Imagine we’re sitting at the bar in the Mos Eisley Cantina. That’s the only way to have this conversation properly.
Me: You know what’s wrong with the Star Wars prequels?
You: midichlorians, Hayden Christensen, CGI, worst love story ever, the entirety of Attack of the Clones, Jar Jar.
Me: Yeah but you know what’s really wrong with the Star Wars prequels?
You: Poor writing, poor blocking, poor directing choices in general, screen wipes, Jar Jar.
Me: K but you know what’s REALLY REALLY wrong with the Star Wars prequels?
Me: The story doesn’t make any da** sense!
You: Is this going to take a while?
Me: We’re drunk in the middle of Tatooine in your imagination. You’ve got nowhere to be.
You: Fair point. Proceed.
Me: So we’ve got to go by the OT, right? Like, that’s the original canon and as gospel truth as Star Wars gets.
Me: Well there’s a few things about the prequels that just don’t line up. Take the Jedi order. If we’re to believe the prequels, the Jedi are a thriving police-ish force with political and military influence everywhere and, like, probably hundreds if not thousands of members.
Me: SO!? What about the Nazi commander guy in A New Hope who’s all like
“sad devotion to ancient religion” doesn’t exactly sound like Jedis were running the whole thing 20 years ago. And speaking of 20 years ago, don’t tell me Han’s flown “from one side of this galaxy to the other” without seeing anything to make him believe in the force. If we’re to believe the prequels, Yoda was probably force-juggling spaceships on galactic sportscenter while Han was in high school.
It just doesn’t work with the OT to have a fully-functioning Jedi order in such recent history. Then there’s the whole balance to The Force and prophecy thing.
You: Yes, yes, we all know “the prophecy” is vague and underdeveloped.
Me: No, I’m fine with a good ol’ fashioned “chosen one” prophecy. And it could have been pulled off nicely. Instead, the way the prequels are set up, it’s completely unnecessary. What was imbalanced about the force? The score stood at two Sith to a bajillion Jedi. Any unbalance going on is in the Jedi’s favor, but either way there’s no reason to be looking for someone to fix something that’s not broke yet. Qui-Gon should have told the Skywalkers thank you for the meal then gone on his merry way. Oh also Qui-Gon Gin shouldn’t exist.
You: Oh no. No no no no no no. I draw the line at Liam Neeson.
Me: Believe me, I love Liam as much as anyone. But the fact is Qui-Gon just doesn’t belong in OT lore. Remember when Obi-wan sends Luke to Degobah? He wants Luke to train with the same master who trained himself. In fact, that relationship is mentioned several times in Empire Strikes Back. So Yoda should be Obi-Wan’s master. Plus there’s all the stuff about Obi being just as head-strong and angry and reckless as Luke that just goes completely unexplored.
You: Yeah I guess I’d never thought about that really. Good point. Well, thanks for the chat. This was nice.
Me: Oh no, I’m just getting started
Me: Picture this— A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
You: Nope. I’m leaving
Me: Wait! Just, I’ll be quick ok?
Me: Ok so here’s what we should have had from the prequels— we start with a struggling Jedi order. Not even an order really, just a single, solitary member from the old times when the Jedi thrived. The only being (we know of) capable of living long enough to remember when there were Jedi.
You: *eyes get big* …Yoda…
Me: That’s right. Yoda has for hundreds of years now survived as the only living Jedi master. He travels the galaxy, evading the Sith Lord Sidious (also political leader Palpatine; I mean, they didn’t get everything wrong) all the while searching desperately for The Chosen One, a jedi-to-be destined to defeat the Sith, bring back the Jedi order and in doing so restore balance to the Force. One fateful day, Yoda escapes the clutches of Sidious once again and finds himself on the barren desert planet of Tatooine. Leaving the planet would require bypassing the republic police task force— Palpatine’s men: even though he’s not in total control yet, and while many are still sympathetic to Yoda, he has a large influence over the police and military, as all evil potential dictators do— anyway like I was saying, escape from the planet means Yoda must find another ship. So of course he heads over to Mos Eisley where he finds… (and now here the audience would be all, “Millenium Falcon!!!” except it wouldn’t be, it would just be a normal ship even though the scene would totally be building up like it was gonna be the Falcon and-)
You: holy crap you’re not actually making a movie just keep going
Me: Right. So he finds a ship piloted by two young men: deserters from the republic army, one is notably older than the other but both have the same sense of space-cowboy-rule-breaking adventure about them. The older one introduces himself as Kenobi, Obi-Wan Kenobi. “We’d be happy to take you out of here, old-timer” says Obi-Wan (you: really with the voices and the old-timer?) “This is my partner, Anakin Skywalker, best da** pilot in the galaxy.” So at this point in my mind Obi and Ani are basically Goose and Maverick from Top Gun.
They’ve already been through a lot together and are like brothers. They left the military because they suspected corruption on the part of Palpatine (which is Yoda’s first clue they’re force-sensitive) and since then they’ve just been rebels without a cause. During their many adventures a couple things have already happened: first, Obi-Wan (slightly more mature and patient of the two) has in small ways discovered his use of The Force; of course, he knows nothing about it and just thinks it’s some pretty cool sh**. Second, during their escape from the military they ended up rescuing Senator Padme Amidala, and she and Anakin fell in love. So when Yoda discovers The Force in both of them, he offers to train them. It would require years of exile learning under his tutelage. Obi-Wan readily accepts, but Anakin chooses Padme. These decisions convince Yoda that Obi-Wan is The Chosen One (or Chosen Wan, hehe), and the two leave Anakin to the life he’s chosen. Obi promises to come back and teach Ani everything he’s about to learn, but already the seeds of jealousy and distrust are being sown in Anakin’s mind. Boom.
You: You done?
Me: Well, no. I mean, then we’d see, like, Obi-Wan come back a Jedi master, meanwhile Anakin’s been getting more and more involved with political affairs. The whole thing where Palpatine slowly corrupts Anakin would probably be similar. But the point is Yoda realizes he trained the wrong Jedi, and Anakin is the chosen one, but when Obi-Wan tries to train Anakin he goes evil and Yoda vows never again to train someone so old and so angry. You know, precedent-setting stuff.
You: What about clones and death star and whatnot?
Me: I don’t know! Do I have to come up with everything? Not like it’s gonna ever be a real movie anyway.
You: I guess you’re right. Cool.
Me: Cool. Cool cool cool.