With Star Wars The Rise Of Skywalker right around the corner and The Fandom Menace at fever pitch, I thought it was time to look at the Sequel Trilogy that we could have gotten had Disney not bought Lucasfilm and steered the saga in their own direction.
Throughout this, we’ll be discussing the original ideas for the Sequel Trilogy and what happened to the characters in it.
There will be heavy spoilers here and whilst these movies will probably never see the light of day, we will be discussing aspects of the Disney Trilogy so if you aren’t fully caught up then I highly suggest that you turn off now.
Now let’s get into the breakdown.
George Lucas’ Star Wars Sequel Trilogy
Let’s cast your mind all the way back to 2012 and the sixth official Star Wars Celebration. The Force Was Strong, The Cosplayers were capturing the vibe of a Galaxy far far away and series creator, George Lucas was making a surprise appearance to apparently promote the Clone Wars TV Show.
However, behind the scenes, Lucas was also in attendance to talk to Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher about working together on a brand new Star Wars Trilogy that would pick up after the events of Return Of The Jedi.
After coming up with some ideas for the series, Lucas had handpicked Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Michael Arndt to work alongside Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi writer, Lawrence Kasdan to start working on a script for Episode 7 and he’d decided that now was the time to move ahead with the franchise.
Fisher and Hammil both agreed to return and even Harrison Ford who had up until this point been pretty unenthusiastic about the entire series was contracted to make a comeback.
Sounds great right?
The Disney/Lucasfilm Deal
Well, there was also something going on behind the scenes that Lucas wasn’t being too transparent about and that was that he was trying sell his company. He knew that the idea of Episode 7 would make the company worth way more and later in the year the Disney/Lucasfilm entered its final stages of acquisition.
We all know how that turned out but Lucas let a few of the Disney execs see the treatments for the new trilogy showing that he had fully fleshed out ideas that they could easily take and spin a new trilogy off of. Whilst very little of them made the sequel trilogy that we ended up getting, there is actually quite a lot that we know about them and they’re a really interesting read.
The Trilogy was to center around Sam and Kira, two teenagers that were going to be the grandchildren of Anakin Skywalker.
Sam And Kira
We have concept art of the two and it’s clear that they are clearly the kids of Han and Leia with both bearing a strong resemblance to the couple though this has never been officially stated…just yeah, search your feelings, you know it to be true.
Sam is handy with a gun whereas a lot of the art of Kira that we have shows her practicing her Jedi training and gaining strength in the force.
The three trilogies were going to be about the father, the child and the grandchildren of the same fantasy and Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy were ecstatic about centering a franchise around a female Jedi.
So yeah, no matter what we were going to get Mary Sue…I mean Rey just in a slightly different form and connected more with the original trilogy. It’s also said that Sam would go on to become the inspiration for Finn so like The Force Awakens we were going to have a male and female protagonist.
Kira similar to Rey was going to be a scavenger, labeled as the ultimate outsider whereas Sam would be a pirate and marine expert that too helped to discover the mysteries of the past.
Initially, it was thought that for the first film they could be children but Lucas decided to age them up slightly so that this wasn’t a case once more of The Phantom Menace…even though I’m sure the reason that movie sucked was because of Jar Jar Binks and not Podracing but hey that’s me.
When writing the screenplay, Arndt said that he constantly ran into the problem of Luke Skywalker and that when he showed up in the movie, no matter what, he took over the entire piece.
This is exemplified in a statement that Arndt made when discussing the previous revisions of the older treatment.
‘Early on I tried to write versions of the story where [Rey] is at home, her home is destroyed, and then she goes on the road and meets Luke. And then she goes and kicks the bad guy’s ass. It just never worked and I struggled with this. This was back in 2012. It just felt like every time Luke came in and entered the movie, he just took it over. Suddenly you didn’t care about your main character anymore because, ‘Oh f–k, Luke Skywalker’s here. I want to see what he’s going to do.’
This clearly carried over to The Force Awakens as Luke is in it for basically a minute and even then his presence bears a strong shadow over the entire film with his location being one of the main MacGuffins.
Similar to the final released film the creative team decided that it was best to have Luke hiding out in a remote Jedi temple and we have some George Lucas approved concept art of this that beautifully shows what the location would have looked like.
The Last Jedi
In the book The Art Of The Last Jedi, Phil Szostak revealed that Luke’s appearance in the Disney trilogy drew heavily from the 2012 treatment and from statements and interviews we know that this self-imposed exile was due to the betrayal of a former student.
Colonel Kurtz in Apocalpyse now was listed as a big inspiration for portrayal of Luke and similar to The Last Jedi his X-Wing was submerged underwater.
The film was supposed to have two driving forces, initially it would center around the hunt for Darth Vader’s remains which would eventually lead the main characters to the location of Luke. This involved searching the underwater wreckage of the Death Star which would uncover a Wayfinder to sacred Jedi Sites in the galaxy that would eventually lead them to the Temple.
The protagonists would venture to the Death Star underwater in the Millenium Falcon and from here Kira would swim herself in order to find the location of the artifacts and this journey is massively developed in the concept art with there being the throne room and trenches.
In the throne room Kira finds a map that says where the Jedi are hiding and this would lead her to Luke.
Han And Leia
As for Han and Leia, very little is known about their roles in the film, however Harrison Ford did later tell GQ that during his first call with George about the project that the character would die during the movie.
“It was proposed that I might make another appearance as Han Solo. And I think it was mentioned, even in the first call, that he would not survive. That’s something I’d been arguing for some period of time so I said okay.”
Similar to the Force Awakens, Han and Leia had drifted apart over time and the story was very much about the two coming together with Arndt stating that he was fighting for Han to survive the film. He fought for this as it would have given the couple a happy ending but it seems like production was torn on this but as we know, in the end we got the death of the character.
Now the villain of the trilogy was originally going to be a character similar to Darth Talon, a Twi’lek from the Legacy Comic Series that was behind the seduction and turning of Luke’s Pupil. Lucas loved the character and there was even going to be a hidden appearance of her in the canceled Darth Maul Game.
This character was meant to write the wrongs of Maul and would basically be similar in nature but with far more character development.
Ian McCraig who worked on the concept art for the character said the following when discussing them.
“The tattoos are a lot simpler. They follow a rhythm and they flow. And that’s the evil thing puppeteering her from behind.”
George Lucas later said ‘it’s like poetry you know…they rhyme…Leanne Rimes…’
Yeah…he may not have said that.
There are a number of storyboards in which the character appeared including the one where she seduced Luke’s Pupil and also another where she is standing on the left-hand side of a bar. At this point, she appears exactly like Darth Talon so there may have been thoughts of adopting that character fully into the role though we don’t have confirmation of this.
She sort of operated in the underworld and though she didn’t have a master, she was strong in the dark side, using her beauty and sexuality as a weapon.
R2-D2 and C-3Po were going to be split up for the films and Lucas also wanted a focus on the microbiotic world of the universe with a strong focus on the Whills.
The Whills are basically the ones that controlled the universe and these bacteria sized creatures fed off the force. These were going to be heavily centered around midichlorians and what creates the force.
Honestly I’m really glad that this wasn’t carried through as I’ve always been of the thought that the force shouldn’t be explained and we don’t really need to know why controls the universe…it just kinda is.
Lucas wanted the films to be much more ethereal and for the main characters to basically just be vehicles that the Whills travel around in.
They WHILL the universe…get it…cos…yeah it’s really clever. Lucas said that he saw it as we were just the cars and the Whills were the drivers with the midichlorians being what connects the two.
Lucas said that he laid the groundwork for this in The Phantom Menace and that he regrets not being able to divulge on this further. He does admit that he knows that fans would have hated it but that at least he would have gotten to tell a complete story that he initially set up in Episode 1.
Episode 9 The Death Of Skywalker
According to Mark Hamill Leia was going to be trained by Luke before the Jedi Master was finally killed in Episode 9. Luke was The Last Jedi and he had decided to reform the group and during this he had made his own academy full of Padawans. Luke was going to be killed by a pupil known as The Jedi Killer that turned on him and the finale would involve him working with the Darth Talon character before both were taken down by Kira and Leia.
Now, this is all very underdeveloped but it is reportedly where the trilogy was going to be heading. There are also rumors that Kathleen Kennedy did want to bring Emporer Palpatine back in the original plans and as we know from Rise Of The Skywalker, the character will be back for the final film.
Overall it’s very interesting hearing what we could have got but honestly, it doesn’t really sound all that different from the final things that we got to see play out. I think that Disney sort of handpicked their favorite elements from this treatment and then moved it over to their trilogy, taking it in the direction that they wanted.
Whilst there are a lot of criticisms around the new trilogy, most notably The Last Jedi, I do think that what we ended up getting was better than what we would have with Lucas.
The entire Whills element for me just ruins the choices that characters made and it sort of takes away a lot of the big twists in the franchise such as Darth Vader’s turn and Luke’s struggle with fighting his father, reducing it to just ‘they were mind-controlled by bacteria.’
Yeah, I can see a lot more fan outrage over this but some of the iconography in the concept art is awesome and I love the underwater exploration of the Death Star especially The Millenium Falcon.
If you’re asking why the Falcon was underwater they said it’s because it was air tight for space so yeah it could be underwater too…look nevermind.
In the end it’s awesome seeing what we could have got but if we had to choose between the two I probably would go with the Disney Version. Leave your thoughts below on the original sequel trilogy ideas and let me know whether you would have liked to have seen this version or not.