Okay, this is mostly for myself getting my thoughts together, but if you want to see my ideas and outlines, then go ahead and
One of the big criticisms of the original prequels is that they lack focus, namely, a main character to root for. I mean, Anakin doesn’t enter the picture until halfway through the first movie. That’s why I’d start the first movie with the crew of the Queen’s escape ship managing a crash-landing onto Tatooine. It’s exciting enough to properly start things with a bang, and it gets right to the story, in Campbellarian (the original movies were based HEAVILY on the works of Joseph Campbell, who actually advised Lucas) terms, The Call to Action. The closest thing the story really has to a main character is Anakin, so the focus really should stay on him and his story.
Obi-Wan: in the original movies, Obi-Wan is a wise, loving mentor. But he can’t have started out with all that wisdom. Frankly, I think at the start of the movie, he’d be kind of an asshole. He’s got talents as a Jedi, and he’s nearing the completion of his training, and he’s cocky and generally looks at others with contempt.
PALPATINE: okay this guy plays a major fucking role in the whole story, but he’s constantly lurking in the background. While that may have been in attempt to keep him seeming sneaky and subversive, it doesn’t bring him out as a full character and proper villain, which is another thing the story lacks: a full, constant villain whose loathing carries you through the story. We need to see him gaining his political power and why people want him for Emperor. I’d base him HEAVILY on Hitler. I’m pretty sure with the whole starting-small getting big, secretly building an army thing, he was supposed to be based on Hitler, but you don’t see the core of what makes a dictator: the charisma and the cult of personality. We need to see him giving big charismatic speeches, going around behind the scenes and doing questionable shit. Also,
WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THE SITH: I don’t think the movies ever fully explain what their fucking deal is, beyond that they’re evil and of the dark side. People don’t just up and go evil for no fucking reason. There needs to be some sort of appeal to it, and it needs to be clear from the first movie that Palpatine is somehow in cohorts with them.
WHICH BRINGS ME TO important scene #2. Anakin has learned about the Force and the Jedi and The Sith, and is trying out his powers of the Force (spoon-bending, maybe). Palpatine spots him and recognizes his talent, and then goes and does something really impressive with The Force. Anakin asks if he’s a Jedi, and Palpatine laughs and says that not only Jedis understand the Force. Anakin asks if he means the Sith, and he’s wary because he’s evil. Then happens the scene that happened in the third movie but should have happened in the first; Palpatine explains that the Sith aren’t bad, just misunderstood, and that by studying the dark side, they are studying the force in full. Palpatine and Anakin are separated, so Anakin never has a chance to delve further into the Sith and becomes a Jedi.
Okay romance is kind of my thing. My biggest fear of my ideas is that Anakin and Padme’s relationship would start out sweet enough, but at times teeter towards abusive, at the worst times going fully nasty. In the end though I think it’s important that Padme recognize that she can’t save Anakin and she has to leave him for her sake and her children’s sake.
Angsty, horny teenage Anakin: Anakin and Obi-Wan are pupil and teacher, and underneath that is a solid bromance topped off by a fierce rivalry. Anakin is more talented that Obi-Wan is (or at least was at his age), and even though he tries to hide it, it irks Obi-Wan. He’s less of an asshole these days thanks to calm devotion to Jedi meditation, and he’s a thorough devotee. Despite his talents, Anakin is unreliable and reckless, over-confident and always questioning the Jedi dogma. Obi-Wan struggles to keep him in check by giving him very little responsibility, and Anakin resents it and sees it as Obi-wan being jealous and having a need to always be better than him (which, deep down Obi-Wan knows is true). Sometimes, he acts out in anger, and he loathes himself for his dark tendencies.
PADME: she’s a fabulous, fierce young senator out and about doing her thang. She’s gained a reputation for her charity and liberal do-gooding and is highly regarded by her peers and constituents. And she’s hot, and Anakin notices. As much as he has his doubts about it, he tries to devote himself to the chaste Jedi way of life like Obi-Wan does. Padme is nice to him. She praises his talents and quietly whispers to him that he is indeed more talented than Obi-Wan and she’s deeply impressed. Anakin struggles to stay unmoved, but Padme whispers to him, why? What’s wrong with love? Aren’t Jedis supposed to be about love? They don’t marry, but they keep their affair secret and passionate.
Anakin is fully a Jedi. He struggles to maintain a friendly relationship with Obi-Wan, but now that Obi-Wan has lost any power over him, Anakin is on his own and free to make his own decisions. He’s gained some control over his anger, but it still comes up when he’s provoked enough. Palpatine comes back into his life. He’s the galactic president now, and as slick and seductive as always. Padme is pregnant and Anakin is facing a real crisis of faith over his life as a Jedi. He wants to be a proper father and husband, but he also likes fighting and being a badass. Padme insists on him staying a Jedi. She can raise her children on her own, and he can still be in the children’s lives, even if he’s not officially their father. Anakin supposes this is a good idea, although it leaves him unsatisfied. He confides to Palpatine about his predicament, and Palpatine tells him that the Sith allowed for its followers to marry. Anakin has learned about the cruelty of the Sith, and he’s reluctant, even if their freedoms speak to him. Palpatine pulls out Machiavellian logic, that sometimes, you have to be cruel to achieve good ends. Anakin leaves the Jedi and devotes himself to Palpatine as Darth Vader. Padme is horrified by Anakin’s decision and tells him he’s horrible, and Anakin snaps and hurts her. Terrified, Padme runs to Obi-Wan asking for a place to hide. Hoping to bring Anakin back to his senses, Obi-Wan tells Anakin that Padme died of her injuries and Anakin loses. his. shit. He blames Obi-Wan for letting her die and vows to kill him. Obi-Wan realizes he’s stepped in it, and tries to bring Padme (who has given birth) back to Anakin to reason with him, but in trying to kill Obi-Wan, Anakin accidentally kills Padme. But this time it really seriously *is* Obi-Wan’s fault and they have their legendary fight to the finish. Meanwhile, Palpatine is wiping out the Jedi.
The surviving Jedi go into hiding, and Obi-Wan retired to Tatooine bitter and disillusioned.
I think in the very first Star Wars movie Luke knows who Obi-Wan is, but he doesn’t know he knew his father. Either way, I can still work it. Obi-Wan is visiting with the Skywalkers and Baroo is having trouble with young Luke. He’s at the age where he’s become aware that he doesn’t have a father and he’s asking questions about it. Obi-Wan tells them to tell him that his father is dead, but that he was a great man.
I think to original story was actually supposed to be quite a lot like this, it was just so shittily written that there’s no depth to it. Now the question is… how do I turn this into a selection of scenes? hmmmmmm.