Monday, August 27, 2012

How the Star Wars Prequels could Have Been As Good Or Better then The Original Trilogy

I know what you're thinking, "you think you can make a better movie than the legendary George Lucas?!" in a word- yes. Let's face it, when he doesn't have Joseph Campbell or Steven  Spielberg helping him out Lucasvwrites some pretty crappy movies (Howard the Duck anyone?). But the star wars prequels could have been a huge success if Lucas had taken the following relatively simple steps:

  • Pick a protagonist and stick to it- The Phantom Menace had a little bit of protagonist schizhrenia. Is this Obi-Wan's story or Anakin's? We spend loads of time with Obi Wan and Qui-Gon and even Jar Jar Binks before Anakin's even comes on the scene, and yet when he does, the story centers more on him. Either way could work just fine, but you have to pick one hero who is going to go on a journey and stick with him.
  • Cut out unnecessary characters- Speaking of Jar Jar Binks, he didn't play enough of a role to really warrant as much screen time as he got. The only purpose he really served was introducing the Gungans who ended up being a deus ex machina at the end. Not enough reason to be included as a character, even if it was groundbreaking CGI.
  • Grow up!- Anakin really should have been 16-18 and Padme should have been about 21-24. This would have built the sexual tension beginning in the first movie (for added drama Padme could have had a beau in the first movie just to piss Anakin off). Having Anakin be older also would have allowed the story to explore his dark side better. And I believe a 21-24 year old woman as a the young elected ruler of a planet rather than a 14 year old girl.
  • The Dark Side...- And speaking of Anakin's dark side, we needed to start seeing that in the first movie and it needed to be consistently developed and it needed to hurt like hell to see him give in to it. We needed to Anakin accomplish feats of enormous heroism, courage, and self-sacrifice right away, but we also needed to see him resort to needless violence in the pursuit of a good cause at first. A good example of this (in my opinion) was Gale in The Hunger Games. ("Hey, let's create bombs that go off a second time after the medics have arrived. And kill all the miners in The Nut even though we could allow them a chance to escape.") And it should have built from there.
  • Make Padme stronger- We were supposed to see some of Leia's fire in Padme, but Padme ended up being a very weak character. She should have loved Anakin for all the good things he did, but been a "take-no-crap" gal. She should have been horrified at Anakin massacring innocent people. She should have left Anakin and given birth in secret. The final showdown between her and Anakin should have been over what happened to the babies. She should have put up a good fight with some kind of cool martial arts sequence, but Anakin would be so far gone that he would have killed her and that's what would have driven him completely to the Dark Side.
  • And as and added bonus- I wanted a brief cameo of Han Solo as a young child in the last movie. That would have been fun.

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