Maybe it’d be more feasible to fit a little display with atmospheric readings onto the wall for Han to glance at before grabbing the masks?
Has anyone experimented with replacing the dated digital model of Maul’s top half falling down the shaft? A CGI replacement probably wouldn’t look more realistic, but if it was smaller like we were seeing it further down, its fakeness might be less obvious. People are doing some wild stuff with Battlefront assets these days…
The old explanation for saber colors also provided the groundwork (albeit probably unintentionally) for a fairly elegant headcanon explanation for why we (mostly) only see blue and green lightsabers in the prequels despite the EU having a way bigger variety – maybe those are the only colors of crystal that grew on Ilum, so Ilum being the only place the PT-era Jedi took students to build their lightsabers could have served as another sign of how stagnant the Order had become in its last days. Then Luke’s New Jedi Order develops a broader range of lightsaber colors again through exploring the full range of Jedi history and tradition.
The Jar Jar version should probably remain a fun standalone extra, but I’d love to see surface footage of Alderaan added to the movie itself. I don’t know if it’s still online anywhere, but years ago Timstuff (I think it was him?) had a great mockup that would be amazing to see fully realized.
EDIT: Yep, here it is!
Thanks! And come to think of it, it’d be best to cut out “let it burn,” partly because menacing lines about letting stuff burn are a more modern trope that might feel out of place in the original film, but mostly so it’s not a completely foregone conclusion that Alderaan is toast regardless of whether Leia cooperates.
Random, admittedly half-baked idea: turn the TROS scene of Palpatine talking to Pryde into an ANH scene of Palpatine talking to Tarkin. Don’t know how feasible that would be, but it might be a good way of incorporating the Emperor into an alternate version of the only Lucas movie in which he doesn’t appear:
“The princess of Alderaan has disrupted my plan. But her foolish act will be in vain…send the Death Star to a world they know. Let it burn.”
A better movie could’ve done some cool stuff establishing that the Exegol cultists were not only locals or pilgrims that worship the dark side (while not being powerful in it themselves), but perhaps a legion of potential henchmen who have done grunt work (thefts, spying, manual labor, assassinations) for the Sith Lords ever since the days of Bane. Or they could’ve even been the original Sith species from which the first Sith Lords got their name in the Expanded Universe.
Regarding the common complaint that nobody seems suspicious about the Republic being handed the clone army on a silver platter, has anyone experimented with beefing up the dialogue of the final Mace/Obi/Yoda scene in AOTC to suggest the Jedi do try to investigate between films, but had no choice but to accept the clones for the time being? Seems to me there are enough lines in the prequels about plots and puzzles to cobble something together. As a rough proof of concept based on nothing more than lines I remember offhand:
- MACE: Where is your apprentice?
- OBI-WAN: On his way to Naboo, escorting Senator Amidala home…Do you believe what Count Dooku said about Sidious controlling the Senate? It doesn’t feel right.
- YODA: Joined the dark side Dooku has. Lies, deceit, creating mistrust are his ways now.
- MACE: Nevertheless, I feel we should keep a closer eye on the clones.
- YODA: I agree. Dangerous and disturbing this puzzle is.
- MACE: Whoever placed that order did not have the authorization of the Jedi Council.
- YODA: Speculation is all we have. Proof we need.
- OBI-WAN: There is a massive shift in the Force; we all feel it. But I have to admit that without the clones, it would not have been a victory.
- YODA: Victory? Victory, you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun the Clone War has.
Granted, you would still have the potential issue that when ROTS picks up, it’s three years later and the Jedi are still working with the clones with no follow-up about that investigation, but then again they’re obviously suspicious enough that they want Anakin to spy on Palpatine.
As far as lightsabers go, it’s definitely a requirement that an apprentice demonstrate the ability to build a first lightsaber of their own, but I always assumed the Order weren’t necessarily sticklers about full Knights or Masters using replacements they acquired after that threshold is cleared – like how the EU novel Rogue Planet had Obi-Wan using Qui-Gon’s lightsaber as late as a year or two after he was knighted.
Valid points about giving Kylo such an ignoble defeat so early in the trilogy. Although how big an issue it’ll be for the viewer depends on whether you see him primarily as an antagonist and threat. For me, the fact that they let us know so early he was Han & Leia’s son had me seeing him not as a Big Bad for the heroes to ultimately overcome but rather as a quasi-protagonist in his own right, a screwed-up character on a journey of his own (of course, whether that was a good story decision is a different question).
Regarding Jedi robes, the apparent inconsistency was eventually explained that Jedi tended to dress similarly to common folk across the galaxy to express their rejection of ostentation. Even so, Old Ben’s clothes are noticeably simpler in material and tailoring than Prequel Obi-Wan’s tunics, belts, & boots, which makes sense considering that PT-era Jedi would’ve still had to consider presentability at least a little bit, as part of their function as Republic diplomats.
I have my issues with TFA, but Rey beating Kylo was not among them. I thought it was really effective the way we were shown (rather than told) step-by-step that (1) Rey has melee weapon experience, and has probably been defending herself for a good chunk of her life the way we see on Jakku; (2) Chewie’s bowcaster is serious business; (3) Kylo goes into the duel nursing a serious injury (in light of which it’s impressive that he’s still able to stand, let alone fight); (4) even so, Rey is thoroughly on defense until she lets the Force take over. In fact, that was one of the things that (foolishly) led me to expect better from TROS. Boy, was I wrong.
When I heard about the most-recently-reported version of George’s ST ideas, I was heartbroken by how badly I wanted it, only to know that now it will never be.
I’m not sure about the specifics of Maul surviving and bringing in a version of Darth Talon, but putting the challenges of postwar rebuilding front and center would have been perfect for making the trilogy a relevant part of a single story, and the idea of a criminal underworld helmed by a darksider also would’ve made for a much more distinct threat than Empire 2.0 in the First Order. Of course, it also had the exact story I wanted for Luke.
And though it might not have ultimately been the best decision, even the Maul idea could have had potential if handled right. Plus, the revelation that George was considering it means that he was laying the groundwork for a Star Wars Episode VII that was never so much as teased, leaked, or hinted at all the way back in 2011, which is absolutely wild to me.
Also, while George’s interest in Talon was kind of eye-rolling to me, it also inspired some additional crazy speculation. First, consider that this Talon obviously would not have been the same character as the EU one (who lived over a century after the movies). Second, consider that Solo was the brainchild of the Kasdans and the idea of a Han Solo movie was at least on George’s mind prior to the Disney sale.
So let’s imagine that, in a world where George keeps the company, a version of Solo comes out that may differ in plenty of details but has the same broad strokes as the Disney one…including ending with Qi’ra heading to Dathomir.
Maybe George’s Qi’ra is a Force-sensitive Twi’lek who Maul takes as his apprentice…
Despite recognizing its flaws (mainly handling of the Anakin-Padme romance and failure to do ANYTHING to explore how Owen’s history with Anakin and Shmi colored his desire that Luke have nothing to do with Obi-Wan), I un-ironically love Attack of the Clones. Christopher Lee, Ewan McGregor, our first real Mandalorian action, Slave I in action, mind-tricking drug dealers, dozens of lightsabers onscreen at once, making the previous movie’s comic relief the unwitting dupe of a dictator, lightsaber-dueling Yoda (maybe that one should be its own unpopular opinion), the first full-scale battle of the Clone Wars…that’s all great stuff.
The Rey-Kylo duel on Starkiller Base is one of my favorite lightsaber duels – probably somewhere in my Top 3 – because to me it feels like it blends the energy of the prequel duels with the rawness of the OT duels. It also benefitted greatly from those new prop sabers that actually cast the proper glows on the actors and sets.
How about editing TFA’s dialogue to remove references to Han and Leia being estranged following Ben’s fall? It doesn’t seem like it would require cutting much, and it would go a long way toward alleviating complaints about both character regression and the OT heroes all having miserable lives by the time the ST comes around.
EDIT (10/4/21): a rough outline of how this could work:
- Cut references out of Takodana conversation so it now reads:
- MAZ: A map to Skywalker himself? You’re right back in the mess… The galaxy has been running away from this fight for too long. [Alternately, “we have been” if “the galaxy has” can’t be constructed from other dialogue.]
- REY: What fight?
Cut out “new hair/same jacket,” maybe replace some of C-3PO’s lines. Han’s awkward silence when seeing Leia here is now because he’s still reeling from seeing Ben and is bracing to raise the subject with Leia, not because it’s been a long time since he’s seen her.
Edit conversation at Resistance base as follows (note: Leia’s “no, it was Snoke, he seduced…” isn’t related to removing the estrangement; I just hate how unnatural & exposition-y it sounds):
- HAN: Listen to me, will you? I know every time you… every time you look at me, you’re reminded of him.
- LEIA: You think I want to forget him? I want him back! I just never should have sent him away. That’s when I lost him. We both did.
- HAN: There’s nothing more we could’ve done. There was too much Vader in him.
- [wordless pause here as Han and Leia look at each other sadly]
- LEIA: We can still save him. Me. You.
- HAN: If Luke couldn’t reach him, how could I?
- LEIA: Luke is a Jedi; you’re his father. There’s still light in him. I know it.
- Maybe cut “I did miss you.” Unsure if anything would need to go here, or how much.
I think it depends on what versions of VII & VIII you pair it with. If it goes after something like Starlight Project, which as I understand it more clearly ties Rey’s instinctive abilities to the dark side, then her self-doubts about her potential can come to a head naturally on their own. But if it goes with a more conservative edit of the previous plots, then I don’t think anything less than revealing she killed her parents can sell her fears of going bad.
I think Han’s death should mostly get a pass simply because Ford probably would have insisted on it happening in VII no matter what, though it probably would have sat better with a lot of fans if it hadn’t followed a period of estrangement from his wife and a trauma-induced regression to his old career as an escape.
The logic and implementation of Luke’s death were magnificent—the ultimate manifestation of using the Force for knowledge and defense. But there were two issues with it. There’s the meta problem that they stuck with the decision when they knew Carrie’s passing would leave Episode IX without Leia’s intended role as OT Big Three anchor/primary mentor. Luke’s TLJ death easily could have been replaced with Luke raising his X-Wing, allowing him to take a more active role in Rey’s Jedi training as well as helping guide the Resistance (with the severe toll of Force Projection still explaining why Luke couldn’t just be the badass Uber-Jedi savior winning the new heroes’ fight for them).
Then there’s the narrative problem: Luke dies with his major unfinished business—restoring the Jedi Order—unfulfilled and presumably transferred to Rey (only for Abrams to end the Saga with Rey not doing anything about it either). That’s an inexcusable, inexplicable omission, a failure to deliver on perfectly-rational fan expectations, and one major point on which the old Expanded Universe will always have an edge over Disney canon.
Tremendous potential, tragically squandered.
I loved TFA and TLJ despite them not telling the story I really wanted (the old guard overseeing the New Republic while Luke works to get a New Jedi Order off the ground) because what we did get was so engaging & well-executed, with such great characters and obvious heart, plus great encore performances from Mark, Carrie, Harrison, & Billy Dee. That it started out with a retread of scrappy underdogs versus white-armored military might was unfortunate, but with just enough freshness that it could have evolved as the trilogy continued. While I didn’t like all of Rian’s choices, I’ve come to believe that (with the exception of the Holdo stuff) he did an admirable job of making the most out of what JJ gave him to work with. To me, TLJ feels the closest to something George might have made, warts and all.
Then TROS happened, and singlehandedly killed my interest in the ST era and my investment in the trilogy as a “true” ending to the saga. That move’s problems have been discussed to death here already, so for now I’ll limit my observations to the fact that Episode IX leaves the galaxy in exactly the same state Episode VI left it: an empire defeated, no Republic, and just one Jedi.
Putting all the other questionable creative choices aside, how the powers-that-be decided that was acceptable is beyond me.
It’s far from original at this point to bemoan the lack of a plan for the ST, which is true but incomplete. It’s not so much that they didn’t have an outline for the overall story as it is that they never decided what developments they needed to include—what key events and dangling promises they needed to address one way or another to make the ST not simply good but relevant to the trilogies we already had. To prove that the Saga needed, or would at least benefit from, a third trilogy.
On one level, it’s incredibly disappointing to see the landing botched so badly, especially when the problems would’ve been foreseeable from one look at the TROS script, and could have been largely avoided had these films been crafted with the proper mindset. For me personally, marathoning the Saga with the Sequels now means either I have to leave it visually incomplete after TLJ or end on a fundamentally unsatisfying note. An entire era of future storytelling is now tainted. And perhaps worst of all, our only chance at getting a proper VII—IX with the original cast was blown.
On another level, though, there’s still much to be thankful for. I still got hours of enjoyment and exhilaration, lots of new lore to sink my teeth into, new characters I loved, and I got to spend more time with some of my favorite characters in all of fiction, portrayed by their original actors. The ST provided a wealth of new raw material for editors to do awesome things with. Even the massive letdown of TROS inspired me to join a massive, rewarding writing challenge I never would’ve dreamed of if the official film had been acceptable to me.
And from a certain point of view — the one that’s probably the healthiest, which I should try to keep in mind more (even if I don’t always succeed) — the ST can be thought of as a fun “what-if” bonus that we didn’t need in the first place and spent much of our lives thinking we were never going to get anyway. There’s nothing forcing us to accept it as part of our personal canon. I was happy when the Skywalker Saga was just six films, and Disney’s efforts did not and will never take those six films away from me.
That sounds excellent, and I’ve come around to agreeing that “sensed the end” is better conceptually than “sensed the birth” as well.
This was a really enjoyable watch, with a really smart way of using the Ajan Kloss footage as new connective tissue. The only thing that took me out of it was the environment of the final Rey/Kylo duel if it’s supposed to take place on Exegol.
But all in all, TROS is a collection of solid individual bits trapped in an insufferable movie, and this was a very cool and clever way to enjoy those bits without the BS. Thanks!
Intriguing concept! Could you PM me a link?
The appearance of Jedi spirits has nothing to do with one’s “inner person” as George said of the Hayden change, and in fact Jedi spirits don’t have any objective “true” appearance at all. Instead, they appear to living beings however the living would recognize them. Shaw makes sense as the way Luke imagines his father would look without the scarring, but Hayden would make sense too if Luke had previously seen Clone Wars-era holorecordings of Anakin, such as Artoo might have in his memory banks. Age has nothing to do with it.
In fact, a radically different Sequel Trilogy could have hypothetically cleared this up by giving us a scene of Luke and Rey conversing with Obi-Wan, showing that Rey sees the Jedi General she studied while at the same time Luke sees the Old Ben he knew personally.
I enjoy the Special Edition Jabba scene in A New Hope and think it’s really cool that they went back and completed it (twice!), but ultimately feel it doesn’t belong in the movie simply because it depicts Jabba as deigning to personally go see every smuggler he’s got a beef with instead of sending underlings to take care of it. But it might be fun to experiment with Jabba confronting Han via hologram (which could have the secondary benefit of deemphasizing some pretty dated CGI and colors that don’t quite match the ROTJ puppet).
TPM: The face and voice of Sidious’s hologram are completely distorted so Dooku could be a credible red herring for the identity of Maul’s Sith Master.
AOTC: Instead of being a generic pacifist, Padme shares Anakin’s belief that a stronger, more aggressive chancellorship is necessary to prevent tragedies like the ones they experienced in TPM. They bond over this, and their relationship will eventually sour when Padme realizes Palpatine’s going too far and Anakin doesn’t.
ROTS: Include Yoda communing with Qui-Gon.
ANH: Don’t reveal that the Empire’s new weapon can destroy planets in the opening crawl. Let it be a horrible surprise teased then eventually revealed with Alderaan’s destruction.
ESB: Um, gee, I dunno…Dash Render cameo in the Battle of Hoth, maybe?
ROTJ: A more age-appropriate Hayden Force ghost not made from recycled footage.
TFA: Cut out the references to Han and Leia being separated. They suffered a tragedy with their son’s fall, but faced it together.
TLJ: Once Carrie passed away, rework the ending to delay Luke’s death until IX.
TROS: Does “scrap the entire script before filming” count as one thing?