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Old April 29 2013, 09:05 PM   #19
Reverend
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Re: How would you adapt Mass Effect into a movie?

Firstly, I agree with most of what Reverend said, even the part about leaving out main characters. As a huge Garrus fan, it pains me to admit that he's not a necessary character and could easily be written out of the whole trilogy, but a small role for him and Tali would be best for ME1.
Tali is my favourite character, so you can imagine how loathed I'd be to cut her out. Still, part of me thinks you should either do her right or not at all and a glorified cameo just doesn't sit right. Same deal with Garrus.

I have been thinking though, what if Liara and Tali could both be introduced on the Citadel? What if Tali was helping Liara on her dig as part of her pilgrimage? Maybe hoping she'd be able to find some scrap of viable Prothean tech, or an intact data-disc to bring back to the fleet? Maybe what she found is more than just the Mu relay, but some encrypted data on the crucible too. Maybe the disc is damaged so all they can get out of it are the co-ordinates and something cryptic that'll eventually lead them to Mars in ME3?

Or maybe Liara could be introduced even earlier. Say maybe she was already on Eden Prime and was the witness to Nihlus's murder? Maybe she was there helping the Alliance investigate the ruins before the beacon was first uncovered? Perhaps Ash was with her during the attack and Shepard recruits them both at the same time? That way you can establish a bond between those two so their death on Virmire hits Liara just as hard? Either way I'd still make Kaiden & Ash the same character.

I don't think there should be a prologue, the brief text-based infodump from the game is enough, and somewhat reminiscent of Star Wars. Explaining the history and depth of the Mass Effect universe can be left to the games where it can be explored fully at the player's leisure.
I'm of two minds about this. It's certainly possible to just jump in with both feet and I don't think anything as elaborate as the Lotr & Hobbit prologues would suit, but I think a simple text crawl on is own isn't enough.

The advantage of a prologue is that the audience isn't distracted by fundamental questions early on. You also don't want to have to compensate by putting too much exposition into the dialogue throughout the film that could be put to better use for character development.

Maybe a short scene of the first explorers on Mars coming across the Prothean ruins, followed by a montage along the lines of Watchmen, Hellboy and 'Wolverine'?

I like the idea of including Cerberus into the Peak 15 section of the story, but I don't see the point of including the Thorian at the expense of the Rachni. The conclusion of the Rachni arc in ME3 was certainly underwhelming, but they still mean more to the Mass Effect universe than the Thorian ever did.
I don't disagree, but you'd have to contrive some reason why a queen hatched from a two thousand year old egg would have the "cipher" of a race that went extinct forty eight thousand years before it was laid. That or find some other way to get the cipher. In theory I suppose it could be skipped, but on some level I think it's important that Shepard have that "special" affinity with the Protheans.

I think the Thorian could be made into something more if necessary. As I think I've mentioned before, one of my pet theories prior to Leviathan was the the Thorian was a devolved survivor from the original race the created the reapers. Hell, it just still might. A few billion years is more than enough time to turn a giant cuttlefish into a giant veggie-squid. Indeed, it might be the best way to begin laying in the Leviathan back-story so it does feel tacked on in ME3.

The Rachni could still be there as their thralls, seeding the idea that Leviathan were indeed directing them during the war. Either way, even if you go down the route of letting the queen live and have them reappear in ME3, the best you could hope for is something akin the the Eagles (no, not the band!) turning up at the Black Gates at the 11th hour.
I think that Eden Prime, the Citadel, Noveria, Virmire, and Ilos may be too many locations to include in a 2-hour action-flick, so merging the important sections of the Virmire mission into Noveria may be necessary. I also think returning to the Citadel before heading to Ilos would interrupt the flow of the story, going there directly from Virmire/Noveria would be best. You can still include Shepard defying his orders, just do it over the comm instead. We'd miss Anderson punching Udina in the face, but that's small potatoes compared to losing the awesomeness that is Garrus.
I did wonder about that. Going from Virmire, to the Citadel, to Ilos then right back to the Citadel does seem like a bit of a run-around. Not sure what a good alternative could be though. Just ignoring the order to return to base over the comms may simplify things, but I think it's important at that point in the film for Shepard to reach a low ebb and feel utterly powerless. It's all about the peaks and valleys.
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