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Egwyl puts the World to Right: Fixing the Star Wars prequels

 

By Kyle Sutherland egwyl editor

One of the earliest memories which I have of truly being in love with and blown away by a film is being a six year old boy being taken to see the original Star Wars trilogy by my dad for the nineties re-release. The films were epic, full of action, cool space battles and the awesomeness which is Han Solo, I loved it.

So imagine my excitement, as I’m sure many of you experienced yourselves when I heard they were going to release three new films, covering the backstory of the franchises universe.

May 1999 and I am so ready, queuing with my whole family and torturing them with my constant imitations of lightsabre hums and cracks.

Then the bottom fell out, these films were such an epic disappointment that it truly makes me sad to this day.

Terrible writing, boring or offensive characters, zero on screen chemistry between the male and female leads, Jake Lloyd, need I say more? (Seriously every time I hear him ask “are you an angel?”  My soul cringes).

But looking back on the much maligned prequels today, I think I see the problem, the way the films should have gone and in which they could have been much better than the glass half empty result we were given.

The problem in my humble, geeky opinion, simply is that the films focus on the wrong character, that’s right, I’m claiming that the main character of the Star Wars prequels should not be Anakin Skywalker.

Anakin is obviously a hugely important character to the series, but in the prequels he’s just such a dud. Trying to make the main character of one of your films a child is always a massive problem, even if it’s not played by Jake Lloyd (ah my… soul… eugh) but here it’s an avoidable issue entirely.

The film’s writing also plays a major role in damaging the impact of Anakin as a character, seriously go back and watch the exchanges between Anakin and Padme throughout those films, could any actor make that sound good?

So if we’re not focusing on Anakin then who do we focus the story around? Easy, Obi Wan Kenobi.

Kenobi has the more interesting story arc by far, introduced as an enthusiastic young man eager to prove himself, growing to an adult still unsure how to handle the new responsibilities forced on him to finally becoming a full-fledged Jedi bad ass seeing out the last days of his order.

Wouldn’t it be better in Phantom Menace to see more of a development of Obi Wan Kenobi as a young man? We could see more of a relationship between himself and his mater Qui Gon Jin, something which sets up the development of Obi Wan and Anakin’s own master- apprentice relationship in the sequels. Understanding more of the relationship between Kenobi and his master allows us for a better understanding of the way Obi-wan interacts with Anakin and the increased knowledge of importance between master and apprentice makes Anakins’ ultimate betrayal that much more powerful.

Wouldn’t it be better to see Kenobi struggling to impart wisdom upon his very first apprentice who is also both the chosen one and an insufferable whiny douche bag chain?! His growth into a general and teacher? Seriously, all of the most interesting and entertaining scenes in Attack of the clones (excepting the final lightsabre fights) focus around Obi Wan!

Anakin is a boring, irritating, whiny sack of girly sobs and stalker-esque attempts to woo Natalie Portman, Obi Wan is a wise jedi master who exemplified everything inspirational in my childhood (I spent the time I should have used building real relationships watching movies… on reflection I regret nothing).

Seriously people! What? The internet can produce so much balls fan-fiction about people shagging pokemon but no one can make me this?!

I’d do it myself but I lack the drive and the talent, so somebody, anybody get on this!

Now!

 

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