Here is the structure of the next three Star Wars films as it came to me this morning in the shower. I read this rumor about Darth Vader coming back and my brain was so repulsed by the idea that I had to figure out how to make such a thing function. I make no apologies for it being dorky, but am fairly confident that this is a nice mirror of the original films with minimal Prequel tie-ins and a female lead.
We start out in the peaceful New Republic with Leia being stately and Luke teaching a small but stable class of Jedi. Society is not complete, but it is getting back to normal. (Using pre-Phantom Menace as baseline.) Luke’s prize pupil is Leia’s daughter. Let’s call her Annie. She is a good kid, but has some of Anakin’s temper and Han Solo’s recklessness.
Terrorists attack new Jedi and/or Republic sites. Luke and Annie go out to investigate, while Leia and co. work on the same via official channels. Adventures! This half of the film takes place in the dirtier edges of the galaxy. They are forced to interact with criminals and bounty hunters, two of which are a human/alien pair who wind up having hearts of gold when the others try to betray Luke and Annie. Annie feels a romantic tension with the more human of the bounty hunters and is made uncomfortable by it.
They discover that their rebellious terrorist is… Darth Vader? But he’s dead? Vader kills Luke in a moment of shock and is narrowly prevented from blowing up something major by Annie. Vader escapes and Annie vows revenge.
Add a scene where R2 makes a few quietly sad sounds as he watches Luke die and watch and millions of people almost choke to death on their own tears. (I’m crying simply writing this.)
(This is basically a mirror of Star Wars)
Battles and cool set pieces starring Annie where we see that she is every bit as bad ass as her mom, dad and uncle. She is searching for Darth Vader and taking no prisoners, overreaching herself and using family connections to hire bounty hunters. He killed her uncle and he will pay for it. She’s a loose cannon, but she gets results. (possibly even showing this by the fact that she ditches the droids and they have to catch up to her with information?)
R2-D2 relays to her a message Luke recorded for her in the event of her death, and thus she ventures off to complete her training with another Jedi, who winds up having just been killed by Vader. (pick a prequel character who did not die onscreen that you want to sell more toys of.)
Her trip is cut short when some of her comrades (the charming, roguish bounty hunters she hired to find Vader.) are in deep shit after finding Vader and she rushes off to help them. After a brutal lightsaber battle, she discovers that Luke was… Vader’s father.
After the rescue, Annie is about to tell her sexy bounty hunter pal that it can never be between them, when he kisses his partner and we finally have positive gay characters in Star Wars.
Possibly have Annie take Vader’s hand in the battle, making it implicit that Vader is an evil clone of Luke?
(Reverse Empire Strikes back. Luke had a clone no one knew about? Annie is motivated by revenge untempered by incomplete training and social privilege.)
Annie is kicking ass and taking names in the galactic underworld. She’s under the assumption that Imperial sympathizers cloned her uncle Luke and turned him into a weapon against the Republic. She’s out of control, ignoring messages from Leia, ditching the droids (again!) and generally taking too many risks.
At some point, she bites off more than she can chew (Vader is one step ahead of her and sets a trap?) and winds up in a bad state where Luke is finally able to make contact with her.
Luke and Annie have a heart to heart and they figure out that Vader is not a clone and deduce that it probably is his actual son who was hidden from him. (Allude to a romance Luke had on some adventure with someone who couldn’t go with him. Possibly a royal type / non-Jedi / person born into a high ranking Imperial family who lost everything? Maybe Han was murdered for his connection to the Skywalker family and it was thought that any attachments are forbidden simply because they’re not SAFE.)
(Everyone is surprised to find out that Luke had a girlfriend at some point, and he gets to be annoyed and embarrassed in front of them even though they can’t see him. I’m right HERE, you JERKS!)
New Vader finally shows his hand, when a ragtag fleet of half-broken Star Destroyers pop out of hyperspace right next to wherever our heroes are. (Capital of the New Republic) Vader’s plan is to simply jump the ships into the core of the planet, making one mad stab at disrupting the Republic. (Maybe show him as a maskless Vader who still has the suit and helmet? He’s making a terrorist/revolutionary/personal statement.) No high-tech superweapons in this trilogy, just a bunch of junk controlled by someone with nothing to lose.
Annie, Leia and R2 bluff their way onto the lead Destroyer to try and talk Vader down. (Annie tries to discourage R2, but he is NOT letting anyone else die on his watch.) You get the obligatory lightsaber battle (in a derelict Star Destroyer!) where we see that this new Vader is pretty poorly trained and relies on cheating a lot. We get a nice scene where we think he has Leia hostage, but she pulls out a blaster and nonchalantly pops him one in the chest with a bit of a Han Solo shrug. She is still Princess Fucking Leia, people.
Annie is about to kill Vader and lose herself to revenge, when she has a moment of Luke-ness and extends her hand in friendship. They make peace, but it looks like it’s too late.
R2, of course, saves the day by tweaking the hyperspace jump coordinates at the last moment.
Cue Ewok yub nub song now that we can sell proper iPhone-enabled talking Ewok dolls at good price points.