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It will be a day long remembered, one that has seen the end to AICN's Sideshow Star Wars Diorama Contest...

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Can it be? Is it possible? If you’re reading this in hell and just ordered a nice dish of ice cream, put that straw away… it looks like it arrive still cold and solid… The Sideshow Star Wars diorama contest has come to a close. I can give you a play by play on why it’s taken so long to wrap up, but let me just say that I’m incredibly sorry for this taking so long. I wrapped up this contest about 3 or 4 weeks ago, alerted Sideshow and the winner got his prize. Like it has been throughout the judging of this contest, I’ve kept having to put it on the backburner as more pressing news, travel and other work came up. For those who don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, last August I began a contest for this item from Sideshow:

I thought it’d be interesting to see a lot of prequel lovers take a stab at rewriting the final duel in REVENGE OF THE SITH… knowing I’d also get a lot of prequel haters trying to right the wrongs they think Lucas made in the prequel trilogy. Mark my words, I will never, ever run a written contest again. At the end of the day, I had over 400 pages of Star Wars rewrites to read and that, in large part, is what kept the contest from being wrapped up. It’s such a huge time commitment that I constantly found myself derailed and having to reprioritize my schedule. That said, I saw a whole lot of creativity from you guys who entered. I also read a lot of bad fan fiction. I’m not going to highlight the stuff I didn’t like… I do appreciate everyone who entered and don’t want to shit on anybody for trying… but I’m going to post a few runners up so you have an idea of what the better scripts looked like. But first, let’s take a look at the winner. Simon Uttley wrote a 22 page script that was everything I was looking for in this contest. It is organic, the dialogue isn’t over-the-top and right off the bat it feels like it’s the same universe as the original Star Wars Trilogy. Uttley somehow made Bail Organa feel like Lando, gives a real reason why Anakin would be on the Volcano planet (not just that’s where the Federation people happen to be hiding out) and his duel is imaginative, thrilling and epic. He also ties Qui-Gon back in, which was a very common element in the entries… and while it was my least favorite thing in his script, I think he still pulls it off. His lead up in the email entry is thus:
Lead up kind of follows the plot of the film but I've detailed what you need to know in the crawl. Obviously, Anakin wouldn't have been a whiny punk from the the get go and is much more of a man rather than an adolescent. I tried to go with what the OT led us to think things were like. I've kept the droids and the basic structure though because I want to show that with just a basic re-write ( i probably spent two days all in on this) you can produce something along the same basic lines as George's vision but without the cringe-worthy bits (I hope anyway, you may think otherwise).
Click here for Simon Uttley’s winning entry!
And here are a few other entries I really liked, but didn’t make the cut: Robert Dimitri’s script was one of the first I got and was one of the better entries. It’s not perfect, but I love having the final duel mirror the training duel that would take place at the beginning of Episode 3. In fact, the final duel is my least favorite part of Dimitri’s entry… I like seeing the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin being competitive, but friendly… and showing that Anakin can beat Obi-Wan 99 times out of 100 in practice, that he’s a much more skilled fighter. Dimitri also explores the reason behind Obi-Wan taking Ben as his name, which is interesting if not a bit fanboyish. But hey, that’s why we’re all here, right?
Click here for Robert Dimitri’s entry
Alex Maidy’s entry is flawed, especially at the beginning, but what put it into contention for me was the back and forth between Anakin and Obi-Wan. The fight itself is a bit truncated and I think it’s tied too closely to the onscreen duel in SITH, but the dialogue I thought was pretty strong, especially Anakin’s enraged speech. I also like that both Anakin and Obi-Wan are really put through the wringer here.
Click here for Alex Maidy’s entry
JD Mack’s script has Mustafar as the location for a Jedi temple and refuge for a couple surviving Jedi, including Ashoka from the Clone Wars cartoons. Now, the re-use of the shudder-inducing “Skyguy” nickname is… not for me. But JD has Padme going into labor during the duel and it adds a really nice bit of drama. Also I love that Mack thought about Anakin’s lightsaber that will be passed to Luke and gave Anakin a red saber for the final duel. I thought was kind of horseshit that Darth Vader fought with a blue saber.
Click here for JD Mack’s entry
This entry from Paul De Cinque is perhaps one of the best structured and written entries. I can tell Paul’s a writer… either trained or a natural… either way, he knows the format. His idea has Darth Maul survive Episode 1, the illusion Palpatine uses to hide himself… the visual threat. Maul is jealous of Anakin, who Paul made a bit of an abusive husband, which I’m not sure I liked… But I love that Obi-Wan is given a little darkness to him, the idea that he toyed with the Dark Side so that during the final duel you don’t just have Obi-Wan trying to bring Anakin back to the light, but you also have Anakin trying to tempt Obi-Wan over to the dark side. I think ultimately Paul makes Anakin too much of a villain to fully redeem later on, but how Palpatine transformed is handled much better here, the action is well done and the dialogue is fairly strong (when not winking too much at the audience).
Click here for Paul De Cinque’s entry
Jeremy Jaynes’ entry reworks the structure a bit, with Anakin unaware of Padme’s pregnancy. Once Palpatine is revealed and confronted, our heroes split up. Luke is sent to Tatooine (a place they say Anakin is guaranteed to never return, which makes it actually a smart decision and not painfully obvious that a Skywalker on Tatooine could be Anakin’s family) and in a surprising turn Obi-Wan stays with Padme and Leia. There’s a passage of time as Anakin fully takes on the Vader mantle and hunts down the remaining Jedi. Mustafar is a planet obscured by Dark Side energy and where Obi-Wan chooses to hide. Vader shows up (with Tarkin) on his dual purpose, to hunt down rogue Jedis and search for his missing wife. Jaynes puts in a lot of nice touches here, giving the lead up to the final duel a very western feel. He also has some nods to Empire (mostly in Vader’s fighting style).
Click here for Jeremy Jaynes’ entry
And here’s the final one I want to showcase, what would have been the winner if I was in a jokey mood and it would have probably caught me even more shit over this contest. It comes from someone calling themselves Tair Rafiq, which could very well be a real name, but phonetically speaking I’m inclined to believe it’s a fake. This 12 page script is a spoof of the prequels and came just at the right time after a few really bad entries had me wanting to do anything else but read scripts… In it, Anakin abuses Padme because she charges up his credit card on wigs and white face make-up… and Obi-Wan has to go find a job at a call center when the Jedi are wiped out.
Click here for Tair Rafiq’s entry
Seriously funny stuff. Thanks to all who entered, even the entries I had to slough through get an E for Effort. It’s a real commitment entering a contest like this and I appreciate everyone who gave it a shot. -Quint Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • April 19, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST


    by dr sauch

  • April 19, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    well, i guess that about caps it all off *shoots self*

    by dr sauch

  • April 19, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Better than GEORGE? That's easy to believe.

    by theDORK

    Congratulations to the winners. I plan to check them out. Truth is though, a manatee in a water tank or a baboon pounding on a keyboard randomly couldn't written better scripts than Lucas.

  • April 19, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST


    by theDORK

    Dammit, I meant to say COULD'VE written better scripts~!

  • April 19, 2009, 6:10 p.m. CST

    They all SUCK.

    by noncents

    Vulcan facing is better.

  • April 19, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST


    by thewiseman

    Youve left the addresses on. These guys will now probably get hate mail from star wars nerds

  • April 19, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Holy smokes!!

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    This contest has ended! Looking forward to reading the winning entry when I get some time. I had a bit of a double take when I saw this on the front page of the site. I'm so shocked that I can't even register my dissapointment at not winning! lol.

  • April 19, 2009, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Or hate mail.....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... from George Lucas

  • April 19, 2009, 6:21 p.m. CST


    by lockesbrokenleg

    100 bucks for cheap plastic figures? I stopped doing that a long time ago.

  • April 19, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST


    by IAmMrMonkey!

    He he he.

  • April 19, 2009, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Were you allowed to use the SAME stuff as Lucas?

    by D.Vader

    I'm surprised the winning entry pretty much stole the same idea from Lucas, having a big chunk of tower/fighting platform melt into the lava as Anakin and Obi-Wan swing about it on cables, scrambling to get to the top...

  • April 19, 2009, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Ooooh Star Wars fan fiction!

    by Lloytron

    Remind me to read it after I finish doing more important things, such as, oooh, I dunno, trimming my toe nails or banging my face repeatedly onto a spike, which is ultimately more fulfilling.

  • April 19, 2009, 8:58 p.m. CST

    400 pages is a lot to read

    by paulmkelly

    It would have taken me at least 20 years to read that much.

  • April 19, 2009, 9:17 p.m. CST


    by VicDiGital

    Bravo to the winning entry. In my mind's eye, this is now what the final duel looks and sounds like. How could Lucas totally misfire in his take on this duel? Amazing job, Mr. Uttley.

  • April 19, 2009, 9:24 p.m. CST

    I remember making fun of that piece of shit

    by axel fff

    It still looks like shit and I question the sexuality of anyone who would display that in his/her house.

  • April 19, 2009, 9:32 p.m. CST

    I am thankful this is over. Way to go Quint!

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    I had so much fun with this! I understand it was a lot of work (not only for Quint to read, but for several of us to write). I should've offered to help you out and forfeit my chance.<p><p>Yes, this was an ambitious contest, but it got more creative juices flowing than any other constest on this site and that is impressive, most impressive.

  • April 19, 2009, 9:47 p.m. CST

    I thought it was cool to be "over" the prequels.

    by Amy Chasing

    That's what everyone keeps saying. "It was years ago, get over it, let it go". But when you can have contests to re-write them, doesn't that tell you something about how re-writable the original product was. The prequels were eye candy. Nothing more. Get over that. <P> In my mind it is Quint who both won and lost this contest. He should go in the Guinness Book of World Records for having endured 400 pages of fan fiction. He should also be pitied for having endured 400 pages of fan fiction.

  • April 19, 2009, 9:53 p.m. CST

    ohhhh, these should be interesting

    by Gungan Slayer

    star wars fan fic = lol. Not as bad as Potter and Frodo fan fic though, that's for sure.

  • April 19, 2009, 10:02 p.m. CST


    by Squashua

    I mean, seriously, dude. That's just nonsensical.

  • April 19, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST


    by Toilet_Terror

    Not really, but someone will. Or maybe send them envelopes stuffed with penis pictures.

  • April 19, 2009, 11:05 p.m. CST


    by maelstrom_ZERO

    <p>Having the entrants' contact info naked to the malevolent wiles of the Internet isn't really a good idea. Quint, please edit it before something terrible happens.</p> <p>On a different note, the Rafiq comedy screenplay is awesome. I couldn't stop laughing while I was reading it. . .for pure comedic impact, this is actually pretty good.</p>

  • April 19, 2009, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Some good stuff

    by DrSurvey

    Even though I enjoyed the prequels, some better stuff in there. Wonder when Hollywood will remake these?

  • April 19, 2009, 11:14 p.m. CST


    by Quint

    Can someone suggest a PDF editor I can use? It's either that, leave them as they are or pull them all.

  • April 19, 2009, 11:14 p.m. CST


    by DarthCorleone

    That's the second time I've entered an AICN writing contest. It's nice to garner an honorable mention this time, although I thought my prior effort was much stronger. I wish I had put more time and thought into it, as I agree 100 percent with you on what the strengths and weaknesses of my entry were.<br><br>Anyway, congrats to the winner, and, thanks, Quint for doing the legwork on this. (And, yeah, please take down my contact info if that's possible. An advanced version of Adobe should be able to delete the first page from all the entries.)

  • April 19, 2009, 11:20 p.m. CST


    by DarthCorleone

    ...if you want to send the files to me, I can delete the front pages tomorrow and send them back. (I only have that Adobe at the office.) You can reach me at my user name here with a dot between the Darth and the Corleone at Yahoo. Although by then, this probably will have rolled off the front page regardless.

  • April 19, 2009, 11:21 p.m. CST

    On second thought...

    by DarthCorleone

    Sorry, you don't have to send them. I can download and edit them from the links and then send them back to you. I'll try to remember to do that tomorrow.

  • April 19, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Found it

    by Quint

    Found a place to edit all the front pages, but that doesn't help Rafiq, unfortunately, since his first page actually has his entry on it. I'm going to leave his up as is unless I hear from him that he'd rather not be exposed as it is. It's too funny to take down... Unless someone knows a place where I can actually go in and edit text within a PDF...

  • April 20, 2009, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Hey Quint!

    by pauldc

    Paul De Cinque here. Thanks for completing the contest and for the honorable mention! To anyone else that gives it a read; hope you like it. Cheers!

  • April 20, 2009, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Hey Paul

    by Quint

    Good job!

  • April 20, 2009, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Bad Gateway The proxy server received an invalid response from

    by Mutley26

    Link not currently working.

  • April 20, 2009, 3:24 a.m. CST

    Thanks Quint!

    by Finley_Slade

    Chuffed to bits that you liked my entry. THe frankly enormous statue is perched on the office desk. Looking forward to checking out the other entries! It was a lot of fun.

  • April 20, 2009, 3:34 a.m. CST


    by Elohim

    I know fanboys can tear down anything, but that first place winner really is a fine piece of writing. Congratulations and thanks.

  • April 20, 2009, 3:40 a.m. CST


    by Finley_Slade

    I tried to use Lucas' ideas as much as possible. For what it's worth I enjoy the prequels I just thought they lacked the character, fun and dialogue of the originals and wanted to see if I could get a bit of that back in. I'm just glad that somebody enjoyed it.

  • April 20, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST


    by NoahTall

    You are a lazy fuck Quint. I've said it before and I'll say it again.<p> <p>And of all people here I believe I have earned the right to say that.<p><p>After proving yet again that you are incompetent to run a contest on time. Maybe, just maybe next time you can give it to somebody who actually gives a shit about something other than entertaining himself. Something like putting out some effort for the people who enter these contests.

  • April 20, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Good job

    by ColorsFade

    @Quint: Don't pay any attention to the whiny bitches; four hundred pages is a lot to read. I'm glad you took the time to complete the contest and didn't just give up on it. @Finley_Slade: Well done. I think you achieved your goals with that entry. I enjoyed reading it. I would have loved to see it committed to film.

  • April 20, 2009, 2 p.m. CST

    Tair Rafiq was the saving grace.

    by CaptainVanHorne

    It finally occurred to me that no matter how much effort one puts into fan fiction...a parody will always beat the shit out of a serious attempt at drama. Way to go, Tair!

  • April 20, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    what's a diorama?

    by FleshMachine

    i bent my wookie.

  • April 20, 2009, 3:32 p.m. CST

    god the prequels are so depressing...

    by FleshMachine

    what a waste...what a waste.

  • April 21, 2009, 12:38 a.m. CST


    by NoahTall

    400 pages is a lot to read?<p><p>In nine months?

  • April 21, 2009, 4:21 a.m. CST

    Got to say

    by Finley_Slade

    Tair's was hilarious! Nice one!

  • April 22, 2009, 9:53 a.m. CST


    by F69

    Just read the last one, pretty funny stuff.... reminded me of this vid in some parts:

  • April 22, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Next time you have a diorama contest

    by smackfu

    please have the contestants create dioramas. It would be awesome to see the creative stuff people would put together.

  • April 24, 2009, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Long, Long Remembered

    by 1FearlessJay

    I've been too busy with getting ready for my wedding to comment before now. But I was curious as to how I'd fare in Quint's eyes with having won the side contest (thanks again, Noah!). It's nice to at least merit an honorable mention in the "official" AICN one.

  • April 24, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    if only...!

    by biginjapants

    Just read the first few pages of Utterly's script-- WOW. It really does feel like the OT. And it demonstrates once againt that the greatest failure of the prequels was the abysmal writing. Excellent work, Simon.

  • April 25, 2009, 3:16 a.m. CST

    Thanks man

    by Finley_Slade

    Glad you liked it.

  • April 25, 2009, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Great stuff!

    by Darth Thoth

    Makes you even more vexed and puzzled as to why the actual movies sucked! Talk about blown chances. My goodness.

  • Sept. 6, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Tair Rafiq

    by terrificwriter

    Hi. Tair Rafiq here (yes, that is my REAL name). Glad to get a mention. Thanks.