How Star Wars Episode 2 should have been

Yeah things have been too busy for me to get around to writing it as a script, but inspired by the “how would you do the prequels” from the sfdebris forums I thought I would do an overview here.  If you want me to go into a long treatise about why episode 2 failed as a story, just let me know.

Anyway this follows the same rules as my rewrite of episode 1:

  • The original three were most important first and foremost.  Nothing was put in that would contradict or open up plot holes from those original 3.
  • Almost as important: showing more things than telling the audience about them.
  • After that, the existing prequels were used as a template.  ex: Anakin still grows up and is found on Tatooine.
  • I tried not to violate too much of the EU canon (I especially love the original Clone Wars cartoons) and wrote with the goal such that the least amount would have to be thrown out or changed – except when this conflicted with the first point.
  • I do love some of the prequel actors (Natalie Portman & Ewan McGregor can be especially skilled) and so wrote the parts not only with them in mind, but with plenty of room for the actors to flex their chops and add character and depth to the roles.

{Opening Crawl}
Episode 2:
[i seriously have no title idea – suggestions welcome]

Turmoil continues to spread through the galaxy with the greedy TECHNO UNION lures more and more systems away from the republic to the banner of the new UNITED WORLDS.

The galaxy is splitting apart and diplomacy is not an option while the evil DARTH MAUL advises.  With no options left, the Senate has voted for its wayward members to be brought back with force.

Jedi Knight OBI-WAN KENOBI and his apprentice ANAKIN SKYWALKER have joined a group of the Republic’s best troopers and several other Jedi on a mission to free the planet KAMINO and its valuable cloning facilities…
{End Crawl}

So the first act is comprised of Republic forces being sent to the icy world of Kamino (ice for both security and sterility).  On there Ben (as Anakin still calls him that) & Anakin can have a sparing & teaching moment (where they act LIKE ACTUAL FRIENDS) during which Anakin asks why the world matters and Ben answers that the Republic is too large for its all volunteer forces (that will be important) to secure, so talented and exceptional soldiers are sent to this world where they are cloned to bolster numbers.  They leave and go to a briefing where it’s established that Jedi will be issued to every unit tasked with retaking a facility (as there are [yet to be determined] number on the planet).  The unit our two heroes are assigned to is lead by one Bail Organa who is somewhat respectful but dismissive of the Jedi.  He sticks them with a young soldier to “babysit the cops while the real soldiers work” – the soldier’s name is Owen Lars and he’s close to Anakin’s age, though a bit younger.  The two of them hit it off and somewhere during this act Anakin informs Owen (and the audience) that he’s only a padawan who hasn’t built his lightsaber yet (as well as some other Jedi basics).

The drop ships arrive and deploy the troops to the major cloning facilities with each unit acting autonomously.  Once there and seeing the target, Obi-Wan convinces Bail to let the Jedi scout the facility first and see if they can find an opening or create one for the main forces.  He agrees as long as Owen goes with them.  Using the Force and a bit of technical trickery, the 3 protagonists sneak into the facility which is mostly underground so it can be supplied with heat and geothermal energy.  While the 3 investigate, they fight some droids that act like they are being centrally controlled, leading Anakin to scavenge a few pieces of them for investigation.  Eventually the group finds a sizable bomb strapped to a large support column in the complex.  Anakin and Owen figure out that when it explodes, the bomb will not only take out the column it’s next to, but several others  nearby causing the entire complex to collapse.  And the timer is down to less than 5 minutes.  Obi-Wan and Owen race back to the surface to get a communication signal out, not realizing that Anakin has stayed behind to defuse it (which he eventually does using his brains and the Force).  Obi-Wan and Owen reach the top and try to broadcast a worldwide warning.  We watch as some troops and Jedi are caught in the explosion, some escape, and 1 more manages to disarm it.  In one facility, a Jedi (like Kit Fisto or another of his race) doesn’t find a bomb, but finds Darth Maul waiting there instead.  A quick, exciting action scene (where the Jedi wields something other than a lightsaber, like this weapon) happens where it’s revealed that Maul now wields two lightsabers that he can join together at the end for the dual-bladed style he prefers.  Eventually Maul defeats the Jedi then orders final evacuations.  Depending on how the movie is running for time, a sequence where the troops are attached by the Techno-Union’s Droid soldiers can be added here.

Act 2 starts with everyone returning to Coruscant where Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is “devastated” by the report that only 4 cloning facilities survived.  He then gives a speech to the Republic rebuking the cowardly attack but praising the efforts of Anakin and Owen in the battle.  Both boys are flustered but flattered and we then cut to advertisements showing their faces in a recruitment drive effort the Republic is running.  Eventually it’s revealed that they’re roommates now with Anakin a bit more eager to get out there and fight some more while Owen is perfectly happy with staying put and not being shot at.  While they talk, Anakin is tinkering on his workbench with the half remains of  Darth Maul lighsaber he picked up in the previous film as well as the Droid parts he took in this one.  A knock/doorbell alerts them to the arrival of Palpatine.  They try to act formal but he is totally chill and talks to the boys about how the recruitment drive is going as well as an idea he had for a new commercial staring them.  When he comes in is when we (and Anakin) see that one of his bodyguards is in fact, Padme.  Anakin doesn’t hear a word Palpatine says (just agreeing to anything), instead silently flirting with Padme.  Finally Palpatine says the kids should just go on a date already and they’ll do the commercial tomorrow.

Then we watch the two of them have a night on the Coruscant town, Padme reveals her duties to the Queen last movie were finished and Palpatine graciously accepted her request to protect him (implying that she was trying to get to Coruscant for Anakin).  Some more info about the Jedi are revealed such that they can have relationships, except for Jedi Masters – those who have mastered the Force so well they don’t even need a lightsaber any more (except for the Jedi Blade Master – yes there are different Masters over different aspects of the Force, even a Master of Farming).  Jedi Masters can only become so by being so devoted to the Force they give up all attachments.  Padme asks and Anakin mentions that he had no real plan to become a master.  The two of them end up having a nice time and DEMONSTRATE ACTUAL CHEMISTRY WITH EACH OTHER.

Cut to Bail Organa and his troops fighting a slowly losing battle with droids, during which Bail is injured.  Then we see that one of the Techno-Union’s cyborgs is in a command-like center directing all the droids like an extremely coked up South Korean Starcraft player.  Suddenly a lightsaber pierces the bunker and cuts a hole through which steps Obi-Wan Kenobi.  He threatens the controller to shut down the droids.  It tries to send one last command to finish off the troops but Obi-Wan kills it then manually shuts down the enemy.  Bail thanks him and they discuss the growing war.  Things might turn around as the Republic utilizes the tactics of Jedi hunting down the War Droid controllers while soldiers hold off the actual droids.  Both of them muse on missing their proteges who have to be kept safe for propaganda purposes.  A call comes to Obi-Wan.  It’s Anakin’s mother who is looking for him and trying to tell him something.

Cut to what first looks like another battle, but is revealed to be a propaganda film involving Anakin and Owen.  They take a break, Anakin has a moment with Padme (who is there because Palpatine is watching the production).  Obi-Wan and Shmi arrive on the set (Obi-Wan using his mind trick to get past the guards).  Eventually all of the protagonists meet privately.  That’s where we learn that Anakin had a younger sister that was separated from him and his mom years before he escaped Tatooine.  Shmi has spent all her days free searching for her and has finally found a lead.  Obi-Wan reveals that it’s on a planet that has joined the United Worlds.  Owen thinks the undertaking should be handled by more experienced Jedi and soldiers but Anakin is as resolute as his mother, his sister must be saved.  When they tell Palpatine, he is adamant that they can’t leave but Anakin won’t listen to him.  He finally insists that Padme go with them to keep both boys safe.  So Shmi, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Owen, and Padme head off into the galaxy.

Act 3 begins with their ship arrive at the oceanic world.  Anakin is flying and must demonstrate his skill as they move from the rings of the planet to the ocean (the ship is amphibious) where they reach a large complex.  Within they first find an assembly line making what appear to be slave collars.  Eventually the group finds a large group of slaves which are working on an assembly line too, only it’s revealed that it’s not mechanical, but the clones that were stolen from Kamino in various stages of growth.  Wondering at what is going on, Obi-Wan starts freeing the slaves with Padme helping while Anakin, Owen and Shmi run to find the missing family member.  Eventually they find a young Beru who happily embraces her mother and brother.  She even has a bit of banter with Owen who seems smitten with her.  They start to head back only to realize they’re more separated from the Obi-Wan than initially thought.

Eventually they are trapped by battle droids, and Darth Maul steps forth.  It is shown that he has a round device stuck to his temple, which is being used to control the droids.  As he commands the droids to fire, Anakin pulls a device out of his bag and activates it, causing all the droids to shut down.  He reveals that he knew the United Worlds were using a coordinated signal, and has (since the beginning of the movie) been working on a countermeasure.  The group resumes escaping with Darth Maul hot on their heels.  Anakin tries to slow him down with trickery and what Force powers he has and it barely keeps them all alive.  Until Darth Maul uses the Force himself to cause Anakin to stumble, and Shmi ends up sacrificing herself to block the lightsaber attack meant for her son.  Anakin barley has a second to process her death before he lashes out with a cry and blast of pure Force power that knocks Darth Maul back and tears up Anakin’s immediate surroundings.  The Sith Warrior recovers and advances.  Anakin tosses the anti-droid device to Owen before digging into his tool bag and pulling out the lightsaber half he took from Darth Maul, and reveals that he’s gotten it repaired as it lights up (it should look very close to what Darth Vader wields in the original trilogy).

Darth Maul laughs and strikes.  Anakin knows he is outclassed and plays a retreating game, just trying to keep himself alive as he uses his wits to dodge and lightsaber to block.  He also uses the Force to hurl debris at Maul (similar to the Luke/Vader fight in Empire Strikes Back only half flipped).  Maul laughs as he destroys the projectiles or deflects them back at Anakin.  Eventually the boy is finally cornered and about to be slaughtered when Obi-Wan attacks from behind.  Maul counters and now it’s a 2 and a half way battle.  Maul taunts that they’ll never escape, they always knew droids would not always be useful.

Cut to Owen and Padme leading the slaves over a pile of fallen droids.  They are nearing where the docking bay is when people step forward.  It is the clones!

Cut to Obi-Wan pointing out that clones can’t be rushed.  Growing them in less than ten years causes mental problems that makes them useless.  Maul taunts that normally that’s true.

Cut back to the clones, and reveal that on the back of their necks and heads are the devices they previously saw being built in the factory.  They’re being controlled as well, and not by the same signal that the droids used as Anakin’s device doesn’t affect them.  Padme and Owen act fast to shoot back and cover the slaves.

Cut back to the Jedi.  Maul continues to hold his own and even seems to be slowly winning.  Eventually Anakin makes a clumsy attack and Maul cuts his right arm off (because Anakin still sucks at the lightsaber).  Down for a moment, Anakin reassess the situation.  He notices the device still attached to Maul’s temple and uses the Force to remove it and bring it to him.  As soon as it’s in his remaining hand, Anakin jams the thing against his temple.  That’s when they all notice the battle had moved into a large storage room.  Dozens and dozens of droids burst from containers, aiming their weapons at Maul.  The Sith Warrior considers the droids a moment, and the Jedi facing him, and retreats amid a hail of blaster fire.  Obi-Wan helps Anakin remove the device (which seems to have partially implanted itself) and then to his feet.  Obi-Wan asks Anakin where he got the lightsaber since he wasn’t supposed to have one yet and Anakin replies that he stole it from Darth Maul (half truth).  Obi-Wan says to leave it here as it wasn’t a proper jedi weapon, but when Kenobi isn’t looking, Anakin uses the Force to pick up the weapon and put it back in his tool bag.

They reach the docking bay where Owen and Padme and the slaves are a little frazzled but otherwise ok as they prep a ship to leave (the docking bay control tower is revealed to be filled with dead Techno-Union workers).  As they board, Beru takes Anakin from Kenobi and they talk a moment over the shared loss of their mother and his injury.  He admits it was all worth it.

The Finale begins with Darth Maul limping into a lab with Techno-Union workers.  Darth Sidious calls up to question his apprentice.  Maul reveals that some stray bolts injured him, but nothing fatal.  Sidious asks if he has learned what he needed to from the Techno-Union, can they replace the body with machines?  Maul says they have almost perfected it and Sidious mentions he has a perfect test subject then commands the procedure be sent to him.  Maul agrees as he looks at a tank where parts are being grafted onto a body that looks just like General Grevious.

Cut to back to Coruscant where Palpatine is delivering a speech about the revelation that the United Worlds is utilizing the stolen clones and cloning technology.  That with this the Republic forces will not be enough to defeat this foe, the Republic must institute a draft in order to get the numbers needed to fight this burgeoning Clone War.  Palpatine expresses how much he hates this and wishes there was another way, but accepts that even if the people will hate him, the Republic “must endure.”  He then “awaits their protest” only for the Senate to break out in applause and chants of “we will endure.”

Anakin sits in a hospital with Padme beside him, Owen and Beru standing nearby.  Kenobi enters and says that there is an experimental procedure to replace his arm with a robotic one but he doesn’t have to do it.  Kenobi notes that being a Jedi is more than just fighting, size and ability do not matter to the Force.  Padme even says she’ll still love him.  Anakin heeds both, then says he will do it.  The five then look out the window at Coruscant where adverts about the draft are displayed along with news announcements about “War” and lines of people stretch out from the drafting centers.  In the distance, a regiment of soldiers in white battle armor are loaded onto a transport that lifts into the sky.

End Credits

Nate’s “Official” Supernatural Viewing Guide

Official because you know I’m always right (especially when I tell you I’m about to be wrong).

Now let’s be serious a moment.  An acquaintance stopped by and asked me about watching one of my all time favorite shows.  It hit me that in this story rich age, and with 10+ seasons to its name, the show might be pretty daunting to the viewers.  So here I present a viewing guide to the original 5 seasons (I may update with more seasons if people ask).

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