Will The Force Awakens Redeem the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy?

A few ideas for how The Force Awakens and its sequels could make the prequels better…

The Star Wars prequels sucked. And no, it wasn’t just The Phantom Menace. As this video from Salon points out, all three movies are a mess of bad dialogue and often baffling narrative choices. George Lucas created one of the most interesting and detailed cinematic universes of all time, but he also produced Howard the Duck, it’s OK to acknowledge that he can make terrible movies, no matter how much most of us love the original trilogy. The good news is that Lucas has no involvement with The Force Awakens and Disney even ignored his likely terrible ideas that they purchased with the Star Wars franchise. And while The Force Awakens looks great from the trailers, it could go down as the greatest Star Wars movie of all time if it actually addressed and fixed some of the biggest issues with the prequels.

4. Jar Jar Binks

I swear to God I'm walking out of the movie if it turns out Jar Jar is Kylo Ren.

I swear to God I’m walking out of the movie if it turns out Kylo Ren is Jar Jar.

Let’s start with the elephant, er, Gungan, in the room.  Jar Jar’s exaggerated mannerisms and grating voice alone ruined The Phantom Menace for most fans. Lucas took the hint from the fan backlash and seriously curtailed Jar Jar’s role in Episodes II and III, but even though he had only minor roles the later movies, and never appeared in the original trilogy, Jar Jar has never been officially killed off in Star Wars canon. That means he’s still out there in the galaxy somewhere… just waiting to hand it over to a Sith lord again. There are a lot of jokes online about Jar Jar showing up in The Force Awakens as bad ass villain Kylo Ren, and while that would be an amazing troll by J.J. Abrams, the hate for Jar Jar is so strong among fans that it would only hurt the good will that Kylo Ren has built up ahead of release. Still, if Jar Jar were to show up in The Force Awakens or its sequels, Disney might want to take a cue from Raiden in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Ignore the worst parts of the character from the prequels and bring Jar Jar back as a half-cyborg warrior fighting with the Rebels. According to some people, there are hints that something like that was always the plan for Jar Jar.

3. The Trade Federation

Does anyone but the hardest of the hardcore Star Wars fans even remember the names of these two?

Does anyone but the hardest of the hardcore Star Wars fans even remember the names of these two?

Just to be perfectly clear, The Force Awakens needs to stay far, far away from lengthy scenes about galactic trade and economics. But as silly as it was to see these issues pop up in the prequels, doesn’t anyone else find it unusual that an army of billions of droids pretty much disappeared as soon as its leaders were assassinated? Yes, they were being manipulated by Emperor Palpatine, and officially pockets of Trade Federation resistance were around until just before the opening of A New Hope, but [SPOILER FOR THE FORCE AWAKENS] a major plot point of The Force Awakens is that there is still a lot of support for the Empire three decades after it was supposedly defeated in the Battle of Endor.[SPOILER ENDS HERE] It doesn’t make sense for one giant army to stick around for three decades and another one to die off overnight. Hell, it’s not like a bunch of robots are going to switch sides. As unpopular as the Trade Federation was, it would be pretty awesome to see a brigade of patched-up 70-year-old battle droids show up in The Force Awakens to help either the Rebels or The First Order.

2. A Bigger, Badder Anakin

Anakin, you smelling fine. Is that watermelon?

Anakin, you smelling fine. Is that watermelon?

Kylo Ren is said to be obsessed with Darth Vader, and one of the stronger rumors online is that his eventual goal may be to resurrect Vader, with Hayden Christensen again playing the Dark Lord of the Sith in Episode VIII. Christensen gave a particularly terrible performance as Anakin/Vader in Episodes II and III, but if you’ve seen him any other movies, like 2003’s Shattered Glass, he’s actually not a bad actor. Lucas just wrote some awful, awful scripts. With Looper director Rian Johnson at the helm of Episode VIII and a solid groundwork set in The Force Awakens, Christensen might actually have a shot at portraying an all-powerful, brutal version of Vader, and we can finally forget about his whining over his mommy and the sand on Tatooine.

1. Darth Vader’s Father

The Force AwakensIn one of the better scenes of the prequels, Chancellor Palpatine tells Anakin of the legend of Darth Plagueis and the Sith ability to create life. It’s never explicitly mentioned, but given that Anakin’s mother stated in Episode I that he was a virgin birth, it’s strongly hinted that Palpatine might have been responsible for Anakin’s conception as part of his master plan to take power in the galaxy. It’s an intriguing theory, and one that actually makes the interplay between the Emperor, Vader and Luke in Return of the Jedi even better, but like a lot of ideas in the prequels, it was never fully developed. Finally revealing the truth about Vader’s father, either that Palpatine was behind his conception, or another previously unknown powerful figure in the galaxy is a huge reveal that could salvage a lot of the prequel trilogy if done right, and further the theme that the Star Wars saga is the story of the Skywalker family.

What are some other horrible prequel moments that could be turned around through big plot points in future movies? Let us know in the comments section.