I didn’t even think about the lightsaber… Maybe that shot where Obi-Wan bends down to look at the dead Jedi, you could add Anakin’s saber on the ground there?
TL;DR towards the end of the post.
I’ve been stressed out lately and too busy to really type this out, but I finally got some time so I wanted to share some edit thoughts I’ve been having. So just consider this a rambling essay on…
“Saving the Reveal”
It seems like an age old question regarding some prequel edits is if the reveal of Anakin=Vader should be saved, since laypeople will assume they should watch these films in chronological order. Personally, I think the best way to deal with this problem is to tell people to just watch the films in release order. I like that ROTS explores Anakin’s fall, so I never felt it was a mistake to show it in the film. [Alternatively, I think watching ROTS in-between ESB and ROTJ as a sort of a flashback standalone film is also a simple way handle the issue. I think a ROTS edit that removes any references to TPM and AOTC, and keeps contradictions with the OT to a minimum would be a great project as well.] But, for curiosity’s sake, I wanted to brainstorm on ways the prequels can actually be changed to “Save the Reveal”, and see if there’s anything left of the film after all that cutting that would still make it worth watching.
Unfortunately, trying to save the reveal, but keep all three prequels relatively in-tact leaves you very little substance in ROTS, since that film is all about Anakin’s fall. I think many people who have taken the “Save the Reveal” approach have kept Anakin turning to the dark side, but removed him being called “Darth Vader”, and kept his survival ambiguous. While this does work, I think it still has it cons. Mainly, assuming the films are being viewed in chronological order, a layperson would still know Obi-Wan is lying to Luke, and that Luke’s father turned to the dark side. I kind of think this defeats the purpose of wanting to edit the prequels to save that reveal in ESB in the first place. Sure, maybe the audience might think Vader might say ”Obi-Wan killed your father”, like cast and crew, save for a select few, actually thought the twist was back when they made ESB, but I still don’t think the impact would be as hard-hitting as if the audience thought Anakin was actually killed by Darth Vader and Obi-Wan was telling the truth. Again, there are merits to this approach (keeping the bulk of the plot in-tact), but it has its drawbacks (audience still knows Obi-Wan is lying to Luke).
How to make this possible has been discussed ad nauseam on here, especially this thread in particular, but I wanted to take another stab at it just for the hell of it.
A lot of the ideas I’ve seen (and have had myself) have been rather ambitious, with a lot of hypothetical new shots or scenes that would need to be filmed. This idea tries to avoid any of that. I’m going to go over major changes in the three films that would be necessary to make it work.
The Phantom Menace
The biggest thing I think that would need to be changed in Episode I is to have Obi-Wan be a full-fledged Jedi Knight rather than Qui-Gon’s apprentice. Why? Because we want to set up that Maul was Obi-Wan’s first student that fell to the dark side. This would require some major changes to how the Jedi refer to Maul as a “mystery attacker”. Maybe Yoda or a Jedi offscreen can refer to the attacker as “your old Padawan” when speaking to Obi-Wan. Maybe they don’t know who he is until the duel at the end of the film. OS dialogue could be added where Maul calls Obi-Wan his old master (potentially taken from Sam Witwer’s Maul dialogue or have Maul redubbed. If you replaced Sidious’ hologram with Maul in some scenes, you could also add dialogue here where Maul could refer to Obi-Wan as his former master.) So Maul kills Obi-Wan’s friend/potential former master, they have their confrontation, and Obi-Wan knocks his former student down a pit in two pieces, presumably dead.
Does Obi seem a little young to have been a master? Maybe, but I don’t think it is a deal breaker, and I think it could be spun in an interesting way. Obi-Wan confronting his fallen apprentice, and then getting a second chance with Anakin. I would love to hear more ideas about how this could be work.
Attack of the Clones
I think there are a lot of changes that could be made even unrelated to reveal to decrease PT-OT contradictions, like the Skywalker-Lars relationship, but just for this approach I think there are only one or two key points. First, you could make changes throughout the film to make Anakin less creepy and #dark #edgy. Some darkness could be kept so Anakin=Vader makes sense in retrospect, but we don’t want it to be as blatant.
The most important, and radical, idea I have for this is the inclusion of one new scene. At the end of the film, you could insert a truncated version of Vader in the bacta tank from Rogue One. Maybe attached to the end of the “war has begun” scene with Sidious and Dooku, when they leave the hanger, a hooded figure (Sidious), and possibly Dooku, would enter this room. Sidious would look up at the tank and say something along the lines of, “they will be no match for you”, and just as the we start getting a glimpse of this mystery figure, we cut away to the next scene.
So now the viewer would end the film wondering who that person was. At this point, I would want them to think it is Maul, but it is never explicitly stated. I also know many people like the idea of having Dooku being a rogue Jedi rather than a Sith, but I think it would be important to keep that for reasons I’ll mention later.
Revenge of the Sith
So ROTS would start out mostly the same, with the climatic battle of Coruscant and the introduction of the cyborg, General Grievous. Was this the person we saw in the bacta tank?
After Dooku’s death, when Grievous reports to Sidious and Sidious mentions getting a new apprentice, it brings the audience back to wondering if the bacta tank figure actually was Maul.
I think Act 2 of the film could remain pretty in-tact. The last time we see Anakin in ROTS is either the Jedi hangar scene with Windu or the ruminations scene, but we don’t see him leave the Council chambers. The music in the scene where Anakin discovers Plapatine is a Sith could be used to make Anakin’s decision to turn Palpatine over to the Council more like this was his big character moment in the movie. I like the rumination scene, but I’m not sure if keeping it would be too much. I think Anakin still battling with his loyalties and the dark side is still important, but it should seem like Anakin made his decision and he seemingly died for it.
So when we get to the brief march on the Jedi Temple sequence, we will cut the closer up shot of Anakin, and the darken the robes and obscure the hooded face of the figure leading the troopers. I think more changes could be made to the make the figure more ambiguous as well, but this might be enough.
Order 66 happens, yada yada. The entirety of Mustafar would be cut from the film. Because the climatic battle is cut from the film, I would actually recommend keeping the Yoda vs Sidious duel and let that be treated as the big final battle of the film. I know saber-wielding Yoda and Sidious seem to contradict their portrayals in the OT, but I think this sacrifice could be made in order to preserve the reveal and not have the film feel totally incomplete.
My ideas are currently vague regarding how to deal with Obi-Wan and Padme in Act 3 of the film. You could still have Obi-Wan look at the security hologram, but cut it in a way so we can’t see what he is seeing. Obi-Wan asks Yoda to send him to kill the Emperor, but Yoda says he isn’t strong enough. He could end the scene saying, “The boy you trained, gone he is, destroyed by Darth Vader.” I think you would cut the scene of Obi-Wan going to see Padme, and when Yoda fails to defeat the Emperor, have everyone leave Coruscant together on the Tantive III/IV. Maybe you could splice some shots together of Padme and Obi-Wan looking miserable on the ship (taken from when they were sitting in the Padme’s ship in different scenes). At this point, the camera can be on Padme, and Obi-Wan can ask, “Anakin is [was] the father, isn’t he?”. Padme doesn’t answer, then cut back to Obi-Wan rubbing his face. Just an idea, and I’m not 100% solid how you could handle this part of the film.
Eventually they land on Polis Massa, Padme has the babies (or baby, if you are also trying to keep that secret). I think this issue highlights just how it is almost impossible to have satisfying prequels and also save all of these secrets. If you don’t show Padme having a second baby at all, and then it turns out Luke has a twin sister in ROTJ, you’d be like, “What? They never showed Padme having two babies?!”
Alternatively, you could show a second child being born, but they’re never named. You could include the scene of Padme surviving, like in Hal’s ROTS, but it would probably be smart to change music to something other than Leia’s theme.
Another change, while not necessary, that could be helpful, would be to recolor/redub C-3PO and R2-D2 in order to make them different droids. This would alleviate some continuity issues as well as allowing some dialogue to be created that the new protocol droid can say that could help clarify story changes that the edits make.
TL;DR: So for this idea, there are basically three major edits necessary for preserving the Vader twist:
- In TPM, make Maul Obi-Wan’s fallen apprentice.
- In AOTC, add a new scene of a mysterious figure in a bacta tank.
- In ROTS, cut all scenes of Anakin after he rats out Palpatine, except for the march on the Jedi Temple, where his character would be too obscured to identify.
This might be enough to create ambiguity surrounding who Darth Vader is. We are led to believe Maul survived, sacked the Jedi Temple and killed Anakin. In reality, Maul did die in TPM, the figure in the bacta tank was actually General Grievous, and it was Anakin who really betrayed the Jedi.
I know people in the past have suggested making Darth Vader a title that could be used by multiple characters. Maul could be called Darth Vader, then Anakin takes that title when he becomes his apprentice. You could demonstrate this tradition by having Sidious call Dooku “Darth Tyranus” in AOTC, and after his death in ROTS, Sidious could rename Grievous “Darth Tyranus” during their hologram conversation. Unfortunately you don’t really see how Anakin transforms from man to machine, but maybe this could be something we assume happens after hunting Jedi for two decades.
This was just something I had on my mind during a commute and I wanted to write it out. I personally don’t have a huge desire to see a set of prequels that saves the reveal, but I think it would be cool if fan edits could actually pull it off just to see how it would play out. Like I said, if you have a friend that doesn’t know “Anakin=Vader”, you’re better off just telling to them to watch it in release order. And as I also mentioned, I’ve never tried watching the films in “IV V III VI” order, but I think it has some potential, especially with some slight edits. Plus, it would be a lot less work than trying to pull off a “Save the Reveal” approach. But if anyone has any ideas regarding this saving the reveal approach, it would be interesting to hear them!
Even though that is my perspective I like that you remove the mention it TFA. The reason why being that I think Snoke doesn’t decide that he needs more training until he sees him at the beginning of TLJ, when he sees how conflicted he still is.
EDIT: I also think it is funny how Snoke starts going on this aside and Hux is thinking, “That’s great and all but I can’t stand here and listen to you monologue because the collapse of the planet has begun.”
His training doesn’t have anything to do lightsabers or Force powers. Arguably Snoke trying to have Kylo Ren kill anyone that reminds him of Ben Solo (Leia, Rey) is his training. Killing Han left him unbalanced rather than resolved, so another sacrifice was necessary to solidify his transformation.
At least that is how I interpreted it.
For Qui-Gon, I could see him in grey robes, maybe to reflect his more maverick views on the Force within the Jedi Order.
But I think you could keep them as-is too. Maybe having the rest of the Jedi wear more elaborate robes, whereas Qui-Gon wears very simple robes, would be a good way to separate his character from the rest of the Jedi.
EDIT: Alternatively, if Luke’s ROTJ is meant to be the Jedi uniform, having Qui-Gon wear grey with black underneath could go along with that idea.
I think the battle droid color scheme was meant to evoke the color of bone, since they have a skeletal-like frame, but I have to agree I would like to see them with a more metallic, industrial color.
Yeah, I think the voices work great. It is just Rey’s thoughts/emotions in a stream of consciousness, going from what Han told her about the Force (paralleling Luke hearing Ben’s voice in ANH’s climax?), and those memories drift to her insecurities, Han’s death, Chewbacca’s pain, and Finn’s defeat while protecting Rey, and that all drives Rey to anger.
The new tweaks work really well Nev!
I like it! It definitely is more savage compared to the more serene theatrical version. Although I do like the theatrical version, you have to admit that Rey looks visibly angry rather than just focused, so having her tap into the dark side almost feels like that is actually what they were going for.
It definitely has some benefits. One, having Rey take the ‘quick and easy path’ helps rationalize her ability to defeat Kylo. Secondly, showing her ride that line raises the stakes in the next film for her need for guidance. Without it, she might continue down this path.
As far as technical notes, I think adding a nice lightsaber clash on that ‘flash cut’ might help make that transition feel more seamless.
Also, I wonder how swapping the placements of Finn yelling Rey and Chewbacca’s roar would sound. For some reason it feels kinda funny to have Rey open her eyes on Chewie’s guttural yell. And with Finn bleeding out in the snow nearby it might work better to end with Finn calling out for Rey instead. She hears “Rey!”, and her eyes open. Might not work as well but just a possible thing to try out.
Also wanted to say having that brief beat of silence, Kylo’s little “oh shit” moment, is a really nice choice.
Wanted to start off by saying I appreciate the time and effort it probably took you to write this all up. You made it pretty enjoyable to read!
I like how you described the initial scene, but when you get into further explanations, I don’t think it is as necessary to go into as much detail for the scenes most of us already know by heart. I think it would be good to emphasize your changes and cuts more than the content of the scenes as they are theatrically. Unless the scenes have major changes and you feel “setting the scene” is necessary.
Anyway, looking forward to your next post.
True! You could potentially insert it in between the scene of him being carried across the landing platform in the rain, and the scene of him on the operating table.
Do you guys think never showing Vader’s suit in ROTS would be a little disappointing for people?
I always that it was funny how Sidious conveniently had that uniquely-designed suit laying around for Anakin to put on shortly after he was burned to a crisp (did he just 3D print it real quick?).
I could see an edit that shows Anakin’s burnt body being carried to Coruscant, and then the next time we see him you could use the brief scene from Rogue One of him in the bacta tank. It makes sense that you would put him in there to stabilize him before throwing him into that suit. The robed figure could be Sidious coming in to check on him, just cut to a different shot before he bows down.
You could even keep the shot of Vader on the star destroyer and let that be the first time we see the suit. Of course you’d lose the Frankenstein parallels and the visual parallels of Vader’s birth and Padme’s death/the twins’ birth, but it is just an alternate idea.
I definitely agree, poppa has made a fantastic edit and it is cool to see how popular it has been (if I had a nickel for every time he’s had to say “PM sent”)!
I will say that although I initially helped brainstorm the idea of removing Rose rescuing Finn, I would like to see a version where Rose knocks Finn out of the way right before the AT-AT shoots him. I think that alone, making it objectively clear that Finn was doomed regardless, would help make Rose’s actions more palatable for a lot of people.
I hope you stick around these threads poppa, because I’d love to see your ideas for other projects in the future!
Totally understand! If you ever feel like bouncing ideas off someone to help solidify it please feel free to share them!
Snooker, I think you should make your own edit thread sometime soon!
Holy shit, that looks so awesome.
I know this is something that has been suggested before, but it would be interesting if Endor was a little closer to Endor Prime in certain shots (maybe not as close as Yavin) to help remind us that this is the forest moon of Endor. I think the planet also has like 8 other moons, so seeing the Endor gas giant and its other moons in certain shots of the sky or in space could help make Endor feel a little more “alien moon” and a little less “Northern California”.
Regarding your project snooker, I know you have been implementing a lot of the OT score into the movie, and you may have already done this or have picked a different piece of music, but I think it would cool to hear the beginning of the track “Tales of a Jedi Knight” when Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon first take off their hoods at the beginning of the film. Feels like it would be a good place for it.
I love that combo! It makes me think of different Jedi robe colorings from the earlier days of this thread when Bingowings was still pretty active. I remember there being an image of Mace with blue robes.
I’m sure this would be a pain in the ass to actually implement, but it would be really cool to see recolorings like this. It also makes me think of a lot of Doug Chiang’s early concept art for the prequels and how he gave the Jedi black uniforms that was more reminiscent to Luke’s ROTJ appearance than Obi-Wan’s ANH costume.
Do you think a recoloring like this would be feasible?
I just made a Mandalorian spoiler thread, so once the show premieres maybe we could just use this thread to discuss general news about the show?
Biggs Audio Dynamite made a good point about how Disney+ won’t be going live everywhere at the same time, so it might be a good idea to use this thread to discuss the story, plot and characters of the show, and use the other thread for news regarding the show in general (production, interviews, merchandise, etc.). This way those users who can’t watch it until later won’t be spoiled but can keep up with General news about the show.
If the mods feel this thread isn’t necessary, feel free to remove it!
Otherwise, use this thread to discuss things like leaks, speculation and episode reviews.
Isn’t that what they called Chewbacca after that moon fell on him?
Rey: Han Solo?? And that means you must be Chewbacca!
Han Solo: No, this is his son, Lumpy!
How would you handle shots where small fighters fly in front of the Death Star? Rotoscope around them, replace the models, or leave those shots as-is?
It didn’t spoil it for me either! I was totally oblivious.
Yeah, the most important thing is that you like the new changes, almost as much as that bowl of Cheetos you’ll be munching on.
I also think the V6 has brought a lot to the tapestry of fan edits that I can see being implemented going forward for others too.
I’m not disagreeing but why would you think would be an improvement do have Mace go on his own?