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Erasing the Prequels Entirely

Hi all! New poster here, excited to converse with the community!

This has just been on my mind a bit lately, and I was wondering what you all would think. Obviously there have been numerous fan edits of the Prequel Trilogy in an attempt to make them gel more with the OT, or even to simply make them more enjoyable films, with varying degrees of success. I can’t help but wonder, though, if it would not be simpler, and perhaps more satisfying, to just erase the prequels entirely in a fan edit that would simultaneously be the most drastic and most effortless, thanks to the existence of Harmy’s Despecialized Editions: simply erase, or alter, the episode numbering in the opening crawls of the OT.

With ESB and RotJ, this would be an almost criminally easy fix: either change “V” and “VI” to “II” and “III”, or just remove the reference to “episode” altogether and be left with “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” After all, we don’t need to number the Lord of the Rings films to know that The Two Towers takes place after The Fellowship of the Ring and before The Return of the King.

With A New Hope, this could be done a few different ways, depending on personal preference. For those who would rather the film be just “Star Wars,” Harmy’s Despecialized Edition has already got it covered. For those who like the subtitle, again, simply remove the “episode” reference, and you’re left with “Star Wars: A New Hope” (again, like “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”). Finally, if you also like the numbering, just change “IV” to “I.” Boom.

Now, I know it’s controversial, but I actually really love The Force Awakens, and would love to see it titled “Episode IV,” or simply “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” with no “VII” involved. However, minuscule though they may be, there are a few references to the prequels in the film, but those could be removed pretty easily, especially compared to some of the edits that others have made. The way I see it, the only necessary changes would be as follow:

  • Change Maz Kanata’s line slightly, to eschew the reference to the Sith. “I’ve seen evil take many forms…today, it is the First Order,” would do just fine.
  • Remove Palpatine’s “Sheev Spin” scream from Rey’s Force-Vision.
  • Remove Palpatine’s tiny but noticeable “any Jedi” from Rey’s vision as well, as it’s in reference to Revenge of the Sith’s “Only through me can you achieve a power greater than any Jedi.”

And that seems to be it! Every other prequel “reference” ceases to be one if there are no prequels; Ewan McGregor’s “These are your first steps” is never uttered in the prequels anyway, and it’s pretty much just him doing an Alec Guinness impression. Kylo’s mention of a “clone army” isn’t a real reference to anything besides the fact that clones exist in Star Wars, which we already got from “A New Hope.”

Granted, the changes to The Force Awakens would be premature until the rest of the Sequel Trilogy is released, since we have no idea how much the next two films will draw from the Prequels as of now. Honestly, I would have done all this already…but considering my complete and utter lack of any experience with video editing, I am 99% sure I would completely screw it up. Let me know your thoughts!