Some Proposed Phantom Menace Rewrites

I’ve heard and read volumes’ worth of Star Wars criticism in my day. While this is neither the best nor the worst, these ideas are somewhat novel and interesting steps in good directions that all manage to keep in tact the basic structure of episode I. I think the reimagining could be way more ambitious though. The prequels had enough in them that they were amazing experiences for me over countless obsessive viewings. Yet still I recognize the plot and dialogue could have been ten times better and more satisfying. I think this amusing video only gets us to two times better. But it’s a start.

Your Rewrites?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • MichaelD

    Sorry I’m still working on a rewrite of star trek 5. Where due to the poor state of the enterprise Kirk goes on the rescue mission with Sulu, Mccoy and the excelsior only for the crew to mutiny against them. Spock and Scotty are then working to catch up to them in the enterprise. Downplaying the klignons to focus more on the Sybok as the villian. That’s a taste anyway :P

  • Francisco Bacopa

    Honestly, I’ve tried to forget as much as I can about the prequels, so I don’t really have any ideas. The guy in the vid would have made a much better movie.

  • tripencrypt

    Any version that lacks Jar Jar will be much better. Have you seen the reviews done by Red Letter Media on Youtube? That guy makes me laugh. “email me if you want a pizza roll.”

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    As numerous reviewers have pointed out, one of the main problems with Phantom Menace is there’s no protagonist. In the original trilogy, Luke is a protagonist who learns, grows, and matures throughout the movies. Nobody learns, grows and matures in Phantom Menace.

    At least Peter Jackson turned down George Lucas’ suggestion for a new character in Lord of the Rings. Lucas was devastated Jackson didn’t use Jar Jaromir.

  • DrVanNostrand

    Some of his suggestions would have really helped:
    1. Obiwan as protagonist
    2. No Jar Jar (obviously)
    3. Less of the kid
    4. Keep Darth Maul as a recurring nemesis for Obiwan

    I’m not sure how the love triangle idea helps.

  • Robert B

    I’ll cut and paste some of what I wrote on my google+ page.

    1) I like making Obi-Wan as the main character, although it makes the next two movies a bit difficult.
    2) (long rant) Anakin as a teen would be nice as well, but I really don’t see young Anakin as all that bad, considering how goofy kids are. The too old to train concept for a teen Anakin is good and sets up Anakin as jealous of Obi-Wan, perhaps even a later confrontation where he suggests that he could have done something…

    He could come along and help Padme. Claim he is good with a blaster (from hunting womp rats on Tatooine for food?). If the council refuses to train him, he has nowhere else to go, but his actions on Naboo could change their mind.

    One other thing comes to mind. Han and Leia’s third child (also named Anakin) references the first Anakin’s skill with machines, as he can see inside a machine with the force and in some cases fix it. Perhaps he could do the same on Naboo, open a lock with his mind, making it possible to reach the Viceroy.

    That would also let it be reasonable for him to have repaired or rebuilt C-3PO, which allows one of the most touching moments from the Tales graphic novels to occur.

    Young padawans are a great tool for role playing games (There is nothing like having a player’s charge end up being captured), but Anakin is just way too little. Child soldiers are one of the evils of our time, so it is a good thing that Anakin was only killing a few people in the droid ship. Otherwise, scarred for life. Probably would become a Sith or something eventually.

    3) Dropping the midichlorians would be an obvious good move. My personal fix would be to say that they are force parasites. The stronger a person is, the more there are.
    4) Foreshadow Yoda, again good idea.
    5) I don’t have any issue with Palpatine as it was. He makes a good senator and chancellor with his eventual rise to emperor an obvious move. No need to change that.
    6) The streamlined end story is good, especially leaving Anakin behind, and keeping Darth Maul would be kind of cool, especially as hated enemy for Obi Wan. He was an awesome character and should have come back with the robot legs as he did in the Star Wars Tales graphic novel.
    7) I also like the potential of setting up a love triangle of Anakin and Obi Wan.More reason for him to fall and for Obi Wan to foster Luke (and set him against his father).
    8) Having a teen Anakin and a teen Padme would be much better as the later romance comes off as a wee bit out of place. But sexual creepiness is what Lucas loves in a script. Possible incest with Luke and Leia? And don’t even get me started with the original age difference between Indiana Jones and his love interest from Raiders… Did I mention that they two costumes that Lucas is reported to have designed are Leia’s slave bikini and Padme’s black corset seduction outfit? Man is twisted.

    But here is the thing, despite Star Wars being one of my obsessions, despite it being one of my favorite SciFi universes, with all the movies, books (even the awful ones), graphic novels, soundtracks, video games, RPGs, etc… Star Wars was never good. The scripts were always weak, the younger actors are always outclassed by the older pros, and Lucas stinks as a director. The best Star Wars film is Empire, and he didn’t direct it. No poop joke? How about a trash compactor full of liquid waste from the prison level? Corny moves? Let’s have a wookie do the Tarzan yodel while swinging on a vine. Confused epic ending? Jedi is the ultimate confused ending with a space battle, guerrilla ground fight and Luke confronting the Emperor. As for fan service, the disco song Lapti Nek and the Ewoks filled the need for that.