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Saga What if the saga was reversed?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by slimybug, Mar 13, 2011.

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  1. slimybug

    slimybug Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 14, 2001
    What if, in 1977, George Lucas released "Star Wars," a story about Qui-Gon Jinn and his young apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, stopping the evil Trade Federation, finding Anakin Skywalker, etc, and it was every bit as much of a success and phenomenon as the actual Star Wars was that year, followed by the 1980 sequel "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones," with the original film being re-released the next year as "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," and finally the 1983 film "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" leaving fans stunned at the dark ending and incredible cliffhanger.

    Now imagine Lucas left fans with that cliffhanger for the next 16 years, until finally revisiting the saga with "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" in 1999. As the series was being picked up AT LAST, and the issues at the end of 3 were FINALLY being resolved, this would have been as big a media splash/phenomenon as Episode I really was in 1999. And year, you know the rest, "Empire Strikes Back" in 2002, and "Return of the Jedi" in 2005, creating a similar media-hype as the end of the saga.

    Well, first of all, I don't think the original film would have been quite as big a hit because, while the special effects would still be a huge thing, the story just isn't as good (I actually think Episode I is quite underrated, but the sucess of the '77 film is largely due to the incredible mythological archetypal story).

    That aside, certain things would be different, especially the effects. I just have this burning curiosity to see what this stuff would have looked like in 1977. The Battle droids would obviously have to be guys in suits, so they'd look quite different, bt as far as the space battle goes, seeing as how that's quite similar to the actual '77 film, it'd probably remain unchanged. And I'd be curious to see how they did Jar Jar.

    I feel like Return of the Jedi would have been very criticized because, when looked at as the end of Anakin's 6-part story, it's pretty weak, just going back to the Death Star and such.

    That aside, here would be some casting suggestions of mine:

    Richard Roundtree as Mace Windu
    Mark Hamill as Anakin Skywalker
    Alec Guinness as Count Dooku
    Robert Downey, Jr. as Han Solo

    And obviously, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz, and Peter Mayhew would get to keep their roles. The actor to play Obi-Wan would get to be the same. But the actor to play Palpatine would have to be old in 1977, but alive in 2005, so not quite sure how they'd pull that off. Makeup, I guess.

    So, what do you guys all think?

  2. DarthBoba

    DarthBoba Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 29, 2000
    TPM would be a hit for the same reason ANH was: you can feel really frickin good about the ending (granted, not with prior knowledge of the OT, but your theory requires prior knowledge of the OT). ANH's huge popularity was predominantly because of the effect it had on the American psyche, which wasn't feeling too hot about itself in 1977.
  3. Jedi_Corin_Daan

    Jedi_Corin_Daan Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 6, 2010
    ANH Would need a rewrite since it was meant to stand alone if the series failed. There were also too many secrets given away if episodes I-III were actually done first. Who originally saw Vader being Luke's dad, or Leia the sister? That's why I always tell first time veiwers to start with the originals. The prequels were so highly anticipated and so eagerly received because we all wanted to know the story of the man behind the mask. Given the ending of ROTS, I don't think the anticipation would have been the same if the production of the saga was reversed.
  4. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn

    Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 23, 1999
    This almost happened (from a certain point of view). If I remember, TPM's story has a lot of similarities to the "Journal of the Whills" treatment that later became SW77.

    I also think that there would be a backlash against this 'sequel trilogy,' because they (Empire especially) depart somewhat from the larger scale, politically-focused stories with extreme amounts of in-your-face special effects and somewhat less-adult-humor. While in our universe there was backlash against the prequels because they included exactly those attributes, I would presume that in the alternate universe people who became fans of those films might be less-than-enthused about the comparative lack of spectacle and smaller scale of the story.

    Yes, I'm aware of the irony of describing the Star Wars movies as lacking in spectacle.
  5. Jedirockstar1138

    Jedirockstar1138 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 4, 2011
    the revelation about Vader being Luke's father really has no effect after you see the PT. And besides, some people tend to think Vader's image as a badass was ruined by the PT.
  6. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    I would need to look up an exact quote, but from my understanding, that image was supposed to be ruined. Vader the villian was never intended to be "cool", and evil is not supposed to be "badass."

    Yes, the "I am your father" surprise would be ruined, but there would be other surprises that only a viewer of the films in I-VI order would have (assuming he or she didn't know the storyline first). Like Anakin becoming Vader in the first place. To go back to the statement about Vader being a "badass," a lot of fans' interpretation/viewpoint of Anakin in the PT was shaped by the fact that we already know that he becomes Vader. But if the first image of Anakin or Vader is that of little Ani in TPM, who would have guessed it?
  7. firesaber

    firesaber Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 5, 2006
    GL has said on many occasions that this story was meant to be the tradegy of anakin/vader. That being said seeing how he used to be, how/why he fell and what he became is key to that.

    If I showed you baby pictures of adolf hitler snuggling with a kitten, does that take away from how much of a monster you know him to be?
  8. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Putting aside the fact that I see Palpatine as the Hitler in the SW saga, not Vader, I'll answer the question: No, but that was kind of my point. Watching the saga in the order that those of us who grew up on the OT saw it--IV-VI, then I-III--we know that Anakin becomes Vader, so our view of him in the PT becomes distorted.

    I never saw Hitler as a "cool badass" either. A lot of viewers did see Vader that way, and Anakin in the PT "ruined" that for them because he was not particularly badass, especially in ROTS.
  9. drg4

    drg4 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 30, 2005
    I could see a few story threads extended:

    --Leia's spiritual facets would be front-and-center.

    --Padme's pall would hang over the central characters, and play an integral part in the final conflict.

    --The implications to the Darth Plagueis parable would be elaborated upon.

    --Bail would be a significant supporting character, and our link to Coruscant political maneuverings.
  10. CoolyFett

    CoolyFett Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 3, 2003
    Totally agree, thats why it funny when people say the OT is better than the PT. If the PT came first in 1977 and the OT came in 1999, those fans would love the PT and hate the OT. There is a nostalgia bias among those fans. The Ultimate test is the NEW, NOW generation. find any kid between the age of 8 & 15 that has NEVER seen the saga AT ALL, show them the full saga and watch what they take from it. Will they hate Padme & love Leia? Will they relate to Boba more than Jango? In 20 years another generation will be introduced to the same saga that is coming to blu ray this year, what will they say? The OT loyalist will eventually fade out. Them trying to hold on to the old crappy dirty unedited versions serves no other purpose but to bring them back to their child hood, which is really not fair to current children. Our child hood has come and gone. Introduce the saga to the new generation, let them decide which chapters are the best, let them enjoy what we are still enjoying from our childhoods. If the two trilogies were reverse Padme, Anakin & Obi Wan would be held in the HIGHEST regard and Luke, Leia & Han would be considered rubbish and not as good as the PT actors. Chewbacca would be the new Jar Jar Binks etc etc...
  11. CoolyFett

    CoolyFett Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 3, 2003
    Which begs the question...Why do people hate change?? Saying the PT ruins Anakin/Vader is not fair, that opinion again comes from a bias group of fans that for various reasons refuse to acknowledge the good of the PT. It would be interesting to see all the negative reactions to the OT if the PT came first. I still feel ep 3 through ep 5 are most entertaining.
  12. YYZ-2112

    YYZ-2112 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 3, 2004
    If the production had been reversed, I doubt seriously that there would have ever been a scene where Leia kisses Luke on the mouth. It really makes me wonder if the concept of them as twins wasn't just tacked on for Return of the Jedi as a story mechanic in order to give Luke a realistic motivation for his near fall from grace at the end of the film. Because it would have taken a a fourth film to create that kind of audience connection to a new character.
  13. janstett

    janstett Jedi Master star 3

    May 29, 2004
    It would have been the disaster everybody was afraid Star Wars was going to be.

    Star Wars succeeded because it was swashbucking, fun, good old tale of good vs. evil in the tradition of the old Buck Rogers serials.

    In other words everything TPM was not, with its dry politics, offensive racial stereotypes, muddled story, ambiguously gray characters, lack of clear plot, lack of a clear protagonist, lack of a clear villain who dominates the screen, et al. TPM is just plain bad storytelling. It's not good filmmaking.

    Maybe you PT teenyboppers weren't around back in 1977, but I was a kid -- the movie was a runaway hit all summer that year. People loved the feel-good victory of good over evil (this was in the middle of the Jimmy Carter "malaise" era when everything was crap, there were gas lines, interest rates on loans were 20%, etc., and we were being told the country would never be good again). The biggest thing before that was Jaws, and before that 2001. Star Wars had the memorable characters all over, and a good fun story to boot. It was THE right movie at THE right time. People loved the droids, they loved Vader, they loved Chewie. You cannot tell me with a straight face that Jar-Jar would have been the cultural icon that all those OT characters became.

    Not to mention, for the story of good vs. evil to work especially in one stand alone movie, the bad guys have to be pretty established and powerful. There's a reason Lucas started at Ep. IV.

    Alright, I'll soften my stance and say it wouldn't have worked partly because TPM was poorly told, but also because it has to be murky and gray due to its place as the story origin. After all, nobody makes movies about Hitler getting elected Chancellor, they make movies about the battles.
  14. Drewdude91

    Drewdude91 Jedi Knight star 3

    May 21, 2011
    I think TPM would have succeeded for the same reasons ANH succeeded as previously stated earlier in this thread. However, I can not see AOTC succeeding for the same reasons that ESB did. It lacks the action and has too much romance to be compared to ESB. Plus, there's no revelation at the end. Maybe they would've revealed that Palpatine is Sidious by having him contact Dooku, then lowering his hood and contacting the Jedi or something. This would make a serious revelation and a great cliffhanger. Palpatine would then be revealed as Sidious to the characters in ROTS.
  15. CoolyFett

    CoolyFett Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 3, 2003
    In time there wont be OT fanboys or PT will just be Star Wars fanboys.
  16. 13thsithlord

    13thsithlord Jedi Knight star 1

    Aug 30, 2005
    if the saga did run in that order i think many things would have changed - would they had been battle droids?
    probably not- clones would be more likley -and less convincing of course

    the narrative would also change as with out the foreknowledge changes would affect most of the foreshadowing that appears in the PT

    So dooku claims about the senate etc would run as a mystery until sidious' reveal and vaders i am your father would be only a shock in universe

  17. T-R-

    T-R- Chosen One star 5

    Aug 13, 2003
    Another big reason SW was a hit in '77 was the acting. People could identify with the characters, particularly Mark/Luke, and it seemed as though they WERE the characters and not actors. TPM would've needed the same homerun casting SW had for it to be as big a hit.

    Once again, it would need the cast the audience could identify with IN its psyche. Would the '77 audience identify with a 9 year old hero the same way they did with Luke? How would the lack of the cynical character to balance out the young hero resonate with the audience then?

    It all depends on who was cast in the roles. Would SW have been the same hit with William Katt, Kurt Russel, and Cindy Williams? I don't think so.
  18. DarthWolvo23

    DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 30, 2005
    This is a very insightful post. Agree 100%.
  19. Grand_Moff_Jawa

    Grand_Moff_Jawa Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 31, 2001
    Which movie has the most satisfying ending? A New Hope or The Phantom Menace? Hands down, it's ANH for me. TPM's story was too convoluted and hard to follow. I don't see a 70's audience relating to it at all.

    The PT would have much less special effects if it were made in the 70's. That would be one issue taken out of the equation. I felt the PT was over-saturated with effects. I'm not bashing the prequels, I'm just stating their impact on ME.

    I don't think Star Wars would be the world-wise household name it is today if the prequels came first.
  20. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    I am old enough to remember 1977, in spite of your blanket stereotype about "teenyboppers", and if you think everyone liked the same type of movie then, in the words of Padme, you assume too much.

    Grey characters and a plot that includes a lot of political maneuvering do not make "bad storytelling." They make storytelling that you personally do not like. Why the assumption that everyone who remembers 1977 would agree with you? The country's situation in 1977 did not result in everyone in the country liking the same type of film. There was enough sneaky underhanded political dealing in the 70s that would have led people to appreciate what Palpatine was doing. That isn't new to the 00s, particularly given the fact that people were still sore from Vietnam at the time.

    And it's actually too bad that nobody has made a movie about Hitler getting elected; how he charmed people into giving him so much power, is a story that needs to be told.

    I enjoyed the original Star Wars, in 1977. ;) But if all six of the films were like ANH, with very cut-and-dry "good guys" and "bad guys"--or as you put it, "clear protagonists" and "clear villians who dominate the screen," I doubt I would still be a fan. Star Wars got monumentally more interesting to me when ROTJ came out, for two reasons: one, we found out that Vader really was Luke's father (I didn't believe him in 1980), and two, Vader was redeemed by his son. The villian we thought we knew, was no longer, and for that reason became a much more interesting character. Prior to 1983, Han was the most interesting Star Wars character, as the good guy who behaved badly. Straightforward "good guys" and "bad guys"? Much more boring.

    Yes, Star Wars was a resounding success that summer--stayed in the theater until December IIRC. How well TPM would have done is anyone's guess, but I seriously doubt it would be a "disaster." Jar-Jar isn't Chewie but I actually think there would be far fewer complaints about him if he had come first. Kids of our generation enjoyed poop jokes as much as kids today do. :p

    Two aspects that contributed to ANH's success but were absent from TPM: Han Solo or a rogueish smartass character like him (we had the rogue in Qui-Gon, but no smartass), and a fully-developed Laurel-and-H
  21. BLemelisk

    BLemelisk Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 19, 2003
    This is an interesting exercise.

    If only we could have seen the story that they tried to tell in the PT, but passed through the filter of constructive criticism with regards to the overall narrative, direction, and pacing. A lot would have been different, almost too much to remain open to useful speculation.

    "Strength through adversity" sums up neatly how the OT was such a different animal when comparing the two. The OT was a collective give and take process, while the PT was made through absolute control of very few. You could almost write a "Rise of Lucasfilm" screenplay ;).
  22. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 7, 2009
    In your opinion only. But I'm intrigued about what you're trying to say with "offensive racial stereotypes". Could you give an example?
  23. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
    He's talking about every character being white, and Vader being the only black guy, of course!

    Ups, sorry, wrong movie ;)
  24. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
  25. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    My main comment was going to be that I don't think Ahmed Best, as an African American, would consent to play a character that negatively stereotyped African Americans.

    But the above commentary says it all. Bravo. =D=
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