Disclaimer: These mock pitches were written before Episode II was released, so they don’t follow its continuity, you big nerd.
In the summer of 2001, George Lucas released the title of his fifth Star Wars theatrical release: “Attack of the Clones”. Upon hearing the news, I immediately contacted Lucas via his website. After reading my fifteen-page Attack of the Stupid Titles dissertation, he allowed me to pitch a few ideas for Episode III. (Not really. You’re so naive.) All my ideas were rejected.
Star Wars Episode III: Wrath of the Magical Space Monkeys from the Dark Quadrant
Magical space monkeys have allied themselves with Palpatine’s empire. When Anakin discovers they’re Yoda’s people, he goes mad. His anger leads him to the Dark Side, resulting in a messy divorce with Amidala. She gets to keep the kids, the dog, and the Alderaan Kingdom. All he gets is a black armour, a run-down pod racer, and Jar Jar. The film includes classic lines such as, “But Your Honour, he’s annoying!” and a revived Darth Maul’s only line as he is sliced in two: “Oh, no, not again.” At the end, Jar Jar dies a violent death.
Why It Was Rejected: Lucas did not like the idea of seeing part of the drama through a television show. Though he’d established the Gungans were morons, he still couldn’t imagine them watching Divorce Court. However, he loved the title.
Star Wars Episode III: Yoda Saves Christmas
Palpatine’s newly formed empire has created a blockade across the galaxy, making it impossible for Santa Claus to reach Tatooine. All the desert children are losing hope, slowly turning to the Dark Side. Yoda decides to take Santa’s place in order to bring a special present to baby Luke Skywalker: the gift of hope. The film includes a set piece on Hoth in which young Luke races a sled dragged by none other than the masked Yoda. Also, Palpatine meets three mysterious ghosts, and Jar Jar dies a violent death.
Why It Was Rejected: Lucas did not want Star Wars to be associated with a specific denomination and did not like the “plasma missile-toe” pun. However, he loved the title.
Star Wars Episode III: Jedi Super Party
The slaves of Tatooine have been freed, and it’s time to celebrate. During the party, Jabba offers Anakin some drugs. A week later, Amidala discovers she is pregnant. Running away from his responsibilities as a teenage father, red-eyed Anakin isolates himself from his friends and becomes addicted to crack. His new pusher, Palpatine, drags him to the Dark Side. The film includes scenes such as the lightsaber piñata sequence, the “pin the legs on Darth Maul” moment, and Yoda working the door. Also, Jar Jar dies a violent death.
Why It Was Rejected: Lucas was put off by a key scene in which it’s revealed Qui-Gon was high when he told Anakin about Midichlorians. Also, he wanted to make a family film, so all the sex wouldn’t do. However, he loved the title.
Star Wars Episode III: Summer Fun with Jar Jar
Everybody’s bummed because Palpatine’s empire has taken over the galaxy. Jar Jar decides to cheer everybody up by having a big barbeque on Naboo. After fifteen minutes, Amidala leaves for Alderaan; Yoda goes into seclusion; Anakin falls to the Dark Side; and the Jedi Council decides to blow up the planet. The film includes a brief appearance by Palpatine as a piece of Naboo hits him on the head during a speech. At the end, like every other Gungan, Jar Jar dies a violent death.
Why It Was Rejected: Though he enjoyed having Jar Jar in almost every scene, Lucas objected to the other characters slapping him every ten seconds. However, he loved the title.
Star Wars Episode III: The Return of the Phantom Clone Strikes Back at a New Hope
It’s like a sitcom flashback episode. Yoda and the Jedi Council sit back and reminisce about the past and the future:
“Ah, the pod race, I remember.”
“Yoda, remember when you died and faded from your bed?”
“Not yet, it has happened, stupid moron!”
Meanwhile, Jar Jar dies a violent death.
Why It Was Rejected: Lucas was already planning this as a bonus feature for the double-trilogy DVD special edition box set. The third edition, not the second. (The second re-releasing will include a full half-second of never-before-seen additional footage.) However, he loved the title.
Star Wars Episode III: Amidala Goes to College
Amidala is majoring in environmental studies at Endor College. She and Anakin have been growing apart because of her new boyfriend Boba Fett, who doesn’t really believe in her. When Amidala learns that Boba cheated on her, she dumps the jock, gains the confidence to lead Naboo, and becomes college sweethearts with Anakin. The film also features Obi-Wan as Anakin’s wisecracking sidekick and Yoda as the football coach. How Anakin fell to the Dark Side is left unexplained, but Jar Jar dies a violent death.
Why It Was Rejected: Lucas pointed out that this story had been done before. About 162 times. However, he loved the title.
Star Wars Episode III: Yoda in the Hood [Contains Coarse Language]
On their way to rescue Obi-Wan, Anakin and Yoda crash land in the bad part of Coruscant. They enlist the help of a young Lando and soon uncover a conspiracy to keep the people down by pitting them against one another. At the head of the conspiracy is Palpatine, the ultimate evil rich white guy. Anakin is swayed by the offer to become the biggest, baddest black dude ever to cross the galaxy. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan is saved by Amidala, who felt the others were taking too long. Also, Jar Jar dies a violent death for being an offensive cultural stereotype.
Why It Was Rejected: Lucas was put off by lines such as, “Midichlorian this, motherfucker!” and, “Ah, cap your ass, I will.” However, he loved the title.
Star Wars Episode III: Oh, No! Who’s Driving? Bear Driving!
Two hours of blank screen. Jar Jar dies a violent death.
Why It Was Rejected: George Lucas has no artistic vision, I tell you. However, he considered using the title.