A political revelation regarding the Star Wars prequel trilogy

I have a confession to make. I am kind of a nerd when it comes to politics and government. I became a journalist because I truly am fascinated by the political process. Things like economic development, infrastructure investment, community engagement, police policy, parks and recreation and more just really do interest me. I enjoyed my time covering meetings and seeing the political process unfold. I covered elections, even interviewed in person Beto O’Rourke before he got famous.

Sure it’s easy to see with that background why I would be a staunch defender of The Phantom Menace in particular, that whole scene with the congress calling for a vote of no confidence in the chancellor really gets my brain juices flowing. But did you know that it’s actually because of Star Wars that I became so fascinated by politics in the first place? Well let me explain.

When I was a kid I loved reading books. I read  books well above my reading  grade. I was reading college level by 5th grade. I remember reading the novelization of Star Wars From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker repeatedly as a kid. Even though it was just a few hints here and there just reading about the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire got me curious as to what all those terms meant.

It was sometime in 5th grade when I started learning the basics of the U.S. system of government. The first time the teacher spelled out the three branches of the government a light  bulb turn on inside. Then I got really excited when I started learning about the Rebellions against the Empire that took place in our nations history. Once I started connecting the concepts I was learning in social studies to the terms I had read in my Star Wars books I became even more entrenched. I remember sitting at home watching C-Span and being mesmerized by the debates. I hadn’t formed my political alliances yet but I was enjoying learning how it all worked.

Once I started reading the Expanded Universe books I started having fantasies of being a governor of a small outer rim system trying to balance being subject to the empire but secretly supportive of the Rebellion. It even influenced my interest in Sim City and similar games as a way to enact political scenarios in my mind. I would even imagine I was a dignitary on a capital warship on a political envoy while I was working as a busser at a buffet inside the casino.

I had always attributed my interest in the prequels as a combination of my love for the EU, my own interest in politics and being the right age when Episode I came out that I just fell in love with a movie others happened to hate.

It never occurred to me that the reason I enjoyed the movies with the most politics in them isn’t just because I was into politics, but it was because it was the very franchise itself that sparked my original interest in the field in the first place.

Why am I writing this now, today? Because of the connection with the 4th of July. You see I am a day dreamer of course. You don’t get to be a very good writer/storyteller if you aren’t. So I used to always lay in bed imagining that I was on a planet in the Star Wars  universe in a heated battle between Imperial and Rebel forces every Independence Day. The sound of the fireworks and the way they lit up the night sky was the perfect sensory enhancement to maintain that illusion. To this day I can’t do anything on the 4th without thinking of Star Wars. Not to mention the way my brain associates Star Wars with the Will Smith film ID4. It all kind of goes together for me.

This Fourth of July I am hoping to celebrate with my own re-watching of the two Star Wars films I associate the most with the holiday, the original A New Hope and of course, the Phantom Menace. I missed May 4th but there’s no reason you can’t have a May the Fourth be With You on the Fourth of July, is there? #StayCool.

The untouchable remake?

Hollywood loves remakes. Video game companies and musicians do covers, remakes, remasters, or remixes all the time. But there is one movie that appears to be remake proof, Star Wars. But is that really the right call?

I love Star Wars as much as the next guy, maybe more than the average guy for that matter, but I think it is a terribly dated, and considerably flawed film in many respects. I know I just pissed off half the internet, but honestly it’s not like enough people in the world read this blog to make that statement so let’s move forward.

I have given this a lot of thought and with Disney now in charge of Star Wars, I think a true remake of the classic trilogy is not only in order, but something they desperately need to get in motion. The plan appears to keep moving forward in the new universe while dabbling in the old with spin off films. They have to recast Han Solo to make a young Han Solo film, this is obvious. Now they just did the highly successful Rogue One, so here is what I think needs to happen. They absolutely need to consider the possibility of casting a new Han Solo, Luke, and Princess Leia for these spin offs, while they are at it why not do the unthinkable and actually REMAKE the classic trilogy? This would end some of the who shot first debate, UOT vs. Special Edition Debate, and it would give fans young and old, an brand new way to experience one of the most iconic film stories in history.

Of course the originals will still exist, and Disney should still find a way to get on top of releasing the ORIGINAL unaltered trilogy onto Blu Ray for the fans that want that, the thing with Star Wars is the franchise is so big and so massive it appeals to so many fans with so many different tastes. I would love it if they could then go back and REMAKE the Prequels also, some would argue that needs to happen before a remake of the classic but I don’t think so. The reason is they ARE moving forward with a Han Solo movie, they HAVE to cast a young Han, why not take this opportunity to remake/reboot the franchise NOW while the getting is good and the new fans will fully embrace it while the stick in the mud fans won’t even matter because they haven’t bought a NEW Star Wars item since 1997 if you believe the internet.

Is Star Wars so untouchable that remaking it would spell absolute disaster? No I don’t think so, in fact I think it not only is the RIGHT thing for Disney to do, I fully expect it will happen sooner, rather than later, as Disney themselves LOVE remaking and re-telling their own stories. Now Star Wars didn’t start out as a Disney story, but hey guess what neither did Peter Pan, Marry Poppins, the Jungle Book, hardly anything they create is original anyways so what’s the difference?

Disney if you ever get a chance to ignore the sticklers and decide to remake the classic trilogy, I will be behind it 100 percent. Just as long as you don’t break the golden rule and do some gender/race swapping because well that’s not necessary but updating the franchise for a new generation, IS.