Monday, May 30, 2005

Building a Better Prequel: Part 2

  • animation powers: refreshed by 3 day weekend

The hero's journey. In the original trilogy the hero was Luke and his journey was to go from a dorky farmboy to a cool Jedi. In the prequels Anakin is the hero and his journey is to go from annoying, but good hearted, kid to the biggest meanie in the galaxy. I enjoyed Luke's journey. Anakin's needed some improvement.

As I said before, I would not have had Anakin be a young kid in Ep 1, but rather a young lad of 14. Episode 1 would have found Anakin as a nice enough kid who showed signs of being strong in the force; no midcloreans would be mentioned....EVER. The pod race could have been kept; him building 3PO....no. The droids, from the start, should have been in the service of Padme. Also in Episode 1 the seeds of love would have been planted with Anakin and Padme making their growing relationship more believable.

By Episode 2, which would be six years later making Anakin 20, Anakin is showing great promise in the force but all the "chosen one" talk is going to his head. He's becoming too full of himself, arrogant and reckless. His mother would die in this episode possibly due to General Grievous (who remember I suggested be around from Ep 1 on) or perhaps Darth Maul (I wouldn't have killed him in Ep 1). Anakin wiping out the Tusken Raider camp didn't work for me because when he did that he crossed the line. He killed them all out of hate. How do you come back to the good side from the that? He gave into the dark side and to the dark side he should have remained. So.....

I would have Anakin face off with the killer of his mother toward the end of Episode 2, showing signs that he is unable to control his anger, his hate and desires revenge. This would be the first moment that he walks the line between good and evil. Walks it, doesn't cross it. Obi Wan would be present during the battle perhaps injured and on the side lines. He would verbally try to keep Anakin from giving in to the dark side. Anakin would lose an arm, his adversary would get away and he would marry Padme in secret at the end. And he would not be a whiny baby at any point in the film.

Episode 3 would be mostly the same as what's on the screen. However before Anakin fully goes to the dark side I would want to show more conflict. And instead of a bland "I will be your apprentice"...like ok now I'm evil. Have him act out in hate, fully letting it consume him, and at THAT moment he has given himself to the dark side. The arrest of Palpatine sequence could be restaged so that Grievous or Maul is somehow present. Anakin strikes his adversary down with all his hate and his journey to the dark side is complete. Like the Emperor's words to Luke in ROTJ. And it would be nice foreshadowing for ROTJ. The audience will have seen in Ep 3 that if you give in to hate and kill someone in hate, you go to the dark side. So seeing Luke going ape shit on Vader, the audience will think "oh he is lost....he's going evil baby...it happened to his father..it's happening to him".

I wouldn't have had Sidious call Anakin, Vader....EVER. Because at the end of the film during the battle on Mustafar (and I saw some animatic boards that suggested this was considered) I'd have Anakin jump over Obi Wan, Obi slashes off Anakin's legs, Anakin falls over the side of a cliff and is hanging on by his robotic hand. All the dialog could be the same between the two. Anakin asks Obi Wan for help, Obi refuses and then suddenly Anakin falls. Obi looks over the side just as a nearby volcanic explosion kicks up smoke and distorts his view. Anakin is not in site. Obi Wan assumes he is dead and leaves.

We never see Anakin or Vader...nothing after that scene. Yes fans were foaming at the mouth to see Vader again and they would cry big salty tears if he wasn't seen. No sorry...for the sake of storytelling NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Now poor Padme will have still been force choked by Anakin and can now barely breath. Obi Wan fears she may not last long and they rush her into delivery. With Padme near death she somehow manages to deliver twins. And they are NOT named. Padme dies. A bit later instead of Bail Organa saying "I'll take the girl. We always wanted to adopt a girl", we cut to Bail with a child in his arms. Obi Wan says "The child must be kept safe" Bail replies "Master Kenobi I will guard this young one with my life. What of the other child?" Obi says his line about taking him to live with his relatives on Tatooine.

This ending would preserve the surprises of Episode 5 and 6. Could someone watching the saga for the first time figure it out...maybe. However that is why I would have dropped the mention and or showing of Vader. So in Ep 4 when Ben is telling Luke that Vader killed his father, the audience would say "Vader didn't kill him, Anakin fell and died. He must be lieing to Luke to protect him from the fact that his father went to the dark side". But by Ep 5 when Vader reveals himself, the audience will say "Ahh he must have somehow survived and the Emperor turned him into Vader....it all makes sense know......very tricksy..."

So there you have it. More or less what I would have done if George Lucas had of returned my phone calls when making the prequels. They were not terrible films, but they could have been greatly improved. But in the end, what's done is done.

1 comment:

Tonymator said...

You tried to call Lucas too!