Why I’m cautiously looking forward to December…

One of the first computer games I ever played (almost THE first unless you count some of the 8bit prepackaged stuff that would come with PCs like solitaire) was a little title called Star Wars: Dark Forces.  This was one of the first cinematics:

Yes complete with informative annotations because why not?

(if you want to know how the games goes, all the cutscenes can be viewed in a row here)

This week, we also got to watch a little teaser trailer…

Look familiar?

Here’s hoping we get a pretty decent Dark Forces movie later this year.  The new movies could do a lot worse plundering the expanded universe…

The Obligatory Star Wars 7 Review

Well I have a blog on the internet, and as Al Gore pointed out to me, part of the terms & conditions for that is talking about Star Wars…

Spoiler Free Review

(seriously? you haven’t seen it yet?)

I’d rank it at least as good as Return of the Jedi and it’s definitely the best things JJ Abrams has ever directed.  Practical effects make the world feel real and people actually act this time instead of the wooden cutouts we had in the prequels.  Action is generally filmed well enough to keep track of what’s happening.  The plot… kind of as well.  All in all, an entertaining ride that an entire family could enjoy.

It’s a star wars film, what more do you want?

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Star Wars the REAL preview

I’m pretty set on the opening, just trying to get the right “feel” for the title crawl.  Also not settled on a title.  Those original three were perfect.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Star Wars

{Opening Crawl}
Episode 2:

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}

Star Wars – the first prequel

Star Wars1

I know what some of you are thinking: why?

Because.  I’ve criticized the prequels once before.  As they say, ‘it’s easy to criticize, think you can do better?’  Yes, I think I can.

I’ve also been watching the original trilogy lately, and they were just so damn good – they deserved much better.  Plus I was inspired by Mr Plinkett’s very excellent critiques, even though he still missed some things…

Some will notice that the script isn’t quite up to 60 pages (around a full hour movie time).  I hyperlinked a lot of things to save space on description, and to show that I’m a fair chap, I wanted to leave some room for George Lucas to do his scenery and action porn.

Some notes on my method:

  • 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.

All in all, I hope this effort soothes your memories of the original tragedy as it did for me while writing it.

(much thanks to Asahel and Jaina for helping me edit this)

UPDATE: I neglected to mention that Confused Matthew‘s reviews also inspired me in writing this.  Much thanks to him as well as Plinkett.

If I wrote SW3:RotS

Scene:
Hospital on Coruscant.  Padme is on an operating table with Anakin looking through an observation window.

Obi-Wan
(enter from stage right)
There you are Anakin!  Were you planning on letting me suffer through the award ceremony alone?

Anakin
Sorry, Master.  I was… distracted.

Obi-Wan
(moves to look in the operating room)
Is that Palpatine’s assistant?

Anakin
Yes.

Obi-Wan
Is she going to be all right?

Anakin
I hope so.

(awkward pause)

Obi-Wan
Don’t worry about the ceremony, Anakin.  I’ll accept your medal for you.

Anakin
Thank you

Obi-Wan
(starts to leave)

Anakin
Master?

Obi-Wan
Yes?

Anakin
Do you… think about the war?

Obi-Wan
All the time.

Anakin
No I mean… Why are we even fighting?

Obi-Wan
To preserve the Republic.

Anakin
But why do we have to fight in the first place?

Obi-Wan
I’m afraid I don’t follow.

Anakin
The Jedi are always saying that the Force is the greatest power in the galaxy.

Obi-Wan
Have not your own studies proven it?

Anakin
They have but… what power do we have if we couldn’t prevent this?

Obi-Wan
Anakin, the Jedi are dedicated to peace.

Anakin
What peace, Master?  The Jedi- We should have seen this war coming!  We should have ensured it never happened!

Obi-Wan
How?

Anakin
Through power!  Through fear!  The separatists should have been too afraid of us to even think about rebellion!  The first rebels should have been crushed immediately by the Jedi.  An example should have been made of them.

Obi-Wan
Anakin it is not our place-

Anakin
Why not?  Why do we have these gifts – the power of the Force if we can’t use it to protect everyone?  To bring order and peace to the galaxy?

Obi-Wan
There are some methods we cannot use.

Anakin
(points to Padme on the table)
Tell her that!  And tell the other thousand who are injured!

Obi-Wan
That’s enough Anakin!  It’s been a long day for all of us.  Go meditate in the temple until you have calmed down.
(turns to leave)
Now Anakin!

————————————————————————————————

Scene:
Theater on Coruscant.  Anakin & Palpatine are watching futuristic entertainment.

Palpatine
I missed you at the ceremony, Anakin.

Anakin
I didn’t feel like attending.

Palpatine
I don’t blame you.  I can’t stand much pomp and circumstances either.
(beat)
Still, I hope you will accept my personal gratitude for your earlier rescue.

Anakin
It was the least any Jedi would do.

Palpatine
But you have shown exceptional valor throughout this war.  I fear we would have lost long ago were it not for you.

Anakin
I would have preferred that there was no fighting at all.

Palpatine
So do we all young one.  But what did you expect from the Jedi?

Anakin
You think they could have prevented this?

Palpatine
Maybe the Jedi of old.  They knew the Truth.  They had power and were willing to use it.

Anakin
What truth?

Palpatine
(leaning closer)
It wasn’t always as you’ve been taught young Skywalker.  The Jedi of old believed in a single, united Force; none of this light or dark side nonsense.

Anakin
But Yoda says-

Palpatine
The “Dark Side” is just an invention of cranky old men afraid their pupils would surpass them.

Anakin
Tell me this story.

Palpatine
The ancient Jedi order had great power, but after centuries of peace, they grew complacent.  One council grew so paranoid that they decided to withhold knowledge from their students.  To ensure no one would become powerful enough to challenge them, they labeled their most powerful techniques as the “dark side” of the Force and invented stories to frighten others from pursuing this knowledge.  Any who did were labeled as “Sith” and ostracized.

Anakin
How do you know this?

Palpatine
The knowledge was hidden, but not destroyed.  It’s still out there for those willing to look for it.

Anakin
And with these teachings?

Palpatine
A single Jedi could end this war.

Anakin
Chancelor, can you share with me this knowledge?

Palpatine
It won’t be easy Anakin.  You will have to unlearn the dogma the Jedi have taught you.  You must see no division within the Force and embrace it wholy.  Completely.

Anakin
We should spread the word.  Others might want to join us!

Palpatine
Good, Anakin.  Good.  Be careful though.  Many of the Jedis’ minds are too closed.  Some might try to stop you.

Anakin
If they do?

Palpatine
Kill them.  What room would there be in this galaxy for them once we have brought order to it?

————————————————————————————————

The rest of the movie Anakin tries to persuade a few Jedi before killing them. (and preferably he’ll kill more THAN A BUNCH OF N00B KIDS)  Eventually only Obi-wan will be left and Anakin will be very close to defeating his former master until the old man uses the force to toss a bunch of lava at him.  Anakin’s wounded and burned as Obi-Wan escapes and takes Padme into hiding. etc etc