I wrote this a while back for another place but forgot to repost it here. Well, here goes.
Rebooting movie franchises is the new black, and I wondered what I would pitch to G. Lucas if I was asked to come up with a rebooted take on Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
This is my take, written very quickly to get it all down. I wouldn’t call it a final version–there’s a bit more to work out, but I’m not going to put the effort in until someone wants to offer me the job.
What classic movie/movie franchise would you reboot?
STAR WARS: The Rebootening
First, let’s acknowledge that the stuff that came as a surprise in the original series isn’t surprising any more. (“That’s no space station!”)
Start with the attack on Leia’s fleeing ship and the escape of the droids. Vader menaces Leia in front of her staff, then whisks her away.
The droids make it to the planet, but they know exactly where they’re going–straight to Owen and Beru’s place.
Luke works on his uncle’s moisture farm, but old Ben Kenobi is a farmhand there. He’s been keeping an eye on Luke for his whole life. Luke, of course, is the secret son of the incredibly-powerful wizard-general of the Empire, and he might be useful someday.
The droids arrive, and Ben takes them off to an outbuilding to “work” on them. Luke complains about having to do Ben’s chores as well as his own, but the adults are tense and nervous about their arrival.
Luke wants to get off the farm, but not to join the rebellion. He wants to pilot one of those Imperial Dreadnaughts–a lifetime of Imperial propaganda has convinced him that the Republic was weak and corrupt. Biggs–an older friend from a nearby farm–says that there used to be a lot more smugglers, bounty hunters, gangsters etc in the old days, but the Empire has been cracking down. (Did you ever notice how *huge* the criminal class in SW was?) Luke, callow youth that he is, wants to be a big man. He wants to get off this measly farm and be *important*.
Luke goes to see Ben about a tool he can’t find, and discovers the droids there. He touches R2D2’s sensor plate, and the droid discovers that his DNA is scarily close to Vader’s. R2 goes into defensive mode, cutting Luke with a Ginsu beam until Ben shuts him down.
Ben and Uncle Owen take him to a hermit doctor. Why can’t Luke go to a doctor in town? they have all the latest equipment there. (Ben Kenobi: “That’s the problem”) But when they arrive, they discover that the hermit doc has been arrested. There’s an imperial surgeon there now, with stormtrooper guards.
Ben and Owen know that the imperial doctor will put Luke’s DNA into their computer network, which isn’t allowed. Ben lightsabers the stormtroopers and smashes the equipment, while Owen and Luke try to protect the other patients from the careless blaster fire of the stormtroopers.
They get away. Luke is freaked out, not only that humble old Ben has a lightsaber (and knows how to use it) but because of the way the stormtroopers fired on civilians. Ben and Owen argue about what to do–Ben wants to flee the planet, but Owen thinks they should stay and hide out. Then they realize that Luke dropped his bloody bandage at the scene. They can’t go back because trooper transports are landing.
Ben says they would have had to take the droids off planet anyway, so now they do all have to leave.
Back at the farm, Beru says they received a coded message from the rebels. Tattoine has to be evacuated asap. Owen and Beru won’t leave, though. The farm is all they have–if they left, they’d be homeless refugees in the Imperium, and probably be pressganged into slavery. They’re staying home.
Off to Moss Eisley. Ben finds Han and Chewbacca because they’re rebels and will be evacuating, but is surprised to find that Han has quit the rebellion. He didn’t get the evac message.
Then they notice the storm troopers gathering all their equipment into lifters, taking them and the troops into orbit. Is the Empire abandoning Tattoine? And is that another moon up there? Han gets nervous and he agrees to take Ben and Luke off planet with him, but he’s not rejoining the rebellion. Ben can pay.
Lots of people are trying to get off the planet, and the dreadnaughts have blockaded the planet. Civilian ships that try to escape are destroyed.
A dreadnaught closes in. Ben gets on the line and sends a coded message to Vader on a private frequency. Ben tells him that Vader’s son is on board. Vader orders the Imperial ships to capture the Millenium Falcon but not destroy it.
Of course, with Luke off the planet, there’s no reason to keep the planet. While Han dodges tractor beams, et al, the death star blows up Tattoine.
Luke is horrified. Han and Chewie help escape. Luke and Ben have the training scene, but Luke isn’t “Ow, this hurts!” He’s furious and determined to learn everything he can to destroy Vader. Ben warns him about anger, etc.
When they arrive at Alderaan, the death star is already there. It’s jump engines are huge and powerful, and it made the trip in one jump where the Falcon needed, say, three.
Capture scene. Skulk around in the death star scene. The hanger is already full of captured ships from Tattoine, and the guards have their hands full.
While Ben goes to disable the tractor beam, Luke gets the idea of finding Vader and assassinating him. He breaks into Vader’s quarters and finds Leia kicking back on a stack of throw pillows eating grapes–Han recognizes her (they used to have a thing). She’s a spy! More than a spy, she’s Vader’s daughter, and he wants to kill her.
They take her prisoner instead. Shootout as they escape, like before, but no creepy brother/sister kiss.
Now, when they get away with just a couple of tie fighters following, they believe Vader didn’t want to kill his daughter.
And so on. Later story points would be that: Leia is actually a triple agent, feeding Vader information the rebellion wants him to have.
Vader knows this, but he still hopes to turn his daughter to his side. She has tremendous raw ability with the force. When he kills rebels and hunts down her mysterious brother, he’s trying to drive her into a rage and turn her to the dark side. It’s *Leia* Vader wants, the cosmopolitan aristocrat who knows how government works and can lead people, not a fucking farm boy.
This also fixes the fucked up story point where Leia says “They let us get away,” and then goes to the secret rebel base anyway(!). Come on, people. That’s B.S.
All Leia wants to do is jump through system after system. When they pass through the one with the secret rebel base, they’ll *transmit the death star plans through a secret communications satellite* then jump away again. It’s not 1970 anymore–our heroes can email an attachment through a secure network.
Then they’ll be arrested by the rebellion. Not everyone knows Leia was a triple agent and the whole group is taken to the rebel base.
Which of course leads the death star there.
Let Leia get into an x-wing, too, instead of watching from the sidelines. Luke and Leia dogfight Vader, double teaming him. Han tries for the vent port, but misses. Leia is furious at the people Vader has killed, and he revels in her anger. She’s going to be his very soon.
Luke drops the torpedo. He pleads with Leia to abandon her anger and let Vader go. She chooses Luke and rejects her rage. They escape as the death star blows.
Which is rough, but that’s basically it.