20 Ways To Remake Star Wars

Remaking the original Star Wars trilogy could only lead to madness and despair. But we at My Geek Blasphemy Incorporated revel (naked) in madness and despair.

And thus, we present this list:

20 Ways To Remake Star Wars

1. Obi Wan should not die like a pussy.

Excuse me?! 

Let’s review this death, shall we?

In A New Hope, Obi Wan fights Darth Vader, and his battle distracts the stormtroopers guarding the Millenium Falcon so that the others can escape. This would be an awesome plan, of course, if it did not also distract Luke from getting on board the Millenium Falcon, which is, you know, sort of the whole point. Obi Wan takes a moment from fighting Darth Vader to smile enigmatically at Luke . . . before promptly giving up and letting Darth slice him into ribbons with his lightsaber. (Or, you know, slice him into nothingness. Why a Jedi’s body evaporates at death has never been entirely clear to me.)

Said sacrifice causes Luke to scream, which in turn causes the stormtroopers to notice him. And if they weren’t bad henchmen with plot-driven aiming skills, the stormtroopers would shoot Luke through the head and thus would end the story of Star Wars. Super plan, Obi Wan. Super.

Seriously, I’ve never liked Obi Wan’s death, ever. Of course, he’s going to die. He’s an old mentor, for God’s sake. That’s what they do, after all, say cryptic things and keel over at inopportune moments. But does he really have to go out like that? Just, I’ll give up now and become a blue glowy ghost because somehow that’ll make me even more powerful than anyone can possibly imagine, like, what does that even mean? I get that the guy’s a geezer, but I want to see him fighting. He’s a freaking Jedi, for Christ’s sake. Yoda can still kick ass, and he’s got a few centuries on Obi Wan. I don’t want this guy to give up unless he’s got a damn better plan than ‘Maybe Han and Leia will able to convince Luke to leave my non-existant corpse before they’re all shot to shit.’

Obi Wan, you could afford to take a few lessons from this guy:

A No-Win Scenario? Baby, please.

2. The heroes should have more than five seconds of screen time to grieve.

I understand not. What is this grieve you speak of?

Look, I get that the Star Wars films are, essentially, action movies, but when you have horrible, horrible things happen on screen, it might not be a bad idea for there to be some kind of emotional ramification captured on camera as well. The most obvious character example of this is, of course, Princess Leia.

I am too hardcore to weep.

It’s nice that Princess Leia is kind of a badass who shows no fear when she’s sassing Darth Vader in the first five minutes of the movie. That being said . . . first, she’s tortured with some kind of circular, evil instrument of doom, and then she is witness to her entire planet being destroyed. Her entire PLANET. Almost everyone she knows in the whole universe is probably dead right now. Family, childhood friends, her old pet hamster . . . all KABOOM.

Sure, Leia’s properly horrified by this prospect for about three seconds, but then it’s just “Let’s move the plot along, please, we’ve got a galaxy to save, kay, folks?” We get Obi Wan’s emotional reaction to this tragedy, not Princess Leia’s, and even then it’s just him sitting down and saying that something really, really bad has happened. Never once in the entire trilogy do we go back to Princess Leia’s emotional turmoil. (Okay, she has one brushoff line towards the end of the first film. One. And she doesn’t even get to be sad right then. If anyone deserves at least one complete PTSD freakout, it’s Princess Leia Organa.)

Of course, Luke doesn’t have it entirely easy, either. Sure, his home planet doesn’t blow up, but the aunt and uncle who raised him are horribly murdered while he’s gallivanting around after a couple of droids. (Yeah, Uncle Owen was holding Luke back from his great destiny and all, but I’m pretty sure Luke didn’t wanna see the sumbitch dead, either. The survivor’s guilt between the Skywalker Siblings alone could probably fill the entire Grand Canyon with woe.)

Like Leia, Luke too gets a moment of grief for the poor people who raised him his entire life. He manfully clenches his jaw and stares at the ground for a whole three seconds before we get back to the plot.

I don’t want to weigh down the Star Wars films with a hundred pounds of angst, but if you’re going to update the movies at all, you ought to update them darker. They don’t necessarily need to be all angst, all the time (BSG and The Dark Knight, this is not) but there are hugely tragic things happening in the Star Wars universe, and the ramifications of these events are largely swept under the rug and ignored. Let’s take a couple of moments now and then to let your heroes actually mourn. Time passes between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, but probably not so much time that the dead should be entirely forgotten.

3. About those pesky Skywalker siblings . . . there are so many things to fix. First, let’s talk incest.

That’s your brother, Leia! This is space, not Arkansas!

(First, apologies Arkansas. It was a cheap joke. I couldn’t help myself. Feel free to snipe at Californians for hippies, beachbums, or starlets with fake breasts.)

Now, in a poll I did a few weeks ago, the majority of participants voted to keep the incest kiss in the trilogy. And, actually, I don’t really care either way if they keep the squick kiss or not. But I do care that it gets addressed. Unless we’re saying that incest is normal in the Star Wars verse . . . which, frankly, is the kind of thing that ought to be mentioned if we are . . . then no matter the motivation, no matter if Leia was kissing Luke because he was hot or because she was saying, “Fuck you, Han, you aren’t the sexy god you think you are,” . . . we need a moment where either sibling realizes what they’ve done and makes the Vomit Face. At the very least, you’d think Han would bring it up.

Perfect. The next time she gets mad at me, I can say, “At least, I didn’t kiss my BROTHER!” Ha!

Either bring it up again, or drop that kiss like a hot potato. Especially . . .

4. If you need your heroine to say something like, “Somehow, I’ve always known that you’re my brother.”

Except that one time we made out. Otherwise, I totally knew we were related. I SENSED it, okay?

Carrie Fisher does the best she can with this . . . I actually like how she sort of turns away and softly says, “I know,” when Luke reveals their secret relationship, but still . . . this is a hard line to pull because it comes out of nowhere. Look, the Force is all mystical and shit (because everyone knows that the midichlorians suck something fierce and do not belong in this universe) and I’m fine with that, honest. I like that people who are strong with the Force just know stuff, and it makes sense that Leia would be one of those people.

That being said, you still have to back up your magical realizations with something, some deeper connection that Luke and Leia have always shared throughout the films. You know, they should have moments they experience together, looks they exchange, times they’re trying to figure out what they’re feeling about the other. Problem is, Luke and Leia don’t really have these moments in the trilogy. Hell, they’re barely even together in any scenes in Empire Strikes Back at all . . . although, interestingly, this movie has the only legitimate scene between them that backs up their connection, when Luke reaches out to Leia with his mind. Otherwise, the only real “moments” between the siblings are

1.) The Squick Kiss (already pictured above)

and 2.) Swinging to Freedom. While she’s wearing this:

These two do like to swing together, don’t they?

When you don’t bother to really capture a connection between two characters who just somehow know that they’re related, you’re really giving the impression that the writers didn’t know what the hell they were doing and were backed up against a wall in the third film. So when Writer Joe’s like, “Shit, we should probably address this ‘there is another’ business, shouldn’t we?” and Writer Susan’s like, “Well, let’s have Leia be Luke’s long lost sister or something. People will eat that shit up with an Imperial spoon!” And Writer Joe’s like, “Okay, but how should they figure that out?” and Writer Susan’s like, “They’ll just know, you know? Cause the Force, like, runs strong in the family, and that way we don’t have to actually explain anything. They’ll just figure it out by magic.”

Characters figuring out stuff by magic is okay. Magical reasoning that functions almost as a deus-ex-machina is not. In the remake of these films, give Luke and Leia more screen time together. Focus a little on their relationship so Leia being a long lost sister who just knows things doesn’t come out of left field.

5. When you setup a mystery, wait more than three minutes before solving it.

Luke, there is . . . another. But you don’t get to know who because I’m busy doing my death rattle. Ha ha ha! Jokes on you, sucker!

Before Yoda dies, he teases Luke with the knowledge that there is another person out there who has the potential to master the Force. Unfortunately, he dies before he can tell Luke who that person might be. This is what we in the biz call dramatic tension. (By the biz, I, of course, mean people who watch a lot of movies and write snarky things about them.) Who could this mysterious person be? Is this a character we’ve already met? How will Luke find out?

Well, here’s how: Luke will wander out of Yoda’s hut, and in under three minutes, Blue Glowy Obi Wan will show up and tell him exactly who this mysterious person is and how Luke is connected to them. Okay, Luke technically figures it out for himself, at least, he guesses that his long lost sister is probably the only real female character in the whole series. But my concern isn’t who tells who. It’s that the writers set up this great mystery that could have easily been this big subplot and then are like, “Fuck it, I’d rather write some cute scenes with Ewoks. Let’s just have Obi Wan explain everything. Blue glowy exposition rules!”

I mean, why even bother? If you’re really just going to have Luke figure everything out in under three minutes, why not have Yoda tell him before he dies? Either eliminate the mystery entirely, or rework it into a cool subplot where Luke and Leia have to figure it out for themselves because, seriously, that’s just bad storytelling.

6. And while we’re on the whole “there is another” thing? If you’re going to hint that someone else out there might be able to do something with the Force, here’s a radical idea: let them do something with the Force.

You mean . . . I can lift stuff with my mind too? 

There are only two hints at Leia’s abilities, and they both completely center around Luke. One, she hears him calling for a big rescue in Empire, and two, she just “knows” that he’s her brother, somehow, in Return. Now, I will be the first to say that I’m not a big fan of Jedi Leia because, frankly, I think she’s cooler than a Jedi. (More about the downsides of Jedi-ism later.) But that being said, if you’re going to tease her potential powers, my God, let her use them. They bring her up as the next (and last) big hope, but then they never cash in on her showing even a glimmer of that hope.

Which leads me to the INSANELY different way this remake could play out. And I warn you, purists, if you’ve made it this far without spitting fire, you may not like what you see next because it is easily the most radical change I will propose on this list.

7. Kill Luke in The Empire Strikes Back.

Uh . . . sorry?

We’re at The Scene. Luke is facing off with Darth Vader, trapped, and Darth has just revealed the awful truth: he is Luke’s father. He makes his bid to Luke: come with me and join the Dark Side of the Force. Luke, like any good Hero, refuses.

This can play out in one of two ways.

One: Darth is a badass, and when he realizes he can’t sway his son to the Dark Side, he does what any good dark lord would do: he kills his only son. Because I’ll be honest, I’ve never once bought into this redemptive Darth BS anyway (that will be its own note later) and it’s just so fucking daring to have him kill the hero that you’ve been assuming will save the universe for the last two movies.

Two: Luke realizes that he’s underestimated the power of the Dark Side, just like Yoda warned about, and that he’s in serious danger of switching sides. So when Darth says, “Come with me. It’s the only way,” and Luke lets go and seemingly falls to his doom . . . let him fall to his doom. Let Luke decide that he will kill himself before letting the Dark Side manipulate his power for their nefarious purposes. Let it be a noble sacrifice instead of Luke magically finding some chute a million feet below to fall through because, really, who buys that? Who doesn’t watch that scene and go, “Really? What, The Force let you survive that fall? Puh-lease.” Even if Luke doesn’t die, this scene needs to be fixed to make it at least somewhat probable that he survives. As is, this is kind of a bullshit end to one of the most well-known scenes in cinematic history.

I actually prefer Luke nobly killing himself to being murdered, if only because it solves the problem of Yoda’s insistence that Luke stay behind on Dagobah. After all, Yoda talks about all kinds of consequences and ominous, horrible things that will happen if Luke leaves, you know, “Help them, you could, but you would destroy all for which they have fought and suffered.” And this doesn’t even remotely come true, so . . . Luke’s supposed to sacrifice his friends for no reason? This doesn’t really work for me. (Of course, Luke isn’t really that vital in saving the others anyway. Lando does that. So, Luke would basically go to save them and then die for nothing at all. That, I’m okay with. That’s cruel in just the right way.)

And all right, you’re thinking, but no matter how Luke dies in the second movie, you’re still kind of leaving Return of the Jedi without a hero. That’s kind of a huge problem, isn’t it? Yes, it would be, except . . . this is where Leia and her whole “there is another” storyline comes in.

See, you build up this farmboy hero from the beginning, right, and then shockingly kill him off at the end of the second movie, only to have your secondary hero come in and step up to save the day for the third film. It ties so many loose ends of the movie together. Admittedly, Return of the Jedi would have to be seriously reworked, but that’s okay because frankly, Return has a number of serious problems. For instance . . .

8. The Ewoks suck.

But I’m so cute and fuzzy!

Now, I don’t dislike the Ewoks for the same reason that a lot of Star Wars nerds hate them. I take no issue with their adorableness. I’m okay with adorable things. (Although, I am willing to concede that perhaps creating an alien species that don’t look like oversized Teddy Ruxpins might allow viewers to take the movie more seriously. I mean, it’s a thought. Still, I can deal with their stuffed animal quality.)

Teddy Ruxpin . . . A Distant Cousin of the Ewok

I do mind, however, that the Ewoks take up a considerable amount of time with their “C-3PO is a God” bit because while that may have been exciting and hilarious in the 1980’s, I’ve seen that storyline on at least four different shows and movies since then, and it’s generally considered to be a “not-good” when the audience of your remake is yawning themselves to death. More importantly, though, that whole subplot is filler. It’s in no way actually important to the main plot, and it only serves to take time away from the characters we actually care about. Maybe they could have used that time to develop Leia and Luke’s magical connection, or given Han something to do on Endor other than be jealous of his girlfriend’s brother.

And you thought the Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle was dramatic.

Of course, the other problem is that the Ewoks make no sense.

Apparently, the Ewoks are not a fan of stormtroopers because they take sides with the rebels as they’re attacking the moon base. Why don’t the Ewoks like the Empire? Who knows? (Actually, the effects of the Empire are never really shown in the original trilogy, so for all we know, the rebels are a bunch of immature shitstarters who are ruining galactic peace because they don’t like the Empire’s dress code.) And why do the Ewoks help the good guys? C-3PO couldn’t have ordered them to. He’s not willing to pretend that he’s their deity, not even to save his friends from being barbecued. I guess they were regaled by C-3PO’s tales? A bedtime story, even one told by God, doesn’t seem like enough evidence for me to go to war with people I’ve never met, but hey, that’s why I’m not a fundamentalist, right?

Anyway. So, the Ewoks decide to go to war with murky motivations. The biggest problem with this is that these giant teddy bears are clearly the only reason why the rebels even have a chance. Without their numbers, there’s no way Han and Leia would ever get inside to shut down the defense screen. (And, really, the defense screen is hidden in a shack guarded by twenty guys? Really? Did you learn nothing from the first movie, bad guys?)

So, once again, we have a problem of deus ex machina, except here it’s really ewok ex machina. This random alien species that we’ve never heard of before just happens to live on this moon that just happens to shelter the one safeguard against the new Death Star . . . and they just happen to hold a serious grudge against the Empire? It doesn’t help that the species is portrayed as “primitive” and “savage” and that they’re dying in the jungles for the primarily white and the more culturally sophisticated rebel forces . . .

Honestly, I don’t even know how to fix Return of the Jedi. But the whole Ewok storyline needs to be seriously revamped because it fails on multiple levels.

9. Other problems . . . Luke goes to the Death Star because he senses the good in his father.

This guy senses the good in Darth, too.

I mean, really? When do you think Luke sensed that good? Was it before or after he got his hand chopped off? I mean, you sense a tendril of not-evil in your mass-murdering, psycho father, and you’re just going to surrender yourself to him and his even-more-evil boss? Do we really want our hero to be such a fucking moron?

Here’s another problem with this scenario: Luke’s going to the Death Star does no good whatsoever. Oh, sure, Darth Vader gets to redeem himself by killing the Emperor, and maybe that would have been exciting if the entire Death Star didn’t blow up two minutes after the Emperor bit it. So, maybe if Darth Vader survived and lived a life of extreme penitence by making the universe a better place, but nooooo . . . Darth Vader dies. So, Luke didn’t even need to go. If he hadn’t gone, Darth and the Emperor would be just as dead as they were with Luke around. If you’re going to keep your boy hero around, shouldn’t he, I don’t know, help save the day?

Here’s how you fix this in the remake: Luke gets captured by Darth Vader because of their connection, and then the Emperor is killed just before he gets on an escape craft. That way, if Luke hadn’t been there, the Emperor would have escaped, and at least Luke has done something worthwhile as he’s pleading with daddy to choose the light side of the force.

And who kills The Emperor before he gets on the shuttle? Why, Luke, of course. Because Darth Vader . . .

10.) . . . should not switch sides because of the power of love.

Darth Vader—Biggest Celine Dion fan, ever.

Yes, I know it’s supposed to be the biggest daddy-son moment in cinematic history, but come on, now. Darth Vader is a badass. Darth Vader is one stone cold motherfucker. Darth Vader stood idly by while his coworker blew up an entire planet. Are you really saying that the guy who cut off his own son’s hand is really going to be swayed by a few, “I can sense your goodness” pleas and some electrocution-induced writhing?


Once again, a huge problem I have with Return of the Jedi is how much the plot seems to rely on things that are just told to you without being shown. (It may be a cliche, but it’s also in Writer’s 101 for a reason.) I don’t buy Luke sensing good in his daddy for one second in Return of the Jedi. And since I don’t buy that, I certainly don’t buy Darth being good for one second, either. If Darth’s possibility of redemption had been hinted somewhere in the other two movies, maybe, maybe it might work—maybe it wouldn’t be Luke blindsiding us with yet another spoke on the Hero’s Journey, with his evil, awesome daddy going soft for no apparent reason but a heartwarming end—but as is, the last-minute change-up really doesn’t work.

Not to mention—isn’t anyone else tired of love winning out in the end? I mean, Anakin switched over to the bad guys for a reason—the Dark Side of the Force is powerful. And he does all kinds of horrible shit in these three movies (nevermind Episodes 1, 2, and 3, I mean, Jesus) and love was never enough then. It’s excessively convenient that love only works at the eleventh hour when Luke needs him the most. Maybe love shouldn’t win the day all the time. I know that’s not as happy, but, honestly, sometimes? Love isn’t enough.

So, either scrap the whole thing and keep Darth a badass motherfucker, or build Darth’s character a little better so he doesn’t go suddenly from, “I will kill everyone,” to “I will be a sacrificial martyr for paternal love.” Have it be this big moment whether he will save Luke’s life or not . . . and then not. Luke has to save himself for a change.

Say what now?

I know, Luke. Just for once, you’re going to have to do something by yourself. Really, what have you even accomplished since blowing up the first Death Star, anyway? Time to try on the Big Boy Lightsaber, buddy.

11. No matter if Darth Vader saves Luke or not, he doesn’t go to Blue Glowy Heaven.

Nope. Not even this Anakin.

Look, whether Anakin wimps out and saves his son or not, that’s one good thing he did. One. And in the scheme of galactic importance . . . honestly, it’s not very because, once again, it only happens about two minutes before Lando blows up all of the bad guys anyway. So while it’s all well and cool that Anakin switched sides and saved his son at the end, are we really saying that all is forgiven? Really? All the people he’s killed—and not all of them were bad guys, although even if they were, how would you like to put up with a boss that murders half of your coworkers—all the death and destruction that’s happened directly or indirectly because of him (kids, can you spell A-L-D-E-R-A-A-N)  . . . are we really saying that it’s all hunky dory because Darth saved one life and one life only?

I’m honestly not trying to tread too hard on anyone’s faith here, but this is a very Christian concept in an otherwise highly Daoist-influenced universe, where it doesn’t matter what you’ve done as long as you’ve repented. And I do take issue with the idea that after all the horrible, horrible things that Anakin has done, one good act allows him to die with dignity and chuckle with the good old boys by the campfire. Where’s the justice in that? I know that he was a good guy underneath and all, but most people, even horrible people, are good guys underneath. It’s not just intention, folks. Your choices and your actions do actually matter, and Anakin had a lot more penance to pay before he deserved any ghost chuckling, sorry.

The younglings demand their revenge!

12. Finally, one last note about Darth Vader. I understand why it was problematic to have James Earl Jones be Mark Hamill’s dad and all, but when Darth Vader is finally revealed, he shouldn’t look like this:

You know how some people were really upset that they had to see Badass Darth Vader as an adorable, pouting child? You know how disappointed and even angry they were about seeing one of the best cinematic villains of all time as this little, sandy-haired kid? Well, that’s how I felt when I saw Darth Vader as a chubby, pasty, bald old guy.

In the remake, Darth Vader should be played by someone who can both sound kickass and look awesome, even while dying.

13. Another person to improve: Boba Fett.

WHAT?! I’m the best motherfucking character ever!

No, no, you’re really not. Actually, you’re a bit player who does almost nothing of consequence and dies a ridiculous death. Seriously, a piano falling on top of your head might have given you more dignity in death than what you got in Return of the Jedi. As is, I have no idea why the fanboys love you so, but I think you’re stupid and not nearly worth the attention you get. So get rid of Boba entirely, or do something that makes him worthy of his notoriety in geek legend.

Also . . .

14. Get a better Luke.

Me? Again? Why are you always picking on me?

Let’s face it: Luke’s kind of a weiner. And I’m not saying he has to be kickass . . . Luke is not supposed to be as cool as Han, ever . . . but the fact is, there’s a way to have a naive, farmboy hero who’s also not a whiny SOB, and Luke Skywalker completely fails to fit that bill. As a rule, it’s considered a plus if you don’t want to punch your hero right in the kisser.

So, New Luke should have a bit of a more personality (preferably with a little more irritability and a little less Mope Face) and he should probably be portrayed by someone who can act a bit better than Mark Hamill. I feel a little mean, calling Hamill out like that—after all, it’s not like anyone’s acting in the film is stellar—but a noble hero or heroine takes a lot of work if you actually want your intelligent audience to care about them, and Hamill as hero isn’t that strong.

15. Hamill as villain, on the other hand, is a lot of fun, and you’d know if this if you were a Batman: The Animated Series fan.

Best Mark Hamill Role. Ever.

So, if Ian McDiarmid isn’t interested or can’t return as the Emperor for the remake, here’s a bit of fancasting: have Mark Hamill pick up the role. Watching him cackle with evil glee is always kind of enjoyable, and I have complete faith that he’d be so much better at Big Bad than Naive Hero.

16. Also: The Force is a touch too simplistic.

{Picture of The Force not available.}

As I said earlier, we won’t be having any midichlorians in this remake. The Force should remain mystical and, for the most part, unexplained. But a more complex look at the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force would be beneficial in the remake. For instance, maybe we should take a closer at the negative aspects of the Jedi.

Negative aspects? What are these aspects you speak of?

Well, first, there’s the big question: is being a Jedi even worth it? Don’t get me wrong, playing with lightsabers looks like fun, and I have always wanted the power of telekinesis (cleaning house suddenly just got so much more exciting!) but remember: fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. You pretty much have to purge yourself of any kind of negative emotion, which, sure, sounds good in theory, but do you really want to live like a Vulcan? Most people I know are rather attached to their emotions, both the good and the bad. To really be a Jedi, you are supposed to rise above anger at all costs, rise above fear, passion, lust, love. Princess Leia is awesome, but she could never be a Jedi, not without changing her entire character, without losing something. Being a Jedi isn’t just about waving a lightsaber around. You have to lose something to become one. There’s a sacrifice involved.

Remember Yoda’s advice towards the end of Empire? He tells Luke to let Leia and Han die, that it’s more important that he complete his training. (Of course, like I mentioned before, he also says that the universe is pretty much going to explode if Luke goes to Cloud City, which totally doesn’t happen and is its own problem.) But be honest, now. Would you really want your friend to abandon you to near-certain death if there was a chance he could get there in time to save you? I mean, there’s dying nobly for the cause, and there’s dying needlessly for the cause. And hell, do you want to be the kind of person that abandons your friends so that you can finish learning how to lift rocks with your mind?

I’m not saying that all Jedis are assholes, but you do have to give up something to become one. The good side of the Force does come with downsides. Likewise, the dark side of the Force is never really explored any further than, “It’s oh-so-powerful and tempting and nifty.” How is it powerful and tempting and nifty? Why is it so hard to tell the difference between the two sometimes? Show, don’t tell, filmmakers. I want to believe that Luke’s in danger of turning evil.

17. Also when Darth is fighting Luke in Return of the Jedi (or Leia, if that’s how it goes) the Emperor really needs to stop breaking in at critical moments with his evil cackling of doom.

But I’m the Bad Guy! I’m supposed to evilly cackle!

Every time Luke’s in danger of turning evil, the Emperor starts chuckling in a fiendish manner before telling him that he only needs to kill Darth in order to complete his switch to the Dark Side. And, of course, every time he does this, Luke uses these moments to clear his head and remind himself that he doesn’t want to do what the Emperor wants. This happens at least three times during the battle. If the old bastard could just keep his mouth shut, Luke would probably have decapitated his daddy two minutes into the fight.

For the Big Bad, the Emperor lacks something when it comes to strategy.

18. Also, and this is a tiny thing, but if Luke’s going to stay alive for the third movie, I think that his new, robotic hand should actually look robotic. I know the whole point is to see how cool everything looks in the future, you know, what awesome, nifty tech they have, but one of the things that epics forget sometimes is to have their characters acquire some kind of physical imperfection or scar as a consequence for the battles and the wars that they’ve just gone through. It makes much more of an impact on the audience when a character you’ve loved and watched is irreparably hurt in some obvious way.

19. Also, a few things NOT to change in the remake (or, really, to change back)

A: Han shoots first. Notice how Han’s name almost never came up during this whole epic list? That’s because he’s pretty much perfect as is. Han is a godamned mercenary, and he shoots FIRST. This is not up for debate.

B. Take out the bullshit CGI. Use puppets, as God intended.

C. No midichlorians!!!

20. Finally, as a bonus DVD feature, give R2-D2 subtitles. And not just any subtitles but awesome ones, where he gets to swear out Luke and the others for all the shit they put him through.

“Fuck you, Luke. Do YOU want to try navigating through this gross ass swamp? It’s a little hard to see when you’re fucking underwater, all right? So I went the wrong direction. So would you, buddy. And, anyway, THIS is what you say to your friend when something tries to eat him? Just ‘You were lucky to get out of there?’ Excuse me? Lucky? If I was lucky, you asshole, I wouldn’t have been nearly eaten in the first place! I’ve got monster slime all over me now! Do you know how long that will take to clean off? You know what, you can just kiss my juicy, robotic ASS, Luke. Did I get to have a vote on leaving the Fleet for some bullshit swamp? HELL no. I just got dragged here against my will because a DEAD GUY spoke to you while you had a head wound. You know what, you don’t get to make life decisions for the both of us based on your concussion-induced hallucinations, okay? You’re a shitty Master, Luke, and I, for one, hope that your all-powerful Yoda eats you.

This could be the best DVD feature ever known to man.

28 thoughts on “20 Ways To Remake Star Wars

  1. 5. Actually, the “there is another” mystery gets set up in Empire Strikes Back. When Luke leaves and Yoda tells Obi Wan that “matters are worse”, Ben says “That boy is our last hope” and Yoda says “No. There is another.”.

    7. You’re insane. The original trilogy is *clearly* about Luke. It’s the epic hero tale. You kill him in the middle chapter and the entire set-up is cheated. This is a space opera, not a gritty let’s-make-this-dark-because-fuck-yeah-darker-is-better-amiright epic.

    Most of the rest I can get on board with. But killing Luke just destroys the entire narrative. It would actually be far more constructive to kill *Han*, which would give him a dramatic arc that turns him from scoundrel to noble hero who sacrifices himself for the good of a cause other than himself.

    I’m not saying you SHOULD kill Han, just that it would make more sense than killing Luke.

    • 5. I know they bring it up, briefly, for the audience in Empire but Luke isn’t teased about “there is another” until Return and then they just flat out tell him who the other person is two minutes later. When you have a character start saying something vitally important but then die before he can reveal the truth . . . no, that should be a big deal, and it should be dealt with properly. Obi Wan just popping up and spilling the beans? Boring.

      7. Completely disagree with you on even the idea of killing off Han. I think killing Han to make him a redemptive hero is the most boring thing you could do. I cannot tell you how tired I am of making redemptive hero from cool scoundrel characters. It’s done, and has been done, to death.

      I didn’t expect killing off Luke to be a popular idea, and it’s one of the few on here that I like to bounce around but wouldn’t necessarily need to see. It’s just fun to think about. But I don’t think it’s a dumb idea, either. I’m not suggesting killing off Luke just to make the series darker and more angsty. (I do think the remake should be darker, though—you have to update for the time, and a straight remake with no changes in tone would not go over well in 2011, I don’t think. A darker story would frankly be more compelling.)

      Killing off Luke would be interesting. It’s not predictable, and I love the original movies—I’m sure they were groundbreaking for their time—but now you couldn’t make a more predictable series than Star Wars. Sure, the original trilogy is all about Luke. It’s also all about his step-by-freaking-step Hero’s Journey. You might as well have Joseph Campbell narrate the whole. And again, that’s fine for the original series . . . but in a remake, things should be done differently. And a darker, more complex, look at the same events is what I’d want to see in a remake.

      I love the idea of building up a hero and then having someone else have to step up to take that role when they can’t anymore. I think Princess Leia would be awesome at that. Sure, it changes the whole series. But I think it could be done really well.

    • Wouldn’t Ben have already known that? It seems like it was set up in as clumsy a manner as Luke being Vader’s son – the way Vader and Emperor talk about him, you’d swear they didn’t know.

  2. The one thing I would like to change: remove the one line where Obi-Wan refers to Darth Vader as “Darth.” Darth is a title, not a name.

    Also, I don’t think Anakin’s ghosty form is about repenting and being forgiven. There is no higher power in this universe making decisions about punishments and rewards. The natural result of death is to “become one with the Force,” which even those few who know how to become Force ghosts have to do sooner or later, as Obi-Wan explains in the novel immediately following Return of the Jedi, just before he dissipates into oneness with the universe. (And while it’s been years since I read the books, I think it’s implied that both Anakin and Yoda have already moved on by then.) Anakin gets to stick around for the party because he’s learned a fancy skill, but then he meets the same fate everyone eventually faces, in which he has no existence as an individual, for good or ill. There’s just…the Force.

    • Yeah, but “Darth” wasn’t a title in the original trilogy…it was just his name. Before all the tie-in shit came about it was just a name. No one else had it.

      • I’d be okay with calling him Darth, which I assume is the equivalent of “Lord.” The line I’d want excised is the “Only a master of evil, Darth.” I haven’t seen the movies in a while but that stands out as one of the most cringe-worthy lines of them all.

    • Didn’t think about the Darth thing, but yeah, that should probably be taken out in a remake. Brandon’s point is fair—it probably wasn’t a mistake in the original series—but if they were going to redo the movies, it’d be a good change to make.

      In a sense, I agree with you about the Force . . . like, I don’t necessarily think there’s a higher power involved, but . . . well, for one, I think the books are interesting but I don’t take them as canon, at least not while talking about the movies, so there’s really nothing in the films to support the idea that the ghosts eventually disappear and become one with the Force. And even if that is true (it does certainly fit with the general philosophy of the story, I’ll totally grant you that) I still think that Anakin getting to hang out with Yoda and Obi Wan at the end, all happy and chuckling, sends the implied message that all’s been forgiven, if not by a god then by the other characters involved and, presumably, by the audience. Like, we’re supposed to nod our heads and say, “Oh, okay, he’s a good guy again. Isn’t that heartwarming?” And I don’t think it’s heartwarming. After all, there’s a reason the Emperor’s ghost isn’t there, chuckling along too. It might be a failing of mine, but I don’t forgive so easily.

    • The novels can’t be used to explain something from the movies – especially since it’s ridiculous to expect everyone to have that same level of intense devotion. When Star Wars came out it was a movie for everyone. Anyway, Vader seems pretty happy at the end so if there is some kind of punishment it’s either very light or he doesn’t know it’s coming. (Btw, I’ve always wondered – why do Obi-Wan and Yoda look as they did right before they died, but Vader looks like his 20-something self?)

  3. This is a brilliant list. I don’t know if I love all the ideas here, but most of them are spot on, and even the ones I question (“Killing Luke” for example) are really worth discussing as a stronger way to explore the story and rid us of a lot of the baggage and WTF moments.

    Well done.

  4. I completely agree with you about Vader’s “redemption.” It does seem like a total cheat. I pretty much agree with everything else on the list. One of the Lucas’ changes that particularly annoyed me was changing Han into the mercenary equivalent of the hooker with a heart of gold. What good is a mercenary who doesn’t shoot first when facing down an even worse scoundrel fellow mercenary? He’s a more loquacious, futuristic version of the Clint Eastwood style gunfighter. It’s not like he just unloaded on some poor schlub who was minding his own business.

    • Hee, mercenary with a heart of gold. I don’t think I ever met a single person who was glad that Greedo shot first. You know, you just don’t go over to your friend’s house and find them saying, “Yeah, I’m really glad George Lucas changed it so that Han only kills in absolute self-defense. Because I’ll tell you, that Han guy’s funny and all, but I just can’t relate to a hero who would murder someone like that. That’s so mean.”

      Besides, what kind of self-respecting bounty hunter can’t hit a target from less than two feet away? Really? Wow. Greedo, you’re kind of a loser.

      • And if Greedo is that crappy of a bounty hunter, and that crappy of a shot, Han still looks like a douche for shooting him. He should have just laughed at him and made a comment about his aim being about as good as a Storm Trooper’s.

        • Oh, I wouldn’t go that far. A guy attempts to kill me, I’m probably going to shoot him right back. I don’t care if he’s incompetent. That’s why incompetent people shouldn’t become bounty hunters.

  5. Strange to see these list, and while several things I can see your take on them, and even agree with a few. With this many it seems like you aren’t doing a remake, but a reinvention. So here I go with my defense of all these things, except the ones I just cant in my mind find a way to defend at all. Several of these changes, can’t all happen. Pick a new way of turning out the story, not just a nitpick at things you didn’t like.
    1.- Ben is a pacifist. He teaches the code as such, and sees his moment to try and save Luke from the Dark side due to his issues with his first Skywalker Pupil turning into legendary evilness incarnate. Yes the disappearing thing is odd, let him have a corpse, but let him stay dying as a pacifist, it fits his old man mystic character type.
    2.- Screen time to grieve, perhaps. I can see this in some of the occasions, but part of the story was that the people in it are moved by the force whether they know it or not, and these are the major players in a galactic showdown, the force has shit to do, move along folks. Several of the examples I believe the crew was “forced” (pun intended) to keep moving.
    3,4,and 6 – These all tie together, there is a contest between Luke and Han for Lea’s affection early on, at some points Luke appears to be winning, he can call to her through the force and she knows EXACTLY where he is in the atmosphere. And due to this connection, their poor understanding of the force, and the rescuer lover syndrome all tie in together, it seems like in all three of these changes, you missed something and are trying to change the story only because you missed and failed to understand it. You skip the Hoth sequences where it seems like she is in love with Luke and Han senses it, and then she tells Han “it’s not like that” I mean seriously you missed all that? She loves Luke, realizes she loves Luke, but then realizes its not in the I want to have your babies kind of love, and eventually realizes he must be family (as she becomes awakened to the force) Yes the third movie would be great if she was given a bit of screen use of her power particularly the link to Luke.
    5.- Totally agree, let the mystery start with Obi wan and end with Obi wan, and not brign it up with Yoda, or have it start with Obiwan and end with Yoda.
    7.9, and 10- While these would be cool events in a different story, it is not the Star Wars story(or Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress). No one ever said Darth Vader is a pussy until after episodes 1-3 came out. He was a dark bastion of evil bad-assedry. Luke was a whiny brat who becomes a powerful Jedi and redeems his father. Luke ends up being the new sole Jedi and starting to teach the ways of the force to the galaxy again. Making changes like this is the equivalent of throwing in midichloreans, or Making Vader the big bad boss and doing away with the Emperor, or removing the whip from Indiana Jones and replacing it with an assault rifle. You want to do that, write your own story, not do a remake with someone else’s characters into your story. However, adding a good reason for Luke to have gone to the Death Star that we just didnt see the first tiem around? Great Idea! Having wicked ominous things still happen? Absolutely. Make Yoda’s predictions come through, but also let Luke prove that the old Jedi way didn’t know everything, they wanted to kill all the dark jedi/sith, he proved they can be saved. Note: Killing Han
    8.- Yes, scrap the damn incarnation of greedy merchandising that are the ewoks. Make the series end a little darker, a little more in line with Yoda’s predictions, and a little less focus on selling toys to children.
    11- Again Agreed, Why Does Anakin know the trick that Obiwan and Yoda know? is it all Force Users? is there a blue ghost of Palpatine somewhere? scrapping the trick first three’s post hence explanation we have a scooby doo ending, with Qui gonn’s learning how to do it and teaching Obi wan and potentially Yoda, how did Anakin learn it?
    12- Yes, but make sure he somehow looks related to the guy playing Luke as well.
    13- Wait what? change the guy BECAUSE he has a huge fanbase? and you disagree with the fanbase? He wasnt written to be some badass, he gets beat, is just the most successful bounty hunter because he knows the smuggler tricks and doesn’t talk much just acts. When its that simple and it works well, don’t mess it up.
    14- why of course a remake will have a higher budget and can afford better actors, get them.
    15- irrelevant
    16- Jedi are monks, its eastern philosophy. It may not be right, but theres not enough screen time to go into a philosphical debate on philosophy of your good guy self sacrificing, always act for the general betterment folks. It’d be boring to watch but fascinating to read, which is why they do it ALOT in the Star Wars books.
    17.- Good point, I never really clicked what bothered me about the emperor in the last movie, but I think I can excuse it as overconfidence and a touch of dark side madness? I’d love to see what exactly you woudl do if you had to have Vader redeem, Luke win without Turning (or maybe turning but also being rescued by Lea in a display of her powers which gives him the idea of how to save his father?)
    18,19,20 – Hell yes on all of this. Great featurette idea, keep the futuristicness (even though its in the ancient past), and continuity of technology logically progressing and the gritty real look not the overly shiny cgi effect.
    Thanks for reading my rant, it’s a lot of good ideas, would love to see what you would do as your own story/screenplay.

    • 1.- Ben is a pacifist.

      He can’t be a pacifist or he would never have become a Jedi. He would, as a Jedi, have used violence as a last resort but he would have used it. He did fight Vader, but it was a pretty lame, pussy fight. I think Carly’s point was just that the fight be a bit better. Personally though I would want it in the original trilogy style of Western fencing rather than a kind of theatrical movie wire fighting version of Japanese or Chinese swordfighting as they used in the prequels. To see Obi-Wan leaping about like Yoda did in the prequels would rob the character of his dignity. I do kind of wonder how he becomes more powerful, though. He becomes part of the Force, but this doesn’t seem to do him any good. If he used his power to tell Han to go looking for Luke, that would suck because it would mean Han didn’t really care about Luke and makes a mockery of their friendship which is based in huge part on Han’s saving Luke’s life.

      3,4,and 6
      It’s you who have missed something. When Leia kisses Luke, she might not have loved him or even liked him that much. Obviously she did it to screw with Han. But what if she’d been a bit sluttier? Just banged the guy for recreation. She had no idea at that time, and the audience in particular had no idea, that there was any connection between them. Plus, if she had known all along…well, anyone who has a sister knows that you’re not going to French kiss them if you know they’re your sister. There’s just no way.

      7.9, and 10- but also let Luke prove that the old Jedi way didn’t know everything, they wanted to kill all the dark jedi/sith, he proved they can be saved.

      They could possibly be saved, but should they be? Vader was a mass murderer. I don’t know how his showing emotion for his son somehow turns him back to the good. After all, some of the Nazis loved their children but had no problem being party to mass murder. Hitler supposedly loved his dog. If the Force really existed, and Hitler had been a Sith Lord, would we be okay with his showing up as a Force Ghost?

      11- Again Agreed, Why Does Anakin know the trick that Obiwan and Yoda know? is it all Force Users? is there a blue ghost of Palpatine somewhere?

      Based on Vader’s reaction to Obi-Wan’s vanishing act in the first movie, it seemed like he was completely flummoxed.

      12- Yes, but make sure he somehow looks related to the guy playing Luke as well.

      After all the punishment his body has taken, and the effects of the Dark Side (which I assume to be the reason the Emperor’s face looks like an old catcher’s mitt), would he be recognizable as Luke’s father anyway? I agree that the cute, bald baby type we see in ROTJ is not the way to go, but what I did like was the albino white skin, the kind of heroin addict wasted look.

      13- Wait what? change the guy BECAUSE he has a huge fanbase?

      Obviously not because he has a huge fanbase. The fanbase is irrelevant. He is in the end just a shitty character. Remember that rule “show, don’t tell”? They tell us he’s the greatest, but he really isn’t. And he shouldn’t really have still been there. Does Dog the Bounty Hunter hang around that long?

      16- Jedi are monks, its eastern philosophy. It’d be boring to watch but fascinating to read, which is why they do it ALOT in the Star Wars books.

      Actually it’s pretty boring to read, too, which is partly why the books suck. A big part of that is that it’s based on a Cliff Notes Generic Eastern Philosophy. The kind probably gleaned from episodes of Kung Fu and Hong Kong chopsocky movies of the 60s.

      17.- Good point, I never really clicked what bothered me about the emperor in the last movie, but I think I can excuse it as overconfidence and a touch of dark side madness?

      Something like that I guess. It kind of negates Luke’s rejection of the Dark Side. He might have been turned if the Emperor had kept his mouth shut. The Force putting words into his mouth? Luke shouldn’t pat himself on the back too much.

  6. Probably the one thing that bugged me most about these movies – and action movies in general – is the plot-driven aiming skills. Obi-Wan earlier in the movie had talked about how precisely the Stormtroopers were shot their weapons. Yet later they can’t hit anything to save their life. Were they all up late partying, and their aim was really shot? Maybe it was really cold, and their reaction time and reflexes were shot (I saw it on Mythbusters). It seems to me the writers could have come up with something better there. They could at least have had someone get shot, just not fatally.

    Why a Jedi’s body evaporates at death has never been entirely clear to me.

    Especially since Yoda later talks about how “luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.” You’d think that crude matter would be left behind.

  7. One point, though, about Darth Vader and Alderaan. Vader did not destroy the planet, nor did he ever have any say in Alderaan’s destruction, not even in the Novelization. That was all on Grand Moff Tarkin. Tarkin commanded the Death Star and it was he who gave the order to destroy Alderaan. Not Vader.

    • I know he didn’t give the order, but he was in the room, stood by, and was totally chill with what happened. If he was some petty Storm Trooper who was just hanging out near the console, maybe, maybe, he might not be found culpable (although, frankly, I think that’s debatable), but this is Darth Vader, and I think you can find the guy morally responsible for just standing by during the destruction of Alderaan.

  8. First of all, Luke is the main protagonist & the main protagonist doesn’t die.

    Second, I’m new to the Star Wars film and watched them IV, V, I, II, III, VI.

    Now, whilst I can get on board with most of your points, the idea of Vader not turning back when seeing his son being killed is not one of them.

    In Episode I, we see his reluctance to leave his mother, Yoda then tells us he can sense Anakin’s fear of losing her.

    In Episode II, we have him effectively change his mission in order to go find his mother to try and save her. When Anakin arrives too late, he becomes sad, angry and revengeful so he kills everyone at the camp.

    In Episode III, throughout we see Anakin willing and trying to find any solution to save Padme, his wife from dying in childbirth. He turns to the Dark Side to learn powers that will save Padme.
    His turning to the Dark Side actually causes her to lose the will to live.

    So to me then watching Return of the Jedi, it makes perfect sense for Anakin to turn back to the light side and fulfill the prophecy by killing the Emperor in order to save his son.

    Anakin’s whole story has resulted around wanting to save the people he loves. His route to the Dark Side happened because he wanted to revenge the loss of his mother and second because he wanted to save his wife. I don’t see why he should then not act when his son is in danger and he can actually stop it.

    That being said in the context of the original trilogy, it makes no sense whatsoever.

    • See, but that’s kind of why I want the main protagonist to die — because he doesn’t die. I like the idea of building up a protagonist, killing him off halfway through, and having to get another character to finish the journey. As an arc, that appeals to me. I know it doesn’t suit every story, but one of the reasons Star Wars is so fun to talk about is because it’s such a paint-by-numbers approach to the hero’s journey — it’s like it’s built to be analyzed and pulled apart.

      I see what you mean about Anakin’s journey, and if the movies had been presented in a chronological order, I might even agree. I’m not certain, though. Even reordered, I think we might need a few more signs or hints of Darth Vader’s feelings about his family for his sudden fourth quarter conversion to feel balanced. (Also, a better actor for Anakin would probably help.) But in the original trilogy alone — nope. The switch to the light side of the force definitely doesn’t feel earned at all.

      • The prequels are even more paint-by-numbers – the little touches that show what Anakin will become, as well as showing he’s not all bad and thereby hinting at his even later “redemption” – are really clunky and heavy handed and seem like they were shoe-horned in after the fact on focus group advice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.