I am sure ya’ll have heard George Lucas is selling Star Wars to Disney for just north of 4 billion dollars.
First off, damn, that is a lot of scratch for Ewoks and lightsabers!
Recently Lucas has received some criticism from Star Wars fans over the prequels and a pretty wide disconnect on the direction of the franchise. I am not here to bash Lucas. Lucas created a universe that has given me great joy in my life. I love the movies as a kid, and that love continues to this day. I have read a number of the expanded universe novels, own far more toys and crap than I care to admit, including a nice collection of limited edition mini-statues. So yes I am a bona-a-fide star Wars geek. But by no means an angry or bitter one.
That said I am not a huge fan of the prequels. I didn’t hate them, just not a huge fan of the direction they took. I must also admit I am glad the new movies will be helmed by someone other than Lucas. I may not dislike the guy but I think he lost his way with Star Wars. Even though he created that universe I think somewhere between Return of the Jedi and Phanton Menace he forgot what that universe was all about.
Allow me to present my itemized list of mistake I think he made with the prequels and the lessons to be learned by the makers of the new movies.
What makes a guy turn into one of the most feared and evil beings in the Universe?
That was the question we all had leading up to the prequels. The first mistake made in the story of Vader
-In the first movie Anakin should have had almost no self confidence. He should have been meek and afraid. This would have helped set the tone for the reason behind his eventual turn. He should have been a slave with no friends and no light in his life but his mother.
The second mistake
-In the first movie there was not hint of the evil and darkness to come. His turn to the darkside had to do with fear of losing those he loved. He sought the power to save his wife since he couldn’t save his mother. Why not somehow play on that with some sort of foreshadowing in Phantom Menace? Without that the first movie really doesn’t have anything to do with his arc.
The third mistake
-They needed to build of his first turn to the dark side more. When he flipped out and slaughtered the sandpeople that killed his mother that was the beginning of the end for Anakin and the beginning of Vader. By having him return to normal it makes his eventual turn a little harder to believe. Allow that darkness to linger and fester. Let Padme or Obiwan try and hide it from others. Add some real tension to the story. Maybe even have him kill a few more people in cold blood before his turn.
From the time he killed the sandpeople on I would have only had Anakin make eye contact with someone when either in combat or in rage. In normal conversation he should have always looked away and been quick to leave any conversation.
The final mistake
-Palpatine should have convinced Anakin he killed Padme before he became Vader. This would have made far more sense. Then Vader becomes a creature built on rage fueled by self-hatred. He started to let fear and darkness into his soul after he couldn’t save the first and one of only two people he ever loved, his mother. The final blow is being convinced he was unable to not only save, but actually killed the second person he ever loved and loved him. That is a far more interesting story.
In this scenario we have a powerful and troubled Jedi ripe for the picking. Palpatine then takes the distraught and destroyed Anakin (after a little manipulation) and creates his masterpiece, Darth Vader. Vader hates himself; Palpatine uses that to get Vader to hate all Jedi. He then unleashes him and the Jedi Purge is a go. Have him battle Obiwan and get disfigured and start his transformation, but not all at once.
2- Aliens, aka CGI vs. Practical Effects
Not only is Bossk far cooler looking but CGI just lacks the soul of an actual physical effect. The other little guy looks; well it looks too Disney…
Also, one guy is a bounty hunter and the other is a rep from the Corporate Alliance. Even a Galaxy far far way needs commerce, I just don’t need it in my space faring action movies.
A big part of the appeal, and a directive of George, in the original Star Wars was a lived in Universe. Everything was supposed to have age, and really look like it was used. It was the idea most work is done by semi trucks and cargo vans not sports cars and Bentleys.
4-The bad guys
From the word go the original three let you know who was good who was bad just by looking at them.
The original Star Wars struck a cord because it had such strong visuals that the story built off. The prequels had weak visuals with not much behind them. I hope Disney is paying attention.
5- The Heroes
The heroes in the original three were just people. They were normal people thrown into a galactic conflict and with a little help from the force they were able to pull together and overcome. They were supported by other regular people (and aliens) like this guy.
Wedge was nothing more than a really good pilot that did his best. He had no powers, no pre-destined tract, none of that stuff.
The heroes in the prequels were almost all members of the Jedi high council, royalty, or clones of the galaxies best bounty hunter. Far from normal people. The new movies need to step back from the galactic center and get back to the outer rim.
Those are my beefs
Don’t get me wrong I am excited for the new movies. No matter what they are they will not detract from my love of the first three. The notion that somehow the prequels ruin the first three movies is so silly to me. They are just stories, you can ignore them!
It should be interesting to see how this all plays out. I kinda hope they decide to jump a few years past the end of Jedi. Maybe even a generation or two. As long as these two show up…
…and I am sure they will, I will be happy.