A Memo From George Lucas
To: Roger Barton
CC: Ben Burtt, Lucasfilm Editing & SFX Staff
From: George Lucas
Re: List of Changes for Episodes I-III Theatrical Re-release
Howdy Star Warriors,
as you know work is about to begin on the THX II remastering process for the theatrical re-release of the prequel trilogy for Star Wars. I have talked about some changes I would like to see during this process with Roger but I would like to share this with everyone to get some feedback and maybe see what ideas you have. Most of these things are pretty minor and we should be able to handle them with Skywalker Sandbox Digital Actor Studio. Worst case scenario we may have to get a handful of actors back to loop in audio.
I would like to add a sequence to Phantom Menace where Qui-Gon Jinn has his hand cut off by Darth Maul. This would happen before the final confrontation with Maul so that when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan face off against Maul Qui-Gon has a mechanical hand. I would also like to add a similar sequence to Attack of the Clones. We could digitally add a light saber to Jango Fett and he can cut off Obi-Wan's hand and then later the bug creatures can give him a robot hand while he is in captivity. I think this really helps tie together all of the plot points that connect both trilogies.
In Episode II when Padme and Anakin are having their picnic I would like to add some creatures like ants but they are bigger and they talk in a really cute high-pitched voice like "mee mee mee." These ant creatures come and while Padme and Anakin are talking to each other about love and whatever they cover everything in the picnic! They could have a whole lot of trouble lifting a hardboiled egg and Padme could laugh and try to help them along. It would be really cute and then Anakin could smash them all (we won't show it, just show him like stomping or smacking down a bowl on them or something) and he can say "don't help insects they are beneath you" and then he would make like he is going to kiss her but she doesn't want to because she thought it was mean. I think that would help show that he can give in to the dark side at any moment.
I think it would be really great to add in Han Solo and Lando at some point in Revenge of the Sith. Our best bet would be to have Lando and Han Solo as little kids in one of the hallways where Anakin is walking around talking to Obi-Wan. They could be playing hyperball or glomp jumps or some other space game and Anakin could walk between them because he is starting to become evil. Han Solo could throw the ball and Anakin could catch it and crush it with his robot hand. Han Solo could say "hey you big jerk, that was my ball" and Anakin could say "when next we meet I will destroy you, HAN SOLO." Get John Williams to have a zippy little "dun-dun-dunnnn" that we can slip into his score there. Fans will go crazy. They love that sort of thing.
A lot of people have complained that Yoda in Episodes I-III seems way too smart compared to Yoda in Episode V so I think we need to do something about that. Maybe add a scene in Revenge of the Sith near the end where Yoda like falls down on his knees and starts screaming from all of the Force HITTING HIM HARD because all of the Jedis are dying. Then when he gets up he could be all laughs and "eh-hehehe" and sticking things in his mouth like a three year old. But then he goes back to being normal smart Yoda so, you know, it would show that he can go back and forth depending on his mood.
In Episode I when Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon first go to Tattoine I would like a bunch more stuff going on like more ships flying around, some fireworks shooting up into the sky, and maybe a dragon or a giant gargoyle or something. It could like swoop by overhead and Obi-Wan could say "oh man, what is that thing, such beasts on this world" and Qui-Gon could lay some Jedi Master wisdom on him like "they are nothing compared to the Nuk-nuk birds I have seen on Jamis-5."
Take out the verbal references to Midi-Clorians in all of the prequels and replace them with something cooler like "Force Levels" or "Force Mana." That one didn't go over too well.
In the opening sequence of Episode III where Obi-Wan and Anakin fly their Jedi ships through the big space war I would really like to fully capture the razzamatazz of two huge forces colliding in space combat. Add hundreds more ships and huge explosions and missiles and lasers flying everywhere.
I was a little bit disappointed that people didn't realize that was Moff Tarkin on the bridge of a Star Destroyer with Darth Vader at the end of Episode III. I think we should loop in some dialogue of Darth Vader saying something like "are you ready to destroy some stars, Moff Tarkin?"
Let's see if we can tone down some of the violence, especially in Episode III. With the new MPAA ratings standards from the government a theatrical re-release of Episode III might get an "X" rating. I think these new standards are pretty extreme, but I would still like to make it more family-accessible. A good example that comes to mind is when Obi-Wan and the lizard creature he is riding fall after being shot at. Obi-Wan was able to save himself but the poor lizard, the audience assumes, fell to a grisly death. In a case like that we should add in a parachute that opens or maybe something cool like the lizard can inflate a big bubble on its back and float to safety. Little touches like that will help us get down to an "R" rating. This applies to the original trilogy as well. We're not editing much in those but I think things like Vader's Force choking should be like he puts them to sleep instead. Just a quick and easy change that no one will miss.
I think if we work really hard together on this we can turn something great into something awesome for the ages.