An Argument for the Removal of the Prequel Trilogy from Canon and the Reinstatement of Galactic Law
Growing up, I loved Star Wars. Kinda.
The truth is I didn't have many of the toys as a kid. It wasn't until I was in high school that I started collecting the Power of the Force line. For most of my youth Star Wars wasn't a big thing to me. I liked stuff like Incredible Hulk and Superman and a lot of what Star Wars offered was too much for my little brain to get behind. I totally get a big green rage monster and a super-powered alien boy scout but Star Wars had a lot of religious and political overtones and too few light saber duels for my young mind.
But I do remember Han shooting first.
Why is this important? Simply put, Obi-Wan tells Luke that Mos Eisley is “a hive of scum and villainy”. We're expecting to meet scum and villains. Han isn't a do-gooder, he's a smuggler and an opportunist and he's in debt to a mob boss. Obi-Wan is essentially saying that the times are so bad they have to resort to hiring criminals to help them. With this comes a good argument that Luke is essential to Han's redemption just like he was essential to his father's redemption. He never gives up on either. Yeah, he initially writes off Han until the Falcon shows up again at the end and saves his tail but Luke never denied Han a chance to redeem himself. That redemption can't happen unless we see Han act like a scummy criminals and sometimes scummy criminals kill bounty hunters that are threatening to return them or their dead body to the mob bosses they owe money to.
Lucas has stated that Greedo always shot first and that he used the re-releases as a way to amend history and fix things to reflect his creative vision. I think George Lucas is full of hot farts. The script and novel both tell it the way we remember it, Han shot first. In fact, Greedo didn't even get a shot off, Han was so quick on the trigger. So why change something that doesn't need changing? It can't be because Han shooting first makes him irredeemable even though I'm pretty sure that's what George Lucas thinks.
I mean, really, Han's ability to be redeemed has to be at the forefront of why Lucas made the change to begin with but is he right in that assertion? Well, if he believes that Han shooting first is over the line then he's an absolute lunatic because Lucas redeemed someone that did far worse than shoot Greedo. I can't stress this enough: Greedo, being a bounty hunter, has probably killed a lot of people. Both good and bad. So his death probably falls on the side of being a good thing when weighed objectively. Keep that in mind.
It starts with a whiny kid that was immaculately conceived with midich... ugh... nope. I won't even acknowledge them. The force is the force. It doesn't need micro-biology to aid it. To quote Obi-Wan again, “It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” That's all the explanation you need. No one is asking how. We can go along the metaphysical trip without needing to know the specifics. Now this whiny kid grows up to be a whiny adult and he whines about everything and that whining leads him down the path of the dark side, culminating in him killing a whole bunch of kids at a Jedi academy. That's right, he murdered children. Let me say that again: CHILDREN. Mind you, he didn't kill a single Jedi knight, just a bunch of helpless kids.
And that whiny kid gets redeemed in Return of the Jedi when he saves his own son and sacrifices himself to put an end to the machinations that his master had set forth so many years ago. Han at least made it possible for Luke to destroy the Death Star.
I've thought about the reasons George Lucas made every possible wrong decision in the prequels and why he would alter what fans have come to love into something less and the conclusion I've come to isn't good. It all goes back to how he treats the death of Greedo in relation to the death of the Jedi children. I'm pretty sure he hates his own creations. To him killing a bounty hunting alien is beyond redemption because it makes Han appear too blood thirsty (which it doesn't) but killing a school full of kids, that's okay. If you think about an artists creation, the amount of love and focus they put into creating a film, they too are like kids. They are legacy. I feel he doesn't want people to like his Star Wars films, if he did, he wouldn't be so combative about it when people point out his bullsh... crap. It's not a stretch to say he doesn't like his own creations, therefore, kids. He got rich selling out his own creations. That scares me given how he seems to think that killing kids is redeemable but killing a bounty hunter, that had his weapon drawn (something many of those Jedi pupil's didn't have) was over the line.
That's not the only glaring flaw with his meddling. His prequels undo much of the good that the original trilogy had. They do nothing but debase the original trilogy. They dog it at every turn; trying to connect stuff that doesn't need connected. Did we need the droids in the prequels? Not really. At least not those droids. Maybe R2 but when you have to explain why a droid doesn't remember another droid, (because they're memories are wiped) you've made your story overly convoluted and nullified the reason for having them in the story to begin with. It's like he purposely made a movie that he knew people would generally not like.
What we were yearning for in the prequals was a tale similar to Luke's but whereas he realized his failings in that cave on Dagobah, Vader saw them as a step in the right direction. A tale that darkly mirrored Luke's where Luke didn't really get the training to become a great Jedi and did so in spite of it, Vader had that training but still failed as a person. It would have gone very far in making the Skywalkers inherently good but corrupted by the power that the Jedi training offered because Lucas is very clear that the Jedi can be just as bad as the Sith. That's a big part of why the story is so compelling, the duality of good and evil and how one may see themselves as a savior even though they do terrible things.
The prequels add only two things that are worthy of note and that's Natalie Portman as Padme and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan and even then they are forced to recite terrible lines of dialogue that were written by someone that I feel probably should be in therapy. Everything else, from the lazy ship designs to the cobbled together plot is useless. It serves only to sell toys and frankly, I don't think Disney needs a story to be canon to sell merchandise.
There's no soul in the prequels, everything feels scripted and the original trilogy had moments that were improvised and they were stronger for it. They gave the films a sense of honesty.
What we need is a studio that understands the failings of Star Wars' previous master. A studio that wants us to forget the sins of Sith Lord Darth Lucanus. What better way to do that than to reverse everything he did? Hollywood seems to be in love with remakes... how about you remake the prequels with better writers and a director that doesn't think up scenarios on his way to shoot them and doesn't have his actors act in a particularly cardboard manner. One that doesn't think the answer to everything is green screen. One that trusts his actors to know their characters inside and out so that when they are fed a poorly written line to recite, they call shenanigans and go with their gut.
Disney, if you want to do right by the fans, undo Lucas' damage and start by letting Han shoot first. Then announce that we'll get a new Episode 1 eventually. The fans can stop pretending that there's no prequels because you will have saved them that embarassment. You've got it within your power to make even more money and do the right thing by fans. That's a very rare position to be in. Don't waste it.