Could LucasFilm remake the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy as one standalone Darth Vader origin movie?
A funny thing happened after Disney acquired Lucasfilm and the Star Wars Universe. The prequel trilogy, which includes 1999's Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, 2002's Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and 2005's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, all but disappeared save for a few old Blu-ray copies floating around Amazon. At the time of the purchase, LucasFilm had just completed 3D conversions of all 3 movies, with The Phantom Menace the only one to ever debut in theaters.
The other two, set to open in late 2012, were quietly shuffled off into oblivion, and no one really seemed to care. The fans didn't voice any disappointment at the two movies' sudden absence from 20th Century Fox's release slate. And it seems obvious what happened. Disney wants to distance its upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII and any future movie from being tainted by the memory of these three blemishes on this iconic sci fi franchise.
There's no disputing how the fans feel about these prequels. They are three of the most hated, despised and discussed franchise movies ever made. Those who actually like any one of the three movies are quickly labeled Lucas apologists (ages 8 and below being the exception). And its understandable why Disney would want to set waning audiences back on "the right track" and keep their own distance from the Anakin Padme love affair.
Disney has already started their mission statement by releasing teaser trailers from the Original Trilogy in anticipation of the first teaser trailer for Episode VII. So far, we've seen ones for A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. This week, we will relive the first footage for Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi ever released to the general public. Disney and Lucasfilm are trying to build nostalgia for the early days. A time when people still loved and cared about these movies. When C3PO and R2D2 lived in a used universe. When there was no Jar Jar Binks or Midichlorians to speak of.
In getting back within fans' good graces, LucasFilm and Disney are going directly to the original trilogy, with Star Wars: Episode VII a true sequel that picks up some thirty years after the events of Jedi. Gone will be the overuse of CGI that made the Prequel trilogy look and feel like a video game. The most iconic characters will return for the first time since 1983. And it promises to be a throwback to what fans loved about these movies in the first place. So of course Disney is going to try and hide the movies that crippled the hearts of longtime Force worshippers, turning them into indifferent shrug opportunists.
What is interesting here is that between each true Original trilogy sequel, we will be getting standalone origin movies focused on some of the most beloved and interesting characters in the Star Wars universe. The Untitled Star Wars Han Solo Spin-Off and Untitled Star Wars Boba Fett Spin-Off are rumored to be first, with movies centering around Yoda and Jabba the Hutt also being discussed.
As this is the true path Disney and Lucasfilm plan to take in giving us a new Star Wars movie every year starting in 2015, until the end of time, then we ask, "Why can't they remake the prequel trilogy as one standalone origin movie?"
The Prequel trilogy is already one seven-hour origin story about the birth and rise of Darth Vader. And as many editors have proven over the years, buried within these multiple minutes of cheesy science fiction is one very awesome, solid two-hour movie focusing on the early life of the iconic Sith Lord. It makes absolute sense that the story could be retold in one movie. And Ewan McGregor's still young enough that he could come back as Obi-Wan.
It's true that the Prequel Trilogy exists. But can't it exist as a rough draft? If LucasFilm and Disney treated it as such, the fans might look upon it with a different set of eyes. Future generations might see it as a unique building block in the creative process, and it would then be viewed in the same nostalgic sense as the Ralph McQuarrie concept paintings from the first three movies.
Looking at the Prequel trilogy as a living rough draft for a future movie makes sense in a lot of ways. Hollywood is hungry for remakes, and this might be one that breaks records. If someone told you they were remaking The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy as one standalone movie that stays within the aesthetic lines of the original three films, you'd want to see it. And it stays in line with what George Lucas has done in the past in terms of toying with and changing all of the movies he's made. Here, he could go in with his digital erase board and remove the bothersome aspects of the canon, and rebuild something more in line with his original vision.
In remaking the Prequel Trilogy, one could look to the Topher Grace super-cut that he culled together from footage found in all three movies. This doesn't have to just be Darth Vader's origin story, but Obi-Wan's as well. Focus just on that, leaving the rest of the bullshit aside. Make a movie about their relationship that keeps some of the back-story and ends with that Lava fight we waited years to see. Only, this time, make it something truly special and exciting. And find someone a little edgier to play Anakin Skywalker.
In Topher Grace's notorious edit, which runs only 85 minutes long out of the roughly seven hours of footage available to him, he is able to tell the complete narrative of Anakin Skywalker from orphan to Sith. And it's a whole story. Imagine what a new 2 hours and 15 minute film could do in resetting this timeless tale.
It definitely feels like this could be in the realm of possibilities.
As we move towards a number of standalone origin stories, it seems like a logical idea to revisit Darth Vader and Obi Wan's relationship, as it is one of the most interesting things about the original movies and this universe. Quite literally, George Lucas blew it when he made the prequel trilogy. And it's obvious that, at the time, he was more focused on using the movies as a mere template for experimenting with new digital effects and filmmaking techniques. Now that that's out of the way, shouldn't we get back to the story?
What do you think? Would you be opposed to a Darth Vader or Obi Wan standalone origin film that revisited what we saw in the Prequel Trilogy? Only done right this time. Or is it a waist of time to go back to these characters?