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A Better Star Wars Prequel

June 17, 2011

A brief interlude from the economics (I just have a few more posts to finish up this arc) because I’ve gotten into an argument about Star Wars, here: http://www.distantocean.com/2011/06/it-was-just-resting.html.  I’m trying to argue that the general story arch of the fall of Darth Vader could have been executed well with someone who claims that the story grantees a sucky feel good summer action blockbuster that appeals to both adults and children.  In furtherance of my argument I shall attempt and likely fail to sketch a plot outline for the prequel trilogy which would be better then what we got.

I should point out a few disclaimers though.  I like movies that break out of the framework reserved for big budget feel good summer action blockbusters put out by Hollywood.  There’s a place for that but I can appreciate a good through and through tragedy.  That said I’m going to try and write a script that would satisfy this type of summer blockbuster.

I need to credit No One of Consequence there for the main idea of my plot and part of my challenge is to tell the story of Anakin’s fall.  I also use some elements of this universe’s prequel.  There is lot of room for things to be filled in and for the story to be expanded upon.  I’m sure this can be improved greatly but on to the plot sketch:

Episode I:  A Disturbance in the Force

The opening scroll identifies the trade federation as being an occupying force on Naboo which produces a valuable commodity and that Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn is leading an investigation party for the Jedi Order.  The movie opens with a camera panning through city streets showing hardship and occupation.  The camera settles on an interaction where someone in rags is killed in cold blood by the occupying force for not having the right papers

The group of Jedi (5-11) lead by Qui-Gon Jinn and including Obi-Wan Kenobi  and his apprentice, a late teenaged Anakin Skywalker, arrive in orbit and are greeted warmly by trade federation representatives who indicate that the inspection shall begin shortly and that they have welcomed Naboo as a willing member of the Trade Federation.

The next scene shows a shuttle leading down to the planet fallowed by the group walking through a place that shows no signs of the oppression.  Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan discuss to the side that they sense more going on the meets the eye but it’s strangely clouded.  Qui-Gon has a special assignment for Obi-Wan that he’s going to tell him later.  They meet the monarch for Naboo and Qui-Gon exchanges pleasantries with him with the trade federation representative giving introductions.

The next scene shows Senator Palpatine discussing with other Senators in a posh Coruscant suite about the situation and his knowledge of the Jedi dealing, how the Republic must be prepared, and how the current Chancellor is unfit to meet the challenge.  Palpatine asks for support on a military bill and suggests that there may need to be a vote of no confidence in the Chancellor.

The next scene shows Obi-Wan, Anakin, and another Jedi sneaking their way around somewhere at night.  In whispered tones Obi-Wan explains how that’s not the rightful monarch and they must investigate it.  They come across a computer access port that tells them classified Trade Federation information that the king and queen have been killed but their teenaged daughter survives.  The make their way to the location of the princess.

The three rescue the princess from her holding cell and work their way to escape and hijacked transportation.  In route Darth Maul attacks the three and after a battle of three vs. one the accompanying Jedi is killed in a sacrifice move to save the other two Jedi and the Princess.  The three make it back to Couruscant with a layover in Tatooine in which they discuss Anakin’s history and look up his mother.  They also communicate back to the Jedi Temple where Yoda and Windu discuss the apparent discovery of a Sith.

Back on Coruscant, Qui-Gon and Yoda (with Obi-Wan, Anakin, and others standing politely in the background) brief Palpatine on the situation on Naboo.  At the end Palpatine thanks Obi-Wan and Anakin for saving the princess and offers to foster the girl.  He then uses the situation to get his military bill passed in the Senate and drops hints that the Chancellor might be unfit to rule in his speech.  Afterward, Yoda, Windu, Palpatine and an alien discuss a military mission to aid the Naboo people.

The alien race send their fleet to Naboo with a contingent of Jedi abroad the command ship’s bridge.  The fleet engages the Trade Federation’s fleet and Gui-Gon senses a dark presence on one of the ships.  He, Obi-Wan, and Anakin sneak aboard a shuttle piloted by the best pilot in the Galaxy, Anakin, and head over to the ship blasting their way inside.  The three make their way to where Darth Maul is and engage in a fight.  Darth Maul kills Gui-Gon but Anakin kills Darth Maul.  Obi-Wan and Anakin see that the alien fleet is retreating and make their way to a stolen two seater fighter and escape.   Denouement.

Episode II:  The Clone Wars

The opening scroll talks about it being the fourth of fifth year in a war between the Galactic Republic and the Trade Federation.  Both sides have found the need to resort to clones because of high casualty rates.  Military production facilities have multiplied and both sides field massive fleets in an apparent stalemate.

The action begins in a space battle with Obi-Wan and Anakin flying fighters.  The two have an adventure in which Anakin saves Obi-Wan.  Shortly thereafter the Republic retreats.  Back on Coruscant, the princess has come of age and is the leader of the Naboo in exile government.  Senator Palpatine, the Jedi lead by Windu, and the princess discuss the liberation of Naboo.  Palpatine suggests putting Obi-Wan and Anakin in charge of the liberation.  Palpatine laments that the current Chancellor (different one) isn’t acting strong enough and they will have to raise more forces.

Before leaving to raise forces, Palpatine talks to Anakin in private in a corridor asking about his Jedi training.  He talks about how important his “daughter” is to him and hope he takes care to make sure she’s safe.  He offers light criticism on how the Jedi do their job including accepting the appalling corruption of the Republic.

The three (Obi-Wan, Anakin, and the Princess) travel to a somewhat seedy natural planet to raise some forces.  Obi-Wan finds a contact who could help raise some muscle.  After the first meeting with all three present with the contact, Obi-Wan asks Anakin to escort the princess back to their ship.  On the way, Jango Fett kidnaps the Princess and Anakin fails to save her.  After informing Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan instructs Anakin to rescue her.

While Anakin takes the ship and chases after Fett, Obi-Wan continues negotiation with this contact.  The contact is also negotiating with a member of the Federation.  Obi-Wan initially tries to offer promises that the Republic will help him get established on this world once the war is over but the contact is interested in protection on Coruscant.  Meanwhile, Anakin tracks Fett to Tatooine where he delivers her to the Hutts.  Anakin surveills the transaction and infiltrates the Hutt compound where he finds his mother working as a sex slave.

Obi-Wan meets the contact for a three way negation with the Federation representative, Count Dooku.  The two negotiate promising essentially match for match but with styles different in subtle ways.  After the negation Obi-Wan warns the contact not to trust Dooku who, as it turns out, has said the same thing about Obi-Wan.  On Tatooine, Anakin rescues the princess and, while escaping, battles Fett.  Anakin accidently kills his mother and, in anger and blaming Fett, then kills Fett.  Boba Fett escapes in Slave One and Anakin heads back to the Seedy planet.  In route, the princess thanks and comforts Anakin a little too much for just friends.

The contact holocalls Obi-Wan and informs him that he’s ready to make the deal but needs to leave immediately with him on his ship and needs Obi-Wan to meet him there.  When Obi-Wan arrives, Dooku is there and captures him after a duel.  The contact apologizes to Obi-Wan claiming that Dooku has captured and is threatening his family.

Anakin arrives just in the nick of time and rescues Obi-Wan.  The two chase off Dooku and rescue the contacts family.  The leave on separate ships to Coruscant.  The Jedi Council criticizes Anakin for losing the princess but privately Palpatine reacts gratefully for saving his “daughter.”  Palpatine is also confides criticism of the Jedi for the deal Obi-Wan made with the seedy contact.

The combined forces of the Republic and of the Contact attack the forces occupying Naboo.  While the space battle rages a group of 5 Jedi including Obi-Wan and Anakin go down to the surface to confront Dooku who they’ve sensed on the planet.  Dooku kills the other three Jedi before escaping.  The Republic defeats the Federation and liberates Naboo.  Denouement.

Episode III: The Rise of the Sith

The crawl states that with the battle of Naboo the Galactic Republic has turned the tide in the war with the Trade Federation but the Trade Federation has developed a biological weapon and intends to use it against Naboo.  The movie opens with Obi-Wan and Anakin meeting with Palpatine and the queen on a diplomatic mission to Coruscant.  After pleasantries, Anakin has some alone time with the queen and it’s clear that they’re having an affair.

Shortly after rejoining the others a garbled message comes in from Naboo of a hit and run attack by the Federation.  The message talks of a biological weapon being released into the atmosphere.  Obi-Wan suggests that he, Anakin, the queen, and other Jedi take a trip to Naboo to investigate the situation.  They take a Republic relief ship and in route, while Anakin is alone with the Queen, a medical droid informs them that the Queen is pregnant.  There is massive devastation on the planet due to the weapon and the Jedi return to Coruscant leaving the Queen on Naboo.

Upon their return, Palpatine meets up with Anakin and informs him that because of the attack at Naboo the Senate has chosen him as the new Chancellor with new powers.  Anakin remarks that this will give Palpatine the necessary tools to fix the Senate and Palpatine thanks Anakin for his loyal service and suggests he might have use of him in the future.  The Jed council discuss the problem of this new weapon and of the Sith, Dooku.  During the night Anakin has visions of the Queen’s death in childbirth.

The next day while giving Palpatine a briefing from the Jedi they discuss Anakin’s visions and Palpatine suggests he might be able to help without revealing too much.  Latter in council with the Jedi, Palpatine and the Jedi come to an agreement to send the contact on an effort to find the ship the weapon launched from.  The Jedi lament that they can’t spare many Jedi due to the war and Palpatine suggests sending Anakin alone.  The Jedi bulk at this saying that he’s not ready for a solo mission: Anakin and Obi-Wan will go together.

While preparing for the mission and giving Palpatine a private briefing, Palpatine tells Anakin that, reluctantly, he feels he must declare a Galactic Empire, temporally of course, in order to deal with the crisis and that he has the support of a majority of the Senate.  He asks for Anakin’s personal allegiance if he does such a thing suggesting that the Jedi council may be obstante and stubborn.  Anakin assents saying that it’s his duty as a Jedi.  As a first act, Palpatine criticizes the council for not having faith in Anakin as he has demonstrated that he can act alone when he saved his “daughter” and sends Anakan away without Obi-Wan.

Anakin and the contact have an initial dislike of each other on the hunt for the weapon ship.  They leave on a small but speedy and maneuverable ship with a light crew.  They find the weapon ship and manage to sneak Anakin and the contact aboard.  Anakin senses Dooku and the two split up with Anakin going after Dooku and the contact searching for a way to destroy the weapon.

Anakin catches up with Dooku and the two fight with Dooku trying to turn Anakin to the dark side and becoming his apprentice.  Anakin ends up using anger in defeating and killing Dooku.  Meanwhile the contact has an adventure in trying to find how to naturalize the weapon.  He finds out how and radios to Anakin (who just finished with Dooku) to meet up with him at a place.  The two meet up but destroying the weapon would end up destroying the rather large weapon ship.  Anakin makes the decision to do it and they do and high tail it back to their small vessel.  In the return the two have developed a respect for each other and the contact comforts Anakin for the death he caused.

Back on Coruscant the Queen (some time has passed because she is now, visibly pregnant and near birth) has arrived on a diplomatic mission to report on the situation and to garner more humanitarian aid while the Jedi Council is up and arms about this whole Empire business.  Obi-Wan has been sent away on a mission to help fight the Federation.  The Queen, Palpatine, and Anakin have dinner privately and Anakin and the Queen are free to show their affections.  Palpatine remarks on the disturbing visions and suggests that Anakin and he together can figure out a way to save the Queen’s life.  The Queen is shocked but hopeful.

Anakin has returned to his job of briefing the Emperor on Jedi business.  One day, Windu accompanies Anakin and discovers the Empire as a Sith Lord.  The two fight to a draw but Anakin helps out Palpatine and the Emperor ends up killing Windu.  The Emperor sends Anakin and the contact on a mission to destroy the command structure of the Federation.  But first Anakin must attack the Jedi temple.

The contact, leading a fleet, attacks the Federation stronghold.  While the fleet is engaged, Anakin sneaks to the surface to find and eliminate the leadership.  This he does but Obi-Wan finds him and the two battle with Obi-Wan trapping Anakin in a weapon chamber.  Emperor Palatine rescues Anakin and traps him in the suit as the Queen dies in giving birth.  Denouement.

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