If George Lucas had his way, Leia Organa would have been the main character of the Star Wars sequels. Luke would still die a hermit, though.
Want to know what the Star Wars sequel trilogy could have been if George Lucas made it? You’re in luck: a new book from Taschen Books called The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005 sheds some light on Lucas’ ideas for his versions of Episodes VII, VIII and IX, which never got made. Some of these ideas have been floating around the internet for a while, such as the concept for the Whills, but now they are confirmed!
Let’s start with the biggest revelation: if Lucas had his way, Darth Maul would have returned for the sequel trilogy and acted as one of the main villains!
Fans who have only watched the Star Wars movies probably remember Obi-Wan Kenobi slicing Maul in half at the end of The Phantom Menace. It sure looked like he’d died, but then he turned up in a surprise cameo at the end of 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Over on the animated show Star Wars: The Cone Wars, Maul was kicking around with mechanical legs for a long while, and appeared many times on Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels. According to The Star Wars Archives, which was made with “the full cooperation of George Lucas and Lucasfilm,” Lucas would have made Maul the head honcho of a galactic crime syndicate. Maul was also going to align himself with the Dark Horse comic book character Darth Talon, who would have served as the trilogy’s overarching villain, akin to Vader in the original films.
Another tidbit is that Princess Leia Organa, portrayed by the late Carrie Fisher, was going to be the focus of Lucas’ sequels. The story would have focused on Leia rebuilding the Republic after the fall of the Empire, alongside her brother Luke and the next generation of Jedi. We would have seen Leia struggling to build a better future for the galaxy while also dealing with Maul and Talon. According to Lucas, she would become the Supreme Chancellor and “the chosen one” at the end of this trilogy.
Then there’s the Whills, an idea we’ve heard before. Lucas describes them as “a microscopic single-celled-life-form” connected to the Force. In the book James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, Lucas said simply, “in a general sense, they are the Force.”
Connecting the Force to something biological sounds similar to what Lucas did with midi-chlorians in The Phantom Menace. Lucas wanted to explore the Whills in the prequels, but given how poorly people reacted to the idea of midi-chlorians, he decided against it. Maybe he would have finally gotten around to taking a closer look at them in the sequels, were he in charge of them.
The book has other interesting tidbits, such as a plan for a young Han Solo to appear on Kashyyyk, planet of the Wookies, in Revenge of the Sith; he would have helped Yoda escape. Clearly, Lucas scrapped that idea.
Going back to Lucas’ original vision for the sequels, we got even more information from another book, this one written by Lucasfilm creative executive Pablo Hidalgo. In Star Wars: Fascinating Facts: Story, Lore & History From the Greatest Galaxy, Hidalgo reveals that Lucas would have killed off Luke Skywalker in Episode VIII, much like Rian Johnson did in The Last Jedi. The director also wanted Luke to be portrayed as “a recluse, withdrawn into a very dark space and needs to be drawn back from despair.”
This is all sounding very familiar, isn’t it? It seems like Luke’s fate was set no matter who was in charge of Episode VIII.
Now that we know a bit more about Lucas’ vision for the sequel trilogy, would you have preferred to see this over Disney’s films? Do you think Disney’s ideas were better than Lucas’? Leave your thoughts below!