Revenge of the Sith: The New Canon Cut
Hey, it’s the 100000th fanedit of Revenge of the Sith!
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm way back in 2012, eventually a lot of Star Wars’ EU was deemed uncanon in favor of a more focused, newer canon, in which TFA could fit. Aside from the movies, the 2008 animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars was kept canon.
One of the things that show did right was Anakin Skywalker. It manages to make up for those OT Ben Kenobi lines of “He was a great pilot, and a good friend…”- It gives us an Anakin Skywalker that is all of those things and is truly worthy of being the prototype to Star Wars’ most iconic character.
Matt Lanter/TCW depict Anakin very differently than Hayden Christensen and Lucas did; he’s a charming, swashbuckling, but mature jedi/general/teacher/pilot/friend - with a dark side that manifests itself in ways more interesting than bratty whining and naive creepiness. Knowing that THIS guy falls to the dark side is tragic, and seeing him inch further and further away from the Jedi Order as the show progresses is incredibly compelling.
Watching all of that build in TCW and then going into RotS almost makes RotS work - but Anakin is a completely different character. Theoretically, TCW should be able to complement the movie nicely for those who put the time in - but there’s too much suspension of disbelief at play to connect Christensen to Lanter.
Every edit I’ve seen hasn’t been able to do this (mostly b/c idk if they’ve really tried to) without me thinking to myself, “Well you could’ve done this or left in or out that.” So for this edit, I’m going to try and make an edit that more reasonably connects RotS and TCW, specifically in the case of Anakin. It’s going to fit in with the larger canon in terms of characterizations, so that the Lucasfilm story group’s justification of a more cohesive canon than Legends is actually true.
Anakin is going to go from a moody, entitled teenager to a mature, experienced jedi and decorated general. His relationship with Obi Wan is going to be brotherly, as Obi Wan states at the end of the movie. They’re equals, so every reference to a mentor/mentee relationship is abolished. Their friendship has grown past that and is much stronger now. His relationship with Padme is going to be healthier and less cynical; they won’t be worrying about getting caught, and there aren’t any undertones of Padme/Anakin being an inherently bad mistake - just something that was tragically manipulated. Palpatine won’t have such an iron grip on everything Anakin does. Anakin will have more agency and think for himself. He’ll be well aware of and wary of Palpatine’s rise to power being sketchy, but he’ll find that his politics, ambitions, and personal feelings align with it more than his responsibilities as a jedi. Turning will be a conscious choice as opposed to a last resort or result of Palpatine’s manipulation. When Anakin does turn, he doesn’t do a 180 in his personality. It doesn’t immediately corrupt him to be creepy and moustache twirling, and he’ll never be proud of anything he does, or even believe that what he’s doing is morally righteous. He was no illusions about the monster he’s becoming - and it will be gradual. It’s framed in a way in which dark!Anakin is more like the Darth Vader we see in the OT. Cold, methodical, and effective. Not unhinged and crazy like he is in the original Revenge of the Sith.
Even if you’re not into TCW, what I’m doing here is aging up Anakin to be an adult and a more sympathetic character; setting up his fall to feel more tragic. You see and understand where he’s coming from (in a way that doesn’t make him immature and/or submissive) but not in a way that you’re rooting for it to happen or get over with. His relationships with Obi Wan and Padme and the hero that is General Skywalker should be the biggest losses felt in an all around terrible situation.
Here’s a list of changes.
(Poster design made from Mike Sapienza’s poster as a base)
STILL IN PROGRESS. EXPERIMENTAL WORKPRINT AVAILABLE