||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Monday, June 13, 2005
And all that could have been
By design, SotE is the first half of a nonexistent "Han's Rescue" movie to which the start of RotJ forms the conclusion. To this much I assent. I just think that Lucas should have designed the SotE story arc post-Gail in a different way. Maddeningly, an example of such a story arc in game form was already in development as of 1996...
So what would I have done?
For a start, I would have planned the SotE story arc around free agent Luke, as a runup to Han's rescue in RotJ. Luke's not tied to the Rebellion as is Leia. Unlike Leia (normally), Luke can go to stinkholes like Dagobah or Tatooine to help his training or to help rescue Han. In such a game (a first-person RPG), Luke would grow in leet Jedi skillz as he progressed. He'd also have to face the questions of whether to help the Alliance or to track down Han. By electing and succeeding at both, he could earn the prestige which convinced the Alliance to lend him Leia during the final rescue. And the engine was complete as of 1997 - it just starred a different Jedi of a later time: its game Dark Forces II, Jedi Knight won many an award back in the day.
As for places to go, Jabba didn't have to have his only base in Tatooine. If he did, then as well as Luke having naught to do but train and plot between episodes, there's a plot hole in Episode VI: the Imperials could have set up a Jedi-catching perimeter around Jabba's palace à la Cloud City. Hutts probably prefer slimy planets like Dagobah anyway, and they certainly might visit Coruscant from time to time.
I'd farm out the Bothan / Death Star 2 plot to some other writer / game designer; Lando and Leia could do duty there before meeting up with Luke later. Dash Rendar would remain a bit part, if I kept him at all. Likewise Xizor.
But then Lucas might have had to wait a whole 'nother year for the technology to mature. Impatience is truly the path to the Dark Side!
Admittedly you have to go to war with the army you have. If I really had control over this enterprise, I probably wouldn't stop there; I would have pretended the second half of RotJ didn't exist. But now we're getting into changes to the movies better handled elsewhere.
Perhaps we ought to be glad RotJ was so uneven, because if it had been perfect, SotE's failure would be complete.
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