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Remake the Prequels

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It's been suggested on this site before, but I'm bringing it up again.  I think we should get a group of OT-ers together and write, produce, and edit our own versions of the prequel trilogy movies.  I think with the rise of sites like Kickstarter, we wouid have no problem getting funds.  This site alone is filled with people who would want this to happen and back the project.  There are enough talented people here that I'm positive we could come up with a much better story than what we got that is of pretty good quality.  What do you guys think?  Possible?  Probable?

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Of course it's possible. Such an alternate PT would basically be a trilogy of fan films, and SW fan films already exist in great abundance, so it isn't outside the realm of possibility.

The biggest problem facing such an endeavour is getting everyone to agree on what the storyline should be; everyone has their own ideas on what the perfect PT should be, and not everyone is going to agree, so compromises would have to be made.

There is also the issue of commitment that has to be dealt with. You can't get anything done if you're only half-heartedly interested in doing it.

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Absolutely right.

I've got probably hundreds of pages of notes on my computer for possible stories for a prequel rewrite. Everything from going Flash Gordon with Obi-wan as a Hans Zarkov character to Anakin's wife being a Joan of Arc character having visions of the good side of an extremely schizophrenic Anakin/Vader inspiring her to begin the Rebellion. Then there are the more reasonable stories, the ones that cleave close to what the audience would expect from watching the OT.

The problem with making a story about Anakin Skywalker is that the OT played off of the fact that Luke's father was a mystery to Luke to make him fearful. If an audience knows exactly how Anakin was seduced to the Dark Side, no matter how it happened, it would lessen the impact of the OT. For you only fear what you don't understand, and Luke must travel the path to becoming a Jedi not knowing if his actions are a mirror of his father's actions before he fell. In a way, Anakin's story is already told through Luke's journey in the OT. So making Anakin's story the focus of the Prequels is frivolous.

Obi-wan's story is also unfitting as the focus of the prequels, for we already know exactly where he ends up at the end. Also, telling his story requires knowing Yoda and a lot about the Force, making the films not work if they were to be watched before the the OT, or in proper numerical order.

In the end, I think that the prequels can't be about the Jedi or the Force, because to do so would simply repeat a lot of the OT. It would have to be a smaller story, with a main character whom we don't know, with a goal that doesn't have to do with doing something we already know the fate of. For example, having a story about someone fighting for either the Republic or the Separatists will inevitably end in tragedy, so if you want an uplifting tale, that's out.

I'll probably be altering my Stars of War thread soon, so you can read there what I have in mind for a "rewrite" of the prequels. I say rewrite because there are way too many ways to rewrite the prequels, and with a focus on entirely new characters and situations during the same period of the Clone Wars, the existing prequels and EU need not be discarded to have a compelling origin story for the Star Wars universe.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
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Well I think most of us would agree the prequels never had to exist.  This would just be about telling the story in an interesting way that provides an alternate (aka better) take for those who despise the actual prequels.  Basically, get a fan re-writer, a fan filmmaker, and a faneditor together, have them discuss what the story should be, get a plot outlined, have the writer do a rough draft, have the other guys make notes, repeat till happy with the story, filmmaker shoots it (with others present), editor does a 1st edit, shows others, make notes, repeat till happy.  It would be nice for them to have different views as to what the prequels should be so that there is some variety and it doesn't repeat the main problem the prequels had, which is that Lucas did the whole thing in isolation.  Nobody gave him story notes on what didn't work, nobody once said to him "hey, George, this sucks."  Part of what made the OT so good is the amount of collaboration between George and other really talented individuals.   Obviously nothing is going to satisfy everybody and the prequels don't HAVE to exist either way, but it would be nice to have a version that doesn't suck nonetheless.  

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There's plenty of people on the forum with various prequel ideas. I myself posted a long scriptment of sorts, my rough draft for episode one. Also have a screenplay for Episode One in the works and am working on the treatment for episode II. 

I wonder sometimes of a collection/scrapbook of various prequel drafts, screenplays, art might be more worthwhile than an actual completed prequel trilogy. 

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Duracell is right, it's so much about the commitment. Collaboration is the hardest part but without it there is no commitment.

Need someway to freely offer ideas, bounce them around, test them.

The blue elephant in the room.

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But how can anyone fully commit to something that is guaranteed to make no money, to inspire the ire of Disney, and to piggyback on the original idea of another?

Of course, collaboration is important, but Lucas already had the Star Wars screenplay completed before he began collaborating with the film crew. Even when he was asking his friends for advice on the story, it was his story. To do this right, we would need one dedicated individual with a good screenplay that everyone could agree was acceptable before even beginning the next step in the process. And unless the script blew everyone away with its divine brilliance, there would be no agreement on the script level. At least, not unless we rounded up everyone who was interested in contributing to the project and setting a time limit on every aspect of the production.

This is what needs to happen in my eyes before such a movie could work:

1. Find a director. Someone with the time, experience, and resources to manage an entire production.

2. Have this director set up a private blog like Team Negative1 to coordinate the production.

3. Accept script submissions, to be terminated at a definite date and voted upon by members of the forum.

4. Begin a kickstarter campaign on the blog for donations, with reasonable estimates for every aspect of production.

5. Assemble a team from the blog members, including the actors, artists, technicians, etc.

6. Set a timeline for completion, and hold all members accountable to it.

From there I could  see a movie getting made.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
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Maybe we could set up a collaborative Dropbox folder where we drop in our ideas and can work with each other on the fly?

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I think it's more about compromises than trying to please everybody.  Have everyone involved come up with ideas to fit into a vague storyline to be concieved together and vote as a group on the best and worst ideas.  Maybe have a number of people each get a crack at writing their own draft based on a preliminary rough draft.  Honestly I feel agreeing on the screenplay would be the hardest part of the process if this were to actually be done.

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While I've enjoyed reading many of the prequel treatments and other stories posted by members of this forum, it does not take an expert to see that in some ways the ideas they propose are irreconcilable with each other. Even something like the on-screen presence of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Fan A's prequel trilogy re-write would make Fan B's prequel trilogy re-write impossible. It's because of things like that that I propose writing numerous drafts coalesced from all the best ideas of everybody's treatments. What I mean by that is that perhaps one draft can be "Anakin-Centric Prequels" and another could be "Obi-Wan Prequels" and maybe somehow we'll wind up with "Boba Fett prequel trilogy". Or they could be "The One About The Prototype Death Star" or "The One About Darth Bane and the Valley of the Jedi".

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Agreed. The nice thing is that ideally, various bounced ideas, dropped concepts, and general thoughts could still cross pollinate from one story to another, thus the Darth Bane story could very well be improved just via discussion of Obi-Wan centered trilogy #6 for example. 

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How much of the EU would we keep? Or would it be just the OT? I assume by mentioning the prototype Death Star and Darth Bane that these would keep most all of the EU, but simply present newly filmed prequels with tweaked stories.

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I think our policy of the EU is to draw from it as you will. Borrow events, characters, worlds, etc. and use them as necessary in the films. I mean, why not? The actual sequel trilogy coming up after 2015 is voiding expanded universe continuity! JJ Abrams even did that once before with Star Trek!

My point is is that we should not allow the EU to pollute our minds with constraints relating to when or where this story can take place. These prequels need to springboard off of the OT. The ORIGINAL TRILOGY. That's what this site is named after, is it not?

So by all means, if you want your story to be about how Palpatine was trained by the evil Sith Admiral Darth Exar Bane in the year 60 BBY, then by all means go right ahead. As long as the trilogy ends in some way shape or form setting the stage for the events of the OT. And I think that the level of tangential relationship between the events of any revised PT and the OT will depend on whether the OT is meant to be seen after the revised PT or before it.

A long time ago.

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What I am saying is, the revised PT of your dreams is in a sandbox. The stuff from the EU is a box of tools that you can use to make a majestic sand castle.

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I very much agree, NeverarGreat. Still, just coming up with a great script - so great, people read it and WANT it to be the prequels - would be a triumph.

If someone offered a great overall concept and an outline, or a whole draft of a script that would provide some basis for people to offer changes and additions, perhaps quite major ones. But we'd need to be open to people poking at our 'art.'

I'm of the school that we keep all OT secrets. I want to work from a premise of what the PT would have looked like story-wise if made pre-77. I think there may be room for an Anakin/Obi-Wan centric story, but it is a challenge. Still, plenty of you need greater creative justification of that route. And without showing how it can work, it's hard to sign on to that sort of vision. Just as I'm intrigued about Neverar's unknown character vision, but need convincing.

I've liked CWBorne's work too. And the cross-polination is a good point. There are certain story elements of his I independently chose (Obi Wan crashing to Tatooine at the start) and other's I'm tempted to 'adopt.'

The blue elephant in the room.

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As for the EU...use as desired, probably as little as possible. In my humble draft, I've included "Senator Garm Bel Iblis"...because I wanted the Senator of Corellia to say something. Is it worth creating a new name for a mostly minor character, inspiring some nerd rage? Granted, it's sort of a dumb name...

The blue elephant in the room.

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Mrebo said:

I very much agree, NeverarGreat. Still, just coming up with a great script - so great, people read it and WANT it to be the prequels - would be a triumph.

If someone offered a great overall concept and an outline, or a whole draft of a script that would provide some basis for people to offer changes and additions, perhaps quite major ones. But we'd need to be open to people poking at our 'art.'

I'm of the school that we keep all OT secrets. I want to work from a premise of what the PT would have looked like story-wise if made pre-77. I think there may be room for an Anakin/Obi-Wan centric story, but it is a challenge. Still, plenty of you need greater creative justification of that route. And without showing how it can work, it's hard to sign on to that sort of vision. Just as I'm intrigued about Neverar's unknown character vision, but need convincing.

I've liked CWBorne's work too. And the cross-polination is a good point. There are certain story elements of his I independently chose (Obi Wan crashing to Tatooine at the start) and other's I'm tempted to 'adopt.'

See.  Here's where I disagree.  While I do feel that the reveals of the OT should be preserved, there really isn't a way to make a decent, cohesive story arc that way.  I'm in the school of thought that you should assume everybody watching already knows the reveals.  I think that when thinking about story for the prequels, it should have reveals of it's own, so that whether you watch it 456123, or 123456, you still get some powerful reveals.  I want to work from a premise of what the PT would have looked like if made late-eighties, early-nineties; as opposed to late-nineties, early two-thousands.  Personally, I've always felt the story should be more about Obi-Wan's failure as a mentor, not Anakin's failure as a jedi.  1-3 should be about Obi-Wan, 4-6 should be about Luke, and the underlying story that ties them together should be about Anakin/Vader's redemption.

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Darth Lucas said:

Mrebo said:

I very much agree, NeverarGreat. Still, just coming up with a great script - so great, people read it and WANT it to be the prequels - would be a triumph.

If someone offered a great overall concept and an outline, or a whole draft of a script that would provide some basis for people to offer changes and additions, perhaps quite major ones. But we'd need to be open to people poking at our 'art.'

I'm of the school that we keep all OT secrets. I want to work from a premise of what the PT would have looked like story-wise if made pre-77. I think there may be room for an Anakin/Obi-Wan centric story, but it is a challenge. Still, plenty of you need greater creative justification of that route. And without showing how it can work, it's hard to sign on to that sort of vision. Just as I'm intrigued about Neverar's unknown character vision, but need convincing.

I've liked CWBorne's work too. And the cross-polination is a good point. There are certain story elements of his I independently chose (Obi Wan crashing to Tatooine at the start) and other's I'm tempted to 'adopt.'

See.  Here's where I disagree.  While I do feel that the reveals of the OT should be preserved, there really isn't a way to make a decent, cohesive story arc that way.  I'm in the school of thought that you should assume everybody watching already knows the reveals.  I think that when thinking about story for the prequels, it should have reveals of it's own, so that whether you watch it 456123, or 123456, you still get some powerful reveals.  I want to work from a premise of what the PT would have looked like if made late-eighties, early-nineties; as opposed to late-nineties, early two-thousands.  Personally, I've always felt the story should be more about Obi-Wan's failure as a mentor, not Anakin's failure as a jedi.  1-3 should be about Obi-Wan, 4-6 should be about Luke, and the underlying story that ties them together should be about Anakin/Vader's redemption.

Neverar identifies one possibility, by making the events of the OT more peripheral to what happens in the PT. Or you can make Anakin a heroic figure fighting for justice and Obi Wan seemingly stuck in the past,  reluctant, accepting of so many bad things that Anakin (and the viewer) thinks can be addressed. We never dislike Obi Wan, but recognize he is a flawed character. This leads to a duel in which Anakin suffers a not wholly intended "death" at the hand of his friend (falls into a volcano). The ultimate triumph of the Empire is a happy ending as it seeks to address all the problems in the universe. The point is that we never see Anakin really categorically go "bad." And there are so many ways it would be a transformational experience of the story in any viewing order.

The blue elephant in the room.

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Here's how I see the characters as far as roles in relation to the OT in my rough idea for what the prequels should be.   Obi-Wan plays the same role as Luke. So, Obi-Wan=Luke.  Anakin=Han.  Mother Skywalker/Padme=Leia.  Wilhuff Tarkin=Chewbacca (in terms of being friends and having history with Anakin.  He could even be his co-captain as it's said that Anakin was "the best star pilot in the galaxy.")  Darth Someone-or-other-evil-person-probably-Maul-because-he's-awesome=Darth Vader.  Honestly, and I know a lot of people disagree here, but C-3PO and R2D2 could basically fill the same roles they did, so long as it was done believably and not like something that was thrown onto the story in the last second like the actual movies.

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        The entire saga is about the fall and return of Anike. Yet Luke is the central character throughout the OT. Vader is "secondary".  Yeah, maybe following the same pattern throughout the PT should be considered.                              I heard MH speak about how the OT had Han to serve as the skeptical outside perspective and the audience could identify and sympathize and use Han to represent their own perspective. There wasn't really that sort of character in the PT. If Ani begins his journey as that secondary skeptical character it might add depth and sympathy to his character. Maybe he could begin in denial about the Force and his own insight and power, reejecting and scoffing at Obi as a defense mechanism against the truth which has deeply shaken his perceptions. Maybe he could be unhappy about this tremendous power and responsibility and be reluctant and afraid of being consumed by it, deflecting with doubts and distrust for those who could educate him. Maybe he could begin by suffering by  this power he wanted escape.
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http://lostepisodes.fateback.com/prequels/

Just found this website.  Not sure exactly how reliable their sources are, but there is quite a whelp of information and speculation of the prequels dating back as far as pre-ROTJ.  In the "Clone Wars"  section, there is a rather long article written by a fan speculating what the story of episodes 1-3 would be that, while it may not be too useful for coming up with a story, it certainly is interesting to see the backstory from the point of view of a pre-return of the jedi mind.  There's actually an interesting theory about how Darth Vader and the then unnamed Skywalker actually were two people, but Vader was a clone of Skywalker who went on to "betray and murder" Skywalker.  So when Darth Vader reveals to Luke that "I am your father."  He is telling the truth.... from a certain point of view.  That theory just stood out for me and, while it kind of negates the idea of redemption present in Return of the Jedi as well as Ben's speech to Luke, it's still a pretty cool thought nonetheless.

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Those are some interesting articles. With that Fall of the Republic one, you can definitely tell that it's very Empire Strikes Back centric.

I think we're all on the same page in that we all want to preserve the reveals in the OT. Like Darth Lucas, I would like to structure the story in a way that looks like a pre-77 production, with a simple story that perhaps is tinged with WWII, Cold War, and Vietnam War thematic elements.

The biggest problem with this take on a story is that nobody has the correct point of view to write a story about this. Even people who saw only the original trilogy would have a massively skewed point of view, such as the fan who wrote Fall of the Republic. After several years of this type of thinking, the best solution I can come up with is to take the OT as canon and write a story that is only tangentially related to the OT.

Whether or not the Lucas Prequels ever existed or not is a moot point for me. The story of the OT stands perfectly well on its own. There is no need to explore the backstory of characters like Anakin and Obi-wan, as part of the fun is imagining what they were like "back then". Thus making a story set during the clone wars and avoiding the OT characters would serve the dual purpose of avoiding the specific plots of the Prequels. In the end, the galaxy is big enough for the two of us: the Lucas Prequels, and our rewritten prequels. Because like it or not, we are all influenced by them. Might as well make our story fit into those, so that we respect the creator of this world.

Yeah, it's not a rewrite in the strictest sense, but it would be cool to make our story look like the "original" Star Wars movies, and then have it appear that the OT was made as a sequel to them, and then 20 years later Lucas made some movies exploring the backstory of characters we already knew, and that didn't interfere with the originals, as an interesting side note.

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       About the written or unwritten constitution of the republic, if the Jedi are the Force brotherhood attatched to the judicial branch, and the "Femeret" is the Force sisterhood attached to the legislative branch, then the Sith could be the Force order attached to the executive branch. It seeks to maximize individual power within itself to "do good" as the sole executive or sole secretary down the line.             There could be dangers for each Force order. The judicial Jedi might become too concerned with order and calm over justice and the interests for individuals. The Femeret might be in danger of becoming too interested in the corrupt deals and interests is balancing groups and deals. The executive isn't evil in itself but the most in danger of falling to evil. The Femeret and Jedi establish control over their respective branches in part to bloc the Sith from their natural place.
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It's a creative notion but I'd be wary of the story feeling like a political metaphor rather than a fun space adventure.

The blue elephant in the room.

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      That's a good point. I wouldn't want SW to fall into that. I wasn't thinking so much as it being "about" the political structure so much as providing a skelatel structure for the story to function.   How did Leia wind up a senator at age 18? What were the Jedi doing before the fall? Why? Hopefully there is a way for quickly and in as much of a shorthand as possible filling in the gaps for as much of the audience as possible. I don't know how much emphasis public education in other countries puts on the three branch structure. In the US, I think checks and balances are explained in a rudimentary way by age 11 or 12.      This could also be used to help explain why the Force seems to be so little understood in the galaxy just 20 years after the fall. The women in the Senate and the Jedi might be very concerned about revealing too much power too often because of the tremendous envy and distrust that would generate among the political class.  Females dedicated to useful marraige and subtle behind the throne influence is a bit retro and associated with epic and myth.