#4 – Obi-Wan’s Lie About Anakin’s Fate
This is awesome for a couple reasons. One, it connects the hopeful Obi-Wan of the prequels to the actually kind of cynical Obi-Wan of the original Star Wars. Two, it helps build a mystery around Darth Vader for the original trilogy (more on that later in the list).
This lie has far-reaching effects on all of the other characters that directly ripple into the original trilogy. This lie is a great change because it is one of the BIG things that helps us imagine all the changes that happen in the galaxy between Episode III and Episode IV.
#3 – Salty Owen
As was pointed out in “What if Star Wars Episode II Were Good?” Owen Lars’ exposure to Anakin and Obi-Wan in the real prequel movies is SUPER WEIRD, thus the decision to include him in the core group (a-la-Land0) in the prequels.
But here’s where the reclusive, scared-of-the-galaxy Owen that we see in A New Hope really kicks in. Not only has he seen more s*** than he ever wanted to, prompting his return to Tatooine, but he’s so pissed at Obi-Wan, Padme, and the Jedi for screwing up Anakin’s life that we can now totally understand his pretty controlling parenting style with Luke.
#2 – Anakin Force Chokes Darth Maul
No lightsaber? No problem.
One of the big problems with the real Episode III was that there were no small actions that pushed Anakin from good to evil, no slow embracing of the easy power of the Dark Side.
The force choke is the perfect connector. It’s directly connected to the Light Side power of just telepathically grabbing something, but is unquestionably a non-Jedi move. Angry and disarmed, it’s easy to believe Anakin would make this choice, and it shows us just how seductive the power of the Dark Side can be.
#1 – Never Seeing Anakin in the Darth Vader Suit/Never Calling him Darth Vader
The full implications of this point aren’t wholly in the “What if Star Wars Episode III Were Good” video, but the more we think through the implications of this, the more we like it.
As we’ve already seen, Obi-Wan lying about Anakin’s fate is a pretty big (and awesome) deal, but coupled with the fact that we don’t see Anakin after his duel with Obi-Wan and he’s never called Darth Vader in the prequels, you have to see how awesome this makes the beginning of the original trilogy: When Darth Vader first steps onto Princess Leia’s ship at the beginning of A New Hope, we have no idea who this is. He looks like a bad dude, and we soon enough learn that he’s a Sith lord of some kind, but his identity is concealed.
That even sets up some neat hints as to his true identity, like his love of the Force Choke, but until the end of The Empire Strikes Back we don’t get confirmation that Darth Vader is actually Luke’s father. And with the reworked versions of Darth Maul and General Grievous, we’d have every reason to believe Vader was just Emperor Palpatine’s latest lackey.