I think we can all agree that the Star Wars prequels are not very good and it's sad because they have so much potential.That is why I decided, like many before me, to fix the Star Wars prequels. Don't worry, I won't just rip off Belated Media's "What If" series on YouTube, although it is fantastic and if you haven't seen it you should really check it out! However, while Belated Media adopted the story of the prequels and made changes along the way, mine changed the story and adopted a few minor things from the prequels (pretty much just Darth Maul).
I'll quickly go over my main problem with the prequels. We already know that there are plenty of bad characters in the prequels (Jar Jar, Viceroy, Watto, Nute Gunray, Captain Panaka, Sebulba, etc.) but there is something deeper than that. The main problem is that it doesn't feel like Star Wars. It doesn't give off that emotion, that magic, the feeling in your gut when the music plays and the opening crawl goes on the screen.
I decided I can't live with it the way it is and I'm going to give this movie a makeover!
The Opening Crawl:
Star Wars Episode I: The End of Peace
There has been a disturbance in the force! Jedi are mysteriously disappearing throughout the galaxy and Jedi Master Yoda fears the Sith have returned. He has sent his apprentice into hiding on the desolate planet of Tatooine to keep him safe from the darkside.
Meanwhile, the Republic is in a state of panic after two members of the Galactic Senate have been assassinated by a mysterious bounty hunter. Their deaths have left the fast-rising politician, Sheev Palpatine, and former Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, to fill their voids.
The Galactic Police Force has been sent to Tatooine at the request of Senator Palpatine who has heard rumors that the insidious Maul is hiding somewhere on the Planet...
We see a giant ship come out of hyper speed with a view of a sandy desert planet below. The ship lands and soldiers with familiar storm troopers outfits begin marching off the ship, only unlike storm troopers, they aren't wearing helmets and we can see they are all identical, a.k.a clones.
We see two cloaked figures sneak under the ship and pull them selves up through a shaft. Once on the ship, one pulls off his hood and is revealed to be a young man, who complains to the other figure that they are going be caught. The other cloaked figure pulls off his hood and it's immediately clear that this is our Anakin. You can imagine Hayden Christensen if you like, but I prefer this as my Anakin...
Anakin tells the other boy named Owen to grow a pair, and that he needs the piece from the ship to power up his speeder (not pod racer) for an upcoming race. He rips a piece out of the ship and an alarm goes off. A clone officer rushes in and tells them to stop. Anakin and Owen put their hands up but then Anakin picks up an wrench and chucks it at the clone's forehead and the clone is knocked to the ground. The two rush out of the ship with several clone officers making chase. Owen hops in the passenger seat while Anakin quickly installs the stolen piece, showing off his mechanical skills. Once it's installed, he jumps in the driver seat and the two take off, followed by a few of these...
The Galactic Police Force sets their weapons to stun and begin to fire at the speeder. The leader pulls up next to the speeder and motions for Anakin to pull over. Owen cries they're doomed, and Anakin tells him to shut up and hold on. He presses a button and the speeder zooms off! Now we get to see Anakin's kick-ass piloting skills and amazing reflexes in action as he flies through town. Anakin's laughing and having the time of his life, but he gets overconfident in and during a risky manuever, crashes his speeder.
(QUICK RECAP: By the end of this opening scene we've established Anakin is a fun, talented, and reckless protagonist. We see that he gives into his impulses and isn't afraid to break rules to get what he wants. He's not a slave, he's not building droids, he's just a reckless teenager who has a lot of skill and this natural ability leads him to be overconfident. In the Phantom Menace Anakin is taken away from his mother because he has a lot of... midi-chlorians? But I digress, let's move on...)
There is a knock at a door and Anakin's mother (played by Sigourney Weaver) finds her son in the hands of a Galactic Police member with a giant bruise on his forehead. His mother looks at him with disappointment. She scolds him for what he did, saying that he could have been killed, and to make it worse he dragged poor Owen along and could have gotten him killed. Anakin is ashamed and has nothing to say. She says she knows her son has a good heart, and asks why he chooses to do the wrong thing. Anakin has no answer. That is when a commotion breaks out in village just outside and Anakin rushes out. He climbs up a sand dune and down below he sees a Galactic Police member sliced clean in half by a creature with a double sided lightsaber. Anakin watches in horror as a group of clone officers are mowed down. The figure we know to be Darth Maul then shouts "COME OUT AND FACE ME!" Anakin nearly has a heart attack before he realizes that Maul isn't talking to him, when Maul yells out again "COME OUT OBI-WAN KENOBI!" A figure comes from the shadow and lights up his saber and the two go at it. It's clear Maul has the upper hand.
Obi-Wan is on the ropes and Anakin knows he needs to do something or the Jedi will die. He slides down the sand dune and grabs a blaster from a dead clone's hand and fires it at Maul. Maul is hit in the arm and falls back. He stares at Anakin angrily with glowing red eyes and Anakin stares back. Anakin fires another blast which Maul deflects before he disappears down an alley. Anakin rushes over to Obi-Wan and the two lock eyes. Anakin says "When were you planning on telling me you were a Jedi?" Inferring that these two have already met!
Anakin kneels next to Obi-Wan and tells him he got his ass kicked. Obi-Wan laughs, causing him to grimace in pain. He reveals he has a pretty bad injury on his side and Anakin puts him around his shoulder and carries him back to his mother to get patched up. Later that night. while the three eat dinner. Anakin asks what a Jedi is doing on Tatooine and Obi-Wan tells him that he was forced into hiding because of the sudden disappearance of Jedi throughout the galaxy. He tells him that his master Yoda was sure the Sith had returned and now they had proof.
After dinner, Anakin asks Obi-Wan if he can see his lightsaber and Obi-Wan smiles and says yes if it's okay with his mother. She smirks and nods and Obi-Wan hands it to Anakin. Anakin lights the saber and clumsily waves it around which kind of reminds everyone of...
Then Obi-Wan says it is time for him to go, and he says his goodbyes to Anakin and Shmi and heads for his ship. Shmi comes rushing out after him.
She asks Obi-Wan to take her son with him to Coruscant . She tells Obi-Wan that Anakin will go down a dark path if he is left trapped on Tatooine and that he needs to be free. She tells him Anakin has amazing abilities and must learn to become a Jedi. Obi-Wan isn't convinced, but then she says "Do you still want to know who my son's father is?"
(QUICK CLEAN UP: Obi-Wan is already older by the time this movie starts. He is closer to Revenge of the Sith Kenobi.)
We pick back up as Anakin says goodbye to his mother. He climbs onto a ship after Obi-Wan. Once in space we have a hologram conversation between Yoda and Obi-Wan where Obi-Wan tells Yoda of Darth Maul's amazing power. Yoda agrees that Obi-Wan must go to Coruscant to warn and protect the senators, and that there has been a huge disturbance in the force. That is when a blast shakes the ship and communication breaks off. Now we see a familiar face following Obi-Wan and Anakin.
We also hear someone on Obi-Wan's ship shout in pain. Anakin rushes over and finds Owen stowed away. Owen says it's a Mandalorian ship and Anakin says that's impossible because the Mandalorian are extinct. Obi-Wan says he knows about one that is still alive and if it is who he thinks it is they are in big trouble. Their ship is blasted a couple more times and the shields go down. Anakin and Owen bro hug and he asks Owen why he snuck on the ship. Owen explains he didn't want to be left behind on Tatooine. Anakin scolds him for leaving his girlfriend Beru when Obi-Wan yells that while their reunion is lovely, one of them needs to take the gunner spot in the back of the ship. The two hysterically play rock paper scissors as the ship is hit over and over again. Obi-Wan can't believe his eyes. Owen finally wins and heads for the gun. Anakin pouts and sits in the copilot seat and asks if Obi-Wan needs him to take control of the ship, to which Obi-Wan indignantly says no. Obi-Wan flies the ship into an asteroid field but the trailing ship stays right on their tail. Anakin sits calmly with his feet on the dash board as Owen is heard yelling angrily in the back of the ship. Obi-Wan quips that Anakin looks comfortable to which Anakin confidently says "Whenever you're ready for me to take the controls I'll get us out of this mess." Obi-Wan insists he's got it and through gritted teeth he flies them deeper into the asteroid field. The ship gets hit from behind again and Owen shouts for Obi-Wan to give the controls to Anakin. Obi-Wan looks at Anakin and gives him a nod. Anakin smiles and says "Why, Obi, I'd thought you'd never ask!"
Anakin hops in the pilot seat and takes off. Obi-Wan's face shows that he is amazed at Anakin's piloting as he whips around asteroids. Before long Owen joins them in the cockpit and says the following ship is long gone. Obi Wan asks who Owen is and Anakin tells him he's like his brother. Then Obi-Wan asks where Anakin learned to fly. Owen tells Obi-Wan that it's not something Anakin learned, it's just in his blood. Anakin asks Obi-Wan who was in the ship that attacked them and Obi-Wan tells him it was one of the last survivors of what was once the most dangerous alien race: The Mandalorian bounty hunter known as Boba Fett.
We cut to their ship landing on Coruscant where the three characters are escorted by Galactic Police into a building where another big meeting takes place: Anakin Skywalker meets Padmé Amidala and Senator Palpatine. Padmé claims that someone has been hired to kill all the senators. Anakin tells her to calm down, and that he, Owen, and Obi-Wan have been getting shot at all day and they're not complaining. She tells Obi-Wan to keep his pet on a leash and storms off. Owen cackles while Anakin steams.
Palpatine laughs off the whole thing and says Padmé is just being dramatic. The charismatic Senator quickly makes friends with the three heroes and assures them that he is doing everything to find Maul and keep everyone safe. He also tells them that he is working on getting more "Clone Troopers" made, which Obi-Wan and Anakin agree is a bad idea. Owen says more troopers is a good idea, especially with the rise of the Hutts on poorer planets like Tatooine (which is ironic because he will one day be killed by these "troopers"). Palpatine agrees with Owen and assures them that the clones would only be used as galactic police, enforcing law and order around the galaxy. But Obi-Wan cannot get the phrase "Clone Troopers" out of his head.
(QUICK RECAP: So at this point in the George Lucas version of Episode I we'd be at about the part where Jar Jar tells the Queen "Weesa have a grand army," Qui-Gon is going around telling everyone how great the 10 year old Anakin is and the Jedi counsel is telling him to f**k off because Anakin's definitely going to grow up to be a psycho killer. In this makeover version, Anakin has been whisked away on an adventure by Obi-Wan Kenobi just like Luke was by... Obi-Wan Kenobi. How's that for poetry and rhyming George? Okay, let's continue...)
At dinner that night Anakin and Padmé bicker at every chance they get. First she takes a shot at him for his sloppy eating habits, then he takes a shot at her for her silly hairdo, but the most revealing argument is over democracy. Anakin says there is no problem with one person ruling as long as they are the right person, and that as a former queen, she sounds hypocritical saying democracy is the only way to rule. Palpatine says Anakin would make a great king to which Padmé scoffs. She says that there is no problem with one person ruling as long as they are voted into power but there must be checks and balances and that absolute power can corrupt even the best of people. Before their bickering can continue, a clone officer comes in and informs the room that a fleet of enemy ships are headed towards Coruscant and that the enemy's landing is imminent. Palpatine and Obi-Wan quickly make orders for backup but they are told the reinforcements will not arrive for up to an hour. They will have to hold down the planet until then.
Obi-Wan orders the senators to evacuate the building and for Anakin and Owen to grab guns and help protect them. Anakin says he wants to go with Obi-Wan and help him but Obi-Wan tells him to stay and protect the senators. He then lights up his lightsaber and rushes out of the room. He runs out of the senate building onto a bridge in between two waterfalls where the first enemy space ship is landing and who should be the first person off of it other than... Darth Maul.
Behind Maul, several troops get off his ship. They are clearly not clones, although they are also wearing storm trooper-like armor, but the armor is black instead of white and there is a strange insignia on the arm.
The Galactic Police and Darth Maul's troops begin blasting at each other while Maul and Obi-Wan meet in the middle of the battle in a scene similar to this one from The Dark Knight Rises (except with lightsabers).
We then follow the Mandalorian ship as it makes its way into orbit. Once on the planet, it blasts the senate building to shreds. The building caves in, separating Anakin and Padmé from Owen and the rest of senators. Suddenly a small silver ball rolls on the ground in front of them. A quick thinking Anakin flips a table and jumps on top on Padmé. The silver ball explodes but they are shielded from the explosion. Anakin and Padmé have a quick moment before she angrily tells him to get off of her. That's when the sound of a jet pack roars through the room and we see the Mandalorian Bounty Hunter everyone has been talking about. Anakin grabs his blaster off the ground and prepares to fire.
The scene cuts back to Maul and Obi-Wan fighting on a bridge surrounded by troops on both sides. Darth Maul is showing that he is more powerful than Obi-Wan but this time Obi-Wan is putting up a better fight. The two lock blades and look into each others eyes. Maul tells Obi-Wan to embrace his hate. Obi-Wan shouts "NO!"
We cut back to Anakin and Boba Fett's shoot out. Boba flies into the air and shoots the gun out of Anakin's hand and Anakin force jumps to grab on to Boba's cape. Boba says "Get off me, you aren't my target," and shakes Anakin off. He fires at Padmé who screams but in one of the coolest scenes ever, Anakin catches the laser beam in the air right in front of Padmé's face. Boba Fett lands and cries out "You're a jedi?"
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan is getting his ass handed to him as the fight wears on. It's clear Darth Maul is toying with him at this point. He force pushes Obi-Wan down causing him to drop his lightsaber. He tells him it's over. He tells Obi-Wan to join the darkside or die. Obi-Wan responds by rolling off the bridge, apparently to his death in the water below. Darth Maul picks up Obi-Wan's lightsaber with the force and spits off the bridge.
We cut back to Anakin and Boba Fett. Anakin is clearly more confident now. He is consciously channeling the force for the first time in his life and because of it he gets a shot on Boba's head which sends him crashing down. The shaken up Boba Fett desperately fires the rocket from his jet pack at Padme. Anakin reaches his hand out to stop the rocket. He's struggling, beads of sweat are falling down his face, sparks are flying from the back of the rocket, and Padme looks on at the rocket in front of her face with fear. Anakin closes his eyes and screams and the rocket is redirected and flies into a wall. When Anakin turns, around Boba is gone. The rocket opens a hole and Owen finally breaks through the rubble. Anakin orders him to protect Padmé. Owen asks him where he is going and he tells them he is going to find Obi-Wan.
Next we see Anakin rush out onto the bridge. Maul sees him and smiles. Anakin demands for Maul to tell him where Obi-Wan is. He smiles and tosses Anakin Obi-Wan's lightsaber and tells him Obi-Wan is dead. The fight is on! Maul is obviously holding back and even coaching Anakin. He tells him to use his anger, and to feel the hatred flow through him. Anakin begins to hack at Maul and Maul trips the off balance Anakin. He tells him not to be blinded by his hate, and to use it as a weapon. Anakin gets up and this time Maul force pushes him down, then stands over him and says "You're almost as pathetic as your mother. At least you aren't begging like she did before she died."
Anakin looks up at Maul with fear in his eyes. He screams that Maul is a liar and Maul tells him to search his feelings, he knows it to be true. Anakin explodes, and this time Maul is not toying with him, or holding back, nor is he taunting Anakin. He's merely trying to stay alive. Maul's double sided lightsaber is cut in two and the now the weaponless Maul ducks to avoid Anakins ferocious swings. Maul comes back with a ferocious kick to the face that takes Anakin off the edge of the bridge. He grabs on to the ledge for dear life.
Maul stands over Anakin and tells him that if he could harness his hatred and turn it into power, he could be stronger than any Jedi or Sith there has ever been. That is when several Republic reinforcement ships come flying in and Maul walks away, leaving Anakin hanging off the edge of the bridge. Anakin screams that Maul is a coward. Maul stops. He walks back slowly to where Anakin is hanging off the bridge, uses the force to pick up Obi-Wan's lightsaber (that will one day take more limbs) and slices off Anakin's entire right arm. Anakin screams in pain. Without another word Maul throws down the lightsaber and walks away. He enters his ship and takes off. Anakin hangs by a thread as the Galactic Police Force come rushing in to help him up. Anakin is crying wildly for the losses of his mother and Obi-Wan, but the scene is mute. All we hear is sorrowful music playing as they carry him toward the temple.
The next scene shows Anakin laying in a hospital bed staring outside at the rubble of the destroyed Senate building. His hand traces his cast to where his arm used to be. He hears Padmé and Owen talking, unaware that he is awake in the next room. Owen asks Padme if this changes everything to which she responds "Yes. This is the end of peace in the galaxy." A droid comes in and checks on Anakin and as it departs it tells them he is awake. Padmé rushes in and thanks him for saving her and says that she's sorry about Obi-Wan (she doesn't know about his mom). He asks them both to leave him alone. She nods and says she understands. Owen lingers for a few moments before following her out.
The final scene is Palpatine talking to the senate. He makes a speech telling them they must allow for a Galactic Army of Clone Troopers to ensure never-ending peace in the Galaxy! To which people roar in agreement and then the credits role.
QUICK RAP UP: So unlike the end of the Phantom Menace, where we have a quick funeral and then everything is mashed potatoes and gravy, at the end of this movie everything is in shambles. Obi-Wan is presumed dead, the senate is about to put Palpatine in control of a galactic army to stop Darth Maul, Anakin's mom is dead, and Anakin has already moved toward the dark side. The Clone Wars are about to begin, Padmé is starting to like Anakin even though he's kind of a jerk, and Boba Fett has finally done some cool stuff, including fighting his future employer: Darth Vader. Pretty much all I ever wanted from a Star Wars Prequel.
AFTER CREDIT SCENE
We see Maul walking down a corridor. He opens a door and meets with a cloaked man on a balcony. The cloaked figure asks "Can the boy be turned?" and Maul says... "Yes, my master."
That wraps up this movie makeover!