A Guy Rewrites The Phantom Menace So It Makes Sense


Alright, alright, I promise this will be my last anti-Episode I post for a while, but I can’t help that people hate this movie so much that it keeps popping up all over the internet.

But today I’ve found something rather interesting. This rather excitable fellow from Belated Media has filmed a video where he imagines what The Phantom Menace might have looked like if it had actually gone through an editing process instead of George Lucas just getting exactly what he wants. It’s not as hilarious as say, Red Letter Media’s hour and a half long review, but rather than just pointing out all the things that are WRONG, he uses the existing story and characters and manages to articulate how a few small changes could have made the film infinitely better.

The crux of the issue is that Obi-Wan needs to be the central character of the film the way Luke was in the original, rather than the do-nothing he actually is. No Jar-Jar (obviously), Anakin is older than a really annoying kid and Darth Maul doesn’t die, and becomes one of the major villains of the other films as Obi-Wan tries to hunt him down for killing Qui-Gon. Additionally, I really like that he hints at a crush between Obi-Wan and Padme. He doesn’t say it, but it would be an issue that would further drive a huge wedge between Obi-Wan and Anakin in the later films.

Anyway, as always, I’m just sad now after thinking about good Star Wars movies. Watch for yourself and you might be aas well.

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  1. Lotsa good points. He touches on the main problem I had with the first film (having Qui Gon as the ‘central character’ but killing him in the end); and, yeah, I would like to have seen a real villain — not a ‘phantom menace’ — survive the picture.

  2. God damn it, Paul. This just makes me angry that this was not the movie, if only Lucas’s ego could have been tamed to allow others to help him write…such a waste.

  3. *beats head against wall*

    Okay, I just clicked into the middle of this to see what sort of stuff this guy was coming up with, and what I find is him suggesting that the Empire should use Toydarians as stormtroopers since the Jedi mind trick doesn’t work on them. As if the Empire had ever been presented as friendly to alien races. As if there was any Jedi threat (that they knew about) after Episode III. And people say Lucas doesn’t think things through.

    Aside from that moronic idea (again, just the first thing I heard from t his guy), I’m mildly horrified at the number of people who don’t think it would ruin Obi-Wan as a character for him and Padme to have a thing going on behind Anakin’s back. And who somehow think that would be a more satisfying motive for his turn to the Dark Side. Me, I just think it would make the whole thing seem petty.

    Still listening to this guy. Apparently Yoda needed a better reveal…? He’s already in charge of the Jedi council. I don’t really know why he needs to be built up as this mythic figure in the prequels. Also don’t see how Palpatine changing jobs would help. A lot of conflict is drawn from the Jedi using Anakin to spy on Palpatine, which wouldn’t work in this scenario.

    And now he’s making fun of Lucas for having “reveals.” Even though he was just building up Yoda to have a bigger reveal (his words, not mine). Alright, I’m done.

  4. I agree and disagree with a lot of this. I think the space battle should stay, simply because you can’t have Star Wars without space battles, as well as the fact that blowing up the main Trade Federation ship shut down all the droids. I also disagree that the Qui-Gonn/Obi-Wan/Darth Maul battle should just end up in the same place, as that struck me as kinda cheesy. By all means, somehow let Darth Maul live on throughout the trilogy (it’d even make his cameo in The Force Unleashed more meaningful), but “just runs away” is pretty lame. I’d even have the Jedi Council send a few more Jedi to help with this issue (planet-wide conquest is kinda hard to quell with just two Jedi), especially if they found out about Maul being a Sith, considering how deep the now-established backstory of the Sith and Jedi rivalry is (10000 years of frequent wars because of it), they’d want to send more than just two men to deal with it. Not only does this make a bit more logical sense, but in the middle of the saber battle (think Maul against maybe four Jedi now), Maul gets to show how badass he is by killing the other Jedi throughout the battle, finally ending with Qui-Gonn’s death.

    Now, the way Maul can escape with his life: you can keep the whole catwalk battle. I’m thinking the other Jedi were killed just outside that area, so Qui-Gonn ends up dying the same way and everything, however, when Obi-Wan is obviously bested and pushed down the hole (still grabbing onto the thing), Maul assumes he’s dead and walks away. Obi-Wan climbs out of the whole to speak to Qui-Gonn, who tells him to train a not-annoying-little-kid Anakin, because he’s the Chosen One and all that. As for the big “distraction” battle between the Gungans and Trade Federation: scrap it, or don’t even show any of it.

    As for Toydarians being immune to Jedi Mind Tricks, whatever. Hutts are also immune. It doesn’t surprise me there are more who can. Get the fuck over it. Moving on.

    Obi-Wan: main character. Yes. Obi-Wan: falling in love with a 14-year-old Queen of Naboo. No. Like Diva D said, it’d ruin his character, and make the whole thing seem petty. Same with Yoda, leave him alone. He’s Grand Master, you can’t get much more badass and legendary than that unless you’re Revan.

    With Sidious, once again, leave him alone. Maybe make him more powerful, considering he’s kind of a pussy, even get rid of the way he killed Darth Plagueis, that’s not how the fucking Sith work. He goes out in an epic battle, not murdered in his sleep (shit, that’s likely the reason the Empire lost, because the Sith weren’t as powerful as they should be by then).

    Fuck Jar-Jar.

  5. So basically he suggests to add some common overplayed tropes to the movie, like a love triangle and a revenge spree.

    And I still think that it would have made the actual movie tons better, which really says more about The Phantom Menace than it does about this guy’s ^ ideas.

  6. Jesus people, stop referencing games/books/bollocks like that. no one cares, it’s about a movie.

    To be fair the movie described here would be better, but would still basically suck.

    Why? I hear absolutely no-one cry, as this is a comment about stylistic flaws in a 13 year old movie.

    Here’s why: the prequels look absolutely nothing like the original movies. Yes, there have been huge advances in technology between 1983 and 1997, this does not mean that everything should be shot on a green screen. It burns me to say it, but i would rather watch a harry potter movie than a SW prequel, at least in those movies there is some sense of people actually being in a real place that they can touch, rather than some hi-tech version of a guy sitting on a fake horse in front of a wall that’s painted to look like a wild west desert.

    Cut out all the extraneous CGI and make the changes as per the above video, and maybe it won’t feel like Lucas is spoonfeeding people horse shit and telling them it’s rocky road.

  7. Very interesting analysis indeed. I could disagree with you on some points but will just say that if your version made the movie it would be so much great… or… just great considering the first one was not at all. You poke fun at the star wars books there and that´s ok, there is plenty of terrible moments in the expanded universe, but one of the best SW books I read was Cloak of Deception by James Luceno by the simple reason that transform the stupid simplistic politic sub-plot (Naboo-Trade Federation-Impeachment of the Chanceler- Palpantine) of EpI into a interesting and complex plot. It´s a miracle that made EpI more bearable to watch. I´m waiting for your EpII What If next year. That long long scenes of pseudo soap opera candy drama in Naboo need to go!

  8. There’s a lot of stuff in this video that I don’t agree with in the slightest.

    The movie COULD have been better sure, but it was the best of the prequels.

    I think killing Maul was fine. It gave the film a solid ending and made room for Dooku in the other movies. Maul couldn’t do the political stuff that Dooku did. Maul was a weapon and nothing more. It might have been cool to see him again, but this might be one of those cases where less is more.

    And losing the four battles making them one? Rubbish. Return of the Jedi had three battles going on at once. Theres the self reference.

    There wasn’t really anything I agreed with particularly, but at best, stuff I didn’t mind. Apart from the need to have more interesting characters.

  9. I would have kept jar jar but changed him entirely.

    I would of made the droid battle against the gungans happen at the start leading to them all falling back and hiding, jar jar been some sort of young warrior who isnt bad but isnt great. his group gets killed off and he is found wounded by obi wan

    but since its considered an insult to return home from battle if you lost the war and you were the only survivor ( like he ran away)
    he gets banished.

    jar jar becomes something of an alternative warrior like a hunter addition using a spear

    it makes him less comical and more useful

  10. Brilliant! You are a gifted critic. Please keep reviewing movies.

    One caution though, it’s easy to critique and correct someone else’s completed product. Actually creating and imagining a universe and making it marketable is an entirely different discipline.

    Keep up the good work

  11. Actually most of this guys Ideas from a writing perspective would have made the movie worse, yes play down Jar Jar but you can’t actually just delete the character because he was important, I’d have just used Captain Tarples, you can’t get rid of Yoda, and the only other one even worth mentioning, is that by making Anikin older at least when someone (yoda) said that anikin was to old to begin the training it would have made sense. But I can agree with making Obiwan more central

  12. Way back when the first talk of the first prequel being made I had always envisioned Anakin and “the young queen” being closer to the same age, either both being older, like in this case (and yes, also possibly some sort of love connection between Obi-Wan and Padme), or Anakin still being around 9 years old, but Padme also being around the same age and little Anakin becoming smitten with this young child queen who was forced to grow up too fast and is wise beyond her years… but is still just that, a kid. *shrug* Just a thought.

    I totally agree with most of the other areas you’ve touched down on, especially keep Darth Maul alive… it just really didn’t feel like there was a “Big Bad” at all… just this asshole that shows up, stirs up trouble, then gets killed. Worst villain of the series.

    I do feel that Jar Jar was ridiculous and provided exactly the wrong kind of “comic relief” but I did like some of the other comments about keeping Jar Jar but downplaying him and changing him up. I could see him as being an outcast amongst his people but not so much as to where he was “banished for being clumsy” …more like a character who still lives with his people, but is a loner, and far less silly. Maybe he was expected to be a great warrior but doesn’t seem to have the knack for it and is therefor ridiculed and seen as a joke… maybe deep down he does have great skill but lacks the focus and drive. Some of his mishaps would be comic relief enough without making the character himself so nonsensical, give him a little depth so that people don’t hate him as much, as he did end up being important.

  13. Also, one more thing in general about the whole prequel thing. If you guys had broken up with some girl thirteen (or even seven) years ago, and then went to a high school reunion and ran into her again, and immediately talked to everybody within earshot about how much you hated her and how you would have run your relationship so much better and she has this irritating laugh and doesn’t even make sense and OH MY GOD how is she still popular…

    People would say you need to move on. Go find something you DO like.

  14. Invariably whenever a fan gives their reshuffling of the The Phantom Menace there’s no shortage of people who say, “Oh that would have been so awesome.” No matter how incomprehensible the synopsis is…kind of like this one. There’s a HUGE fucking difference between thinking a bunch of shit up and making a workable film.

  15. Yes I think there should have been a “thing” between Obi wan and Amidala that way the battle between Anakin and him in episode 3 would have been awesome and there’s growth for the characters as well. And there should still be space battles because it’s star wars, so it would have been like the gungans and the naboo team up to stop the viceroy.

    So there would be the naboo spacecraft and the gungans as well, and there would be a battle to stop the viceroy instead of a Gungan battle that’s far away which is useless. Yoda being in episode 1 is actually okay because they still show him as a great fighter.

    This movie shows a lot potential and George should be thankful about this reviews because if nobody cared enough to criticize it people would just say how much it sucked then move on.

  16. This sounds pretty easy (and fun). Let me try.

    I would’ve liked some sort of flashback introduction (I know, it’s not really Star Wars’ style) about a younger Palpatine speaking to his master about a baby made out of the force. Just a basic pointer of the Emperor’s angle (finding him and using him to beat the Jedi, or killing him if he turns out to be a threat) and then launching a mysterious epic; but still keeping a lot of room for twists and turns. This is very important, and three movies was too long a (boring) wait for the reveal.

    I can live with Qui-Gon as a main character, even if he dies. A lot of great stories are structured that way. But Obi-Wan must’ve joined the main quest, no arguing about that.

    Amidala and Obi-Wan do have a closer relationship, but it’s just platonic. Amidala is the one interested, because she respects him so much. Just have Amidala trusting Obi-Wan more, because he’s cooler and more mature, and Anakin loses it.

    Definitely, Anakin had to be a teen when he was first found. Old enough to have been damaged by his slave years, while young enough to show promise and charm. That’s one thing I never got: Why waste an entire movie’s worth of character development, by making him a blank slate and having him forget everything about his past life but his mother?

    Also, Anakin stays out of the final battle, and instead we see him interacting with other youngsters in Jedi training center, having a poor reaction to losing or being called a slave or whatever. Just a way to justify the “full of fear” argument for denying him training, which seemed gratuitous, and also to make him more relatable and imperfect. Which would totally fly, because that’s what an infancy of slavery will do to you.

    Darth Maul lives and makes it pretty damn hard for Obi-Wan to maintain a Jedi-like behavior. In the end, Maul is killed by Grievous or Dooku for whatever reason, so Obi-Wan gets of the hook without blood on his hands. Hey, one thing we never saw is bad guys fighting each other, I think it would’ve been pretty cool.

    Yoda can get as much screen time as they want him to get, revelation my ass.

    But hey, writing an actual script is pretty damn hard.

  17. They should’ve explained it more onto why the Trade Federation was invading Naboo and why did they send two jedi’s to deal with the problem.

    Yes, Obi Wan should have been the main character and Qui-Gon can make a good supporting chacracter in this film.

    The thing about the blockade is that it’s a blockade, it should prevent aynone or anybody from getting off the planet. Which would also be an excellent chance to prove how awesome the Jedi were and why they are the guardians of peace and justice.

    My suggestion would be when the pilot was about to fly the ship off the planet he gets nervous because they’re not going to make it and Qui-Gon or Obi Wan can hypnotise one of the aliens in the trade federation ship so that they can get through. Just when they thought that they have made it through the Vide-Roy stop the one that was being controlled and “dude wtf are you doing?” and the alien was like huh as if he was waking up from a trance. And they send ships to stop the escape cruiser and end up in a wild chase that does damage to the ship and land on Tatooine.

    Anakin should’ve been a preteen and not a toddler, because Anakin was a slave it can also be an addition to how the hard life of being a slave and the suffering he went through can add to why he turned into the dark side but because he’s still young and has good in him and he can learn than being a young adult.

  18. These aren’t that impressive. Seriously anyone can make a better film by just avoiding the mistakes of the original. It’s called Hindsight, not creativity. had his movie been made instead of TPM people would probably still be complaining.

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