The Star Wars Prequel Reboot Scripts The Star Wars Prequel Reboot Scripts
In April 2015, three Star Wars Prequel Reboot scripts were posted on Usenet. These three scripts, while largely adhering to Lucas' structure, radically... The Star Wars Prequel Reboot Scripts

I first learned of the Star Wars Prequel reboot scripts in a post on CHUD last year. The author of this post claimed that he had found the three scripts, credited to one P. T. Geist in the alt.binaries.boneless newsgroup, in April of 2015 and provided a link to three scripts that allegedly fixed all the problems with the prequels, preserving Lucas’ rough narrative structure but refining it (and, in some cases, radically jettisoning elements like the “Trade Embargo” that were particularly irksome) to remove the things that the fans found most repulsive.

I was intrigued, downloaded the scripts, and read them over the course of three days, each in one sitting. Immediately, from the opening crawl of “Star Wars I: The Lurking Menace”, the difference was clear:

It is a time of civil war. Democratic forces have waged a bitter struggle to
overthrow the Royal House on the planet Naboo, and join the Galactic Republic
as free people.
To save Naboo from destruction, Queen Amidala and Jerol Tynn, the first Senator
of Naboo, will sign a treaty to end the war, sharing power until the young Queen's
death, when Naboo will become a democracy at last.
As both sides gather at the Procession of Orbs to sign the treaty, neither faction
realizes that a sinister force lurks in the darkness, ready to shatter the peace,
wreak havoc, and ignite a fire that will rage across the galaxy...

Within the next ten pages, a massacre simultaneously destroys the tentative peace on Naboo and calls into doubt the integrity of the Jedi Order, rattling the Republic to its core. The Trade Federation is not the impetus of the crisis, and vanished along with the Trade Federation are the Asian-sounding aliens, the Roger Roger droids, Gungans, Jar Jar…in short, all the things that drove us crazy. In this script, the threat is immediate and devastating. This is a subtle and more realistic plot, one that resonates throughout the three scripts bringing things to their inevitably dark conclusion.

I don’t want to critique the scripts, or review them at this point. I mainly just want to present them to you without prejudice. Obviously there were some things I would’ve done differently and a few things I find annoying, but overall I’d say these are vast improvements on the prequels, and staggeringly better than what Abrams and Disney put together. I’d rather not give away any spoilers, though I can tell you some of the general things that are fixed in these scripts, namely:

Anakin, being a slave, is a much darker and more complex character from the start. Slavery is less sanitized in this version, and Watto is more realistically harsh, treating him and his mother like property rather than low-income wage slaves. Watto is also responsible for what happened to Anakin’s father. (Midichlorians and the miracle birth of Anakin are, thankfully, gone);

Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are actual characters with an genuinely close relationship. Their repartee was, IMHO, very engaging, and made me really feel Qui-Gon’s ultimate fate;

Darth Maul is fucking kick ass, and (SPOILER THAT I CAN’T RESIST)…survives the first script;

Palpatine’s plot is outstanding in its subtlety and nuance. It really is inexorable in how it proceeds, and what’s more, things go wrong with it along the way, forcing him to recover and allowing us to see his thought process. One thing these scripts don’t do is play coy with the whole Palpatine/Sidious thing…the scripts simply acknowledge that, at the time these films would’ve been made, everyone knows Palpatine becomes the Emperor, and so they don’t waste time hiding the fact, opting instead to allow us to participate in his schemes, watching them unfold. It’s a superior choice that really adds depth to his character, and reveals new dimensions to his perfidy;

A key decision is made to adjust Padme’s age, lowering it closer to Anakin’s age. As the trilogy begins she is 12 years old and has been thrust onto the throne by the deaths of her parents in the civil war. This makes their interactions much livelier, and less creepy. She tries to keep it together, but is flawed in her impatience, her temper and her insecurity. This allows her and Anakin to bond on a much deeper level, which lends much greater credibility to their romance in the future (which worked a lot better, as evidenced by the fact that it never made me throw up in my mask);

The interactions between Artoo and Threepio are awesomely Star Wars;

General Grievous is transformed from a minor 2-dimensional character into a major force in the story, replacing Count Dooku (I still can’t say that name without thinking Count Dookey, I guess because I’m juvenile) to great effect…

There is so much more I could say, but really the point of this article is to give you guys access to the scripts from my Google Drive (don’t know how long I’ll keep them there, so grab them while ye may) and share something that, inexplicably to me, has remained undiscovered for all this time.

Here’s a link to a zip file containing the scripts:

Star Wars Prequels Reboot Scripts

 

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DarthDoomcock

DarthDoomcock lives in a castle high in the mountains of his native land, watching TV, reading comics, building robots and death rays, and brooding until the day when he will conquer the world.

  • I_am_better

    Interesting.

  • Orcus

    Alt.binaries.boneless is by default a dumping ground of various pirated stuff so it struck Orcus as odd to having wound up there.

    Normally there are 2 of the older SW newsgroups, Rec.arts.starwars and Alt.binaries.starwars and this material did not show up in the binaries group (since the R.A.SW group is text only discussion) since that is a group that Orcus constantly monitors.

    It’s interesting reading btw. Also, it seems that there seems to me a movement on rebooting the prequels since Orcus came across this:

    http://adequateman.deadspin.com/remake-the-star-wars-prequels-1751118443

    The best compromise would probably be a PT:SE is this actually moves forward

  • Orcus

    Also, remove the spaces for this:

    ht tps : / /w ww. drop bo x. c om/s/1kz wd939 uyy ve ng/St ar.W ars.Th e.Fo rce.Awa kens.pdf?dl=0

  • Darth Doomcock

    Yeah, I don’t know much about usenet, but that is odd. I doubt it’s pirated, but just in case I guess I won’t leave it up on my Google Drive for long…maybe a week? Just long enough to let you guys grab them…don’t want to infringe on anyone.

    I did enjoy these though. I decided to write this article because TFA was so wretched it’s kind of making people look at the prequels in a new light, so I thought you guys would be interested. It also (sadly) occurs to me that if TFA is representative of the quality we can expect from Star Wars in the future, our best hope for fun Star Wars is probably going to be this kind of fiction.

  • Orcus

    Orcus has been on Usenet for ages and pretty much knows the ins and outs of it. Orcus did not mean to suggest that it was pirated, it’s just that Orcus found it was really odd that it was in a group for pirated items, test posts and such and not in the proper SW groups where it should have been and that raised a flag.

    Also, the boneless groups are also used to post stuff and a one off between individuals. Think of it as a dumping ground not intended for general distribution to the proper newsgroups or better yet, compare it to a drop off / hand off in the middle of Times Square to a stranger wearing a red carnation.

  • Darth Doomcock

    Ha ha! Aw, that’s so damn cool…I had no idea. Thanks Orcus, that’s really interesting. So maybe someone was handing someone something where it wouldn’t be noticed much? I guess it mostly worked, in that case…they’re virtually unknown as far as I can tell.

    Still, just to be safe man, I don’t want anyone pissed off at me for nabbing their secret red carnation, so grab it while ye may people, I’m gonna delete it after a week or two!

  • Orcus

    Nah, keep it up, add some fuel to the fire and confound the masses in the process.

    Getting back to usenet..Right now there are web based search engines for usenet stuff to download so technically you could put in something like “Star Wars script” and you might generate a few hits, but the keywords have to be in the description. It’s not like google where you can sift meta-data too, the usenet search is as basic as it gets

  • franks_television

    Well that’s interesting, man. That’s interesting.

  • Darth Doomcock

    Interesting. I bow before Orcus’ Usenet mastery. Your Kung-Fu is superior.

    So how long does stuff on Usenet stick around? A year or two? Or is it all out there still, stored somewhere? Seems like a massive amount of data to persist very long…

  • phantomcreeps .

    What does it really matter?

    Darth Maul is my favorite character, Ever.

    But, he got killed.

    This news won’t rectify my time or mind.

    Thank you, though.

  • Darth Doomcock

    I loved Darth Maul. Best part of the first movie. Couldn’t stand how they just threw him away like that.

  • CoolHandJuke

    does Sebulba still always win, except for when he doesn’t?

  • Orcus

    The short answer is that usenet is an infrastructure that has been around since about 1980. It is now a worldwide collective of servers that started off with text newsgroups and later evolved into binaries (fancy way of saying actual files). It’s initial setup was that when you uploaded something new, something old had to be pushed off the servers due to space limitations. Around 2002 or such, someone came up with the great idea of yEnc which was a way of encoding binaries with built in data compression since initially this was a text only setup. As time went on, and storage got cheaper, stuff on usenet was now able to be retained longer. This quality is based on what service provider you choose for usenet access. If you have an ISP that provides Usenet access, it’s usually very crappy since the average person does not know what usenet is so the give you something basic that might last a few weeks. If you subscribe to a reputable usenet provider you can get access to several years worth of archives. Orcus’s provider has retained some smaller stuff past the 5 year mark.

    It’s a pain in the sphincter to learn but man oh man the benefits you can reap once you attained mastery over it. This is why it flies under the radar, people today want the easy way out and go for the low hanging fruit

  • Darth Doomcock

    Holy shit, you’re freaking me out man…I’m uncomfortable around psychics and shit…

    Actually, the Pod Race is a perfect example of how well these scripts work. In the movie, it’s kind of pointless. They spend all that time on it with a net result of boom, they get a hyperdrive. In this version, it reveals characters and fixes the stupid midichlorian problem. During the race, in the last stretch, Sebulba does his shit, and Anakin gets so pissed off he blindly lashes out in an untrained but powerful reflex that destroys Sebulba. In the stands, both Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon lurch to their feet in shock. They felt that manifestation of power (as Jedi are wont to do). And that, instead of the midichlorians, is how he realizes how potentially powerful Anakin is, AND that he had better be trained or they may have a catastrophe on their hands.

    These scripts are full of elegant solutions to problems like this, which is why I recommend them.

  • Darth Doomcock

    Thanks Orcus. Much appreciated. I’m going to look into that for sure…

  • Orcus

    You have taken your first step into a larger world…

  • Dang, fully fledged scripts!

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Right away I have an issue with these scripts. Why replace the episode titles with ostensibly more serious, though blander ones? Lucas’s titles were cheesy and much mocked, but they also had character and were meant to invoke old adventure serials. Also, and it may just be me, but “The Lurking Menace” sounds very silly, bringing to mind the image of perverted peeping toms!

    I see this problem consistently repeated in a lot of the Star Wars fan scripts and/or edits. They suck all the fun and joie de vivre out of Lucas’s world, even if the scripts might otherwise be well written. Yes, the prequel story is gloomy in its overall particulars, and should get progressively darker, but dour and gritty is not what the Star Wars saga should ever aspire to be. It’s supposed to be a fairy tale, after all.

    Thanks for posting them, anyway.

  • Dennis O’Keefe

    You have a version of Episode VII dancing around in your head. One you think should’ve been written and directed.

    Give us your better version of what Abrams and Kasdan came up with.

  • Darth Doomcock

    I liked the titles Turd, because they actually harken back to the pulp origins of the material, in my opinion. I don’t see them as serious at all, but fitting in with…well, with Lucas’ cheesy titles. I really got sucked into them, and I definitely (like most of the people here) know shit from shinola.

    You should actually give one a read. I think you’d be surprised…cause dismissing them from their titles isn’t really as discerning as you normally are. These are excellent scripts man. Truly. Otherwise I wouldn’t waste anyone’s time, I’d be embarrassed to say I like them, the inter webs being the savage jungle they are… 😀

  • Darth Doomcock

    HA HAAAAA! Outstanding…

  • Darth Doomcock

    Since you mentioned these things I’ve been toying around with theories…not consciously, but I just keep wondering about these scripts. I have always ASSUMED they’re fan fiction, but I really have no idea. They do seem a bit too good to be fan fiction, they seem professional, BUT it’s pretty much impossible these days for even one film to be written by one writer, much less three. Unless it was someone who maybe was hired to take a swing at it, Disney passed, and he was pissed and anonymously just threw it out into the world…maybe a comic book writer, maybe some staff writer at Disney.

    Just idle speculation of course, but it is fun to wonder.

  • Orcus

    What is also interesting is that there are two prequel related petitions out there now, one asking for the prequels to be made, interestingly created about 10 months ago and another to bring George Lucas back as a director. This is very odd timing…

    ht tp s: //ww w .chan ge. org /p /the-disney-corporation-remake-the-star-wars-prequels

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    I’m not dismissing them, man. Just making an observation, that’s all, not giving them an outright dismissal. I’m sure they’re pretty good and I’ll try to give them a read. I’ve read quite a few fan scripts in the past (of varying quality) and I’ll take your word that these are some of the better ones.

    Thanks again for posting.

  • Dennis O’Keefe

    TFA breaks opening day record in China.

  • Darth Doomcock

    Cool Turd! And you guys are welcome. 🙂

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Nice try. It broke a Saturday record by default.

  • KilliK

    magnificent.

  • Darth Doomcock

    Wow…it really is odd. I wonder…it’s obvious the writer cared about the material. If it’s fan fiction, it’s at least written by a professional I think. It’s just too, I don’t know, disciplined and consistent. Question is, was it a professional who was hired to take a crack, then got shot down and posted them anonymously so his take would live somehow, or a professional who didn’t get hired and so said fuck it, I’m writing them anyway? Or are these drafts that just plain got leaked? Cause I don’t get a “dork in the basement” vibe from these at all.

    I hope that if any of you guys read it you’ll post a review, as it’s frustrating to me to have literally no one else to talk about these with, which is part of the fun of stumbling across something cool. Like Stephen Colbert saw Star Wars at a preview two weeks before almost anyone, so for two weeks he lived in a world that had changed and had no one to talk about it with! (Not that this is that Earth-shattering, just in general the principle is what I mean…) 😀

  • Very cool. I’ll probably never find the time to read them, but the pieces you share in the article and the comments sound well done.