All these years later, we are still learning about what director George Lucas was originally planning for the final trilogy of the Skywalker saga before he sold everything off to Disney.
In the trilogy that we ended up getting, Luke Skywalker died in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. A lot of fans were upset by this, but if Lucas got to make his version of the trilogy, he was planning on killing off Luke in Episode 8 as well. So, either way, Luke would have died in that film.
A tweet has been making the rounds recently that reveals an excerpt from a new book titled Star Wars: Fascinating Facts, which comes from Lucasfilm Story Group member and Star Wars Encyclopedia author Pablo Hidalgo, and it reveals the following:
“Years before The Last Jedi began development, the treatment left behind by George Lucas in 2012 also had Episode VIII be the one wherein Luke Skywalker would die.”
Another excerpt from the book reveals Lucas’ plans for Luke overall saying:
“Although Luke Skywalker only barely appears in The Force Awakens, the concept artists had a lot to imagine based on the fragments of the story they were hearing as it developed.
“Rey was on a mission to seek out Luke Skywalker, who had disappeared. As described by George Lucas, Rey is like Willard going up river seeking out Colonel Kurtz, an allusion to Apocalypse Now. The story had Rey find Luke on a Jedi temple planet, but he is a recluse, withdrawn into a very dark space and needs to be drawn back from despair.”
Those plans for Luke were pretty much utilized in The Last Jedi. So, director Rian Johnson actually took the ideas presented by Lucas and incorporated them into the story. It was just handled in a different way than what Lucas might have done. The Apocalypse Now reference leads me to believe Lucas’ version would have had less humor, maybe even be a bit darker. We’ll never know.
What’s done is done, and while the recent Star Wars trilogy might have ultimately been a disappointment, I’m excited about the future! I liked the standalone films and the work that’s being done on The Mandalorian gives me hope that Lucasfilm will continue to make smart decisions.