You’ve heard by now that George Lucas has once against tweaked the original Star Wars trilogy by adding unnecessary effects and sounds to the upcoming Blu-ray versions of the films. The main gripe amongst fans is that the final showdown between Darth Vader and the Emperor during the climax of Return of the Jedi will now feature Vader screaming, “Noooo!,” whereas before he was silent when he tossed the Emperor down the electric well in a cold, badass, heroic move. (Click here to see the new version.)
This is dumb. No one in the world saw the original trilogy and said, “This sucks. You know what could make it good? If Vader screamed during the final battle like a bratty kid who was denied ice cream.” The movie that was released in 1983 was the very best possible version of Return of the Jedi.
And yet here we are. When the news hit about the new addition to the movie, the first reaction was: This is a joke, right? But when the modified footage was confirmed by Lucasfilm, we all just sat back in our chairs and whispered, “Wow. George Lucas has really lost it.” It's particularly irksome that we won't be able to see the movies as they were originally released. At least not yet. For now, the only Blu-rays available will be the altered "Noooooo!" versions.
But we’re not here to bash George Lucas for being a tinkering old fool who doesn’t know when to quit. We won’t call him a greedy troll whose imagination has been replaced with a cold, robot mind. Plenty of other websites have done that. In fact, every website in the world has done that. And it hasn’t stopped Lucas from changing the movies.
Instead of attacking George Lucas, we’re here to help him and set things right. We can fix the Star Wars universe. We can make it great again. George, if you’re reading this, please trust us.
Step One: Leave the original trilogy alone.
Shut the hell up and release episodes 4-6 on Blu-ray as they first appeared thirty years ago. Destroy all other versions. Remove all your awful 1990's computer effects from the films. Let Han Solo shoot first. Show Darth Vader as an elderly ghost. And bring back the kick-ass Ewok song! And then…step away. You’re acting like a mom on Toddlers and Tiaras who keeps yelling at her kids, “Smile bigger! Show more teeth! Sell your body like a prostitute!” Leave your kids alone! They're perfect as is.
Step Two: Go ahead and fiddle with the prequels.
Episodes 1-3 are a lost cause. If you feel the need to add a talking turtle to a movie, do it here. No one will care, or notice. Hell, it might even make these movies better. Have Obi-Wan scream, “Nooooo!” whenever he exits a room. Make Anakin a rapping monkey. Replace all nouns with the words “slutty pants.” Change Jar-Jar into a bowl of soup. Consider these three films your own personal sandbox. Have at it.
Step Three: Make a new Star Wars movie.
Notice we didn’t say movies. We said movie. One. Make one more Star Wars movie. But make it good. This one movie, if you follow our instructions, can bring honor back to the franchise. First, fire everyone who worked with you on the prequels. Start over completely.
This movie should tell a small, simple, self-contained story with hints of a larger story happening in the background. It should focus on new characters who are unrelated to the previous Star Wars people. This means no Yoda’s mom or Chewbacca’s college roommate. The connection to the other movies should be very, very, very subtle. You can keep the concept of the Force, but that’s about it.
Remember, keep it simple. We’re not dealing with government councils, trade federations, senators, or separatists.
Some plots to choose from:
There's a huge prison break and the nastiest villains alive run free. It’s up to a group of Jedi to hunt them down throughout the galaxy. It’s part action movie, part film noir.
A lone Jedi is marooned on a haunted planet.
A building is hijacked by bad Sith guys, but little do they know that the building’s cranky old janitor is a retired Jedi. It’s like Die Hard, but with laser swords!
An orphanage will be shut down unless the Jedi raise enough money in a hilarious talent show.
A Jedi and a Sith Lord are forced to carpool together and get stuck in traffic. The result is a dialogue-heavy comedy that also teaches the world about tolerance. There will be a fart joke.
We have tons of other ideas. Call us?
Step Four: Hand in your writer’s license.
You wrote the line, “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and irritating and it gets everywhere,” and you thought that the scene had emotional impact. As such, you are no longer allowed to be a writer. Sorry.
You must hire a writer to make this new Star Wars film. Ideally, it should be someone who understands the art of storytelling. Hire any of the Pixar writers, Neil Gaiman, or Joss Whedon. Or we could write it. We promise to make it good with lots of cool things.
Step Five: Hand in your director’s license.
You’re not allowed to direct the movie either. Stop crying. You can still be the producer. Hire a good director, one who understands the difference between video games and movies.
The movie should feature tense action, but don’t try to show off your powerful computer. Use real actors, real puppets, and real fire. The guys at Red Letter Media can explain why this important better than we can, so watch their funny (and R-rated) 90-minute review of The Phantom Menace. You’ll get the idea.
You need a director who understands story. We suggest Duncan Jones, who made Moon (a great sci-fi thriller) and the underrated Source Code. He can handle complicated ideas and make them tangible. And his movies thus far have been fast-paced and engrossing.
Or call up Kathryn Bigelow, the Academy Award-winning director of The Hurt Locker. The Hurt Locker may not have deserved the Best Picture award, but it's still a great action movie. Bigelow could breathe new life into Star Wars. Plus, she made the goofy action/surf movie Point Break, and that movie is all kinds of awesome.
If she’s busy, give Christopher Nolan a sack of money and then step away and let him do what he does. You have Scrooge McDuck amounts of cash. Spend some on story talent instead of using it to make characters who look like they live inside an Xbox.
If Nolan is busy, our Cousin Jesse would like a shot. He has a camera on his iPhone.
Step Six: Retire.
After you make this one last Star Wars movie, leave the business completely. End your career on a high note. You want people to remember you as the guy who made Star Wars, not the guy who ruined it.
Step Seven: Give us some of that sweet, sweet space money.
Are you appalled by Lucas's senile meddling?
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