Fine, how would YOU write Return of the Jedi?

It has been pretty well established that Return of the Jedi sucked, so, from a blank slate, how would you write it?

I am envisioning a situation where Jabba the Hutt and Bobba Fett play more significant roles. As in, Jabba becomes angry with the Empire and tries to use Han Solo as some sort of leverage against it, while also being in opposition to the rebel alliance. At some point, Luke finds himself in a struggle with Bobba Fett, who delivers Luke to the Emperor on whatever planet he is on. In the confrontation, Luke kills the Emperor and Darth Vader flees yet again, perhaps pursued by the bounty hunter.

Now Luke reunites with Leia, who is trying to work a deal with Jabba to free Han Solo. But Luke is conflicted because he has been to the dark side and has moments when he loses self-control. In a fit of rage, he attacks Jabba’s compound, frees Han, and kills a lot of people (but probably not Jabba). Terrified of what he has become, he goes to Dagoba to get help from Yoda, who does all he can, but the effort costs him his life.

Imperial warships appear over the planet because Darth Vader has figured out where Luke went. Chase scene (Vader wants Luke, either alive or dead) that develops into a battle scene, with forces loyal to Jabba shooting at everyone, Vader is captured by Bobba Fett because he could not force himself to kill Luke, but Han Solo destroys Fett’s ship because no one deserves to be tortured by Jabba the Hutt.

Leia helps Luke avoid the descent into darkness, but he remains conflicted, so she and Han fly him to back Dagoba where he will live out his life amongst Yoda’s people (the reptile equivalent of teddy-bears).

Not very well thought out, but potentially more interesting, I think.

I think the overall story line is good, but I’d ditch:

  1. Any musical number.

  2. the Ewoks for Wookies, who attack bare-handed and with primitive weapons and whup-ass on the Emperor’s “crack legion,” but at a great cost.

Overall, just a lot less cutesy.

Plotwise, the biggest problem is the second act. Jabba’s Palace is fine on its own, and the last act is actually pretty brilliantly constructed, the way it cuts back and forth between three different major action set pieces. But the second act mostly drags, and feels entirely unconnected to the first act.

So, maybe something like this. Jabba’s Palace goes down the same way, except Boba Fett isn’t killed. Instead, outnumbered and his employer dead, he offers a deal to the Rebels. He’ll help them track down Vader, in exchange for his freedom and a fat sack of cash. The Rebels reluctantly agree.

He leads them some seedy industrial planet, like Nar Shadda, which they learn has seen a huge amount of Imperial traffic lately, destined for parts unknown. Vader plans on joining up with the next Imperial convoy. They raid the next Imp ship that comes through, and find out that its filled with Wookie slaves. They learn that the slaves are enroute to a secret military project - a new Death Star! Boba Fett splits, his contract being completed, and the Rebels head back to the fleet to warn them of the danger.

The Rebels plan of attack is pretty much the same - small team to disable the shield generator, massive fleet strike against the incomplete battlestation. Except, no Endor at all: the ground combat takes place on a massive orbital mining and refining facility that is gradually tearing apart a planet for the raw material to make the new DS. Everything seems to be going as planned, until, just before they deactivate the shields, Boba Fett reappears, with a platoon of Imperial Stormtroopers! He’s been working for Vader all along, and the whole thing was a trap to lure out the Rebel fleet and smash it. Luke is taken to see the Emperor, the rest are taken away for execution. Of course, they escape somehow (R2 ex machina, probably) and rally the Wookie slaves to rebel. Big space battle, just like we saw. Big duel in the throne room, just like we saw. Big ground battle in an industrial wasteland between Stormtroopers and Wookies armed with weapons improvised from industrial machinery. Climax of the ground battle is an epic gun battle between Fett and Han Solo.

Bonus points if Chewie gives a Saint Crispin’s Day speech in unsubtitled Wookie.

Reading these in Patton Oswald’s voice is helping the cool factor.

^ This.

Also, Luke ends up with Leia, and they are happy – until they find out they’re siblings. Unfortunately, by this time Leia is pregnant with Luke’s child. This weighs heavily on Luke, and distracts him at a critical moment and he is killed in battle. Leia exiles herself to some remote planet where she gives birth to her daughter-sister or son-brother. She becomes aware of her own, dormant, abilities with the Force, and she trains her child in the ways of the Jedi. Years later, the child becomes the ‘new hope’ that defeats the forces of the Empire.

Keep it relatively the same except:

  1. Kill the musical number at Jabba’s palace (I tip my hat to ExTank).
  2. Boba Fett has a standoff battle with Luke on the sail barge and gets dumped in the Sarlaac pit after Luke gets a lucky shot in. Luke has a much easier time with the rest of the crew compared to this fight with Fett, showing how he’s now a full fledged Jedi but Fett is still clearly a badass.
  3. Fix that “certain point of view” scene. Vader killed Skywalker’s father according to A New Hope, so how do you do that? Clones? Kenobi not realizing until much later that Skywalker and Vader are one in the same? Something like that.
  4. Final battle featuring Wookies as opposed to Ewoks. Wookies are more like Vietcong here, yeah they kind of eschew technology and they really don’t have much of it because of their status as slaves, but they’re not a bunch of dumb primitives. The Empire’s been underestimating them for a long time and this is where they get their comeuppance. A dozen Wookies with bowcasters destroying a few squads of imperial troopers would be awesome (air guitar solo).
  5. Fix that thing with the Emperor’s hood/eyes. It’s distracting.
  6. Rebels win everyone celebrates. Cue music, credits. midway through them, cut to a desert, an explosion shakes the ground and a beat up, burned up, and scarred Boba Fett crawls out. Helmet intact but scratched and beat up, armor torn away and looking bad. Fett crawls to his feet and stands in the middle of the desert. Que the rest of the credits.

Maybe Solo gets a lucky shot in on Fett while he’s distracted fighting Skywalker, that way he can raise his fist up and yell “Solo” after he crawls out. I can’t decide if that would be badass or goofy.

What do you think, sirs?

Wasn’t Lars von Trier too young in 1983?

I disagree with #2, IG. Boba Fett is Han’s villain, not Luke’s. Defeating him is Han’s Badass Moment. Defeating Vader is Luke’s.

I’m with you on losing “certain point of view,” though. I’d just change it to Ben simply saying, “Yes, I lied to you. Anakin was my greatest friend, and in trying to protect his family, he was led into evil. I feared that if you knew your father was still alive, the same fate might befall you.” Luke gets angry about this, and carries it into the final duel with Vader. Releasing his anger towards Obi Wan would then be a major part of his turn away from the Dark Side at the film’s climax.

Did von Trier do a film like that?

He’s older than I am, but that’s the story I’ve been saying since 1983 should have been written.

No, but it’s his kind of dark storyline!

I’m a dark story line kind of guy.

I would watch this. Combine it with Miller’s ideas and we have a winner.

It’s a fabulous film, one of the greats, I wouldn’t touch a frame, and no It has NOT been pretty well established that Return of the Jedi sucked. It was a financial and critical success.

Mind you, the original concept for the Ewoks would have appealed much more to us as adults.

You say that like they’re mutually exclusive.

Wars Needs Women
Specifically, a lot more of Leia (and any other babe) in a metal bikini.

Seriously: As said above, ditch anything overtly cute. Action/Adventure tends to have comedic elements, but those Ewoks weren’t funny. Maybe one 2 minute scene with them. Say, the speeder bit. Other than that, get them off the screen.

Make Darth Vader a clone of Luke’s father, so that Obi-Wan doesn’t turn out to be a scummy liar.

Make sure Leia is not Luke’s sister (which would mean cutting the line “No, there is another” in Empire).

Create a threat other than a new Death Star, since the first one failed miserably.

Bring that fat Irish guy who was cut from the first movie back to play Jabba the Hut.

Don’t kill off Boba Fett.

Get rid of anything that even smacks of “cute.” If it’s “cute,” kill it!

Make Stormtrooper armor arrow-resistant.

If you’re gonna go back to Tatooine (which I guess you have to do if Jabba’s there), have the authorities come after Han for the murder of Greedo.

That’ll do for starters…

Sure, boobies.

More violence, a darker, grittier film, as of course, everything is better dark and gritty, isn’t it?:rolleyes:

Look, it’s a family film. It isn’t r rated. Why not some cute ewoks?

Why, in order to “not suck” does very film have to 100% appeal to fanboys?

Darth Vader is Anakin’s clone, as has been previously mentioned.
Also, ALL the Jedi are clones of originals who were strong in the force. They couldn’t figure out how to synthesize the Force ability so they synthesized the people who had it.
Leia is not Luke’s sister…it makes no sense and is waaaay too much of a coincidence.
Boba Fett is Anakin. He faked his death and has been faking the deaths of Jedi he was sent out to hunt down. The climax is him returning with all the presumed-dead Jedi in a battle royale.

The problem with Darth Vader not being Luke’s father is that we are not rewriting ESB, just RotJ. Besides, the father/son thing could have made the story really interesting (instead of, as it turned out, ultimately sappy). The sister-Leia thing, though, yeah, that easily could go.

I’d recognize my own limitations and hire Leigh Brackett to write the script.