Monday, October 20, 2014

If the Star Wars Prequels were done properly and how future sequels should go - Episode II


I hate that they keep announcing all of these casting hires for Episode VII.

1. They're spoiling the magic of movie making. Back in my day (I can't believe I said that too) you didn't get details on how a movie was being made before it came out. They may have announced who was starring and who was directing but you didn't get monthly updates and "leaks" on how the production was going. I understand that studios like to use it as a marketing tactic and people are much more interested in how the sausage gets made in movies now than they were then but I can't help but feel like a little bit of the magic is taken away by the information overload.

2. The Star Wars movies aren't about a bunch of different people, it's about the Skywalker family. If episodes 7, 8, 9 are throwing a bunch of people at us WHO AREN'T SKYWALKERS as prominent characters then they screwed up.

Going strictly by the movies, not the novels or comics just the films, what's Han Solo's background? he's Corellian smuggler aaannnd?? What's Chewbacca's background? He's a Wookiee who is Han's sidekick aaand?? Lando Calrissian? Friend of Han's, administrator of cloud city, once owned the millennium falcon aaand? Yoda?? reeally old jedi master aand??

These were great characters but they were what they did..Lucas wisely didn't get into them because the story wasn't about them, it was about Luke, Leia and Vader, all Skywalkers.

Also getting a lot of prominent actors to play roles in the film means you have to do something with them. No one is paying Lupita N'yongo on scale with her popularity and just giving her a 5 minute scene...which means she may have a role that could draw focus away from the Skywalker characters..if it does, they screwed up.

More on that later... Lets get into the second prequel Attack Of The Clones. In the last episode, I put the focus back on Anakin Skywalker where it should have been in the first place. I cut out the extraneous stuff in favor of watching him learn and grow as a Jedi Padawan and the attraction between Padme and him is now more appropriate. For this part of the prequels I wanted to spread things out a bit while still focusing as much as possible on Anakin's development. One of the things that annoy me the most about ensemble cast stories is the trope where only three or four people, in a world of thousands, do anything.

In AOTC, we spend most of the time watching Obi-Wan play Columbo and he conveniently discovers EVERYTHING. He traces a weapon used in Padme's assassination attempt to Kamino where he discovers the clone army being developed. It turns out the template for them is the mercenary Jango Fett, who happens to be there, and gives the most obviously evasive non answers anyone has ever heard. So of course Obi has to follow him and luckily for the Jedi it turns out Fett is working BOTH SIDES of the fence and goes to Geonosis where the droid army is being manufactured. Then he's captured by Count Dooku who's kind enough to monologue the plan for him. In a galaxy of hundreds of Jedi Knights and a conspiracy that spans a couple of systems, one man cracks the case all by himself. On top of that, Anakin and Padme decide to go on the rescue mission in a segment that came off more like a video game rather than nail biter and does nothing advance their story or development. None of those things sat right with me, I get that its a fictional story and blah blah blah but it wouldn't hurt to spread things out.

Also, I changed the title from Attack of the Clones to Enter the Clones. I always felt it was a bit misleading and ambiguous. That's why my poster and title re-design (by the great Gabriel Victor & Neil Bonner) features the clone troopers more prominently and leaves out Jango Fett, who like his son in later movies, should have been treated as a minor figure if he had to be there at all. If anyone knows why Lucas chose that wording in the title please comment I'd be interested to find out.

If you haven't read the first story click the link Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

So without further ado...

IF THE STAR WARS PREQUELS WERE DONE PROPERLY:

Story by: Nic Rellek - Maddcomix
Sketch art by: Nicholas Garza - Torrid ComicsNickAsArt
Sketch art by: Dupree Ch'il HaajinĂ­
Poster art by: Gabriel Victor - Vaakin (tumblr)deviantart
Poster titles by: Neil Bonner - deviantart
Poster touch ups: John Christopher - deviantart
Special Thanks: Todd Reeves


STAR WARS: Enter The Clones


Art courtesy Gabriel Victor - light effects/touch ups - John Christopher/ title - Neil Bonner

video



PLANET KIIRON - WE PAN LEFT AWAY FROM  THE OPENING CRAWL AND SEE A SMALL STAR SHIP APPROACHING A BROWNISH-YELLOW PLANET.  We find Anakin looking at a hologram message from Padme, something like "thinking of you" notes. She says that she really enjoyed the last message he sent her and can't wait to see him again. She mentions that while the Senate drags their feet in dealing with the dispute, her planet is making an alliance with planet Ziaa that should protect them from any further aggression by the Trade Federation and the blockade has been dismantled. The correspondence proves to be a bit of a distraction for Skywalker and Obi-Wan tells his apprentice as much and to keep his mind on the job. He reminds him that the assignment  is to back up a small team of Jedi who have infiltrated a Separatists group planning to blow up a sub committee of Republic senators meeting on Kiiron.

Anakin's attitude is pretty confident as he reassures his master that he's prepared for this mission and recounts a few past successful missions including the Naboo affair where he performed well. Kenobi says be that as it may each job is different and he's expected to conduct himself in a professional manner at all times but especially near mission time. Then the Jedi master sits down, looks his apprentice in the eyes and says there's a chance this group may be in contact with a Sith. This may be their chance to track down the person who murdered Master Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan then reveals that there may have been a Sith presence the day of the bombing on Anakin's home planet Yairn. With this new information introduced, Anakin reassures his master that his head is in the game. After Obi-Wan walks away to another part of the ship, Anakin activates his holographic device again this time bringing up a computer image of the Sith as described by Obi-Wan's brief encounter with him. The image bears a resemblance to the demon in Anakin's visions. The young apprentice stares unblinking at the glowing image.  WIPE TO...

PLANET ZIAA - WE FOLLOW A CARAVAN OF TRANSPORT SHIPS LANDING ON A TARMAC. Several official looking individuals disembark. These are diplomats from Naboo including the Queen and Princess Padme, all are dressed in formal royal make up. While Padme has seen pictures of the Prince of Ziaa, they've never met personally. They are happily greeted by Ziaan officials and invited to the royal palace where they meet the King and and Queen. Pleasantries are exchanged and the Ziaan Queen gushes over Padme, excited about the affair. Later, as the Princess and the Queen are finishing getting the last touches of the ceremonial make up done, Padme starts hinting at misgivings about the arrangement. Her mother pooh-poohs her trepidation as just nerves and tells her that the man she's betrothed to is a good man and once the wedding ceremony is over she will feel better about the whole thing. Padme looks at her reflection in the big make up mirror only half believing that.  WIPE TO...

KIIRON - WE'RE LOOKING THROUGH A PAIR OF BINOCULARS AT A WAREHOUSE ON THE EDGE OF A BUSTLING METROPOLIS AT DUSK. Obi-Wan and two Kiironian officers are stationed not too far away from the front of the building watching people going in and out. Speaking into a small communicator he tells Anakin, with his small team of two Kiironians positioned at the rear, that the conspirators and the Jedi undercover agents should be arriving shortly. Anakin acknowledges and sits back relaxing a bit. He and the officer seated next to him strike up small talk about where Skywalker comes from. Anakin talks about his planet and how the sun would set in the evening beautifully just like this one. His gaze goes to the skyline of the nearby city with the big sun setting in a haze of watercolor red and orange. The scene recalls the city-scape on his home planet Yairn that fateful day and we watch Anakin's face go blank and his voice trail off as he stares at the metropolis. The officer nudges him and asks if he's okay just as Obi-Wan calls in that the targets have arrived and Skywalker snaps out of his flashback, grins self consciously, and checks his earpiece. He can hear the conversation from the warehouse as the conspirators greet each other. Peering through the warehouse window with his binoculars Anakin sees the UC Jedi agents disguised as Kiironians sympathetic to the Separatist cause and standing across from them are three Aetnagians who are separatist sympathizers as well. Anakin calls over to Obi-Wan that he remembers the briefing state there were four Aetnagians, Kenobi confirms and tells him to hold his position. Over Anakin's earpiece we hear a sympathizer say that the fourth brother is bringing about destiny and the Republic will come tumbling down along with the Jedi dogs and then there's a flurry of laser fire.

Obi-Wan yells the Jedi's cover is blown and calls for back up to move in!  Anakin and the Kiironioans scramble from their position just as a Aetnagian bursts out of a window at the back exit. Aetnagians have four arms and this one has blasters in two of them. Shooting his way out of the back, Anakin and the officers engage in a direct exchange with the suspect. The first officer is hit and killed and the suspect runs down an alley. Anakin goes to the officer sees he's dead and goes after the suspect. Further down the alley the second officer shoots at the Separatist and in that exchange he is wounded. Anakin catches up and provides cover fire while dragging the officer to safety. The Padawan checks his wound and the officer yells that he's okay and for Skywalker to  go after the Separatist! The Aetnagian jumps out from behind cover shooting as Anakin returns fire. An incredible shot hits Skywalker's blaster and blows the weapon from his hand, instinctively Anakin quickly draws his light saber and deflects the other laser fire including ricocheting one shot back at the Aetnagian and knocking the blaster out of his hand. The suspect raises the other blaster but it malfunctions. Throwing the weapon away, he runs down the alley closely followed by the Jedi.

Aetnagian's are naturally very fleet of foot and the young padawan is quickly outpaced (there is no Jedi Super Speed). The separatist ducks down a side alley and a few seconds later Anakin arrives but there's no sign of the suspect. Obi-Wan calls out for Anakin's location and he replies where he is then hears something fall on the ground nearby. Igniting his light-saber again, he cuts through a metal fence and kicks in the hole to see the suspect crawling into the window of a building. The chase is on! The Aetnagian runs into a stairwell and bounds up the stairs like a Gazelle only touching the bottom, middle and top step on each floor. Skywalker has to use his Force Leaping ability to keep up.  The suspect breaks through the door on the roof and runs to the ledge and jumps to the next roof top. On the ground Kenobi arrives on a speeder bike just in time to see the suspect and Skywalker leaping from rooftop to rooftop. Obi-Wan starts to ride in their direction but hears calls for assistance from the authorities about the other separatist suspects. Sighing in frustration, he turns the hover bike in the opposite direction. The buildings are getting further apart and Anakin has to use his Force Levitation ability to stay on the Aetnagian's tail.

Jumping to the last rooftop the suspect comes to a sliding halt as the next building is too far to leap even for him. Turning quickly to run for the exit door, Anakin blocks his path with his light saber drawn. Totally out of breath, the young apprentice tells the Separatist to submit to arrest. The Aetnagian raises his hands, all four of them, when we suddenly hear a concussive explosion in the distance and black smoke billows from the metropolis. Smiling triumphantly, the Separatist spits at Skywalker, the wad landing on his shoes. At that exact moment Anakin realizes they're alone on the roof. Obi-Wan is calling on the communicator for his Padawan to reply with his location and Anakin shuts it off. The Jedi apprentice raises his hand in the air and the suspect starts to levitate off the ground. "I know you're in contact with a Sith, tell me who it is?" The Aetnagian reaches for his throat with his second pair of hands as he feels his air cutting off. Gasping and struggling for a few seconds he croaks out "There is no Sith!" The Padawan's eyes narrow in concentration and the suspect floats over the building ledge. "Aetnagians have three hearts. I will burst all of them one by one for every lie you tell me." Anakin says calmly, "who is your contact to the Sith."

courtesy of Dupree Ch'il HaajinĂ­
The separatist's eyes bulge out as he feels a heart muscle tighten. He looks at his interrogator and sees someone with no compunction about killing him in the most painful way possible. Blue blood starts to flow from his nose and mouth and just as unconsciousness creeps in, the tightness in his chest relents. "Give me the name of your contact to the Sith." the measured voice demands. Disorientation hits the suspect as his body is rotated horizontally in space. He can see the ground far below and the height of the pending fall brings panic. "The longer you hold out, the more painful this will get. Now, the name?" The second heart muscle tightens along with the first and a shock of excruciating pain ripples through the Aetnagian's body. Unable to withstand the onslaught of agony he blurts out "Pash-Ghari! Her name is Pash-Ghari! Please, I beg you! STOP!"

At that moment Obi-Wan rises up behind them on his speeder bike, lands it and jumps onto the roof. Anakin still has the terror suspect in the air, blood dripping from his face when the master demands his apprentice to release him. Skywalker lowers the body to a foot above the floor of the roof then drops him like a stone. The Aetnagian curls into a fetal position and desperately gasps for air. "What the hell are you doing?!" Kenobi yells, looking at his apprentice in shock. "I got the name of their contact to the Sith, Master!" Anakin says with satisfaction. Grabbing his Padawan by the shoulders, Kenobi exclaims "Anakin, we do NOT do things like this!" Anakin, taken aback, repeats that he got pertinent information and Obi-Wan cuts him off and demands he hand over his light-saber. The order causes the Padawan to blink in stunned silence. Without another word he gives his weapon to his master. "We'll talk about this later." Kenobi says turning his attention to the trembling heap on the ground. Checking the pulse on the side of the suspects body, the Jedi pulls the suspect out of his curled position and lays him out straight. Obi-Wan says he's going into shock and calls on his communicator for medical assistance. Anakin watches his mentor administer first aid to the suspect as emergency vehicles approach. WIPE TO...

PLANET ZIAA -  The reception hall is full blown pomp and circumstance and the room is packed with Ziaa and Naboo's mucky-mucks who stand and applaud as the bride to be is walked out to meet her fiancee. Padme has something akin to a beekeepers veil over her face but it obscures her view and she has to be guided to her mark. The orchestra blasts a fanfare and the ceremony begins.  The Prince marches out to meet his intended and as soon as he approaches, her attendants pull back the veil over Padme's face and she looks into the open space of the room. For a second she's perplexed because the Prince isn't there. Then she looks down. A full head shorter than her, Prince Blaan Dorhaan looks up and smiles broadly at his bride to be. He steps toward her, lips puckered. Quickly gathering herself, Padme stoops a bit to meet the young man's kiss. Video cameras hover and buzz around the two as the engagement becomes official. Prince Blaan and his parents are beaming with joy while Padme and the Queen smile awkwardly as one big family for the cheering crowd and cameras. WIPE TO...


PLANET KIIRON - OBI-WAN AND ANAKIN ARE IN THEIR PRIVATE QUARTERS PREPARING TO LEAVE THE PLANET. Silently brooding, Skywalker is packing his things when Kenobi walks into the room. Obi-Wan talks to Anakin about the incident on the roof top and lets his Padawan know that torture is not a method the Jedi Order uses or endorses. He's reminds the young man about the honor and code of the Jedi Knights and how its precepts govern the behavior of the people who are chosen to uphold peace and order in the galaxy. Obi-Wan says that he understands the circumstances of how Anakin's parents were killed and his desire to seek revenge on the person responsible. The Padawan says nothing. Kenobi mentions how he too must fight the desire to avenge the murder of Master Qui-Gon so he knows how Anakin must feel but nevertheless seeking revenge is the path to the Dark Side and they must be vigilant in not letting those desires consume them. Obi-Wan tells Anakin that his rapid progress as a Padawan is astounding and he wants to recommend him for the Trials of Knighthood but something like this can be a huge setback. The master says  he won't mention this to the council but he'll hold onto to his light-saber until Anakin understands just how important his responsibilities are. The lecture over, Kenobi tells him to finish packing as they are leaving immediately and exits the room. Anakin remains silent. WIPE TO...

GRIEVOUS' FLAGSHIP - COUNT DOOKU ON HOLOGRAM TO GENERAL GRIEVOUS. Dooku, Grievous and Darth Maul discuss the progress of the droid army construction on Geonosis in the Outer Rim. Maul says he'll go there to inspect the production and give a progress report to Palpatine. WIPE TOO...

CORUSCANT - OBI-WAN ON HOLOGRAM TO THE JEDI COUNCIL. He's explaining how the assignment went and the name they got from the suspect. Mace Windu tells Obi-Wan they will assign a team to follow it up with that information in the meantime the council just recently got alert from the Cassandran Worlds that someone was inquiring about Master Sifo-Dyas. Obi-Wan recalls that master Dyas was killed years ago during a mission and Mace Windu says that Kenobi and Skywalker are assigned to check out the alert. Obi-Wan signs off and the Jedi masters discuss how theres total unrest in the galaxy and the Separatists are getting bolder in making moves on the Republic. They talk about other teams of Jedi sent to investigate Separatist activity in the Outer Rim systems. Jedi council member Ki-Adi-Mundi says that master Dyas' warnings of the schism was correct after all and that his vision of a civil war seems to be coming true. Windu states that there has to be other options to impending war and Yoda wearily states "The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is." WIPE TO...

OBI-WAN AND ANAKIN ARRIVING AT CORUSCANT.  As their ship lands they discuss the assignment to check out the alert about Dyas. Obi-Wan says he'll handle the task alone and Anakin objects and brings up the fact that Master Sifo was the person who helped him at the beginning of his training at the academy when he was struggling to keep up with his youngling classmates. Obi-Wan says in a reasoning tone that he understands how much the Master meant to him but he wants his Padawan to go back to his quarters and spend time in meditation to center himself in the Force and reflect on his choices. While walking though the spaceport they see a large monitor broadcasting news around the Republic. Anakin glances at the screen, does a double take, and sees Princess Padme Amidala in full formal Naboo make up and dress waiting with a reception committee. Approaching her, we see a man walk up to her and they kiss. He's blonde, balding and shorter than she is. The reporter says this is her fiancee, Prince Blaan Dorhaan from an arranged engagement with planet Ziaa's monarchy. Padme's engaged. Heart broken and shocked Anakin stares at the screen. The voice over report states that diplomats from both planets and the royal couple will travel to the capital city Curoscant to officially declare the alliance of Naboo and Ziaa to the Galactic congress and attend a reception. Kenobi pats Skywalker on the shoulder in consolation and says it's their custom. Parting ways at the port, Obi-Wan says he'll follow up on the alert and implores Anakin to go into meditation and center himself in the Force especially after recent events and this news. Anakin agrees. WIPE TO...



GEONOSIS - A SMALL SPACESHIP FLIES ACROSS THE ROCKY PLANET. We watch it speed toward a structure carved from the rock this is the castle of the ruling Archduke, Poggle the Lesser. As the vehicle gets closer, we track it through the POV of binoculars. In the screen display we see photography lens cross hairs, time and distance and a red dot recording indicator. Landing in front of the castle we see a dwarf individual disembark from the ship. from there she is escorted to the meeting chamber where the Archduke, Newt Gunray head of the Trade Federation, two foundry supervisors and Darth Maul are having a meeting. Poggle looks at her and Darth Maul says that she is Pash-Ghari, an associate of his. The Archduke waves her to a chair and she takes a seat in the rear of the chamber. She remains silent while the others discuss the droid construction schedule. Poggle reassures Maul that the droid army construction is on schedule and offers to take Maul on tour through an assembly line to witness the efficiency of Geonosian workmanship. As they're taking the tour through the enormous foundry, a supervisor is explaining how efficient the droid construction process is from start to finish. The dwarf is last in line and quiet. From a high angle, through the POV of binoculars, we see the group tour the line. While in the smelting section, Ghari steps to Darth Maul and says that she has coordinated several bombing missions to be conducted simultaneously in different sectors in the Middle Rim. We see a close up of the two talking from the POV of binoculars. In the middle of her report, Maul cuts his eyes to the side and tells her she's been followed. Pash says she was careful to make sure no one was tailing her and the Sith Lord says he'll take care of it.


High in the roof scaffolding, two Jedi Knights and one Padawan are positioned recording the activities of the droid production. One Jedi tells the other that there's too much interference from all the machinery, she can't get a signal to contact the council. She then hands the Padawan a flash drive from her binoculars and tells him to go back to the ship and relay the information from there and wait for them to return. The apprentice silently moves out while the two Jedi continue tracking the touring party from afar. The two Jedi move through the scaffolding structure to another position when they're attacked by flying Geonosian soldiers. Just as they about to escape Darth Maul appears and ignites his double light saber. Hiding in the shadows from afar their Padawan witnesses the capture of his Jedi masters.

Getting back to the ship, the Padawan contacts the Council and relays the information and news of the capture to three members of the Jedi Council. They tell him to sit tight and wait for a team to arrive for the rescue mission. WIPE TO...

 photography by estudibasic / home design by in-tenta /jedi-rain animation by me
OBI-WAN ARRIVING AT SIFO-DYAS' DWELLING IN THE CASSANDRAN SECTOR. The Jedi master makes his way in the rain through a forest area and comes to the home of Dyas. Pressing a key card on the door, it unlocks and Kenobi walks in shaking the rain off his hooded cloak, Although the house looks small from the outside, it goes down a level and has a surprisingly spacious interior. After checking the living room and bedroom and certain the place is secure, Obi-Wan turns the corner to the kitchen area and is jump startled upon seeing a figure sitting at the table with a bowl of food and a drink. The thin pale alien says he's a courier with a message for Master Sifo-Dyas. Obi-Wan replies that Master Dyas is dead but he can give him the message. The courier states that upon confirmation that Dyas is indeed dead he will relay the message but only to a Jedi Knight. Kenobi tells the courier of the last mission Dyas was assigned, to negotiate a peace treaty between several tribes on Felucia. He says that the Master's shuttle malfunctioned and crashed on the planet. The Felucians disposed of his body in accordance to their customs. Then Obi-Wan produces his own light saber saying that he is a Jedi Knight. The courier is not impressed with the weapon since anyone can fashion a light saber. Suddenly the bowl of food and drink start to levitate off the table. The courier raises an eyebrow in slight amusement. Then he starts to rise off the floor along with the table. Obi-Wan's hand is raised slightly above his waist. The courier says he believes him and all are gently put back in place. The Jedi asks what the message is and the courier states that the order for the clone army is near completion and he is invited to planet Kamino to inspect the production. Obi-Wan starts to ask questions about the order but the courier cuts him off and says that any questions he may have can only be answered on Kamino. With that he gets up and walks out of the abode. "Guess I'm going to Kamino..." Kenobi mutters to himself. WIPE TO...

CORUSCANT - PADME AND BLAAN ATTENDING THE RECEPTION IN THEIR HONOR. Everyone is having a joyful time celebrating the royal couple (think Prince George and Kate Middleton type of gala) and Padme, now in kabuki style make up, is putting on a good show telling everyone how happy she is and smiling blandly at Prince Blaan. She excuses herself to the lady's room with Korin following. There she expresses her true feelings to her confidant about Anakin and has no affections at all for her fiance and she feels real nervous about going through with the arrangement. Her handmaiden tries to reassure her things will work out. The Queen walks in and tells Korin to leave. She and Padme talk and the princess reveals her feelings about both men in her life. The Queen reminds her that she has a duty and the marriage will build an alliance between the two planets which is advantageous for Naboo so in so many words, Padme needs to woman up and do what is necessary for Naboo. WIPE TO...



courtesy of Nicholas Garza
ANAKIN IN HIS APARTMENT MEDITATING.  Sitting in the lotus position, and not wearing his top tunic the young apprentice is in deep concentration and starts to levitate a few inches off the ground. We MOVE IN on his face and see scenes of action flash and flicker these are Anakin's visions and premonitions. As he's gotten stronger in the Force the visions have become more vivid and detailed. The images are of Padme smiling then screaming/Obi-Wan screaming "ANAKIN NO!"/Prince Blaan falling away into an abyss/a demon moving to attack him and a blinding light. He wakes abruptly and falls to the floor. Anakin lays on the floor in deep thought and drenched in sweat when he hears an alert from his communicator. Telekinetically drawing the device to his hand he activates it and its a message from Obi-Wan saying he's going to the Wild Space region to follow up a lead. The Jedi master says Anakin should go the Temple and prepare himself for the upcoming Trial of Knighthood. Taking a deep sigh, Anakin gets up and grabs his tunic and heads out the door. WIPE TOO..


OBI-WAN ARRIVING AT KAMINO.  Obi-Wan is met by a Kaminoan representative and after introductions and bringing her up to speed on Sifo-Dyas, the rep takes Kenobi on a tour of the production facility. During which she explains how the clones are developed and who the genetic template is. The template for the clones is not Jango Fett but a soldier who was a close friend of Master Dyas. He believed the Jedi's premonition and volunteered to help him (although this info is not explained to Obi-Wan). Kenobi is astonished at the sheer size and number of the production. WIPE TOO....

CORUSCANT - ANAKIN WALKING IN A BUSTLING MALL AREA.   He's looking at the sellers wares and deep in thought when he's bumped by a stranger. Its Padme in a hooded outfit that obscures her face. Surprised to see her, he looks around and sees Korin and another Padawan Learner that's been assigned to her. After some small talk Anakin asks if  he can talk to Padme in private and she tells  Korin to take the guard take in the sights. The conscientious Padawan mildly objects to leaving the Princess without a guard and she reminds him that not only is Skywalker a Jedi but was her first guard from the Order. Korin leads the guard away and Anakin and Padme walk and talk.

Going to a secluded spot, they talk about her engagement and why she didn't tell him earlier. The Princess says she didn't know how to and wanted to see him in person to tell it in any case. Anakin says between her getting married and his missions abroad their relationship was doomed from the start but that doesn't change his feelings for her. Padme tells him even though they've known each other for a short time, she feels more connected to him than anyone she's ever known. But, she says, they're positions have obligations, her's to Naboo and his to the Jedi Order. At that point, Anakin looks away and says that being a Jedi isn't all its cracked up to be. She asks him what he meant by that and Anakin brings the subject back to her. He divulges that he's dreamed of her since he was a young boy. That, at first, he didn't know it was her but it became clear to him that she was special the first time they met. This is where they share their first kiss. Caught up in the moment the young Jedi takes the Princess by the hand and leads her away. WIPE TO...

OBI-WAN COMING BACK TO CORUSCANT IN HIS TRANSPORT SHIP.  After reciting the specs of the clones and they're development, the rep gives Obi-Wan a flash drive device, saying Master Sifo left instructions that in case of his demise they are to deliver it to a Jedi Knight. Kenobi, thoroughly confused about the whole thing takes it, thanks her and leaves. Back at his ship, he  reviews the content of the flash drive which is a message from Sifo-Dyas. The old Jedi Master talks about why he commissioned the clones and his premonitions about the coming Civil War in the Republic. Seconds after its over Mace Windu comes through in a hologram and informs Obi-Wan that a small team of Jedi uncovered the construction of a droid army on planet Geonosis in the Outer Rim but were captured in the process,  Windu is mustering a strike team to head up a rescue mission and need Obi Wan and Anakin immediately. Obi-Wan tells about his discovery and transfers the info to Windu then goes into hyperspace. CUT TO....


courtesy of Nicholas Garza
CORUSCANT - ANAKIN'S APARTMENT.  Anakin and Padme are in his small apartment, in the background we can see the bed with ruffled sheets. He's coming out of the bathroom putting his shirt on and she's adjusting her clothes in the living room area. The young man smiles and walks up to the young lady, kisses her and says they should run away together. Padme smiles at the notion and says its a great idea and she's do it if she didn't think it would trigger a galactic manhunt. Anakin says he's serious, they should run away and get married. Padme tells him that's impossible, they have responsibilities. Anakin looks her in the eyes and demands she tell him that she loves Dorhaan. Padme says its not about love, it's about her people, her duty as heir to the throne must be to think of her people first. Anakin says he loves her and he knows she loves him, he can feel it- at that point Padme cuts him off and says that as much as she has come to love him her duty has to be to Naboo. With tears welling up in her eyes, she  tells him she can't see him ever again,  Anakin steps back in anger. His communicator lights up. Padme says she sorry and steps toward the door, Anakin grabs her arm. "Padme...I love you!" the young man pleads. Tears streaming down her cheeks, the Princess slowly removes her arm out of his grip, turns and walks out the door. Anakin stares at the closed door trying to process everything that's happened then turns to his buzzing communicator. Obi-Wan comes in and says they have orders to muster a team for an emergency operation. He tells Skywalker he'll meet him at the Temple and all will be explained there. Anakin quickly gathers himself, acknowledges, and prepares to go.

Having composed herself, Padme goes back to the mall and sees Korin and the Padawan guard sitting on a bench people watching. She taps him on the shoulder and motions for him to come along. He jumps up and excitedly says "Your Highness, we were getting worried you were gone for awhil-" The Princess raises a hand and he immediately shuts up. Korin, picking up on her emotional vibe, gives her a concerned look and moves to her side. The three walk back to her royal quarters in silence. WIPE TO...

JEDI HIGH COUNCIL MEMBERS IN HOLOGRAM CONFERENCE WITH CHANCELLOR PALPATINE. They're discussing the report of the foundries on Geonosis and what they're producing. Yoda says that its clear the Confederacy of Independent Systems are building an army at a rate that's beyond normal production for those guilds who've sided with the Separatists. Palpatine says this development means any successful negotiations with the Separatists to avoid war is all but lost and the Senate will have no choice to vote in favor of raising their own military forces but at this point they're way behind even on that front. Mace Windu brings up the report about the clones on Kamino. Palpatine is confused and Windu tells him that the clones were commissioned by a Jedi Knight acting on his own accord but it seems they can used a stopgap measure until a formal military can be raised. The Chancellor says he'll take the report to the senate for a vote in the meantime he authorizes the Jedi Council to surreptitiously destroy the foundries to halt their production and buy time for the negotiations. He says if they cannot then the senate will have no other choice but to go to war. The Council agrees. WIPE TO...

JEDI TEMPLE - OBI-WAN, ANAKIN AND SMALL GROUP OF JEDI KNIGHTS GATHERED AROUND A HOLOGRAM DISPLAY GEONOSIS TOPOGRAPHY. The team leader opens with a situation report: "The information obtained by Kenobi and Skywalker resulted in tracking a suspected arms dealer named Pash-Ghari. The result of that revealed her involvement in several past bombing incidents and connection to known separatist groups who are planning attacks in Republican territory in the Outer Rim. She is also in league with a Sith. We believe its the same person responsible for the murder of Master Qui-Gon Jinn" Upon hearing the name, Pash-Ghari, in the report Anakin gives a slightly triumphant glance at Obi-Wan. Kenobi feels the look but doesn't acknowledge it. The team leader continues, " The investigative team followed her to Geonosis where they discovered foundries producing battle droids in high quantities. Subsequently our team was captured and is being held by the Geonosians. The Council informed the Chancellor of these developments and has authorized a rescue as well as search and destroy strike.  The Council has expressed that we are to capture the Sith operative if possible." The team leader says this is a huge coordinated operation with the team Kenobi and Skywalker are in rescuing the captives while other teams strike at the foundries. WIPE TO...

GEONOSIS - THE TWO CAPTIVE JEDI IN THE COLISEUM AWAITING EXECUTION. 
This plays pretty much like the film only Darth Maul is here. The two captive Jedi are marched out and chained to columns. We follow Obi-Wan and Anakin as they surreptitiously infiltrate the coliseum. Much like the film; the two Jedi do their best to narrowly avoid being killed by the creatures unleashed on them much to the delight of the crowds. We see other Jedi move into position around the arena. And at just as both captive Jedi are cornered by the beasts, Jedi Master Saesee Tiin makes his move to the VIP box with Poggle and Gunray in it and orders them to stop proceedings. At that moment all 200+ Jedi Knights reveal themselves. The newly constructed battle droid march into the arena and just like the film all hell breaks loose.

The fighting is intense and so much dust and dirt is stirred up that all we see are flashes of light sabers and laser fire all over the arena. But the droids are too much and soon overwhelm their opponents. Many of the lesser experienced Jedi Knights and Padawans are cut down in the fire fight and soon its apparent the dwindling strike team is about to be decimated.


Just as the battle droids are about to move in, Mace Windu arrives with a large contingent of clone troopers and the battle is back on! Reinvigorated by the reinforcements the Jedi Knights push back hard on the battle droid front line. Laser fire from the battle forces the occupants of the VIP box to scramble and Darth Maul leaps from the  balcony to the arena floor. Fending off  a flurry of laser fire and light saber strikes the Sith Lord carves a path through the skirmish. Anakin spots the Sith fighting two Jedi Knights and runs over to help.

Obi-Wan sees this and starts to run at them when he's sidetracked by a swarm of battle droids. It's clear from the outset that Maul is controlling the fight and he moves the clash inside the arena's chambers. In closer quarters, Maul kills one immediately, Anakin and the other Jedi try to coordinate an attack but the double bladed light saber is a blur they can barely keep up with. Now up close and personal with the Sith Lord, Anakin sees the living breathing version of the specter that's been haunting him throughout his young life.

Obi-Wan finally breaks away from the main battle in the arena to help Anakin inside the chambers. Anakin and the other Jedi circle Darth Maul. Another quick exchange and the second Jedi goes down. Skywalker is trying hard not to show how scared he is now that he is alone with the demon from his visions.

courtesy of Nicholas Garza
Toe to toe with the young apprentice, Darth Maul is impressed that Skywalker is holding his own and compliments his skill. Anakin, slightly shaking and panting, tries to calm himself. Maul moves in with a series of strikes and forces the young man against a wall. Anakin takes a deep breath and strikes back to give himself more space to operate. The demon taunts him saying that he can smell the fear on the Padawan, that the Jedi ways are what is holding him back. Obi-Wan is rushing through the interior of the arena. Getting bored with the challenge, Maul presses his attack on the Padawan and it's all Anakin can do just to stay alive. As Obi-Wan reaches the room, Darth Maul cuts off both of Anakin's arms at the elbows then delivers a round house kick to his chest sending Skywalker flying a few feet. Hitting his head on the ground, the apprentice is knocked out. Obi-Wan jumps in before the death blow can be delivered and he and Darth Maul savagely fight. The skirmish moves into one of the private balconies overlooking the arena. Mace Windu shows up and checks Anakin. The young man's severed arm wounds are cauterized and he's unconscious but still alive, Mace communicates to the other Jedi who followed him to take care of Anakin then moves on to the balcony. Attacking simultaneously, Kenobi and Windu force Maul back to the ledge of the balcony. Facing far more experienced Jedi, the Sith Lord jumps off the balcony ledge and lands on Newt Gunray's speeder vehicle and the two escape. Obi-Wan and Mace watch the bike, dodging laser fire, quickly disappear in the distance then look out to the arena and see the field littered with dead Jedi and droid parts. WIPE TOO...

MUSTAFAR - PALPATINE IS ON HOLOGRAM TO DOOKU - Palpatine says that discovery of the droid army has pushed the senate into voting the Chancellor be given emergency powers to deal with the threat and as an added bonus apparently a clone army was created without the Jedi council's knowledge. The Republic has a ready made military force. Dooku says that the separatists guilds are prepared to move against the Republic at any time. At that moment Darth Maul and the Trade federation Viceroy show up. Gunray tells Dooku the droid army production is right on schedule and can be deployed at any time but the Republic has struck first on Geonosis. The Count praises Gunray for his efficiency in organizing the guilds and to prepare to launch their forces shortly. Then the Count says the Viceroy is dismissed from the room. In private now, Dooku brings Palpatine back on hologram and Darth Maul talks about the battle with the Jedi. Dooku says with this clone army now in play the war can begin and the battle on Geonosis is the beginning of a new era. Palpatine chimes in with the Galactic Senate in disarray and the Jedi Order off balance, the dawn of the Sith Order is at hand and they will rise once again to rule the galaxy. WIPE TO...

THE FINAL MONTAGE -  we see (SAD MUSIC PLAYS OVER):

* The Clone army assembling. Palpatine, with a sly smile, oversees the Republic forces as they move out.

* Yoda, Mace Windu and the other Jedi Masters looking grim at the mass funeral for the fallen Jedi.

* A fully made up Princess Padme Amidala and Prince Blaan Dorhaan getting married on planet Ziaa in a royal gala. As they join hands, Blaan looks up at her and smiles broadly and Padme, looking down at the Prince, barely has a grin.

courtesy of Nicholas Garza
* CLOSE UP of Anakin Skywalker, he has a depressed/angry look and we pull back to see him sitting up in his hospital bed staring ahead. Pulling back further we see medical droids making adjustments to his cybernetic arms. SAD MUSIC SWELLS LOUDER, CUT TO BLACK, END THEME, CREDITS ROLL.
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I de-emphasized the battle scenes mainly because... I didn't care about them. Lucas took great pains to show elaborate war sequences and quite frankly that's NOT where the story is. Leia and Luke mention the Clone Wars in A New Hope so all that has to be done in the prequels is to show how they came about. The story is still about Anakin's rise and fall so the focus should stay there while war rages in the background. Also watching the war scenes was anticlimactic mainly because we know how it all ends. The clone troopers become storm troopers and the Republic becomes the Empire. You could make the case that we all know that Anakin becomes Vader but if you're making a saga about the Skywalker family and their trials and tribulations over a number of generations, then that's a much more compelling story than trying to illustrate a war fought long ago.

Anakin and Padme do not get married in my version but rather they hook up in a moment of passion. I chose to go that route because it seemed more true to how their lives are going at this point. They both have responsibilities and positions that take them away from each other frequently also let's not forget that Skywalker, Kenobi, Yoda and the rest of the Jedi Knights are essentially monks. Vader did Force choke a dude who mocked his "religion" and there is a spiritual feel to the Force, that is until George Mr. Midi-chlorian Lucas decided to make it nothing more than bacteria in the blood. So there's a lot of pent up passion in these guys. Padme and Anakin share a moment but ultimately can't do more to realize their desire to be with each other. And that contributes to his slide.

Speaking of relationships, this brings me to the Belated Media guys whose own version of the prequels is what inspired me to try my hand at it. In their version they shift focus to Obi-Wan and again leave Anakin pretty much in the background. According to these guys, Anakin and Padme don't even start to be attracted to each other until the end of Clones. While they do have a couple of compelling clashes, particularly between Kenobi and Maul, the rest of the story is pretty much talky and too involved with the Republic/Separatist dispute.



Both Episodes 1 and 2 videos were done in successive years (2012 and 2013) even though they have posted quite a number of videos since this last one so far, they haven't completed the trilogy and we're only a few couple months away from 2014 going out. Maybe they're going to do it sometime is 2015 closer to the Episode 7 premiere, but I kind of doubt it.

As I said before, I think they've painted themselves in a corner and haven't figured out how they're going to get Anakin and Padme together, Padme pregnant, the children born, the fallout between Obi-Wan and Anakin, Anakin turning to the dark side, Anakin and Palpatine getting together, Padme getting killed, Anakin getting majorly injured enough to need the suit, And do all of that in a two hour movie run time without jamming things together. I was having the damnedest time trying to make that work myself, that's why my prequels are four movies.

Speaking of which, up next will be the third film - Star Wars: Rise of the Dark Lord

feel free to post comments or critiques.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Vogue declares the "Era Of The Booty" some 20 years late


We’re Officially in the Era of the Big Booty
(Excerpt from Vogue )

As we await the premiere of Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea’s new music video, it would appear that the big booty has officially become ubiquitous. In music videos, in Instagram photos, and on today’s most popular celebrities, the measure of sex appeal is inextricably linked to the prominence of a woman’s behind.

For years it was exactly the opposite; a large butt was not something one aspired to, rather something one tried to tame in countless exercise classes. Even in fashion, that daring creative space where nothing is ever off limits, the booty has traditionally been shunned. Though nipples have long been a runway staple, the industry was scandalized when Alexander McQueen debuted his bumster pants back in 1996. And who can forget the horrified reaction to Rose McGowan’s barely-there beaded dress at the 1998 Video Music Awards? Today, Rihanna shows up to the CFDA Awards practically naked with her crack fully on display and walks off with a Fashion Icon Award.

Perhaps we have Jennifer Lopez to thank (or blame?) for sparking the booty movement.
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Friday, September 12, 2014

When is J.Lo going to accept that her booty is not THE booty anymore??


JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC
Jennifer Lopez shows off backside during 'Booty' performance at Fashion Rocks

Dayum, J.Lo!

Jennifer Lopez not only set the red carpet on fire at Tuesday night's Fashion Rocks, wearing a black one-legged body suit, but she caused a five-alarm blaze inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
When she took the stage to perform her hit song "Booty," Lopez was literally in every form of the word.
She twerked, spanked and, yes, showed off her big booty in front of the sold-out audience for a night filled with music and fashion.

Jennifer Lopez rocked the red carpet at Fashion Rocks 2014 at the Barclays Center Tuesday night.
"Would you like me to seduce you?" she said at the start of the performance.
It's a lucky guess she succeeded.
Not 30 seconds into Lopez's showcase paying homage to voluptuous backsides did she turn around exposing her nearly nude bum in a high-cut bikini, silver-sequined ensemble.

But why have one big booty when you could have an entourage of plump derrieres?
The "I Luh Ya Papi" was joined by dozens of bootylicious mamas swearing black-sequined minis, who were happy to turn around, bend over and show off their assets alongside the internationally known superstar.

Don't be mistaken, Lopez was still the center of attention and even broke it down in a dance sequence, shaking her backside while several male dancers surrounded her while taking pictures with cellphones.

NYDailyNews