It is odd that a popular movie made forty-five years ago hasn’t been remade. Especially a film that can be re-created by using snippets of other films and TV series. Yet, no one has even thought of remaking the film.

Star Wars Minus Star Wars via Paulogia

Star Wars has grown from one film to a massive franchise spreading from the silver screen to television, books, comics, video games, and forms of entertainment not yet imagined. The likelihood of the original 1977 film being remade are near zero right now. There’s no need to remake it when the franchise is still gaining viewers through spin-off TV series and films. One of the criteria when choosing a film to remake is activity or lack thereof. Ghostbusters was ripe for a remake in 2016, with the cartoon ending in 1991 and a video game in 2009. Star Wars only had downtime between Return of the Jedi in 1983 and The Phantom Menace in 1999, the latter being 22 years after the original, the generation usually needed between remakes.

Thus, this look at remaking Star Wars is purely hypothetical. A look at what could be done in an alternate universe where the original movie didn’t spawn a massive franchise. Let’s start with the original 1977 film. The movie captured the audience’s imagination at a time when going to the cinema wasn’t expensive. People would go back to watch the film over and over. Star Wars spent over a year in its initial run.

For a remake, some minor changes are needed. Special effects would have more CGI, allowing for more aliens in the Rebellion and more background details. The plot works, so no changes needed there. Casting will need some work. For Luke, Leia, and Han, young up-and-coming actors would work, with some experience but without a major fan following. For Obi Wan Kenobi, a younger actor is needed, one who can either have make up added to age him twenty years or one who could look twenty years younger with makeup later. Alec Guinness was 62 years old when he first portrayed Obi Wan, which jarred with Ewan MacGregor’s age in the prequel films.

Casting here is preparing for the prequels, to make sure that the fighting styles to be used in the prequels can be shown through two aging warriors. The hypothetical remake of A New Hope is doing a lot of heavy lifting, setting up the next few movies and the prequels. Even if the background work isn’t shown, it still is needed to avoid contradictions later down the road.

The plan in mind is to keep Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi as the core trilogy. However, the movies will serve as major events in the story. That way, details needing more time to portray can be pushed over to television, where there is the time to explore. Likewise, the prequel films are the big events, with The Phantom Menace starting the ball rolling. The animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars provides an example of what would happen between films.

Why stop with just filling between the prequel films? How did the Rebels get from the fourth moon of Yavin to Hoth? How did they move to a mobile fleet and learn about the second Death Star? Here’s a proposed approach to the remade franchise:
Star Wars.
⦁ Optional TV series covering the Rebellion being hunted by the Empire and Vader’s search for the pilot that fired the shot that destroyed the Death Star.
The Empire Strikes Back.
⦁ Optional TV series following the Rebel Fleet escaping Imperial entanglements and the Rebellion striking at Imperial sites.
Return of the Jedi

Either after Return of the Jedi or in parallel with the core series:
The Phantom Menace.
⦁ Optional TV series featuring the Jedi, possibly including Obi Wan’s early training of a young Anakin Skywalker, leading to…
Attack of the Clones.
⦁ Optional TV series about the Clone Wars, using the animated series as a guide.
Revenge of the Sith.
⦁ Optional TV series showing the rise of the Empire and the birth of the Rebellion, using Rebels as a template.

For the post-core films, a change up:
⦁ TV series about the mopping up of Imperial holdouts after the death of the Emperor, leading to…
⦁ Movie about the final major battle between the Rebellion/New Republic and the remnants of the Empire.
⦁ TV series about the rebuilding of the Jedi.

Fitting in series like The Mandalorian might be difficult, especially if the story heads into a new direction. However, there is room for series to explore fan favourite characters.

The purpose of this thought experiment is to work out a potential road map for a new epic. Star Wars is popular, but there are times where the original planning and the reality of the series don’t match up. It’s possible to learn mistakes; the mistakes don’t have to be your own. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Just improve an existing one to make it work better. Sure, there’s no guarantee any one film will be popular, but being prepared for when it does is better than scrambling and making things up on the fly.


This article was originally published at THE REMAKE ZONE.

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