So, I watched this video on rewriting the Prequels, which reminded me that I did my own rewrite some time back. Figured I should post it here as well.
Straight away, some of the major changes that I’d alter:
- The whole “Chosen One” thing is completely discarded. It doesn’t actually add anything to the story.
- Anakin is already a teenager in Episode I as having him start in the beginning as a kid just doesn’t work.
So, here we go…
EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE REDUX
The movie is split into 4 Acts:
- Arrival at and escape from Naboo
- Flight to Tatooine
- Escape to Coruscant
- The Battle of Naboo
With the opening crawl, we establish that the Galactic Republic is in a state of turmoil with thousands of systems threatening to secede. Hoping to prevent open warfare, the Jedi Order has dispatched one of their most venerable Masters, Qui-Gon Jinn, to mediate peace talks being held upon the neutral planet of Naboo (which is in the same sector/region/whatever as Alderaan).
The Principal Players
- Jedi Master QUI-GON JINN heads a peace delegation to the planet of Naboo. Qui-Gon is exactly as he was in the original movie: a renegade who listens more to his own instincts than to the Jedi Council.
- His apprentice, 14-year old ANAKIN SKYWALKER, is on hand as befits a padawan learner. Anakin is hot-headed and arrogant. He has a fierce temper at times, but is an exceptional pilot and a gifted student of the Force.
- Also present is newly promoted Jedi Knight OBI-WAN KENOBI, Grand Master Yoda’s last student. He is a something like a favorite uncle or cousin to young Anakin, and the two get on exceptionally well. Kenobi has flashes of recklessness himself, but is trying to develop the appropriate decorum of a Knight. He is present only to “observe”.
Begin in media res: There is no warning and we open with a SPACE BATTLE as the Separatists attempt to shoot down the newly arrived Jedi consular ship. At the helm of this ship is none other than Anakin Skywalker. Although he is just a padawan learner, he is the most skilled pilot of the three Jedi. There is naturally some witty banter during his attempts to dodge enemy fire, during which we the audience discover that the Jedi weren’t expecting a trap.
With the Jedi ship heavily damaged and virtually tumbling into atmosphere, the three Jedi “eject” in some fashion that will allow Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to remain together while Anakin gets separated from them. The ship is destroyed.
Cut to: the Nubian throne room as the Queen (Padme’s mother) is faced with a holographic transmission from the Separatist leader (a man wearing distinctly Mandalorian battle armor, This is our first sign of JANGO FETT). This Separatist leader informs the Queen that the Jedi have been killed and that his troops will begin landing. She is to surrender to him at once. The Queen refuses, cuts the transmission, and orders her advisors to sound the alarm.
Cut to: Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. The two Jedi meet up again and make short work of some Separatist battle droids (who actually need to come across as threatening, not chumps). Jinn is puzzled at this entire operation: attacking now makes little strategic sense for the Separatists. Kenobi wonders about Skywalker and QG admits that he’s a little worried; Anakin has a tendency to get into trouble at times.
Cut to: Anakin getting into trouble. The Seppies have already begun landing troops and are engaging the Nubian defenses on the outskirts of a major Nubian city. Anakin being a hot-head jumps into the fight to lend a hand against the battle droids. He meets PADME NABERRIE for the first time; though she is his age, she is leading a team of Nubian defenders and they all refer to her as “my lady”, indicating that she’s at least of noble birth. Anakin is instantly smitten with her (’cause she’s hot and kicks ass) and does a bit of showing off every now and then. Padme declares that they need to find the Queen and Anakin gladly agrees to aid. They head off toward the throne area…
But encounter QG & OB1 first. The two elder Jedi have been keeping a low profile during this entire escapade, and QG mildly chastises his apprentice for being reckless. QG gives “Padme” an odd look when he’s introduced to her – clearly, he recognizes that she’s the Nubian Heir – and makes a compelling argument for them to get offworld that doesn’t reveal her identity. The Senate must know that the Separatists have launched an unprecedented assault on Naboo.
The small group then makes for a Nubian ship (which shouldn’t be mondo huge and comfortable, but rather cramped instead. It is not the Millenium Falcon, though I’d be crazy tempted to make it look like the Ebony Hawk from KOTOR). CPT Panaka will point out that they have no pilot, and Anakin proudly declares that he can fly anything. Both QG and OB1 sort of roll their eyes at this, recognizing that he’s trying to show off in front of Padme. They get the ship and Anakin quickly proves that he can fly anything. Despite his mad piloting skillz, though, their ship is struck just as they make the jump to lightspeed.
Cut to: the Mandalorian’s ship. He has a convo with Darth Sidious, who learns that one member of the royal family may have escaped. Sidious is … more than a little displeased but will dispatch his apprentice to resolve that loose end.
On to Tatooine. Due to the damage they took in the escape (not some ridiculous “the hyperdrive is leaking” nonsense), they desperately need to conduct repairs. As Tatooine is the closest backwater location where supplies will be, it is decided that they’ll head there. If possible, they can also try to contact Coruscant if a holotransmitter can be located.
Establish that Anakin is from Tatooine, and is actually not very eager to see his family for reasons that he doesn’t want to talk about. Attempts to contact Coruscant aren’t successful and QG quickly orders them to cease attempting. He senses something…
Cut to: Darth Sidious dispatches Darth Maul to Tatooine with orders to kill everyone involved, but to especially focus on eliminating Skywalker. Sidious has sensed that the young Skywalker “could destroy us.” (Intentional homage to when Palpy says this of Luke in ESB, as well as a hint of Vader’s ultimate destiny). Soon, they will have their revenge…
Anakin & Amidala/Padme would flirt a tiny bit to continue establishing the attraction there, while QG discovers that their repairs will cost more than they have available. He blatantly abuses the mind trick to arrange for these repairs to be done quickly, and points out to OB1 who isn’t keen on this application of the Force that they don’t have the time or luxury of high-minded ideals out here on the Rim. He then asks Anakin if he knows where they can stay until the repairs are complete; glumly, Skywalker says yes.
Cut to the moisture farm. We meet Owen Lars, who doesn’t much like Anakin at all, despite being his half-brother. Owen is also badly injured; the Tuskens attacked recently and abducted both Shmi (Anakin & Owen’s mother) and Beru, Owen’s girlfriend or fiance. The three Jedi head out to rescue the women while Padme & her three or four troopers guard the homestead, and Qui-Gon states that they are running out of time…
Cut to: Maul arriving on Tatooine.
Tusken camp. The Jedi arrive in force (heh. Nice pun there), and kick righteous ass. They first discover Beru, and OB1 is tasked to get her to safety. When they discover Shmi, she’s already dead and Anakin goes a tiny bit berserk with rage at this fact.
Quick cut to Maul, who reacts visibly to Anakin’s rage. The Sith Lord narrows his eyes, as if he can sense Skywalker…
Back to the Tuskens. Anakin kills a couple, but QG is there to pull him back from the abyss. The Tuskens are sent running into the dunes in terror by the two Jedi, though. OB1 comms them to inform them that he’s back at the Lars place and is returning to Mos Eisley with Padme to pick up the ship. QG & Anakin will meet them later.
Shmi’s funeral. Owen has some choice words for Anakin and blames him for her death. Lars tells Skywalker to not bother coming back. It is essential that Anakin state, unequivocally, that he’s never coming back to this planet again when he & QG leave.
First engagement with Maul is between QG & Anakin as the two Jedi head toward Mos Eisley. As a rank apprentice, Anakin is promptly schooled and sent sprawling. He is very nearly killed, but Qui-Gon orders him away. Terrified, Anakin starts to flee but has the wisdom to urgently call for OB1. The Nubian ship races out of the city and the Heroes escape, leaving behind a frustrated Darth Maul.
Later, Anakin & Padme interact, and Anakin is utterly disgusted at his cowardice. The two share a Moment, and Anakin gives her that necklace thing.
On Coruscant, most of what happened in TPM can progress, though the Chosen One nonsense can get tossed. QG is utterly convinced that Maul is a Sith Lord, but the Council thinks he’s full of crap. Yoda should inquire of QG about his apprentice, who is currently with the Naboo delegation.
Jump there, and Anakin encounters a very sad Padme. Her parents, she reveals to him, have been murdered by the Separatists. Anakin’s insight “serves him well,” and he asks her softly if that makes her the new Queen. She’s surprised that he saw through her “disguise”, and we could have Anakin make some sort of lame pick up line about her decoy not being as beautiful as she is or something. They bond over having lost parents and she reveals that, had her sister Breha not married Bail Organa of Alderaan, then Breha would be the new Queen instead of Padme.
Right, so, Palpatine manipulates her as in the movie and gets himself elected Supreme Chancellor. To express his “gratitude”, he orders the military to begin making plans to reclaim Naboo from the Separatists. As the new Queen, Amidala declares that she will be going back home & plans to rally the indigent forces. She was trained as a warrior, after all. Attempts to convince her to wait until the military is ready are ignored, although she does ask the Jedi Council to assign the trio of Jedi she already knows to her. They grimly agree to do so. Another Anakin/Qui-Gon interaction to establish their relationship.
Back to Naboo, though this time, they’re on a stealth approach. The Hero Ship races through the blockade, narrowly evading detection as they land. Anakin is at the controls of Padme’s ship and she half-jokingly offers him a full-time job as her pilot should this “Jedi thing” not work out for him (gallows humor, if you will).
On the ground, they meet up with local guerillas who are all that’s left of the Nubian military. The Separatists, it appears, have been quite efficient. The plan is a simple one: capture the Separatist leader and force him to terms. Although the Jedi Council specifically ordered QG to play no part in this battle that could disrupt the Jedi neutrality in the conflict, QG declares that he will aid Padme because it is the “will of the Force” (or some such). When asked about it by OB1, QG reveals that he senses something … dark coming and that this battle is a deciding point. Kenobi senses it as well. Anakin & Kenobi wish one another well in an almost Luke/Han moment…
Ground offensive is launched to divert attention away from the Naboo planetary defense hangars; once inside, Anakin immediately plans to fly out but Padme gives him a kiss (“for luck”. Another intentional homage to ANH). The infiltration team still plans to capture the Separatist leaders as Anakin (and a bunch of other pilots) race to the space battle; Maul arrives and The Duel begins.
As the space battle begins going poorly, the Republic arrives with their battle fleet (including some pseudo-Star Destroyer types of ships.) Anakin intentionally seeks out the command ship instead of accidentally falling into that mess. Once again, his heroic idiocy is displayed as he almost single-handedly turns the tide of battle when the command ship is destroyed. With its destruction, the rest of the Seppies begin retreating. On Naboo, QG is killed by Maul. OB1 defeats the Sith Lord in some fashion (but not his inexplicable ability to fly as in TPM), and believes that he (Maul) is dead (i.e. OB1 collapses a large section of the roof on him but then finds only Maul’s arm).
Yoda is not keen on the idea of OB1 taking on Anakin, but admits that they already have a bond of friendship that will serve them well.
In the QG funeral scene, we have a couple of things happen:
- First, Anakin is torn up over QG’s death and it shows. He’s lost two parent figures in a matter of days, after all…
- Second, OB1 reveals to Anakin that he is to complete Skywalker’s training.
- Third, Padme takes his hand as the body is burned.
- And finally, Mace Windu reveals to Yoda that there is no trace of the Sith that OB1 fought. Yoda grimly concludes that they will see him again.
I guess the parade scene can remain as the final shot of Ep1.
EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES REDUX
The movie is split into 4 Acts:
- The Alderaani Massacre
- Hunting the Mandos/Sliding into Darkness
- Last Gasp of the Separatists
- Birth of a Dark Lord
With the opening crawl, we establish that 10 years have passed since Episode I. The war that began in the previous episode is now called the Clone Wars due to the use of clones on both sides. Use of clones was begun by the Separatists and the Republic, due to the desperate need for troops, followed suit. A debate continues to rage within the Republic Senate over the use of these clones, though, as many senators find their use inhumane.
Jedi Knights ANAKIN SKYWALKER and OBI-WAN KENOBI arrive in the Alderaan system, and we establish very early on that they are good friends. Anakin has recently been named a full Knight, and there are rumblings that Kenobi may be offered a seat on the Jedi Council. Despite this, however, their friendship is often strained and tense as they don’t always agree with how things should be done. We also establish (through conversation, perhaps) that Anakin is a “special” friend of Naboo’s Queen; it might be an amusing recurring comment between the two Jedi that the queen has a place waiting for Anakin should this “Jedi thing” not work out. We also need to establish that Palpatine and Anakin are a little closer than the Jedi Council would like.
The reason for their arrival at Alderaan is to act as security (along with many other Jedi) for a large Senatorial confab regarding a new act being pushed through the Senate in regards to the war. Due to the necessity for new troops and the slowness of conscription training, new sources of clones are needed and the captured JANGO FETT (from the Episode I) is being floated as a source donor for the new clonetroopers (albeit with a modified set of memories & motivations). Naturally, this has led to some considerable contention among the senators.
Upon arrival, we encounter numerous other Jedi and various senators and other leaders, among which are CHANCELLOR PALPATINE, QUEEN AMIDALA, her sister BREHA, and Breha’s husband, BAIL ORGANA, the Viceroy of Alderaan. MACE WINDU is the commander of the Jedi security force. As the discussion begins, we suddenly ERUPT INTO BATTLE! Mandalorian shocktroopers arrive seemingly out of nowhere (along with many battle droids) as they launch another pre-emptive strike.
Amidala would be threatened, but Anakin would make it a point to protect her – it would be telling, I think, if he simply ignored someone else that he could have saved in order to get to Padme’s side. Both Windu and Palpatine note this, but neither comment on it … yet. During the battle, though, we should get an indication of his personality: he is far more aggressive than other Jedi.
Though the Jedi kick a little ass, many of the senators and VIPs are killed in the attack and the bulk of the blame for this mess falls squarely on the shoulders of the Jedi Order who were tasked with the defense of this conference. Even worse is the revelation that Jango Fett is missing, having been rescued by the shocktroopers. Now, many heads of state are flat out furious and distrustful of the Jedi since the Seppies shouldn’t have been able to find out about this confab.
In true Palpy fashion, the supreme chancellor uses this massacre as political capital and the new, faster clonetrooper program is approved. Even though the source donor has vanished, there are already millions of clones in the process of being force-grown. Apart from Bail Organa, no one really seems to notice that all of the really vocal opponents of this program were killed during the attack.
Anakin clashes with the Council over the next course of action and Skywalker is blatantly incensed at the Council for shackling the Knights and preventing them from conducting reprisal raids against Separatist soft targets. His principal source of anger is that they (the Republic) are losing the war because the Council won’t let the Jedi fight it. Yoda (seen via hologram?) warns him against these thoughts, but Skywalker won’t hear it. It should be pretty obvious that he’s already on the fast track toward Darkness. Before he storms out, he makes a veiled threat along the lines of “if the Council won’t provide us leadership, then maybe we should provide it ourselves.” Kenobi is a little torn, as he partially agrees with Anakin, and apologizes for his old student’s comments; again, reference is made to Anakin’s close “friendship” with Padme, and the other two Masters reveal that they are aware of it (even if they sort of disapprove.) Kenobi is assigned to find both Fett & Sifo-Dyas. These two, according to Yoda, will lead them to the Sith. Once he departs, Mace Windu warns Yoda that Skywalker is dangerous. Yoda grunts but looks very troubled…
We jump to Anakin interacting with Amidala, who is testy toward the Jedi for basically sitting back and doing nothing; Anakin will tell her later that he is beginning to distrust the Order and is considering leaving it because he thinks it is corrupt. We reveal fairly early on that they’re sleeping together and have been for years. In the background of their scenes together, we can also see her handmaidens and other nobles watch Anakin with troubled eyes, an indication that not everyone on Naboo is keen with this relationship even if it’s something of an open secret. Padme suggests that Anakin speak with Palpatine; after all, he was the senator from Naboo for many years and she’s never found him to be less than honest.
Kenobi interacts with Bail Organa, and we pick up that they’ve worked together previously and are friends. Using intelligence acquired by Organa, Kenobi heads off on an investigator plot. Cut to: Anakin speaks with Palpatine. In a much less ham-handed way, Palpy continues to lure Skywalker down the path to darkness. He admits that the Jedi Council’s lack of action in this war has caused many to doubt their dedication to the safety of the galaxy, and when Anakin points out that many Jedi have died during this war, Palpy reminds him that the Council has been opposed to Jedi participation from day one. It is clear, Palpatine states “sadly”, that the Jedi simply don’t have the will to win this war and provide peace and security for the galaxy. Skywalker leaves, troubled, and once he is gone, Darth Maul steps through a secret door. Sidious orders him to implement the next stage of their plan even though Maul sort of disapproves of it…
Back to Kenobi as he discovers the headquarters of the Mandos and infiltrates it (Geonosia works fine, but I actually think I’d prefer it to be set on Kamino ‘cause that’d be neat to see). Once discovering that both Fett & Sifo-Dyas are here, he contacts Bail Organa who is in command of a Republic battle group.
This act bounces between action in two places. As the Republic battle group strikes the Separatist headquarters, a Seppie task force attacks Alderaan. It appears, to most, that the Seppies were waiting for Organa’s fleet to head out before launching their own assault. During the Kamino battle, Kenobi kicks much ass and fights under the direct command of Bail Organa. Sifo-Dyas is revealed to be nothing more than an imaginary figure (though EU stuff will later reveal that he is none other than Darth Sidious himself), and Fett is killed. As the battle winds down, Organa learns about the attack on Alderaan…
During the Alderaan battle, Anakin and Padme fight side-by-side, and she displays her ass kicking ability once more. They find their way to Breha Organa and discover that Breha is wounded (but alive); Padme’s sister reveals that Chancellor Palpatine was captured by a lightsaber-wielding fiend (Darth Maul). Leaving Padme to get her sister to safety, Anakin rushes after the Sith, directly into…
This is it: the birth of Darth Vader. Pursuing Darth Maul, Anakin chases him into some unlikely location for a wicked cool lightsaber fight. When they meet, Maul actually mocks Skywalker as weak and muses that he was hoping that Kenobi would pursue him as Maul has a score to settle with the Jedi. The two foes clash in a duel reminiscent of the Luke/Vader duel on Bespin. Unlike his son, however, Anakin does give into his anger and the battle gets brutal. At some point, Maul needs to make a comment about taking care of Amidala, which gives Anakin a further boost of rage-induced power.
I have this really cool mental image (borne of something in the second Clone Wars cartoon) involving Palpatine wherein he warns Anakin not to underestimate the Sith Lord with feigned fear on his face. The moment Anakin turns away from him, Palpatine’s expression of fear dissolves and the chancellor backs up into a convenient shadow that obscures most of his face.
Jump to Padme: Breha is in agony, having been stabbed by Maul with a saber. The doctors can save her, but she will never be able to conceive. Padme promises to her sister that she will tell no one.
In the skies above Alderaan, Bail Organa’s battle fleet returns and the Seppies find themselves between a hammer and an anvil.
Anyway, as the duel continues, we should see Maul begin to realize that he’s under-estimated Skywalker. This leads Maul to using Force lightning on Anakin and Skywalker, being sent tumbling. He recovers in time to resume the fight. In the climax of the battle, Maul nearly takes Skywalker’s arm, but Anakin lashes out with Force lightning at the same time. As the Sith Lord writhes in pain, Skywalker looms over him, injured but triumphant.
MAUL: (agonized, pleading) Mercy…
ANAKIN: (wrathful) Mercy? You murdered my master…
Still writhing in agony, Maul shifts his attention to the silent figure of Palpatine who stands some distance off, observing from the shadows.
MAUL: (soft, pleading, to Palpatine) Master…
ANAKIN: (continued, wrathful) I have no mercy left.
His saber falls and Darth Maul dies. We FOCUS on Palpatine: a subtle smile plays across his lips as he approaches.
PALPATINE: (calmly) You did well, Anakin.
Focus on Anakin: he gives Palpatine a suspicious, sidelong glance that reveals he didn’t miss Maul’s plea toward the older man.
PALPATINE: (cont.) He was far too dangerous to be kept alive.
Anakin’s saber flashes up to Palpatine’s throat, causing the older man to freeze in place with actual surprise on his face. Skywalker glares at him.
ANAKIN: (cold) And what about you? He called you ‘master.’
You’re a Sith Lord.
Palpatine hesitates. Clearly he wasn’t expecting this.
PALPATINE: (smoothly) Your insight serves you well, Anakin. It is no wonder that the Jedi Council fears your power.
ANAKIN: (angry) I should kill you for what you’ve done.
PALPATINE: (surprised) What I’ve done?
ANAKIN: (fierce) You started this war! How many millions have died because of you?
PALPATINE: No, Anakin. I have only sought to bring order to the chaos.
(nods to Maul’s corpse)
Yes, I once trained this creature, but he gave the orders for the Separatists and opposed my plans-
ANAKIN: (interrupting, fierce) For galactic domination!
PALPATINE: For galactic peace.
(off Anakin’s hesitation)
I have never lied to you, Anakin, nor shall I start. I am Sith, yes.
Anakin’s breath catches and he tightens his grip on his saber.
PALPATINE: (contd) But I have used my abilities only for order and stability. Can the Jedi Council say the same?
The doubt on Anakin’s face is clear.
PALPATINE: (contd) They have not the will to do what is necessary to win this war and bring peace to the galaxy, Anakin. You know this to be true.
From his expression, Skywalker does know that to be true.
PALPATINE: (contd) But you … you have faced the darkness and not faltered. Join me, and together we can restore order to the galaxy!
Skywalker is faltering now.
ANAKIN: (weakly) But … you’re evil …
PALPATINE: Is not inaction in the face of a threat an even greater evil? How many lives could have been saved if the Jedi had acted, if the Council had not stopped you from acting?
The revealed Sith Lord offers his hand.
PALPATINE: (contd, empassioned) Join me, Anakin, and we can bring order to the galaxy.
A LONG BEAT passes as Anakin Skywalker considers. He studies Palpatine intently. Beyond the viewport, he can see explosions as the Separatists continue their last hurrah. His resolve firms and he deactivates his saber.
ANAKIN: (firmly) Yes.
Anakin and Palpatine rejoin the mess as it winds down, and the chancellor has some very caustic words for Master Windu since it appears that the Jedi failed Alderaan twice. Kenobi and Windu easily pick up on the rather negative Jedi feel among the citizenry, despite Organa’s victory at Kamino. The senate, Palpatine informs Windu, will be investigating the Jedi role in this war very closely. It’s said with some dark implications, and Obi-Wan and Mace realize that something very dark is coming.
Anakin rejoins Padme after the battle and senses that she’s sad, but she starts to tell him about her sister, but then states only that Breha’s wounds are dire and she (Padme) is worried about her. Skywalker, being distracted by his recent slide into darkness, doesn’t press her on this matter. She tells him softly that she wants to go home and Anakin tells her that he will accompany her since the Jedi have clearly failed the Republic. In a manner similar to the way their children will stand at the end of Empire, Anakin and Padme stare at the destruction caused by the Separatist attack, and we FADE OUT…
EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH
So, Episode III begins about 5 years after the previous episode. The Jedi Purges on in full swing, with the Order scattering to the far reaches of space in order to avoid the might of the Republic (which might as well be an Empire to begin with). This movie is split into 4 acts:
- The Jedi Purge
- The End of the Clone Wars
- The Truth Revealed
- The Dark Side Triumphant
Opening sequence begins with a “mauve shirt” Jedi who we’ve seen several times in the previous movie and possibly the first one as well – maybe one of the Masters; this Jedi arrives at an unknown location to meet someone and is clearly making an effort to conceal his or her identity. It should be clear that this Jedi is frightened and worried … and this concern is borne out when said Jedi is ambushed by a hooded and dark-clad figure wielding a red saber. This is obviously Anakin, but that isn’t made clear for a moment or three during the duel. The doomed Jedi identifies his attacker as “Darth Vader” but is killed.
At this point, Anakin wears an outfit similar to the one he will wear in the later movies, though he definitely needs a hood of some sort to conceal his face. The below image is of Luke in the lame Dark Empire comic series, but gives you a good idea of what I have in mind.
Following Anakin, we return to Naboo where we confirm that he is still involved with Queen Amidala, though they are trying to conceal it out of fear that officially revealing their relationship will make her a target. Through some expositional dialogue, we reveal that the Jedi in general have almost entirely gone into hiding as, in the wake of numerous tragedies during the Clone Wars, their reputation has utterly nose-dived and they’ve been consistently blamed for everything that’s gone wrong. Additionally, their numbers are so badly depleted that there’s probably not more than 1000 Jedi total.
Padme is already pregnant (though she hasn’t told Anakin yet) and discreetly inquires of him what sort of legacy that they will bequeath upon their children, the clear implication being that he will be the father. At this point, Anakin mentions wanting to pass down his lightsaber and, on the spur of the moment, gives it to her for safekeeping. He wants his son to have this weapon when he’s old enough. The two embrace and the implication is that they move on to the horizontal tango. (This is obviously the future weapon that Luke receives in ANH.)
Cut to: Obi-Wan. He’s on Alderaan where he’s acting as a secret advisor to Bail Organa and Breha. Through some expositional dialogue, we reveal that Yoda has vanished to someplace that only Kenobi knows about and Master Windu has disappeared completely; Bail asks if this is because of this shadowy rumor, this … Darth Vader. We reveal that the Jedi know that someone is killing their number, but no one knows who it is. They discuss the status of the Clone Wars and the exhausted status of the Alderaani citizens. They want this endless war to be over…
And then, a HoloNet alert blares out a warning! The Separatists have attacked Coruscant! Bail immediately starts issuing orders in a ‘red alert! All crews to combat stations!’ kind of manner. They’re going to Coruscant!
Cut to Coruscant. This scene should be quite similar to the opening tracking shot of the original EpIII with the immense space battle between the two warring forces. The Republic fleet is badly outnumbered but seem better trained based on how well they’re holding out.
And arriving in the middle of this mess is Anakin and Padme with the former flying her ship. Things immediately look dire as the ship takes damage, knocking out their hyperdrive entirely. Anakin gripes angrily – remember his temper! – about Nubian ships not being tough enough and Padme immediately defending ships constructed by her homeworld. As the damage continues to build up – their comms are knocked out as well so they can’t call for help – 3PO begins panicking loudly…
With a flash, Bail Organa’s fleet arrives just in the nick of time. Anakin immediately angles sharply toward the reinforcements, urging Artoo to hurry up and get the comms fixed. The droid accomplishes this and Padme is able to get through to someone important so they’re directed toward the larger of the ships – a Victory-class Star Destroyer. Once aboard, they are met by Kenobi who is very pleased to see them … though Anakin is initially quite cool and distant toward his old master. He hides this quickly, however, although Kenobi definitely notices it. Padme departs with 3PO and Bail, leaving the two Jedi alone.
Kenobi briefly tries to ease the tension by harkening to their recurring joke about Anakin joining the queen should this “Jedi thing” not work out, but this joke falls a little flat. In the end, Obi-Wan tells Anakin that there is a gathering of their number that he (Kenobi) wishes Anakin to attend with him. Where? Dantooine. Anakin considers for a long BEAT, then nods and when he glances away, his expression goes evil for a moment.
They all head to the bridge where they can see the end of the Clone Wars as the Separatists are smashed. Visual homage here: Anakin takes up a stance before the viewport with his hands clasped behind his back, exactly like Darth Vader is first seen in Empire. Bail and Kenobi join him with the former almost gleeful: they’ve done it! The Separatists are broken! This war will be over in days! Padme joins them as well and reveals that the Chancellor is making a transmission: via hologram, Palpatine declares victory. The Clone Wars are over.
Still aboard the Victory-class, Anakin and Padme are saying their goodbyes as Skywalker is joining Obi-Wan on a trip for “Jedi business” while she will be joining Bail at the Senate for the next assembly. At the same time, we see Kenobi speaking quietly with Bail, but don’t hear what he is saying.
Once the two Jedi are aboard a hyperspace-capable shuttle, Obi-Wan once more makes the effort to lighten the mood. He tries to joke about Anakin’s relationship with Padme, but quickly changes that tack when he sees/senses Anakin’s lack of interest in even talking about her. Skywalker changes the subject and begins to ask about which Jedi will be joining them; Obi-Wan answers, naming several of the Masters, one of which should be the one that Vader killed in the opening scene. The purpose of this visit is to decide how the Jedi Order is to rebuild in the wake of this blasted war. Anakin’s expression should shift very slightly when the dead Master’s name is stated, but that only momentarily confuses Obi-Wan. Anakin exits the bridge to ‘get some sleep’ but once he’s alone, he extracts a communicator and activates it with a soft, “Master?”
The atmosphere in the Senate is jubilant, but Bail and Padme are troubled. Chancellor Palpatine enters to roars of acclaim and he announces an end of the Clone Wars which results in even more cheers. One of the Senators proposes another extension of the chancellor’s term until safety and stability are established; Palpatine makes a token effort to refuse but that’s all it really is. Padme is horrified and could coin the expression: ‘So this is how liberty dies. To thunderous applause.’ She discreetly exits, with Bail accompanying her. And then, she gets violently ill (which is indicative of morning sickness, of course.)
On Dantooine, Obi-Wan and Anakin arrive at the meeting place, a long abandoned Jedi training temple set on some absurdly high location like the League of Shadows HQ in Batman Begins, and discover it in ruins. There are dead Jedi and would-be stormtroopers. The two surviving Jedi immediately argue about their next course of action with Kenobi arbitrarily deciding what they must do, which infuriates Anakin who demands to know why he should listen. Frustrated and grieving, Kenobi loses his temper and tells Anakin that he is not a Master, so he doesn’t understand … which would then put into context that “When I left you, I was but the learner now I am the Master” comment in ANH). At the conclusion of this argument, Obi-Wan finally clues in what he knew all along even though he didn’t want to admit it: Anakin is responsible for this massacre, isn’t he?
At this, Anakin drops the act and his expression goes cold. Yes, he is. Now, Obi-Wan’s failure is complete. All of the Jedi who are dead here … that’s Kenobi’s fault. Some of them might have escaped Anakin’s Purge so he has to thank him for this opportunity. They duel … and Darth Vader righteously schools a shell-shocked Obi-Wan. He sends Kenobi tumbling off a mountainside. Vader has no reason to believe that Obi-Wan can survive this and departs…
And then we reveal that Kenobi does survive thanks to a badly injured Mace Windu who telekinetically grabs the battered & unconscious Kenobi when’s blasted off the mountain.
Padme returns to Naboo and receives a Holo-comm from Anakin who reveals that he’s going to be delayed. More … Jedi business. When the Holo ends, we reveal that she’s got a medical droid present and it politely advises her of her pregnancy’s status. She orders it to wipe its memory of this reveal, utilizing her authority as Queen of Naboo to accomplish this, and then retreats to her quarters where she wonders what she’s going to do…
Cut to: Coruscant. Vader discreetly enters Chancellor Palpatine’s office who congratulates him on the Dantooine action, then chastises him for not confirming Kenobi’s death. Vader defends himself: he threw Kenobi off a mountain. While he was unconscious! There’s no way he could have survived. Palpatine then tells him that they still have much work to do as Intelligence has located another enclave of the Jedi insurrectionists hiding out on Chandrilla. Lord Vader needs to go there and destroy them utterly so they cannot undo the peace that they’re building. And, of course, they will have to deal with the surviving Separatists hiding out on the Outer Rim. Throughout this, Palpatine always phrases his “New Order” in terms that make it sound appealing.
Rather than directly obeying, Vader returns to Naboo to visit his wife and finds her discreetly meeting with a lesser Jedi who we should have seen in Episode I or II but only in the background. This Jedi is immediately suspicious of “Anakin,” and says or does something that betrays this suspicions which results in Vader straight up murdering him, again preferably with Force Lightning, right in front of Padme. The Jedi absolutely needs to identify him as Vader – ‘You! You’re him! You’re Vader!’ kind of thing. Afterward, recognizing Padme’s horror, “Anakin” says that the Jedi was a war criminal and he even uses the Force on her to calm her down … which seems to work, but her “calm” expression vanishes the moment he departs to complete his special mission for the Chancellor, indicating that the mind trick didn’t work on her at all & she was acting. She should appear visibly terrified but forcing smiles, which should be evocative of a battered wife.
Padme now knows that Anakin is bad and not in that James Dean Bad Boy way that some women seem to like, but rather the Ted Bundy or Charles Manson kind of Bad Boy. She discreetly contacts the only person she knows she can trust: her sister Breha.
Interesting idea: she’s speaking to Breha via holo, but we flip around to Alderaan and then go the other end of the convo where Bail is listening along with both Obi-Wan and Windu, both of whom appear battered. They exchange worried looks when they learn that Padme is pregnant and agree that they have to get her to safety…
Cue final action sequences on Naboo:
- Obi-Wan & Mace fight a buttload of pseudo-stormtroopers and “abduct” Amidala. She proves to be quite a bit more resourceful than Kenobi expected, and the two escape from Naboo while Windu leads the pursuing troopers on a merry little chase with one of Amidala’s decoys.
- As he is fleeing in his own ship with the decoy, Lord Vader arrives and shoots him down.
- Being a Jedi, though, Mace survives the crash and a duel between Vader & Windu ensues against the backdrop of lava (I’d totally ditch the nonsense about Naboo having a watery core.)
- Windu is killed, but manages to FUBAR Vader as well (since, apart from the ROTJ novelization, there was nothing canonical about Obi-Wan being responsible for Vader’s condition and it would be a cool surprise that turns everything on its head.) The Sith screams in agony as he catches fire from the lava.
- I’m thinking that Windu takes Anakin’s legs but Vader Force bitch slaps Mace into the lava, which pretty much kills him instantly.
- The pseudo-stormtroopers who were pursuing Windu can arrive to pull Vader to safety, but the damage has been done. Only his hate is keeping him alive.
- Also, somehow Vader needs to see the decoy die but believe that is Queen Amidala … I think that if he lands to find Windu with her body, it works as he goes berserk with fury, believing that the sole ray of hope and light in his life has been extinguished.
Intercut the cyborging of Vader with Padme giving birth on Dagobah (to explain Luke’s “there’s something familiar about this place” comment). (Yeah, the exact timing here seems really off, but it SWars and they do that all the time with hyperspace travel). She does not die after childbirth, but is clearly broken and saddened.
Yoda warns them that they need to split the twins up because their signatures in the Force are too bright when together and Bail Organa offers Padme a place on Alderaan. He and his wife can hide her for as long as necessary; the onetime Queen also suggests that they claim Leia as their own to further hide the infant’s link to Anakin. Obi-Wan, who through all of this, should look crushed, defeated and broken, says he will take the boy to his family on Tatooine and will stay to look after him. Why there? Kenobi reveals – and Padme confirms – that Anakin hated Tatooine and would never go back.
Before they all split up, Padme gives Kenobi Anakin’s saber and tells him that the good man who was Luke’s father wanted his son to have this.
So, final scenes of the movie do not involve them building the Death Star, but rather the Emperor and Vader staring at their vast flotilla of warships. We could have Palpatine make some sort of “And now, we shall have peace” comment. Amidala, Bail and Leia arrive on Alderaan and our last shot of Padme is of her looking on from hiding (probably with a hooded outfit ala the Handmaids outfits in EpI) with great sadness as Bail and his wife coo over baby Leia.
And, of course, the final scene can be pretty much lifted from ROTS, with Obi-Wan arriving at the Lars homestead and giving Luke over to Beru.
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