Having just watched Episodes 2 and 3 again this last weekend (my kids wanted to have a Star Wars: May the Fourth Be With You party, so we watched the movies in Machete Order) — I’ve got to say I’d love to see Aaron’s take on the pre-New Hope story. The drawings here and the overall concept are awfully intriguing.
Here are some common questions I get about Star Wars: 1999
What is Star Wars: 1999?
It’s a personal project of mine that remakes the Star Wars prequels using only canonical information prior to Lucas’s prequels, as well as the 1997 “special editions.” Technically it should be called “Star Wars: 1997,” but 1999 has a ring to it and anyway, it’s a tentative title.
Everyone knows the prequels were horrible, but why a total remake?
George Lucas’s prequels are, in my opinion, completely unsalvageable if your intent is to make a coherent continuation of the Star Wars series. What I mean is that beyond poor scripting and filmmaking, the prequels actually undermine the existing mythology or directly contradict existing facts in the original films. My theory is that they’re mostly a symptom of lazy research and screenwriting on Lucas’s part. Examples include:
- Portrayal of Jedi as all wearing Tatooine robes because Kenobi did in A New Hope, despite the fact that everyone on Tatooine dresses like this, including Uncle Owen.
- Claiming the Republic was 1,000 years old when in A New Hope it is established to be 25,000+ years old.
- Making “Darth” a title instead of simply Vader’s name.
- Giving the likes of Yoda and Palpatine lightsabers
- Making Stormtroopers all clones
- Giving the Force a scientific explanation (Midichlorians)
Some of these aren’t contradictions outright, but are still serious deviations from themes previously set up. While I know that there have been some talented writers who have done a decent job of retconning these contradictions (especially the 1,000 vs 25,000 years one), I feel that in order to make the prequels work, it’s best to scrap it all.
If you’re throwing out everything Lucas did since 1997, what’s your source material?
I’m mostly just using the original films. There’s actually a lot to go on, and if I need extra material I’m primarily going through the Dark Horse Star Wars comics of the early 90s like Dark Empire and Tales of the Jedi. Visually I am holding to the original aesthetic established by Ralph McQuarrie, and heavily reference many of his unused concept painting for the original films.
Otherwise, I’m just making it up and trying to create a solid Star Wars trilogy that captures the sense of adventure and depth of the originals!
What’s the overall plot? Who is the main character?
I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but just as the original films focused on rebels defeating the Empire, the prequel story is about the heroes of the Republic defeating their enemies during the Clone Wars (a conflict that has no connection to Lucas’s other than the name). While the Empire will be established during this time, I’ll be keeping the political elements in the background, much like the original films.
The hero in all three stories is Obi Wan Kenobi, who is going through many ordeals as he both fights for the Republic and also deals with a growing Galaxy that seems to have no place for the mystical Jedi. Anakin Skywalker is also in there, but he is mostly in a supporting role with screen time on par with Han Solo.
What form is this going to take when it’s finished?
Good question! For now, I’m mostly just scripting it and doing the visual designs. I have no intention of making a film or anything profitable (for obvious copyright reasons), but it may eventually take the form of a comic series that I’ll put online. This is not something I get to work on very often due to my professional duties on my own comic, Dresden Codak, so it’ll get done when it’s done. It’s mostly a therapy project to deal with how awful those films were.
I hope that answers some of the bigger questions!
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