This blog post will be unlike any of my previous blog posts in that it is totally not serious, and it is about Star Wars. I am writing this at the behest of my friend Chauncey, and I take it as a welcome break from the very serious posts I have written in the past few weeks.
One night, while bored at work, my co-worker Patrick Flynn and I began talking about Star Wars as we were wont to do. We talked primarily about Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith. If you have not seen this film, don’t. If you unfortunately saw it, in theaters, opening night, with your parents, you will at least appreciate this immensely.
We both hated Episode III (E3) with a passionate burning. The acting was on par with daytime soap operas, the special effects were extremely digitized (boring), the lightsaber battles were nothing compared to Episode I (Darth Maul = only redeeming value of the new Star Wars), and worst of all, the plot sucked majorly (and yes I know “majorly” is not a word). Pat and I began discussing what the movie could have been. We talked wistfully about how E3 could have concluded the new movies in an epic, tragic manner that connected us directly to A New Hope. Instead, it failed us as children who grew up loving Star Wars. We decided the entire E3 needed a new plot, and we set about creating one. This is what we came up with.
The driving motivation behind the movie lies in Senator Palpatine‘s need to dissolve the senate. In order to do this, he must first eradicate the judicial protectors of the senate, the Jedi. He is a Sith Lord, and he realizes that within Anakin Skywalker there is the power to kill all of the Jedi. He only needs to figure out how to get Anakin so super mad at all the Jedi that he goes about slaughtering them. We both felt that this was the weakest part of the film. The weakness comes not in the plot device but in Anakin’s motivation to do the killing. We could not even identify why Anakin killed all the Jedi. Was it his mother’s death? The Jedi had nothing to do with that. Was it his marriage to Natalie Portman’s character? The Jedi forbid that, but they never knew about it. What made Anakin lose his mind and kill all the Jedi?
In order to solve this problem, we developed this scheme. In the end of Episode II: The Attack of the Clones, Anakin and Padme get married. Some time passes between the two movies, and we suggest that in this time Padme became pregnant. The pregnancy causes her to realize a few things: first, she married a Jedi, a person who is in no position to raise a family, and second, she fears Anakin and his rebellion against the Jedi by marrying her. For all the dumb decisions she makes concerning Anakin in the second film, she decides to be wise. She approaches the only people who can protect her from Anakin as she prepares to birth the children that she plans on not raising with him: the Jedi. Right off the bat, in our version, Padme goes to Obi-Wan and tells him the truth. He naturally shares her fear. The Jedi, who honestly are ignorant of Anakin’s relationship with Padme, devise a plan to allow Padme to birth the children without Anakin’s knowledge.
The Jedi decide to send Anakin on a 10-month mission to investigate Senator Palpatine of whom they are growing deeply suspicious. Obi-Wan accompanies Anakin on this mission doing a lot of undercover work. In Palpatine’s interactions with Anakin, he uncovers the illicit marriage. Covertly, he discovers Padme’s pregnancy. It seems this is exactly what Palpatine needs in order to throw Anakin over the edge. He knows the young man is volatile and powerful. He simply needs a reason to make Anakin hate the Jedi. When Padme prepares to have the children, Obi-Wan accompanies her in order to ensure safe delivery of Luke and Leia to their respective adoptive parents. Palpatine arrives to thwart the plan. After the children have been put on the ship, Palpatine shows up eliciting a super sick lightsaber battle between the Sith Lord and Obi-Wan. In the midst of the violence, Palpatine kills Padme. Obi-Wan then realizes his duty to protect the children, and he escapes to fly away to deliver the kids. Unbeknown to him, the Sith he fought is the same man he had been investigating.
While Obi-Wan gives Luke and Leia to their new parents, Palpatine tells Anakin about his wife’s death at the hands of the Jedi. The lightsaber wounds confirm it was the Jedi. Palpatine tells Anakin that this is what happens to Jedi’s secret spouses, and it is not fair. Anakin goes into a rage, but he becomes even more vengeful when Palpatine reveals Padme’s recent childbirth. At this point, Anakin, totally pissed because the Jedi killed his wife and child (remember, the Senator does not know they were twins), proceeds to go crazy and kill all the Jedi he can find. Eventually, he reaches Obi-Wan who hacks him into bits before what is left of him is turned into Darth Vader.
We like this plot way better because it not only makes more sense of the film, but it actually connects to Episodes V and VI much better. It plants the seeds for Vader’s eventual rebellion against the emperor in Return of the Jedi. When he realizes Luke is still alive in Episode V, he begins to question the emperor’s truthfulness. When he learns Leia exists and is alive, he finally understands that the Jedi had been looking out for him the whole time, and it was the emperor who killed Padme. That is the only way Palpatine got to him before Obi-Wan did with the news of Padme’s death. This sets up Darth Vader casting the emperor to his death as he watches Luke suffer under the emperor’s torment in the same way Padme did. Vader connects the dots after being deceived all those years when he sees his own children for the first time.
I just want to emphasize that a lot of credit for this story goes to Patrick Flynn. The night we thought it up was one of those magical nights where ideas flowed like milk and honey, and that makes it pretty impossible to say who thought up which part. Pat is a pretty cool guy, and I am proud to have thought this up with him. We no longer believe the other plot actually happened, and if you have a good imagination, you can totally imagine this new plot replacing the old with real pictures, lines, and battles (all of which will be better than anything George Lucas can concoct). This is what actually happened in E3; it was such a great film.