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Star Wars: if you could have written the prequels

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Taure, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    If you had the power to make the Star Wars prequels, how would you have written them?

    We can take it as given that "no wooden dialogue", "use actual sets", "less pandering to kids with silly shit like Jar-Jar" are part of your changes. I'd like us to focus on the actual substantive story.

    This thread was primarily inspired by a series of videos by Belated Media on YouTube:

    What if Episode One were good?

    What if Episode Two were good?

    Episode three is supposed to be coming sometime this year.

    Mine:

    I agree with BM that the primary problem is a lack of focus on a protagonist. The prequels needed a protagonist to focus on like the OT had Luke, which should be Obi-Wan. Anakin's story is the overarching story of the 6, but each set of 3 has its own protagonist.

    The second major problem is that we're told too many important things, instead of being shown them - most especially Anakin and Obi-Wan's friendship, Anakin and Padme's love affair. We need to see these things happen for ourselves. This also goes for the Clone Wars, to a lesser extent. We basically skip them entirely, in the actual movies. To that end I think the Clone Wars should be kicked off by the climax of the first movie, not the second. That means that we can have episode II take place mid-Clone Wars (thereby also showing Anakin and Obi-Wan as friends) before episode III covers the end of the Clone Wars, the dawn of the Empire and Anakin's fall.

    But Anakin's fall is the biggest problem. We just don't buy it: it happens too fast, too completely, and for too flimsy reasons. Part of this is bad characterisation of Palpatine. His manipulations feel completely transparent, almost amateurish, to the point where it feels absurd that Anakin could be tricked. Another part of it is the relationship between Anakin and Palpatine: like his friendship with Obi-Wan prior to Ep II, this has happened off-screen, so we don't buy the level of trust Anakin has in Palpatine.

    But the biggest problem with the fall is Anakin himself: he feels too immature, too petulant and irrational. Anakin is supposed to be smart, has Jedi training and has been a successful commander in a war. He's in his 20s now, not his teens. Further, we know that he's going to turn into Darth Vader, a character we take very seriously. The choices Anakin made in ep III and his reasons for making them feel completely disconnected from all of this. There need to be better reasons for him turning against the Jedi, and his turn should not be so complete nor so immediate.

    Here's my take:

    The political set-up is actually pretty good, with Palpatine slowly eroding the constitution of the Republic to grant more and more emergency defence powers to himself. But instead of episode III starting with a great victory for the Republic, it should be a victory for the Separatists. The Republic needs to be in a position of desperation. Now enters a more thoughtful, mature Anakin, experienced in war and command. He has enjoyed his time in the military, enjoys command, and in many ways the military is his natural home more than the Jedi. All this means he feels greater loyalty to the Republic than the Jedi code.

    That's the central conflict that will tear Anakin apart: divided loyalties wherein he will eventually pick his political allegiance to the Senate (controlled by Palpatine) over his allegiance to the Jedi. Like the real ep III, the Jedi try a coup, to be foiled by Anakin.

    We want to avoid too much abstract politics - just enough to make Anakin feel like he's a serious person. But we need a personal element too, so Anakin's divided political loyalties should reflected in his personal relationships, where he is also seeing increasing conflict. With an ep II which showed more of these relationships in good times, now it's okay to show Anakin disagreeing more with Obi-Wan, who is worried about Anakin's increasing militarism.

    This is also where Padme's role can be expanded to something with more agency. If Obi-Wan represents the Jedi, then Padme represents the Republic. Anakin's enters into a romantic relationship with Padme (in ep III not II - it should feel more like an illicit affair than a stable marriage), casting doubt on his future as a member of the Order, showing his increasing loyalty to the Republic. Padme should be given a more active role in encouraging Anakin to pick the Republic over the Jedi, and so is less angelic and innocent, and thus feels more real.

    Ditch all the prophecy of childbirth death stuff. Any non-idiot can grasp the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I think all of this leads to Anakin's choice feeling more conscious, more mature and thoughtful, and also less extreme. He's not going off to murder children immediately after siding against the Jedi coup. But from there everything snowballs, with him being drawn into increasing conflict with a Jedi order as the attempted coup continues.

    (I don't think Anakin or the Jedi should know that Palpatine is a Sith until the end, to further make the decision feel more rational. Once he has picked a side, and done things that place him irrevocably on that side -- that's when it can be revealed to him that he picked the wrong one.)

    So how do we end up with Darth Vader? That's where the final confrontation with Obi-Wan comes in. Until this point, Anakin still doesn't hate the Jedi and hasn't embraced the Dark Side. But in the final confrontation Anakin will use the dark side to keep up with Obi-Wan (who, as Darth Vader says in A New Hope, is still the master at this point). Obi-Wan will point out the danger of this, imploring Anakin to stop, but Anakin is losing the duel and draws on the dark side increasingly.

    Then there will be some distraction involving Padme being injured, which results in a very angry Anakin going super dark, but he still loses the duel along with most of his limbs.

    Aftermath: now Anakin will forever hate the Jedi for what that duel cost him, and he has used the dark side so the final revelation from Palpatine that he's the Sith will not alienate Anakin. Rather the film will end with Darth Vader swearing to hunt down the remaining Jedi and accept Palpatine's teachings.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2015
  2. Download

    Download Second Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I personally don't have that much of a problem with one. I think the problem is that people went in expecting to see massive space battles like in 4, 5 or 6 and instead got a political thriller.

    My only problem with the first is the already mentioned Jar-Jar.

    Two and Three suffered from terrible casting on the protagonist. Hayden Christensen in my opinion was just a shit actor. He fucked the whole thing. Every line of dialogue he spoke was clunky. Natalie Portman, Ewen McGregor, Samuel L Jackson, Christopher Lee etc were all exceptional. So seeing how badly Anakin was cast is unbelievably disappointing.

    Except for at the very end I don't think Palpatine was transparent. I think that's more a case of hindsight generated from the original trilogy. And the bit where he was transparent that was because Anakin was so idiot when played by Christensen.
     
  3. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

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    I agree with several of your points however I disagree about the prophecy. I actually felt that was one of the things the prequels did well. His first prophetic dream he ignored until it was too late due to his duties with the Jedi. The second time around, again dreaming about losing the most important person in his life, he was looking for options. Yoda tells him to accept the inevitability of loss and Anakin chooses otherwise, it's a solid reason to seek forbidden power.

    Regarding Anakin himself, he was whiny and obnoxious in the movies which is probably an artifact of the script. I actually like the Clone Wars show because it makes him into the sort of hero that everyone in the movie acted like he was. Stover's novelization is also worth reading for a what could have been, obviously it follows the movie's plot and dialogue but it manages to make it far better.
     
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I didn't say much about Obi-Wan--a bit of an error as I identified him as the protagonist.

    After a Clone War opener with Anakin, in which the Republic experiences a bad defeat, Obi-Wan's primary conflict will be investigating and discovering the Anakin/Padme relationship. This results in a divided loyalty of his own, between the Code and his friendship with Anakin, but also going back to his loyalty and promise to Qui-Gon.

    If you want to throw in a big twist you can have Obi-Wan pick the Jedi and report Anakin, who is thrown out of the Jedi after refusing to stop the relationship. Then when the Jedi coup happens at the mid-point of the movie, Anakin has even more reason to pick the Republic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  5. Quiddity

    Quiddity Order Member

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    You said the Padme/Anakin relationship happens in Ep III. What is Obi-Wan doing in Episode II, then?
     
  6. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I don't think this is great as a primary conflict. Assuming you mean primary plotline (which you might not).

    The primary conflict should be on the scale of "destroy the Death Star" or "overthrow the Empire." I.e. It should be related to the Clone Wars. Don't want to lose sight of the 'epic space fantasy' part of Star Wars.

    What you've outlined in terms of Obi-Wan and Anakin would have made for a solid character arc for both of them though. And I agree that Anakin's fall was too quick, too complete, and too juvenile/idiotic to swallow. Part of that is the actor's fault, but not all of it.
     
  7. Agayek

    Agayek Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Most of it was the Lucas' fault, to be perfectly honest. Christensen isn't a good actor by any stretch of the imagination, but the biggest issues with Anakin's fall have to do with the writing (especially the terrible, terrible dialog) and the actual directing (mostly the shot composition and decisions on what scenes were included).

    Christensen made Anakin unlikable; Lucas made him retarded.
     
  8. Red Aviary

    Red Aviary Hogdorinclawpuff ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Before the summer I was working on a few outlines revised Prequel trilogy of my own, though I only really got Episode I figured out, with Episode II about half-done. Then I kind of got side-tracked, as usual. I took some ideas from both those videos Taure posted and a few other revision fanfics I'd read over time.

    By "figured out" I mean it's a more or less full story. There's still a lot of work to put into it, but here's the bullet-point version.

    Episode I

    - Naboo is now Alderaan, and Padme is now an Organa, with Bail Organa as her younger brother. The same basic thing happens where the Trade Federation tries to blockade the planet, though the politics of it are now wrapped up in a growing Secessionist movement that has threatened to tear the Republic in two.

    - Obi-Wan ("Ben") is a Jedi Knight, whose former master, Qui-Gon, was recently murdered by a Dark Jedi. The event left him injured, physically and emotionally, and he's been staying at the Temple to recover. The Council has given him the mission to negotiate with the TF about the blockade to get him out into the world again.

    - Obi-Wan is taken right to the capital rather than being subjected to an underwater detour. He gets the royal family out, save for the king, who is murdered by Maul. Obi-Wan recognizes Maul as the same assailant that killed Qui-Gon before, but still takes him for a Dark Jedi rather than a Sith Lord (albeit a highly skilled Dark Jedi.) He is faced with desire for revenge against him, and battles with that for the rest of the story.

    - Anakin's a teenager, about the same age as Padme (fifteen or sixteen). The "Son of the Suns" prophecy is introduced, with Qui-Gon having been a believer in it (and somewhat of a pariah because of that) who searched tirelessly for its subject. Obi-Wan was skeptical, himself, but sees Anakin's potential in the Force and has doubts. (Midichlorians are out.)

    - In the fight with Maul, Obi-Wan cuts loose to try to kill Maul, but is outperformed and forced to retreat. He finally recognizes he's a Sith Lord.

    - Coruscant sees the Secession movement fleshed out. Dooku is seen here, as well as proto-Grievous, and Palpatine's the Senator of Alderaan now. The queen is assassinated in a bombing that also severely injures Grievous, and Padme becomes queen (ascendancy technicalities handwaved at the moment).

    - Palpatine is elected Chancellor, and organizes a fleet to liberate Alderaan from the TF. This basically marks the split between the Loyalists and Separatists, who leave the Senate in protest of Palpatine's election.

    - With the Jedi, Anakin is made Obi-Wan's apprentice after he's tested. (The age thing is downplayed -- they still prefer them young, but exceptions are made for older potentials.) Obi-Wan's immediately sent with several other Jedi Knights to defend Padme as she returns to Alderaan. Privately, Yoda warns Obi-Wan of Anakin's latent darkness, and cautions him about his own inner turbulence.

    - Obi-Wan and the other Knights confront Maul in Alderaan's palace. Soon enough however, it's just Obi-Wan and Maul left dueling as the other Knights are cut down. Obi-Wan eventually wins (by following Jedi tenets, not giving into his grief and desire for revenge), driving Maul away.

    - In the end, the Jedi dismiss the theory that Maul's a Sith, though Obi-Wan still believes it. The end lingers on Palpatine suspiciously to foreshadow a bit. (Driving home "The Phantom Menace" a bit more -- Sidious' presence is felt everywhere, but he's never seen or referenced directly in this story.)

    Padme and Anakin become friends throughout the above, and the future romance is alluded to, but not really started yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  9. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    One thing you could do with Padme which might be interesting: keep the Amidala-handmaiden swap, but have Padme actually be the handmaiden. The Queen dies on the escape from Naboo/Alderan but they need to keep it a secret so Padme ends up impersonating the Queen to the Senate. From there on she kinda ends up stuck in the role.
     
  10. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    I'm a real fan of the "What if Episode One/Two were really good?" videos, having watched them many times (if just to lament what could have been).

    What I think is really amazing about them is that for Episode One, so minor changes were really proposed to make huge improvements.

    The most important thing was making Obi Wan the protagonist of the prequel trilogy (since you know, Qui Gon dies in episode 1 and Anakin is too young to be an interesting protagonist for the first movie). It'd give the whole thing a stronger emotional element and a greater tie in between the movies (If you look at the first few scenes of Episode 2, it acts almost as if it was a completely new movie rather than a sequel for instance).

    Taure's points regarding Anakin also have a lot of merit. His turn feels too fast and forced. The prophecy was shit. He felt too immature and childish.

    The slow fall Taure suggests would be a lot more enjoyable. The audience should really be put into situations where they completely agree with Anakin's train of thought at the time. He should seem reasonable with only the knowledge of his future as Vader holding it back.


    For me, another one of the biggest things I felt the prequel trilogy completely lacked was the mysticism of the Jedi and Sith - a side effect of having way too fucking many of them.

    Episode 1 was actually the best from this angle. Qui Gon and Obi Wan are generally the only force users in most of the scenes they're in. There's a number of scenes and battles that have nothing to do with Jedi or Sith (pod racing, the Gungans vs Droid Army, the space battle, etc).

    Episode 2 ruined it. The scenes with Obi Wan and Anakin toward the start of the movie feel like some cop show, like you're watching Bad Boys about a pair of eccentric investigators leaving a trail of chaos and hilarity in their wake. Then at the end you have hoards of Jedi acting like an actual army and Yoda of all characters being one of them.

    Episode 3 makes the overuse of Jedi even worse, with them involved in every single battle - whether on the ground or in space, General fucking Grievous and so on. The only non-Jedi character is Padme.

    Now compare that to the original trilogy. To the vast majority of people in the Star Wars universe, the conflict was about the Rebel Alliance trying to take on the Empire. It was about a bunch of snubfighters taking out the first Death Star, the Battle of Hoth and the Battle of Endor. Barely anyone knew about what was going on behind the scenes - many didn't even believe Jedi and Sith even existed.

    Think about some of the Force related scenes in the original trilogy. The mysterious cloaked figure walking into Jabba's palace at the start of ROTJ. The duel between Vader and Luke on Bespin. The fight aboard the Death Star II, behind the huge epic fire fight happening on Endor and in space. Luke training with Yoda. All of these worked so well because there were only 5 people in the whole trilogy who could use the force. They really were special and Luke doing something as minor as Force choking Gamorrean guards becomes really cool. Hell, him using a Force Pull for his lightsaber to save himself in the ice cave became a feat.

    Let's take lightsaber duels as another example. The original movie only had one per movie - Obi Wan vs Vader, Luke vs Vader at Bespin and Luke vs Bespin on Death Star II. The impact in those scenes came from the interaction between the characters, the emotions involved in them and the dialogue. The actual lightsaber clashes was a way to gives a physical interpretation to their emotions and feelings. It was about character exploration, philosophy and the mystical Dark Side and Light Side of the Force.

    Now in the prequel trilogy we had Qui Gon vs Maul on Tatooine, Duel of Fates, Obi Wan vs Grievous, Anakin vs Dooku in ROTS, Mace Windu vs Palpatine, Yoda vs Palpatine, Anakin/Obi Wan/Yoda vs Dooku, Anakin vs Obi Wan. Like holy shit, we've gone from three to eight.

    Lightsaber duels went from being the climatic peak of each movie, a battle of philosophy and emotions - to being the standard movie gun or martial arts fight. The focus then becomes on fancy choreography, flashy scenes and cool moves.

    Take the fight which had the potential to be the most emotional fight in the entire Star Wars series - Anakin vs Obi Wan. What was the focus in that fight? Instead of the dialogue between Obi Wan and Anakin, the entire fight was about...the actual fight. Compare that to Luke vs Vader on Death Star which actually had very little actual lightsaber fighting, and a whole lot of talking.

    Following on from Taure's idea of a slow Anakin making a more reasonable fall to becoming enemies of the Jedi, that fight would be focused on Obi Wan and Anakin both trying to convince each other that their philosophy is correct. The whole time, Anakin would be slowly falling more and more to the Dark Side, and you'd see that change his words, emotions and actions during the fight.

    Episode 1

    Going back to the mysticism of the Force issue I brought up, I wouldn't have the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. They wouldn't be so close to the seat of the Government or treated like a Republic law enforcement organization. Instead, the Jedi Temple would be out on Yavin IV - far from civilization. The Jedi would be wandering monks that lend their services to help out where they can. They wouldn't really give "missions" a such, but more allow their Jedi to sort of wander around doing whatever it is they feel they should, with the Council giving suggestions and recommendations. Some governors and officials may respect them and request their services, but they would hold no actual Republic authority. Others would actually hate the Jedi, seeing them as quacks, or seeing them as a strange cult which brainwashes young children with strange ideas.

    I like Red Aviary's idea of Obi Wan coming to Alderaan alone to support Queen Amidala, a Jedi supporter who has just lost his master. Qui Gon was killed while he was off investigating a Dark Jedi. Obi Wan has been trying to track down his Master's killer for a while, but has turned up few leads.

    You'd also have another character there - probably a hotshot pilot sort of person. We need another non-Jedi hero.The bulk of the first movie would be about the fight with the Trade Federation (the leader of which is a whole lot more interesting than Nute Gunray), taking Anakin as an apprentice and all the politics on Coruscant. As your hotshot pilot, Padme and Obi Wan fight their battles against the Trade Federation, that's when Darth Maul appears.

    "The Sith have been gone for a thousand years" and you the audience would be made to really feel it - give more impact to the moment when Obi Wan suddenly realizes just what he is fighting and the reveal that Maul is who killed Qui Gon. It'd be a real "Holy shit, he's actually a Sith Lord!"moment (where in the prequel trilogy, the fact Sith Lords are presumed extinct is thrown at you once you've already met one). Maul would also escape at the end, the duel being a draw.

    You would not see Sidious or the Jedi Council at all in the first movie.

    Episode 2

    The second movie would start with you seeing the Jedi Temple for the first time. Instead of just the Jedi Council room and kids in a classroom, you'd be introduced to a lot more of the mysterious training stuff (think Shaolin monk sort of things). Like in the Belated Media videos, Yoda would not be there, just mentioned. Because he's off being mysterious on some mountain or swamp somewhere being one with the Force.

    Obi Wan has been spending the last few years trying to search for this Sith. Most of the other Jedi think that he's become obsessed with finding his Master's killer to the point he's demonized the Dark Jedi into the boogeyman Sith Lord and don't really believe him about the Sith being back.

    However at some point Obi Wan would meet Yoda, and Yoda would share concerns that he has been sensing something ominous.

    Anakin can still be the arrogant, immature kid. But it's alright, since he's Obi Wan's side kick for most of the movie rather than a main character.

    Not really sure exactly how I envision the Second Movie would play out, but you would see the Clone War start and Obi Wan finally kill Maul. Hotshot pilot character would have some sort of story and role too.

    Palpatine, an ever close friend of the Jedi, would offer Obi Wan a position as General of the newly formed army. The Jedi Council refuses to directly get involved with the war, saying they're not soldiers (similar to the premise of KOTOR). They all feel something is wrong and recommend to most Jedi not to get involved (though some others follow Obi Wan's lead and still do).

    Episode 3

    Episode 3 would probably play out similar to Taure's suggestion, with an older Anakin starting a more passionate relationship with Padme, without the marriage part. He'd be questioning a lot about the Jedi way and having a more gradual fall to the dark side. He was never really all that close to the Jedi, having being raised more by Obi Wan. He also resents them for letting the galaxy burn.

    I'm not sure what excuse you could have for him to hunt down the Jedi, yet. One idea I was having is that he mysteriously finds some Sith Holocrons (courtesy of Palpatine), and begins to start using their teachings. Eventually that leads to the Jedi Council trying to stop him and he's furious they wouldn't get involved in the war, but are trying to stop him now that he's winning it - and that keeps escalating until he's so consumed he just wipes them all out.



    Anyway, there's another idea that's a bit more of a bigger change from the other's mentioned. Not sure I've developed Episode 2 or 3 enough, but I quite like 1.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  11. Shouldabeenadog

    Shouldabeenadog Auror

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    People keep mentioning the need for a non Jedi protagonist, and I want to know why padme can't be this? It allows for note screen interaction time with ben and anakin. It gives a strong female lead who is not only good with a blaster, but can also pilot a ship. (And importantly, is not another lightsaber user)
     
  12. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    Can she fly a ship?

    Nothing wrong with Padme. Her role is that of the politician and she does get involved with a bit of blaster work too. She should definitely have more focus on her story (and not just as a side to Qui Gon's journey, and then Anakin's).

    But I think you need someone else too. If just to match the number of Jedi characters.
     
  13. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    If you really wanted to change things up you could completely reverse Padme's character. She's no longer idealistic and peace-loving, but instead a bit of a get-her-hands-dirty bad girl. A bit Mara Jadey.

    Also, I quite like the idea of giving Anakin a different backstory. First of all, ageing him up to his mid-teens when we first meet him. Secondly having him involved less out-of-the-way - some criminal enterprise, perhaps. Giving him a childhood surrounded by shady shit would definitely be a source for a point of difference with the other Jedi. Anything that makes him feel like an peer of the Jedi Council with an apparently legitimate difference of opinion, rather than a naughty child who just won't do as he's told.
     
  14. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage ~ Prestige ~

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    I think if you want to develop a good backstory for Anakin, you really need to take more cues from the OT. What kind of backstory would Vader have, since that is indeed what it should be.

    He doesn't exactly scream builder of robots, ex slave, podracer and whatnot. Similarly, not exactly getting he was a pickpocket or something from him.

    How about this, Anakin was a member of the Alderaan military, a pilot. Serious, driven, loyal. Already friends with Padme, maybe assigned to her guard or whatever for some time. Then the attack on Alderaan happens. Old Republic doesn't seem to be able to get into gear, and the royal family is desperate.

    So, they try a really desperate idea. They try to contact the Jedi, to get their help. Jedi do not have a strict organization or a headquarters. They are nomads, following the will of the force. When they find someone on their journey with the potential, they offer training. There are maybe around a thousand Jedi at any point, all over the galaxy. Most people have never met one.

    Important thing would be, mostly out of coolness factor, that the usage of lightsabers is restricted. They only keep them out of tradition, for meditation and practice, for ceremony. They were mainly used against Sith and there hasn't been a Sith for over a thousand years.

    So, Padme and Anakin break out of the blockade and try to track a Jedi. They either had a clue already, knowing a spot which always seems to draw Jedi or something, a pilgrim point. There, they find either Obi Wan or Obi Wan and Qui Gon, depending on if you want to use him. Initially, they are not that interested in the whole situation, Jedi only involve themselves if the Force demands it, but they/he are intrigued by Anakin and his sheer potential. For him, they follow.

    And they help. They use the Force more in other ways, like manipulating the aim of their enemies, tricking their minds, ripping their blasters from their hands or blocking the occasional shot like Vader did with Han on Bespin. Point is, the lightsabers aren't really used, which is why so many people, even if they meet Jedi, don't really realize/believe it, because there is no obvious sign. The they are not really only fighters. They offer wisdom, advice. Jedi aren't exactly liked, but they are respected.

    And then, when Darth Maul steps into the room, that's the time when the lightsabers are activated.

    So, you would have the military/political plotline following Padme and Anakin, who get help from the Jedi, but who do not overshadow it, more focused on observing Anakin and his potential. You get them more involved once they start to suspect Sith influence behind the machinations, but nothing concrete, something which the other jedi don't believe. I like the idea that Qui Gon was killed by a Dark Jedi and Obi Wan is looking for him, so you could go with that. Obi Wan is relatively young and is seeing Sith everyone, so, the other Jedi, don't take him that seriously.

    So, yeah, not sure, how this holds up but I can see some potential in it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  15. KaelMyec

    KaelMyec Second Year

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    If you go down that route why not take what was already supplied by the original trilogy and make Anakin a navigator on a spice freighter. So now when his character is introduced in his mid teens we have a character that has been around the galaxy a few times, been exposed to a lot of different social classes, and really feels like he doesn't fit in anywhere. Cue up meeting Padme and Obi-wan who through some reason have to take Anakin's freighter. Said freighter gets destroyed leaving Anakin with Obiwan and Padme on the run now. During this run Obi-wan sees Anakin as a Force Potential and begins giving him a little training to refine his rough self taught ways. Eventually movie ends with Anakin joining the Jedi because he finds himself belonging in a sense, but then through movies II and III you see the fall.
     
  16. Red Aviary

    Red Aviary Hogdorinclawpuff ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Well, since people seem to actually like these ideas, I guess I'll move on to what I have for Episode II. Again, some ideas are taken from those videos and others' attempts at rewrites.

    Episode II

    - The Separatists form the CIS, and shortly after the end of Ep. I, goes to war with the Republic after a series of incidents. Palpatine authorizes the re-creation of the Grand Army of the Republic, and major contracts with the cloners of Kamino are made to buy ready-made troops to combat the numbers of the CIS battle droid armies. This has given the civil war the nickname "the Clone War" in the Republic, though normal troops are still a major force for both sides.

    - The Jedi participate in the war, but have not undergone militarization as they have in past wars (the KotOR era, Old Sith Wars, etc.). Their primary goal is to end the conflict as soon as possible and restore peace. They face public scrutiny for being dirty hippies, as the war is fairly popular with Loyalist citizens.

    - Anakin has advanced quickly and is nearly ready to join the Knights. He has become a shrewd commander and a cunning warrior. Obi-Wan has settled into his role as a General, and his skills as a negotiator are key in winning over neutral systems or guaranteeing surrender terms. Though the two have become good friends and partners, they differ in their political outlook and opinions on the role of the Jedi.

    - Maul hasn't been sighted since Alderaan, but Obi-Wan's been keeping an eye out. He's got suspicions about the Republic government, but largely keeps them private.


    -
    Padme abdicated her throne after reconstruction efforts on Alderaan became successful, leaving a short, but powerful legacy as Queen. Bail now rules Alderaan as King while Padme has taken on the role of Alderaan’s Senator.

    - The main plot revolves around the Jedi making a major push for peace by hosting negotiations between the Republic and CIS on neutral ground. There's a lot of dithering, but the leadership on both sides agree to talk, and an Armistice is declared.

    - After serving as one of the major voices in pursuing peace in the Senate, Padme is hit with an assassination attempt. She survives, but many of her retainers/employees are killed. Obi-Wan and Anakin are called back from the now-silent front to protect her. She and Anakin have been communicating since Ep. I, but once they meet face to face again lingering romantic tension flares up again. (It's not nearly as awkward as canon, hopefully.)

    - Zam Wessel is captured by Anakin (he's the one to jump out the window and lead the chase, not Obi-Wan -- it seems more in character for him), and taken in for interrogation (sans an arm, thanks to Anakin). She is suddenly assassinated in the midst of all the clone security forces however. Obi-Wan suspects the assassin may have been a clone to get past the security.

    - Throughout, the differences between Anakin and Obi-Wan's outlooks are explored. Anakin has come to revere the Republic and wants a decisive victory with the CIS crushed. Obi-Wan is content to let the CIS be, as he fears the war may grow even more devastating if it goes on and lead to ruin for both sides. Anakin also feels very at-home in battle, and is more popular with the troops and the public than his Jedi peers.

    - While Anakin and Padme play lovey-dovey in the palace on Alderaan, Obi-Wan goes to Kamino to pursue the "rogue clone" theory. However, he comes to believe the suspect isn't a rogue clone, but rather the original template, Jango Fett. (Jango is actually only one of several templates for the clones here, but his clones are of the most elite.) Obi-Wan is also shocked to learn that the clone army was secretly commissioned years before the war even started by Qui-Gon.

    - After Anakin and Padme go to Tatooine, he tracks down his brother Owen (I totally forgot to mention this before -- Owen's his biological younger brother, and was left with his mother). As he slaughters the Tuskens, Maul also slaughters the Republic delegation at the peace talks. (Sort of a dual-imagery thing.)

    - On Geonosis, Obi-Wan learns of the existence of Darth Sidious and his role in recent events from Dooku, who claims to have learned it from a mysterious "Sifo-Dyas." He reveals that he wishes to destroy the phantom Sith, and Obi-Wan cautiously joins him. (It's a bit complicated, but Dooku is not a Sith Lord, here, since Maul is still alive. He is being manipulated on two sides by Palpatine, who is both Sidious and "Sifo-Dyas.")

    - With the delegation slaughtered, the Republic blames the Separatists and the Armistice ends. Palpatine has the Grand Army retaliate by launching a swift attack on Geonosis.

    - This is where I kind of left off. Basically, the battle on Geonosis is a bloodbath for both sides, leaving the planet ravaged, but the Republic wins. Obi-Wan and Anakin fight Maul, and Anakin gets his arm cut off. The war becomes more devastating than ever, and hopes for peace are dashed. Obi-Wan remains in secret contact with Dooku, and investigates the Republic delegation on his advice -- he finds that many members of the delegation were opponents of Palpatine, confirming Dooku's warning that Palpatine is a tool of the Sith.

    There's still a lot of holes and loose ends to tie up, but that's largely what I have.

    Oh, and Grievous is in there somewhere. Probably only comes into the spotlight during the battle on Geonosis, and only seen a few times before then.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  17. mortalone

    mortalone Sixth Year

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    I'll check out those video links, read what everyone's got to say and if I feel I have something to add on the writing front, I'll report it back later. But I do have something to add which isn't strictly a writing issue.



    If you look at the cast for the prequels, there's a PHENOMENAL amount of talent involved:

    Liam Neeson
    Ewan McGregor
    Ian McDiarmid
    Natalie Portman
    Samuel L. Jackson
    Christopher Lee

    FFS, even Keira Knightley appeared in the first film, not that you'd recognize her with all that makeup. Fault Lucas for many things, but he played a key role in the casting and there's a very clear method to his madness. Even Hayden Christensen, you wouldn't know it from his Star Wars performance but god damn can that dude act.

    What's more, I'll bet most of those people were doing these films out of love as much as anything. So let me ask you something... why do you think the acting stands out as being so bad?

    Yes, the writing needed work. I think Lucas surrounded himself with too many "yes men" who were afraid to challenge anything he said. Lucas himself realized that the first film was a mess when he initially screened it. I've seen video of him and his top assistants watching the initial edit and NONE of them were happy, Lucas included. He called it "a mess."

    But I want to draw attention to the fact that a bad movie can be saved by great acting. With all these top actors many of whom loved Star Wars, why couldn't these films be saved? Again, I look at the behind the scenes. Lucas was doing something completely new and experimental. In many scenes, there would be one or two actors on set in front of a green screen. A marker would be put on the wall and the actor would be told, "that's Yoda. You're talking to Master Yoda now." Even in films that blended cartoon and live action like Cool World and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? the actors would have lots of props to interact with. It's in the blending of real and fake where the best movie magic is made.

    I think Red Letter Media originally brought attention to how when Ewan McGregor's Obi Wan fought General Grievous, he doesn't even react to Grievous drawing his light sabers. There wasn't even a flash in his eyes. This is because no matter how good an actor you are, you can't convincingly portray the kind of raw physicality of a real fight when you don't have even a stand-in for an opponent.

    Those films would be worlds better if Lucas hadn't been so caught up in CG effects. Realistically, I don't know how much you can change that as a writer.

    Script writing is not at all like novel writing. The actors don't just act out your script. Changes are made on the fly and there are lots of people (the producer, the director, A-list actors, etc.) who can throw things out or just rewrite them at a whim. You have zero control over this. What Lucas needed wasn't a writer (whose work would probably just get changed anyway), but someone on his production staff who was not a "yes man."
     
  18. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    Man. When I realize that there are still people who haven't seen the Clone Wars tv series I pity them. Anakin in it is the Anakin that the movies should of portrayed. He's the Anakin that Obi-wan talked about to Luke.

    P.S It fucks me off that people think Natalie Portman was a good choice to portray a 14 year old girl in The Phantom Menace. :\

    tl;dr

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  19. redlibertyx

    redlibertyx Professor

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    mortalone the person you're looking for is Marcia Lucas, George Lucas's wife during the original trilogy. She was, perhaps more importantly for this conversation, the Editor of those three movies (her other major editing credits are three Martin Scorsese films: Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Taxi Driver, and New York, New York. She also did work for Coppola on The Godfather, the Robert Redford vehicle The Candidate, and Lucas's American Graffiti). According to some people she was instrumental in the creation of Star Wars and also reined George in when he went a little too weird.

    After their divorce Lucas really lacked that (there's also rumors that George blackballed her in the industry but that's another story). He only had guys like Rick McCallum who would just let George do whatever with no real push back. I wouldn't say she was the only one; Harrison Ford was notorious for not liking the script one bit and both Empire and Jedi had directors that did things differently than George would have. Nonetheless, I think her impact is unknown by the public at large.
     
  20. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    I think most people who care to research at all knows that Star Wars was a product of the people around Lucas at the time, people who weren't afraid of telling George his ideas were shit.

    But, by the time of The Phantom Menace, and everything that followed...
     
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