What If…Star Wars

I recently saw some Youtube videos that posed the questions, “What if the Star Wars prequels were actually good?” Us geeks could debate forever the merits of the prequels. Many fans loath them. Some, like me, accept them for what they are and can find some good still in them. But you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would say they were really good.

Watch these videos and then we’ll chat.

Episode 1



Episode 2



My first reaction after watching those were, wow, that would have been an awesome movie.  It addressed all of the major flaws in the prequels, namely poor character motivations. Focusing the story around Obi-wan makes perfect sense. I also really liked the bit about Anakin not being a badass whiny kid but rather an insecure trainee. Having Owen Lars be a major character also added a lot of depth.

After watching it and thinking, yay this would be great, I then started to wonder, would these still be Star Wars though? Part of the appeal of Star Wars is some of the very things we geeks complain about. Over the top events and characters. Crazy adventure.  Does this lose that in exchange for more drama?

The episode 1 changes, I don’t think do. They were all relatively minor and mostly just addressed character motivations and pacing, without really changing the overall story. The episode 2 changes made it a completely different movie. But was it still Star Wars?

Yes. It was original trilogy Star Wars. We only have the over the top characters and events due to the prequels. Sure, Empire Strikes Back had a crazy space monster and ROTJ had warrior teddy bears. But they didn’t have gladiatorial death matches or robot factories or trips through a hollow core of a planet.

Those things are things that can make playing Star Wars as an RPG fun. You can do outlandish things as a GM and it works for the setting. But they weren’t elements of the original trilogy. I don’t think we would have missed them if we’d never seen them.

In conclusion, someone get on making these into alternative prequels movies. Disney? You listening? Redoing old movies is all the rage these days.

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