My Top 10 Changes To The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy

Don’t get me wrong–despite the outrage of other fans, I actually rather like the prequel trilogy.  Some of my favorite things about those films include the duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, the fight between Obi-Wan and Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, and seeing Vader being put into his iconic armor and helmet at the end of Revenge of the Sith.

But there’s a lot I’d still change if I had my way, such as…

10. Replace Gungans With Another Alien Species

My Issue: I don’t hate Jar Jar Binks.  I just think we can do better.  The Gungans are to Episode I what the Ewoks are to Episode VI: a bunch of comical aliens who have to be convinced to use their warrior strength and ally with the heroes.  Basically Jar Jar isn’t any different from the Ewok Wicket, just that he’s a CG alien and has a peculiar (and possibly offensive) accent.

Copyright © 2002 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Suggestion: The Togruta, as pictured above.  A race of born hunters with a very interesting appearance and an affinity for becoming Jedi Knights.  Rather than going for wacky accents, we could have had a proud race with a code of honor and good relations with the Republic.  Cut the wacky flavor (trust me, the kids won’t miss it much) and give these guys a chance to shine.

They’d be an excellent contrast to the new villains…

9. Use The Mandalorians As The Bad Guys

My Issue: In the prequels, the Separatists were the most visible antagonists, with the Sith staying in the background.  The “Clone Wars” was pretty much set between an endless army of battle droids versus an endless army of clones.  Now the Jedi Knights were the wild card in the Republic’s favor, Force-sensitive warriors with lightsabers who could coordinate their clone troopers effectively.  But who do they have to counter that image on the Separatists’ side except more battle droids?

Copyright © 2003 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Suggestion: The Mandalorians.  They may not have the Force, but they’ve got tons of armor and weapons to be an effective match for any Jedi.  And being a fiercely independent group, the Mandalorians would naturally break away from the Republic and become a good icon for the Separatists.  It also would tie in to the iconic character of Boba Fett, whose armor is the only thing that remains of their legacy in the original trilogy.

The high-tech, non-supernatural Mandalorians would also be a sign of another trend that would help set things up for the original trilogy…

8. Show Rising Distrust Of The Jedi Knights

My Issue: When we get to the original trilogy, we see that the Jedi Knights have been reduced to a mere legend and the Force has become nothing more than a superstition.  Yet the prequel films don’t really give us any clue as to how that happened other than showing us a bunch of Jedi being wiped out and declared outlaws.  How did the public react to that?  What were they to make of the publicized image of Jedi war heroes using the Force to defend worlds from the Separatists?

Copyright © 2006 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Suggestion: Palpatine publicly demonstrates his lack of faith in the Jedi.  It wouldn’t be hard.  They clearly failed to protect him when General Grievous kidnaps him at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith and they clearly aren’t up to being front-line soldiers like the brave clone troopers.  It’d be a simple matter of offering a choice to the average citizen: which would you trust to defend your homeworld?  An antiquated monk with a lot of flashy moves and a glowing sword or a modern military force that was literally bred without fear?

Speaking of which…

7. Introduce The Clone Army In The First Film

My Issue: One of the things that bugged me about Attack of the Clones is that the Republic doesn’t seem to question the existence of a clone army when things go from bad to worse during the climax on Geonosis.  Neither do the Jedi, who were investigating ties between a known assassin (Jango Fett) and this clone army that someone ordered without the Republic’s approval.  I know it adds more mystery, but it also seems a bit lazy.

Copyright © 2002 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Suggestion: Have the Republic approve the use of clone troopers openly and from the very beginning.  If the Separatists are geared for war with endless battle droids, then how else can the Republic counter them except with their own endless supply of clones?  Not to mention, it would be interesting to see Jedi Knights throughout the trilogy working alongside the very soldiers that we know become the infamous Imperial Stormtroopers.  It builds up a strong bond that will ultimately be broken by the end of the final prequel film, which will really create an emotional impact.

Speaking of having an impact…

6. Redesign Count Dooku And General Grievous As Villains

My Issue: I actually like Count Dooku as a villain.  He’s sophisticated, graceful, and deliciously arrogant.  And while the cyborg General Grievous was an intimidating warrior and effective commander in the original Clone Wars cartoons, he’s treated more like a cartoon character in the actual third film with his ridiculous voice and peculiar fighting style.  Dooku was sadly cut short and Grievous doesn’t do much except run away and later get blown apart by Obi-Wan.

Copyright © 2007 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Suggestion: Merge Grievous and Dooku into the same character.  Or to be more specific, keep the distinctive image of Grievous, but give him Count Dooku’s Sith powers and Christopher Lee’s wonderfully deep voice.  I think this would have been interesting because it would establish that Palpatine knew what he was doing when he recreated Anakin as Darth Vader.  He would have already had a prototype: his apprentice Darth Tyranus–or “General Tyranus” to the rest of the galaxy.  Not to mention that the cyborg image seems to fit the Sith’s obsession with cheating death and becoming stronger through violence.

5. Replace Naboo With Alderaan

My Issue: The planet Naboo really only exists to look pretty and be imperiled in the prequels.  It has humans and silly Gungans coexisting and is mostly used in Attack of the Clones as a backdrop for Anakin and Padme’s awkward courtship.  Beyond the first film, it really doesn’t influence the rest of the trilogy other than being the homeworld for both Padme and the future Emperor Palpatine.

Copyright © 2011 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Suggestion: Replace Naboo with Alderaan.  You may remember Alderaan for being the planet that gets blown up by the Death Star in the very first Star Wars film.  But the more I think about it, a lot of Alderaan is also Earth-like and seems to share a lot of qualities with Naboo.  Essentially, putting it up in the first film would be giving it some history before its destruction.  It would also be a more effective homeworld for Padme, which ties her to its Viceroy, Bail Organa, who later adopts her daughter Leia as his own.

Bail Organa is someone we might want to get to know a little better, too…

4. Establish Bail Organa As The Founder Of The Rebellion Earlier

My Issue: The first time we meet Bail Organa–Princess Leia’s adopted father–is halfway through the second prequel film.  Then we get more of him after the halfway mark in Revenge of the Sith, where he has a slightly more active role as a covert ally of the now-fugitive Jedi.  He’s really only in the film to be a supporting hero and to take the infant Leia to be raised on Alderaan after Padme dies.

Copyright © 2005 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Suggestion: Give Senator Organa a bigger role like founding the Rebellion.  I know that there are, in fact, deleted scenes from Revenge of the Sith showing him conspiring with Padme and other Senators about asking Palpatine to step down from power when the war ends, but even those scenes aren’t as strong as they ought to be.  I think, if Alderaan is the first battlefield for the Clone Wars, then Bail Organa should want to help other worlds defend themselves from the Separatists–like sending out agents to train resistance fighters and militias, who would later be useful in the Rebellion.

Which brings us to a far more crucial character revision…

3. Let Padme Amidala Be More Than A Queen Or A Senator

My Issue: I think we’ve all heard this one before: Padme is a letdown.  She’s interesting in the first film when she decides that the Senate can’t be trusted and leads the rescue of her people herself.  But this active Queen gets downgraded to an idealistic and lovesick Senator, who eventually just becomes a teary-eyed housewife and dying mother of the next generation’s heroes.

Copyright © 1999 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Suggestion: Make Padme into a fighter that would make the future Rebels proud.  I get that her daughter Leia is eventually a Princess and Senator for Alderaan, but why does her mother have to have the exact same occupation?  I envision Padme as being an agent for Senator Bail Organa, someone with an official cover as a Senatorial aide who gets sent on all kinds of important assignments… like helping a pair of Jedi Knights liberate Alderaan from the Separatists or organizing planetary militias throughout the Clone Wars.  This not only keeps her involved in the central conflict, but also justifies why she and Anakin spend so much time together and eventually fall in love.  It would also make it obvious which parent Leia gets all of her courage and tenacity from.

But there’s an even more important factor than Padme’s characterization…

2. Introduce Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker As Partners From The Start

My Issue: I feel like we were a bit shortchanged when it came to Anakin and Obi-Wan’s onscreen friendship.  Sure, they’re good in combat, but they keep getting split up and we don’t even have them together in Episode I except for a quick introduction and a moment at Qui-Gon’s funeral.  Luke and Han had a more engaging relationship in the original trilogy, being contrasts in ideals, temperament, and fighting styles.

Copyright © 2005 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Suggestion: They’re partners throughout all three films (until Anakin’s fall to the dark side, anyway).  I feel like this ought to have been the emotional centerpiece for the prequel trilogy, more than the romance between Anakin and Padme.  Imagine if it were Obi-Wan and Anakin liberating Alderaan in the first film, chasing down Jango Fett in the second, and rescuing the Chancellor in the third, only to fall out because Anakin’s need for power is too great.  Like the clone troopers above, it would be a strong and reliable bond that’s finally and irreparably broken and man would it have been something to see!

1. Start The Clone Wars At The Beginning Of The Trilogy

My Issue: When we first heard about the Clone Wars in A New Hope, it became this giant mythical event in our minds.  What was this epic war that brought Obi-Wan and Anakin together?  How did Obi-Wan serve Bail Organa during the war?  And what part did it play in Anakin’s fall and the rise of the Empire?  All we get in the prequels is one battle at the end of Attack of the Clones and a montage of battlefields in Revenge of the Sith.

Copyright © 2005 by Lucasfilm Ltd.

My Suggestion: Make the entire prequel trilogy about the Clone Wars.  In a way, it serves as a nice mirror to the original trilogy, which is all about the war between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance.  Maybe we have less filler scenes in the Senate and on Tatooine and more relevant, dramatic scenes on battlefields like Alderaan.  We get to see the Jedi Knights in action.  We get to see the roots of the Rebellion when it becomes clear that Palpatine’s not giving up his power. We get a more decisive story arc like George Lucas said these films were about. The original trilogy began with Luke’s involvement in the Rebellion and ended with the defeat of the Empire.  Why not show us the “dark side” of that story?  We start with the great Anakin Skywalker becoming a Jedi Knight and end with him becoming a Sith Lord as the Republic crumbles.

Ultimately, I don’t hate these films.  George Lucas made them and he deserves to make them as he sees fit.  If he honestly felt he made the right decision to cast Natalie Portman as Padme or Hayden Christensen as Anakin, who am I to judge?  But there is another side to the Star Wars universe: the one that lives in the minds and hearts of its audience.  My list of changes is meant for that second Star Wars, the one that the fans cherish more than any film, book, video game, or TV show.

You know–the world of fan fiction, like the kind I’ve outlined before.  Because I don’t have a million-dollar franchise of my own.

If my readers have their own ideas of what they’d want to have seen or disagree with some of my ideas, please feel free to share your “certain point of view” in the comments section below.

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15 thoughts on “My Top 10 Changes To The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy

  1. Meadyaon

    I would make everything said in the OT did retcon by the OT such Leia knowing about her real mother and Anakin Skywalker being a cunning warrior and great starpilot before meeting Obi-Wan. That means Ankian is at least 20 years old when we first meet him. I would have to have been show what about Obi-Wan meet when he said: He was the best star pilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior. Show how Anakin was a good friend to Obi-Wan. Lucas should have shown why Anakin has a high midchlorian count in showing what he can do with force beyond moving a piece of fruit and force pushing Obi-Wan. Anakin fall to the dark side needs to be better then what it was whc to save his wife. Lucas should have shown us Darth Vader hunting down and murdering the Jedi instead of the Clone Trooper doing and Anikan killing children. The PT should have shown better the origins of the clones. Obi-Wan should been shown serving under Bail Organa during the clone so what Leia says about Obi-Wan and Bail Organa can true and we get to see what Leia was talking about in her message to Obi-Wan. I would have love to have seen the formation of the Rebellion and the Episode 3 end right where episode V start that wee can see how the Rebels get the plans to the Death Star.

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    1. I agree. I think there’s a lot of hints and material in the OT that Lucas failed to capitalize on. I know it’s his universe and he gets to build it as he pleases, but Star Wars is more than just special effects. That’s just the dressing to the story, which in the prequels was less than stellar.

      Thanks for the comment, and thanks for reading!

      Like

      1. Meadyaon

        Here is good part where Lucas messed up RotS
        Sidious then tells him that he must show no mercy and only then will Vader become powerful enough to save Padme. Presumably because the more hate and anger he has the more powerful he will become. So is that the key to saving Padme; becoming powerful?? Wait, first it was a dark side knowledge by Plagueis, then it was a power by Sidoius, but then it was a secret (implying some type of unknown knowledge), but now its simply becoming ‘powerful enough’? Sidious keeps changing the goals posts and Vader never questions this. Why?? Does Vader really want to save Padme?
        I really want Disney to make Lucas do a remake the PT . I know that will mess up cannon but Lucas owes the true story of the Clone Wars, Anakin’s fall to the dark side, fall of the Galactic Republic, hatred jedi after the creation of the Galactic Empire.
        I really want Disney to have Lucas remake the PT!!!!!!!!

        Here is Lucas take on special effects. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVq5QwMlaII

        Here is more of how I do a the remake of the PT. I know it would make the cannon set in the PT null and void but remakes of PT would not be needed if Lucas had done the PT right.

        I would have first shown that Anakin Skywalker was the best star-pilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior before Obi-wan meet him. Obi-Wan meets Anakin for the first time, Anakin requires R2-D2, a droid that does not even belong to him, and the fighter’s autopilot, to fly his starfighter for him against the Droid Control Ship. When fighting the Droid Control Ship, Anakin basically crash lands the on ship doing a belly landing sans landing gear. Most of Anakin’s piloting, in orbit of Naboo, could be described as random and chaotic. Blind luck and the whim of the script writer add significantly more to Anakin’s survival and success than any actual or perceived piloting skill. By means of contrast, Luke Skywalker, during his first space battle, conducted himself with great piloting skill, and starfighter proficiency, destroying the Death Star, during the Battle of Yavin. That is just one problem between the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy.

        With Anakin being older you can get away from the age problem with Anakin and Padame how the child falls in love and marries the babysitter. Also show more of the friendship between Obi-wan and Anakin

        I would change the what they show of the Clone Wars. Instead of just what little is show of the Clone Wars in my changes the clone wars would a bigger part of the prequel trilogy. That way it better explains the Clone Wars as a whole. You would exactly see how the Clone Wars was start instead of the lame way the prequel handles. Such as the creation of the clones. Also the following would be shown in the prequel trilogy. Princess Leia: General Kenobi. Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. we would see Obi-wan serving Bail Organa in the Clone Wars.

        Padme would not have dies from a broken heart. Obi-Wan would not have been present at the birth of Luke and Leis that way when that Yoda says there is another that Obi-wan does not know about it for real.

        Anakin would be annoying. He would not be self-centered, self-serving and ultimately trivial. I also might get rid of Anakin being like Jesus when it comes to his birth

        Lucas could have centered the first two films on an intelligent, thoughtful Jedi master who was lured to the Dark Side. The third film would have then chronicled the crusade of a tortured, badass Darth Vader who traversed the galaxy hunting down Jedi. I would have should Darth Vader hunting down and killing the Jedi. Anakian would not have be show killed youngling (use to hide the fact he is killing kids) as his first thing he does after becoming a Sith.

        I would also let Lucas not have that much control and surely would not let him directed the films at all!!!! In the original Star Wars, his only directions were “faster” or “more intense”.

        There would be no midi-chlorians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also I would not have had Chewy and Yoda now each other. this is what the force should as said by Obi-Wan
        “Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”

        Here is another thing Obi-wan could be lying about which you get from the prequel trilogy. “ For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. ” — Obi-Wan Kenobi, “A New Hope” I would make What Obi-wan said in that quote actually fit instead of a 1000 as how long the republic last.

        I would have the actor interact more with actor and actress in makeup and costume as aliens so that you could get acting of the actors. I would not make an over-reliance on CGI. There would be no more walking and talking and sitting on a couch scenes unless they very really need. .

        The following would be cleared up. Luke says, “Tell me about your mother, your real mother.” Leia tells Luke that she only remembers images of her mother, that she was “very beautiful, but sad.”

        I would show more female character that actually have a part in the story instead of just Padme. I would also show why Leia is a Princess

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    2. A Droid Army Fan

      I believe, as you said about having the Clone Wars start at Episode 1 instead of 2, give the Droid Army some victories! I believe that more people should be encouraged to love the droids by making a group of victories, like a victory as symbolic as the Battle of Hoth. Also make it to were villains live longer, like General Grievous showing up in all 3 episodes providing many victories. then in ROTS, he dies with a more drawn out duel vs. Obi-Wan in a more hardcore “villainy” type defeat. Finally, make the Droid Army itself a major threat, like in the real Episode 1 of how the droids’ offensive ended up outstanding. Making the Battle Droids more serious and dangerous.

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      1. I think it would’ve been something to actually give the Separatists more victories in the trilogy. That’s also why I would have written in the Mandalorian Supercommandos into the films, especially since they’d be a great foil to the Jedi (Mandalorians vs. Jedi, endless battle droids vs. endless clone troopers). Maybe the ratio would break down to one Mandalorian is the equivalent of ten standard battle droids, just to keep the fights interesting.

        Thanks for the comment!

        Like

  2. This is an excellent article. I love all ten of your choices. I like them because your suggestions are creative and unique, where most people will point out the stupid problems of the Prequel Trilogy and suggest just not doing what was stupid. I personally already saw (or heard through other critics) the problems you addressed, but your solutions struck me by surprise.

    I especially like combining Grievous and Dooku as a main villain. That would be Darth Vader for a whole new generation: A Jedi cyborg who looks bad ass and is just as smart and eloquent as he is deadly. I also appreciate pointing out how awesome Grievous was in the original Clone Wars, before they made him suck in the movie. When it originally came out, I was telling everyone how awesome Grievous should have been, since most people hadn’t seen the 2D specials.

    Also, your points about the war, Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padme all were great, dealing with the story at large, which was a major problem of the trilogy. The story was too disconnected and the characters referenced their skills and relationships more than they showed them.

    Maybe parts VII, VIII and IX will be better.

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    1. I think the biggest thing for me was that Lucas didn’t go all the way in making a strong parallel between Anakin’s tragic fall and Luke’s path of redemption. And Grievous as a model for Vader would’ve been a pretty cunning move on Sidious’s part. I mean, it’s like he already has the technology to make any apprentice into a cybernetic minion; Vader is just Grievous 2.0 as far as he’s concerned.

      I guess what I really wanted was a story that was about the Clone Wars, against which a great Jedi Knight falls to the dark side, to further set up the Rebels’ war against the Empire and how a young pilot becomes the first Jedi Knight of his generation.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  3. Pingback: My Top 10 Changes To The Star Wars Expanded Universe | Mr. Rhapsodist

  4. Meadyaon

    In the PT remake I would also show more Jedi and Sith weapons such as a lightwhip (rare variation of the lightsaber). You would see in the remake of the PT what force powers the Jedi and Sith have instead of basically make the Jedi and Sith lightsaber users. To get an idea of what force powers there go to the website in the link. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Force_powers. People would learn more about the Jedi and Sith in the remake of the PT then what was shown in the PT.

    Also I would show the rising distrust of the Jedi Knights like you said. That way you can understand more so why Han Solo does not believe in the Force.
    Han Solo: Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny.

    According to the Revenge of the Sith DVD, series creator George Lucas instructed his creative team to create a villain that foreshadowed Anakin Skywalker’s transformation into Darth Vader: the heavy breathing, the cyborg body, and his seduction into a malevolent faction.

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    1. Thanks! Love to hear your suggestions!

      That’s not sarcasm, by the way. I don’t mind disagreement. If you’ve got your own ideas or like Star Wars just the way it is, say so. It’s an open discussion.

      Like

  5. Pingback: My Top 5 Changes to the Original Star Wars Trilogy | Mr. Rhapsodist

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  7. Pingback: Top 5 Things I Enjoyed About the Star Wars Prequels | Mr. Rhapsodist

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