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Remake the Prequels — Page 4

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Now, here's something that's been on my mind.  How do you all think Padme should fit into all of this?  I've had a lot of pretty vague ideas.  Here are a few:

-She was married to Anakin before the events of Episode 1.  She was kidnapped by the Mandalorians (basically the stormtroopers of my prequels) to use as a slave.  Anakin rescues her during the adventure.

-She is a royal from Alderaan who has an affair with Anakin. (harder to work into the story, but one of the cooler ideas imo)

-Meets Obi-Wan and Anakin during adventure.  Love triangle between them a-la Luke and Han in OT.

-(very similar to TPM) She is a representative of the Queen of Alderaan instructed to accompany Obi-Wan on his journey.  (Not too fond of this one but I think I could make it work.)

What do you guys think is the best way to work her into the story?  Do you have other ideas?  Please share. 

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How Anakin's wife fits into the story depends on the motivation of Anakin himself, if the prequels are about him. I think she should have some connection with Alderaan as you have said, but I think that it would be a mistake for her to feature as heavily in the plot as in the Lucas Prequels. I assume, based on ROTJ, that Anakin's wife was somewhat overlooked by him in the prequels. Perhaps the stories of the prequels could be more episodic than the OT, and she factors into only one of the adventures of Anakin.

I had an idea once about Episode 2, where Anakin and Obi-wan idealistically protect the planet of Alderaan against the more rational judgement of the Republic. They are outmatched because their troops retreat on the Republic's orders, and they are shot down over the planet. Obi-wan is separated from Anakin by hundreds of miles, and as the planet has little in the way of technology, Anakin is by himself in attempting to defend the planet against the forces of evil which beset it. He and the princess work together to rally the people of Alderaan and stop the invaders. Anakin is betrothed to a woman he met in Episode 1, but is seduced by the powers of the princess, and her promise of political power as a member of a royal family. The people of Alderaan have no weapons, but some have powers of suggestion and seduction (this is why Obi-wan tells Luke that he must learn the ways of the Force if he is to go to Alderaan). It is established by Obi-wan that seduction by the princess for the power of the throne is very much like seduction to the Dark Side for the easy power it provides. The audience believes that Anakin was not seduced by the princess, but the scene in question was cut vaguely, and it is only assumed that he spurned the princess for his betrothed. He returns to Obi-wan to fight the invaders by themselves, and they win the day. The incident is never mentioned again, and the audience does not know that Anakin turned to Vader. When Luke in ROTJ realizes that Leia is his sister and that he is also part of the royal family of Alderaan, the audience then knows precisely how Anakin was seduced and became Vader.

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Incidentally, the plot of Episode 3 focused on the Republic becoming an Empire, with the Jedi being driven away from the Republic. The Chancellor becomes an Emperor, and the Jedi rally around Anakin, putting their trust in the most powerful and (to their eyes) most pure Jedi Knight. The Emperor recognizes that Anakin is their champion, and invites him to his palace to negotiate a peace between the Jedi and the newly formed Empire. Anakin knows it is a trap, but he knows also that he must take any opportunity to end this destructive conflict without further bloodshed. Obi-wan meets with him before he goes, telling him that it will surely result in his death. He asks Anakin to run away with him into exile, but Anakin knows that he must meet the Emperor, and thinks less of Obi-wan for wanting to run from his problems. He goes and meets the Emperor, and the Emperor begins talking about how poor Obi-wan was as a teacher. He says that Obi-wan once trained a Jedi Knight before he was ready, and that he ran away and left his apprentice, a mere learner, when he needed his master the most. He says that this Jedi became Darth Vader, a servant of the Emperor. Anakin doesn't know what the Emperor is talking about, as he thought that he was Obi-wan's first apprentice, but in the darkened throne room, a place strong with the Dark Side of the Force, he suddenly sees a visage of this fallen apprentice, this Darth Vader, of which the Emperor speaks. He fights with this phantom warrior, but we never see the end of the fight. The Emperor later tells the galaxy that the Jedi's champion has been defeated, and he reveals his secret apprentice, Darth Vader. The Jedi flee to their stronghold, a place known only to them and Anakin, and Obi-wan goes into exile. The Empire has won, and the galaxy falls into dark times, awaiting the arrival of a new hero.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
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        The Jedi Knights are KNIGHTS. The stopping of the movie at Ben's hut for the terrific expo was one of the greatest moments. Knights carry swords (sabres) and RIDE into battle. I thought they were all great pilots. When Leia calls him "General Kenobi" I thought it must be like an Air Force general.                                                            I hope there are at least a couple of times in each prequel where things are brought to a complete stop for some great exposition drops in addition to many little expo line drops. AVENGERS was impressive for it's willingness to just stop and toss out expo while simultaneously giving the characters an opportunity to form relationships with each other.
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The problem I have with Padme (just gonna refer to Anakin's wife as Padme for simplicity's sake) not playing a big role in the story is that there needs to be a strong female character to offset the almost too large as it is male character lineup.  Could you imagine Star Wars without Leia?  Harry Potter without Hermione?  Indiana Jones without... well any of his various women except Willie Scott?  It's a story necessity.  Especially if you're working off of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, which I am, as Joseph Campbell was a huge influence on Star Wars.  There needs to be a "godess" or "temptress," and yes, these archetypes don't have to be personified, but they really should be in the Star Wars universe, as it really is a fairytale in the simplest sense.

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I think the character of Padme/Lady Skywalker is tailor-made for just that role, Darth Lucas. It's just a matter of making her interesting. What does she do for a living? Is she Force-sensitive? Does she feel strongly one way or the other about the Clone Wars (assuming she is around to see them)? What becomes of her after your prequels?

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I agree with Luke's Mom being from Alderaan. One concern I'm working with is that if she starts as a daring part of the team but then sent away when the storyline is better served by Anakin and Obi Wan being alone. The problem there is there Anakin is her strongest link to the story...but he needs alone time / with Obi Wan.

And ultimately, if after being a central heroic character she is left to care for the babies, something of a damsel in distress, I don't know that that serves the gender dynamics very well.

The only way to preserve the strength of her character that I can see so far is not to have her take a leading role. For something of a model, see "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," where Etta Place (the girlfriend) is returned to again and again.

My working draft has her as apprentice to Alderaanian scouts searching for Obi Wan. She will be more like Luke, young and unsure of herself but not afraid to use a blaster if need be. But rather than become a great hero, she maintains the more innocent character Luke would have had.

I'm still not sure how to work her into the story sufficiently and set her aside without making it feel like she's being set aside.

The blue elephant in the room.

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I don't know that any story needs a strong female presence. The Fellowship in the Lord of the Rings is entirely devoid of a female character, and this is part of what makes the Fellowship unique. If the book was written in modern times, we would have Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, and John Cho in the Fellowship, just to be on the safe side. If the story benefits from a female character, by all means include one. I have two female characters in my above synopsis, one of which is a temptress, the other being a more daring warrior who would probably play a large part in Episode 1, though I didn't get around to summarizing it here. The moment that I have to find something for them to do to justify their screen time is the moment that they being to drag down the story.

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You are forgetting that, while there are none in the fellowship itself, LOTR is not at all void of strong female characters, and that most of them are very central to the story.  Most great stories have a strong female character.  I do believe that any Star Wars movie does NEED a strong female presence in order to feel complete.

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Oh, I'm aware of Galadriel, Arwen, and Eowyn. I was just saying that Tolkien didn't feel compelled to force a female character into the Fellowship itself. And I agree that Star Wars would feel incomplete without such a character. My point is that Leia was part of Star Wars because her presence was organic (ha!).

So to determine whether a character is necessary, we need to figure out what story we're trying to tell. I think everyone here wants to tell an Anakin Skywalker/Obi-wan Kenobi origin story, and have it take place during the final days of the Republic/first days of the Empire. And it is probably supposed to be a tragedy, ending with the "death" of Anakin or the reveal of Anakin as Vader, depending on whether the reveal is saved for the OT or not.

We also agree that a strong female presence is required for a Star Wars trilogy. This means that the story should not be entirely about the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker, but instead by about a small or large group of heroes, with Anakin as merely one of a dynamic group. In my opinion, two Jedi are about one Jedi too many for a small group of professionally diverse heroes.

So if there is to be some sort of ensemble cast, what sort of professions would round out our Jedi-heavy group, regardless of gender?

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
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I'm leaning toward my first idea.

-She was married to Anakin before the events of Episode 1.  She was kidnapped by the Mandalorians (basically the stormtroopers of my prequels) to use as a slave.  Anakin rescues her during the adventure.

I'm just worried because with how this idea plays out plot-wise, it is extremely similar to Leia's rescue and escape from the Death Star in ANH, and I don't want it to seem like I'm just doing the same story, thirty years earlier, ya know?

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There are many variations of the damsel in distress plot. Leia in ANH was actually somewhat unique in that role, because she practically rescued herself.

You could always turn the plot around, with Anakin getting captured and his wife having to rescue him. For example, she could escape just as Anakin arrives, and he is taken captive instead, leading Obi-wan and her to rescue him, or perhaps both Anakin and Obi-wan are captured, and she and several other slaves work to free all of them.

There are many variations. It's comforting to have an understandable plot point at first. It just shouldn't end in an expected way.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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A strong female Jedi would be a fun role. I have no desire for a female temptress. I do intend to have a very charismatic male Darth character who plants the seeds in Anakin's mind, seducing him intellectually. So in a way, there will be that role, without the inherent sexuality.

The female Jedi could play a supplementary role, winning Anakin's admiration, sort of the good angel to the Darth's bad angel (in terms of seduction). We would have Luke's Mom doing her thing on Alderaan while Anakin is running around with Obi Wan and the female Jedi (and others?), leaving the audience wondering about the feelings between them.

It allows for a strong female character without the laziness (in my view anyways) of sexualizing her.

The blue elephant in the room.

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I've actually got Mother Skywalker (Carima) as bit of comedy relief, adding some light humor to the story. She's an impulsive, quick talking, feisty yin to Anakin's slower, more thoughtful, restrained yang. They're friends and coworkers on Tatooine and she manages to talk her way into coming with him when Skywalker leaves with Kenobi. They start falling for each other over the course of Episode I, get serious and committed in Episode II, and sadly lose each other in Episode III. 

Really she's there to keep Anakin grounded and in a sense act as the more everyday person when he starts becoming a serious Jedi. There's a bit of Grant/Hepburn dynamic with the two of them, with both driven a little crazy by the other, but also deeply appreciate of those very qualities. She's his connection to his humanity more than even Obi-Wan is, and once he loses that, he falls hard.

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CWBorne said:

Really she's there to keep Anakin grounded and in a sense act as the more everyday person when he starts becoming a serious Jedi. There's a bit of Grant/Hepburn dynamic with the two of them, with both driven a little crazy by the other, but also deeply appreciate of those very qualities. She's his connection to his humanity more than even Obi-Wan is, and once he loses that, he falls hard.

I like your use of classical Hollywood-age actors in your description of your film's screenplay. It makes me wish we could clone those actors for use in the Star Wars prequels. :)

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 (Edited)

Nice image, DL. It doesn't look forced*...I can easily imagine seeing that on the silver screen.

 

 

 

*EDIT: Unintentional pun alert.

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Been working more on the storyline.  Really starting to like where it's going.  Here's a question for you all.  The Mandalorians are the main villains in my story, so I'm going to try and work a Boba Fett origin story into the trilogy.  I know it isn't necessary, but I do like the idea of as many links between the trilogies as possible, I just think backstories like this were done poorly in the Lucas prequels.  I don't necessarily want Boba Fett to be directly involved with the main storyline.  Just a quick something to explain how he became a bounty hunter.  Was he a Mandalorian who went rogue?  Was he young like in AOTC?  What do you all think Fett's origin story should be? 

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         Offhand, I'd just remember GL's original conception of the character as a darker and more badass Man With No Name.
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I've left it fairly ambiguous. Fett is dressed in the armor of the Mandalorians, but its slightly different in certain parts and given the Frankenstein Monster like nature of them, its left up to audience if he's simply acquired their armor or if underneath it he's a stitched together creature like the rest of them were.

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How do you guys feel about people other than Jedi using lightsabers?  Ben describes the lightsaber as "the weapon of a Jedi Knight."  But to me that doesn't necessarily mean that Jedi were to only ones to use that weapon.  I've started to liken it to a sword to an actual knight.  Yes, it's their weapon of choice, but it's also the main weapon used by most armies.  If you look at early concept art for Star Wars, you see images of Stormtroopers fighting with lightsabers and that's what kind of inspired the concept.  The idea would be to have the Clone Wars taking place at a time not long after the invention of the blaster.  You would see the gradual shift from armies fighting with lightsabers and other futuristic forms of ancient weapons to the various kinds of blasters you see in the OT.  We would see the shift in there being a romantic sense of honor in fighting to a very mechanical, less humanized, modern sense of war.  "An elegant weapon of a more civilized age."

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That is an interesting idea. It seems like, if such a medieval war was fought, it would have been many generations before the OT, so before the clone wars. There is also the matter of who would build such weapons. Vader implies that building a lightsaber is something that only Jedi can do, so I don't think it would be economically feasible to equip an entire army with them.

By the way, anyone else think that lightsaber should be be a term in this site's lexicon, so that it isn't underlined in red? Can that be changed?

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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I had this thought as well.  I justify it by saying that in a culture that is able to design and develop a brand new armored space station more powerful than your first in like, six years, it's safe to say technologies advance quickly.  As for the Vader thing, I never really thought that he meant building a lightsaber was a uniquely Jedi skill.  I always just thought he meant that building your own weapon was a right of passage for a Jedi.  Simply a weapon for the masses, the lightsaber is more symbolic for the Jedi, part of their soul.  As the galaxy becomes more reliant of blasters and laser-projectile weaponry, the Jedi continue the use of lightsabers, because it is part of their soul, such as the katana is for the samurai.  So the Mandalorians would use very clean, mass produced lightsabers, very phantom menace-y in design.  And that would be juxtaposed by the Jedi's lightsabers: unique to each individual who constructed it, more revenge of the sith/OT in design.

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I suppose it would work, but Luke would have to be pretty ignorant of most of galactic history to not know what a lightsaber looked like if they were widely used just a single generation ago. Not to say that such wars with lightsabers couldn't have happened at some point. It just doesn't seem like a good fit with the Clone Wars, unless of course the Clone Wars went on for generations and the lightsaber was only used at the beginning of the wars.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)