This rewrite is a direct continuation of our rewrites of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. If you haven’t read those yet, be sure to check them out because several of the changes have an effect on our look at this movie.
So, it’s time to finish our scenario.
What if I was a story executive who was charged with perfecting the script of Revenge of the Sith? How would it be the same? How would it be different?
Let’s find out, shall we?
The Opening Makes Some Sense.
Surprisingly enough, the opening of this film is reasonably well done. In an age of warfare, an assault on Coruscant seems almost unthinkable, but it gives Count Dooku the chance to capture Chancellor Palpatine. In response, the Jedi and the Republic mount a rescue attempt and a strong offense at the same time.
Obi-Wan and Anakin land on the ship, dispatch a number of clones, and engage Count Dooku in a throne room. The sequence shares a number of similarities with the original script, but the lightsaber duel is a bit different.
In the original sequence, Count Dooku knocks Obi-Wan out and drops a ledge on him. In our alternate version, Obi-Wan is merely knocked unconscious. After all, we don’t want to break the Jedi Master’s legs.
Our next major change comes at the end of the duel itself. In the original film, Anakin goes from zero to murderer for no apparent reason. Since Shmi is still on Coruscant, we have a compelling story point at our disposal. Palpatine encourages Anakin by painting his mother as a target of the Separatist movement.
It’s a lie, but it does the job. Anakin kills Count Dooku, but doesn’t leave Obi-Wan behind. Obi-Wan wakes up when the Republic Navy shells the ship and the sequence ends in a similar manner. They are captured by General Grevious, taken to the bridge, fight for control of the ship, and make a crash landing on Coruscant.
Get Obi-Wan Out Of The Way.
With a victory at their backs, the Republic attempts to end the war by killing General Grevious. As in the original movie, we learn that the Intelligence Community has tracked them to Utapau. Obi-Wan partners up with a spy and heads to the planet, but he doesn’t know that the operative is one of Palpatine’s sleeper agents.
Obi-Wan engages the Separatists and kills General Grevious in a pitched battle.
It’s a clear win, but our Jedi Master senses that something is off. He resolves to clear the planet of the enemy, but that’s when his new friend decides to betray him.
The Jedi Purge begins.
Before we continue any further, it’s important to point out why the sudden turn of a humanoid is a better twist than Order 66.
In Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan investigated a conspiracy involving Jango Fett’s association with an attempt on Padme’s life, the Clone Army, and the Separatist movement. The connections should have been enough to prevent the usage of the clones, but the Jedi willingly let sleeper agents into their midst. And even if they were able to secure the clones against a Separatist intrusion, how did they not know about Order 66? Were they not allowed to access the programming that a general might need to succeed in the field? How did Palpatine keep that secret from getting out?
By contrast, a set of hand-picked (or mind-tricked) operatives is almost impossible to stop. They are hidden in plain sight, almost undetectable, and able to strike at a moment’s notice. What a perfect weapon!
The Rebellion Rises.
In response to the endless war, Padme and several senators meet in secret to discuss Palpatine’s stranglehold over the Senate. They know that the Chancellor has far too much power and don’t know how to stop him. Padme suggests that they make a push on the open floor, but the move is shot down by Mon Mothma and Bail Organa. They reason that public action against a popular war-time leader is little more than political suicide.
Instead, Padme tries to enlist the help of the Jedi. She feels that they are the last hope for the Republic, but their downfall is on the way.
Before Obi-Wan embarks on his adventure to Utapau, Palpatine appoints Anakin to be his representative on the Jedi Council. As in the original movie, the Jedi are suspicious of Palpatine, so they tell Anakin to spy on the Chancellor. On top of that, Padme tells Anakin that she is pregnant, and they spend some time together. When Obi-Wan leaves, Anakin carries out his orders, but slowly loses himself under Palpatine’s spell.
To start things off, Palpatine lavishes praise on Anakin, propping up his confidence. The Jedi Knight’s bitterness and cynicism over the war is music to Palpatine’s ears. He can feel the boiling anger under the surface, so he brings it to the surface by murdering Shmi Skywalker.
Okay, Palpatine doesn’t pull the trigger himself. He tells someone else to do it.
Anakin’s loss puts him squarely in Palpatine’s orbit. Once he is there, the would-be Emperor molds the Chosen One into a weapon. At the opera, he muses about the origins of the Sith and what it means to be one. Over time, he points out why they want revenge, how they use the Dark Side, and what they can do to save the Republic.
He also implants a number of dreams inside Anakin’s mind, which pushes the young Jedi over the edge.
Once Palpatine puts every piece into place, he reveals himself as the Sith Lord that the Jedi have been looking for. Only this time, it feels earned. In a last ditch effort to fix things, Anakin reports Palpatine to the Jedi, but he doesn’t tell the whole truth.
In response, the Jedi move to arrest the Chancellor, but our storylines start to converge when Mace Windu tells Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, Padme, and the other senators the news. After that, the Jedi head to the Chancellor’s Office for a similar fight sequence, but they don’t stand around and wait for Palpatine to cut them down. Instead, the Sith holds the Jedi off and whittles them down one-by-one, giving Anakin time to intervene.
And of course, Anakin kills Mace Windu, becomes Darth Vader, and destroys the Jedi Temple.
The Rise Of The Empire.
Chancellor Palpatine twists the actions of the Jedi into an attempted coup. He paints them as Separatist-controlled conspirators, throws a number of his opponents in jail, and reforms the galactic government into the Empire that we know. Of course, we know that his agenda is based on lies, but no one else does.
In his first act, Emperor Palpatine sends Darth Vader to Mustafar. As in the movie that we know, he orders his new apprentice to slaughter the Separatist leadership, avenge his mother, and end the war. Vader says goodbye to Padme and carries out these commands with great enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, Bail Organa rescues Obi-Wan and Yoda with the help of his own security forces. He transports them to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Once there, they learn about Anakin’s treachery and Palpatine’s collaboration with the Separatists. As in the original movie, they split up in a last ditch effort to destroy the Sith and save the galaxy.
Obi-Wan travels to Padme’s home and shows her a copy of the recordings. Padme breaks down and tells Obi-Wan about their relationship, but doesn’t tell him where Anakin went. As in the original film, Obi-Wan stows away on her ship and winds up on Mustafar, where the final battle begins…
Kill The Sith.
Darth Vader senses Padme’s approach, so he meets her out on the landing platform. He seems happy to see her, so he goes on his first megalomaniacal rant about ruling the galaxy together. In utter disbelief, Padme recoils from him.
Remember, Anakin didn’t commit genocide or advocate for fascism in the last movie, so this sequence makes sense. It’s all new to our favorite senator.
However, we are going to add a little spice to the mix. Padme pulls out a knife and confronts him, but she can’t kill him. She loves him too much.
On the other hand, Vader’s leanings compel him to force-choke her. So, it’s ultimately up to Obi-Wan. They duke it out across the platform, over lava, and ultimately end up on a volcanic hilltop. As in the original film, Obi-Wan disfigures Vader, takes his lightsaber, and leaves him to burn.
Meanwhile, Yoda fights Emperor Palpatine in a pitched battle that is quite similar to the original film. Yoda ultimately fails in his quest, so he escapes with the help of Bail Organa. The Emperor lets his army search for the Jedi Master and travels to Mustafar.
Obi-Wan takes Padme to a medical facility on Polis Massa, where she gives birth to Luke and Leia. However, our heroine doesn’t lose the will to live in some sort of chaotic attempt at romance. Instead, the medical droids tell Obi-Wan that an unknown force is damaging her major organs in a way that they can’t explain. Obi-Wan tries to help her, but he can’t do anything.
He can only watch her die.
To close off the film, Palpatine rescues Vader, brings him to Coruscant, and seals him into the suit that we all know. Bail Organa takes Leia to Alderaan and adopts her as his own. Yoda retreats to Dagobah. Several rebel senators meet in secret to plot against the Emperor.
And finally, Obi-Wan hands Luke over to Owen and Beru Lars, who are somewhat distantly related to Shmi Skywalker. As he walks away, the twin suns rise over the desert of Tatooine.
Hope lives on.
And that is Episode III!
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