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Film

Uncovering George Lucas' original plans for the 'Star Wars' sequel trilogy

@Russellisation

The acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012 by Disney was supposed to be the cinematic business deal to end all deals, injecting new life into the long-dormant Star Wars universe, with the Mouse House buying out George Lucas’ influential company for $4.05 billion. Time has shown, however, that Star Wars is no easy property to handle, with Disney’s sequel trilogy failing to capture the imaginations of critics or audiences. 

Creating a nostalgia trap of their own making, Disney made Star Wars into a transparent financial exercise over the course of five films, attempting to do little new in pursuit of box office supremacy. From pointless cameos from the likes of Lando Calrissian in The Rise of Skywalker to Darth Maul in Solo, it’s clear that Disney has little idea about how they should handle the world that they spent over $4 billion acquiring. 

It’s easy to forget, however, ten years after the acquisition of Lucasfilm, that the creative genius behind the Star Wars brand, included a story and playbook in the deal, detailing how they should approach the sequel trilogy of films. 

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Outlined in the Taschen book The Star Wars Archives 1999-2005, George Lucas reveals that his original vision for the sequel trilogy would have focused on Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker’s sister. “The movies are about how Leia,” Lucas stated, adding, “I mean, who else is going to be the leader? – is trying to rebuild the Republic… Luke is trying to restart the Jedi”. 

With Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher, in the driver’s seat of Lucas’ fictional trilogy that never came to light, the filmmaker also outlines that the films would start out “a few years after Return of the Jedi”. Continuing, he adds: “We establish pretty quickly that there’s this underworld, there are these offshoot stormtroopers who started their own planets, and that Luke is trying to restart the Jedi…The Jedi have to grow again from scratch, so Luke has to find two-and-three-year-olds, and train them”. 

Though, with both Darth Vader and Darth Sidious out of the picture, the galaxy far, far away was left in quite the peaceful state by the end of Return of the Jedi, hence why Lucas had also planned the return of an iconic villain. 

Wielding a double-edged lightsaber once more, the trilogy would have seen the return of Darth Maul, along with his apprentice Darth Talon. As the filmmaker describes, “Darth Maul trained a girl, Darth Talon, who was in the comic books, as his apprentice. She was the new Darth Vader and most of the action was with her. So, these were the two main villains of the trilogy”. 

Dumping the likes of Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren, Lucas’ trilogy would have taken several risks and sounds like a difficult concept to pull off, though surely anything’s better than Disney’s limp approach to the franchise. Unfortunately for Lucas and fans of the filmmaker, the director had to step down from the project, wishing to “raise my daughter and enjoy life for a while”. 

Instead, the Disney trilogy started with The Force Awakens, the best film of a disappointing Disney trilogy, check out the trailer, below.