Recasting The Star Wars Prequels in the 1970s
Imagine if you will that it’s circa 1975, and George Lucas has just gotten the green light for his movie The Star Wars. Alan Ladd Jr., having seen the commercial success of American Graffiti, wants Lucas at his studio. Lucas being braver than anyone would imagine decides to tell his story IN SEQUENTIAL ORDER. I can see this, and I honestly think that if the Prequels had been made circa 1975 – 1977, they still would have been monster hits. He would have still used the same effects crew, guys like Raslton, Muren, Tippet, et. al. Lucas would still have the consortium of Film School kids (e.g. Schrader, Coppola, Spielberg, Robbins, et. al.) advising him. I think at that point he would have made something infinitely more interesting.
By starting in the 70’s and making a trilogy that is the more political of the two trilogies, you would get a better Episode I-III. The complaint about the Episode I politics being all “people in meetings” would be alleviated because Lucas would have worked with some of the best directors in the business. It wouldn’t hurt that paranoid political thrillers were all the rage in the 70’s.
Imagine a Nixon-like parable but set in the Star Wars universe. Some people see the prequels as a GW Bush/Karl Rove parable but… no dice from me. Can you imagine a series with real political intrigue and lots of great sword fighting and real practical Errol Flynn-style swashbuckling? I can.
I have taste and talent in recasting a film and I’ve been assigned to put that talent to the test. I’m recasting the Star Wars prequel series with actors from the 1970s. Let’s start this up so you can get a better idea of what the Prequels could have been like if they were made first.
Originally played by Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen, both were hammered by critics and fanboys alike for their respective portrayals of the man who would be Vader. In our timeline we’re not going to deal with the “kid” thing. I don’t think he would have done the kid thing. He would have kept the Luke Skywalker model and casted a younger man. Whom do you think I would pick?
Let it sink in. Irons was in his early twenties when they were casting the film. If Irons isn’t the definition of brooding sulking romantic lead, I don’t know who is. Irons has that ability to be both a charmer and a purely evil man. To think when you took the mask off of Vader it housed Irons’ battered and scared visage would just be something so fitting (he has worked with Cronenberg multiple times). Just so we’re clear…James Earl Jones still voices the eventually transformed Darth Vader. Should Lucas have waited until the last ten minutes to turn Anakin into Vader? I think he becomes Vader at some point in Attack of the Clones.