I have been a Star Wars fan for a long time, but even though I did my best to like the prequels, I somehow couldn’t make it. There’s something definitely lacking from them (and it’s not the CGI effects, that much is for sure). Then I yesterday watched this video and realized that the guy actually is right about it. I would totally watch this version of The Phantom Menace – several times, probably.
The changes he brings in (well, apart from the obvious ‘Get JarJar out of it’ change) are actually working very well. It is Obi-Wan’s story, much more than it is Anakin’s. Obi-Wan will, in the course of the movie, go from being a student to being a master himself.
And I always thought the age difference between Padmé and Anakin was too big. I mean, even if she’s just 16 in the first movie, he’s about half her age. Bringing them closer together (by making Anakin older) definitely would have been a good idea.
Getting rid of the Mid-Chlorians also is an absolute must. A simple difference in the blood makes a person a Jedi? Then you could have an army of Jedi simply by injecting people with it – that is completely stupid.
And Darth Maul was wasted, dying at the end of the movie (well, they’re resurrecting him in the Clone Wars TV series, as I have heard, but still). Darth Maul makes a great enemy for the Jedi, but more important he would make a great adversary for Obi-Wan. After all, he kills Obi-Wan’s master, ending his apprenticeship. Instead of bringing in a new enemy (or two, with Count Dooku and General Grievous), focusing on one enemy would have been good. The other two could have been around, but technically speaking Dooku isn’t a Sith (he’s a Jedi who has turned dark) and Grievous is a rather strange character. A person who is no Jedi, but can handle up to four light-sabres at the same time? Even fight against several Jedi with them? Please…
Anakin was an annoying character in the prequels – one that makes you think ‘when is he going to be put into that black costume and stop whining around like that’ (well, he made me think that). A bit more demure in the first movie (he was a slave and slaves learn early on they’re basically not worth anything) and then growing into his own in the other two would have been much better. Anakin’s development wasn’t really something I was happy with (even putting his whining aside). There are many reasons for him to turn to the dark side. Palpatine is a master manipulator and Anakin is a young man. There are many ways to turn him, slowly, from the Jedi to the Sith. The whole ‘I am afraid people close to me may die’ spiel is absolutely unnecessary.
Possible reasons? Anakin is secretly married, something the Jedi are forbidden. Anakin is a rather rash young man, he is lacking patience (which seems to be a Skywalker trait also displayed by Luke during the original trilogy). Anakin’s not very good with politics, despite his relationship with a senator. All of those could be used against him by a man like Palpatine. Showing him a way out for the marriage problem, using his rashness to turn him against the usually very patient leaders in the council (well, if you are about 900, you can easily wait a few decades for something…), making him take action instead of waiting for the senate to decide on what to do. That would turn him easily enough. You could even leave in Mace Windu attacking Palpatine to make Anakin turn. But get rid of the whiny side.
And Padmé, that’s another sore point for me. Padmé starts out as a strong woman, a queen at 16, self-reliant, fighting well. She’s a consummate politician, too. She completely fits into the line of strong women Star Wars has to offer, right with her daughter Leia, the rebel leader Mon Mothma, or Mara Jade (who starts out as the Emperor’s Hand and later on marries Luke). Padmé goes from that position to a weak, helpless girl in the last part of the prequels. Yes, she is pregnant then, but that doesn’t explain it all.
I like the idea that there might have been something between Obi-Wan and Padmé in the beginning, a love story that doesn’t work out. Maybe they just didn’t suit each other or Obi-Wan (unlike his student) is ready to obey the orders of the Jedi and thus breaks up with her. She hooks up with Anakin and in the end Obi-Wan is left watching over the son of his former Padawan and friend and the woman he once loved – that would certainly spice up things for the original trilogy.
Well, as I said already, that guy is right and I would definitely watch his version of The Phantom Menace. For now I am waiting for him to cover the changes in the other two movies he would make.