but we don't see her for the rest of the movie. Instead we follow Lando who has got a low paid job in the Emperor's palace. One day, Lando uses his scoundrely ways to hack into Palpatine's computer and increase his wage packet.

Palpatine and Vader catch him but before the Dark Lord can force choke Lando, Palpatine yells "Stop Lord Vader... he has done well". Palpatine realises that Lando has the skills to build a new Death Star and Lando just happens to have some sketches for one that he scribbled on the back of some Sabacc cards.

Palpatine, sensing that Luke could still "Be a threat to us", sends Lando to swap Luke's new green Lightsaber crystal with an evil red one. The first time Luke ignites his red saber he falls under the power of the Dark side. This manifests itself by his clothes getting all dirty and him not shaving.

On the otherside of the galaxy the Death Star II is complete but Lando has designed it too well and so it becomes sentient (Like frickin' Skynet) and turns it's own laser on the Imperial Fleet. It then kills Palpatine and Vader and lays in a course of Courscant, bent on destruction!

Luckily back on Tatooine, Luke happens to fall into a garbage masher at Watto's junkyard (It's like music) and just before dying, Ben's ghost visits him. Luke stops being evil, busts out with his saber that has magically turned green again and heads off to stop the Death Star (Some pitdroids cheer as his X-Wing takes off).

Luke's X-Wing arrives at the Death Star II and heads straight for the thermal exhaust port (That he knows all Death Stars must have by law). Secretly he has loaded some of the deadly toxic spice into a proton torpedo and fires it into the death star's main reactor. As the evil space station is melting and dying Luke rescues Lando (Apparently Lando is forgiven all the evil stuff he's done because he's lovable Lando).

Luke lands back on Bespin and Lando waves him goodbye. Luke then uses his force power to super compress some Tibana Gas into a Japor Snippet necklace (It's like music) which he gives to his Academy sweetheart in the final scene back on Tatooine. Just as this is happening Leia and Han get back from Jabba's palace. Luke's new fiancee shows off the beautiful necklace to Leia who looks obviously crushed. In turn Han sees Leia's reaction and realises she loved Luke all along. He utters the words "I won't get in the way" and walks off into the desert.

As the suns set on Tatooine everyone has a party/parade at Jabba's palace with dancing Jawa's singing "Yub nub". Luke symbolicly hands Jabba a glowing white electric globe that is never explained in any way and Jabba holds it aloft and shouts "Peace!" in Huttese and we iris in on the credits (It's like music).

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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Hey, as long as we're doing mashups with other third parts of a series and seeing what wackiness ensues, how about Indiana Jones?

Luke struggles with mixed feelings about his father (they have a troubled past, you see) as he sets out on a mission to save him from the clutches of some archetypal villains. At the climax of this mission, he valiantly risks his own life in an attempt to save his father's life, which serves in the plot as a symbolic gesture that the loving bond is restored and all is forgiven.

Oh, nevermind...

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Different, more uneasy relations between Lando/Han/Leia. This would be exacerbated by Han's being frozen for so long. It would add some more conflict to what are some pretty peachy relations. More discussions between characters.

Luke is more of an outcast in the group, until the very end. He has spent the time between movies (mere weeks in this version) at Dagobah, he's the last one to arrive at Tatooine, and he's (of course) absent for most of the battle. Make it understandable too. Vader TORTURES him mentally, constantly trying to get inside his head, throughout the whole film until he surrenders on Endor. Also, give him some scars from his brawl with Vader in the last film.

No Ewoks. Not even replacements. There are more troops  for both sides deployed on Endor, and we get some interesting combat,. Mainly, AT-AT's and snow speeders fighting on the ground. Lando and CHEWBACCA are up in the air, so one new character and one character we care about up there, to increase tension. Han gets shot early on in the battle, and Leia continues the ground strike on her own. R2 is shot, possibly even in worse shape than in the final film. Leia destroys the generator on her own.

No change to the Vader/Emperor/Luke stuff. It's perfect as is. Just change the final outburst a bit, to accommodate my next change...

Luke and Leia? Not related. Yoda's promised "other" from ESB is kept ambiguous, a mysterious promise for another tale.

Luke claims power for the rebellion via a mass announcement, before Death Star II can explode. The big destruction for the movie is the Executor, which goes out in far more of a bang. Namely, Chewie and Lando cause it. 

The film ends with Luke having a final convo with Ben on Courescant, where Ben discusses his pride in Luke for finally redeeming his father. And right before Ben fades out, he catches a glimpse of a man in robes, clearly his father. They both fade out, and Leia and Han come out, Han's arm in a sling. We hear that Leia's in power now, queen of the galaxy. The three share a conversation about their adventures, and the films end with the three of them staring off into the distance, together, once again.

 

 

 

What do you think?

 

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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What I would have done:

Replaced the Death Star II with an Eclipse-class Star Destroyer, and have it serve as more of a setting rather than a MacGuffin.

Cast a young, attractive actress to play Palpatine. Clive Revill would have been retained as the voice of Palpatine.

I would have had Palpatine's little cadre in the beginning of the film consist of Sith Lords/Dark Jedi instead of funny looking men in goofy headgear. This would show that Vader isn't the only high-ranking darksider in service to the Emperor, and it would help to set up a sequel trilogy.

I still would have kept the "rescue-Han-from-Jabba's-palace" subplot, but reworked it heavily to make it work better (I don't know precisely how I would go about doing this, however).

Placed Jabba's palace on another, new, world rather than on Tatooine.

Omitted the stupid "from a certain point-of-view" speech. Ben will admit he lied, but that he did it only in Luke's best interests.

Omitted the bit with Leia as Luke's sister/Vader's daughter.

I would have shown Sullust.

Changed the Ewoks to Trandoshans, Bossk's race (hey, I'm trying to be original, here!)

Changed the whole method of how Palpatine & Vader go about seducing Luke to the darkside to make it more believeable. The whole "if-you-strike-me-down-in-hatred-you'll-join-me" bit is just dumb and smacks of future PT developments.

Had Han die heroically on Endor.

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Hindsight is always 20/20. So I would go back to the original script meetings and steer the conversation into a new direction. For example, they were discussing Had Abbadon for the setting of Jedi. The theme of the movie was to be a more primitive people overthrowing a technological regime, and Endor was a moon over Had Abbadon. I would have consolidated the final battle to simply be a group of enslaved aliens on Had Abbadon being feed by the Rebels, including Luke, Han, and Leia, and using their knowledge of the imperial complex to infiltrate it and take out the Emperor. Meanwhile, the Imperial fleet would engage the Rebel fleet over the planet. Luke and Vader would have a final confrontation in the presence of the Emperor, while the complex slowly destroyed itself from within. The outcome is largely the same, as in the completed movie, and there could even be a few Ewoks in the mix of freed alien slaves.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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NeverarGreat said:

Hindsight is always 20/20. So I would go back to the original script meetings and steer the conversation into a new direction. For example, they were discussing Had Abbadon for the setting of Jedi. The theme of the movie was to be a more primitive people overthrowing a technological regime, and Endor was a moon over Had Abbadon. I would have consolidated the final battle to simply be a group of enslaved aliens on Had Abbadon being feed by the Rebels, including Luke, Han, and Leia, and using their knowledge of the imperial complex to infiltrate it and take out the Emperor. Meanwhile, the Imperial fleet would engage the Rebel fleet over the planet. Luke and Vader would have a final confrontation in the presence of the Emperor, while the complex slowly destroyed itself from within. The outcome is largely the same, as in the completed movie, and there could even be a few Ewoks in the mix of freed alien slaves.

^ Short Translation = "Change planet name from 'Endor' to 'Had Abadon' and keep everything else the same." ;-)

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Except that Had Abbadon is one big city and Endor is one big forest.

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I would actually not change anything. Idea of wookiees instead of ewoks seems equally bad. And at least Chewie is "unique" among the ewoks now.

Maybe I would reduce ewok screen time during the battle and instead added more of shots of battle in space.

真実

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DuracellEnergizer said:

What I would have done:

Replaced the Death Star II with an Eclipse-class Star Destroyer, and have it serve as more of a setting rather than a MacGuffin. If that could merge with what I said about the Executor going down instead of the main threat, YES!! 

Cast a young, attractive actress to play Palpatine. Clive Revill would have been retained as the voice of Palpatine. That would be GREAT! An extra layer of creepiness to him, like the Talosians.

I would have had Palpatine's little cadre in the beginning of the film consist of Sith Lords/Dark Jedi instead of funny looking men in goofy headgear. This would show that Vader isn't the only high-ranking darksider in service to the Emperor, and it would help to set up a sequel trilogy. Hmm, interesting. I like this too, you're a machine!

I still would have kept the "rescue-Han-from-Jabba's-palace" subplot, but reworked it heavily to make it work better (I don't know precisely how I would go about doing this, however). Just shorten it. That's what I'd do.

Placed Jabba's palace on another, new, world rather than on Tatooine. You better believe it. Part of an adventure storyline is seeing new places, and the Star Wars films have a tendency to meander around the same 4 or 5 planets. Keep it fresh, people!

Omitted the stupid "from a certain point-of-view" speech. Ben will admit he lied, but that he did it only in Luke's best interests. Again, good idea.

Omitted the bit with Leia as Luke's sister/Vader's daughter. YES!! Whole thing just comes off as pointless, to me. 

I would have shown Sullust. What purpose would it serve?

Changed the Ewoks to Trandoshans, Bossk's race (hey, I'm trying to be original, here!) I already stated my opinion on the Ewoks. I don't even really think they need replacements. Just keep it to human combat, just new and inventive. It takes too much story to introduce them, time that could be spent elseqhere.

Changed the whole method of how Palpatine & Vader go about seducing Luke to the darkside to make it more believeable. The whole "if-you-strike-me-down-in-hatred-you'll-join-me" bit is just dumb and smacks of future PT developments. Eh, I never had a problem with it. What would you change it to, exactly?

Had Han die heroically on Endor. You lost me. It's too bittersweet for what is the most part a triumphant adventure story. The death of Vader should be emotional enough, we don't need to hammer another one in. 

By the way, anyone agree with me that Han and Leia's relations to Lando are WAY too peachy-keen in the final film. There should be this tension, this distrust, this... unease! If they'd stayed together for more of the film (in my version, they would), this would have been a great dynamic to enforce. In fact, a lot of things probably could have reinforced more. Luke should have this mental scar from his face-off with Vader, or even have him try to block off his emotions, thus further alienating him from the group. 

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

Changed the whole method of how Palpatine & Vader go about seducing Luke to the darkside to make it more believeable. The whole "if-you-strike-me-down-in-hatred-you'll-join-me" bit is just dumb and smacks of future PT developments.

This is where Lucas really should've taken a page from Tolkien (whom he obviously read--or else why are Jedi sabers blue and Sith ones red?). The One Ring in the LOTR books, for all its evil power, doesn't turn you into a mindless ally of Sauron. If Denethor, Steward of Minas Tirith, got his hands on the Ring, he wouldn't use it to ally with Sauron and crush the people of Gondor and Rohan--he'd use it to overthrow Sauron utterly and establish Gondor as a mighty empire.

But Tolkien's entire point was that this is the wrong approach. If Gondor defeated the Evil Empire of Mordor using Mordor's own methods, it'd just inevitably set up a new despotism in its place. But Denethor would still think that he was a hero, and still claim to be acting for the forces of Good.

Lucas missed Tolkien's point--that fallen good guys don't stop thinking they're good guys. If Luke kills his father in anger it doesn't make sense that he would become the Emperor's lapdog--it makes far more sense that he would try to overthrow the Emperor and seize power for himself, in the name of creating a new, more "benevolent" Empire. (Mind you, Kasdan actually proposed this as a happy ending for ROTJ.)

FWIW, Peter Jackson got this one wrong too--by turning the traitorous and cunning Saruman of the novels (who happily betrayed Mordor at the first opportunity in hopes of seizing the Ring for his own) into a much more authentically loyal servant of the Dark Lord.

Sorry for the slight off topicness...

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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haraldo23: Han did act like a man who's settled down from his glory days. Some of his grouchiness and wit are retained, thankfully.

 

Humby: It's partly understandable that the first half hour is so disconnected, plot-wise. To have Han's rescue mission take place off screen or in the pages of an EU book would've been rather cheap.

 

Ryan McAvoy: Superman III. Do I win something?

 

Tack: Take the alien primitives out altogether? That would've made the story more "human" and straight-forward. Bah, I still would've had Wookiees. 

 

As far as Luke and Leia being non-siblings, it's curious: What if someone wrote an "alternate" ROTJ fan script or even directed an animated film, and had Luke and Leia romantically paired together? Even if everything in the story was objectively excellent, I suspect the fact they're siblings is too ingrained in fans, and they'd never be able to accept romance between the two. 

 

Strangely, they may be more willing to go for a Jaime/Cersei type romance, if only because "Game of Thrones" is big right now. Check back in two years or so when it loses steam.

 

DuracellEnergizer: Creepy androgyny for the Emperor? Could work, if done in moderation. 

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If I was magically put in charge of it at the time and I had the option to undo my influence on the film I'd make radical changes. Han dies, Leia uses force powers in the end battle with Vader, Emperor, and Luke, stuff like that. Some things I'd throw in there just to see if it'd go well with the audience. Throw in some dissension over Leia still holding the royalty title after the planet blew up from the other rebels. Bye bye Ewoks, hello alternate but still feasible alien race. Also throw out any love drama beyond Leia seeing Han die and the ramifications of that.
If it turns out bad revert to the original timeline. Also if it turns out good still return to original timeline but wait for a while.

If I was magically put in charge but with no option to undo what I've done. Also with zero option to back out I'd have to direct the film 'cause magic. I'd probably try to make it as similar as possible to what I remember as the original. Admittedly that'd be tough as Jedi is my least viewed Star Wars film. Still I'd try my best. Good thing is that I barely ever watched the SE of Jedi so it's practically guaranteed not to influence the production. I don't know, I just wouldn't want to permanently erase the original story from the timeline. Given what this site is and everything, it wouldn't feel right.


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Reegar said:

There's a forum member whose signature has links to possible ROTJ alterations for (I think) adywan's upcoming cut.

It's not exclusively for Adywan. It's just a suggestion for anyone doing an edit. Several others seem to dig the idea as well, so I'm posting here if anyone else wants to check it out. The link's in my signature.

Ray’s Lounge
Biggs in ANH edit idea
ROTJ opening edit idea

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darth ender has a link in his signature to the ROTJ Collaborative Edit thread, which is a wealth of ideas. I would post my thoughts on how ROTJ should be here but I feel as if I've said enough about it there.

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ray_afraid said:

^I forgot about that. There's a ton of ideas for a ROTJ edit there. Anyone looking to start one would benefit from checking that out,

Yeah, but this is more about a total rewrite of the existing material. It's changes that COULDN'T be carried out no matter how hard we tried to edit it. STuff like what I mentioned, or the lists in that "How would have done ROTJ differently" thread. But, yes. That is a cool thread.

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As far as Luke and Leia being non-siblings, it's curious: What if someone wrote an "alternate" ROTJ fan script or even directed an animated film, and had Luke and Leia romantically paired together? Even if everything in the story was objectively excellent, I suspect the fact they're siblings is too ingrained in fans, and they'd never be able to accept romance between the two. 

 

Strangely, they may be more willing to go for a Jaime/Cersei type romance, if only because "Game of Thrones" is big right now. Check back in two years or so when it loses steam.

 

The book you're looking for is "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" The quasi-romance between them kind of works if you can remember that it was written before Jedi, but I couldn't keep from cringing.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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Humby said:

I've personally never had issues with the plot of ROTJ.  I always thought it tied things up nicely, which is exactly what it was meant to do.  Aside from its lighter moments and lack of death, ROTJ has a very heavy weight to it.

Removing some of the sillier elements like the dance number in Jabba's palace,

You must be thinking of the Special Edition...

I wouldn't have changed much. The biggest thing would be not making Luke and Leia siblings.

If we want to talk about some radical changes we should look at ANH. I would have had less dianoga.

The blue elephant in the room.

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NeverarGreat said:

 

As far as Luke and Leia being non-siblings, it's curious: What if someone wrote an "alternate" ROTJ fan script or even directed an animated film, and had Luke and Leia romantically paired together? Even if everything in the story was objectively excellent, I suspect the fact they're siblings is too ingrained in fans, and they'd never be able to accept romance between the two. 

 

Strangely, they may be more willing to go for a Jaime/Cersei type romance, if only because "Game of Thrones" is big right now. Check back in two years or so when it loses steam.

 

The book you're looking for is "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" The quasi-romance between them kind of works if you can remember that it was written before Jedi, but I couldn't keep from cringing.

Should I seek professional help if their dynamic ends up titillating me? You'll share at least some blame for the recommendation. 

I'll put it on my To Read list.