If I had Written the Star Wars Prequels
Ever since I was a kid, I have acted out my ideas of what happened before Luke Skywalker met Obi-Wan Kenobi. I had both questions and theories about the Clone Wars, about Obi-Wan, about Darth Vader, about Yoda. For example: How did Darth Vader know that Luke Skywalker was his son? How come he didn’t know there were twins? How did Obi-Wan know that? Who was Leia’s mother? How did she remember her?
Many of those questions remained unanswered after George wrote the official version. And let’s just say it: the official version sucks. It’s long periods of talking about politics and the value of diplomacy and democracy by people who elect queens and live in a republic that’s punctuated by occasional lightsaber fights that don’t really make sense.
The story of Darth Vader is meant to be dark.
THE PHANTOM MENACE
The title crawl tells the viewers about the Jedi. The Jedi are a sect of wandering warrior monks who have a strange religion and power over the Force. They rarely, if ever, use the Force – so rarely that most people don’t even believe that it exists. They are not allowed to own more than what they can carry, and are beggars. It tells us that Obi-Wan Kenobi is a young Jedi Knight who has just parted ways with his master, Yoda, who did not wish him to leave training.
Obi-Wan Kenobi travels to the great city-planet of Coruscant. There, in the dark underbelly of the city, he meets a young Anakin Skywalker. Anakin is already strong in the Force but he uses it openly and poorly. Anakin uses the Force to manipulate people, to steal things, to survive and scavenge.
Obi-Wan kicks his ass and tells him what’s really going on, what the Force is, and makes him his apprentice. There will be several short bits where Obi-Wan teaches him to use the Force. Anakin won’t obtain a lightsaber until much later.
Darth Maul, a Dark Jedi, is building a huge clone army on an unnamed backwater planet. From time to time some of his clone soldiers are sent into the core to cause trouble. Obi-Wan and Anakin happen to witness an assassination attempt on Senator Bail Organa and save his life.
The Senator invites them back to his mansion to let them stay for a time. During this time Anakin meets Padme and gets a crush on her. She’s the first truly beautiful woman he’s ever met. He makes all sorts of inappropriate advances towards her, acting like a stalker. He doesn’t know it but he actually hates her. What she represents to him is the domination of the nobility over the underclass.
Maul’s forces start attacking more and more places. He leads a major attack on Coruscant. Obi-Wan and Darth Maul fight each other to a standstill; only Anakin’s timely intervention causes Maul to flee.
The Republic, led by Palpatine, begins to raise an army after this. The film finishes with the beginning of the Clone Wars.
ATTACK OF THE CLONES
The title crawl tells the viewer that the Clone Wars have been going on for several years. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, now a general, have chosen to take up arms. They have fought in many battles. It lays out that the rebellion is being run by Darth Maul, who is a servant of Palpatine. No matter which side wins the war, Palpatine’s plans ensure he will be victorious.
The film begins with a battle. Anakin, clearly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, is in a speeder, fighting in the air. He is very erratic, hostile. Obi-Wan is on the ground, fighting clones. They chatter through comm sets. Anakin makes comments about how it won’t be so bad if some nobles get hurt – it’s always the underdwellers that take damage, anyways. Bail Organa is involved.
Anakin and Obi-Wan are split up. Obi-Wan is off on an assassination mission: he’s to kill Darth Maul. However, he first travels to Dagobah to talk to Yoda. He’s got concerns: Anakin’s a wild card, teetering on the Dark Side. He learns new Force tricks from Yoda. He has a vision of where to find Darth Maul. Against Yoda’s advice, he leaves to confront Maul. Yoda says that Kenobi’s training isn’t complete.
Anakin is sent to guard Senator Organa and takes up residence in the mansion. Anakin encounters Padme in the halls. He talks to her; they haven’t spoken in some time. He is clearly nervous, pensive, and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He tells her that he loves her, that she’s the reason he fights, and asks if she’ll run away with him. She rejects him, and – in Anakin’s mind – rejects everything that he has fought for. Anakin settles into a cold rage.
He uses the Force on her. He makes her “love” him. And he rapes her. When the deed is done, she still rejects him, so he throws her into a wall, crushing her spine.
Senator Palpatine knows of this and confronts Anakin. He’d been following the young Jedi, of course. Words are exchanged. Anakin draws his lightsaber to kill Palpatine. Palpatine kicks Anakin’s ass seven ways from Sunday without a lightsaber. Palapatine demands that he become Darth Vader, and Anakin, faced with the fact that he’s totally gone over to the Dark Side, agrees.
Palpatine orders him to go kill Darth Maul and tells him where Maul is hiding.
Both Obi-Wan and Darth Vader arrive on the backwater planet at the same time, neither knowing the other is there. Obi-Wan confronts Darth Maul and they begin a furious fight. Darth Vader comes upon them and observes the two for a time until he sees the time is right and jumps in.
During this time there are interleaved cut shots of clone troops fighting all over the Republic.
Darth Vader kills Darth Maul. Obi-Wan, thinking that he’s still in the presence of Anakin Skywalker, thanks him and then asks him the question: “Wait, why are you here? Who’s guarding the Senator?”
Comprehension dawns and lightsabers ignite. There is a furious battle. During this time there are shots showing senators taken into custody and/or killed. Bail Organa escapes.
The lightsaber fight ends when Obi-Wan gets the upper hand: he slices off one of Darth Vader’s hands. Darth Vader flees down a shaft.
Darth Maul’s clones are defeated in Coruscant but Palpatine takes control and declares an empire.
The film closes with a scene showing Padme on life support within the belly of a starship bound for Alderaan, the two Skywalker children gestating inside of her.
REVENGE OF THE SITH
The title crawl tells the audience that more time has passed. Darth Vader has been purging the Jedi from the galaxy under orders from the new Emperor. Obi-Wan and Bail Organa are fighting with the rebellion. Bail has hidden both of the children by now: one with his brother’s wife, who has taken the girl as her own, and one with his ex-manservant, Lars, on a backwater desert planet. Obi-Wan has agreed to watch over them both as best he can.
The film opens with an old Jedi monk in a village on Kashykk, a lush forest planet. He is watching young Wookies play. Suddenly he gets a cold, stony look, and stands up. Darth Vader is there and kills him after a short fight.
Clone troopers, now dressed much more like modern Stormtroopers, rush in and begin herding and killing Wookies. They slap collars on them.
There are some skirmishes between the rebellion and the new Empire.
Eventually, Obi-Wan travels to Dagobah, to learn more from Yoda. Yoda tells him that he has learned all he can and that now he must face Vader. Kenobi leaves to re-join the rebellion against the Empire: not everyone has fallen in line.
Kenobi tracks Darth Vader through the galaxy for a time. Eventually, the two meet up and have a furious sword fight. Both of them have grown very powerful. The fight ends when Obi-Wan knocks Darth Vader into a vat of molten steel. He leaves.
Vader is still alive, sustained by hatred. Mecha droids begin repairing him.
Obi-Wan flees to Tattooine. He takes up residence in the desert.
The film closes with Darth Vader and Palpatine on the bridge of a Star Destroyer, watching the Death Star being built.