Remaking Star Wars
The Star Wars films have their cinematic gems–and lightsabers, which better be well-stocked in heaven–but if the stories were ever to be retold, I’d want someone other than George Lucas in the lead X-wing. Someone like…me.
Yes, I’ve thought long and in nerd-level detail about how I’d re-envision the world of the Jedi.
Were I given the opportunity and more money than Han Solo could image, I would tell the story of the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker in a three season HBO series. My Anakin would be radically different from whiny space brat we all know and regard with a cringe: extraordinarily powerful and intelligent, magnanimous, and with a long way to fall. The overarching narrative would center on his story, but not every episode would focus on him. His tale would be like the Dude’s rug, tying the whole room together.
Before I further explain what I would do, permit me to mention what I’d remove from the story: the clones, the Clone Wars plot, the Death Star plot, the extermination of the Jedi plot, the Virgin Birth, the planets having a uniform terrain and environment, Jar Jar Binks, and Skywalker temper tantrums. Instead, the series would be about the political, cultural, and religious conflicts the Jedi Order have with the government of the Republic and the multiple planets throughout the galaxy. Anakin’s rise and fall would mirror the deterioration of the Jedi as “guardians” and as political players. While they lose control of their exemplar knight, they also lose control over the Republic. Anakin’s redemption through the love of his children, Luke and Leia, would expose the limitations of the Jedi way. Lucas touched upon this theme, but I would like it explicit and cardinal.
I would keep Palpatine as a sly and powerful senator and secret Sith Lord, but he wouldn’t be working to transform the Republic into an empire. His goals would be more in keeping with the way of the Sith: growing powerful in the Dark Side of the Force while working behind the scenes to undermine the moral and political authority of the Jedi. He’d be an expert player of the game of thrones, maybe even the best, but his ascension to power would be more subtle, more the designs of a closet religious fanatic than a would-be emperor.
Obi-Wan, Mace, and Yoda would also play prominent roles, but as less likeable characters than they were in the films. They’d still be good guys, more or less, but more morally flawed, more open about using Anakin and later is children for their own religious, cultural, and political purposes. Through them and other Jedi we’d learn much more than Lucas ever told us about the Jedi mythos and ethos. The origins of the Jedi, and whether they are as history records them, would be an important theme. I’d also get into the conflicts that emerge between the Jedi way, which has the backing of and power over the senate, and the multiple religions and cultures that each planet would reasonably have. In my Star Wars, the Jedi wouldn’t be the only game in town, but they’d want to be, and they’d blur the lines between the Light Side and Dark Side of the Force in their Force-fueled futile attempts to remain the mainstream galactic religion.
Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca would mostly feature in the third and final season. In order to maintain continuity between the second and third seasons, i.e., not have a 20 year gap, I would have the Skywalker twins conceived in the first season. I’m not sure yet who their mother would be, maybe a fellow Jedi or a bounty hunter or a senator, but not the wife of Anakin. No secret marriage in my version, although Luke and Leia’s mother would be among the main characters throughout all three seasons. Oh, and Leia would also be a power Jedi like her brother, but in conflict with him about how best to save their father. The method they ultimately choose would be similar to what Luke did in the films–refuse to fight and appeal to love–but it would cost them more than the death of their father. I’d probably have at least one of them slain by Palpatine.
As you can tell, my telling of Star Wars would not be for young children. It would be grand, dark, tragic, and morally ambiguous. So, what do you think? Am I off my AT-AT? Am I dramatically idiotic to imagine a remake? If you could remake Star Wars, how would you do it?