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STAR WARS EPISODE VII - JEDI DAWN

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It is a time of galactic tyranny. The cunning Emperor, using a twisted clone decoy and his most disreputable troops, lured the Rebellion into a false victory at Endor where they were crushed in the grip of his Imperial starfleet.

The galaxy, losing all hope of rebellion, was quickly subdued by Imperial forces eager to avoid the wrath of the Emperor, and for thirty years the people of the galaxy were subjected to the horrors of despotism.

Now, beyond all hope, the Rebel hero Luke Skywalker has returned, and with him are the beginnings of a great order of Jedi Knights bringing the light of peace and justice to the darkening stars....

 

Alright, so this is not a script that I'm going to be writing, but just an idea that I've had for some time, and wanted to know what people thought of it. Would you like Disney to use an idea like this for Episode 7, if it turns out they won't be following the EU anyway?

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
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As to the specific events after Jedi, our heroes spend the night on Endor as the Rebel fleet protect the Ewoks from Death Star debris. Leia senses Luke is in turmoil and leaves Han Solo and the village early the next morning to find Luke and R2 miles away prepping the Imperial shuttle for liftoff. He says that he senses impending danger, though Leia states that there is no way that Imperial reinforcements could arrive so soon. Luke says that he was no match for the Emperor, and that his victory was actually a failure. He is going into exile to become a master, like Yoda.

It is then that the Imperial fleet attacks the planet, and the damaged Rebel fleet is no match for the Imperial forces. The capital ships are shot down, and the Ewok village is bombarded from space. Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando are killed in the bombardment, never having gotten to their ship, as is C-3PO (Han Solo never actually saw the Falcon again after his fateful statement before the battle). Luke, Leia, and R2 barely escape the destruction with their lives.

Leia is carrying the child of Han Solo, conceived in the first hours of Rebel Victory before his tragic death. Luke vows to rebuild the Jedi order and train Leia in the ways of the Force.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
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Some evidence for the "cloned Emperor, disreputable troops" idea:

The Emperor's "best" troops are babes in the woods, easily dispatched by teddy bears.

The inept Admiral Piett was stationed on the bridge of the Executor, Vader's flagship. Vader was instructed by the "Emperor" to return to the ship, but Luke's arrival on the planet disrupted this plan. The bridge shields of the Executor failed during the attack, to the seeming surprise of the officers onboard. This could have been a deliberate sabotage in order to ensure that Piett (and possibly Vader) were done away with.

The Imperial fleet is given direct orders to hold back and only keep the Rebels from escaping. After the destruction of the Death Star, they presumably retreat beyond sensor range to ambush the Rebels before they leave Endor.

Speaking of the Death Star, this time it has shafts running directly into the core, as if someone specifically wanted it to be destroyed in this way. The Death Star itself is honeycombed with cavities, saving on supplies while doing the bare minimum to make the station operational.

Vader only ever sees a hologram of the Emperor in Empire, and the hologram looks very different from the Emperor in Jedi. This hologram could show the true Emperor, with the clone decoy aging very quickly in the time since Empire so that he looked substantially different from the real Emperor.

The real Emperor, suspecting treachery from Vader, who failed to kill Luke after his attempt to turn him failed in Cloud City, chose to send a clone decoy to the Death Star to turn Luke to the Dark Side with the help of Vader. Whether or not Luke was turned to the Dark Side was irrelevant, as he planned for the destruction of the Death Star to make an example of the inept engineers who failed in designing the first Death Star. If against all odds the Death Star survived the Rebel attack, the confrontation between Luke and Vader and the "Emperor" would be instructive as a test of Vader's loyalty. If Luke was turned, he would have a new ally who could kill Vader, and if Vader turned traitor, father and son would not escape the Imperial fleet.

The "Emperor" brought dignitaries with him to the Death Star. These would be men whom he suspected of traitorous intent or ineptitude, and as the real Emperor was constantly in hiding for his continued safety, they would not recognize a decoy.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
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     That's a very clever way to relaunch with an ovewhelming dilemma. I like that you are developing the 5 Ws in some detail. It might not be necessary to reveal as much about every point in the final screenplay, but that sure helps in developing a story that can be followed by the audience without a major "huh?".
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This reframes ROTJ in a sinister light across the board. The Emperor here would put Dumbledore or Jigsaw to shame. Some of the details of his master plan may be difficult to convey without exposition dumps in the story, but that might be compensated by the fact it's so fascinating. 

Much of what you have here seems to be in hindsight, though. It's revelations of past events. How will Luke, if he's the one to do it, arrange another assault on the Empire in the future? The Rebellion here sounds all but destroyed. We end up in much the same place as in the beginning of ANH, but with a cast of different faces perhaps, and the potential for another Force-sensitive.

I hope you can get around to writing this, even in prose. That'd be a huge task. I can understand if not. But it'd be nice to see you at least continue to develop the plot.

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 (Edited)

Strange, I actually had a similar idea for the early parts of the film opening with a bombing, and Lando and 3P0 being lost in it. Nothing else was the same, but, still...

:)

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

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Reegar said:

This reframes ROTJ in a sinister light across the board. The Emperor here would put Dumbledore or Jigsaw to shame. Some of the details of his master plan may be difficult to convey without exposition dumps in the story, but that might be compensated by the fact it's so fascinating. 

Much of what you have here seems to be in hindsight, though. It's revelations of past events. How will Luke, if he's the one to do it, arrange another assault on the Empire in the future? The Rebellion here sounds all but destroyed. We end up in much the same place as in the beginning of ANH, but with a cast of different faces perhaps, and the potential for another Force-sensitive.

I hope you can get around to writing this, even in prose. That'd be a huge task. I can understand if not. But it'd be nice to see you at least continue to develop the plot.

I've kind of taken a hiatus from Star Wars writing, but I may flesh out this idea in the future. So far this idea is my favorite for a post-ROTJ world, as it "fixes" ROTJ to be much darker as you said.

The opening crawl of Episode VII would be the most difficult aspect to get right, as it's basically a revelation on the magnitude of "I am your father". I'm thinking that it may have to be a bit longer than normal, and the music should change. Still brassy and bombastic, but with a heavy undercurrent of choir for the Emperor's triumphant theme. Here's a variation of the above crawl:

It is a time of galactic tyranny. The evil EMPEROR OF THE GALAXY, using a twisted clone decoy, lured a fledgling rebellion into attacking and destroying an Imperial superweapon at the moon of Endor.

This rebel victory was short lived, however, as Imperial forces regrouped, and the moon of Endor was soon pulverized under the firepower of the entire Imperial starfleet.

The rebel heroes Luke and Leia Skywalker, narrowly escaping the devastation, evaded the Imperial starfleet and escaped into exile, gathering new strength in the fight for justice and freedom among the darkening stars....

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
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Good to hear from you again. I was beginning to worry that you'd been ambushed by sand people.

Is my story still up to NeverarGreat Standard, or has it fallen utterly off the deep end?

It is a time of galactic tyranny. The evil EMPEROR OF THE GALAXY, using a twisted clone decoy, lured a fledgling rebellion into attacking and destroying an Imperial superweapon at the moon of Endor.

This rebel victory was short lived, however, as Imperial forces regrouped, and the moon of Endor was soon pulverized under the firepower of the entire Imperial starfleet.

The rebel heroes Luke and Leia Skywalker, narrowly escaping the devastation, evaded the Imperial starfleet and escaped into exile, gathering new strength in the fight for justice and freedom among the darkening stars....

That opening crawl is close to excellent. Smooth, comprehensible. If it were me, OCD would kick in and I would say: "The rebel heroes, Luke and Leia Skywalker, narrowly escape into exile", etc.

As it is, a form of "escape" appears twice in the same paragraph, and "Imperial starfleet, which was in the last.

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^ Along those lines...

I dislike the fact that gathering new strength... is attached to escaped into exile.  Luke and Leia can scarcely gather new strength whilst escaping, so I would write something like: The rebel heroes Luke and Leia Skywalker narrowly escape into exile, determined to gather...

Moreover, if it were my crawl, I would be unhappy with its heavy use of the simple past.  Star Wars crawls, at least the OT ones, tend to use the simple present and present perfect, which give them a sense of immediacy that (after the first sentence) I don't feel when reading yours, promising though it is.

Here's a very quick and imperfect example of how I might re-write the crawl.  It is partly on the wording of Jambe Davdar's alternate crawl for ESB.

It is a time of galactic tyranny.  Lured by the Emperor's twisted decoy into destroying the new Death Star, the rebels have suffered a sudden and unexpected defeat at the hands of the Imperial Starfleet, which has regrouped and laid waste the forest moon of Endor.

Across the galaxy, worlds that celebrated the Alliance's short-lived victory now feel the oppressive Imperial grip tightening once more.

Narrowly escaping the destruction on Endor, the rebel heroes Luke and Leia Skywalker head into exile, determined to gather new strength in the fight for justice and freedom among the darkening stars....

I hope that this is constructive criticism, NeverarGreat.  While I initially didn't like the idea of a decoy, it is an ingenious way of explaining the fact that two actors played the emperor.

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I really like the present tense for the crawl as well, however it seems unfitting to talk about events which happened thirty years ago as if they happened yesterday. It would be like saying:

It is a time of civil war. After maiming the Sith Lord Darth Vader in a duel, Obi-wan Kenobi has gone into exile on the remote world of Tatooine. Meanwhile, the Rebel Alliance has won it's first victory against the evil GALACTIC EMPIRE.

While there is nothing technically wrong with this statement, it makes it seem like these two events happen in quick succession. Especially problematic is that Luke and Leia "head into exile", which implies that we will meet up with them a few days after the Endor disaster. I think the first two parts of your crawl do work better though, but it may work better if the last bit was rewritten to say:

Narrowly ecaping the destruction of Endor, the rebel heroes Luke and Leia Skywalker toil in exile, determined to gather new strength in the fight for freedom and justice among the darkening stars....

This way the hinge of time rests on "toil in exile" instead of "head into exile", which can imply as much time as necessary.

I'm glad I've converted you to the Dark Side of the Star Wars sequels; in time, you will call the true Emperor "Master"!

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
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Is placing your Episode VII thirty years after Endor absolutely necessary though?

I see why you'd replace head into exile with toil in exile, but if you do want it thirty years after I would make it have toiled in exile. I would also change Narrowly escaping... to Since narrowly escaping....

I'm glad I've converted you to the Dark Side of the Star Wars sequels; in time, you will call the true Emperor "Master"!

Haha!  While your idea is intriguing, my interest was primarily linguistic. 

It's great to see enthusiasm for the notion of writing alternative Star Wars episodes though.  I'd rather have an edit of ESB (with no big reveal) as Episode II and a completely rewritten third episode.  ROTJ is beyond saving (unless extensive refilming can work miracles).

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Aw, but refilming a movie is cheating.

I recognize that ROTJ is the weakest of the originals, but ESB is my personal favorite, in part because of the reveal. Consider it this way: In order for a sequel to feel like part of a larger story and not be seen simply as a sequel, it will need to contain plot information which is absolutely essential to understanding the nature of the primary conflict, information which was not in any way present in the original movie. In this way, ESB excels. Up until the reveal, it is a sequel in every sense of the word. The reveal changes the nature of the conflict established in ANH, presenting the hero with an insoluble dilemma. Vader ceases to be a simple monster and becomes the personification of the conflict within Luke, and is an assault on his very motivation to be a Jedi. ROTJ satisfactorily concludes this conflict, though it leaves all other conflicts by the wayside or conveniently ends them. This is why I believe that ROTJ is a worthy conclusion to the story of Star Wars: it completes the primary conflict.

If Episode 7 is to succeed as a true continuation of the Star Wars story, it will need to redefine the previous entry in order to allow this entry (ROTJ) to present the insoluble dilemma, which in the case of Star Wars seems to be that ultimate power corrupts absolutely: "Take your father's place by my side" or that evil is more powerful than good: "Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the Dark Side". This can be accomplished by showing how the New Republic has become just as dictatorial as the Empire, or it could go in the other direction and show how even the best the Rebellion had was not enough to save it from the Empire. I have chosen the latter, as it has the upside of being completely unexpected, like the reveal in ESB. It redefines the weakest of the original trilogy as the masterstroke of a cunning Emperor, and in a stroke it balances the terms of the next engagement, eliminating many heroes to allow for new heroes, and essentially establishing a villain who is greater than any yet faced.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
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In order for a sequel to feel like part of a larger story and not be seen simply as a sequel, it will need to contain plot information which is absolutely essential to understanding the nature of the primary conflict, information which was not in any way present in the original movie. In this way, ESB excels...

What you say is true, but I can never bring myself accept the way in which ESB does it, as the big reveal is the point at which the shrinking universe that so plagues Star Wars really kicks in.  Your conception of how your Episode VII will function within the series is undeniably well thought out though.

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NeverarGreat said:

It is a time of galactic tyranny. The cunning Emperor, using a twisted clone decoy and his most disreputable troops, lured the Rebellion into a false victory at Endor where they were crushed in the grip of his Imperial starfleet.

The galaxy, losing all hope of rebellion, was quickly subdued by Imperial forces eager to avoid the wrath of the Emperor, and for thirty years the people of the galaxy were subjected to the horrors of despotism.

Now, beyond all hope, the Rebel hero Luke Skywalker has returned, and with him are the beginnings of a great order of Jedi Knights bringing the light of peace and justice to the darkening stars....

 

Alright, so this is not a script that I'm going to be writing, but just an idea that I've had for some time, and wanted to know what people thought of it. Would you like Disney to use an idea like this for Episode 7, if it turns out they won't be following the EU anyway?

Very good scripted plot actually. But I think adding one other Sith Lord like Darth Nihilus as the main antagonistsith Darth Bane. It would be better too.

 

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Wow, this is a fascinating idea Neverar. Where do you come up with these things?! Too bad this kind of thing isn't likely to happen with the upcoming sequels...

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Ideas like this come from a (somewhat unreasonable) desire to make stories work by changing as little as possible. Most people simply judge a story based on its content, when the reality is that much of a story is told through its framing, or rather its...point of view.

;)

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
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 (Edited)

Is this throwing out the prequels and the SEs? The prequel/SE Emperor resembles the ROTJ Emperor far more than he resembles the Clive Revill Emperor.

Or are you saying that the differences between the ROTS makeup and the ROTJ makeup are because the ROTJ Emperor is a clone?

If Plagueis shows up in the ST, not only will I refuse to watch the movies, but I won't so much as watch the trailers, either. - DuracellEnergizer