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A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope

Reconsidering Star Wars IV in the light of I-III

[I originally wrote this piece in 2005 and a friend posted it on his website. That site has recently gone down, so I'm reposting it here, as it still gets a lot of interest.]

If we accept all the Star Wars films as the same canon (as it seems we must) then a lot that happens in the original films has to be reinterpreted in the light of the prequels. As we now know, the rebel Alliance was founded by Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bail Organa. What can readily be deduced is that their first recruit, who soon became their top field agent, was R2-D2.
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( 103 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 3rd, 2011 05:00 am (UTC)
Some of this sounds reasonable, but most of it is patently false.

Bail Organa wiped C3PO's memory simply because he is a total blabber mouth and has no sense of, shall we say, propriety. R2 is simply a mechanic droid, the last thing anyone would ever suspect of being an intimate part of the resistance, hence the lack of need to wipe his memory.

Obi Wan's primary goal on Tatooine was simply to prevent Luke from falling into the Emperor's hands. But your other proposed theories do make sense.

The escape pod landing in the correct vicinity of Obi Wan and Luke is quite uncanny (unless you choose to chalk it up to it being the will of the Force) but to assume that R2 had somehow predicted this and managed to get "kidnapped" by Jawas is more than a long stretch. If he had "arranged" for this transport, why did the Jawas first sneak up on the droids and then forcibly disable them?

Obi Wan was not lying when he claimed he never owned any droids. R2 was originally the property of the military of Naboo, and 3PO was built and owned (originally) by Annakin Skywalker, then was in the service of Amidalla. Even while in the service of the Jedi, neither droid was owned by the order, much less an individual Jedi, who shunned material possesion.

Chewie. First off, Chewie was a slave for the Empire for the majority of the time between Revenge and A New Hope. He was never a rebel agent. Solo was an imperial cadet who saved Chewie and got booted from the Academy. This act by Solo created a bond or life debt between him and Chewie, which essentially means that Chewie owes Solo for the rest of his life. That's the reason he hangs around with Solo.
Cameron Bean
May. 5th, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
The official word is...
Officially speaking, only the movies are canon. The whole life debt between Han and Chewie is never spoken of during the 6 movies. The "Expanded Universe" does make mention of this, but as much as I love the extra stuff, not one single sentence of it is official in any way, shape or form. I loved the Timothy Zahn novels, really, but the instant that George Lucas decides to contradict anything in them, it has to be ignored.

This whole piece is written by extrapolating the depictions in the movies, and nothing else is acceptable. The movies never specify that Chewbacca spent time as a slave. The movies never specify that Solo was a cadet of any kind. The movies never specify that Jedi shun material possessions. The movies never state Obi Wan's mission is NOT to dispose of Luke if things start going bad.

The lack of material posession? It is hinted at, kinda, but unless outright stated by Lucas, it's pure speculation. And in fact, the 20 gazillion "EU" books out there, are pure speculation as well. It's all a bunch of "maybes".

This dissertation is just as valid as anything else, barring George Lucas' commentary.

The ultimate point is that while we can skewer the storytelling today, when Star Wars was released, it heralded a new chapter in movie-making history, drawing in theatrical crowds for an ENTIRE YEAR! Could you imagine James Cameron's Avatar being in theatres for an entire year?

Yes many of the devices are over-used, the dialog now seems dated, but that is because Star Wars spoiled us. We now all know what an Ion Cannon is, we all know what hyperdrive is, because Star Wars dragged all of that stuff out of "Amazing Stories" and threw it in front of a (mostly unprepared) world audience.

Star Wars broke new ground, and amazed an entire world of moviegoers. Making that kind of effect today, I do not believe is possible.
Re: The official word is... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 1st, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The official word is... - (Anonymous) - Apr. 10th, 2013 04:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 5th, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)
Just Brilliant
Just Brilliant
Mar. 7th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
What a Revelation
This is quite possibly the best fan "fiction" I have ever read. I found myself both gasping and laughing throughout. As a real life, hiding-in-plain-site, agent of the Rebellion, I applaud your work sir.
- C-3PO Weekends 2010
Mar. 14th, 2011 01:59 pm (UTC)
I've read this post in "morningstar" years ago. I'm glad it was re-posted. I remember the first time I saw it, read four times in a row. Star Wars became instantly better because of it. Geoge Lucas owes you it. Congratulations.
Mar. 22nd, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
No matter what they say...
This is brilliant. Thank you.
Mar. 22nd, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
obi wan and pod race
I believe OBI-wan was back at the ship and not viewing the pod race that anakin participated in. Small error but thought i would point it out .
Mar. 22nd, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC)
In light of EU materials...
Interesting conjectures, but some points don't really make much sense in light of the Expanded Universe materials(novels, comics, etc. considered canon by Lucasfilm).

1.) Falcon on Coruscant in RotS - described in the novel Millenium Falcon, where the ship is involved in some secret mission for the Jedi (Han and Chewie not involved)

2.) The series of novels written by A.C. Crispin give the canonical backstory of Han and Chewie. Chewie does not show any indications of being a Rebel agent. Also, the abilities of the Falcon are shown to be modifications made by Han and Lando, and Han is shown to have entered the sabaac tournament and won and chose the Falcon without any involvement from Chewie.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
Not in Films == Not Canon
You guys mentioning books, comics, cartoons, etc. do know that is not considered Star Wars canon? See:


STARLOG: "The Star Wars Universe is so large and diverse. Do you ever find yourself confused by the subsidiary material that's in the novels, comics, and other offshoots?"

LUCAS: "I don't read that stuff. I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. That's a different world than my world. But I do try to keep it consistent. The way I do it now is they have a Star Wars Encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it up and see if it has already been used. When I said [other people] could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes: My universe and then this other one. They try to make their universe as consistent with mine as possible, but obviously they get enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions."
Jon Pugh
Jul. 5th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
Bringing Balance to the Force
The other aspect of the movies that is underdeveloped is why the Jedi Council, and Yoda in particular, would let Anakin fall to the dark side. Having spent years debating this with my brother and friends, here's what I think was/should have been happening behind the scenes.

Yoda knew the prophesy. Anakin was destined to bring balance to the force. Unfortunately, given the Jedi's influence over the Republic at that time, the Force was dominated by good, so balance would be bad. Yoda wasn't interested in balance, as it would mean massive loss of life, so he denied Anakin's training. Worse, his view of the future was tormented by the massive shift to evil that Anakin represented.

Nevertheless, Yoda could see a light at the end of the darkness. If Anakin fell quickly, things would get bad promptly, but would emerge in balance relatively soon. This appeared to Yoda to be the best way through the coming disaster. Let Anakin fall to the dark side, causing the Sith Lord to reveal himself and put his plan in motion, and trust that Anakin's destiny would eventually cause a balance to be achieved.

That is what happens at the end of episode six. Darth Sidious is destroyed, Darth Vader dies and the only Force sensitives left are a minimally trained Jedi Luke and an untrained Leia.

And it only took 40 years.

I envision the story for this scenario taking place on Degobah, possibly in the old tree, ultimately as a vision that Yoda has, where he sees the worst scenario come to pass. Anakin training to be a Jedi, ultimately falling to the dark side when Sidious kills Amadala and the twins, and Anakin in his grief destroys Sidious, himself and all Force users in the galaxy, laying waste to untold worlds. In this light, allowing Anakin to destroy the Jedi Order and join Sidious is a small price to pay for the multitude of lives saved and the hope that Luke can rebuild the Order after it's all over.

Gotta love canon with holes you can drive a Star Destroyer through. ;)

Jul. 6th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Bringing Balance to the Force
I like that.

On the face of it a lot of what Yoda does is very odd, even in the original trilogy.

He can see the future, but at first refuses to train Luke, the person who will bring a Jedi victory. He tells Luke that leaving Dagobah to rescue his friends will cause their death and Luke's own fall to the Dark Side, but neither thing happens. Yoda and Ben lie to Luke about his family, even though knowing the truth about them is what later gives him the strength and dedication to defeat the Emperor.

Either Yoda is not nearly so wise as we would like to think he is, or he is playing a deeper game and not everything he says is what he really means. Perhaps Yoda is sometimes subtly pushing Luke to do the opposite of what he says.
Re: Bringing Balance to the Force - Maayan Keshet - Aug. 12th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Bringing Balance to the Force - (Anonymous) - Jun. 9th, 2012 09:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Bringing Balance to the Force - (Anonymous) - Aug. 4th, 2014 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 21st, 2011 01:03 pm (UTC)
Quick EU reply
I will send more later, but I just wanted to clear things up about the Expanded Universe. While you all may think only the 6 movies are officially canon, that is simply not true. Star Wars has a professional historian (see http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/magazine/16-09/ff_starwarscanon) and an official Databank, listed on their Website. The Databank has all official canon and descriptions of characters.

There you can find Chewbacca (http://www.starwars.com/databank/character/chewbacca/index.html) among others and realize that some of the EU is actually canon. It confirms a number of the above comments.
May. 16th, 2012 04:01 am (UTC)
Re: Quick EU reply
Actually, if you read into it, quite a bit more than "some" of the expanded universe is canon, very little isn't. more than 5000 years of information has been canonically filled through novels, comics, and short stories, and I am in the process of reading them all. Sadly, most of what he has said is now null and void, though at the time he wrote it it was actually somewhat feesable, and I greatly appreciate that someone was actually willing to put a little effort into bridging all the movies logically.
Sep. 5th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
This is all very well thought out. If only Lucas had actually put this much thought and planning into the prequels (and then let other people actually write and direct them) then they might not have been so incredibly awful and damaging to the legacy of the entire Star Wars series. But all this essay really does is put a giant spotlight on how massive the plot holes and discrepancies created by the prequels really were. I mean when a fan can write up something like this as a potential way to explain just two of the story problems created by the prequels then it can't be much more obvious that the films have failed in massive ways. I don't believe that there is any chance that anything even close to this kind of stuff was actually on Lucas's mind while he wrote the prequels (and if by some minuscule chance anything of this nature actually was intended then he failed 100% in conveying any of it in the films). That being, ever discrepancy that this tries to explain is easily explained by simple means, such the pretty obvious fact that Lucas is just an incredibly lazy writer and no longer cares about the integrity of the Star Wars story at all.

In reality it's pretty obvious that Chewbacca was in Episode 3 because Lucas inexplicably thought everyone would get a kick out of seeing him, but instead of finding a creative way of doing it that actually worked within the overall story he just shoehorned him in despite it making no sense. And Lucas came up with the "great" idea that C3P0 was actually built by Anakin, but either didn't consider or care about the story problems this would create given C3P0's role in the original trilogy. And yet instead of coming up with some creative solution that worked within or even (gasp) IMPROVED the overall story of the entire series he instead waited until the very end of the third movie and then just blew it off with one line of dialog that in itself left another gaping plot hole wide open, namely the R2D2 one that you discuss here. These are just a two examples of the lazy and HORRIBLE writing that makes the prequels pretty much unwatchable. I've loved Star Wars my whole life, but right now the only films I'll even considder watching are the original versions of the original trilogy. And the only one of those films that I think of as a truly great film is The Empire Strikes Back. Star Wars and Return of the Jedi are fun adventure movies, but Empire is the only one that completely works as a truly great and engrossing dramatic story. And now as an adult, and after all these years of special edition and prequel debacles, I have to say that I absolutely do not believe it's simply a coincidence that the one movie Lucas had the least control over (Empire) is the best of them BY FAR.
Oct. 4th, 2011 05:48 am (UTC)
Interesting but not very fact based..
No offense I see that you are trying to be innovative but too many of the suggestions made are very very far fetched... A lot of Bantha fodder in this story if you ask me.
Jun. 10th, 2012 08:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Interesting but not very fact based..
Far-fetched, yes. EXACTLY. Canon story is TERRIBLE. This is the degree of ridiculous that must happen in order for the story to make sense at all. Far-fetched is the idea that a strong, independent former queen and current senator will fall in love with her creepy stalker because he murders an entire village.
Re: Interesting but not very fact based.. - akameji - Sep. 25th, 2013 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 12th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Chewie wasn't "in on the secret"
I can buy R2 being in on the whole secret of the Luke/Vader/Leia relationship and serving as a secret spy for the rebellion. In fact, that's probably how it's meant to be interpreted. I also agree with your assessment of Obi Wan and why he was so secretive about Luke's father. So everything you wrote up to the point where Chewie gets involved makes sense and fits in well with the canon.

But the whole idea of Chewie being a rebel spy undercover as a smuggler's sidekick is ridiculous, especially the part about him secretly owning the Falcon but letting Lando and Han "think" they owned it. It's just too far-fetched and completely unnecessary speculation.

I do, however, find it plausible that Chewie was sympathetic to the rebellion, obviously because of what the Empire did Kashyyyk, his enslavement, and his friendship with Yoda. Chewie and Obi Wan very likely did know of each other and that's why Chewie offered the services of the Falcon at the Cantina. But, beyond that, Chewie was not involved in the leadership of the rebellion, and especially in keeping the secret of Luke and Leia's relationship with Vader.
Apr. 26th, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
I took this for what it is: fun speculation. That being said, as a commentary on the movies it holds up outside sanything a book might say. However, I would be more thorough and suggest Chewie CONVINCED Han to go back to the Death Star, and he sets up a lot of what happens in Empire through his "repair" work on the Falcon.
May. 7th, 2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
I'm upset by how much sense this makes.

Ascended Fridge Horror, anyone? (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AscendedFridgeHorror)
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