Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 by Germain Lussier
Amid all the rumors and speculation about what Disney and Lucasfilm will be doing with the Star Wars franchise, there’s one simple idea that hasn’t often been brought up. This idea doesn’t involve spinning off characters from the original trilogy nor does it involve continuing the story after the original trilogy. No, this is an idea that takes place before all that. An idea that, in today’s Hollywood and knowing the history of Star Wars, seems much less crazy than it initially sounds.
Remake the prequels.
It’s a thought previously relegated to fan forums and blogs, yet it’s becoming more plausible than ever. Not any time soon, but eventually. Right now, Star Wars fans have plenty to look forward to with J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII, Episodes VIII and IX should we get to them and any number of spin-offs or character one-shots. But down the road, maybe 15 years, when a Star Wars movie a year has become as expected as Christmas, I think people will be ready. And it could elevate the franchise to new heights.
While George Lucas’ Prequel trilogy — Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II :Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith — does have its supporters, I don’t think I’m going to get much argument when I say they were a massive disappointment. The movies are simply not that good. They’re technically impressive, with some great things about each of them, but overall the scripts are a major downgrade from the original trilogy.
Before you can consider remaking them, though, there are two forces in the way. One is George Lucas, and the second is 20th Century Fox. Lucas wrote and directed all three films and, as the creator of Star Wars, that makes them 100% canon and untouchable. Also, 20th Century Fox distributed each of those films, meaning they have a financial stake in them for a long time to come.
Fifteen or twenty years down the road, neither of those things will matter as much. George Lucas is currently 68 years old. Eventually, like all artists before him, Lucas will become one with the force. As for 20th Century Fox, while they do have ownership of all six original films, outside of the original, those rights eventually revert back to Disney. That means, at some point the prequel trilogy, its locations and characters, all go back to Lucasfilm.
When those two factors change, is this really that crazy an idea? Hollywood remade Psycho, so what needs to be said beyond that? Films are remade almost every single day and the trend that isn’t going away. Remaking three successful but critically maligned films in a world where Disney wants to release a new Star Wars movie every single year seems like a smart proposition. It’s an opportunity to double-dip from successful, well-known works and, maybe, improve on them.
Improving a Star Wars movie. Hmm, where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, the Special Editions, which were followed by DVD editions and Blu-ray edits. There is certainly precedent to George Lucas’ vision being tinkered and toyed with. Not with any full-on remakes yet, true. But in fans’ eyes, the “Greedo shooting first” edit might as well be a different movie. Plus, outside of the Star Wars Christmas Special, nothing is as maligned in the Star Wars Universe as Jar Jar Binks and his films. If you can insert Hayden Christensen into Return of the Jedi, you can remake the prequels.
The question then becomes, if someone are actually going to do this, how exactly would they do it? Deepen the characters, heighten the drama and fill out the story making the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker a more exciting, surprising and devastating turn of events.
I’m now going to lay out the story for my hypothetical remakes of the prequel trilogy.