Topic: The Alternate Prequels

I figured this deserved a thread already.

Holy freaking epicness Dorkman!!

Although I'm just a little confused on one thing. (In the grand scheme of all 6 movies) Are we meant to beleive that the "Charred beyond all recognition body" is Anakin and then he is placed into the suit that fell in the giant pit of lava. Thus he becomes Darth Vader?

I'm namely just confused by the phrase "The suit goes on."


Otherwise an amazingly beautiful piece of work.

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Re: The Alternate Prequels

In the context of the series, the idea is that you can't tell at the end of SITH whether Anakin or Vader is taken out of the lava. When he is put into The Suit (meaning what we consider the Darth Vader suit), he identifies himself to Palpatine as Darth Vader, and that is how the name and the suit come to be associated.

What a first-time viewer watching sequentially would then discover in Empire, is that it's actually Anakin in the suit. It would be up for interpretation as to what motivated Anakin to do so -- most likely a desire to leave his former self, his "weaker" self, behind. In fact I'd probably throw a line about taking on a "Darth" title and leaving your old life behind somewhere in the big confrontation at the end of CLONES, just to make it resonate a little more.

(In Jedi, Palpatine has clearly known the truth the entire time, but I think it's within his character to play along -- as long as Vader does his bidding, he doesn't really care what he used to call himself.)

If your first exposure to the films is 4,5,6,1,2,3, then you'd know who is in the Vader suit at the end of SITH -- as you do with the current prequels. But, if you watched them 1-6 sequentially, the big shock of Vader's true identity would remain intact, which is something the current prequels don't accomplish.

Wanting to find a way to preserve that is, in fact, what initially compelled me to develop the alternate storyline.

Last edited by Dorkman (2009-12-05 01:56:22)

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Re: The Alternate Prequels

okay, that makes sense.

So the first Darth Vader was just a dude (A sith dude, but still just a dude).

That's wicked man.

But dude, now I'm depressed again at the thought of what we lost the chance to have.

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Re: The Alternate Prequels

Right, the first time we see "Darth Vader" he's another person distinct from Anakin.

Having written these treatments and knowing that's where it's going, if I were then to write scripts I would probably establish the character who will later become Darth Vader waaaaaay back at the beginning of PHANTOM MENACE -- the first time we see Obi-Wan he'll be sparring with the dude, maybe. And then we'll see him here and there, but he'd leave the Temple for ideological reasons somewhere in the middle of CLONES. It wouldn't be a big thing that the films focused on, just something that was happening in the background and you'd only realize the significance on a second view-through of the series.

I'd have the luxury of creating deeper levels of set-up and pay-off because, unlike Lucas, I wouldn't be making this crap up as I went along -- I'd actually have a plan.

And yes, it's depressing. You see where I'm coming from. All I can do is hope that if I ever create a series half as beloved as Star Wars, I don't blow the storytelling opportunities like he did.

Last edited by Dorkman (2009-12-05 17:06:49)

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Re: The Alternate Prequels

In the alternate universe, perhaps Vader wouldn't smell of BBQ either. Whiney, effeminate, BBQ.

Re: The Alternate Prequels

I read your treatments, way to go on that, nice work.
BBBBBBBBut i have to disagree with a few things. First off I don't think Lucas prequels are wrong. There just ham fisted, non-paying off, poorly edited etc. But the themes were just fine but very very poorly executed.

1] Unknown Vader

So with that in mind why should it be a mystery for who Vader is? What does this mean?
The idea that its Anakin's story arc is a great one. I truly feel the central theme of watching someone who should be a great hero fall is a strong classical mythology thread. So why hide that?
To pull off Anakin's fall plus the other Vader is going to take them committing some serious out doing evil. When it’s about what motives one person to do it.
Yes, we need to see Darth Maul commit something evil as early as possible but we don't need more then to see him making these acts with one caveat. Has to be a story reason. IE he’s sent to attack a base and kind of over does the killing etc.
That was a huge character failing in Lucas’s Phantom Menace if you think about it all he is really is a very well trained and brave [takes on two Jedi’s in a "fair" fight and almost kills both of them??] soldier. So we do need to see that from him at some point.
But as much as the original trilogy is about the choices that Luke makes to overcome himself we need to see Anakin’s wrong choices and how they would run parallel for a while.

This for me must also end only one way. Which would be the only reason to put in that he’s so mechanically inclined is that HE builds the suit!
So i have always pictured that one of the last scenes in the prequels would be this, as it’s the payoff for that ability. Plus and more importantly he makes his last choice as Anakin Skywalker to erase that part of himself and to be encased forever. That single image for me was one that had to happen. 

2] madalorians as a unknown outside threat.

The taxation of trade routes thing was terrible to start this but the vibe has always been that the clone wars was more a civil war then an us vs. them war.
This war is the end of in a sense a stable empire which is falling to various decadence's. Not of the roman orgy type but of the various groups that make up the ruling bodies such as the Jedi. Again he did it so badly but yes there should be a theme that something is wrong with the Jedi as well and some of them know it and deal with it in different ways. Obi wan by trying to change the way the Jedi deal with the crisis, but ends up being a catalyst for some of it,  Anakin by wanting to take advantage of it to fix it IE there is chaos only i can stop it i will over react thus fuel this farther.
Obi wan wants it to end but can’t get it to, Anakin want it to end after he’s in power, which he does. Every time the Republic loses some aspect of itself, should be fallowed by Anakin's rise in power. Even the prophesy is fine. But while hes powerful hes not the "one", its Luke. but at the same time hes is in in effect bringing balance to the force which for 1000 years has been all Jedi. Part of the Jedi issues is their dogmatic and literal interpretation of it.

One of the negative themes of this series should be the end of the singular hero, that this golden age of the Jedi is ending by the over whelming mechanization using tools like cloning, massive fleets of tie fighters, and huge warships. A star wars Battle of Agincourt. When the Jedi fall there should be that moments of like those french knights at that battle, why are we dying??

The original idea of boba fett as a Mandalorian was fine, but what were the Mandalorians? I always saw then as some remnant of the clone war period, like the first army of the republic which is replaced by the clone army. They would be part of the first mass killing of jedi as well.
They would be the army that is very tough but out of its element and be over whelmed when the enemy clones attack. It is they who would later morph into the red clad guards. [Boba Fett is wearing the armor of a madalorian commando.] His story could still be as a clone payment to Jango who’s is the prototype for the republic clone army.
[He wears a standard clone war period mandalorian suit. ]
On a last note, an image that was planned for Ep III only made it to video games comics but really should have been in the films, Jedi’s wearing clone trooper armor. That would have been one of the most iconic images of those first three. Most likely at the end of EP II.

Last edited by Deamon (2009-12-08 00:54:00)

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Re: The Alternate Prequels

Deamon wrote:

1] Unknown Vader

So with that in mind why should it be a mystery for who Vader is? What does this mean?

It means that Vader revealing that he is Anakin Skywalker in Empire still has the effect of being a powerful shock, rather than being a moment where the audience goes "Duh, I knew that five movies ago."

Deamon wrote:

The idea that its Anakin's story arc is a great one. I truly feel the central theme of watching someone who should be a great hero fall is a strong classical mythology thread. So why hide that?

I'm not hiding that. We see someone who could have been a great hero, falls under the influence of evil and is destroyed. It's just that as of movie 3 we think he died, and as of movie 5 we discover that he has in fact suffered a fate worse than death, but can still perhaps be redeemed. It adds more dramatic effect by changing the audience's assumptions and perceptions turn by turn. If you know Vader is Anakin then "A New Hope" is essentially a waste of time.

Deamon wrote:

But as much as the original trilogy is about the choices that Luke makes to overcome himself we need to see Anakin’s wrong choices and how they would run parallel for a while.

I agree. And I think we get that.

Deamon wrote:

This for me must also end only one way. Which would be the only reason to put in that he’s so mechanically inclined is that HE builds the suit!

I don't see there being any thematic value in that and it's been well-known since ROTJ (and hinted at in ESB) that the suit is a life-support system. What, he's going to cut out his lungs a la Davy Jones and hop in the suit as a rite of passage? Come on. 

Deamon wrote:

2] madalorians as a unknown outside threat.

The taxation of trade routes thing was terrible to start this but the vibe has always been that the clone wars was more a civil war then an us vs. them war.

The only thing we knew about the Clone Wars until the prequels happened was that there was something called the Clone Wars about a generation before ANH.

You think the ideas in the official prequels were good but the execution wasn't; I disagree. The themes and structure were, in my opinion, fundamentally flawed and in some cases ass-backwards ("ATTACK OF THE CLONES," for example, is a title basically meaning "ATTACK OF THE GOOD GUYS"), hence the impulse to do my own versions and toss out what's there almost entirely, rather than trying to simply revise them.

Last edited by Dorkman (2009-12-07 20:20:24)

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Re: The Alternate Prequels

I think I talked about this in the "Revenge" commentary, but I for one would have liked to have seen a story that explored the idea of how messed up you could get when everyone around you believed you were the savior of the universe.

Matrix had the opportunity and dropped the ball as well, it's kind of an implied part of Harry's character in Harry Potter (at least in the films, I haven't read the books) but not as central part of the story as I think it deserves to be and certainly not explored to its fullest.

It actually examines the question from the Jedi perspective: if you had this kid that you thought the whole future of everything rested on, would you tell him that's what you thought? Would you keep it from him, hoping things will play out naturally and you won't screw it up by making him self conscious? Or would you feel compelled to be honest about a truth of that magnitude and tell him?

Imagine the Jedi choose the former and we see Anakin growing up in the Jedi Order, training and otherwise living the life of a Jedi. But for all his life he can sense that he's treated just a little differently than the other Jedi. The other Jedi and the Masters and the Council in particular have some kind of feeling about him that he can sense, but which they hide too well for him to pinpoint. We, through the course of the story, know that this is the result of the Jedi believing he's "The Chosen One."

Over time, Anakin becomes more and more suspicious, knowing that his family is withholding something important from him but unable to find out what it is. Along comes Palpatine, who takes advantage of this already existing suspicion, preying on it to drive a wedge between them (Obi Wan in particular) and Anakin.

Eventually, Anakin discovers this belief of the Jedi, is seemingly saved from the precipice of falling to the Dark Side, but now has to deal with the burden of being the savior of the galaxy. Is he up to the task? Is he strong enough? Powerful enough? Wise enough? Will he know what to do in that one crucial moment? Will he be able to do what's necessary or will he choke? How does he know what he should do? How can he be sure that what he does is right?

It's very much the Oedipus story (at least from the Jedi's point of view): trying to avoid a situation ends up causing the very situation you were avoiding in the first place. And it's definitely a recipe for screwing a guy up, even a very noble good guy with the best of intentions. And it justifies his start down a very slippery slope from noble and good to uncomfortable means justify good ends to Force choking people for the fun of it. And it gives the Jedi a way to be wrong without being complete blind fools about the whole thing.

And ultimately, it's a much more interesting and compelling story. I admit, I don't have answers to all these questions the way Dorkman has worked up his, but these are the questions I would like to have seen asked.

Re: The Alternate Prequels

That does sound pretty cool rian, but I'll just throw this in. I can't remember who said it but someone mentioned "Where did this prophecy come from??" Because truthfully we have never heard of it before the prequels. So correct me if I'm wrong Dorkman, but I don't think you wanted to put it in the alternate prequels. Which I do kinda agree with. But it would be kinda cool.

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Re: The Alternate Prequels

Brian, I feel like that'd be an alright plot for a book, but way too boring for a Star Wars movie. (Had you asked in 1998, anyway.)

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The Alternate Prequels

Well, all that certainly wouldn't be the only thing going on the trilogy, it'd be against the backdrop of plenty of...well...star wars - clone armies, space battles, lightsabers, and one environment planets.

But instead of whining about not being on the Council yet and having a couple of bad dreams, we have scenes that actually justify a sympathetic character falling to the Dark Side.

Also, if the point of the original trilogy is that anybody can be redeemed, then the point of the prequel trilogy necessarily has to be the opposite: anybody is capable of evil. Not exactly an uplifting message, but when the story is centered on Anakin Skywalker's fall from grace, kind of hard to avoid. But to watch that, the audience has the sympathize with him and go as far down the rabbit hole with him as we can manage to send them.

It's like what we've talked about before, the truly well written villain is one who lays bare his evil plan and you, as the audience go, "I completely see the logic behind that." There's probably no story where that's more important than in Anakin's. Alas, we didn't get it.

Re: The Alternate Prequels

I thought more about how you could take the ideas Lucas had which are not beyond repair. But require some serious rewrites, restructuring, and other fixes.
The way I've viewed this exercise since "Phantom Menace" is similar to what happened to the originals in that collaborators took out or smoothed over the bad patches in Lucas work. I watch the phantom edit and attack of the phantom and came to see that if you cut deep you could save the story.  But love him or hate him, Lucas is the driving force of this series.
[But imagine a serious rewrite with say Frank Darabont phantom menace, james Cameron attack of the clones and Steven Allan Spielberg revenge of the Sith.] I realize this stretching it thin but seemed a fairer way to view these prequel. I thought you came up with a great idea but if you really took free license you could set it in the pre-Jedi time, clone wars etc and not have anything remotely similar to his concept.

Last edited by Deamon (2009-12-19 11:49:49)

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Re: The Alternate Prequels

Sorry for "Jacking" this thread, but with a rewrite like Dorkman's, who would he cast? I mean, Hayden isn't necessarily a bad actor, but under pressure(bluescreens and absent-minded directors), he's yet to prove his worth.

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