The Only Way To Reboot Star Wars

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Star Wars

The original Star Wars trilogy is a near-perfect trio of films that represent the golden age of Hollywood blockbusters. But as Star Wars lore grows and the context surrounding certain scenes from the OG films changes and mutates, it can get a bit tricky to make those three movies fit perfectly into the greater Star Wars narrative. And while I would never lobby for Lucasfilm to remake those original movies so that they work better in the context of modern Star Wars, if they were so inclined, anime would be the way to go.

Anime Is The Only Way

star wars anime

George Lucas himself proved that you can only add so much to those original films via CGI before the results are nigh unwatchable. If Disney did decide that they wanted a version of A New Hope in which Obi-Wan Kenobi acknowledges that he used to know R2-D2 or even just a version in which Han Solo’s head doesn’t have to take up residence in the uncanny valley to avoid Greedo shooting first, the only option that makes sense is a Star Wars Anime.

The Older Action Sequences Don’t Look As Good

It may sound blasphemous to say this but the action sequences in the original trilogy look outdated when compared to the other live-action Star Wars films. Rebooting the original Star Wars trilogy with an anime would also allow Lucasfilm to reinterpret all of the classic space and land battles from those first three movies in a more modern and dynamic way without a budget rivaling the gross domestic product of a small country. One of the key benefits of animation, after all, is being able to draw anything you can think of.

Prequels Have Made Things Awkward Visually

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Going from Rogue One to A New Hope, for instance, can be a bit jarring. The Battle of Scarif is a dynamic military skirmish that benefits from modern special effects and filmmaking techniques that weren’t available in 1977. The Death Star trench run from the end of A New Hope pales in comparison.

That doesn’t mean the climax of the original Star Wars isn’t still one of the most exhilarating sequences ever committed to film, but when viewed objectively without nostalgia, it doesn’t come close to most of the space battles in the newer films. Redoing Star Wars: A New Hope as an anime would allow Disney to present a sleeker, more exciting conflict without getting called out by angry fans for re-shooting such an iconic climax. Remaking the original films as animated movies would allow Disney to have it’s cake and eat it too.

Star Wars Manga

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The best part is that if someone did decide to do this, a blueprint already exists. Starting in 1997, for the original film’s 20th anniversary, MediaWorks published a Star Wars Manga that adapted A New Hope. The story was unchanged, but visually, everything was rendered in the big-eyed, exaggerated cartoon style everyone associates with manga/anime. And you know what? It absolutely worked!

The Star Wars aesthetic translates seamlessly into an anime visual style. The weapons, the technology, all of it looks frankly awesome when drawn as manga. The book was so successful that mangas of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi followed. There was even a manga adaptation of The Phantom Menace.

The Originals

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Perhaps the biggest draw for older fans would be the opportunity to see Luke, Han, and Leia back in action, young and in their prime, without any janky CGI de-aging. It wouldn’t even be much of a gamble for Disney. Thanks to fan films and even Disney’s own Star Wars: Visions animated series, we already know how well Star Wars action translates to anime.

Ultimately, I still don’t necessarily feel like the original trilogy needs to be remade or rebooted or re-anything (okay, that’s a lie–I still want the movies re-released in their original state, but that’s an argument for another day), but if a Star Wars reboot had to happen, anime would be the way to go.

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