Abandoned Concepts for RETURN OF THE JEDI

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Darth Jamus, Apr 14, 2003.

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  1. Darth Jamus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2000
    star 4
    The newest issue of the INSIDER has a neat list of abandoned concepts that never made it to the camera. I decided to list them here and rate them, with four stars representing an idea I wish would have remained in the film and one star represnting ideas I am glad stayed out of the film. I will follow with a brief reason for my opinion. Please feel free to rate these concepts yourself as to what you would like to have seen happen with the film, as well as debating mine and everyone else's thoughts!
    ________________________________________________________________________________________


    1. HAD ABBADON The Empire's capital, the city planet of Had Abbadon, appeared in the rough draft. Around the planet orbited two half completed Death Stars and the Green Moon, an unspoiled ecosystem in the process of being cleared for habitation. Far below the surface of Hab Abbadon lay the Emperor's Throne Room, surrounded by a lake of red lava. 3 STARS

    I would love to have seen the center of the Empire, even just a glimpse of it. We at least got a glimpse in the Special Edition! I kind of like the idea of the Death Star being built over the capital too, though two at one time is a bit unbelievable and not very smart. Only one ultimate weapon would be needed! I like the lava cave concept for a Sith lair, but not as the Emperor's Throne Room. I hope to see it in Episode 3, but prefer the movie version of ROTJ for the climax of the saga!

    ________________________________________________________________________________________


    2. PANICKY WEDGE In the revised rough draft, Wedge Antilles flies escort for Shuttle Tyderium in a captured TIE Fighter. When he loses control of the ship and panics, Leia nearly breakes her cover by towing him in. 1 STAR

    Very bad idea that would have made a fool out of every fans favorite side character, Wedge. Unneccessary adventure that would lengthen the movie for no good reason. I am glad that this was abandoned!

    ________________________________________________________________________________________


    3. TATOOINE PREPARATIONS Creatures called Del Andues keep Luke company on Tatooine in the rough draft, and later they disappear in favor of a pair of Jawas named Atetu and Tweetu. 4 STARS At one point, Chewie and Lando planned to enter Jabba's palace by offering Jabba a "Durellian spice extractor" in exchange for Han Solo. 1 STAR

    I don't like the Del Andues because they have never been shown before and would therefore serve no real purpose, but the thought of a couple of Jawa friends interests me and would show that they can be more to people than a nuisance! I hate the original idea for Lando and Chewie though, with the final film ideas being a much better improvement!

    ________________________________________________________________________________________


    4. WIZARD Bib Fortuna first appeared in story concepts as an old man in a a cloak and a tall hat known by the title "The High Beeser Of Hoth". 1 STAR

    UGH! That is all I can say to this original idea! From Hoth?????

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    5. HUTTESE HIT MAN Jabba brags that he's killed many Jedi Knights in the script's second draft, a boast that also appears in the novelization. There, Jabba delivers the classic line, "I was killing your kind when being a Jedi meant something". 3 STARS

    Great idea that adds some evil to Jabba, not to mention making him more threatening towards Luke! It makes you wonder if we could see Jabba used against the Jedi in some way in Episode 3.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________


    6. THE SEVEN TOES OF DEATH Originally, Han, Chewie, Luke, and Lando were sentenced b
  2. dArTh_wenley Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2001
    star 5

    Thankyou for this very interesting thread, especially since I do not get the insider.

    I was a little dissapointed with ROTJ in that, although it was very powerful, it could have had the possibility of being so much more.

    This thread has made be appreciate the film a bit more. ;) Some of those ideas are horrible at best! Of all of the points of the list I would like to have seen the last one the most. It certainly would have made the final battle even more exciting.

    This would have really developed JerrJerrod's character and made him more memorable. I think he is often overlooked.
  3. Errant_Venture Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2002
    star 6
    I need to go and pick up that issue.

    It appears, I now know where Thrawn came from. [face_mischief]

    Thanks for posting the information. I too like the idea of the death star firing on Endor. It's a shame that they did not show that in the movie. :(
  4. Darth Jamus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2000
    star 4
    You are welcome guys. I figured anyone who didn't pick up this issue may enjoy reading these points. Go ahead and get this one though, it is full of interesting ROTJ info like this, I just felt that this particular part would make a good thread! ;)

    "Some of those ideas are horrible at best! Of all of the points of the list I would like to have seen the last one the most. It certainly would have made the final battle even more exciting. This would have really developed JerrJerrod's character and made him more memorable. I think he is often overlooked"

    You are correct dArTh_wenley, some of the ideas are horrendous. I especially hate the final battle between good and evil! Ugh! I agree with you that Moff Jerjerrod is an overlooked character at best. In the film he comes off as a bit incompetant concerning the construction of DS2 and all, plus being lost in the shadow of the big villains! His final act of defiance would have cemented him a place in villainy up closer to some of the other memorable villains, but as it stands he is simply lost in the shadows! :(

    "It appears, I now know where Thrawn came from"

    Yes Errant_Venture, it is cool when the EU actually is inspired by concepts from the films themselves! :cool: If only the actual costume could have come from somewhere less "Earthly"!

    Anyone else care to rate these concept ideas?????
  5. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    the first and last of the ideas mentioned would be welcome additions. However i can understand their omittion.
    The editing for the end sequence was frantic as it was; introducing a new plot point to cut back and forth to--the imminent destruction of endor by the death star--would have been just too much for the viewer to handle. Theres enough stuff to follow as it is. Still...could have drove the tension home even further. The Had Abbadon--Coruscant in the PT--setting really isnt necessary, as there arent any scenes that directly tie into the planet itself; all the scenes set there take place in the emperors throne room, so we dont see much of the planet itself, save for a few shots of vaders shuttle landing on one of the platforms.

    After reading the rough draft of ROTJ, the biggest change that I see is that of Vader and his relationship with the Emperor and the other Imperials.
    A great plot point that was only hinted at is explored in great detail here and Moff Jerjarod is greatly expanded--

    The Emperor's scheme to replace Vader with Luke is much more apparent, and the rivalry between Vader and the Emperor for Luke is very obvious. Because of this, Vader comes off as much more sentimental and caring--his buried feelings towards his son that Vader refuses to acknowledge in the theatrical cut are made out in the open, as Vader wishes to save Luke from the Emperor right from the start--in the opening scene of the film he says something like "Beware Luke, you are the emperors pray now". Moff Jerjerod is also created as a central villain. Much like Tarkin in ANH, the Moffs seem to have an equal status as Vader, and even orders him around, calling him "weak" and mocking the jedi order, just as the Imperials do in ANH. The Emperor secretly conspires with Jerjerod to capture Luke and bring him to him, without Vader knowing. The movie's focus is shifted much more to Vader than Luke in this version, and because Vader is presented as much more of a caring (though still evil) person, he almost becomes the main character, with Jerjerod being the antagonist for him (and the emperor being Luke's antagonist). Eventually vader learns of Jerjerods secret schemes and chokes him to death before storming towards Palpatines palace to confront the Emperor and Luke.

    Also made more obvious is the Emperors control over Vader--towards the end, when Vader learns that the Emperor and Jerjerod have secretly captured Luke with the intention of converting him, he kills Jejerod, forces his way to Palpatines palace, killing the guards and stroms up to palpatines throne, furious with his master. The Emperor raises his hand, and begins to choke Vader with the force, cutting off his lifesupport until Vader, nearly dead, submits to him. He weakly climbs to his feet, kneels and apologizes to his master for his disloyalty. This sort of control is only hinted at in the theatrical version, and im sure we'll see something like this in EPIII.


    One of the focuses of this version is that the remaining jedi must bring down Vader and the emperor together. Instead of Luke doing it himself, Ben appears in the flesh and Yoda as a ghost, to help Luke in an epic triple-team battle against Palpatine. The various concepts of the force are very interesting here, as Obi Wan is able to literally come back to life in physical form, and Yoda appears as a ghost, to provide a shield around Luke and protect from the Emperors lightning. Intersting to note is the emperors reaction to seeing yoda--"You!"; the emperor and Yoda seem to share a past (as we see in AOTC and in EPIII). The "netherword"--a sort of jedi-purgatory--is explained in detail as well.

    What is especially weak here is Vaders redemption. Rather than the grande and dramatic event of the theatrical version, where we actually see the moment when Vader turns away from the darkside and saves Luke, Vader transformation is gradual. From the first scene, Vader is revealed to have intended to overthrow the emperor and train Luke (just as the emperor is planning to do to Vader) and he is much more emotional
  6. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    Originally, Han, Chewie, Luke, and Lando were sentenced by Jabba to die in the "Sloth Pit".

    It would have been a very...slow...death.
  7. Angel_Blue01 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2001
    star 2
    Point 12 was sort of in the movie.

    Note that the superlaser dish was pointed at Endor when the Death Star exploded!
  8. Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2002
    star 6
    You can catch a good list at T'Bone's site, too. :)
  9. Sophita Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 4
    That one with Obi-Wan and Yoda gives me shivers.

    Good god, there are bad ideas, and then there are bad ideas.

    I think that's a bad idea.
  10. Darth_Obstreperous Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2002
    star 4
    I'm kind of glad they didn't use #12. Some people say that ROTJ is too much rehashed stuff and this would just be another repeat of the near obliteration of Yavin 4.

    Though it might have been neat to see two Death Stars.


    Maybe...
  11. Zelmo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2002
    star 3
    #11- Han trying to open the doors with a cable attached to the AT-ST, and the back falls off? I wish that would be in the movie, that would have been so funny. I agree Jamus, I can imagine the look on Han's face right now. That would have instantly become a classic Han Solo moment.




    EDIT- Spelling
  12. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    As pointed out above- the Jerjerrod scene of firing the Death Star may have itended to have been filmed, since the FX of the Endor battle support the notion that the DS2 has turned to face Endor before it explodes.

    Though I hate the notion of Obi-wan returning in the flesh, the idea of Palpatine's force lightning being blocked by a shield of Yoda's image sounds quite cool.


    Other abandoned concepts from ROTJ :

    -Vader being in his 60's, OBi-wan in his 70's
    -Obi-wan and Owen being brothers
    -Vader being the most powerful of many Sith serving underneath Palpatine
    -Han dying and Leia becoming queen of her people (from the Kurtz/Lucas 9-film plan)


    The Annotated Screenplays have some stuff on early ESB drafts too- for example, Lando, at one point, was going to have been from a planet populated by clones- his "father" wanted 50 sons or something like that. Anotehr draft changed the idea to the planet being divided by different countries- each country's population consisted of clones made from the same individual (so Country A had clones of Person A, Country B had clones of Person B, etc).
  13. Darth Jamus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2000
    star 4
    "Moff Jerjerod is also created as a central villain. Much like Tarkin in ANH, the Moffs seem to have an equal status as Vader, and even orders him around, calling him "weak" and mocking the jedi order, just as the Imperials do in ANH. The Emperor secretly conspires with Jerjerod to capture Luke and bring him to him, without Vader knowing. The movie's focus is shifted much more to Vader than Luke in this version, and because Vader is presented as much more of a caring (though still evil) person, he almost becomes the main character, with Jerjerod being the antagonist for him (and the emperor being Luke's antagonist). Eventually vader learns of Jerjerrods secret schemes and chokes him to death before storming towards Palpatines palace to confront the Emperor and Luke." - Zombie

    I really like the handling of Jerjerrod's character in these early concepts Zombie. He is much more threatening :cool:, but perhaps takes too much away from Vader's villainy throughout much of the picture. [face_shocked] Perhaps that is why they diminished him so! Then again, Tarkin's evil is always fun to watch, though he did not upstage Vader in ANH. I wish Jerjerrod would have remained as presented in this early treatment instead of the ineffective weak officer we end up with in ROTJ. A Moff should never come across as weak! The rest of the story concerning Vader and Luke before the Emperor in the cave, with Obi-Wan and Yoda to boot, are still very silly and would have made for a laughable ending to the saga! [face_laugh]

    "Point 12 was sort of in the movie. Note that the superlaser dish was pointed at Endor when the Death Star exploded" -Angel_Blue01

    "As pointed out above- the Jerjerrod scene of firing the Death Star may have itended to have been filmed, since the FX of the Endor battle support the notion that the DS2 has turned to face Endor before it explodes" - The2ndQuest

    Actually, I don't think that there is any proof that this was going to be done present in the film. You only see the Death Star from the surface of the planet one time in the film, and that is when the shuttle is arriving on Endor with Vader aboard. Even in this shot, the laser dish of the Death Star is not pointing at the plant directly, nor would there be any reason for it to be at that point and time. Remember, this would have been a final act of desperation in response to losing. The orbital space shots of the battle station are different though, depicting nearly the same angle of the battle station that we see from orbit, mainly due to the model not being designed for viewing from multiple angles. The dish shouldn't be visible from the surface of Endoe at all! ;) This cool idea seems to have appeared only in the novel and nothing more!

    "You can catch a good list at T'Bone's site, too"

    Thanks for the link to those neat cut scenes Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa! :) Very interesting stuff that fleshes out the synopsises presented in the INSIDER!

    "That one with Obi-Wan and Yoda gives me shivers. Good god, there are bad ideas, and then there are bad ideas. I think that's a bad idea"

    I couldn't agree with you more Sophita! :D As I mentioned to Zombie, his detailed description of the sequence, as well as the one on the T'Bone site, improves the overall story, but the climax is still horrendous and silly! [face_laugh] [face_laugh]

    Another interesting note from the INSIDER:

    LANDO'S DEATH Fan rumor has it that Lando was originally slated to perish in a scene where the Millennium Falcon tried in vain to outrace the flames from the Death Star's exploding reactor core. While this event seems to address Han's line "I got a funny feeling, like I'm not going to see her again" concerning the Falcon, the rumor is bogus. According to the Official Site's "The Urban Legends Of Star Wars" section, the scene was never storyboarded or filmed. Of the many Return Of The Jedi
  14. Darth Jamus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2000
    star 4
    From the revised rough draft concerning Luke and the Jawas on Tatooine (point 3 of the original post):

    Luke snaps awake from a sound sleep, his head still ringing with Vader's words. It takes a moment for him to focus on his surroundings. He is in a small rundown, tavern. Two vile, little dirty Jawas; ATETU and TWEETU, stare at him from across the room. They shake their cloak-covered heads and go back to cooking an odorous stew.

    The howling wind outside blows the door open with a loud crash. Luke reaches for his pistol, the Jawas hide. Out of the dust cloud emerge two familiar shapes, SEE THREEPIO and ARTOO DETOO. Luke relaxes as the angry Jawas come out of hiding, scolding the robots for not closing the door. Atetu waddles to the door and strains against the wind to close it.


    THREEPIO
    Master Luke, I beg you not to send us
    out in weather like that again?it's
    unbearable out there.

    Artoo whistles his agreement.

    LUKE
    Were you able to get
    everything I asked for?

    THREEPIO
    An impossible task, but yes
    we have all of it...Artoo?

    Artoo beeps and one of his tiny arms pokes out of its hatch carrying a small box. The door to the hovel bangs open again giving everyone a start, including R2 who drops the box of parts.
    Out of the cloud of dust comes LANDO and CHEWIE. Atetu is very angry and starts yelling at Lando and Chewie. The little Jawa storms over to Chewie and screams at the Wookiee (in his gibberish language), shaking his fist. Chewie stares at him blankly, then shrugs and closes the door. Atetu continues to vent his anger on Luke, then waddles back to his cooking.


    LANDO
    Next time I'll try to get us better
    accommodations, but trustworthy innkeepers
    are hard to come by around here.

    Chewie barks and puts several small parts before Luke.

    LUKE
    What did you find out?

    LANDO
    He survived the unfreezing process but
    I couldn't get any report on his condition;
    but we're going to have to hurry, the
    execution has been set for tomorrow.

    Threepio picks up a small micro chip.

    THREEPIO
    Master Luke, I beg your pardon,
    but how can these micro parts help
    rescue Capt. Solo?

    Luke holds up an odd looking box.

    LUKE
    When it's finished it will be our ticket
    into the palace. But first, we must
    send this JABBA the HUTT a message.
    That's where you two can help.

    THREEPIO
    At your service.

    Tweetu calls out and points to the bowls of steaming food on the table. Chewie barks and heads for the table followed by Lando.

    LANDO
    Better get something to eat, Luke,
    we may not get another chance.

    LUKE
    You go ahead, I still have some things
    to do first. (motions to R-2)
    Come over here, Artoo.

    Threepio follows Chewie to the table and asks Tweetu something. The creature answers and goes to a cupboard. Threepio sits at the table. On the far side of the room Luke stands before Artoo and recites a message. A beam of light from Artoo passes over him as he speaks. Tweetu brings Threepio an oil can, and Threepio starts oiling his joints.

    THREEPIO
    A few more trips outside
    and I'll surely short circuit.

    Chewie barks and Lando passes him some food.

    LANDO
    It's a miracle that Han survived the
    unfreezing process. I just hope he's
    still in one piece.

    Chewie barks his agreement. Luke and R-2 come over to the others. R-2 begins to beep at 3PO.

    THREEPIO
    We have to leave?!? What are you
    talking about? I'm not going out in
    that storm again!

    LUKE
    3PO, I need you to go
    with him to the palace.

    THREEPIO
    Palace?!?

    LUKE
    He's going to need your help.

    THREEPIO
    Help!?!

    Artoo beeps at Threepio again.

    THREEPIO
    All right, I'm coming. I'm coming.
    I was afraid of this. Master Luke,
    are you sure...

    LUKE
    Threepio?
    I'm depending on you.

    THREEPIO
    Yes, Master Luke.

    Artoo and
  15. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    >> Actually, I don't think that there is any proof that this was going to be done present in the film.<<

    Actually, there is- as you point out, when the Rebel Fleet arrives, the DS2 is not facing Endor.

    However, when the Falcon escapes the DS2, it heads directly away from the station towards Endor, and in this scene, the DS2's dish is facing in the same direction the Falcon is heading, which is, yup, you guessed it- facing Endor.

    So, towards the end of the battle, the DS2 has in fact rotated towards the moon.
  16. Darth Jamus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2000
    star 4
    "when the Falcon escapes the DS2, it heads directly away from the station towards Endor, and in this scene, the DS2's dish is facing in the same direction the Falcon is heading, which is, yup, you guessed it- facing Endor"

    Actually, The2ndQuest, you are right on concerning the Falcon's escape, I stand corrected! :D :D But the Death Star does seem to shift position in the film though, as compared when being viewed from either the surface or from orbit. That has nothing to do with the scene you brought up though! ;)
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