We were watching Episode 3 last night on the Spike Channel, which has become the Star Wars network in the last year. They show MMA, Star Wars, and bad movies. I was thinking about how the films would be different if they were made in order and what angles the first trilogy might take now. And it hit me. Return of the Jedi becomes a hundred times better if Vader changes tactics and tries to turn Leia.
Think about it. Luke lost his aunt and uncle and his hand. In exchange, he got off Tattooine, became a Jedi and a top figure in the Rebellion, and got the adventure he always craved. Leia, however, between Episode Four and Episode Six, lost her whole planet, her adopted family, her standing as an ambassador and princess, and her scoundrel boyfriend. She barely managed to escape kinky slavery to a bag of goo and learned Vader is her father. She's dizzy from trauma. She's weakened.
Vader has already bested Luke in Bespin and no longer sees him as a threat. While he gives Luke one last chance via the Force telepathy at Bespin, he instead senses Leia as a Skywalker. Her innate Force connection was just sparked by Luke calling to her for a rescue. She's now an active Force user with nothing but raw potential. Vader is astonished and delighted.
Now Return can put her back on the Death Star alongside Vader as in the first film. Luke and Lando try to lead the starship assault, but the Rebellion surrender and stand down when the Death Star is proven to be fully operational. Han and Chewie are captured on Endor's Moon. Leia, on the Death Star, is under the sway of Vader until she has a breakthrough moment (maybe in Vader's badass techno cocoon chamber) and uses the Force to escape. Now she gets to save the boys and avenge Alderran. This lets her rescue Han twice in the same film (scoundrels together) and use her nascent Force power alongside Luke's Jedi training to take down the Emperor and Vader. They kill Palpatine, not Vader. This is key.
Vader is now confronted by his two children who convince him the battle is over. The confrontation leads to Vader realizing the mess he made by joining the Emperor and turning back to the good side of the Force. He's still messed up from fighting his kids. He still dies. But he dies having purged himself of the evil influence and bonds with BOTH his children, not just Luke.
Meanwhile Han and Chewie and Lando switch objectives. Lando goes to Endor while Han/Chewie execute another textbook, hair-brained, so-crazy-it-works assault on the Death Star as the remaining Alliance ships decimate the Destroyer Fleet. Then we get the chub-chub song as Luke and Leia burn Vader's suit and see their father alongside Ben (her old friend, remember) and Yoda. End credits.
Now, admit it: You'd pay to see that, right?
Picture of the Day
"Hello, Mister Lucas? How'd you like to make another billion?"