What Were The Star Wars Prequels Supposed To Be Like Before, Y'know, Lucas Went Insane?

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Back in September, Kellogs2066 mentioned wondering if the Star Wars Prequels we got were the ones Lucas had intended back in the 1970s. We'll never know for sure, of course, since Lucas was apparently killed by Soviet agents in 1981, and replaced with a sock puppet. Not just any sock puppet, however, no, no. This wasn't a chipper, wholesome, family-friendly sock puppet of hilarity like we're used to. You know, like Skank:

No, no, this wasn't like that at all. This was a sock puppet of pure evil, bent on destroying the morale of the Western World in a bid to win the cold war. And then, once the Soviets had lost the cold war, they just kinda' kept it going because - hey - who want's to admit that kind of thing, right? Also, the former KGB was just kinda' interested to see how far they could push the Lucas Sock before people caught on:

"Ok, so we made the sock puppet claim Luke and Lea were siblings. Did they catch on?"
"Nope."
"Ok, we've got a keystone cops-styled battle with teddy bears. Anything?"
"Nope."
"How about an Droids cartoon?"
"Nothing."
"How about an Ewoks cartoon?"
"Nope, nothing."
"Oh, come on! Ok, live-action prime-time Ewoks special with cute, adorable kids"
"I'm telling you, Vasilli, they're just not going to catch on."
"Ok, well, maybe if we re-release the films for no good reason...."

So, whatever the *real* George intended to do went to the grave with him, and we can only speculate.

Just the same, there actually was a book some years back that compared and contrasted all the varying scripts and treatments for the original trilogy, and gave some hints about the pre-"A New Hope" timeline. I can't remember the name, but if it comes to me I'll tell you. It's a blog. I can just throw crap like that up on a moment's notice. Don't worry about it.

For instance: Lando was originally intended to have been a clone survivor of "The Clone Wars," and there were lines in TESB about how hard it was to get used to a world where everyone has different faces. Everyone agrees that "Luke and Lea are siblings" idea was something Lucas just threw in at the last minute to tie up a dangling thread, soooo clearly that wasn't supposed to be in the prequels.

There was an interesting bit in Fantastic Film and Science Fiction from 1981 that claimed knowledge about the Clone Wars plot (Allegedly clones were bred for their organs, and Obi Wan was himself a clone, one of many used by the emperor to cheat death by transplant. The Emperor was said to be 'thousands' of years old). This may have been speculation put off as fact, I can't prove it, but it all sounds plausible, and it nods to things like Dune that Lucas was *already* taking stuff from.

About 10 years back, Gary Kurtz gave thumbnail outlines of 'all nine movies' as they were intended when he left the series after Empire. The first three appeared to have been pretty well thought out, the last three were fairly vague, however there was "Another" who WAS NOT Lea, and had been raised in secret on the far side of the galaxy.

One interesting element that never made it into the movies was that Han was Chewie's adopted brother. Han was evidently found and rescued by a Wookee family, who raised him as their own. They named him "Solo," evidently because it meant "Alone" - get it? There was some chat about Han being Luke's long-lost-and-never-suspected-to-have-existed-at-all older brother, but to be perfectly honest, I think that's just bunk. I don't know that any of this crap would have been relevant in the prequels anyway.

Another bit of interesting speculation is the whole "had they thought up Vader being Luke's dad in the first movie" thing. A lot of people say they hadn't, since the script makes it very clear Vader killed Luke's daddy, and Ben's eventual explanation for lying is pretty tendentious. This goes all the way back to Starlog Magazine in 1978. There's some support for the idea, but to be hones, I think Lucas - the real Lucas, not the sock puppet who now bears his name - was just trying to keep from having any distracting dangling threads. Remember: he had no idea Star Wars would even be successful enough to generate a sequel, let alone the pop culture monster it's become. So I think he was just covering his bases on that one, though I can't prove it.

Science Fiction Universe magazine, back when it was good, gave a very detailed timeline of different statements gave about how many movies he was planning on making. At one point or another, he said 3, 6, 9, 12, and 13, so the whole thing was obviously fairly fluid in his head.

Lucas was *clearly* suffering burnout from nine years of endless labor on the films, and just wanted out, so he tied up the threads from Empire as quickly and sloppily as he could, gave the fans some whiz-bang, and that was that. I honestly don't think he had any intention of coming back to it.

When he *did* decide to milk that old cow again, he had a problem: He'd gotten divorced. Evidently the timeline to the SW Universe was made up by both he and his wife. With their acrimonious divorce, she's sue him into the stone age if he used any elements that hadn't already turned up on screen. SO: he had to come up with a story that involved L&L being kids, Anikin's fall, him having been a fighter pilot, and something to do with clones and a war, *BUT* it couldn't use any of the stuff they'd INTENDED to use back in the mid-1970s.

So there you have it.

Lousy Soviets...

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