How to Save the Star Wars Saga

Star-Wars-Force-Awakens-poster

If you’re reading this beyond the 18th of December 2015, there is a possibility the following is laughable nonsense, rendered obsolete by yet another disappointing episode in the Star Wars saga.

The Force Awakens is the biggest Schrodinger’s Cat since the original moggy. It could be the return of a magic once thought forever lost. It could be a dead cat.

For the moment let’s assume the Force will flow strong through –STOP THE PRESS!!– This feature was originally published on 6th December. Since then we have seen J.J. Abram’s movie has heralded a new chapter in the Star Wars saga .

Abrams rebottled lightning, providing the opportunity to right the grievous wrong of the prequels.

Disney could remake Episodes I-III. Do them all over again. New story, new actors, new hope. Because right now, Lucas’ prequel trilogy is a weakness as troubling as the Death Star’s exhaust port. And is the reason why a great story became merely a good one.

Many reasons exist for why this might never happen. When the Mouse House bought Lucasfilm, the infamously litigious George may have included a contractual clause forbidding remakes.

It would require massive investment and Disney is currently ploughing cash into Episodes VII, VIII and IX, plus those spin-offs. And Abrams has been deferential to Lucas and the prequels in interview. But, this is the man who said he was too busy with Star Trek to tackle Star Wars. And he may be done with the franchise in a way that Disney clearly isn’t.Bad-Star-Wars-prequel-CGI

But, there is a one big reason why remaking the prequel trilogy could happen. Money.

Who wouldn’t want to see Episodes I-III boasting a new story, but with the same spirit and adventure that beguiled the globe back in 1977?

Prequels that actually make sense. Devoid of midichlorians… despite them providing Buffy the Vampire Slayer with one of its best jokes, you know which one.

Prequels where trade embargoes and dull machinations are replaced with character and genuine intrigue. Where artless stereotypes are substituted with wit and warmth?

Films where story matters more than merchandising. Where were the X-Wing fighters in the prequels? Surely they would have been the gold standard fighter at that time before being near obsolete when the Rebellion used them in the Battle of Yavin? But, toys needed to be sold so the ARC-170 became a shonky stab at continuity and a new revenue stream.

More importantly, a prequel re-do could remedy two egregious character slip-ups.Padme---Terrible-Mother

By the close of Revenge of the Sith, both Padme and Yoda are as bad as the kid-killing Anakin.

After hatching younglings Luke and Leia, Padme croaks of a broken heart. Leaving two newborns without either parent, all due to the fact her fella turned out to be a Bantha-sized shit. Hardly the kind of behaviour to be expected from the mother of Princess Leia (who presumably remembers being born if her reminisces in Return of the Jedi are anything to go by?).

And Yoda? The cowardly, craven Yoda. Loses to Palpatine in their first face-off due to bad luck (bad writing) and then flees to the arse end of the galaxy? Instead of rallying troops for a counter attack, Tyrion Lannister style? Thus allowing countless star systems to become enslaved? This is the great warrior? He’s not green, he’s yellow.

All this could be rectified with a new prequel trilogy. And Ahsoka Tano, such a good character in the Clone Wars TV series, could be introduced into the Star Wars movie canon.

Jar-Jar Binks? No place for him, but that intriguing Sith-theory spread far and wide across the Web may be worth revisiting with a similar character. Just not a Stepin Fetchit caricature.

Yoda---CowardThe story? There are thousands of years of legends and history to plunder. How about a Spartacus-like epic with Anakin leading the masses in revolt? Then add in some French or Russian Revolution as his ideals calcify into fascist dogma when he falls under Palpatine’s dark charisma? Palpatine could be Yoda’s shining lieutenant, giving the whole saga a touch of Milton’s Paradise Lost on multiple character levels.

Anything would be better than Padme jumping into bed with Anakin after he confesses to slaying a bunch of Tuskan tykes.

Disney could also give the audience something Lucas never did: choice. Want The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith? Keep them all in circulation.

It would mean more revenue, more discussion, more opportunities for internet based contrariness as a collective known as The Dead Younglings rises up, arguing that Lucas’ prequels are in fact the best Star Wars movies period.

The point is, magic, optimism, wonder and sanity would be restored to the galaxy. And I’ll be able to have a complete Star Wars saga on my shelf.

And if Disney could see fit to releasing the untampered with originals on Blu-ray that would also put a buzz in my lightsaber.

Rob Daniel
Twitter: @rob_a_Daniel

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