Watch Lost Highway.
Change certain characters.
Palpy is Mystery Man
Anakin is Fred Madison
Padme is Renee Madison/Alice Wakefield
Samuel Jackson is Mr Eddy/Dick Laurent
Ewan McGregor is Pete Dayton
Anakin’s turn to the dark side wasn’t done very well. Lucas insisted on starting Anakin as a child, and it takes until the 3rd movie for him to be a heroic Jedi Knight. Anakin’s ultimate reason for turning is also weak, as he blindly believes Palpatine’s claims that the dark side can cheat death with no evidence, and his personality is too unlike the cold, collected wrath of Vader from the OT.
My inspiration for my rewrite was two masterpieces: Breaking Bad and The Godfather Part I and II. Both Walter White and Michael Corleone have shared points that help make their descent feel gradual and organic.
The Godfather Part I and II and Breaking Bad SPOILERS AHEAD
- Backstory - Walter White’s past with Grey Matter and Gretchen. Walt gave up the opportunity of a far better life because of his pride, and a lot of his later actions stem from trying to become as powerful and accomplished as his peers because of it.
Michael Corleone was in the military and is already a skilled killer who is used to violence, and is desensitized to his family’s brutal business. He still loves his family, despite disagreeing with their lifestyle.
- Moral High Point - Walter White is a good, if meek, high school chemistry teacher and family man. Michael Corleone is an honest Italian-American who served in the military and keeps his mafia family at an arm’s length.
- The Catalyst - Cancer diagnosis for Walt, attempted murder of Vito for Michael.
- Desperate Decision - Walt cooking meth to provide for his family. Michael saving an unguarded Vito at the hospital, involving himself in the family business.
- First Dark Deed - Walt killing Emilio and Krazy 8. Michael killing Sollozzo and McClusky.
- Chance at Redemption - Walt leaves the meth business out of guilt, is offered a job and payment for his treatment by Elliot and Gretchen. Michael retreats to Sicily and marries Apollonia.
- Redemption Destroyed - Walt refuses the money out of pride. Apollonia is killed.
- Full Commitment to the Dark Path - Walt returns to meth business. Michael starts working for his father and eventually becomes the new Don. They lie to themselves and their family (“I’m doing this for the family”, “In 5 years we’ll be legitimate”).
- Gradual Descent to Further Darkness - Walt letting Jane die, killing Gus’ dealers to save Jesse, and ordering the death of Gale. Michael killing the heads of the 5 families and Carlo.
- Complete Monster - Walt poisoning Brock, killing 10 prisoners and Mike, and getting Hank killed. Michael killing Roth and Fredo.
Breaking Bad and The Godfather Parts 1 and 2 SPOILERS OVER.
From here, it’s pretty easy to create an arc for Anakin becoming Darth Vader, once you come up with a motivation and backstory.
1. Backstory - Anakin is a 19 year old slave on Tatooine discovered by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. He developed a cold, hardened personality when afraid, angry, or aggressive (like Vader). He is still a kind, good, passionate person. The Jedi get him freed, but not in time to save his dying mother. Obi-Wan stops Anakin from enacting revenge on the Tuskins. They bring Anakin to the Council. At first they reject him, but after Qui-Gon’s death, they bring him in. Anakin develops a close friendship with Obi-Wan and a relationship with Padme.
2. Moral High Point - Anakin, under Obi-Wan’s mastership, has become a kind, courageous, loyal, swashbuckling Jedi Knight with a close friendship with Obi-Wan. His cold mask has almost deteriorated, and he’s well-loved by his Jedi family.
3. The Catalyst - Anakin receives visions of Padme dying. He goes to Yoda for help. Yoda says that he should do what he can to prevent it but he needs to accept it if he can’t, and that death is a natural part of life.
3. Desperate Decision - Anakin learns that the Sith’s ultimate goal has always been to cheat death from Palpatine. He gets access to ancient Sith holocrons from the Jedi archives, breaking the rules (he has to be a Master, and he’s only a Knight). He finds a holocron from Plagueis but can’t open it yet. He learns that he must indulge into the dark side in order to achieve the power to cheat death.
As such, he starts using the dark side in combat, and is more brutal. He finds this more effective, and is thrilled by the feeling of power. The cold mask of Vader is put on once again.
4. First Dark Deed - Anakin force chokes a POW for information and murders a Separatist commander, Admiral Trench, in cold blood.
5. Chance at Redemption - Anakin is horrified at what he did, feels guilty, and stops using the dark side. Yoda is right: he should do his best to save her, but if he can’t, he must accept her mortality and enjoy his time with her before her passing.
6. Redemption Destroyed - Anakin once again receives a vision of Padme dying, but he also sees a premonition of himself burning in lava and assumes it’s a depiction of his death.
7. Full Commitment to the Dark Path - Anakin regresses to using the ancient Sith holocrons. He tells himself he’s doing it for Padme and that he won’t become a Sith. He’ll just use the dark side to gain the power to cheat death, and after that will go back to the light side.
The truth is, he’s using it because he can’t stand the pain of losing Padme, and to become immortal himself. He’s addicted to the dark side. Just as Walter White finally admitted, “I did it for me”.
8. Gradual Descent to Further Darkness - Anakin uses the dark side consistently on missions, coldly and ruthlessly. He ends conflicts swiftly and effectively, and thus, sees the dark side as superior. He loves the dark side’s power, and is now the warlord obsessed with order from the OT.
He assassinates a rival politician to Palpatine after being told they’re corrupt. Anakin accepts Sith ideology and supports Palpatine’s politics. Palpatine props up Anakin as a war hero constantly, further feeding his ego and gaining his allegiance. The Council notices Anakin’s behavior and tries to reach out to him, but he refuses. He tries multiple times to open Plagueis’ holocron, but because he basically lives a double life, he isn’t submerged in the dark side enough to do so.
Anakin kills Count Dooku, and a fellow Jedi witnesses it. They realize that he killed the politician too and tell him that they’ll tell the Council, and to prevent it, he kills them.
Anakin gets kicked from the Jedi Order after his secret marriage and usage of the dark side is exposed, for his own good. Council members including Obi-Wan frequently check up on him, but he’s too selfish to appreciate it.
9. Complete Monster - Palpatine tells Anakin that he’s a Sith Lord and that he cannot complete his dark side training without his help. He tells Anakin to become his apprentice, regain the holocrons, and then they can learn to cheat death together, combining their knowledge. As this is happening, the Jedi realize Palpatine is the Sith Lord and go to arrest him. Anakin kills the Jedi that go to arrest Palpatine, and fully commits to being a Sith Lord and Palpatine’s apprentice. He is finally knighted Darth Vader.
The rest of Revenge of the Sith mostly commences as is, except:
*Remove bum lines (“Love won’t save you Padme…”, “From my point of view the Jedi are evil!”).
*Padme dies because of Anakin’s force choke. Directly. She’s able to give birth beforehand, but dies in the medical bay.
*After Sidious tells Vader that Padme is dead, Vader asks about Plagueis’ holocron. Sidious tells Vader that it was destroyed by the Jedi, thus prompting Vader’s rampage.
*Instead of Vader’s pathetic “Nooooo”, it’s like the Canon Vader comics, with a ferocious, blunt “No” and force pushing Sidious towards a wall.
I incorporated ideas from my Anakin/Vader and Morality thread.
I hope you guys like my idea and I’m interested to hear yours.
My Star Wars Fan-Edits