Kicking off in 1977, the release of Star Wars (SW) and its 6 cinematic sequels (Yes, I’m not counting Clone Wars or the Ewok movies!) has undoubtedly been the single biggest influence on pop culture for the past 40 years.
Literally hundreds of stories have been told across a wide range of media covering thousands of years of galactic conflict. We are now just a few weeks away from the release of Rogue One, a stand alone story in the SW universe; and with a new SW movie expected every year for the foreseeable future, it is very much a franchise that is here to stay.
Writing a SW movie has always been a dream of mine, and with Disney wiping the Expanded Universe from the SW history books, it led me to think: What would my Star Wars story be?
So let’s go on a journey into…
Ask any child (hell, ask anyone) who the heroes and the villains are in the original SW trilogy, and they will swiftly tell you that the Rebels are the good guys fighting against the evil Empire.
But why do we think that? Why are the Rebels good and the Empire bad? Good and evil are rarely that simplistic. In reality almost everything can be seen “from a certain point of view.”
My Obi-wan Kenobi quotes notwithstanding, we only get to see the SW universe as external viewers. But within the SW universe, it’s hard not to see the Rebel Alliance as…
Okay, maybe not a perfect comparison. But think about it. Within the SW universe, the Rebel Alliance are an organisation that wages a continued campaign of violence against the legally elected government of the Galaxy. Is that not what many terrorists do today?
Now some of you might be saying: “That’s not true Vijay. The Rebels are fighting for their freedom.” To a certain extent that is true. But there’s a very fine line between terrorist and freedom fighter. Specifically, that line is decided by who wins the overall conflict.
A good example from our real life history might be the French Resistance during World War II. Why are they called the French Resistance and not French Terrorists? Because the French won! If they had lost the war, history would undoubtedly remember them as French Terrorists.
But what about the individuals working for the terrorists known as the Rebel Alliance? In fact, let’s take a look at their their leader…
Princess Leia is a murdering traitorous bitch that needs to be brought to justice!
Harsh no? But (misogyny aside) I guarantee that is the opinion of 90% of the inhabitants in the SW universe.
Let me explain by making a real life comparison. Right now Kirsten Gillibrand (who I want to stress I only picked because she’s the youngest female Senator) has been serving as US Senator from New York for the past few years.
Imagine you woke up and splashed across every newspaper, every television, every media outlet was the news that Kirsten Gillibrand had just defected to Al-Qaeda. Shock and horror runs through the political system. Her closest work friends have to come to terms with the fact that they didn’t really know Kirsten. Even the President himself has to go on TV to reassure Americans in the face of this terrible betrayal.
But news starts to leak. For years Kirsten had secretly been passing on sensitive information to Al-Qaeda. Nobody knows exactly what has been revealed to the terrorists. But then… Oh God…
It turns out that Kirsten stole highly classified military secrets and, with military support from Al-Qaeda, they went and murdered 1,700,000 American service men and women.
1.7 million soldiers and support staff have been killed! Directly because of the information leaked by Senator Gillibrand.
Can you imagine how hated she would be? THAT’S what Princess Leia is in the Star Wars universe! She is the single most hated terrorist to have ever lived! In fact, you might say Princess Leia is the Osama Bin Laden of the SW universe.
So, even though we went the long way round, that story is the SW story I wish to tell. A story told from the point of view of soldiers, loyal to the Empire, trying to stop the Rebel terrorists from destroying their world. Think of it as a Star Wars version of Steven Spielberg’s Munich.
Like Munich, which is centred around the terrible events of the Munich Massacre by Black September, my SW film would be centred around the destruction of the first Death Star.
We open on the Battle of Yavin, but instead of following the Rebel pilots, we instead follow the Imperials. Two of them are siblings, sisters called Dewla and Devi.
Luke Skywalker fires his proton torpedoes and the resulting shock-wave from the Death Star severely damages Dewla’s Tie Fighter and completely destroys Devi’s.
In one fell swoop, her sister, as well as all her friends and colleagues are killed. And just to rub salt into the wound, she hears the surviving Rebel pilots through her damaged communication system.
Y-Wing Pilot – Woooooo!
Han Solo – Great shot kid! That was one in a million!
Wedge – Nice job Luke! That’ll show the Empire we mean business!
She’s in pain, bleeding, barely conscious, but Dewla will never forget how the Rebels reacted after committing the mass murder of her friends and family.
We skip forward a couple of months and Dewla’s absolute hatred for the Rebel Alliance has led her to become leader for the SW version of Operation Wrath of God.
Separate to Darth Vader’s hunt (who only seems to want to find the strange force user that blew up the Death Star), Dewla is more interested in the bigger picture.
Clearly mass force is not helping find the Rebels, so now a finer, more precise method is needed and her job is to hunt down and kill the leaders of the Rebellion as revenge for the destruction of the Death Star. And top of her list? Bail Organa, father of Princess Leia.
(Yes, yes. I know that officially he dies when Alderaan is destroyed. But this information isn’t revealed to us onscreen, so there’s no reason why he couldn’t still be alive.)
Dewla’s team consists of people whose families/friends lost their lives to Rebel Alliance attacks. In a brutal assault upon the Graveyard of Alderaan (where the Rebel Fleet is hiding), Dewla succeeds in killing Bail and forces Leia and the rest of the Rebel leaders to go on the run.
One by one leaders such as General Jan Dodonna and Commander Jun Sato are found and executed. But it’s not enough for Dewla. She wants more. She wants true revenge. She wants Leia.
I do have an ending in mind, but I won’t reveal it here. There’s got to be some surprises! And of course, I am aware the movie is fundamentally aimed at kids, so it wouldn’t be anywhere near as violent or disturbing as Munich.
But alas, while I love this idea, I don’t think Disney would ever consider allowing me to write it. Even if you disregard the fact that I’m a newbie writer, portraying one of their most popular female characters as a terrorist might be too much!
Next Time: If I Could Write… Home Alone!