BTS ATM's Stuff from the Temp Boards Thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by ATMachine, Sep 3, 2012.

Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
  1. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    So.... yeah. This is sort of an archive of some of the posts from the old temp boards. Mostly stuff having to do with pre-production and development concepts behind the Saga.

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    TSHOSW: Leigh Brackett and Lucas' filmic style for SW (page 1)

    ATMachine

    (First off, I'll try and repost this to be better archived when the real boards get put back up!)

    So I was watching David Lynch's Dune the other night (for the first time. Sue me. :p ) and it occurred to me that the "style" of the filmmaking was very familiar.

    Namely, the 1984 Dune reminded me quite a lot of the Leigh Brackett script for ESB--but it was very notably different from the style of the SW films as a whole.

    I consider Lucas's style to be an essentially realist one, but it's also rather cinema verite--almost anthropological--in nature.

    By "realist" I mean that Lucas nearly always shows you "what really happened" in the physical world of his films, with little abstract symbolism; there's not much in the way of trippy fantasy montages to explain how the Force works, for instance. And where such scenes might be most apposite--when we see Yoda training Luke, for instance, or when Vader reads Luke's mind and detects who Leia is--we instead get concrete images, of Luke physically exerting himself or the lightsaber battle between father and son.

    In SW, despite its mysticism-heavy Force, the world of the inner consciousness is never really explored on screen. Even the test in the cave that Luke fails--the most abstract scene in Empire--feels fully grounded in the reality of the cave environment and the seeming physical presence of Vader. (Naturally, Lucas didn't write it!)

    As for "anthropological," Lucas always wanted to present his world as essentially real. It was its own society, with its own well-known cities, culture, and political institutions. He's said that he wanted viewers to sense that reality, but also to feel like they've stumbled into a new and alien world, rather like he felt as a young film student when he first discovered the work of Kurosawa. Thus any exposition for the benefit of the audience is not delivered in metatextual ways, save for the opening crawls--what information the audience gets comes from characters discussing their own experiences, and many details (like the allusions to the Clone Wars of past history) are left to the imagination, serving as tantalizing glimpses of a larger universe.

    However, Brackett's Empire script to me feels, for all its pulpy dialogue, far more symbolic and less "realistic" in tone. Her work is more metaphysical, more interested in visually representing the power of the Force. A good example is when we meet (physically) the ghost of Ben Kenobi, and he engages Minch in a mock lightsaber duel--not to mention when Luke's father's spirit shows up as well.

    Remember that in ANH, only Kenobi's voice was heard after his death, and in a fashion that suggested (notwithstanding "Run, Luke, run!") that Luke might simply be internalizing the departed old mentor's teachings. Brackett for the first time suggested the physicality of the Force's spiritual aspects, and so as to be represented visually on film in a most dramatic fashion. It's likely Lucas was very wary of this departure from the "real", so it's noteworthy that in the final version of ESB, Obi-Wan's ghost has very little to do; he essentially could remain a disembodied voice and the film would stay the same.

    Another such sequence occurs at the climax of Brackett's script, during the duel with Vader. Luke and Vader are shown as outlines silhouetted against a backdrop of stars, and Vader invites Luke to abandon his Jedi oath and seize the cosmos for himself. This imagery in fact occurs twice, once when Luke reaches out psychically to Vader from Minch's planet, and again when he duels Vader in the flesh.

    Here's the relevant passage from their first encounter:


    And the second encounter:


    These are rather trippy scenes! They involve a very abstract conception of the power of the Force and the abilities it grants the Jedi and Sith. The potential to conquer the galaxy is visually represented as Luke reaching out and grasping the stars with his hand. It's very visual and very symbolically representative--but not at all based in the physical reality of the fight.

    Several of the vision sequences in Lynch's Dune follow a similar style of abstract representation (for instance, think of the way we see on screen how Paul imagines his hand is melting in the Bene Gesserit box during the gom jabbar test). But Lucas prefers to ground his visual storytelling firmly in the concrete; instead of a thrillingly filmic and symbolic climax in a higher mental plane, we had to see Luke losing to Vader in the real world. It's no wonder Larry Kasdan and Lucas resorted to chopping off Luke's hand instead.

    Brackett also bows somewhat more to the needs of the audience in explaining things outright. The most prominent example is a scene is set on the Imperial city-planet and capital, which is introduced by a caption ("Ton-Muund, the city-planet, administrative center of the Empire") over an establishing shot. The idea of an expository caption appearing on screen seems very un-SW in style to me.... yet David Lynch uses the same technique to introduce a scene on the Harkonnens' planet Giedi Prime in Dune.

    There were other reasons Lucas disliked Brackett's version, of course (he realized the heroes weren't in enough peril at the climax of the film; he seems to have disliked Brackett's style of dialogue writing; he thought Brackett's Vader wasn't menacing enough, in that Vader often lets shamed subordinates live with a mere verbal dressing-down instead of theatrically murdering them for perceived incompetence). But fundamentally, I suspect Lucas's style as a filmmaker was rather mismatched with Brackett's.

    So... any thoughts? Am I totally off base? It'd have been interesting to have seen a SW film more stylistically akin to Dune, at the very least....

    Sistros

    I've never seen Dune either

    :D

    Darth_Nub

    Very interesting take on Brackett's ESB, and yes, it does nail just what feels so 'un-Star Wars' about a lot of it. Even in the PT, parts of which rely heavily on visions and dreams, Lucas was very hesitant to use abstract imagery and symbolism, and did try to integrate the Force visions into the reality of the scene somewhat. Might also explain why the Qui-Gon scene at the end of ROTS was thrown out.

    Makes me wonder, as well, about the notorious scene on the 'bog planet' which includes Luke's father. With all its pomp and ceremony, and lengthy exposition, I agree that it doesn't read like something GL himself would have written - in which case, did he ever want Luke's father to appear in ESB at all, or did Brackett come up with that particular detail herself?

    ATMachine

    Glad you liked my thoughts, Nub. What do you think about the idea that the Lynch Dune might be a more "Brackett-esque" film? Kind of ironic, given the huge influence Dune had on SW and Lucas....

    As for the other problems I believe Lucas had with the script:

    I think his issues with Brackett's dialogue stem from Lucas' conception of what dialogue in a film is for. Namely, to advance the plot as fast as possible; as a writer and filmmaker Lucas spends as little time on characters talking as he possibly can (likely because he hates writing it!) Whereas Brackett lets her dialogue be a bit more slow-paced, more conversational, and I think that really galled Lucas, action-heavy, characterization-light filmmaker that he is.

    Not to mention that Vader's screen presence would have been a bit lacking, since he isn't Force-choking Imperial officers left and right. (I believe Making of ESB revealed that Lucas particularly objected to one scene in the first draft, where an angry Vader says to a junior officer, "Leave me, you incompetent idiot." Seems Lucas wanted Vader to express his anger in a more dramatic and evil fashion--thus he ends up choking so many poor captains.)

    As well, there's a whole issue of the emotional stakes not being high enough in the Brackett draft. Han Solo has gone on a trip across the galaxy to find his "stepfather" by the end of the film, and he's in great peril, but it's offscreen peril, so we would hardly care as much about it as we do the very visible peril of him being frozen alive. Not to mention that in this version Minch considers Luke qualified to take on Vader safely, and though Luke loses the fight it's hardly the beatdown seen in the final film. There's just less visibly at stake for the heroes to lose if they fail.

    But I think this last problem is mainly Lucas' fault, because all these plot issues stem from the story outlines he gave Brackett, at a stage when his own ideas for the new film's storyline were still half-digested. Of course, when he read those tentative ideas made concrete in a script draft, he realized he had to go back to the drawing board. (And thus we got Father Vader.... but that's another story.)

    Still, the stylistic mismatch between him and Brackett certainly didn't help any of these problems.

    PS - as I said above, I find Brackett's idea of an expository caption explaining "this is Imperial Center" to be very un-SW, and I ought to explain better why...

    As a rule, the SW films never break the feeling of cinema verite once the opening crawl is over. Lucas always wanted to preserve the illusion that "this is all really happening," so I can't really picture him using such an obviously editorial device as a narrative caption. It would clash with his idea of SW as a sort of found-footage film from "a galaxy far, far away."

    Darth_Nub

    Truth be told, it's been a long time since I saw Lynch's Dune, and I had pretty mixed feelings about it. Looked terrific, but very hard to follow - largely due to all the mysticism that's hard to translate to screen. While it was all very interesting to talk about spice being able to 'fold space', it wasn't something communicated visually and fell flat - compare that to the depiction of hyperspace in the OT.
    The ridiculous Luke/Vader duel in Brackett's ESB does seem like it would have fit in Lynch's Dune quite well, but it would have been extremely difficult to pull off credibly.

    Incidentally, the supposedly huge influence of Dune on SW seems to be more along the lines of so many other influences - there's bits and pieces Lucas happily took, then left the rest. Desert planet, valuable commodity known as 'spice', mystical order of knight-type figures - that'll do nicely, chuck that in with Asimov's 'Galactic Empire', the gold robot from Metropolis and the farmers from Hidden Fortress, preheat oven to 180...
    GL grabbed stuff from everywhere.

    Regarding the other issues with the Brackett draft - without even a rough completed summary of GL's own outline that he submitted to her, it's hard to figure out just what was his and what was hers. To my knowledge, the only material available publicly is the first couple of pages with Luke being attacked by the ice creature, which obviously made it all the way. I agree, you can't necessarily blame Brackett for the less perilous ending, or perhaps even for Vader's softer characterisation. I've always felt that the Brackett draft might be a glimpse at the lighter, more comic-book vision of the ongoing/12-part Star Wars serial, as opposed to the more intense Star Wars Saga that came about with the creation of Father Vader.

    In my post above, I suggested that the disparity between what appears to be Brackett's approach and Lucas' points towards the 'bog planet scene' with Luke's father being entirely Brackett's invention. However, if you look at GL's rough draft of ROTJ (http://starwarz.com/starkiller/2010/03/revenge-of-the-jedi-revised-rough-draft/), the approach to the Force and Jedi in the afterlife seems very similar, and full of just as many strange concepts. Yoda appears to Luke in an Imperial cell, Ben Kenobi actually comes back to life, the Emperor and Ben stand by and talk while Luke & Vader duel, Luke has some sort of invisible shield and Yoda's ghost briefly appears every time it's hit, then at the end, Ben, Luke's father and Yoda all come back to life. Very weird, jam-packed full of lengthy dialogue explaining what's going on, and not unlike Brackett's ESB at all.

    I get the impression that when it comes to the more abstract concepts, GL's outlines and drafts are just him thinking aloud about what he's trying to convey, as opposed to what he actually intends to put on screen. The problems he had with Brackett's draft may be that she simply put together a literal translation of the vague outline, and without access to what GL was picturing in his mind, was forced to use more exposition than he had any intention of using.

    ATMachine

    I know Lucas is definitely capable of imagining abstract/"un-real" displays of Force power, as in the ROTJ drafts.... but I think he only likes to stretch it so far. Brackett's style was just too over the top, I'd guess. Lucas could write about Ben and Yoda's spirits shielding Luke from the Emperor's lightning, but it's still grounded in the reality of the physical plane--so not at the abstractness level of Brackett's cosmic vision for the Luke-Vader duel.

    (And it's frankly telling that none of the more wacky stuff from early ROTJ scripts, like Ben's return to physical life and the Jedi mentors' shielding Luke, ever made it to film. Not to mention that Lucas was writing ROTJ in the wake of the more mystical/symbolic material seen in ESB--it might've been a greater shock to him to read a script like Brackett's, when he had only worked on the more realistically-grounded ANH.)

    I do think it was probably Lucas's suggestion that Luke might see a vision of his father. But the particular form the vision takes in Brackett's version, where Luke's father appears to tell him of an unseen sister and then has him recite the oath of the Jedi, must not have felt suitable. Perhaps because it feels sort of shoehorned in--Father Skywalker appears, reveals the existence of Luke's sister, knights him as a Jedi, and leaves. Other than that we hardly have a reason for him to be onscreen; there's no advice he gives to Luke or anything. It's just sort of clumsily handled (especially because Luke has an awful lot of mentor figures), and I think Lucas realized it needed work.

    As for the Dune influence on SW being overrated, I think it was pretty influential nonetheless.

    However, the overt influence of Dune on SW's plot is much more notable in the early drafts of the script than in the final film. The united attack of the "Border System" and the Galactic Empire on Aquilae in the Journal of the Whills treatment, for instance, is obviously modeled on the conspiracy of House Harkonnen and Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV together against the Atreides. (JOTW even had a Paul Atreides analogue, Prince Luke Starkiller, heir to the murdered King of Aquilae, Annakin Skywalker. This character quickly got gender-swapped into Leia.)

    Not to mention that the first draft script of SW (which, as in Dune, had an Empire that was tens of thousands of years old) had the hero Annikin fighting to save the embattled royal family of a desert planet. And it features the use of nuclear weapons (called "atomics") during certain battles, just like in Dune.

    It's also worth noting that unlike other proto-SW fiction such as Flash Gordon or John Carter of Mars, which were planetary romances set on one world alone, Dune features multiple planets (although Arrakis looms largest).

    The scenes set on the Imperial capital world, early in the first SW draft, mirror scenes on Giedi Prime revealing Baron Harkonnen's plans early in Dune. (Here Lucas even cribbed a few pieces of dialogue verbatim--"we've gained a true advantage" etc.) Plus, that draft ends with Annikin wedding the Princess Leia and becoming the ruler of the planet, just as Paul Atreides marries Princess Irulan and becomes the new Galactic Emperor ruling from Arrakis.

    But these are plot details which got changed--more important by far to the final film of ANH is the atmosphere of Dune. The world of Dune has its own vocabulary, full of nonsense words invented by Frank Herbert. Stuff like "kanly" for vendetta or "chaumurky" for poison in drinks, or "prana-bindu" for a Bene Gesserit art of meditation. Lucas really liked the idea of having a foreign vocabulary that the audience would have to learn as they went along. Not to mention the idea of dropping hints at the past history of a vast universe, which he also took from Herbert. (The Clone Wars are basically SW's answer to the Butlerian Jihad, the long-ago war against the uprising of thinking machines of past Dune history. Substitute "rebellious clones" for "rebellious robots" and you have the original conception of the Clone Wars.)

    ...

    I might also add that early on in the ESB story brainstorming, Lucas wanted Han's stepfather to be a powerful leader of a Spacing Guild, another concept obviously borrowed from Dune. (A similar idea shows up in the first draft of ANH when it's mentioned that Aquilae needs the aid of "the chrome companies" to fight the Empire. But that plot thread is left dangling and instead the Wookiees destroy the Imperial invasion force.) This idea of big galactic guilds was sort of reused in the prequels for the Trade Federation, and the various companies backing the Separatists.

    Darth_Nub

    My bad, Dune did influence GL's development of SW quite heavily, although as you pointed out, it was diluted considerably by the time the film itself was made. I was thinking of the repeated references often made to Asimov's Foundation series, which, apart from the basic concept of a 'Galactic Empire' and the term 'hyperspace', didn't really have much apparent influence on SW at all.


    The appearance of Father Skywalker in Brackett's draft of ESB, apart from being a gigantic contradiction of what would eventually occur, is also at odds with how Lucas developed the concept and impact of the hero's father. With each draft of SW, the father was pushed further and further into the background:
    - Draft 1 - Kane Starkiller is a character from the start, killed during the story to save the others;
    - Draft 2 - 'The Starkiller' is a hero in hiding, his son is only reunited with him at the end of the story;
    - Draft 3 - Luke's father is dead, although Luke has vague memories of him. Ben Kenobi, a former friend of his father, is now the father figure;
    - Draft 4 - Luke's father is dead, Luke has no memory of him at all, his only knowledge of him is first the lies told to him by Owen & Beru, then what Obi-Wan tells him;
    - Film itself - same as Draft 4, except that Darth Vader is established as the man who murdered Luke's father.

    From draft to draft, the father evolved from being an actual character to a more abstract driving influence on the hero, and eventually it seemed that killing him off was the best way of maximising this influence. His appearance in the Brackett draft of ESB seems like some sort of attempt at a climactic payoff which just fizzles pathetically.
    I'm inclined to think that GL did come up with the idea, then its failure drove him to go with the more radical Father Vader idea (which he may have come up with before outlining ESB, but not until after SW was done).

    ATMachine

    Now, now, Foundation did inspire Lucas's use of holograms. :p

    And I forgot to mention the major borrowing from Dune post-ANH: the idea of twins! The Dune series has Paul Atreides' twin children (one boy, one girl) as protagonists in later books. Children of Dune came out in 1976, too late to influence the development of ANH, but Lucas must've read it in time for writing the SW sequels.




    I very much agree with this. It probably seemed like a good idea to Lucas to bring in Luke's father in the brainstorming stage, but it just didn't work on the written script page.

    Arawn Fenn


    Foundation has characters named Bail and Han, a planet that's one big city, and an order of individuals with mind control abilities.





    Darth_Nub

    All true, but they're more incidental details than anything else (not 100% sure, but the city planet wasn't featured in the drafts of SW anyway, IIRC). Bits and pieces like that can be found all over the place in old sci-fi novels, comics and serials. The story itself of Foundation was completely and utterly different.

    The mind control abilities of the Second Foundationers strike me as more of a generic coincidence, the abilities of the Lensman seemed to be more directly influential on the concept of the Jedi (and probably Asimov to begin with).

    I do agree with ATMachine about Dune, however, in terms of its influence on the backstory. The story proper of SW, however, really strikes me as something much simpler. References in early drafts that practically plagiarise Dune, Kurosawa films or whatever, are almost the writing equivalent of GL using footage from WWII films in the space battles for temporary editing purposes. Keep things moving and toss all the other stuff out when the actual story got to the point where it could stand on its own.

    The elaborate backstory wasn't originally meant to be a story in itself to be told, although eventually he would find himself having to use it when he committed to the PT. It's one of the reasons the PT doesn't have that same epic feel to it that the OT does - it doesn't have what has been referred to as a sense of 'deep time', which is also one of the great flaws of Tolkien's Silmarillion. Morgoth, Beren & Luthien, et al work so much better as ancient references that have influenced events than actual characters, not unlike the way that Luke's dead father has far more impact & influence than he did when he was alive in Draft 1.

    Nothing could ever compare to the vision of the Prequel Trilogy conjured up in so many fans' minds by a few throwaway lines in the OT (If any of these visions had been made, of course, they'd most likely be rubbish to everyone else, but that's not the point).

    ATMachine

    I concur with the Lensmen's psychic abilities being much more crucial to the development of the Jedi than anything from Foundation. Just combine the Lensmen with the "weirding way" of the Bene Gesserit...

    The idea of a Foundation-style city-planet only came in with the writing of ESB, I believe. The first draft of ANH has the Imperial capital as a cloud city, essentially like that of the Hawkmen in the Flash Gordon comics.

    Nub, have you ever noticed the bit in the third draft of ANH where Lucas steals some dialogue verbatim from the opening of The Hobbit? (Ben and Luke have the exact same conversation about what "good morning" means that Tolkien wrote for Bilbo and Gandalf.)

    ...

    As for other "un-SW" details in Brackett's script, how about the issue of holograms?

    Brackett's script doesn't seem to use holograms at all. Her description of the Rebel base's war room, for instance, prominently includes a huge enclosed tank, which houses a permanent three-dimensional map of Rebel and Imperial territory:

    Brackett's first stab at describing the tactical map seems to have been a large two-dimensional monitor screen. She must've realized that was insufficiently impressive, but decided on using a gigantic plotting tank instead of a less cumbersome holographic display (which Lucas would no doubt have preferred).

    Also noteworthy in this respect is Brackett's portrayal of Vader's conversation with the Emperor.

    Note again the absence of the typical SW communication holograms; the Emperor uses a monitor screen to appear to Vader. Also, he's described as wearing a golden robe. Not very Sith-like. Still, Brackett's Emperor can feel disturbances in the Force, so he's clearly a Dark Side Force-user.

    (In his conversations with Brackett printed in The Making of ESB, Lucas seems to be already heavily leaning toward the idea of the Emperor as an evil Force-user, although he did briefly suggest the possibility of reusing an older idea, where the Emperor was to be a Nixonian bureaucrat.)

    Compare Lawrence Kasdan's version of the Vader/Emperor scene from the fourth draft (his earliest available online):

    Kasdan has the Emperor dressed in the simple black robes of a Sith, which must have appealed to Lucas. Also, we get more "standard SW" holograms in this version instead of Brackett's videophones.

    Darth_Nub

    Never noticed that, but the slightly addled character of Ben Kenobi in Draft 3 really seems like a direct translation of Gandalf the Grey, so I'm not surprised. GL's vague mutterings about casting little people that have often been referred to here & there would date from the same time - he must have been reading The Hobbit &/or LOTR in 1975, but probably not before, as there's no apparent influence on the 1st & 2nd drafts. Ben Kenobi in Draft 3 is the first real appearance of the 'old wizard' mentor, as opposed to generals and warlords.

    ATMachine

    I've heard it said that Luke's quest in Draft 2--to get the Kiber Crystal safely to the Rebel base on Yavin--is basically an analogue for Frodo's journey with the Ring to Mount Doom. (Especially because, as with Frodo's Ring, Luke's Kiber Crystal is an heirloom, left to him by his father who now needs it.)

    The Kiber Crystal in Draft 2--the lone, all-powerful crystal sought by good guys and bad guys alike--reminds me somewhat of the Light Incal in French artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud's seminal comic book The Incal, though that apparently didn't get published until the 80s. Coincidence, I suppose. In Draft 3, however, there are multiple Kiber Crystals, and they function more like the Lenses of the Galactic Patrol (Ben is no longer an active Jedi partly because he lost his Crystal to the Sith).

    Interestingly, Brackett's galaxy-map plotting tank bears strong resemblance to the tactical tanks with galaxy models that are carried on Galactic Patrol ships in Lensman. And thumbing through Dune, I noticed one scene includes a holographic display (called a "solido tri-D projection"), showing spice harvesting operations on Arrakis, during a staff briefing by Duke Leto Atreides.

    ---

    I've been re-reading the excerpts included in The Making of ESB from George Lucas's story conferences with Leigh Brackett; and what strikes me is how many of the more off-the-wall ideas in her script were actually inspired by his thoughts. Reading her script must have made Lucas realize some of these concepts wouldn't work.

    So this is where Brackett got the idea for including the ghost of Father Skywalker, apparently.

    This passage is fascinating. It suggests Lucas was already beginning to see Vader as someone not entirely evil. Also, it touches on the question of "what Vader really is" when unmasked; not necessarily Anakin, but definitely someone to be pitied as well as hated. (Compare the passage where Lucas says "in the third film we find out who Darth Vader is" from The Making of SW).

    So Lucas came up with the idea of using a viewscreen in this scene. He must have realized later on that a hologram would fit the SW universe better. (Now I'm imagining a round Flash Gordon-style viewscreen like those seen in TPM when I read this scene in the Brackett draft.)

    Here's (probably) the point where Brackett got the idea for that trippy vision sequence with the stars and galaxies during the Luke/Vader duel. Interestingly, Lucas uses the idea of a mental battle to retroactively justify the lack of action in the Obi-Wan/Vader duel from ANH. But not so much as an idea for how Luke's fight should go; instead he focuses on the Force powers of firing lightning bolts and hurling objects with one's mind. I guess this is one point where Brackett picked up on the wrong part of Lucas's train of thought.

    Lucas evidently thought that Luke should use the Dark Side to get an advantage in his duel with Vader. Brackett used the idea in her draft, but Lucas must have decided ultimately to save this idea for the sequel's climactic fight where Vader dies.

    Darth_Nub

    I'd have to read Draft 2 again, but again, that sounds more like a generic coincidence - although I'm sure GL had read LOTR prior, so it might have figured somewhat unconsciously (as opposed to the overt influence Tolkien had on him around Draft 3). The Kiber Crystal is more of a MacGuffin in Draft 2, Luke's real quest is to find his father, the Starkiller, and prove to him that he's a man.
    What you've got there is the father issue which GL seems to wrestle with throughout the entire OT - feature the father in the story as a half-machine, half-man, then make him a god-like figure, then kill him off, then make him the half-machine villain, then redeem him.
    Try as he might have, GL just couldn't get rid of Luke's father, his influence was just too powerful in the story he was trying to tell. Even when Lucas found that killing him off prior to the story made his impact that much greater, the old man seemed to be still banging away at the door, looking for a way to get back in. First attempt at doing it in in the sequel didn't work, but the second hit the jackpot.

    Then, of course, in the PT, he took the story of Darth Vader and parallelled it with his own. Lucas no longer sees himself as Luke, he's become Anakin, who becomes Vader, who he might have once seen as his own father. The circle is indeed now complete.

    ATMachine

    Here are some more passages from the December 1977 story conference excerpts in The Making of ESB, where Lucas talks to Brackett about alternate possibilities for developing the Emperor as a character:

    (Notice there isn't any mention of the Emperor having been an elected Chancellor of the Senate. But his involvement as a Dark Side user in the destruction of the Jedi is stated emphatically.)

    The last portion (which I've bolded) is the most interesting, because it suggests that at this stage, Lucas was still toying with two different conceptions of the Emperor. You have on one hand the evil sorcerer, the personification of the Dark Side, but we also get the idea--here conceived as a distinctly different direction for taking the story--that the Emperor is a crooked politician.

    This latter idea of the Emperor as a corrupt Richard Nixon-esque politician-gone-wrong is what Lucas emphasized in his August 1977 backstory notes:

    Note that there's no mention of the Emperor being a Dark Side sorcerer here. He's just a powerful elected bureaucrat with an army on his side--as well as the Sith Lord Darth Vader (and possibly others), who did the actual work of killing the Jedi on his behalf.

    -------------------

    The original 1976 ANH novelization by Alan Dean Foster had a different take on the issue. We learn in the prologue that Chancellor Palpatine "declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears." But here it was "the Imperial governors and bureaucrats", not specifically Palpatine, who exterminated the Jedi Knights. Thus in this early version of the SW backstory, the Emperor was seen as a puppet of the bureaucracy, not its mastermind--an idea that Lucas had definitely revised by 1977.

    (It's probably worth noting that the 2nd and 3rd drafts of ANH both contain references to the "Master of the Bogan Force," the chief of the Sith Lords, who was a separate character from the Emperor. Even the ANH novelization mentions that "Fear followed the footsteps of all the Dark Lords," alluding to the idea from Drafts 2 and 3 that there are numerous Sith Lords serving the Empire.)

    Moreover, later in the ANH novelization we learn that Vader aided "the later corrupt Emperors," and a biography of Vader from a 1977 magazine refers to "successive evil Emperors." Plus, Grand Moff Tarkin notes in ANH Draft 4 that "This operation will secure my place on the Emperor’s council. With the right maneuvering, I could be Emperor." This line implies that there may well have been a history of past Emperors, since it was expected that powerful bureaucrats such as Tarkin could ascend to the throne.

    --------------------

    It would certainly make sense (in terms of the ANH novelization's descriptions, at least) to imagine that, in the SW of 1976, Palpatine had been the first Emperor in a series. The later Emperors grew increasingly corrupt as the ideals of the Republic crumbled. In other words, the coming of the Empire was a gradual process, much like the fall of the Roman Republic. We know from early drafts that there was a "Jedi Rebellion" which caused their extermination--perhaps the Jedi were seeking to topple the corrupt Imperial dynasty and restore the Republic?

    But this is obviously not what Lucas came to envision by 1977. He wanted to involve the Emperor more directly as the ultimate villain of his story. But he was unsure about the direction to take in developing the character--leaning at times toward the idea of a Nixonian politician, at other times favoring the notion of an evil sorcerer (who could just as easily have inherited his position from previous Emperors). He obviously chose the latter course when writing ROTJ, but the problem of how to handle the Emperor resurfaced when writing the prequels. Thus we got the Sidious/Palpatine dual identity: a combination of two ideas that were at first rather more mutually exclusive.

    Arawn Fenn

    Indeed. I especially take notice of the fact that it says Vader is completely consumed by the dark side of the Force, while simultaneously calling him an instrument of the Force. But this is a Force that's basically good, right?

    Darth_Nub

    Perhaps he never saw him as entirely evil to begin with - Darth Vader derives directly from the Prince Valorum character in Draft 1, who, in turn, was based on General Tadokoro in Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress. Both were men of honour on the side of the villains who turned to the good side.
    While there's nothing explicit about Vader struggling with his own dark side in Drafts 2-4 or the film of SW, it's implied that he holds himself to a higher standard of conduct than the rest of the Imperials, who he views with a certain contempt. The novelisation makes this slightly more explicit.

    I certainly don't think GL's comment is a smoking gun in relation to the debate of whether "Vader was Luke's father all along", I think it's more a reflection of the evolving complexity of the character, which, combined with the gradual fading into the background of Father Skywalker, would eventually reach critical mass and create Father Vader.

    No - GL always described the Force as having two sides, Light and Dark, or Ashla and Bogan (I still find that funny - 'bogan' in Australian slang is a term to describe white trash).
    It does, however, confirm that Lucas viewed the users of the dark side as being like drug addicts, or under the influence of an evil spell. It's not quite as explicit in SW - Obi-Wan refers to Vader as having been "seduced by the Dark Side of the Force", but you could just easily say he'd been seduced by greed or the lust for power, while retaining freedom of choice (as Prince Valorum does in Draft 1).

    Arawn Fenn

    Exactly. I don't see it as a contradiction, but my previous post was meant to indicate that a Potentium believer would likely see it that way.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Sep 3, 2012
    bstnsx704 likes this.
  2. Darth-Dogfish-Head Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2004
    star 4
    Thank you for saving all of this information, I'm glad it wasn't lost.
  3. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    TSHOSW: Leigh Brackett and Lucas' filmic style for SW (page 2)

    Darth_Nub

    The development of the Emperor and his eventual merging with the Sith/Bogan Master seems to parallel the development of Luke's father & Darth Vader, although it's far more straightforward. By eliminating complicated political shenanigans involving trade guilds & a succession of corrupt Emperors from the story, GL had to make the current Emperor far more evil & powerful, so it made sense that he would be more powerful than Vader - which made this unseen Sith Master redundant.
    1977 references by GL to the Emperor possibly still being a Nixonian bureaucrat almost sound like him thinking aloud, not wanting to completely dismiss his original inspiration for the character (and certain elements of the galactic situation, for that matter). He would, of course, return to this conception for the PT & enjoy the best of both worlds.

    By the time Brackett's draft was undertaken, the hidden 'Dark Side Master' is gone, and it's now the Emperor who's the big bad guy with magic powers. His appearance in gold, however, probably indicates that the old vision of the Sith being a gang of mercenaries merely trained in the use of the Force was still somewhat in place - he's well & truly Vader's superior, & it's not as if they dress alike.
    Kasdan seemed to bring the Emperor & Vader closer together, almost to the level of equals, and presumably killed off the possibility of other Sith Lords who may have been wandering the galaxy. Although the term 'Sith' is never actually uttered in the OT, it's quite clear by ROTJ that Palps & Vader are Dark Side users from the same school. If Darth Vader is a 'Dark Lord Of The Sith', then Palpatine has some connection to this mysterious 'Sith', even if Vader's title might have easily been more along the lines of 'Thain of Cawdor', or 'Bearer of the Royal Sceptre'.

    ATMachine

    Well, Brackett's Emperor feels disturbances in the Force--he's clearly a Dark Side user, even if he's less hands-on than his Sith subordinates. (The golden robe is undoubtedly a Brackett touch--Lucas would probably have preferred to robe him in simple black, like an evil wizard.) In the OT, though, the question of how this Dark Side master achieved supreme political power is almost entirely glossed over.

    As you said, the August '77 story notes, where Lucas reiterates his early conception of the Emperor as a corrupt Nixonian politician, seem to be an attempt to salvage an old idea--just as it was being displaced by the new concept of the villainous sorcerer. I don't think these two ideas about the Emperor fully merged until the writing of the PT (which is why Palpatine ends up having a dual personality).

    ---

    Here's a funny detail I noticed while rereading the ANH third draft:

    We see this "magazine-sized TV set" again later on, this time called a "video-slate," when Luke leaves home:

    This is clearly a direct copy of the portable, tablet-size TV sets seen in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Interesting to see that idea (especially the notion of TV!) in SW drafts.

    (Speaking of which, Kubrick's futuristic TV design has been in the news lately, because certain technology firms have tried to argue in patent disputes that it inspired the Apple iPad. Which is sort of silly--that thing in the movie is obviously little more than a television.)

    Funny thing... the communication viewscreens in 2001, though in full color, have prominent scanlines when seen in close-up shots. This might've been the style inspiration for Leia's hologram in the original 1977 release of ANH, which has more of a full-color look than the holograms seen in later movies. Isaac Asimov's Foundation holograms were in full color, after all. But Leia's ANH hologram has been given a much bluer tint in the post-1997 SE releases, to make it more consistent with the other films. The monochrome blue-and-white holograms first glimpsed in ESB, and then used throughout the prequels, might have been derived from the similarly blue-and-white video displays on the spaceship in Silent Running--a film directed by Douglas Trumbull of 2001 fame.

    Also, watching 2001 again, I'm reminded that some of the spaceships' guidance-system animations (which use wire-frame graphics) remind me a lot of the targeting systems seen in X-wings and TIE fighters.

    Darth_Nub
    I'm not so sure about the gold robe being necessarily a Brackett touch - as I mentioned, the idea that the Sith were in service to the Emperor was probably still in place (as opposed to them all being a part of the same group), as indicated by the Emperor's somewhat more overbearing dialogue towards Vader. Dialogue from the shooting script and novelisation of SW also points towards the Sith being a known group of mercenaries - "This Sith Lord sent by the Emperor will be our undoing."
    Also, given that GL was still toying with the Nixonian Emperor, he probably wasn't 100% sold on the Emperor's appearance blatantly reflecting his evil nature.

    You're right about Palpatine's rise to power being glossed over in the OT as presented - I seem to recall a quote from GL during the PT era which actually acknowledged this as one of the plot problems he had to deal with. Obviously this problem stemmed from the Emperor & the Dark Side Master originally being separate characters, but I certainly don't have a problem with how he eventually resolved the issue. Having to address the matter may well have been what led to his new vision of the Sith as a shadowy cult that had operated completely under the radar for a thousand years, and that's one of the elements of the PT I really enjoy.

    ATMachine

    n the story conferences with Brackett, Lucas is quoted as saying "The Emperor is even more powerful than Vader. He's the classic devil character, a hooded, dark figure--you can't even see who he is." (Also, "How about if we don't see his face? He's just a hooded figure, reminiscent of Ben.") The reference to the "devil" makes me wonder if Lucas hadn't already conceived the Emperor as having a grotesque, Sith-like appearance. (After all, the idea that the Sith looked like "Linda Blair in The Exorcist" dates back to Draft 2 of ANH.) It's one of those things we'll never really know for certain, I suppose.

    ---

    Also, it's worth noting that in a couple of Kasdan's ESB drafts, after the Emperor commands Vader to speak with him, he nonetheless makes him wait, forcing Vader to deal with the Emperor's "Grand Vizier" Sate Pestage. (Earlier drafts named this character "Sate Molock.")

    Interesting to see the Emperor putting Vader off balance by first ordering him to make contact and then deliberately ignoring him for a while. Also, the idea of a Grand Vizier, a political bureaucrat who is nonetheless superior to Vader, has shades of the Tarkin/Vader relationship from ANH.

    Darth_Nub

    GL somewhat recycled that idea for his rough draft of ROTJ, replacing Pestage with Jerjerrod, although this early Jerjerrod & Vader were far more at odds with each other.

    ATMachine

    Necro time! :D
    I thought it might be useful somewhat to lay out a sort of "chronology of the Empire" and its behind-the-scenes development during the drafts of ANH.

    Journal of the Whills - The Galactic Empire is ruled by Emperor Ford Xerxes XII or Alexander Xerxes XII. Given his regnal number, he must be the latest in a dynasty of successive Emperors. However, side by side with the Empire there exists the Alliance of Independent Systems, a rival galactic power, as well as other individual non-aligned worlds. The Empire is friendly with the "Border System" and gives it secret assistance in its invasion of Aquilae.

    ANH Draft I - We see Emperor Cos Dashit, who is also Lord of the planet Alderaan and "Consul to the Supreme Tribunal." Dashit is ruler of the New Empire, which replaced an older, more benevolent version of the Galactic Empire. The Jedi Knights faithfully served the Emperors of the Old Empire and expanded its boundaries for thousands of years, but after the recent "Jedi Rebellion" (led by Luke Skywalker, formerly the Emperor's personal bodyguard), they became outlawed and the Knights of the Sith were charged with hunting them down.

    It seems that Dashit's power as Emperor is dependent on his status as ruler of Alderaan--a situation analogous to Frank Herbert's Dune, where the Padishah Emperor (a title always vested in House Corrino) is also the monarch of the planet Salusa Secundus. Cos Dashit's invasion of Aquilae ("the last of the Independent Systems") is intended to give him supreme power in the Tribunal; he wants to use the "scientific wealth" of Aquilae to free his Empire from the oversight of the other Great Houses of the realm.

    Dashit has a Hitler mustache and gives a grand speech in the manner of a jingoistic politician, but there's no clear elaboration of how he got to be Emperor. He has more of an ordinary name and no regnal number, though--perhaps there was an interruption in the succession between the Old and New Empires.

    ANH Draft 2 - This is the first draft in which there was a Galactic Republic that preceded the Empire. Luke tells us that the Republic became corrupted when the Senate fell under the control of "the Power and Transport Guilds." The Jedi attempted to purge the conspiracy in the "Holy Rebellion of '06." But they were destroyed by the corrupt Senate, with the help of the "mercenary warriors" known as the Sith--originally a clan of pirates taught to use the Force by a runaway Padawan.

    The opening crawl likewise references the idea of "ruthless trader barons" who created the Galactic Empire out of greed.

    There is an Emperor (who seems to be a figurehead), but there is also a Sith Master, Prince Espaa Valorum, who resides at the Imperial prison on Alderaan. Darth Vader is the "right-hand man to the Master of the Sith."

    Despite the introduction of a Republic, Han Solo thinks that Luke, due to his wealth and his combat skills, "must belong to one of the royal families" -- so there's still some form of monarchical government present.

    Story Synopsis, May 1975 - The reference to the "trader barons" is still in the opening crawl. The Sith are described in the crawl as "the sinister agents of the Empire."

    ANH Draft 3 - A single reference to the "trader barons" who created the Empire remains in the opening crawl, but otherwise this angle is now entirely absent from the story.

    The Sith are now the "sinister agents of the Emperor" (emphasis mine). The crawl also states that "the Emperor has sent one of his most ferocious Dark Lords" to track down and destroy the Rebels. When Vader first appears, the script calls him the "right hand of the Emperor." Thus the Emperor's role is becoming increasingly important; he is clearly the master of the Sith. There is a single reference to "the Master of the Bogan Force," but whom that title belongs to is not made clear. It is also never mentioned how many Emperors there have been.

    Ben Kenobi calls Leia Organa "part of the royal family" of her home planet, Organa Major. Luke asks, "But she's a member of the Twelve Families. How can they hold her?" Ben's reply is "These are doubtful times. The Empire has grown bold in its disregard of the--" In other words, Leia's royal rank would normally make holding her prisoner illegal, but the Empire is increasingly disregarding such traditional privileges. (And here we have more appearances of monarchy, despite the idea of a Republic.)

    ANH Draft 4 - Obi-Wan notes that "The Emperor made him [Vader] a Sith Lord and he became evil and powerful." So the Emperor decides who becomes a Sith Lord.

    Obi-Wan also says that Leia's "father was once the ruler of Alderaan." Leia is said to be a "Princess-Senator" and holds two titles; she is royalty by birth, but a Senator by position in the galactic government.

    Tarkin says "This operation will secure my place on the Emperor's council. With the right maneuvering, I could be Emperor." Thus he expects that a bureaucrat can succeed to the Imperial throne.

    ANH Draft 4 revised - Commander Tagge says "This Sith Lord sent by the Emperor will be our undoing" (emphasis mine). This line continues the idea from Draft 3 that the Sith Lords work for the Emperor.

    ANH Novelization - Palpatine is named as a Chancellor of the Republic who declares himself Emperor, but thereafter he is "increasingly isolated." It is said that the Imperial governors and bureaucrats (not the Emperor) were the ones who brought about the destruction of the Jedi.

    Vader served "the later corrupt Emperors." So Palpatine was just the first in a series, it seems.

    "Fear followed the footsteps of all the Dark Lords." Implying there are multiple Sith, as in earlier drafts.

    Leia's father is the "Viceroy and First Chairman of the Alderaan system," not its king. This fits nicely with the idea of a democratic Republic from which he held his title. But Leia's still a princess, oddly enough.

    August 1977 story notes - Leia's father was "president of [the Alderaan] Senate", the regional government of Alderaan's planetary system. Again we see Lucas moving away from the idea that Leia's father was a King, though rather oddly never rejecting her royal title.

    The Emperor, who here is stated to be a corrupt Chancellor of the Republic, built up a secret army to wipe out the Jedi. (Quite possibly a secret army of Sith.) Of course, there's only one Emperor in this version, and he is undoubtedly an evil mastermind, if not yet a Dark Side sorcerer.

    ...

    Also noteworthy is the way the ANH novelization refers to the Emperor's relationship with Vader: "This Sith Lord inflicted on us at the urging of the Emperor will be our undoing." The Emperor doesn't seem to be as decisive and powerful as in the actual film script--he's quite possibly "urging" the bureaucrats with real de facto power to send Vader to stamp out the Rebellion.

    ...

    So far I've been looking for elements of Lucas's ideas (plus what he definitely didn't think up) in Brackett's ESB script -- but how about looking for touches of Brackett's original SF? I've been binging on her short stories recently and wanted to share a couple of interesting snippets.

    George Lucas described Darth Vader's castle stronghold to Brackett like this: "Might be nice to give Vader a little castle on a rock in the middle of the ocean. One way to see him would be in a tall, dark tower, very narrow in a lava flow, dark, red, and burning, almost like hell." He probably favored the idea of a lava world, since that's what all of Ralph McQuarrie's concept art shows. Brackett, on the other hand, took the "ocean" quote and ran with it, describing Vader's fortress as: "A grim castle of black iron that squats on a rock in the midst of a crimson sea." Not lava, just a funky-colored ocean. The idea of the red sea may have come to her from her own work: in her stories set on Venus (such as Lorelei of the Red Mist, which she let Ray Bradbury complete due to getting a job in Hollywood), much of the action takes place on an "ocean" of heavy red gas on which futuristic ships can sail.

    Or take Brackett's parenthetical note about Ton-Muund, the city-planet and "administrative center of the Empire," that it "should have an odd sort of daylight, perhaps a blue star?" This may have been inspired by her husband Edmond Hamilton's novel The Star Kings, in which the Mid-Galactic Empire has its capital at Throon, a planet of the white star Canopus.

    Speaking of which, The Star Kings' Mid-Galactic Empire is actually a good galactic government, with a constitutional monarchy presiding over a representative legislature. On the other hand, the League of Dark Worlds, a sinister rival power, is much more akin to the Empire of SW as we know it. Could this have been an influence on the idea of the Galactic Cold War -- the Empire vs. the "Alliance of Independent Systems" -- in Lucas's early Journal of the Whills outline? It also reminds me a bit of the benevolent "Old Empire" being replaced by the sinister "New Empire" in Draft 1 of ANH.... though that might equally have sprung from Isaac Asimov's Foundation.

    PS -- while looking for the quote from Lucas about Vader's castle, I also found this idea: "Vader walks down the hall--these long, narrow steel corridors, very gray--and he goes into a gray room. It's all steel and there at the end of the room on a throne is a gray, macabre, cold steel box and it's the Emperor. The Emperor tells Vader to get Luke--he is the last of the Jedi and must be stopped." The Emperor is hidden inside a "cold steel box"?? Like the tanks of the mutated Guild Navigators from Dune? Far-out...

    ...

    Fun fact: in Brackett's Martian stories, the traditional garment of Low Canal women (like some Venusian women, see Lorelei of the Red Mist) basically consists of a skirt with thigh-high slits on either side, sandals, and jewelry. Not much for modesty--kind of like the Red Martians of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom. No doubt Lucas wishes he could've gotten away with that version of Slave Leia...

    Darth_Nub

    [IMG] [IMG]

    ATMachine

    Thanks for the visual aid, Nub. I'm sure all the other thread readers are grateful... :p

    Speaking of visual aids.... about that quote of Lucas's where he says, "Vader walks down the hall--these long, narrow steel corridors, very gray--and he goes into a gray room. It's all steel and there at the end of the room on a throne is a gray, macabre, cold steel box and it's the Emperor. The Emperor tells Vader to get Luke--he is the last of the Jedi and must be stopped."

    Once again Lucas turns to Dune for inspiration, it appears. Imagine Palpatine looking like this....

    [IMG]

    ...

    Browsing through Making of ESB again, I noticed in Lucas' earliest notes about Yoda (then called Bunden Debannen or "Buffy") the idea that "He [Luke's teacher] was Mynoc. Human-computer. (Vader?)" Note the word Mynoc: Lucas is here riffing on the Mentats of Dune, the human computers trained to replace the functions of outlawed "thinking machines." Interestingly, these notes also make a tentative connection between the Dune-derived idea of "human computers" and the cyborg Darth Vader.

    (As for the Mentat-Mynoc word similarity, the same sort of connection might link the Jeddaks, the mighty war leaders of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom, with the words "Jedi" and "Jedi-Bendu," borrowed from Japanese jidai-geki films and Dune's "prana-bindu" Bene Gesserit muscle control...)

    ...

    Going back to Lucas' quote--"In the end, the Emperor does exactly what Ben did; he can also transform himself. As Ben becomes the personification of the good side of the Force, the Emperor is the bad." I wonder if he had something of the ROTS plot (about Jedi vs. Sith methods of immortality) already in mind?

    That is, the Jedi would achieve immortality by becoming one with the Force, transcending physical existence, whereas the Sith would seek physical immortality of the flesh--at the cost of horrific mutation of their bodies. Frank Herbert's Children of Dune, from 1976, has something of the sort, when Leto II, son of Paul Atreides and heir to his Empire, mixes his DNA with the sandworms of Arrakis in order to become an immortal human-worm hybrid Emperor, and ends up ruling the galaxy for millennia. Could Palpatine have done something similar (and thus have become a mutant, even possibly concealed in a steel tank)?

    ...

    FWIW, there's also the example of prime villain Gharlane of Eddore from the Lensman series--a billions-of-years-old Eddorian, a super-evolved evil being with a giant brain and an atrophied lower body. Of course, since simply looking at him can drive ordinary people insane, he doesn't show his real appearance to everyone--in fact, he's often wielded power by psychically "activating" various humanoid bodies over the years, such as those of Nero, Hitler, and "the Tyrant of Asia." In one of the later books Gharlane inhabits the humanoid form of Prime Minister Fossten of Thrale, a nation on the side of the bad guys. Of course the hero Kim Kinnison eventually strips away Fossten's human shell in a titanic battle of minds, revealing Gharlane's true hideous appearance.

    Arawn Fenn

    Yoda as a Mynock would have been... interesting.

    ATMachine

    Heh. I don't think Lucas was using the word mynock in the sense it's used in the final film--i.e., those parasites inside the space slug gullet. In these early notes, it seems he was trying out "Mynoc" as a name for "human-computers," essentially a borrowing of the idea of Mentats from Dune. Basically, it'd refer to people (like Jedi) trained to have a super-powerful mental capacity for analysis.

    Although your way of interpreting it is funnier. :D

    Darth_Nub

    Much the same as 'Dai Noga' (First Draft) was an alternate name for the Jedi Bendu (Rough Draft) - slightly tweaked, it would eventually be the name for the monster living in the garbage compactor.

    Funniest thing I found in Yoda's evolution was that his first specified name was Buffy.

    ...

    The only McQuarrie 'lava' artwork I can recall was done for ROTJ, set deep below the surface of Had Abbadon:

    [IMG]

    There's this one for ESB, but I'm pretty sure it's meant to be Cloud City, not a lava planet:

    [IMG]

    Perhaps being very simplistic, but IMHO, GL's inspiration for the whole lava planet/volcano duel concept probably came directly from The Lord Of The Rings & little else. Brackett may have misinterpreted something GL submitted & I agree, went in a direction inspired by her own previous work.

    Feel Like What

    There's a sketch for Vader's castle atop rocks in a sea of lava in The Making of ESB. It's on page 13

    Darth_Nub

    So there is. The sketch is as rough as guts, even in colour, but that's Mustafar right there. Will try to find a scan.
  4. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    TSHOSW: Leigh Brackett and Lucas' filmic style for SW (page 3)

    Feel Like What

    [IMG]

    So if Vader lives here, would the duel have also taken place here? I mean, Lucas talked about the volcano duel in the summer of 77 (to "Rolling Stone," I think), right? Perhaps Ben went after him? I can't remember what Lucas says in the short backstories in the end of TMoSW about how the duel situation worked, but I don't think it was like that...

    Darth_Nub

    Cheers for the scan.

    I don't think the duel would have been meant to have taken place on this supposed 'Vader home planet' - the whole idea of Vader living in a castle surrounded by lava sounds like a vague visual concept GL came up with & liked, but abandoned for plot reasons.

    It's also worth noting that while ESB was being developed, Vader's backstory changed from him being hideously burnt after falling into a volcano, to falling down a nuclear reaction shaft (or something) & being mutated. That change may have come about from the new development of having Vader live on a lava planet.

    Feel Like What

    (I found it on the intergoogles.)

    I half-remember the reactor idea. There's a SW trading card (I think) with a Toxic Avenger-looking concept for Vader that I associated with it, though I can't remember if it's from ESB or ROTJ. Ah yes, this one:

    [IMG]

    Certainly looks mutated (not just burnt). Where did the reactor concept appear/come from?

    Darth_Nub

    It's in the 1998 Annotated Screenplays book & appears elsewhere - IIRC, there's not much more than a quote from Irvin Kershner, it was merely something that came up in story discussions, not anything that found its way into a draft or any public interviews from the time. An idea to put alongside Han dying in ROTJ, and Luke taking Vader's mask & putting it on. Kershner also mentioned Vader being absolutely hideous under the mask, with one of his eyeballs practically falling out of its socket.
    (Sorry, most of my SW books are on a shelf in the spare room surrounded by large boxes containing the parts of what will be our new kitchen)

    ...

    Shameless bump, but Feel Like What - fantastic avatar. Perhaps my favourite piece of fan/EU Star Wars artwork ever.

    I went to a Sydney SW convention back around 1996/97 where Hugh Fleming was the VIP guest, he said that he didn't originally intend to do the Obi-Wan painting for Topps, he wanted to paint The Duel between Anakin Skywalker & Obi-Wan Kenobi, but couldn't find a decent photo of a young Sebastian Shaw (back then, the interwebz wasn't quite what it is now, kids).

    I'd love to see someone do a painting of Sebastian Shaw as Anakin Skywalker in a similar vein to Fleming's Obi-Wan, perhaps inspired by the Red Baron:

    [IMG] [IMG]

    ATMachine

    Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of responses--my computer suddenly died on me and I'm currently forced into using a much more cumbersome laptop.

    Nub--that sketch of what you labeled "Vader in Cloud City" really is a drawing for the interior of Vader's castle on the lava planet; or at least Ralph McQuarrie remembered it as being such. (Note that you can see a spire of rock silhouetted against the reddish sky.) I had the good fortune to see that drawing in person at Celebration V last year.

    I very much like the idea of imagining a younger Sebastian Shaw as PT-era Anakin. Which reminds me, the 1990s novel The Truce at Bakura describes Anakin's Force ghost as having "dark hair" a la Shaw. Makes sense given the time it was written, but still interesting to see Anakin described that way.

    Darth_Nub

    Yeah, I suppose, the windows & interior just look a bit more sci-fi & friendly than the gothic castle from Brackett's draft. The 'spire of rock' might be some sort of floating building on Cloud City, it's a pretty rough sketch.

    [IMG]

    But hey, if the late, great Ralph McQuarrie said it's a lava planet, that's about as definitive as it can get. It just doesn't look like the sort of sketch you'd do to illustrate Darth Vader in his castle on a planet of lava. There's a heap of couches in there. It looks like the lobby of a fancy office building.

    Tosche_Station

    "I'm back, Mr. Luthor"!................

    Darth_Nub

    Ah, yes, I was just talking about you. You were followed again. In spite of those catlike reflexes.

    Maybe you can settle this argument that's become a burning issue on these temp boards - Carrie or Natalie?

    Feel Like What

    Oh man! That would have been cool (the duel). The Fleming version of Ben just has an old-timey quality to it that feels period-correct to me. (Those Galaxy cards have a lot of images that really shaped my view of SW, not to mention other bits of my imagination as a kid - Leia with the twins, the weird cartoony chicken walker on Hoth, unmasked Fett, Ben, etc.)

    Also, I'm actually a painter. In fact, I used that picture of Shaw you posted for a little study-sketch I did once. I might have to take this on as a little fan art project.

    Also also I watched American Graffiti a while ago and thought that Paul Lemat might have made a good Anakin, had the prequels been made in the 80s:

    [IMG]

    Darth_Nub

    Prequel trilogy in the 1980s? One choice for Anakin, and one only:

    Star Wars: Episode I (1986)
    [IMG]

    Star Wars: Episode II (1989)
    [IMG]


    Star Wars: Episode III (1992)
    [IMG]

    End of.
    (I've posted this on the old boards anyway)

    Of course, even before George Lucas got divorced & the SW Saga was put on indefinite hold, there was talk that he was going to take a couple of years off from SW & the next one (Ep I) would be released around 1988/89, but even so, I can't imagine any actor better in the role of Anakin Skywalker than River Phoenix. Whether or not he'd have wanted it is another story, but he did take the role of the young Indiana Jones, so he clearly wasn't averse to taking part in large, cartoonish franchises. Oh, what might have been...

    ...

    I've read that 'old-timey quality' referred to on the previous boards as 'past-tense', and that's what I love about the Hugh Fleming painting. Fleming described the concept of the picture as something that might be hung along the walls of the Jedi Halls or Temple. It doesn't have to be set in a particular period - that can kill the illusion - just as long as it feels that it's older.

    It was the Galaxy II series of Topps cards that opened the can of worms - there was a picture of Vader's 'knighting' as a Sith, plus this one that apparently went just a bit too far and got pulled:

    [IMG]

    Feel Like What

    That's another favorite of mine. In high school I did a slavish copy of it, haha.

    There's another with a Hutt fighting two Jedi, presumably a reference to the line cut from ROTJ, Jabba saying to Luke "I was killing your kind when being a Jedi meant something."

    Darth_Nub

    Here you go:

    [IMG]

    The 'past-tense' quality of the Obi-Wan painting was what I felt was really lacking in the PT - it began somewhat with the uniforms & starships of Naboo (all leather & gold), but by AOTC it was abandoned in favour of utterly alien designs, then the oh-so-slightly-retro OT vision of ROTS. I never felt that we had been treated to what Obi-Wan Kenobi referred to in SW/ANH as 'The Old Republic'.

    Feel Like What

    Agreed on that. Before TPM came out, there was an EU reference book, The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels, which was illustrated by Doug Chiang. I've sometimes wondered if doing all that drawing of OT-era/OT-feel ships allowed him any insight in how to weave an air of antiquity but keep it looking "correct." (There is a McQuarrie-ish-ness to his work, I think.)

    I also agree with your assessment of TPM vs the other two films. (I suspect this difference between TPM and 2/3 also has to do with the fact that TPM still used models for vehicle and ship shots, and had a film-grain look.)

    But I do think the designs in TPM are, for the most part, far more memorable and iconic than in the later prequels. I think that's an important part of what draws the eye about the OT.

    I guess I kind of got away from the point there. But I've thought of it like this - the OT is in some ways a Vietnam analogy, and uses a lot of WWII-looking hardware (and in some cases actual machinery/weaponry from that period)... the PT could have looked like (not necessarily been, but looked like) a WWI/WWII (maybe) analogy, in comparison. The Naboo designs do a pretty good job of that.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    Darth_Nub

    I'm loath to parallel the PT & OT with WWI & WWII, as I don't believe the story itself follows the same lines - the real-world conflicts seem to draw more from the American Civil War, the Vietnam War & a Second American Civil War that never happened (but many feared) - however, given the overt visual influence that WWII had on the OT, I was really expecting WWI & turn of the century conflicts, plus some slightly earlier eras, to have a far greater influence on the visual design of the PT, simply for that 'past-tense' quality I referred to. David Lynch's Dune comes close.

    Trouble was, the fact that it all happened in 'a galaxy far, far away' meant that anything goes, and it did. Ralph McQuarrie R.I.P. - we missed you, & still do.

    ...

    I think the difference had more to do with location shooting vs totally CGI environments. The visual aspects of several environments in the PT were already set in stone from the beginning, to a certain extent (Tatooine, Coruscant, Kashyyyk, Mustafar), but when it came to the completely new planets, Naboo was the only one which really stood out - it can't be a coincidence that it's the only new one that was shot on location.

    Kamino, Geonosis, Utapau, the various weird locales shown at the end of ROTS during the Order 66 montage - they all looked like something out of a video game & didn't really connect, as they had no real-world parallel. That's what happens when you give a CGI designer/geek a completely blank slate. Yes, you can have weird looking landscapes that are totally alien & like nothing you've ever seen before, but that doesn't mean that you should. With absolutely no grounding in reality (like desert, snow or forest) the audience has no frame of reference & the impact of the environment is lost. Tatooine is hot, Hoth is cold, Endor is like walking through a national park, but what the hell is it like on Mygeeto or Felucia? Is Utapau humid? Does it ever stop raining on Kamino? Are there mosquitoes & flies on Cato Neimodia?

    Feel Like What

    I get what you're saying, but just to nitpick - most of those are largely constructed of models. Utapau, parts of Kamino (not the water obviously), Geonosis, Felucia, at the least. (Though your point about these not being shot on location still holds.) I think perhaps one problem - or at least a difference - is that locations in the OT were background. It had a pretty documentary feel. They were unique, but weren't in-your-face. The design and presentation in the later prequels got more and more ostentatious.

    HevyDevy

    Interesting stuff guys, I haven't read the whole thread. I love the prequels, but a lot of this stuff would have been great to see.

    About the believability of the settings in the PT, I think it's kind of hit and miss to be honest. Naboo indeed feels real, and I find it quite symbolic of the pre-Empire era. I can't stand the indoor look of Kamino, I understand it is supposed to be sterile, but it's just too bright. Geonosis also looks a bit cartoony.
    Mustafar looks great, I don't have a problem connecting with that setting.
  5. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    TSHOSW: Leigh Brackett and Lucas' filmic style for SW (page 4)

    Darth_Nub

    Doesn't matter if they're constructed out of plaster, plywood, Play-Doh or on a computer - my point was that they have no grounding in reality, & that's when the imagination of a designer is allowed to run a bit too wild, which results in the on-screen 'reality' losing the audience. There's just nothing to connect to when all sense of dimension & perspective has been abandoned by some designer who's more concerned about what 'looks cool' than what's meant to be happening in the story at that point.
    Location shooting, or even just complete physical sets on a stage, give a proper sense of perspective to both the actors & the audience, something that a totally bluescreen set is almost completely incapable of doing. In something like the SW Saga, there will be the necessity of creating 100% imaginary environments, but I don't like this current tendency not to bother with locations or physical sets because they can always be done in post.

    Neither do I, & as I mentioned, it was something already well established back in the 1980s as a crucial part of the story, & it's not as if there are any locations the crew could have filmed the scenes as written - very much a case of one location that really did have to be done via special effects. It's other environments that I wished had been done in some sort of real-world setting - Geonosis could have been shot in a bizarre desert, Felucia could have been done in a rainforest & tweaked.
    Even Mustafar didn't have to be an entire planet of lava, it could have been shot on a barren landscape in Ireland or Scotland, with lava elements added later.

    Real-world locations & practical effects might seem a bit outdated with the new-found freedom afforded by CGI, but the difference still shows, simply because the CGI geeks aren't as clever, creative or adept at creating astonishing environments as nature itself. Even Ridley Scott's new feature Prometheus was shot on location in Iceland.

    Tosche_Station

    One could certainly use the PT/OT parallels with WWI & WWII regarding their look , though. And I believe Howard Kazanjian said in 2005 that (paraphrasing) the old plan during the early 80's was that the OT should look like WWII, but the backstory - should it ever be made - would look like WWI. Instead, it ended up looking like "WWIV", according to Kazanjian, with which I can't help but agree.

    Fascinating stuff about Brackett's draft, Nub and ATMachine...the only one 'missing' from the discussion is Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon, and some 'Jawa' dude ;):p.

    As far as the 'un-StarWars ness' re: Brackett's draft, I think that Rinzler's TMOTESB book mentions Kasdan being given a 'brief' to make the script "more Star Wars-y".

    Darth_Nub

    Pretty sure Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon quit the old boards entirely when he hit 10,000 posts, don't know where everyone else is. zombie got pretty bored with it all a while back, which is a shame - unfortunately, I also think his website's been hacked, Google comes up with the 'This site may harm your computer.' warning.

    Oh, I agree with the visual parallels, it's just that there's a tendency for many to leap to the conclusion that the PT & OT are meant to parallel WWI & WWII directly, with the rise of the Empire directly taken from the rise of the Nazis, which, despite being influential, isn't the whole story. I'd also like to think that the PT wouldn't have been restricted to WWI - Naboo seems to draw from a slightly earlier European period, approximately the late 19th century, which works quite well. Reminds me a bit of Kenneth Branagh's 1996 film of Hamlet.
    I seem to recall Kazanjian also mentioning that Eps VII-IX would look like WWIII - he didn't elaborate, & it may have been his own assumption, but it's interesting to think that the visual design of the Sequel Trilogy may have been discussed at some point, however briefly.

    Feel Like What

    Very cool observation, that. I really hope there will be some information, of any kind, regarding the ST in the ROTJ Making Of-book. It kind of feels like the last chance to get at any of that stuff.

    (Unless they decide to go back and give the same treatment to each prequel.)

    Darth_Nub
    I don't hold high hopes - the Making Of ESB brushed aside the issue of the ST somewhat, and it seems that it was during the development of ESB that the most concrete ideas about it existed. As I mentioned in the 'Shifting Tone of SW' thread, I believe that it was while developing ROTJ that the single six-part Saga (as opposed to the 'Trilogy Of Trilogies') really began to come into being, which eliminated the ST as a result. The mysterious 'Other' mentioned by Yoda in ESB became Leia, and the ending of ROTJ is anything but open-ended regarding the future of the galaxy, it really ends with "They all lived happily ever after".
    Best I think we can hope for in the Making Of ROTJ is the earliest developments of the PT.

    Rinzler did a book on the making of ROTS, which is just as thorough as his two OT ones.

    Feel Like What

    What I was thinking of was that perhaps in the process of turning Leia into the Other and tying off other plot threads, perhaps there could be some mentions of what the previous/"original" ideas were. Maybe. If I recall correctly, the rough draft of ROTJ has Leia already being the Other, but perhaps there are some general notes that show the thought process swirling around this. Similar to the pages with the six-part saga but with "prelude," "clone wars," etc reproduced in TMoESB.

    I actually have the ROTS book... a TPM one would be great.

    Darth_Nub

    Despite the gems revealed in Rinzler's books, I got the impression that he remains somewhat hamstrung by the official stance of, "It was always like that". Too hard to suppress the original drafts of SW, as they're all available online in their entirety, but with ESB it felt like there was heaps Rinzler discovered that wasn't allowed to be included, & the bits about the 5-part prequel series seemed misrepresented in terms of exactly when GL put them to paper.

    Feel Like What

    You think they're actually censoring his output? (Or that he's self-censoring, though there isn't really any reason for him to do so.)

    What do you mean, regarding the proto-prequel series and timing (and the parts you suspect Rinzler discovered and didn't include)? I can't remember what is said about such things...

    I don't have a Twitter account but maybe I should get one specifically to ask him about such issues. Not to be annoying, it just seems like it might be an effective method of communication.

    Darth_Nub

    'Censoring' might be a bit extreme a term, but what I found in the Making Of ESB was a surprising lack of answers to questions that had been debated on the TFN boards. The Father Vader issue is skimmed over somewhat, merely implied to be something that was there all along. The notes about the 5-part prequel series come far earlier in the book than I believe they should have, as they precede GL's rough treatment of ESB, & I don't believe for a second that they actually do predate it. It doesn't help that nothing is dated.

    The very brief notes about the ST right at the end of the book are more confusing than illuminating - there's a bit more than what we knew before, but it's all brushed off as vague mumblings with no more validity than the idea that there could have been 12 episodes, as if GL was only ever toying with episode numbers, rather than other stories. Some quotes from Mark Hamill from the time are even more confused & misinformed.

    Nothing against Rinzler, they're fantastic books, but I'm convinced that whatever 'smoking guns' he's uncovered have been either held back or he's been given some BS about when they were written, or what they're really about. Given just how thorough & detailed he's shown himself to be about what is in the books, he might simply not be able to verify certain material 100%, & won't include it as a result. All you need there is silence from the company & what they don't want revealed won't be.

    Yes, it's all a bit X-Files, but given how devoted GL has shown himself to be to this myth that the SW Saga existed in its current form (The six-episode Tragedy Of Darth Vader) since 1973, it's not surprising that he & LFL might want to keep a few little 30-yo details out of the public eye, especially when they're just vague scribblings about ideas that never came to pass anyway. None of this stuff 'really' happened, anyway.

    ...

    Well, here's his Twitter page:

    http://twitter.com/#!/jwrinzler

    I doubt very much that he'll answer such questions, being an employee of LFL and all. It's frustrating to think that someone with so much access to the resources that could answer so many questions (if not all of them) might be so restricted in providing the answers.
    I imagine it's also extremely difficult for him piecing together the information itself, anyway. Rinzler might have come across a cocktail napkin with "Whot if Vader is Luk'es farther?" scribbled in the sort of handwriting one might attribute to a drunken four-year-old, but GL himself might have had difficulty pinpointing the actual date he wrote it. Exactly when the idea came about can't be specified beyond a rough period from late 1977 to the early part of 1978. zombie would have you believe that it never occurred earlier than the submission of Leigh Brackett's draft of ESB (February 1978), but there's speculation in interviews and articles from around that time that the Father Vader concept was being considered as an alternate storyline, and I don't think they can be dismissed as coincidence.

    Feel Like What

    Your imagined cocktail napkin made me laugh out loud (I don't have much to add except agreement, otherwise.)

    Darth_Nub

    The other problem is that with a fictional 'history', we're talking about ideas, not facts. It's possible that the notion that Luke's father was actually a villain occurred to GL even earlier than 1977 as a wild idea, perhaps not even involving Darth Vader specifically. All we have to go on is what evidence does exist, and while 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence', when there's plot points in existence, you have to rule out contradictory ones that have no supporting evidence at all, despite it being 'possible' they were being considered. Annikin's (Luke's) father, Kane Starkiller, is alive & present in the Rough/First Draft. Luke's father, the Starkiller, is also in the Second Draft. Luke remembers his father in the Third Draft.

    The Fourth Draft - well, all we've got is what Obi-Wan tells Luke. It works as a lie retrospectively, but taken in its original context, there's nothing to suggest that what Obi-Wan told Luke was anything but the truth, and that's supported by the honest, noble way the character of Obi-Wan is presented, along with the three previous drafts of the same film.

    However, with ESB it all gets a bit grey, largely due to the first draft being written by someone else, and the unavailability of GL's handwritten outline he submitted to Brackett. Luke's father exists in Brackett's draft as a ghost, but we don't know if he was there in GL's outline. He may have been, but with quotes from late 1977/early 1978 referring to 'alternate' storylines, along with Vader's backstory becoming so much more complex - the volcano duel, the life support suit - it's not unreasonable to suggest that the Father Vader idea was something GL was considering before he even brought Brackett on board, and an idea he may even have mentioned to others.

    Father Vader may have been born in the month or so after GL read Brackett's draft as a result of his dissatisfaction with it, or it may have been something he was considering a bit earlier, & Brackett's draft could have simply been what convinced him to go with it. All I think we can say for certain is that it almost definitely never occurred to him until after the first film was released, and most likely while he was first brainstorming the next story at the earliest.

    Yahya

    They do have some similarities now that i think about it..:confused:

    Tosche_Station

    1. To be fair, zombie makes a good point about how us fans/audiences are 'conditioned' to resist the idea that Father Vader could have come into the existence so 'late' in the development process, and so 'abruptly', but how we're NOT also conditioned to resist the notion that other 'saga' concepts went on paper/'officially existed' so late in development. He specifically cites two examples, the notion of the hero of the story being a farmer - not evident until the Second draft - and the character of Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi - not evident until the Third draft or the earlier May '75 story synopsis. zombie thus makes the imo reasonable deduction that given those two instances, it's still within the realm possibility - even highly probable - that the Father Vader concept came about rather abruptly and rather 'late' in the process (Spring of '78).

    2. The speculation from '77/early '78 may not ALL be 'coincidence', per se. Some of it could be the selective (mostly on LFL's part), 'retro-jection' of SW saga conceits back into that time period.

    Darth_Nub

    It's definitely possible - all I'm saying is that it's also possible that the concept came about a bit earlier than when zombie insists it must have come about - hence why I think it can only be pinned down to a rough period around late 1977 to Spring 1978.

    The Future Magazine article from April 1978 is pretty clear - it says there's two storylines, one being written by Leigh Brackett (i.e. the article was written prior to her completion of it in February 1978, and her death in March), and another which features the twist about Luke's father actually being a Jedi Knight who turned evil & became Darth Vader.

    We've been over this territory ad nauseam on the old boards, anyway, & there's nothing really conclusive - it's these weird speculative articles from late 1977/early 1978 which confuse matters (David Prowse claimed around November 1977 that Vader is Luke's father), otherwise all evidence indicates that the Father Vader concept never occurred to anyone until after the completion of Brackett's draft of ESB.

    Tosche_Station

    Thing is, I don't remember any of this talk - the 'rumors' re: Father Vader - from back in that time period (late '77/all of '78/'79) at all. My brother - who's a good 8 yrs older than me - doesn't remember hearing any of this, either. I do recall a claim made that at a 'fan convention' in the fall of '77, Lucas answered a fan's question of 'who is Darth Vader?' by saying: "Luke Skywalker's father" .... but I first heard of this rumour sometime in the late 90's. From my perspective then, it seems like these rumors didn't exist or at least didn't become widespread until after TESB/ROTJ and the OT was completed and Vader's paternity became common knowledge. I guess what I'm saying is that it seems like these things are being conveniently dredged-up (this is not directed at you or anyone on the boards) post-TESB/ROTJ to reinforce the notion that this concept went back to the beginning of SW and was thus NOT a 'ret-con'. Father Vader was such a 'shock' to the audience - and not just the general audience - but even to devoted fans. I don't know how this would have been the case if it were true that the Father Vader rumor had already existed in fan circles back then.

    Darth_Nub

    You might be right about the David Prowse quotes, which dates from a fan/sci-fi magazine from around November 1977 - this was, however, dredged up by SW.com. Convenient.

    The Future Magazine article, however, was discovered by zombie & published in TSHOSW:

    - Future Magazine, April, 1978

    zombie attributes this to both the first (Brackett's) & second drafts being somehow leaked.

    However, it's the date of the article & some of the wording which I find intriguing - although it was published after Brackett had submitted her draft to GL (February 17, 1978) and died shortly after (March 18, 1978), it makes no mention of her death, and the wording seems to suggest that she has only just begun work on the script, if at all.
    In other words, it's most likely the article was written before Feb 17, 1978 - and unless it's a case of wild speculation hitting the target (possible), then GL may have been working on his own alternate draft, or at least talking about it, before the Brackett draft was finished.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    This thread is interesting and there's three point I want to address right away:

    1.) Thanks to all the nods to John Carter of Mars in this thread, the SW elements in those early tales are often overlooked since they were just books, whereas Flash Gordon was a serial.

    2.) One post said that not having the original SW film all take place on one planet made it different from John Carter and Flash Gordon (you can tell from my screen-name, avatar, and signature I'm a big fan of these two characters), but if you look at this map of Mongo (throne-world of Ming the Merciless):

    Not Allowed. It shows up here again and this thread is getting locked.

    Take note of the "Cave World" "Flame World" and "Volcano World" (called worlds despite evidently just being continents). While there are, of course, other possibilities, I think GL could have gotten his idea for the at-the-time off-screen duel between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi that caused Vader to become half-machine to take place on a lava planet from these ideas. There's also "Coralia," which is very close to Corellia, a planet referenced a lot in the Ep. IV novelization, and even named once in the movie. McQuarrie's early Hoth drawings look an awful lot like an ice kingdom, and we know the PT would feature an underwater kingdom of its own (as TCW now does). And of course the Sky City of the Hawkmen you've already referenced in your discussion which looks awfully similar to Cloud City.

    If you watch the old Flash Gordon serials, you'll see that although they all take place on the same planet, they go from an ice kingdom, to a forest kingdom, to a cave kingdom, et cetera, and I believe this could have partially influenced GL to literally have an ice world and a desert world and a swamp world, et cetera.

    3.) I read a post that suggested that GL hadn't worked out the Senator Palpatine/Emperor connection until he wrote the PT. But my 1996 SW Essential Guide to Characters lists him as Emperor Palpatine, and the name Senator Palpatine appears in the Ep. IV novelization as the first Emperor as you've discussed, so doesn't that mean the latest GL could have worked that out was Ep. VI since I assume the Ep. VI novelization is where the name Emperor Palpatine was used? That was a long time before Ep. I.

    darthboba

    3 is total nonsense. He was Emperor Palpatine in the ROTJ novel.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    I also thought it went back to Ep. VI, this is the post I was responding to:

  6. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    TSHOSW: Leigh Brackett and Lucas' filmic style for SW (page 5)

    Darth_Nub

    ATMachine is referring to the development of the character from the very start. In the prologue to the SW novelisation, the name Palpatine is attached to the Emperor - however, at this stage it was not necessarily the case that he would be a Dark Side sorcerer (actually a character referenced as a separate person in earlier drafts of SW). Palpatine was merely a crooked politician.
    In ESB it was established that the Emperor was a practitioner of the Dark Side.

    The task GL faced when writing the PT was how to combine these two concepts of the same character - the slimy, manipulative politician of his backstory with the Sith Lord we'd seen - as the two ideas had originally evolved separately, and never been portrayed together on screen. Palps was only seen in ESB & ROTJ as a full-blown sorcerer, hardly someone you could expect to be able to take control of the Republic via manipulation of the democratic process.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    I guess I misunderstood what he said about GL having problems handling the story of Emperor in the PT.

    ATMachine


    Have I missed something? Are illustrations of Flash Gordon now banned?

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    The first time I posted the picture it looked right to me, but it got edited out and I was PM'ed and told it was a perverse picture. The mod said it was probably hosted by a site that didn't want people using the picture for that purpose, so they set it up do that. So I got the picture from another source. I double-checked that the picture posted was the map of Mongo immediately after posting, and checked again several minutes later to make sure it was still the map, and it was, so I thought it was fine this time.

    Apparently after some amount of time the picture changed itself again and got deleted by a mod again. I'm afraid to try to find a third source now... I really don't wanna get banned for trying to post Flash Gordon maps... This is my first time having an experience like this trying to post a picture.

    darthboba

    Yeah, sorry about all that; pretty sure the site you're trying to link from doesn't allow hot linking. Try just a link, maybe?

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    This one's hosted by an Edgar Rice Burroughs website I trust, I'll be shocked if we have the same problem again.

    [IMG]

    And here were the two points I wanted to bring up for discussion since the third was apparently misconceived:


    darthboba

    There we go. Sorry to have to edit you, but yeah, that was about the most hideous thing I've seen in awhile

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    Sorry about that. :( I never even saw it.

    darthboba

    It's okay.

    ATMachine

    I heartily agree that the prevalence of various "single biome kingdoms" in Flash Gordon--the ice world, the cave world, the jungle world, the desert world--heavily influenced a similar approach to planets in Star Wars. Probably the major influence on Lucas for equating FG's regions to whole planets was Frank Herbert's Dune, which features both a desert planet (Arrakis) and a water planet (Caladan).

    As for "Coralia," that's undeniably similar, but you also have to consider the references to "the Krell" in Forbidden Planet and "Korellian ships" in Isaac Asimov's Foundation, both of which Lucas drew on for SW.

    Notice my avatar? It shows Queen Fria from the 1930s Flash Gordon Sunday comic strip by Alex Raymond--complete with Princess Leia hair buns.

    ...

    As for the Emperor development, I'll just give a quick recap:

    The very first draft of ANH has the Emperor "Cos Dashit," a mustachioed Hitler-style military dictator who is only seen in one scene. Dashit is Emperor by virtue of being ruler of planet Alderaan, capital of the Empire. He is also "Consul to the Supreme Tribunal," evidently a council of the great families of the Empire, similar to the Landsraad in Dune.

    In this script the Galactic Empire was not new; there had been a benevolent "Old Empire" which the Jedi Knights served loyally. However, some sort of coup had evidently occurred, along with a "Jedi Rebellion." Now the "New Galactic Empire" employed the Knights of the Sith (about 100 in number) to hunt down and destroy the now-outlawed Jedi. (This was modeled in part on a 1970s Flash Gordon tie-in novel Lucas read.)

    Earlier notes for this script (as the "Journal of the Whills") listed the Emperor character as "Emperor Ford Xerxes XII" or "Alexander Xerxes XII," i.e. the monarch of a hereditary dynasty, much like Dune's Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV.

    The second draft of ANH junked Cos Dashit and the early backstory, and instead proposed that the Emperor was a puppet, a figurehead who had no real power; the real powers behind the Empire were the Power and Transport Guilds, which had corrupted the Republic Senate and abolished democracy, and destroyed the Jedi Order.

    Also in the second draft, the "Master of the Bogan Force," the leader of the Sith Knights and a dark sorcerer, was a separate character from the Emperor. Darth Vader was said to be the right-hand man of the Bogan Master, Prince Espaa Valorum. In this draft, by the way, the Jedi and Sith first gained telekinetic superpowers. In the previous version they were just highly trained and disciplined warriors, and both sides followed martial codes of honor. (Now, with the addition of devilish magic powers, the Sith were said to look like "Linda Blair in The Exorcist.")

    Later drafts of ANH remained vague on exactly who the Emperor was and how he came to power. However, Darth Vader was said to be his right-hand man, and the character of the Bogan Master disappeared.

    In the fourth-draft script, the multiple Sith of previous drafts were reduced and condensed into one visible character, Darth Vader. Plus, in the fourth-draft script Tarkin expresses his belief that he himself could become Emperor, if he continued advancing further up the bureaucracy.

    The ANH novelization begins with the note that Senator Palpatine was elevated to Emperor, but it also says that he became increasingly isolated from actual decision-making, living as a virtual puppet of the bureaucrats who really ran the Empire. These bureaucrats and state officials, not the Emperor himself, were said to be the ones who destroyed the Jedi and imposed repression.

    Later in the novel, Obi-Wan makes reference to "the later corrupt Emperors," suggesting that Palpatine was the first emperor, but not the last, and definitely not the most evil. There is also a reference to multiple Dark Lords of the Sith--all of which suggests the novel was following rather early conceptions of the ANH backstory.

    In late 1977 notes on the SW universe backstory, written just after the release of ANH but before work began on ESB, Lucas advanced a new idea: that there was only one Emperor, and that he had personally orchestrated the destruction of the Jedi. This Emperor was not a Sith sorcerer, however, but a Nixonian politician, a Chancellor of the Republic Senate who had been elected multiple times, in violation of term limits, due to crises he manufactured. He was thus a master manipulator, but was never stated to be a Force-user.

    When actually brainstorming ESB with Leigh Brackett, however, Lucas decided that the Emperor should be an evil sorcerer, a dark Force-user and counterpart to Ben Kenobi. It was at this point he came up with the idea of a hood to conceal the Emperor's deformed face. (At one point he contemplated hiding him in a tank, in the style of Dune's Guild Navigators.)

    The name "Emperor Palpatine" was attached to this character, but this was an entirely separate conception from the Senator Palpatine character in the ANH novelization; he was no longer just a weak-willed puppet of powerful bureaucrats, but in fact the chief architect of the rise of the Empire. (Also, notably, the excerpts we have of Lucas' conversations with Brackett make no mention of a political dimension of the Emperor's rise to power, such as the Emperor originally being a politician).

    When Palpatine actually appeared on screen in ROTJ, there was no evidence that he had ever been a democratic politician. He was just an ugly evil wizard. But when Lucas made the prequels, he had to deal with the backstory he'd written down at an earlier time, which cast the Emperor as a politician gone wrong. Lucas solved the problem by splitting Palpatine's character in two: Palpatine was the Nixonian politician, and the shadowy Darth Sidious was the Sith wizard.

    Apparently (judging by a post on another forum) Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy suggested that Palpatine was actually made Emperor by the military forces of the Republic, who thought they could control him and use him to re-establish order while eliminating that pesky democracy.... much like the German aristocratic military elites hoped to do with Adolf Hitler in 1933.

    darthboba

    When Palpatine actually appeared on screen in ROTJ, there was no evidence that he had ever been a democratic politician. He was just an ugly evil wizard. But when Lucas made the prequels, he had to deal with the backstory he'd written down at an earlier time, which cast the Emperor as a politician gone wrong. Lucas solved the problem by splitting Palpatine's character in two: Palpatine was the Nixonian politician, and the shadowy Darth Sidious was the Sith wizard.

    This is inaccurate. Barring James Kahn just plain making stuff up for his own amusement, the ROTJ novel pretty clearly states that Emperor Palpatine was at one point Senator Palpatine. The name Darth Sidious hadn't been created yet, but Palpatine being both an evil sorcerer and at one point a democratic politician has been around since 1983.

    ATMachine

    Hmmm, really? I had forgotten that. Interesting! Thanks for the info.

    darthboba

    Not a problem. Palpatine has a bit of introspection on the DS2 where he reminisces about "having once been merely Senator Palpatine..." which swiftly develops into an ego trip where he compares himself to being the galaxy. :p

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    That is very interesting, I'm not too familiar with Dune. And I did think your avatar looked like Flash Gordon, but I wasn't sure. I never knew that about the hair buns! I have all the Flash Gordon serials, but I need to get the original comic strip.

    ...

    I'm pretty sure it was earlier in this thread that someone mentioned the circular communication portals in Ep. I perhaps being influenced by Flash Gordon, so this thread needs this picture:

    [IMG]

    ATMachine

    "Perhaps" influenced by Flash Gordon? They intentionally went to the trouble of recreating the shimmer effect when the viewscreen turns on, and the associated humming noise, from the original Flash Gordon serials. Apparently the sound guys had some trouble getting the hum to match the original serial version. :p

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    [face_laugh] That seriously rules.

    So this thread definitely needed that picture.

    Darth_Nub

    New article on zombie's site about 'Nellith Skywalker' in the Brackett draft:

    http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/sisterthatneverwas.html

    For those who don't have it already, the Brackett draft in its entirety can be found over at the Jedi Bendu script site, both the scanned PDF & a transcript:

    http://starwarz.com/starkiller/2010...ack-first-draft-by-leigh-brackett-transcript/
    Last edited by ATMachine, Sep 3, 2012
  7. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Visual Design of the ANH First Draft

    Ralph McQuarrie is pretty justly famous for his illustrations of the SW universe; without his paintings George Lucas would never have gotten the green light to make a crazy science-fiction movie. But McQuarrie only came on board the production when Lucas was writing the second draft of ANH. The first draft, however, was a very different script with a lot of different ideas.

    Since no artists ever worked on illustrating Lucas's 1974 first draft, we're left to imagine what he intended from his own words on the page. That's what I want to do in this thread.

    ---

    A brief plot summary:

    In the wake of the "Jedi Rebellion," the "New Galactic Empire" has outlawed the ancient order of Jedi Knights, and has created the Knights of the Sith in order to hunt down any remaining Jedi. As the story begins, the evil Emperor Cos Dashit is launching an invasion of the peaceful desert planet Aquilae, the last independent system in the Galaxy. Two fugitive Jedi, Kane Starkiller and his son Annikin, arrive on Aquilae just as the Imperial invasion begins, where they meet Kane's old friend General Luke Skywalker, warlord to Aquilae's King Kayos.

    General Skywalker wants to launch a preemptive attack on the Empire, but gets authorization too late. Kayos is killed (in a nuclear blast) and a space assault on the chief Imperial battle station proves abortive, due to political treachery. Annikin Starkiller, now apprenticed to Skywalker, rescues Kayos's daughter, Princess Leia Aquilae, and two droids that have fled the space battle overhead. Reuniting with General Skywalker, they make their way to a spaceport, where they are joined by the alien Han Solo. Their initial goal is to find a ship and travel to Ophuchi, to solicit the aid of "the chrome companies" in throwing off the Imperial occupation. Leia travels with her two young brothers, Biggs and Windy; Kane Starkiller, who is mostly mechanical, dies when he rips out his cyborg power unit, in order to power the cryogenic tubes keeping the young boys safe and quiet during the dangerous journey.

    General Valorum, a Knight of the Sith, tries to lay a trap for the fugitives at the spaceport of Gordon, but they escape and steal a starship, heading deep into space. Taking damage in an asteroid belt, they crash-land on the jungle planet Yavin. Here Leia is kidnapped and taken back to the space fortress orbiting Aquilae. Starkiller and Skywalker meanwhile befriend the natives of the planet, the furry "Wookees," and with the aid of the Jedi, the Wookees capture the planet's Imperial outpost. Starkiller takes a starship and flies to the fortress above Aquilae, where he masquerades as a stormtrooper in an attempt to free Leia, but is captured.

    Valorum, now reduced to the rank of an ordinary stormtrooper, switches sides after an impassioned appeal to his honor by Starkiller, and frees the young Jedi. Together they rescue the Princess. Meanwhile, General Skywalker has been training the Wookees to fly Imperial starfighters. They lead an attack on the space fortress over Aquilae, and destroy it just as the heroes aboard escape in life-pods. Annikin and Leia kiss. The final scene of the film is Queen Leia receiving the two droids, R2D2 and C3PO, in her throne room in the Palace, commending them to the service of Annikin Starkiller, "Lord Protector of Aquilae."

    Lucas subsequently produced a slightly tweaked version of this draft, changing virtually nothing except for most of the character names.

    ---

    But this wasn't the first version of the story.

    In notes for an earlier iteration, known as the Journal of the Whills, there were two major powers in the Galaxy--the Alliance of Independent Systems and the Galactic Empire--as well as other smaller, neutral star systems. The relationship could best be described as a sort of Galactic Cold War. The Jedi-Bendu master Mace Windy and his apprentice CJ Thorpe, both in the service of the Alliance, would travel to the desert planet Aquilae, which had been invaded by a neighboring "Border System" with secret aid from the Empire. The job of the Jedi would be to protect Prince Luke Skywalker (heir to Aquilae's King Annakin Starkiller), and to end the Border System's occupation--but without overt Alliance aid, so as to avoid turning the Galactic Cold War hot.

    Alongside the "Bebers" (humans) of Aquilae, there were the "Hubble people," an alien race also inhabiting the desert planet. Their leader was to be Han Solo, and the Jedi would need his help to retake Aquilae. Lucas also wanted to visit other planets during the film: Yavin, a jungle planet; Norton II, an ice planet; and Ophuchi, a gaseous cloud planet with "lovely women." We would also see Alderaan, a fully built-over city-planet, the "capital of the Border System" that invades Aquilae.

    The basic plot of the outline, with its suggestion of adventures on a desert planet, and conspiratorial invasion plots, is very much taken from Frank Herbert's Dune. The Hubble aliens, however, seem drawn from the John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs--about which more below. The political situation with the Galactic Cold War is an analogy for Vietnam: America is the Evil Empire and its puppet state is a South Vietnam analogue, while the heroic defenders of Aquilae represent the North Vietnamese. (So said Lucas himself, at any rate.)

    In between the Journal of the Whills and the first draft script, Lucas produced a story synopsis in 1973, which was strongly influenced by Akira Kurosawa's film The Hidden Fortress. It eliminated the JOTW characters of Mace Windy and his Jedi apprentice, and introduced instead General Skywalker and the Princess of Aquilae (replacing Prince Luke). Lucas would ultimately combine the two sets of characters in his first draft.

    ---

    The youthful hero of the first draft is "ANNIKIN STARKILLER, a tall, heavy-set boy of eighteen." We never get much description of him, but we do learn that his younger brother Deak (who dies early on) "is ten years old, with dusty blond hair." Thus we can assume that Annikin too has blond hair, likely along with blue eyes, just like Lucas's childhood hero Flash Gordon.

    [IMG]

    Annikin's father Kane Starkiller wears "his long hair tied in an odd bun on the top of his head." We later see that Annikin also "wears the distinctive Kessilian hair knot." Kane explains at one point that he and Annikin have been hiding from the Empire in the Kessil star system, so it seems they've adopted the haircut of the civilization there. However, this distinctive hair bun is rather clearly borrowed from Japanese samurai hairstyles:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
    Toshiro Mifune in samurai garb, complete with haircut

    It's worth noting that the idea of Jedi with distinctive samurai-esque hairstyles probably dates from the Journal of the Whills treatment, where the only Jedi are Mace Windy and his apprentice CJ Thorpe, who work for the Alliance of Independent Systems--there is no Jedi character in service to the King of Aquilae. Lucas added General Skywalker and Princess Leia (replacing Prince Luke Skywalker, heir to Aquilae's King Annakin Starkiller in the JOTW) when he took plot elements from Akira Kurosawa's film The Hidden Fortress.

    The concept of Jedi with distinctive hairstyles would also resurface in TPM, where it evolved into the Padawan braids. In early TPM concept art Obi-Wan even has a samurai topknot:

    [IMG]

    Also worth mentioning, though, is that in the notes for this first draft script, Lucas did not make Kane Annikin's father. Rather, "Kane Highsinger" was to be Annikin's Jedi mentor until his death midway through the film. Presumably their relationship would mirror that of Mace Windy and CJ Thorpe.

    We're told that Annikin's other Jedi mentor, General Luke Skywalker, "is a large man, apparently in his early sixties, but actually much older. Everyone senses the aura of power that radiates from this great warrior. Here is a leader: a JEDI general. He looks weary, but is still a magnificent looking warrior. His face, cracked and weathered by exotic climates, is set off by a close silver beard, and dark, penetrating eyes." ("Early sixties" was changed to "early forties" in a revised version of this draft.) A similar description was used for Ben Kenobi in Draft 3 of ANH, and for Draft 2 hero Luke Starkiller's father, the aged Jedi warrior known only as The Starkiller. The Starkiller, however, has "penetrating gray-blue eyes" instead of General Skywalker's and Ben Kenobi's dark eyes, which suggests that the young Annikin/Luke character has blue eyes as well.

    (Incidentally, Lucas really likes blue-eyed heroes; his TPM shooting script specified this about both Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, and his early notes on the young Anakin's personality for the prequels also state that Anakin should have blue eyes.)

    Leia, who is fourteen years old in this early version, has "long auburn hair tied in braids" and blue eyes. Her hair color is probably derived from that of Princess Aura in Flash Gordon, specifically as described in the FG tie-in novel The Lion Men of Mongo (written by Ron Goulart under the pseudonym Con Steffenson). Also notice the mention of braids--was this the first indication of Leia's famous cinnamon-bun hairdo?

    [IMG]
    Flash Gordon and Queen Fria of Frigia, from Alex Raymond's Sunday comic strip

    [IMG]
    Flash and Queen Desira of Tropica. Combine Fria and Desira--do you get Leia Aquilae?

    ---

    In this early draft C3PO is described as "chrome" in color, instead of "bronze" as he would be in later drafts. This probably reflects the influence of the Maria robot from Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

    [IMG]
    The Robot Maria

    In the first draft C3PO has the silver color Robot Maria possessed on screen. In fact, the Metropolis robot costume was actually painted bronze on set; Lucas probably learned this and adjusted his description of C3PO accordingly.

    [IMG]
    Monochrome concept art of C3PO by Ralph McQuarrie

    ---

    The spaceships of Aquilae that fight against the Imperial space fortress are described as "six silver spacecraft" with two men in each (a pilot and a gunner). This concept would be reused in the designs of Naboo fighters for TPM; in fact, the first draft script of TPM had Padme and Anakin together flying a sleek two-person spacecraft in the orbital battle.

    [IMG]
    Silver Naboo starfighters seen in an early TPM production painting by Doug Chiang

    The captured Imperial spaceships flown by the Wookees in the final battle, on the other hand, are rather different. They carry a crew of four (including a "tail gunner"), and nine of them (in three squads of three) go up against the Imperial space fortress. The ships have been customized, though, so as to be easily distinguished from their opponents' craft: "Nine gleaming starships sit in a row along the edge of the vast jungle runway. Bizarre and colorful Wookee designs have been painted across the large deflector fins of the spacecraft. Some designs transform the ships into huge and grotesque animals, while others create unique mosaic patterns."

    This last description reminds me very much of the work of British SF artist Chris Foss, whose designs feature brightly colored spaceships painted with World War I "dazzle camouflage" patterns:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    Imagine that in a Star Wars movie!

    The imperial space fortress itself is never described in great detail, but it doesn't have the world-shattering power of a Death Star. It must have been more akin to the Trade Federation battle droid control ship in TPM.

    ---

    Han Solo, an alien friend of General Skywalker, is described as "a huge, green-skinned monster with no nose and large gills." His character was carried over from the Journal of the Whills treatment, in which he was the leader of an alien race on Aquilae (obviously the forerunner of the Gungans).

    [IMG]
    Jar Jar Binks with green skin in an early Doug Chiang painting

    However, the description of Solo and "the Hubble people" in the JOTW notes very much recalls the Green Martians of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom series.

    [IMG]
    A Green Martian of Barsoom, AKA Mars

    The Green Martians, giant four-armed sentient aliens, are warlike in nature and do not get along well with the more human-like Red Martians who also inhabit Mars. The series' hero, John Carter, must teach the Green and Red Martians to fight together against their common enemies; ultimately both Green and Red Martians unite to proclaim him Warlord of Mars.

    ---

    Aquilae, the predecessor of Tatooine, has twin suns. (Intriguingly, in the 1973 story synopsis, it is described as "blue-green" when seen from space--an idea inconsistent with its status as a desert planet.) In the revised version of the first draft, it also now has a green sky, mentioned repeatedly. This is of course based on the green sky of desert planet Altair IV in Forbidden Planet.

    [IMG]
    Concept art for the green sky in Forbidden Planet

    In the revised first draft Yavin's sky is described as "a strange light brown color."

    The Journal of the Whills described Alderaan, the capital of the "Border System," as a city-planet in the vein of Trantor from Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. But in the first draft, where Alderaan is the capital of the Empire, it is a cloud city on a gaseous world, similar to Bespin in ESB--an idea ultimately taken from the "Sky City of the Hawkmen" in Flash Gordon. (This idea would be retained through the third draft of ANH, in which Alderaan became an Imperial prison planet.)

    ---

    Kane Starkiller wears "the distinctive robes of a Jedi." In the script's opening we see a seven-foot-tall Sith warrior "in black robes and a face mask." (The face mask is necessary to breathe on this particular world, the barren Fourth Moon of Utapau. Annikin also wears one when he ventures outside.)

    When Annikin "ignites his lasersword," it "creates an eerie red glow." There is never any other blade color described--presumably all lightsabers glow red.

    [IMG]
    Howard Chaykin's poster art for ANH, with all lightsabers glowing red

    The uniforms of Aquilae are white: we see, for instance, "the flowing white robes of the Aquilaean military." Later on, Annikin Starkiller "is now dressed in the white uniform of the Aquilaean starforce" (though still with samurai topknot). Likewise, the pilots of Aquilae's starfighters wear a "distinctive circle and cross medallion on their white space suits."

    However, the Empire of course has "gleaming black uniforms" and its generals wear a "black and grey uniform." As a Sith Knight, Valorum wears "the fascist black and chrome uniform of the legendary Sith One Hundred." So we can clearly tell who the good guys and bad guys are. :p

    ---

    Feel free to suggest elaborating on anything I've missed out on. Thoughts?
  8. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    ANH Pre-production Art (McQuarrie/Mollo/Tavoularis) (page 1, part 1)


    ATMachine

    I've been looking back at the pre-production art done for ANH and wanted to type up a few quick reactions.

    Ralph McQuarrie's work (may he rest well in the Force) is stunning as always, but I've always wondered about something in his ANH art: namely, he draws Luke and Leia as looking almost exactly alike. They both have shaggy blonde hair, cut more or less like Mark Hamill's in the final film (which is admittedly a short haircut for Leia).

    Now, JW Rinzler claims this could be because Lucas secretly told McQuarrie (and no one else) that Luke and Leia were siblings, but that's frankly preposterous. Nobody knew this, not even Lucas himself, until after ESB came out. It's not like he cast Luke and Leia with a family resemblance in mind, after all... :p

    The real answer lies in the history of McQuarrie's production art. He was first hired to do drawings in early 1975, for the second draft script of ANH. His earliest paintings include a rendering of the Mos Eisley cantina scene, featuring a version of Luke with very short blond hair. No doubt this was because Lucas wanted Luke Starkiller to look like his childhood hero Flash Gordon.

    Not long after Lucas had finished writing the second draft, though, he realized it had no major female characters, and considered reworking the plot to make the hero Luke a girl. He told Ralph McQuarrie to incorporate this idea in his next illustrations. McQuarrie duly created several paintings featuring this "female Luke," who (like the male version she replaced) was blonde, though with a shaggy pixie haircut.

    (It might be worth noting that McQuarrie's drawings of Han Solo from the second draft seem to give him blond hair and a red beard.)

    When Lucas finally sat down to write his next draft, Luke stayed male, but now Princess Leia (virtually absent in draft two) returned as a major character. What I'd argue happened next is that, faced with the sudden challenge of designing a new character, McQuarrie simply cribbed from his earlier designs. His later drawings of Luke Starkiller have the blond hair seen in his earliest concepts for Luke, albeit now at a shaggier length. But McQuarrie's Princess Leia was also a pixie-cut blonde, because her design was taken from the now-abandoned character of "female Luke."

    Of course, these character designs were little more than placeholders, since real physical actors would eventually have to be cast. But Lucas seems to have stuck to his mental image of Luke in particular. Mark Hamill probably got the nod over runner-up Will Seltzer because, as a blonde, he looked "more like Luke" than Seltzer did with his curly dark brown hair.

    Speaking of blond protagonists in SW, costume designer John Mollo's art is also interesting in this regard. Mollo's earliest work on ANH seems to have been based on the third-draft script. One of his drawings features a humanoid Jabba the Hutt and a character named Montross, two space pirates who appear together only in that draft.

    Mollo's third-draft-era work includes notable sketches of Luke, Leia, and Ben Kenobi. His drawing of Luke dresses him in a costume from one of Ralph McQuarrie's earliest second-draft production paintings (the cantina scene mentioned above, in fact--which was made before "female Luke" had even been conceived). Luke of course here has the short haircut derived from McQuarrie's painting. Mollo's earliest drawings of Leia show her as blonde like in McQuarrie's work, but Mollo's Leia has much longer hair than McQuarrie's Princess does in most sketches. The major exception is McQuarrie's December 1975 painting of the award ceremony on Yavin, in which he gave Leia long flowing blonde locks. Mollo seems to have copied his Leia's hairstyle from this particular concept image.

    As for Ben Kenobi, Mollo's earliest design features him in dark pants and a white Russian-style shirt, with a brown vest (with utility pockets etc.) worn over the shirt. This is in fact essentially the same outfit Luke wears in McQuarrie's cantina painting and in Mollo's early sketches. It might be considered "Tatooine garb," and is notably different from the Jedi-esque robes Obi-Wan wears throughout the final film.

    After Mollo had received the fourth-draft script in January 1976, however, he embarked on a new round of costume drawings, thoroughly revising his earlier work. Luke and Leia, though both remained blonde, now got haircuts of about the same length, much more like how McQuarrie generally drew them; Mollo gave his original Luke design shaggier hair and shortened that of his Leia. Additionally, Luke's clothing now became all-white, a style likewise borrowed from McQuarrie's concept art. And Ben Kenobi now was clothed in white Jedi robes, kimono-style, beneath a voluminous brown desert cloak--the look he would sport in the film as ultimately shot.

    Incidentally, ANH storyboard artist Alex Tavoularis seems to have bucked the trend of copying McQuarrie's Princess Leia design, and illustrated his Leia with long dark hair, like Dale Arden from the old Flash Gordon Sunday comics. Of course, in his work on subsequent SW films, McQuarrie had to update his Leia to look like Carrie Fisher. His Luke required little tweaking, though, given Mark Hamill's great resemblance to the preexisting concept artwork.

    ...

    Illustrations (because I had some trouble uploading them earlier).

    [IMG]
    Ralph McQuarrie's painting of Luke Skywalker in the Cantina, circa ANH Draft 2

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
    McQuarrie's paintings and drawings of "female Luke."

    [IMG]
    A McQuarrie drawing of Luke and Leia. Note the similar hairstyles.

    [IMG]
    McQuarrie's painting of the Yavin medal ceremony. Notice Leia's long blonde hair.

    [IMG]
    John Mollo's third-draft drawing of Luke with short hair, based on McQuarrie's second-draft art

    [IMG]
    Mollo's third-draft drawing of Princess Leia with long hair.

    [IMG]
    Mollo's early design for Ben Kenobi, wearing Tatooine settler garb.

    [IMG]
    Mollo's fourth-draft drawing of Luke (dated January 8, 1976), showing him with longer hair and his outfit from the final film.

    [IMG]
    Mollo's fourth-draft drawing of Leia with a more boyish haircut.

    [IMG]
    Mollo's fourth-draft drawing of Ben Kenobi (also from January 8, 1976), now in white Jedi robes.

    [IMG]
    Alex Tavoularis's Princess Leia from his third-draft storyboards.

    Darth_Nub

    Given that Princess Leia replaces Luke's brother, Deak, as the person being rescued, you've got to wonder whether or not McQuarrie made Luke & Leia so similar because he either assumed they were related, or just unconsciously made the sibling connection.

    It's probably a coincidence, but like others that reflect the later Saga plotlines (Kane Starkiller, father of the hero, is a cyborg, the Sith Lord, Prince Valorum, turns to the good side), it's possible that Luke & Leia as brother & sister was something that came up briefly & GL never quite forgot about entirely, despite dismissing it at the time.

    Maybe score another point for the late, great Ralph McQuarrie in the development of the plot of the Star Wars Saga. Without his simple, practical idea of a breathing mask for Darth Vader, there'd be no cyborg Vader, no walking iron lung, no volcano duel, perhaps no Father Vader at all.

    ATMachine

    Interesting thoughts, Nub. It's sort of funny to imagine McQuarrie thinking of Luke and Leia as siblings long before Lucas made the connection himself. :p

    Also, this thread is somewhat relevant to the old question of the Jedi uniform vs. Tatooine clothing. In the early sketches by Mollo, Luke and Obi-Wan are clearly both wearing a sort of standard Tatooine outfit--dark pants, white Russian-style shirt, utility vest. Of course, Obi-Wan's outfit in the final film is explicitly a Jedi robe; Mollo's notes on the revised costume sketch refer to a "kimono" (as do some of McQuarrie's design notes) and that's clearly derived from Lucas's notion of the Jedi as Japanese samurai.

    ...

    Errata: what I identified as "John Mollo's fourth-draft drawing of Leia" in my earlier posts actually is stated to be by Ralph McQuarrie in multiple sources. (In my defense, it looks more like Mollo's style of art). The drawing is still a good indicator of how McQuarrie drew Leia with boyishly short blonde hair similar to Luke's.

    FWIW, here's a McQuarrie drawing of Luke with apparently brown hair (looking like Buck Rogers), done in June 1975 just as Lucas decided to keep Luke male:

    [IMG]

    However, when he reused this costume design on the cover of the ANH novelization, McQuarrie made Luke blond like Mark Hamill.

    [IMG]

    ...

    Here's another McQuarrie image which seems to show Luke with brown hair--his version of the "Lash LaRue" swing over the Death Star chasm, added to the script between the third and fourth drafts. Leia's still blonde, though (like Wilma Deering, Buck Rogers' girlfriend).

    [IMG]

    Interestingly, McQuarrie's images of Luke with brown hair also put him in Buck Rogers-esque space-pilot costumes, much like his second-draft painting of Luke with short yellow hair. Conversely, both McQuarrie's and Mollo's drawings of Luke with Mark Hamill's shaggy blond haircut invariably show Luke in the white Tatooine-farmboy outfit we see on screen. (Even in the drawings made before Hamill was cast! I guess that was the design that really stuck with Lucas.)

    PiettsHat

    Maybe this a dumb question but, can anyone tell me who the guy with the lightsaber is supposed to be? My little brother has an action figure of him and I could never figure out who it was, although my brother said it was supposed to be Han. I just thought it was a knock-off or something. I never realized it was based off concept art. Wow...they really made action figures of everything related to Star Wars.
  9. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    ANH Pre-production Art (McQuarrie/Mollo/Tavoularis) (page 1, part 2)

    ATMachine

    Yep, that's Han Solo. In an early draft Han was more of a mentor figure, since Obi-Wan didn't yet exist--Lucas based him off his own filmmaking mentor Francis Ford Coppola and gave him a beard to match.

    When Lucas briefly contemplated changing Luke into a girl (as seen in McQuarrie's picture), he likely considered adding a romance/love story between "female Luke" (Luka?) and Han.

    In the first draft of ANH the romance was between Annikin Starkiller (precursor of Luke) and Princess Leia. Leia virtually disappears in the second draft (thus creating the need to change Luke into a girl) but she reappears as a major character in the third draft. So Luke remained male--since at this stage Lucas was still projecting that Luke and Leia would get together romantically!

    Also worth noting is that in the early drafts of SW virtually anyone could use a lightsaber--even stormtroopers, as seen in other McQuarrie paintings.

    ...

    To get back to Darth_Nub's point earlier, as far as Luke and Leia already looking like siblings in McQuarrie's ANH illustrations: the only problem is that, in his painting of the heroes of the film in the gender-flipped (verbally revised) second draft, both Girl-Luke and Han appear to have blond hair (though Han's beard is reddish). Maybe McQuarrie just had a thing for blondes. :p

    BTW, those two McQuarrie illustrations I posted of Luke with brown-ish hair are the only ones I've been able to find with that detail. Probably it was a one-off variant idea, sort of like another sketch McQuarrie did where Chewbacca has his finalized face but still wears a flak jacket as in earlier concepts. From what I've seen, virtually all other drawings depict Luke as blond. (Apropos, given that Lucas's very first pitch for a space movie was for a remake of Flash Gordon. He couldn't get the rights--we all know the rest.)

    ...

    We've been talking in the Leigh Brackett thread about the behind-the-scenes evolution of the Sith in various SW drafts, so I thought it might be good to post a few images that touch on the visual development of the Sith Lords.

    The basic story of how Ralph McQuarrie created the iconic look of Darth Vader is pretty well-known. (In brief: Lucas wanted Vader to enter a depressurized ship cabin, wearing a breath mask, in his first scene of the film; so McQuarrie designed an armored spacesuit, which looked so awesome that Lucas just had Vader wear the suit all the time.)

    Most of McQuarrie's concept art for Vader is widely available enough that I don't think I need to post it here. That said, I do want to highlight a few interesting yet little-seen drawings, which shed a bit of extra light on the design process of Vader and the other Sith Lords (who were ultimately dropped from ANH). Several of these drawings are by costume designer John Mollo--McQuarrie's pretty widely (and justly) acclaimed, but I don't think Mollo's work on SW gets enough attention.

    [IMG]
    A John Mollo drawing of Darth Vader, based of course on McQuarrie's "armored spacesuit" design. This concept by Mollo depicts Vader's armor like that of a medieval Black Knight; it doesn't seem to have any obvious life-support functions, though.

    The Imperial insignias seen here on Vader's chestplate, helmet and cape are very reminiscent of the armor of black-clad and helmeted villain The Lightning in the 1938 Republic serial The Fighting Devil Dogs. The Lightning's all-black, face-concealing costume had his white lightning-bolt insignia marked on his cape and chest and helmet. (His minions sometimes wore all-white radiation suits... in the fashion of Stormtroopers.)

    [IMG]
    (The Lightning is the figure on the far right.)

    I also might mention a little detail in the above Mollo drawing of Vader-- in the lower right corner he's sketched a three-pronged triskelion (basically a swastika with three arms). It's probably a doodle of a potential Imperial insignia, and it bears rather a good resemblance to the three-armed lightning bolt insignia of The Lightning.

    [IMG]
    Another Mollo drawing of Vader. This one dates to January 15, 1976, so it was influenced by Lucas's January 1 fourth-draft script, which made Vader the sole Sith Lord in the film, and also made him, not Obi-Wan Kenobi, the major cyborg character.

    Mollo's take on the chest plate is interesting and rather different from McQuarrie's chest plate design (which was closer to the final film version). I understand the motif here was reworked and used for the white CZ-3 droid in the Jawa sandcrawler.

    [IMG]
    A third Mollo drawing of Vader, from the same point in production as the one just above. It clearly shows another variant of Mollo's chest plate design. (The placement of the cyborg life-support tubing is slightly different than in the other drawing.)

    Also, the hood on Vader's cape is interesting--Mollo seems to have imagined that Vader could wear a hood over his helmet.

    [IMG]
    A circa-1975 drawing by Ralph McQuarrie of a "dark knight," presumably a Sith Lord. This concept design later wound up influencing the armor of Boba Fett in ESB.

    Although Lucas's earliest notes for Draft 2 of ANH describe the Sith knights as "look[ing] like Linda Blair in The Exorcist," similar to how the Emperor ultimately looked in ROTJ, the subsequent ANH Draft 3 mentions that the Sith Lords (besides Vader) wear helmets. "The first Sith Lord puts his hand to his ear as a message comes through on his helmet intercom."

    [IMG]
    A John Mollo drawing showing at left, a TIE fighter pilot, and on the right, a Sith Lord. It appears the other Sith were envisioned as being very similar to Vader in the design of their armor. (McQuarrie's version is a little less similar and more like a stormtrooper.)

    Note the two small horns on the sides of the Sith Lord's helmet; at one point Mollo experimented with drawing similar horns on Vader's own helmet.

    Feel Like What

    Given that Lucas sometimes relates(d) the film as deliberately constructed to throw the viewer into the sense of wonder and history that he got when watching Japanese films, isn't it possible that that is where the Japanese influence comes in for this design? I mean, a lot of people on Tatooine wear the same style... I suppose it could be simply re-using a design that would save money, but at the same time, the use of "kimono" as a descriptor alone doesn't necessarily mean that it's Jedi gear.

    Darth_Nub


    Wasn't it the case that the script stated that Vader & his troops had to enter the Rebel ship through space, so Ralph McQuarrie, not GL, came up with the idea that Vader would also have to wear a breath mask or helmet, simply as a practical concept, leading to his earliest sketches of Vader wearing a helmet?

    Or not even an actual helmet:

    [IMG]

    (The photos of the mask being built are a recent fan thing, couldn't find the McQuarrie sketches by themselves)

    Vader's headgear is quite clearly a temporary piece of equipment, very reminiscent of Deak Starkiller's own breath mask in this iconic sketch:

    [IMG]

    At this point, of course, Vader's helmet has evolved beyond a simple practical necessity into a fearsome warrior's helmet, based on Japanese designs that were created to strike fear into opponents.

    [IMG][IMG]

    Point being that Vader's ever-present helmet, and, indeed, his entire appearance, was something that stemmed from a very basic idea that was originally intended to serve the circumstances of one scene, and not necessarily be seen again

    ATMachine

    Exactly, Nub. Vader was only meant to wear the mask in one scene, but it just snowballed into something far more impressive and memorable.

    In the text of Draft 2 of ANH, we see that Vader's "sinister face is partially obscured by his flowing black robes and grotesque breath mask." Mind you, we also learn that Deak Starkiller's face "is covered by a small, ornate face mask," and other Rebels aboard the ship are wearing them too--so it's clear that everybody's wearing the masks due to the ship being depressurized.

    It's worth noting that Draft 2 was finished in late January of 1975; McQuarrie had been hired in November 1974, though he didn't complete any paintings until the end of January. So it's very likely that his design ideas (and his earliest sketches, like the ones of Vader you posted) influenced the descriptions in Lucas's second draft.

    ...

    Apparently there was another version of Ralph McQuarrie's armored Sith Lord concept drawing for ANH, in which the armor color was white like Stormtrooper armor:
    [IMG]
    That might have been an interesting counterpoint to Vader's black costume.

    Darth_Nub

    It'd effectively just be stormies, though, which we did get.

    Personally, I don't really like the idea of Sith Lords just looking like armoured troopers, capes or not. Vader's armour had a flair to it - the ornate helmet, the cape, the tunic - which elevated it above the armour of the stormtroopers and all subsequent Imperial battle armour (and Boba Fett's). It's more than mechanical armour, it's the garb of a Sith Lord, just as ceremonial as it is functional (although the armour created a massive story based on its very functionality, ironically enough).

    The first description of a Sith warrior from the Rough/First Draft:

    I've always pictured the 'face mask' described here as being blank, perhaps reflective - but certainly not a mechanical helmet. The Sith isn't wearing armour, merely robes. Despite the outcome & context being different, this entire scene seems to have directly inspired the first encounter with Darth Maul on Tatooine in TPM - perhaps Maul's tattoos were even derived from this 'face mask'.

    The brief note from GL describing the Sith Lords as looking like Linda Blair in the Exorcist is a tantalising and frustrating tidbit - something tells me he didn't intend to apply this visual description to Darth Vader.

    VadersLaMent

    [IMG] This is my fav piece of RM SW art.

    [IMG] Ok, yeah, I need to see this film.

    ATMachine

    I was just rereading The Making of SW and found a snippet of an interview where John Mollo said that Jean Harlow was his inspiration for Leia's look--you know, the platinum-blonde starlet of 1930s Hollywood. This may help explain why Leia is blonde in all the Mollo/McQuarrie concept art; perhaps it was Lucas's idea, based on his love of Golden Age Hollywood films?

    Fun fact: the executives at Universal who produced the first Flash Gordon serial in 1936 ordered Jean Rogers, who played Dale Arden, to dye her hair blonde in an effort to compete with Harlow's popularity--despite the fact that Dale Arden had black hair in the Alex Raymond comic strips. Buster Crabbe also had to get a blond dye-job for his role as Flash and very much hated doing so. Thus both Flash Gordon and his sweetheart Dale were blondes, in the 1936 serial at least. (However, in the 1938 sequel serial, Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars, Jean Rogers had brown hair instead, which made for an awkward mismatch when flashbacks to the first serial were used as narrative padding. In the third serial, 1940's Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, Rogers was replaced by Carol Hughes, who had black hair like her comic-strip counterpart.)

    The Jean Harlow connection also casts an amusing light, given Harlow's notorious on-screen magnetism and off-screen sex life, on the fact that Ralph McQuarrie's third-draft design notes describe Leia's white gown as a "long Madonna outfit." The Virgin Mary meets vintage Hollywood sex icon? OK, George...

    (I must admit, the Madonna connection is intriguing--a Leia with blond hair could represent angelic purity. Likely that's a big part of why both Luke and Leia are dressed in white and have blond hair in several McQuarrie drawings; contrast this with the sinister masked and black-robed Sith. Yep, we know exactly who the good guys and bad guys are, don't we? :p )

    ...

    It's also worth mentioning that Jean Harlow was particularly noted for wearing long white dresses. Is that how Lucas originally envisioned Leia--a Jean Harlow-type blonde in a white gown? (Dale Pollock's Skywalking mentions that Lucas has a thing for blondes: he originally wanted the role of Laurie Henderson in American Graffiti to be played by a blonde actress, but ultimately cast dark-haired Cindy Williams. A similar thing might be true of Leia.)

    ...

    And if Lucas really did "cast" Leia in his mind as Jean Harlow, it wouldn't be the only time he wanted a character in his films to embody a famous Golden Age Hollywood star. His often-stated conception of Indiana Jones' look was that Indy should resemble Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (though Indy's costume design came from Charlton Heston in The Secret of the Incas). The original concept for Raiders of the Lost Ark's female lead was a German nightclub singer in the vein of Marlene Dietrich (an idea revisited with Elsa in The Last Crusade), and an early, aborted treatment for the third Indy movie, set in Africa, featured the female lead as a fiery redhead in the style of Katharine Hepburn (probably recalling her role opposite Bogart in The African Queen). So it's not really surprising that Lucas would decide something like "OK, Leia is Jean Harlow."

    (sorry for the triple post)

    ...

    Here are some interesting quotes from Ralph McQuarrie about Lucas's initial concept for Vader's appearance:


    So it appears Lucas was wavering somewhere between a Japanese and a Bedouin appearance for Vader. McQuarrie's breathing mask, of course, incorporated a further resemblance to the fearsome face masks of Japanese helmets.

    But what about the "Arab costume" look, a Vader covered entirely in black robes from head to foot? (Most notably, the Tuareg people of North Africa traditionally do this--even the men.)

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    If Vader wasn't wearing a breath mask to provide life support, but rather a silk face mask because he wanted to... it would make sense that he was simply hideously ugly. He might even look, as Lucas put it, "like Linda Blair in The Exorcist" beneath the veil -- an evil Sith Knight, deformed by use of the Dark Side, hiding his physical corruption from the public gaze.

    Of course, Kurosawa-maniac Lucas ultimately opted for the Japanese influence predominating in Vader's design instead of the Arab-inspired look. Still, it's fun to extrapolate the other alternatives. :p
    Last edited by ATMachine, Sep 3, 2012
  10. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    ANH Pre-production Art (McQuarrie/Mollo/Tavoularis) (page 2)

    Darth_Nub


    The first thing that springs to mind with the description of the 'silk mask' is a ninja warrior, which seems even closer to what the Sith Knights were, I imagine GL also had that in mind.

    The 'Linda Blair in The Exorcist' appearance seems like something of a red herring when it comes to early visions of Darth Vader - perhaps the other Sith were meant to be orc-like in appearance underneath their masks, but I imagine if Vader was meant to be unmasked in multiple scenes, I doubt Lucas would want him to appear too monstrous. A credible monster make-up job would have been very difficult to pull off, particularly considering that he was a relatively major charcter.

    As zombie suggested in TSHOWS, more likely he would have had a grim, battle-scarred face. I picture General Tadokoro in The Hidden Fortress, after he's been punished by his masters:

    [IMG] [IMG]

    First time I saw the film, I was immediately reminded of:

    [IMG]

    Tosche_Station

    If you look closely at Rinzler's TMOSW, you'll see that this is an unsubstantiated leap on Rinzler's part. Unlike other story/character development cases, here he produces no notes to the effect showing Lucas making Vader the 'cyborg character' in 1976 (the latter half of '77 might be a different story, though). Everything about Vader's design shows that they were following the "armoured space-suit" angle right up to production of the film. Heck, even the shooting script says he wears an "armoured space-suit". The best one could say from the written evidence, is that by the January 1st fourth-draft script, the whole notion of the 'cyborg' character had been dropped .* And really, the only thing mechanical/cyborg about Obi-Wan in the third draft was his arm...

    *only to be re-instated come TESB/ROTJ.

    Darth_Nub

    Hmm...

    The 'walking iron-lung' concept came about during audio post on the film, but although there's nothing in the Fourth Draft that says Vader is a cyborg in some way, there's nothing in the revised fourth draft either, or in the actual dialogue of the film (or in ESB, either, for that matter). The fact that he's always wearing his helmet does, however, suggest something robotic about him, as there's no reason to be wearing an 'armoured helmet' on board the Death Star (except, perhaps, while fighting Obi-Wan, or while piloting his TIE fighter). Yes, the stormies do, but there's a difference between soliders patrolling around in full uniform & a high-ranking person like Vader not taking his helmet off during a meeting of senior officers.
    Whether or not he was intended to continue wearing his mask throughout the whole film at the time of the original fourth draft isn't exactly clear - he's wearing it when he boards the Rebel ship, beyond that there's no mention of it, but nor is there any description of his facial appearance if he's not meant to be wearing it.

    In Alan Foster's Splinter Of The Mind's Eye, Vader's arm is specified to be robotic, and it's possible that the passage was written before 1976, or maybe not.

    One theory I do have that could settle the issue - David Prowse was cast based on his physical size, not his facial appearance, as he was meant to be wearing the mask through the whole film. Depending on when he read for the part, that could indicate when it was established that Vader was always masked, & that would imply something robotic/cybernetic, about the character.

    Tosche_Station


    For me, it's not just the scripts lack of 'cyborg' mention coupled with the positive mention of the "armored space-suit", but the lack of mention of the volcano duel during Ben and Vader's duel on the Death Star. I think zombie made a good case regarding that, and how it points to their back-story duel having been invented later on in the process as an explanation for why he wears the suit.


    Good points, all.

    I think it was zombie who pointed out that the helmet was off for some scenes in the 3rd (?) draft - hence sketches of a masked instead of helmeted Vader with 'hair' - but that this was no longer the case by the fourth draft. I still think that him wearing the helmet in all scenes doesn't necessarily speak toward the 'cybernetic'. Could have just meant that his face was disfigured.

    As for Foster's SOTME, it's frustrating in a way, because it's not been precisely timed (the writing of that story). However, if Foster had started on it in '76, Lucas may have done a 'final edit' and suggested the robotic arm to Foster.

    Darth_Nub


    Well, it seems most likely that the volcano duel idea first came about as a result of the idea that Vader's suit was not only robotic, but also a life-support system - an idea that came from the addition of Vader's heavy breathing during audio post-production. However, it's possible that the suit and/or Vader was already meant to be cybernetic, & given the presence of such cyborg characters in earlier drafts, not an unreasonable assumption to make. The extent of his injuries may have 'only' been missing limbs (like Kane Starkiller's & Ben Kenobi's), not the almost total destruction of his body. The control panel on his chest might have been simply visual flair, but it certainly suggests something a bit more complex than body armour.

    Maybe, maybe not. There's supporting materials to suggest both theories - cyborg characters in previous drafts, also notes about the Sith looking like 'Linda Blair in The Exorcist', although as I mentioned in an above post, I don't believe Vader would have had this deformed appearance had he been unmasked, perhaps just facial injuries.
    The 3rd draft doesn't really say that Vader is unmasked at any point, the only suggestion that he mightn't be is in this scene:

    So, yes, he drinks from a flask - however, he's wearing the mask at the start of the scene, and there's nothing to suggest that he's removed it by the end.

    darthboba

    He also drinks from a cup in Marvel's ANH adaptation.

    Darth_Nub

    Well, you don't see him actually drink from it, he just levitates a steaming cup into his hand, then I think he crushes it a few frames later. Much the same as what happens in the Jan 1, Fourth Draft:


    The revised fourth draft omits the crushing of the cup, although it does include 'Vader stirs slightly and a cup mysteriously floats into his hand'.
    The 'cup incident' in either drafts three or four can't really be taken as evidence that Vader removed his mask at any point. His actually drinking from it in Draft Three comes across as a minor detail that wasn't thought through (how does he drink from it with the mask on?). Its presence in Draft Four is a small gesture about using the Force, one that was obviously unnecessary with Vader's choking of Motti serving the purpose far better by itself.

    Looking through Draft Two, Vader's appearance is much the same, he wears a 'grotesque breath mask', and there's nothing to indicate that he isn't wearing it the whole time, no description of his appearance underneath. About the only posibility is this:

    I imagine it'd be pretty hard to give what might be called 'an angry stare' if your face is almost completely obscured, although the earlier face-mask concept doesn't cover the whole face, Vader's eyes would be visible.

    In the Rough/First Draft*, the character is called Prince Valorum ('Darth Vader' is a Tarkin/Jerjerrod-like Imperial general), and he doesn't wear a mask, helmet or armour at all, the only real description of his appearance is that he wears the 'fascist black and chrome uniform of the legendary Sith One Hundred'.

    *The Rough & First Drafts are virtually identical, except for completely different names for characters & places - Prince Valorum is called Captain Dodona in the First Draft, the Sith are called the Legions Of Lettow, the Jedi are the Dai Nogas, etc. For the most part, the Rough Draft contains the more familiar names.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    I'd check myself but I looked around for it earlier today and couldn't find it, but doesn't the STAR WARS: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker novel also have Darth Vader drinking from a cup in that board-meeting scene? I seem to remember that... That would be more significant than it appearing in script drafts.

    Darth_Nub

    The 'cup incident' is in the novelisation, much the same as it is in the Revised Fourth Draft:

    He doesn't drink from it, nor does he crush it as he did in the earlier version of the Fourth Draft. All this confirms is that Alan Dean Foster (who ghost-wrote the SW novelisation, FYI - GL didn't write it) was working off the Revised Fourth Draft - not surprisingly, as it was the shooting script.
    The novelisations don't really confirm or deny anything - the writers worked off whatever material they were supplied with (script drafts, production drawings & stills, any footage available), and then made up a good few things on their own. You can often find little clues about what GL might have been thinking at a certain time, or deleted scenes, but for the most part they're very shaky evidence by themselves.
    According to the SW novel, Obi-Wan was puffing away on a bong/hookah while first talking to Luke, used the phrase "Even a duck must learn to swim", and Luke once owned a dog.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    Oh okay, I thought he was drinking in the novel, which would mean GL decided to have Darth Vader always in the suit pretty late, but that's not how it happened.
  11. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    I'll post the archive of the "Episode #s" thread later, as it's huge. Doing these seemed enough for the moment.
  12. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 1)

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    This is from the thread @darthboba locked (I got permission to repost with a more specific thread title):

    "I found out a lot on Wookieepedia about how much GL's idea for Star Wars has changed since 1976/1977, including how in early interviews he said Star Wars was the first film chronologically and he wanted to do 12 of them.

    But I put on my A New Hope DVD with audio commentary last night, and during the crawl, Lucas is talking about how he wanted to put Episode IV: A New Hope in there originally but the studio told him not to because it would confuse people.

    So is he just outright lying in the commentary? Or is Wookieepedia making up stuff?"

    I'm really interested in exactly when "Star Wars" became "Episode IV: A New Hope" and what George Lucas had to say about how many movies there would be and where "Star Wars" fell into the bigger picture before that change was made official.

    Please share your wisdom!

    If someone has a rant about how many times GL has changed his mind/story, that counts!

    Tosche_Station

    Hi, Dark Lord Tarkas:

    Lucas may not be 'lying', necessarily, but his claim above is highly improbable, given the circumstantial evidence from that time period:

    1. despite what Lucas (and or Kurtz) claims, prior to 1978/1979, there was NO script*/draft/story synopsis or outline titled "Episode IV: A New Hope". The actual shooting script, the 'Revised Fourth' draft, dated March 15, 1976, has the following title:

    The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the "Journal of the Whills". Saga I: The Star Wars (notice the definite article, there...)

    It should be noted too, that none of the prior drafts had any Episode IV number, but when they DID have an episode number, it was as "Episode ONE" (for instance, the Second draft).

    *the 'public' script, is another matter. It was first published in November 1979, as part of the book, "The Art Of Star Wars". The public script is titled "Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope" but is back-dated to JANUARY 15, 1976. This version of the script, is an edit - it's not entirely the 'printed film', but it's not the actual shooting script, either. The edit was done by former LFL employee Carol Titleman (circa '79, Carol Wikarska), probably in '77 or '78.


    2. FOX was paying Lucas to write 'The Star Wars', so they had the right of approval on certain things, and did have access to his written material (this wasn't the case with the later SW films, of course). The one change that 'the studio' - FOX - requested, was that Lucas and co. drop the definite article from the title. So it was no longer called 'The Star Wars' but just, 'Star Wars'. There's nothing from FOX - memos, studio exec diaries - concerning a petition to have Lucas remove any episode numbering or sub-title from the picture.


    "Episode IV" most likely came about when he was writing/developing the second film - late '77/early '78 - and had decided to divide the back-story into three episodes, when heretofore, the back-story hadn't been segmented in such a manner. Three episodes of back-story of course, make the first film, number four. Which then made "Chapter II" - what they were calling TESB during the early part of development, really Episode Five.


    Dark Lord Tarkas

    Great, you obviously know your stuff, this is the kind of answer I was looking for. Thanks so much!

    I thought that it was considered the first installment when it came out, I believe the novelization also says "Saga I" in the subtitle.

    I will post the exact GL quote from the commentary later, but he's either lying or really good at creating false memories and convincing himself they're real.

    So when did the Episode IV: A New Hope subtitle first appear? A VHS release? From when?

    Tosche_Station

    First appearance (in public) on page : November 1979, with "The Art Of Star Wars", which contained an edited version of the script.

    First appearance on screen : April 1981, with the third* re-release of the film.

    *following the re-releases from July 1978 (the first) and August 1979 (the second)

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    Wow, I had no idea they were re-releasing SW like that since the very beginning. Thanks for all your information!

    Tosche_Station

    You're welcome.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    I'm still putting up that quote sometime soon.

    So, I'm still curious about the chronology of the numbering.

    Did GL always say it would be 12 episodes before the April 1981 SW re-release, or did he say he didn't know and/or change his story as he went along even before then? Once SW was deemed "Episode IV" did he still entertain the idea of doing 12 movies, or was that exactly when it was cut down to 9 movies, and later just six?

    Darth_Nub

    That's a really, really complicated issue...
    Here's a very rough timeline of how GL viewed the Star Wars 'Saga':

    1973-1975 - one film, vaguely considered that sequels could be made.
    1975-1976 - three stories - Star Wars + two sequels - plus maybe one prequel based on the backstory. Unlikely that any more films would be made past Star Wars, so the sequels & prequel could possibly have been done as books.
    Around the same time, GL asked Alan Dean Foster to write a new SW story that could be done as a low-budget film. This was published as Splinter Of The Mind's Eye. This was not, however, the same sequel he originally envisioned for the second part of his trilogy.
    1977 - Star Wars is released, it's a hit, there will be sequels. Original idea is that the series could continue indefinitely, like the James Bond franchise.
    1978 - with the announcement of a new film, Bantha Tracks informs its readers that George Lucas has 12 stories in 'The Adventures Of Luke Skywalker' series. Mentions from GL & Gary Kurtz around the time indicate that several of these films could be one-offs not related to the main story of Rebels vs Empire - one could be about the young Ben Kenobi, another could deal with the formation of the Jedi & the Republic. George Lucas also describes his interest in a film about Wookiees, another about droids.
    Star Wars would still be Episode/Chapter 1, ESB Episode 2, and so on, although they might not have been intended to be numbered at all.
    1978-1979 - ESB is underway, GL now speaks of a 9-episode Saga, a 'trilogy of trilogies', one of which would be set before the current trilogy. That's where the new episode numbering comes from. Almost definitely the case that when he created the concept of Father Vader, Lucas realised the backstory about 'the young Ben Kenobi' had evolved into a story worthy of an entire trilogy, not just one film.
    (Several quotes from GL state that the other three episodes in the 12 part series were 'tangential to the story', so he dismissed them)
    1980-1995 - GL still refers to a 9-episode Saga, but exactly what Episodes VII-IX would be about, who the main characters would be, and even when it would be set, gets vaguer and vaguer.
    1995 to present - the Saga becomes a single six-episode story arc. From about 1999, GL begins to deny he ever had any intention of making a third trilogy at all.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    That is really interesting, thanks for your knowledge. I have a few more questions we can discuss in this thread.

    Are any of these referenced issues of Bantha Tracks available online in scans or any other way? I'd really like to read exactly what that article said about the 12 films.

    Also, if GL changed his story over a 15-year period about Episodes VII - IX from a somewhat vague vision to a really vague vision, there have to be some interesting quotes from him out there about what the films would have shown. Are any available online? I'd also like to use this thread to discuss that topic.

    Cathy

    Are your dates here based on as specific source or are you just approximating? Because I know Lucas was still entertaining the sequel trilogy as late as '97.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    I'd like to know the answer to that as well.

    Darth_Nub

    These particular dates are very rough, based on my own opinion of how GL was viewing the Saga (the earlier dates are a bit more accurate, based on statements in the press & official publications). It's my theory that following the difficult production of ESB, Lucas began to focus on winding up his space saga as soon as possible, as opposed to expanding it. ROTJ was hardly an unresolved ending - it posed a few questions about the backstory, but for all intents & purposes, the story was over, they all lived happily ever after.
    GL had committed to the PT, to an extent, by attaching Episodes IV & V to his existing films - however, the fate of the Sequel Trilogy of Eps VII-IX was far from certain.

    Although he would occasionally refer to it over the years, his comments changed somewhat - initially it was implied that it would be a separate entity with a new set of characters, with a few likely cameos by the likes of Luke Skywalker, and the two droids being the "only characters who go through all nine films". Later quotes, however, suggest that the ST would be about the characters of the OT in later years.

    I believe that when GL sat down to write the PT, he still had the idea that it would be 'separate, but connected' to the OT, i.e. it could stand on its own, as 'The Adventures Of Obi-Wan Kenobi'. However, this approach soon changed, as the story began to focus far more heavily on Anakin, who, while obviously a major character of the PT, might not have always been intended to be the main protagonist - in the first draft of TPM, Obi-Wan is alone on the mission to Naboo, effectively covering the roles of both Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan in the final film (Qui-Gon Jinn does not appear until Coruscant in the early draft).

    With this change in focus, GL began to see the PT & OT being more strongly linked to each other, with the story arc of Anakin Skywalker's rise, fall & redemption encompassing all six films - 'The Tragedy Of Darth Vader', as he refers to it. This wasn't always the case - Anakin's redemption wasn't as strongly emphasised in the rough draft of ROTJ (although turning from the Dark Side was still important to the plot).

    So, with GL now viewing his current story in terms of one six-episode Saga, rather than two separate trilogies, the need for a third trilogy completely disappeared, not that it was ever really there to begin with. 1995 is a somewhat arbitrary date to attach, 1997 is probably more accurate, as that's when the third draft of TPM was completed, and, I believe, the current view of the SW Saga became cemented in GL's mind.
    Later mumblings about the Sequel Trilogy sound like GL just paying lip-service to the fact that he'd once considered it - by 1999 he was actively trying to bury it:

    (Thanks to TSHOSW for the quotes)

    Tosche_Station

    I'm sure the ST existed, but I'm not convinced that it was every really going to be a sort of "Expanded ROTJ" - meaning that the Luke vs. the Dark Side, and Rebels vs. the Empire conflict was going to go beyond Episode Six. According to RInzler's TMOSW, when he was 'brainstorming' with novelist Alan Dean Foster and Visual FX director John Dykstra in December of '75, he was discussing future sequels as being books instead of films, and that "book three" would conclude the Rebel vs. Empire story, and really just be the "Soap Opera of the Skywalker family".

    Sistros

    lol how droll

    "and the moment you've all been waiting for fans

    days of our Galaxy"

    Darth_Nub

    It's possible that even with the Empire defeated at the end of ROTJ, there were still Sith running around, so Luke (or the protagonist of the ST) might have still been fighting the Dark Side. The PT put the kibosh on there being any other Sith Lords, of course, not that it stopped the EU.
    With what little we know about the ST dealing with the rebuilding of the Republic, it's possible that some sort of Dark Side practitioner may have been involved in the storyline - perhaps posing as a charismatic statesman, or an opponent to the rebuilding of the corrupt Republic (could Count Dooku's character have been taken from vague thoughts about the ST?) Pure speculation, of course.

    One thing is for sure - the ST had to be set a good few years after the OT, as GL always intended to make the PT before it. As such, it's unlikely that we could just pick up the Rebels vs Empire storyline 15-20 years after ROTJ.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    @Darth_Nub That's really interesting to see how he slowly weaseled his way out of doing the ST altogether. I'm still very interested in what GL had to say about it when it was still something he said he was planning on doing.

    I took this from another thread:

    I'm interested in how these ideas for the ST were established with more certainty than others.

    I'd also still like to discuss what GL said in this era of the timeline:

    Were all these ideas for different films you mention from Bantha Tracks or are they from different sources? I'm really interested in where this info comes from and what GL said at that time. I'd like to know if there are any other vague ideas like that he just tossed out there.

    I also noticed going through the different TSHOSW threads on the temp boards that some people spoke of GL saying he was going to do five films set before the OT: a young Obi-Wan film, a Clone Wars trilogy of films ([face_hypnotized]), and another film to lead right into the OT (presumably Anakin's fall to the Dark Side?). I'd really like to know if he really said that, and if he ever said anything about what his Clone Wars film trilogy ideas were, if any, back then.

    Arawn Fenn

    All Vader's Children

    Sistros



    sunset Tatooine

    I'll stop now
    :p

    Arawn Fenn

    The Young and the Handless

    Darth_Nub


    All Bantha Tracks said was:

    The mentions of the films about the early days of Ben Kenobi & the one about the formation of the Jedi come from Alan Arnold's Once Upon A Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back - which, initially refers to 12 episodes IIRC, but later in the same book, GL states that there's nine films. GL referred to a film about the young Ben Kenobi in other interviews from around the same time.
    The GL quote about Wookiee & droid films comes from a magazine article around the same time (damn these temp boards! All the details are on the old ones).

    That '5-episode prequel plan' is from Rinzler's Making of ESB - there's nothing more than an old handwritten note from GL which simply lists, "Prologue, Clone Wars Trilogy and Epilogue". That's all, no details.
    I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it - I'm pretty sure it dates from after GL came up with the Father Vader idea & settled on the 9-episode plan, and I think it's more to do with vaguely plotting out his prequel story than actually planning episodes that would be made into individual films. He was probably referring to 'acts' within the overall storyline.
  13. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 2)

    Darth_Nub

    ^^^
    Just regarding that 5-episode prequel plan - it is quite possible that when GL came up with Father Vader & a potentially far more powerful backstory, he didn't immediately settle on this backstory comprising a trilogy, merely that it would take more than one film to tell, hence these five 'episodes'. Clearly he then decided that the story would best be served as a trilogy. This would place this list as having been drawn up in between the 12-part serial plan & the 9-episode trilogy of trilogies vision.

    Either way, I still don't think it impacts on the storyline itself. It's unlikely that the 'prologue' and 'epilogue' would have dealt with anything other than what he still planned to do when he decided on the trilogy format, although various comments about Luke Skywalker's age in Ep III (as old as 3) and the implications that Luke & Leia's mother lived for some time after everything went to hell - long enough for Leia to remember her - suggest that he might once have intended the PT/Ep III to finish a bit later than it did in the final films (hence the epilogue).

    Dark Lord Tarkas


    Bantha Tracks was only the source for the idea of 12 episodes then, not specifically what any of those episodes would be, got it.

    I will definitely be eager to check out the threads with more details on where these ideas came from when the move is finally complete.

    Okay, so for discussion in this thread we'll assume that GL decided sometime when making The Empire Strikes Back to do a trilogy-of-trilogies with the OT in the middle, rather than 12 films with STAR WARS as the first.

    I'd like to try to compile a list of GL's ideas for different films that he let slip when still in the part of the timeline that the assumption was there would be 12 episodes.

    STAR WARS
    The Empire Strikes Back
    Return of the Jedi (?)
    Young Ben Kenobi adventure (Obi-Wan's Force-ghost narrating a story to young Jedi being trained by Luke?)
    Wookiees adventure
    Droids adventure
    Jedi and Old Republic history (learned by a team of new Jedi Knights? maybe in flashbacks from a more ancient Force-ghost?)

    I'm also really into The Clone Wars television series, and I can't help but notice as we have this discussion that GL may be using the series in multiple ways to finally flesh out some of these really old ideas. Instead of doing an Epilogue/Clone Wars/Prologue PT format, he left the Clone Wars out of the PT almost entirely and is now helping create that era. TCW had Mercy Mission and Nomad Droids, a pair of R2-D2 and C-3PO episodes that I can't help but wonder if they were anything like his old ideas for a droids adventure film. And there are a few storylines, like Slaves of the Republic, Death Watch, and The Citadel that touched on the ancient history of the Jedi in more specific ways than the PT did. So I see some of GL's abandoned 12-episode-serial and trilogy-of-trilogies ideas still being fleshed out by him to this day.

    Darth_Nub

    That's about right, although there's a couple of educated guesses you can make about others. Here's how I see it:

    1. Star Wars
    2. The Empire Strikes Back
    3. Revenge/Return of the Jedi - somewhat different ending, the Empire & the Dark Side most likely not completely defeated. Some sort of major victory for the Alliance, Luke becomes a fully-fledged Jedi Knight
    4. Young Ben Kenobi
    5. Luke searches for his sister living on the other side of the galaxy (based on the mention in Brackett's draft of ESB)
    6. Continuation of Luke's adventures
    7. Wookiee story
    8. Droid story
    9. Formation of the Jedi & the Republic
    10. Continuation of Luke's adventures
    11. Continuation of Luke's adventures
    12. Final episode of the series, Emperor/Sith Master revealed for the first time, the Empire/Dark Side is defeated

    The eps in italics are in an arbitrary order. A few comments here and there suggest that the Emperor would appear first in the final episode, although it's often attributed to the nine-episode plan (incorrectly, as it's been established that eps VII-IX would have dealt with the rebuilding of the Republic, i.e. the Empire's gone).

    The 12-ep series would have turned out a bit like the old Marvel comic series, I imagine. Large, important storylines across several parts, interspersed with minor one-off adventures, sometimes focusing on different characters. There actually was a 'Young Ben Kenobi' one-off adventure in the Marvel series:

    [IMG]

    It was recounted to the other heroes by Leia, who heard it from Bail Organa. Whether or not GL ever planned to use such narrative framing devices for stories set in other eras (as you suggested above) is unknown, but somehow I doubt it, when the opening scroll would serve just as well. There was a rumour during the 1990s that the PT was going to be narrated by Alec Guinness, but I've no idea if that was anything other than typical speculative nonsense

    Arawn Fenn

    If I may say so, Ben's saber color is just FABULOUSO.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    @Darth_Nub Holy crap! I had no idea Marvel put out an issue with a young Ben Kenobi flashback adventure!

    I'm actually kind of psyched right now.

    Regarding my ideas for the older stories and histories to be learned via flashback, that's to maintain the chronology (you're right that the crawl does a fine job). I was assuming STAR WARS would remain Saga I, The Empire Strikes Back would be Saga II, etc., such that it wouldn't make sense for, say, Saga IV to be a random prequel. Perhaps you were thinking that if there were 12 films there wouldn't have been any numbering system at all, in which case the young Obi-Wan film wouldn't have to be a flashback and could just start with young Obi-Wan from the crawl like The Phantom Menace, which is an interesting idea, but I think it would be really confusing to have a 12-film long saga that is (mostly) linear without any numbering system. Even with a few films whose order might not matter much like the Droids and Wookiees films, overall they would still need some numbering to keep the starting trilogy, the ending, and important plot-twists in between in order. They could have done it without numbers, but I think it would have been much, much harder. The OT doesn't have flashbacks, but it also didn't have Force-visions shown to the audience like the PT had, so that kind of leap was taken anyway. In one of the Tales of the Jedi comics a Master tells an apprentice a story and is able to make them see it with the Force, a power Obi-Wan's Force-ghost (or a more ancient Force-ghost to-be-created) could have used in the SW "serial" films.

    I like your idea of including story elements other people working on the early Star Wars story wanted to include in our fantasy lists of 12-episode Star Wars serials.

    1. STAR WARS: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga I

    2. The Empire Strikes Back: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga II

    3. Return of the Jedi: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga III (Luke gets Jedi Knighted, Darth Vader is redeemed in a sacrifice that almost cripples the Empire, tells Luke about his sister on the other side of the galaxy, film ends with Luke needing to find her for some reason)

    4. ????????????: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga IV (Luke searches for his sister living on the other side of the galaxy [based on the mention in Brackett's draft of ESB])

    5. ????????????: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga V (Luke finds his sister)

    6. ????????????: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga VI (Luke has been gone for some time while searching for his sister and the Rebellion isn't doing so well - he has a series of Flash Gordon-type pulp adventures that get the Rebellion back on its feet)

    7. ????????????: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga VII (young Obi-Wan Kenobi adventure)

    8. ????????????: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga VIII (Wookiee/Kashyyyk adventure)

    9. ????????????: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga IX (Droids adventure [Luke discovers droid made by Anakin?])

    10. ????????????: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga X (formation of the Jedi & the Republic flashbacks/Force-visions [first reappearance of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda as Force-ghosts since Saga III?])

    11. ????????????: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga XI (Luke, Han, Chewie, and Leia have their first adventure together since Saga III, Han dies [like Gary Kurtz says GL originally envisioned])

    12. ????????????: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga XII (final episode of the series, Emperor/Sith Master revealed for the first time, the Empire/Dark Side is defeated, it takes the combined power of Luke and the Force-ghosts of Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda to defeat the Emperor [working off GL's scrapped RotJ script idea])

    I think there are a lot interesting possibilities we could consider given how many ideas there are out there we know GL abandoned. We could come up with a whole other set of 12 chapters where Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader remained separate characters.

    Since Splinter of the Mind's Eye was originally made with the idea that it could be a film, would it be unreasonable to make that story Saga II, ESB Saga III, and RotJ Saga IV? I think that's a really interesting question.

    Feel Like What

    BTW, there was slightly more mention of the Tangential Trilogy than just in Bantha Tracks. There was also at least one interview Lucas gave where he expanded on them a little (and this is where the details about droids, wookiees, etc, came from). Zombie's site still seems to have a virus warning so I'll copy a bit of his article on the subject:

    I was for a long time curious about what these films could have been - but when I read that Prevue stuff, it became apparent that Lucas had already made these films, in some ways:

    -Wookiee film = Ewok movies and cartoon series
    -Robot film = Droids cartoon series
    -Jedi film = Clone Wars series (both of them, though there isn't one - yet - about the foundation of the Republic or the Jedi)

    He did call these "odd" movies, and given the context of some of his comments it does seem like they could have been more esoteric, like THX 1138. Of course, he changed over time as well, and the concepts did as well, molding to whatever creative and or financial (remember, the 80s were a bad time for him) needs he had

    Darth_Nub

    The ideas for the 'Wookiee film' also found their way into the Holiday Special and ROTJ - GL's 1977 Rolling Stone interview mentions the Wookiee celebration he abandoned for SW:

    His idea for a single film focusing on Wookiees seems to be taken directly from this, but would eventually evolve directly into the Ewoks in ROTJ, celebration and all.

    This excerpt from the same Rolling Stone IV is particularly telling, in terms of just how vague GL's actual vision was:

    When he was attempting to write the first film (singular, not plural) GL came up with a heap of ideas, distilled them into one story (Star Wars), then put the unused ideas on the shelf & recycled them in future films. Cloud City, the asteroid chase, natives aiding the Rebels, even the basic plot for TPM - all were just abandoned ideas for the first & only film (at the time), not later parts of some huge epic space saga.

    Sistros

    when did Lucas make up his mind?

    a better question is when WILL Lucas make up his mind

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    @Feel Like What thanks for posting that, I've never read those quotes before! He specifically says the "odd" droids and Wookiees films would have no humans, which means no Luke. Does that mean other films may have had other subtitles? In other words, all the films with Luke would have had the "From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker" tag, while the ones with no humans could have different subtitles, perhaps still using the "From the Adventures of ___________" format.

    And it is interesting to note how GL's original ideas reappear later on. The oddness of the Wookiees in the Holiday Special is now more explicable. I'm not sure about the Droids cartoon and Ewok movies since they did have humans. And I agree with you about The Clone Wars, I gave my own examples of exactly why I think that a few posts up.

    @Darth_Nub Likewise, these quotes are new to me! The scenes described by GL with Luke and a Wookiee-king sound like they're straight of a Flash Gordon serial, which I think is awesome. This is interesting though, since it sounds like that was a different idea from "odd" Wookiee film that wouldn't have people.

    Also, @Darth_Nub and everyone else interested in TSHOSW please join in, I'm curious what you think about including Splinter of the Mind's Eye in our theoretical 12-part Star Wars film serial. I don't think we're going to come up with 12 different ideas that he threw out there, it seems like the well is already running dry. That's why I like Nub's idea of using ideas others who helped create the OT wanted to see developed like Luke's sister being somewhere on the other side of the galaxy where he has to find her in a future film. That's also why added Han's death (which according to Gary Kurtz was originally GL's idea) to the episode before last.

    But knowing that we're not going to get to 12 episodes and we're already stretching it a bit as it is, I'm really curious what people think of including Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Also, since I said for the sake of this discussion GL decided to go the trilogy-of-trilogies route while putting ESB together, that means if GL had decided to keep the 12-film format instead he could have decided to hold off on revealing Darth Vader as Luke's father till the next film and the last second and to shoot Splinter of the Mind's Eye instead (since it was written as a possible story for a SW sequel film anyway, which is the another reason why it's intriguing to consider including it on our list, plus it's a full story rather than a vague idea).

    A couple more ideas I want to bring up for discussion:

    At this time it wasn't yet established that there were only two Sith Lords, and it wasn't even establised that the Emperor was a shriveled Senator Palpatine. So both of these things could have been different as the theoretical 12-film saga went along.

    If Return of the Jedi still featured father-Darth Vader sacrificing himself to try to cripple the Empire (still dying and being redeemed, but not ending the story), the still unseen (and perhaps still unnamed) Emperor would logically to start training a new Sith Lord - or, per my previous point multiple Sith Lords that would appear in the 7 - 8 films still to come.

    I know GL had a Force-witch concept design made for Ep. II from a TCW DVD extra, but does anyone know if he ever spoke of Force-witches in the OT era, before the 90's EU featured them? I'm curious about that. Even if he did borrow it from EU, it seems he could just as easily have borrowed it from EU for inclusion in the 12-film saga as well.

    ...

    I'm not sure what I hate most, typos or limited edit times.

    :mad:

    Feel Like What

    Regarding the idea of "Force Witches," I think they originated as rejected designs for Darth Maul, no? And to my knowledge, Lucas never said anything about them at all - the EU (Courtship of Princess Leia?) had them, and the art department(s?) came up with lots of ideas, including some that fit a "Witch" idea... but I don't think Lucas ever asked for this or came up with it directly. Unless we count Charal in The Battle For Endor (the idea for the film apparently came from Lucas but I don't know how specific he got - Charal might have come from someone else).

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    I assumed since the concept design was there from Ep. II that GL had asked for it, just like I'd heard while making Ep. II he'd asked for a design for a possible female apprentice of Palpatine's that at first was rejected but later became Asajj Ventress. Your idea about the Endor movie is interesting though, if that idea was in the notes/outline GL gave them to base the film on, imo that would be grounds enough to include that as an idea that could have been used in one of the films if there were 12.

    @Feel Like What you don't feel like indulging me in the 12-film saga discussion? Do you think Splinter of the Mind's Eye would have been good as a film between SW and TESB? :p We're getting broad enough with the ideas now that I know you have some good ones!

    Arawn Fenn

    Not to my knowledge.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    We now know what was is in some of GL's notes/outline he gave to the writer of the first ESB script - is nothing like that available for The Battle for Endor?

    Feel Like What

    @Dark Lord Tarkas, it took a very long time for that outline to come out. And there's a lot more general interest in ESB. I'd be surprised if there is anything like it available publicly for the Ewok movies. Perhaps in the catacombs of the Lucasfilm Archives (in which case perhaps JW Rinzler will have come across them, but there'd not necessarily be any reason for him to include them in any book like the upcoming Making of ROTJ).

    Also I will speculate, I just am doing several things at once currently - perhaps in a bit.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    Cool. :)

    Darth_Nub

    No, I wouldn't include Splinter of the Mind's Eye as a potential entry in the 12-part serial. Although it was conceived as a story that could be possibly be developed as a film, it belongs to a 'Saga plan' that ended almost as soon as it began.

    In 1975, GL talked about SW as a 'trilogy', plus a prequel story, stories which would most likely only ever be released as books (apart from the film of Star Wars). However, SOTME doesn't belong to this plan, which was far more ambitious, included Han Solo, and dealt with 'the soap opera of the Skywalker family'. It's really just an early incarnation of the actual OT.

    SOTME seems to have come about sometime in late 1976/early 1977 - GL asked Alan Dean Foster to write a SW story that could be made into a low-budget film, hence the fog-shrouded planet. Most likely he was a bit more optimistic about how his upcoming film would be received, perhaps it was all starting to come together and didn't look like the complete disaster he had been expecting. No one could have predicted what a massive success SW would be, but just on the off-chance that it made its money back, there might have been enough interest to warrant further films made on the cheap (as sequels tended to be back then - think the Planet of the Apes series).

    So Foster wrote this story, drawing quite heavily on ideas that didn't make it into Star Wars - the Kiber Crystal, the hero fighting the head of the natives and winning their trust - along with including newer developments that GL perhaps informed him about, such as the cyborg nature of Darth Vader. However, it was essentially Foster's creation, not GL's. Just how much input GL actually had is unknown, but other than providing Foster with material he'd already come up with, you'd think getting Star Wars done would have taken up virtually all his time.

    Once SW became the massive success it did, the notion of making low-rent sequels went out the window, and so did any intention of developing SOTME into a film. GL realised that his earlier ambitious vision for his space saga could become a reality, and although you could argue that SOTME could have found its way into the series as a smaller, stand-alone entry, it seems unlikely that a) it would have then immediately been published as a novel; and b) GL would bother bringing back several of the real stars of the series for something that was originally conceived as a cheap way of carrying on. He simply wouldn't waste Luke, Leia & Vader on a story that was so minor, particularly one he didn't create himself.
    Although once it could have become the next Star Wars movie, SOTME merely became the first entry in the Expanded Universe.

    darthboba

    To be fair to SOTME-the ANH novel counts as the first EU entry, given that it got published nearly a full six months before the film came out, IIRC, although that is probably because ANH was originally planned to be a Christmas 1976 release.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    Quick Force-witch update: I checked that Battle for Endor witch's wook which had information about her character design that evidently came from The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, but left out who had told the artist to design her. I figure if more details were in the book they'd be on the wook too, but does anyone have this book to check just in case?

    I'm still going to look into that, but as I said, even if the Force-witch idea was definitely never originally GL's, he used other EU concepts in the PT, so if the Star Wars saga did run 12 films, there's every reason to think that he wouldn't have a problem borrowing from EU in that case either. That fact plus the Force-witch design made for Ep. II - which I don't think would have been made if there was no chance of seeing it in the film, which suggests to me he has considered this already - make it plausible.

    One last point on the Force-witches - we've discussed The Clone Wars television series as being something of an incarnation of "The Clone Wars trilogy" idea GL jotted down for the PT. From what I've read on LACWAC, GL was pretty detached from the story-writing process in the first two seasons of the show but got much more involved beginning with the third - which had the show's first appearance of Force-witches. In a trilogy of episodes. I don't think that would have happened in the first season of the show heavily influenced by GL if he didn't want it.

    @Darth_Nub You make some pretty solid points about Splinter of the Mind's Eye. It was made as a potential second film in a time when GL thought if anything he'd be barely lucky enough to make a low-budget sequel, before the time when he was openly talking about wanting to make a 12-film saga. By the time his intention to actually try to make 12 films had solidified in his mind, it's likely doing SotME as a film was already out of the question to him, knowing by then he'd have whatever kind of budget to work with he wanted. So it's very likely that him realizing he might actually be able to do 12 films never overlapped with the time-period in which GL considered making SotME as a film.

    I'm still going to include it in my fantasy SW serial for now, though. Aside from the fact that it was made explicitly with the idea that it could be turned into a film, the real issue is we have so many blank slots that are currently just "continuing adventures of Luke Skywalker" that I think it doesn't hurt to fill one of them with a real, fully-fleshed out story. You're right that in a way it's filler, but it's filler that we can put our hands on and examine as opposed to the alternative, which right now is blank filler.

    As we come up with more ideas to fill the 12 films, it could be taken off my list, but I think part of the fun is seeing how our lists evolve differently as we discuss the subject more, so it's all good all around.

    I really hope along the way others interested in TSHOSW produce fantasy 12-film saga lists!

    So for now, I'd really like to discuss what other potential ideas might or might not be included so far and why. Then maybe we can come up with a new round of lists after we've thrown more ideas out there.

    odd "Droids" film
    odd "Wookiee" film
    young Obi-Wan Kenobi adventure
    formation of Jedi/Republic
    Luke combats/defeats the head Wookiee and wins their support of the Rebellion (per SW draft)
    Luke searches for his sister on the other side of the galaxy (per ESB draft)
    Han dies (per GL's ideas according to Gary Kurtz)
    Luke is assisted by the Force-ghosts of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda in a fight with the Emperor (per RotJ draft)

    And as we go along with this discussion, there are a couple decisions we each must make. For example, if we run with the idea of Luke looking for his sister, does that mean Leia isn't his sister? Or he has two now? I explained how in my fantasy RotJ Darth Vader could still be redeemed by sacrificing himself to deal a crippling blow to the Empire, but I left out whether he would still be Luke's father. What do you think about the Skywalker family's role may have been different if there were 12 films? Would it have been?

    ...

    Two more questions to add to that very last paragraph:

    If Darth Vader wasn't Luke's father in a hypothetical 12-film saga, could he stay the main villain through all 12 films, since GL's intention was apparently to have the Emperor revealed in person only in the final film? Or even if he wasn't Luke's father, would GL still want him to be redeemed like I believe a poster in one of the TSHOSW threads said a Sith Lord in one of GL's first drafts for "The Star Wars" was? Maybe even he could be redeemed without dying - and then he, the person who betrayed the Jedi and killed Luke's father, would be a Jedi again, fighting alongside Luke and maybe even training more Jedi.

    I know original STAR WARS comics and the novel imply the Emperor had multiple Dark Lords of the Sith doing his bidding and that by RotJ it was pretty set in stone that Darth Vader was the only one - but was this still left ambiguous by the ESB novel and that era's comics? Was the possibility for multiple Dark Lords of the Sith working for the Emperor still open after the release of ESB? Could a 12-film saga featured a small cast of different Dark Lords of the Sith?
    Last edited by ATMachine, Sep 3, 2012
  14. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 3)

    Feel Like What

    I'm not sure it's "set in stone" that Vader was the only Lord of the Sith in ROTJ. Or perhaps to be more specific - "Sith" is and was a specific culture/tradition, of which Vader was one and the Emperor may or may not have been one, at that time and from the POV of audiences and EU authors. In the EU there are a lot of other dark siders who interacted with/were trained by/whatever Vader and the Emperor. Mara Jade, Joruus C'Baoth, Lumiya, Inquisitor Tremayne, etc etc etc. Whether Lucas intended for a rule of two at the time of ROTJ, I don't think anyone knows... but no one else seems to have assumed the application of any such thing. So the entire OT leaves open the idea of additional dark siders or even additional Sith.

    BTW, while Vader was called Dark Lord of the Sith from the first film forward, what exactly "Sith" referred to was not known publicly until much later. When Tim Zahn was writing his novel trilogy, he wanted to create an alien species that would have been subjugated by Vader and subsequently become servants/warriors in his employ. He wanted to call these aliens the sith; Lucas rejected this, and they ended up being called the noghri. Later, a comic series was in pre-production that involved ancient Jedi and dark-siders; Lucas suggested the authors use the name Sith for the dark siders, as this was closer to what his conception of what a Sith was.

    Also I have and love The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, but it's written from an in-universe perspective and as such has no information about film production processes.

    Darth_Nub

    Leia definitely wouldn't have been his sister - she wasn't at the time of ESB, plus GL said in 1975 about his 3-film plan (which was effectively the first three films of the 12-film series) that he wanted Luke to kiss the princess in the second film, it was Gone With The Wind in outer space.

    Unlikely that Vader would have been redeemed in any way (he betrayed & murdered the father of the hero), & he most certainly wouldn't have been revealed to be Luke's father. It's more likely that an important part of Luke's journey would have been killing Vader to avenge his father at some point (perhaps with the help of his sister, Neilith). This may have occurred earlier than the final film, with the ultimate conflict in Ep XII being between the heroes & the Emperor.

    Revealing Vader as Luke's father in the 12-film series makes no sense - it was the creation of Father Vader, with the more powerful backstory, which destroyed the 12-film plan to begin with, by introducing the necessity for an entire prequel trilogy and a grander overall structure without frivolous 'tangential films'.
    You can only speculate as to what GL had in mind at the time, not what could have happened along the way, otherwise you'll just go mad or end up with random ideas about "what would have been really cool".

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    Fascinating. So RotJ still left open the possibility that the Emperor has other Sith Lords working under him in addition to Darth Vader. And GL's early "The Star Wars" drafts actually had multiple Sith Lords. I think that means we have as much reason to think a 12-film SW saga would include a film about a new Sith Lord as it would other abandoned ideas we're keeping on our list.

    I'll post a couple pictures @ATMachine posted in another thread, since they're designs for a generic Sith Lord from when GL was still planning to have more than one in the first film:

    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    (the Sith Lord is on the right)


    So it's possible that all the Sith Lords would have looked something like Vader, I think he gave up on the "Exorcist" appearance pretty early on.

    Do you know if those were the Tales of the Jedi comics? I love those, if I found out the GL personally told them to make those dark siders into Sith, I'd be pretty psyched.

    Not sure if you missed this:

    I'm trying to avoid random ideas and fan-fic/fanon territory, that's why I'm sticking only to ideas specifically brought up by GL or other major figures who helped shaped the SW story in the 70's and 80's for the list.

    Though I'm inclined to agree that a 12-film saga wouldn't have had Darth Vader as Luke's father, I still think the character may have been redeemed in some fashion because of the redeemed Sith character in one of the early "The Star Wars" drafts. Perhaps not likely, but just a possibility I wanted to bring up. Either way, I definitely agree that he'd probably be out of the picture by time the Saga XII confrontation with the Emperor came about.

    What I would really like to do for now is to keep making the list of possibilities longer, so there will be more than 12 (or really 9 since we have the OT) for people to pick-and-choose from to make their own version of a fantasy SW 12-film saga using all ideas that were actually considered at the time.

    odd Droids film
    odd Wookiee film
    young Obi-Wan Kenobi adventure
    formation of Jedi/Republic
    Luke combats/defeats the head Wookiee and wins their support of the Rebellion (per SW draft)
    Luke searches for his sister Neilith on the other side of the galaxy (per ESB draft)
    Han dies (per GL's ideas according to Gary Kurtz)
    Luke is assisted by the Force-ghosts of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda in a fight with the Emperor (per RotJ draft)
    Splinter of the Mind's Eye (per its original purpose being the story for a potential SW film)
    Force-witch adventure (per The Battle for Endor film, AotC character designs)
    more Dark Lords of the Sith introduced (per OT-era EU, early "The Star Wars" drafts)

    I know there are more abandoned ideas we can add to this list... Is the 1975 quote where GL talks about his plans for the first trilogy that you referenced available? Also, I've read in one of the TSHOSW threads that, I think it was in August 1977, GL put out extra background information about the SW universe for authors and/or fans. Is that text available?

    Question: I know GL referenced the duel between Obi-Wan and pre-half-machine Darth Vader on a lava world as early as the 70's - but did he mention this in the context of doing it in a film, or just as back-story

    Tosche_Station

    You're right about Leia, but the bold part I'm not so sure about. It wasn't really a "3 FILM plan" so much as a "three story plan", where the first story was the only film, and the next two stories were just books ("book two" being "Gone With The Wind set in outer space", as you mention). Thus, at that point - late '75 - I don't think the story was intended to go beyond "book three".


    As for the "Soap Opera of the Skywalker Family" Extravaganza:

    "Episode XX: JR Shot First!!!"

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    @Tosche_Station Interesting. However, it seems it could also be the case that when he first got the ambition to do 12 films in 1977/1978, his vision for the first three films was still loosely based on that original three story plan.

    eht13

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    @eht13 I'm glad you thought so! Please contribute any thoughts you may have, I'm obviously quite new to the topic myself.

    ATMachine

    FWIW, the change to the Episode V name for ESB happened late enough in pre-production that storyboards were actually drawn up featuring a title crawl labeled Episode II. These were shown in the Making of ESB book.

    Tosche_Station

    I was a little surprised to find out that that was the case when I got the book.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    :eek: That's crazy. Crazy awesome.

    So should we assume from that that for as long as GL considered making multiple films a realistic possibility it was always his plan for each film to have the Star Wars title plus an episode number and subtitle? He never intended to just leave the first film Star Wars, make the next film simply TESB, etc.?

    ATMachine

    Actually, when he made what is now ANH, the plan was to have the overall Saga title be The Adventures of Luke Skywalker (or Luke Starkiller in early drafts, before the name change). "Star Wars" (originally "The Star Wars") was just the name of Episode I of the series.

    That plan was basically abandoned after the first film came out, but all of the EU literature from around 1977 originally was advertised on the covers as being "From The Adventures of Luke Skywalker." More recent releases have replaced this blurb with a giant SW logo that wasn't originally there.

    I posted this before on the old boards, but here's a reminder.

    Compare and contrast the 1977 titles to the modern reissues:

    [IMG] [IMG] [IMG]

    [IMG] [IMG]

    [IMG] [IMG]

    [IMG] [IMG]

    [IMG] [IMG]

    All of these books were originally described as being offshoots of The Adventures of Luke Skywalker (the originally projected 12-part film series), with no mention whatsoever of Star Wars (except on the film novelization, naturally). But now, of course, that title is blazoned retroactively in large letters across their covers.

    Darth_Nub

    I did miss that, sort of. Anyway, I still don't think Vader would have been redeemed at any stage - he might have died honourably, perhaps - but when you listen to Obi-Wan's dialogue in SW, it doesn't suggest that you're ever meant to be sympathetic to the character, he's a bad guy, plain & simple:

    Of course, this changed somewhat with the creation of Father Vader, but even then I found it to be a bit of a plot hole - Luke tries to convince Vader to come with him, then later he's trying to save him as the Death Star falls to pieces, but just how would the rest of the Alliance feel about this man who had been so instrumental in bringing the galaxy to ruin?
    Valorum, the Sith Knight who redeems himself in the Rough/First Draft, was directly based on the character of General Tadokoro in The Hidden Fortress, GL didn't come up with the idea himself. I believe this was part of the inspiration for the eventual transformation of Vader, but I don't think GL viewed the filmed character of Vader in such terms until he made the complete switch.

    The 1975 discussions are in the hardcover edition of JW Rinzler's The Making Of Star Wars, which, unfortunately, I don't own.

    Here's the August 1977 IV with GL in Rolling Stone: http://starwarz.multiply.com/journal/item/10/1977_Rolling_Stone_George_Lucas_Interview?&show_interstitial=1&u=/journal/item
    He does refer to the duel, & yes, he talks about it in the context of doing it in a film:

    Feel Like What

    I was looking at the dates on some of the blueprints, and as late as December 21, 1978 (the radar gun dish things the Rebels use), the stamp still said "EPISODE II The Empire Strikes Back." (That's "2," not "11," just to be clear.) By the 25th of March 1979 (a map of camera and explosive charge placement in a snowspeeder) the stamps have changed to just "The Empire Strikes Back."

    The production company formed to make ESB was called "Chapter II Productions" - perhaps someone could check when it was started, as this name alludes to the saga concept as well?

    Also I just always enjoyed this storyboard:

    [IMG]

    I'm not sure how much the changing titles tell us about the saga concept. Obviously, by the time of that storyboard it's Episode V, but in between the "EPISODE II The Empire Strikes Back" markings and that storyboard, the stamps don't give an episode number at all. And Lucas may have been late in notifying the art department of his changing plans, so the 21-12-1978 date may or may not correspond to a time when he was still considering ESB as Episode II.

    We don't know if what is available is all of the EU background information he originally gave in 1977. It's in an appendix in the hardcover version of The Making of Star Wars. I'll go through it in a little while and pull out some of the more interesting/relevant bits. A lot of the Jedi/Republic/Empire story is in it, as well as bits on Leia, Han, and C-3PO.

    The duel reference comes from an interview in Rolling Stone:

    I don't know if this is in the context of a prequel film (EDIT: I guess so, sort of, given Nub's quote above). But this is from the time in 1977 when his idea of the saga could expand because the first film was so successful, and he would speak about a "young days of Ben Kenobi" film, so it's possible (though even if that's the case, he'd not have actually plotted too much out beyond that description, given how variable the stories ended up being).

    Something else that may have come up in a 12-part-saga is the notion of Chosen Ones. Yoda may or may not have existed as such, but there is a note I found recently that seems to date from the early parts of preproduction on Empire. Rinzler says it's undated, but because it mentions the Kiber crystal, he speculates it might even relate to SW itself, not Empire. This is possible, but I wouldn't be surprised if Lucas had just brought the concept back.

    The midichlorians did exist as a concept as this point, but the variation in their numbers (and subsequent/related differing strengths in the Force) were species-based, not individual-based. This may have to do with Luke being "the human Buffy" - perhaps each species has a strongest member, or perhaps this is a way for Lucas to refer to each species or civilization having a Culture Hero, which would seem relevant, given his interest in anthropology and his intent for the Force to be all kinds of supernatural ideas rolled into one.

    Kind of like how Raiders of the Lost Ark became Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. And the series became "the Indiana Jones movies." It's interesting to think of SW as "the Luke Skywalker movies."

    ...

    SECOND POST IN A ROW - important stuff in previous post too.


    Let's not forget that even during the development of ROTJ, Vader's redemption evolved. This from the rough draft, where Ben and Yoda are also present at the final duel:

    And that's all the mention it gets. There is no previous notion of Luke trying to turn Anakin back. There is a bit afterward, though, where instead of reappearing as ghosts, the Jedi (including Anakin) reappear in the flesh and join the celebration. So it took quite a while to settle on Anakin's redemption as a big deal, or at least as big a deal as it became.

    And here are some notes from the Summer of 1977 interviews with GL (I'll paraphrase):

    -Han is an orphan who was raised by space gypsies after his parents were killed in a space battle of which Han was the sole survivor. They might have won him in a game, he might have been a kind of slave. They abandoned him to the Wookiees when he was around seven. Han lived with the wookiees until he was twelve, when he joined the space academy. He was a very good starpilot but he was also a cheat and a hustler, and eventually got kicked out. He eventually found his way back to the Wookiees and met Chewie. They ranched giant 15-footed reptilian giraffe-animals called coldpeddas on a planet called Coonee. The meat has aphrodisiacal qualities. After that, Han worked as a mechanic in an assembly line on a planet called Saberhing. Then be became a smuggler. The incident he mentions with Jabba in the restored deleted scene apparently involved his ship (not the Falcon, but a different, larger one) being destroyed. He has a girlfriend in every port.

    -The Millennium Falcon is a Corellian design from Crell (?), which is a gas planet with floating cities. The natives can fly, they're like porpoises with wings.

    -C-3PO is 112 years old at the time of Star Wars and has served 43 masters. He was made in a factory on Affa, which is in the Outland Regions. Previous to his work with Captain Antilles, he worked in an embassy in the Granicus system. The planet had a strange climate, which led to the embassy droids frequently breaking down and falling apart. Threepio was "lucky to be totally reassembled by a young buy working for a junk dealer. After several years [he] gained new coverings and became as good as new."

    -Alderaan is the capital of its system of seven planets. Leia was "exceptionally bright" and was sent to the best schools. Her parents are in their fifties and she has two much younger brothers. She has commanded governmental and mercy missions since she was seven. It's unknown, both to Leia and to the Rebellion, if her father and brothers were on Alderaan when it was destroyed.

    -There were 24, 372 systems in the Galactic Senate of the Republic. One of the Chancellors started working behind the scenes to subvert the senate's power and buy off senators with the help of the galactic trade, mining, power, etc companies. He bought enough of them off to get himself a second term (which was supposed to be forbidden); this was also helped by his exploitation of "a crisis." After his third term, the Senate had become so corrupted that they made him Emperor "for the rest of his life." They rationalized this in a 'don't change horses in midstream' sort of a way (my description). They also thought a single strong leader could cut through the interminible red tape and bureaucracy - and of course he could, since it was his machinations that had set such things up - but he would only use that to benefit his own agenda.

    -When the Chancellor was named Emperor, slightly more than half of the Senate rebelled against this, and they tried to impeach him. Many of these senators died mysterious deaths at this point, and the Jedi Knights were called in. Darth Vader was still nominally a Jedi at this point, but secretly he was killing them and working against them. The Emperor also had been building an army secretly, and he used these forces against the Jedi. The Jedi attempted to regroup, but were almost all destroyed by special forces led by Darth Vader. Only a few, including Ben and Annikin, were left.

    -Darth Vader eventually became attached to the Emperor personally - not the bureaucracy of the Empire itself (as we see in how he exists outside the chain of command in the films).

    -The Rebellion in the Senate started about twenty years ago, when Leia's father was around forty (age discrepancy with previously reported info?). Leia's father disagreed with her becoming involved with the more militant side of the Rebellion. Her ship intercepted the Death Star plans during a space battle that they were only tangentially part of.

    -C-3PO had his memory backed up on Alderaan every so often. He thinks R2's memory has been erased several times, though 3PO doesn't think his own has ever been deleted. He only met R2 very recently, on the Tantive IV. R2 had been on that ship for 12 years before that.

    -There are square crystal Coins of the Galactic Realm which are used in systems that don't use credits. And some systems use bartering, such as Tatooine.

    -There are male and female stormtroopers, but mostly men go to Mos Eisley because it's a spaceport. (Accepting and rejecting traditional gender roles?)

    -Chewie didn't get a medal because Wookiees have their own celebrations and traditions. A Rebel contingent went to the Wookiee planet and participated in a huge celebration there.

    And finally, I'll just quote the part on the Force:

    Oh, another idea that might have been used in a sequel: Lando was at one point a clone, a remnant of the Ashandi family, which had been almost entirely wiped out in the Clone Wars. His planet of origin would have had around 700 countries, each composed of a different clone clan, and he would have been the leader of one of them (this comes from one of the Empire story meetings, apparently - NOT Lucas's comments from 1977, to be clear). In this same version of the story, there are also native aliens on the planet with Cloud City - continuing Lucas's theme of trying to depict native cultures working against larger technological powers. And Lando would have turned against the Empire in this version when the Empire killed his native friend/contact Bahiri - continuing the theme of villainous or at least ambivalent characters switching sides.)

    Darth_Nub

    Can't believe I forgot this one - Han's mission to convince his old acquaintance Ovan Marekal, head of the Transport Guild, to help the Alliance. That's where he heads off to at the end of the Brackett draft of ESB, and I'm pretty sure it's GL's idea, not Brackett's - in 1975, didn't GL say Han leaves at the end of the 2nd story? It also sounds similar to vague ideas GL had for ESB about an old friend of Han's, a trader called Saun Dann, who lived on the Wookiee home planet Kazook (the character & even the early name of Kashyyyk ended up in the Holiday Special instead).

    The Lando Kadar clone stuff might be exclusively a Brackett invention, in which case I'd leave it out, as it doesn't seem to relate to anything else we knew or know about clones in the GFFA.

    ...

    Regarding the Sith - nothing in the OT era post-SW really did anything regarding the Sith that would either negate or promote their presence in further episodes. Vader would continue to be referred to as 'the Dark Lord of the Sith' in the novels & comics with no elaboration whatsoever.
    So yes, absolutely, there was the possibility for other Sith Lords to appear in future episodes, not just in the 12-film series, but even the 9-film Saga. The Rule of Two did not exist until TPM.

    It's quite possible that Vader could have been killed by Luke in the third film of the 12-film series, with Luke avenging his father & becoming a true Jedi - only for the Emperor, or perhaps the shadowy Master of the Sith mentioned in drafts two & three, to unleash yet another Sith Lord upon the galaxy for the heroes to deal with.

    IIRC, Kevin J Anderson, who co-wrote the Tales of the Jedi comic series, claimed that GL gave them the backstory of who the Sith were - most likely GL gave them the early drafts of SW & some notes (in which the Sith were just pirates/mercenaries trained by a Dark Side Force user), then the comic writers created a far more elaborate & ancient backstory from this material.

    ATMachine

    The "Lando Kadar clone stuff" was definitely Lucas' idea--he mentioned it to Brackett in excerpts quoted from the story conferences in Making of ESB. In fact, he mentioned that most people in the galaxy would generally distrust clones, because of their role in instigating the Clone Wars.

    Feel Like What

    @ATMachine, I was taking it from Annotated Screenplays - where in MoESB is it, if you recall?

    ATMachine

    Pages 24-25, in the middle of the story conference quotes.


  15. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 4)

    Darth_Nub

    Ah, fair enough.

    Does make you wonder if GL had any interest in ever pursuing a 'clone' storyline - I'm still convinced his original conception of the Clone Wars was that it took place shortly before the PT, or was finishing up in Episode I (I called it 'backstory to the backstory' in a thread on the old boards). Given how different the Lando Kadar plot is to what we ended up with, I don't think Lucas was really sure back in the OT days what the Clone Wars were, beyond a catchy name.


    This army & special forces clearly weren't originally meant to be clones, then.

    Closest thing we have to the vague Lando Kadar clone storyline in the current SW lexicon is maybe the Mandalorians in TCW.

    ATMachine

    The Clone Wars were originally the SW equivalent of Dune's Butlerian Jihad--a vaguely described, long-ago war that was fought against the sentient products of technology. In Dune, of course, the war was against robots ("thinking machines") which had enslaved humanity--and it ultimately led to the outlawing of such devices, and their replacement with "human-computer" Mentats. (At one point in brainstorming ESB, Lucas even considered using the term "Mynoc" for his own "human-computers" in SW.) And judging from Lucas' comments, the Clone Wars similarly led to a general galaxy-wide mistrust of clones and cloning tech.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    @ATMachine thanks for reposting those pictures so us newer folks could see, that certainly is a stark change. And according to Wook those Han Solo books started coming out in 1979, so that means that two years after the release of STAR WARS and during his work on The Empire Strikes Back he still hadn't settled on the idea of using "Star Wars" as his "Star Trek" to brand his entire franchise with a simple, catchy title.

    That's also an important thing to keep in mind for making fantasy 12-film saga lists. If GL was comfortable labeling Han Solo books that had absolutely nothing to do with Luke Skywalker as "From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker" that tells me that the hypothetical 12-film saga could have easily had a movie entirely dedicated to a young Obi-Wan Kenobi adventure or histories of the Jedi and the Republic or droids or Wookiees and GL would still give them the "From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker" subtitle.

    Thanks very much to everyone who has contributed so far! Since @Darth_Nub introduced the idea of using OT script drafts from writers than other GL and I browsed through the ESB script the list has gotten quite a bit longer. And that's only one draft I've personally skimmed. I definitely think we can put together a massive list. A lot of these ideas are ones that obviously appeared alongside each other in the same draft, there are a lot of possibilities with which ideas would go with which at what point in the hypothetical 12-film saga.

    odd/esoteric/abstract Droids film (per GL 1977 Rolling Stone interview)
    odd/esoteric/abstract Wookiee film
    young Obi-Wan Kenobi adventure (per GL 1977 Rolling Stone interview)
    histories of the Jedi and/or Republic
    Luke combats/defeats the head Wookiee and wins their support of the Rebellion; native Wookiee celebration epilogue (per SW draft/GL 1977 RS interview)
    Luke searches for his sister Neilith (per plot-seed planted in ESB draft)
    Han dies (per GL's ideas according to Gary Kurtz)
    Luke is assisted by the Force-ghosts of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda in a fight with the Emperor (per RotJ draft)
    Splinter of the Mind's Eye (per its original purpose being the story for a potential film sequel to SW)
    Force-witch adventure (per The Battle for Endor film, AotC character designs)
    first appearance of more Dark Lords of the Sith (per OT-era EU, early "The Star Wars" drafts)
    young Darth Vader kills mid-aged Anakin Skywalker, then is defeated by mid-aged Obi-Wan on a lava world (per GL 8/1977 Rolling Stone interview)
    Leia/Rebels don't know if Bail Organa (her dad) and her two brothers died in SW (per GL 8/1977 Rolling Stone interview) they could seek and/or find them
    Chancellor becomes Emperor, Senators opposing him die mysteriously, young Darth Vader secretly starts killing Jedi (per GL 1977 interview*)
    first appearance of female Stormtroopers (per GL 1977 interview*)
    trip to Lando's home-planet revealing he's a clone - it has many clones clans, some partly responsible for the Clone Wars (per GL in Making of ESB book)
    Luke is administered "the oath of a Jedi knight" by the Force-ghost of his father, Ben Kenobi's Force-ghost is in the ceremony (per ESB draft)
    Leia tries to reunite Han with his (disputed) stepfather, Ovan Marekal, a very powerful man who can help the Rebellion (per plot-seed planted in ESB draft)
    Luke is trained as a Jedi on a planet where other Jedi, including Ben Kenobi and his father, had trained (per ESB draft)
    Luke is trained to use a lightsaber by a still-living Jedi, who he sees duel a Force-ghost of Obi-Wan (per ESB draft)
    Darth Vader specifically offers Luke the role of Galactic Emperor (per ESB draft)


    Darth_Nub

    I'd definitely take 'Han dying' out of that list. The idea originally came about when it was decided that Han would be frozen in ESB - a part of later drafts in which Vader is Luke's father. The 12-film series was dead at that point, SW was the 9-episode Saga.
    Later rumblings about it, including Kurtz's, were from the time the story of ROTJ was being developed, and largely came from Harrison Ford, who was sick to death of SW.


    Well spotted. I don't recall that particular detail ever being addressed in any discussions, and despite reading that RS article a few times, I never seemed to give it any thought. Could definitely have played a part in later films, and could possibly relate to Kurtz's quote about 'Leia being crowned Queen of her people' (i.e. surviving/refugee Alderaanians) at the end of ROTJ.

    (Kurtz's recollections seem to be a jumble of ideas for both the 12 & 9-film plans - hence why he claims Episode I would have dealt with the formation of the Jedi & the Republic)

    Zeta1127

    I am not surprised there is confusion between the 12 and 9 film plans, since most of the serious discussion on the matter has been locked away by GL himself.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    The list is a compilation of ideas GL has discarded over the years that could have been part of a hypothetical 12-film Star Wars saga. I think it's okay to use ideas from any era, really, even the PT. I have unused ideas from RotJ drafts as part of the list, if the thing about Han's death was considered sometime around then, I think that's fine.

    Remember, I'm trying to make a longer list than is needed so people can pick-and-choose what they like and leave out what they don't and still have enough left to make their own fantasy 12-film Star Wars saga outline using all ideas that were actually considered.

    The list is getting long already, though. Next time I skim a draft for a new round of additions I'll probably try to split it into categories. Any suggestions would be welcome.

    Also, @Feel Like What, some of my citations just say "(per GL 1977 interview*)" because you gave a list on the previous page of this thread headed "And here are some notes from the Summer of 1977 interviews with GL (I'll paraphrase)" so I'm not sure exactly how to cite them. Please take a look at the list when you can and tell me what interview those ideas came from. Thanks!!

    Feel Like What


    They are all from a series of in-character interviews Lucas gave to Carol Titleman over the summer of 1977. The information contained in them was intended to be used by EU authors as backstory, and some of it was (Han growing up with wookiees, the basics of the political situation, C-3PO being manufactured 112 BBY on Affa). The interviews are all lumped together in an appendix in the hardcover edition of The Making of Star Wars. Anything relating to C-3PO comes from 28 July 1977; anything relating to Leia, politics, etc (probably the Force and coin sections too), 5 August 1977; and anything relating to Han, 11 August 1977.

    BTW, the point you mentioned earlier about Leia's relatives and the mystery of their possible survival comes from these interviews.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    Okay great, I will just cite them as coming from Making of SW just like one that's on the list already is cited from Making of ESB. Thanks again!

    And holy crap, I am realizing I seriously need these two books.

    Also, in my last post I failed to reach the point I wanted, which is that since I'm using ideas from all eras of GL's work on Star Wars films for the list, ideas that were specifically for the ST are perfectly acceptable as well. I'm particularly curious what GL said about what Luke would be doing in the ST, because if there was talk of him teaching new Jedi, there's no reason to think parallel-universe GL making the hypothetical 12-film saga wouldn't have that same idea and also be in a better position to implement it. I remember there being a quote about passing on what you've learned...

    Feel Like What

    @Dark Lord Tarkas

    There is very, very little on the Sequel Trilogy. Until ROTJ, the "Other" Yoda speaks about with Ben was not Leia, and it seems natural to tie this concept in with the "sister being trained across the galaxy" from the Brackett draft of ESB. This is not explicit, though, as far as I am aware.

    According to Denise Worrell in the book Icons: Intimate Portraits (1989):

    Of course, by 1989 the 9-film trilogy of trilogies plan was pretty well dead. So the notion of a Sequel Trilogy focusing on Luke is probably a post-9-film-concept idea (the concept morphed between ESB and ROTJ from three loosely-connected trilogies, each with different themes, to the OT cast coming back for a reunion for an ST). The themes he mentions might still hark back to the trilogy-of-trilogies concept, though. Mark Hamill did say in a 2004 interview (and probably in many others) that Lucas had at one point talked to him about playing Luke as a cameo part in the sequels, similar to the Obi-Wan role in the OT. But Mark Hamill says a lot of things...

    In the May 1980 issue of Bantha Tracks, Lucas was asked "What's the third trilogy about?" and he said "It deals with the character who survives Star Wars III and his adventures." He's almost certainly referring to Revenge of the Jedi here, not Episode III. Which character he's referring to is unknown. I don't think we yet know if Leia was "The Other" yet, at that point in ROTJ's development (I expect The Making of Return of the Jedi to help out here). So this "character who survives SWIII" could be Luke, it could be "The Other," or someone/thing altogether different.

    Something else to keep in mind is that Lucas, when he did talk about the Sequel Trilogy, would mention its ethereality. People took this to mean that the films themselves would be abstract, perhaps like THX 1138. But even if they might have been, it seems he was instead meaning that they were very vague in his own head.

    Also, the Making of books are excellent, but if you don't have a copy - either paper or ebook (I'm sure they are still floating around) - of The Secret History of Star Wars, get your hands on one double quick. It might be the most comprehensive source on the creative process behind the films. Or at least it's in the top five.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    So GL just answered with that single line to the question in the 5/1980 Bantha Tracks? Nothing else at all?

    Feel Like What


    Not sure if he's being serious with the "girl for Luke" bit, or if he's just being flippant. There are lots of interviews where he gets asked about the Sequels, and he always talks about how "out there" they were/are (see previous post for commentary) and maybe mentions a few small ideas:

    According to Dale Pollock in Skywalking and a 1980 interview in Time, the only common characters in each of the 9 films would be Threepio and Artoo, and the story would turn out to be told through their eyes. The same Time interview says that the ST would be about rebuilding the Republic.

    So yeah, the layout of the Sequel Trilogy is incredibly vague. In a list, it could involve:

    -the theme of justice
    -Jedi Knighthood (defining what it really means?)
    -moral and philosophical problems
    -passing on what you have learned
    -rebuilding the Republic
    -Luke in an Obi-Wan role, and possibly some family for him
    -the droids as "bookend" characters
    -the Other. Possibly as a protagonist.

    For me it's hard to reconcile the 12-film-plan-ideas and the 9-film-plan-ideas, because the trilogy of trilogies seems to be a bit "deeper" thematically than a 12-film Bond-ish setup that keeps more closely to the feel of the first film. That could be my own personal feelings intruding, though.


    EDIT: One reason I mentioned/recommended Secret History in my last post is, it collects quotes from pretty much every available source on SW's development, and there is discussion of the Sequel Trilogy. It even gets its own appendix (two, if you count the Gary Kurtz stuff).

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    Okay, awesome, so let me bullet it like this and @Feel Like What please tell me how to cite each. Thanks!

    -Luke plays a role like Obi-Wan in the OT, exploring Jedi Knighthood and teaching others
    -the Republic is rebuilt after the fall of the Empire
    -the Other referenced in ESB appears or is found

    Also, @Darth_Nub, since the Republic being rebuilt after the fall of the Empire will be included as a possibility, I also want to include "-Luke confronts the Emperor in the final film of the saga" to the list so people know GL expressed that idea is well, do you know what the citation would be for that?

    Feel Like What


    -Luke as Obi-Wan/Jedi Knighthood/passing on what you've learned: Icons: Intimate Portraits/Mark Hamill 2004 (there may be other sources for this that I've forgotten, check Secret History)

    -Rebuilding the Republic: 1980 Time Lucas interview

    -The Other: Conjecture based on the Sister Skywalker plot from the Brackett draft of ESB combined with the fact that the Other was eventually resolved in ROTJ as Luke's sibling.

    I think the point that the droids would be a constant is also important, because Lucas structured ANH deliberately to start with them - it's a reference to the peasants in Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress. This might be something that would stick in his mind.

    Also - the "Emperor is destroyed in the final film" aspect is an interesting one to bring up, because it exists as a cap on the extended-film-saga (with 12 or however many episodes - here I'm merely drawing a distinction with the trilogy of trilogies).

    Lucas says in the Empire story conferences (in the Making of Empire book):


    So circa November/December 1977, Lucas's conception of the saga had a very quick resolution after the destruction of the Empire. He may have realized that this was unrealistic or felt it was less-than-satisfying, and subsequently, as he reshaped things into a trilogy of trilogies, turned that "final episode" (or even just the dénouement of it) into a final trilogy. This may also account for why he seems to have had so few concrete ideas about the Sequel Trilogy - its events would have occurred after the end of SW history as he had been thinking of it since the first film, and he found it difficult or unnecessary to add more development.

    ...

    Also, came across a bit on episode numbers in Making of ESB:



    A few things here:

    -Does the corroboration of Kurtz regarding wanting to number the first film before its release mean anything?
    -Star Wars was evidently going to be the title of the film series, while anything taking place within the SW mythos more generally would be "from the adventures of Luke Skywalker" (since this film had the Star Wars title and yet the novels from 1979 had only the "from the adventures" tag)
    -The "(or, possibly, V)" is a nod to the alternate numbering systems Rinzler unearthed while researching the book. However, the single one that is pictured (p 6) has what we know as "A New Hope" as Episode VI (Six). How many alternate versions were there? And for that matter, what was on the second page of that outline (1 = prologue, 2-4 = Clone Wars trilogy, 5 = epilogue/prologue, 6 = Star Wars 1977 (but in brackets next to it, "Star Wars Trilogy" so this would go up to at least Episode VIII... but 7 and 8 would be on the next page - what's there with them?)? And when is this outline from (this may be impossible to answer, if, as it appears, it's undated)?
    -Rinzler says the second draft ("Episode II") is from 1 April 1978 while a picture of Alan Ladd's copy of the typed script ("Episode V") says "2D April 1978." Does this mark the exact day Lucas finally made official/decided on the numbering system the films still use?

    Darth_Nub


    Apart from GL's quote stated in Feel Like What's post above, Gary Kurtz also brought it up at a convention in May 1999, when he claimed that Episode IX would feature the first appearance of the Emperor (doesn't include the actual quote):

    http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/story/gary_kurtz_reveals_original_plans_for_episodes_19_80270.asp

    He's definitely getting the 9-ep Saga confused with the 12-part series again.

    Feel Like What

    @Darth_Nub , any commentary on the stuff in my previous posts? I can't remember if this was discussed on the old boards.

    Darth_Nub

    Sorry, I'm battling a shocking cold, not the best condition in which to try to get one's head around the very fluid episode structure of Star Wars circa 1979.

    Regarding the Sequel Trilogy, your post above covers most of it. There was a thread on the old boards which had just about everything - what I consider to be the definitive quote about Eps VII-IX was in Alan Arnold's Once Upon A Galaxy, in which GL stated quite clearly the structure of the 9-episode Saga, although there was nothing regarding the content of the ST, except that it would have taken place about 20 years after the OT:


    The Making Of ESB has a slightly longer version of this quote. It's my opinion that at this point in the OT era, GL's vision of the overall Saga was at its most clear in terms of episodes beyond the OT & the backstory - he genuinely believed that there would be a reason to include a third trilogy, and that suggests that he had, at the very least, a vague idea of what would happen. Even as late as 1994, in the foreword to a new edition of Splinter of the Mind's Eye, he acknowledges that ROTJ wasn't the end:

    However, his later quotes, which I've included in a previous post, suggest it was something that, "yeah, whatever, I guess you could do, there's no story though". It's not a flat-out lie - more a case that the other three episodes no longer connect or relate to the current 6-film narrative, and quite possibly would contradict parts of it.

    The 12-film plan, however, strikes me as more of an arbitray intention than a vision. Why 12? The old film serials - Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon etc - traditionally were made up of 12 episodes.
    We can identify potential films for inclusion, some of which would definitely have been made, but then we're left with gaps to fill in, & I don't believe GL knew what would fill those gaps.

    TSHOSW has pretty much every official quote regarding the ST, the only exception being the ones in The Making of ESB. However, other than what's already been mentioned in this thread, there's not really anything else to indicate what would have happened. It's frustrating, because unlike with the 12-film plan, I do believe GL did sit down & wrote out what would happen across nine episodes, even if it was just a few one-line summaries. There's no need for a 'fantasy 9-episode series' - as the trilogy of trilogies really did exist. Unfortunately, the Maker now denies it, simply because acknowledgement of the fluid & yes, ethereal, nature of his Saga would undermine its status as a solid, singular entity that now is only comprised of six parts.

    ...

    Time to address the insane ramblings of Gary Kurtz, delivered from the front porch of his ramshackle house while he bangs his walking stick, curses George Lucas & screams at those bloody kids to get off his lawn...

    Kidding - while Kurtz's accounts of the future developments of SW are somewhat confused & contradictory, they're some of the better clues as to what might have happened. He's remembering vague ideas tossed around as best he can, & contrary to what the media likes portraying him as, he's not the bitter, sacked producer he's made out to be. I'm hoping that Rinzler's Making of ROTJ at least specifies just when he stopped being involved in SW for good, it could shed some light on when the ideas he claims existed were being considered.

    His claims about the ST incorrectly relate to the 12-film series, it's what he says about ROTJ that seems to be most interesting:

    1999


    http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/story/gary_kurtz_reveals_original_plans_for_episodes_19_80270.asp

    Episodes 7-9 plans date from the 12-film series, obsolete at the 9-film stage. The Episode 6/ROTJ plans, however, crop up again.


    1999


    http://www.filmthreat.com/interviews/8/

    2002


    http://au.movies.ign.com/articles/376/376873p4.html

    2010


    http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2010...2-filmmakers-george-lucas-and-gary-kurtz-wer/

    Put aside the agenda-driven, GL-bashing tone of the articles (the journos' fault, not Kurtz's), then turf the 12-film, Brackett-draft stuff about Luke's other sister, & what you end up with is three very consistent plot points over a decade that Kurtz seems insistent upon repeating about ROTJ:

    - Leia is crowned Queen of what remained of her people
    - Han dies
    - Luke wanders off at the end by himself

    They could be the usual mishmash of plot points from both the 12 & 9 episode plans, but where & when are they from?

    Han dying, I think, stick that in the post-ESB, 9-ep plan. Kurtz talks about him being 'killed', then later he specifies in 'a raid on an Imperial base'. Definitely post ESB era - he obviously made it out of the carbonite, & it fits in with the story conference discussions about how they 'had to kill somebody'. Also doesn't fit with the lighter tone of what the 12-film plan would have been, certainly not three episodes in. It's also something that was being pushed by Harrison Ford, who was well & sick of SW. Considered briefly for ROTJ, then vetoed by GL.

    It's the other two points I find the most interesting - Leia crowned Queen, Luke wanders off alone. Both could apply to both the 12-film series & the 9-episode plan:
    - Episode 3 of 12 could end with a major triumph over the Empire, Leia crowned Queen, perhaps reunited with what remained of her family. Luke Skywalker, now a Jedi Knight, goes to search for what remains of his own family, leading into the next story arc of The Adventures of Luke Skywalker;
    - Episode VI, the final episode of the middle trilogy, ends with Leia crowned Queen of Alderaan & entrusted with restoring democracy to the galaxy. Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker abandons the Alliance, wanders off into exile & grapples with his own dark heritage, leading into the Prequel Trilogy, which outlines just what happened with Ben Kenobi & Anakin Skywalker.

    It's Kurtz's repeated use of the word 'bittersweet' which leads me to believe that he's referring to the later vision of the Saga, in which Darth Vader is Luke's father.

    What I've found important to consider when speculating about the Sequel Trilogy is that it wasn't meant to follow the Original Trilogy, it was meant to follow the Prequel Trilogy. The next SW film we were always meant to see after ROTJ was Ep I - the final film of the OT posed a heap of questions about what happened before, far more interesting than might have happened next. As such, one would expect that Episode III would lead in to Ep VII somehow - probably thematically, rather than plot-wise, although there may have been a plot hook in there somewhere.

    Here's how I see the SW Saga might have panned out:
    - The OT ends, but not so happily - how did all this happen? What do we do now?
    - The PT explains how everything went to hell - ends with the hope that one day it can all be fixed
    - The ST picks up after the galaxy has been saved - but how do the heroes restore the Republic & defeat threats from both within & without, all the while trying to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past that the audience has just witnessed in the PT?

    And then, they all lived happily ever after, as C-3PO & R2-D2 wander off together in silhouette against the duel sunset of Tatooine, bickering about how they ended up there again.

    Feel Like What

    First off, hope you feel better!

    There probably were/are descriptions of what would have happened in the ToT plan (at the absolute least, as much as is on that weird "SW is Episode 6" plan in MoSB). However, many of the plot ideas dreamt up by Lucas in the time before ESB seem to have emerged from the 12-film Rebellion versus Empire plan. This being the case, he would have had much less detail to easily and automatically drape onto the sequel skeleton of "the Rebels restore the Republic," compared to all the backstory concepts he had already produced which could and would be rolled into the prequels.

    And regarding the SotME intro, I wonder if he's not just preserving the idea that he had it all planned out. At that time, the intention to do a sequel trilogy was still well known (it seems like the knowledge of such things has faded with time). He might just not have been ready to deny it as fully. This is very confusing to puzzle out because of how his stories have changed but still overlapped through the years.

    Another possibility is that he was personally still going back and forth with it. (After all, the SotME intro is years after he said they were "out there somewhere," as opposed to the prequels, which were organized in his head.) 1994 also happens to be around the time he was starting to work on Episode I. He definitely went back to his notes and incorporated some of them into his prequel plans - the robot-constructing boy working for the junk dealer, a very young royal commanding military and diplomatic missions, etc. Perhaps he was also truly considering whether he would continue the saga, as I'm sure he encountered notes that jogged his memory on that score as well.


    It's things like that alternate ROTJ storyline that Kurtz talks about that give me a little hope that MoROTJ may have information on the Sequel Trilogy. There may only be implications that can then be spun off from the story conferences and early notes that, judging from the two previous books, will appear. But that would at least be something.

    As for linking the trilogies together in the way you describe, that reminds me of this article from Zombie's site (which appears to be working again, btw). I don't know if Lucas ever planned on having people watch them OT-PT-ST. He spoke about definitely making Episode I next... and the idea of the saga as one entity (rather than as two or three semi-connected stories), which is obviously a more recent development, does seem to play into the notion that they must be watched in numerical order. So I guess it's possible.

    By the way, one plot point that jumps out at me as a natural to weave Episode III to Episode VII is The Other (either as a single person being trained across the galaxy as in Brackett's draft, or as some other type of plan that would make sense in context of Yoda's utterance). You don't want The Other (whatever it turned out to be) to just come completely out of nowhere, especially if this is a new protagonist for the Sequels. Perhaps as everything accelerates downhill in Episode III, incorporate notions that Ben's intentions regarding Luke are not the only plans being set in motion. Establish it like the Second Foundation in Asimov's stories - talked about obliquely, but only revealed much later (in the last trilogy).

    Darth_Nub

    Cheers, mate, on the mend.



    Right - he'd only just started writing TPM, & at that stage the PT wasn't the very Anakin-centric story it would become by ROTS. It might still have been the Adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi. As such, he might still have felt he needed a Sequel Trilogy, even though he could have been thinking about ways not to have to.



    Did someone say, "Shaman of the Whills...?"
    Last edited by ATMachine, Sep 3, 2012
  16. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 5)

    Disco dude rock

    Seems like Episode I was originally going to feature Obi-Wan as the main character, but focused more on Qui-Gon later on. Behind the scenes, Obi-Wan was originally supposed to be the older Jedi in that role.

    Feel Like What

    &

    That's my understanding, yes. Pretty much everything Qui-Gon does in TPM was originally done by Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan went alone to Naboo, rescued the Queen, met and freed Anakin, and only then, on Coruscant, did we encounter Qui-Gon. He was a friend (and mentor?) of Obi-Wan's. And that's all from the rough draft; who knows when the character of Qui-Gon was actually created, and what notes surround that. Apparently (as per the Art of Episode I book) he was imagined for a time to be younger than Kenobi.

    And Nub, that's a pretty logical progression - Lucas locks himself into a ToT structure in the late 70s/early 80s and it passes into legend and myth. He had gotten rid of the ways he was originally going to link it up with Jedi, but it still nagged at him... until the Tragedy of Darth Vader plot started to take over more and more, probably feeling more and more "natural" to him over time.

    Haha, good catch. There's no way to know if Lucas intended to place that note at the end of Episode III since the beginning... but mentioning the Whills in that way would certainly be one way of using pre-existing mythos to leap into an imagined Episode VII.

    This also reminds me - were the Jedi ghosts always supposed to be something unique to Yoda and Ben (and Qui-Gon, though he didn't exist yet)? Vader doesn't seem to understand what happened to Ben in ANH, but this is probably a result of his incomplete training under Kenobi ("When I left you, I was but a learner..."). I think the ghosting power is just one of those things where Lucas was vague enough at the start to be able to turn it into a mystery/plotline later on.



    EDIT. In this post I said that Lucas had probably (definitely) written out any Sequel Trilogy hooks over the course of making ROTJ. But wouldn't it be amazing if there turned out to be something that no one had noticed, in the decades we've known Jedi, that was intended to be a link to VII? Just an idle imagining.

    Darth_Nub

    Given repeated mentions by Rick McCallum (& GL, I think) about Obi-Wan's line - "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" - being specifically addressed at some point, I imagine the idea existed at least prior to the development of AOTC. Qui-Gon's voice being heard while Yoda senses the Tusken massacre ties into it very clearly.
    It's possible it existed way before that, perhaps even during the OT era, and was meant to lead directly into the plot of Episode VII. It may be the case that the deletion of the exchanges between Yoda & Qui-Gon at the end of ROTS was, in fact, the final nail in the coffin of the ST.
    I do think it's odd that they even bothered leaving in Yoda mentioning it to Obi-Wan, however, as there's no follow up at all. Obi-Wan disappearing in SW/ANH, then coming back as both a voice & a visible spirit works well enough without any explanation.


    Somehow I doubt it - the OT was picked apart with a fine-toothed comb for nearly two decades for clues about the PT & ST. The only lead-in isn't exactly hard to spot - Yoda tells Luke to "pass on what you have learned", and Luke tells Leia that she will learn to use the Force as he has. In the Dark Empire series (which Lucas supposedly had some relatively close involvement with), Leia does begin training as a Jedi, although I recall the rest of the EU I read back in the day suggested that her Jedi training was way down her list of priorities, and became somewhat neglected.

    I really do feel that ROTJ was designed to lead into the PT - not that in the future it was necessarily the only order the films had to be watched, or even the preferred order - and the hooks being emphasised were about the backstory that had been elaborated upon. It's not about story structure, merely practical economics - if GL wanted to make the prequels before the sequels, he had to give audiences a reason to want to see them. Likewise, Episode III would most likely have to drum up some sort of interest in watching new SW films set about 40 years later.
    Of course, now it all comes full circle instead - and quite nicely. There wouldn't be the endless debate over the viewing order if it didn't work quite effectively both ways.

    ...

    Prior to the PT, I always felt that it was a Jedi skill, perhaps one that only Masters knew. In the OT, we never see any 100% authentic Jedi other than Yoda & Obi-Wan - Luke doesn't really become a Jedi until the very end (and doesn't die anyway), Anakin/Vader kind of violated his membership. There wasn't any reason to believe that all true Jedi wouldn't fade away once they died and could come back as Force Ghosts.
    Although Anakin doesn't fade away, he does return as a Force Ghost - I think that sort of confirms that the idea at the time was that all Jedi can return after death in spirit form.

    This changed when we saw Qui-Gon, then other Jedi, simply die, leaving their physical forms behind. Clearly GL had changed his mind, & did pursue the 'Force Ghost' concept in detail somewhat, before all but abandoning its explanation. This idea that it was something beyond normal Jedi abilities may have existed prior to the development of the PT, but there's nothing to indicate that it was.

    virgil tracy

    I have the August Rolling Stone interview where Lucas talks vaguely about hopes for various sequels includng one about the young Kenobi and what happened to Vader ,

    Nick44

    I enjoy this thread because people are always asking why George decided to start with Episode IV. As a writer myself, it's called the writing process. He had written it so the villians were already in charge and how that came to be was just backstory. I also think it's pretty exciting to have the villians be in full command at the start.

    While we're talking about abandoned plotlines and the writing:

    The idea for the Lando ESB being from a planet full of his clones was eventually revisited in AotC for another ESB character in Boba Fett. I just thought this was pretty interesting because I was thinking how cool it'd be to see a major character having a planet full of his clones in the Star Wars movies.

    Also, I was wondering if anyone knew about Tarkin's development during the writing process, since it seemed in the original drafts the focus was always on the Jedi being the main villians/heroes.

    Feel Like What

    Given that Qui-Gon didn't disappear upon death in TPM, something was up with the ghosts since at least 1997 (or whenever the TPM script was written... do we know if he faded or not in the rough draft?).

    But when I said "from the beginning" I meant, since the OT era. The Sequel Trilogy was apparently going to deal with "Jedi Knighthood," which could presumably include topics like ghosting. But this doesn't say anything about the ability of all or only some Jedi to ghost.

    I think the idea that only a few Jedi could ghost might imply something about the Jedi of old; that they were incomplete, misguided somehow. They were flawed. Only Qui-Gon was really following the will (Whill?) of the Force.

    In the notes that I know of from the OT era, and in the OT itself, there is no real notion that the Jedi themselves were flawed. In Brackett's draft, Minch says he thinks the Jedi might have forgotten some of the danger of the dark side due to lack of Jedi falling, and grown careless. I guess that's close, but it doesn't suggest to me that the Jedi had a skewed enough relationship with the Force that the "luminous beings" aspect of Yoda's training on Dagobah - which seemed to be standard Jedi lore (all of Luke's training seemed that way, but maybe it's not anymore?) - wouldn't have still applied.

    I suspect that Lucas's injecting of flaws into the Jedi way, as well as making the Clones the "good guys" for a time and giving Obi-Wan an arc in TPM rather than keeping him the same character we knew from the OT were all ways of playing with audience expectations. As Lucas said, "I became fascinated by the idea of making a new trilogy that would forever change the way we see the original movies," he comments further." "Part of the fun for me was completely flipping upside down the dramatic track of the original movies." These were probably in reference to Anakin, but I think they apply here too.

    Anyway, if the flawed/incomplete Jedi were a PT-era invention, then perhaps the ghosts at the time of the OT were intended to just be normal Jedi behavior. Again, Vader didn't know about/how to do this because he had quit his training too early.

    I'm not sure about the early ANH drafts. As Kenobi's death in that film was a late addition, I'm not sure if there are any mentions of voices or ghosts previous to that. Originally he was going to be on the comm system with Luke during the trench run, right? After it was decided that he'd be killed off, Lucas needed some way for him to still motivate Luke... and it's not clear from the first film if anyone else can hear Ben's voice. In other words, in the first film he could just as easily be a figment of Luke's imagination.

    To my knowledge, the first time a true ghost (rather than a voice) shows up is in Brackett's draft of ESB, with Ben fencing Minch on the Bog Planet. In this conception. one must "call" the ghosts to appear.

    In the rough draft of ROTJ, after Vader kills the Emperor, Anakin is said to be in Yoda's hands (in the netherworld). Later, they all appear in the flesh at the celebration. What this says about ghosting, other than that it appears to have been in flux as a concept, I'm not sure.

    And I also thought it was odd that they left in any mention of it in ROTS. I guess after having Jedi not fade away in the PT, they felt they needed some explanation, no matter how jarring it might seem when placed in the film itself.

    What was Lucas saying about the Sequel Trilogy in 2002-3-4-5? I remember when TPM came out, I saw an interview where he was asked about it and he was dismissive but he didn't totally reject it. The first time I can remember him definitely saying no was when ROTS was released/premiered. It would be very interesting if you were right about the excision of the Shaman bit being the official killing of a Sequel Trilogy.


    I didn't really expect there to be anything, it would just be amazing if it turned out there was. The idea that something had been missed, during all that comb-picking, was/is what I would find cool.

    And while Lucas reportedly liked Dark Empire, I don't think he had that much involvement in it other than approving of the concepts to be used (cloned Emperor, etc).

    It does make sense.

    Does it say anything that we've missed?

    darthboba

    Lucas did more than approve the clone Emperor; he suggested it as an alternative to the original idea of some guy in Vader's armor. Which is interesting, given that Sith spirits since then in the EU have always been portrayed as being confined to a single location or object, with the OT & EU Jedi ghosts being able to pop up pretty much anywhere. To me that suggests Lucas probably dictated that the Sith/'Dark Jedi' as they were known at the time could not achieve true immortality as far back as late 1989, given that Dark Empire was the first story to deal at all with Force immortality in terms of what exactly could be achieved. There is a Jedi clone in the Thrawn Trilogy, but it's not inhabited by the original's spirit or what have you.

    Arawn Fenn


    Just the apparent confusion evident in Vader's behavior after Ben vanishes. Vader was a former Jedi student; he may not have achieved high rank, but he should have at least known about the ability's existence if it had been standard Jedi practice. It could be said that this same point is reflected in the dialogue between Ben and Vader.

    Darth_Nub

    Here's a couple from 1999-2008:

    Uh-huh...

    I don't think the deletion of the Shaman of the Whills was necessarily a conscious decision to eliminate the ST, more that it may once have been the hook into it, & managed to hang around until shooting of ROTS as a story point, as it also connects to the OT.

    True, but all OT era statements indicate that Vader/Anakin never finished his Jedi training, including Vader's own dialogue with Obi-Wan in their duel on the Death Star.
    You're right that even a padawaan might at least be aware of such an ability. However, Vader's ignorance of the ability may have been to indicate how far he had ever been from being a true Jedi.

    Feel Like What

    Aha, so it was actually around the time of AOTC that he really started denying it. I had forgotten just how incongruous his statements on the ST have become. Still, because of the lack of even as many public details as were spawned for the 12-film series, I can't help but think that it feels to him like maybe he didn't ever have plans for them. I'd like to think the Shaman bit tied in somehow, but of course it's difficult to tell exactly where it would have gone, and ROTS was trimmed of so much non-Anakin content that it would have had to have been very important, in order to escape that. Perhaps explaining why Ben ghosted and Qui-Gon didn't was that important to Lucas, or still stuck in his mind. But then whatever explanation was planned for Sifo-Dyas in Episode III was eliminated, so who knows how Lucas picked which mysteries to refer to and resolve.

    Something that may be informative is checking earlier versions of the ROTS script/notes... but of course we have little of that material.

    Darth_Nub

    More like the release of TPM - which would have been when the questions about the ST really came up again, plus when GL's new vision for the PT/whole Saga became more coherent in his mind.

    It's quite possible he'd almost forgotten about the nine-film plan while developing & making TPM. By the time the film was done & ready to release, he probably realised the ST was now redundant.

    Feel Like What

    @Darth_Nub Well, until the Episode II quotes you posted, he says it's "unlikely" he'll make them, or that he'd be very old, etc. He doesn't actually straight say "no" until later.

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    Disco dude rock

    I remember when he was throwing around the idea for MANY trilogies to follow. But he pretty much condensed it with Empire and Jedi. I believe that the plot would seem forced if he was tasked to create sequels to a fairly definitive ending. I'm sure with the unused elements, he could create a rough outline, but the point is, it isn't there.

    Feel Like What

    This is essentially what TPM and AOTC are. He said 80% of his pre-existing PT ideas went into ROTS. You're right that some of his concepts were condensed into ESB and Jedi (furry forest creatures, the Emperor) but the structure is so different that I'm not sure it fully counts. Also, I agree that the ending of Jedi seems 'fairly definitive,' but even years post ROTJ Lucas spoke about a sequel trilogy. It might not have been what he imagined when he came up with the Trilogy of Trilogies plan initially, but he did consider that something could exist post-Jedi. After all, the ending of ANH seems pretty definitive too.

    Disco dude rock

    That's all correct, but at least he had a general outline for the Prequel Trilogy; he seemed to have some plans of Darth Vader's backstory, it was only a matter of dividing that amongst three films. While the details definately weren't in place, the initiative was clear; show how Darth Vader came to be. With a Sequel Trilogy, there's nowhere to start. They could always hand off the baton to another main character, but what would their conflict be?

    Also, I agree that A New Hope had a definitive ending (that had more to do with the fact there was no telling how it would perform). The Phantom Menace also has a definitive ending as well (possibly an intentional mirror). But the main thing here is that there is a looming threat that hasn't been resolved yet (the Empire and Darth Vader are still alive, Darth Sidious hasn't been killed, etc.). They could find some other antagonist, but it doesn't seem like it could tie into the rest of the Saga.

    Feel Like What

    Well, kind of. He talked about it being "the young days of Ben Kenobi" and also said it would be "social and political and [would talk] about how society evolves." He also said it would deal with the backstory and how Ben "ended up in the desert waiting for something to happen." Anakin's downfall was in there, but it didn't become the focal point until later.

    Like "the character who survives Star Wars III"? The Other-as-Sister-Skywalker thing was resolved, but there could have been other plans in place to save the galaxy beside Luke and Leia (there's no reason to think there were any but it's plausible). It could be an entirely new character if necessary, training under Luke as an old man.

    It'd deal with "moral and philosophical problems. The sequel is about Jedi knighthood, justice, confrontation, and passing on what you have learned." Perhaps the notion that even though endings seem final, life goes on, new conflicts arise, and the tradition needs to be kept alive (conjecture).

    Zeta1127

    Basically, the Thrawn Trilogy.

    Tosche_Station

    Exactly.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Sep 3, 2012
  17. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 6)

    Zeta1127

    Many people, such as myself, say the Thrawn Trilogy was the ST for a reason.

    Feel Like What

    I like the Thrawn Trilogy a lot (a lot), but it's never felt like the sequel trilogy to me, probably because of the comparatively short time between it and the OT.

    But Lucas did specifically veto some things, I know that for sure. I wonder if he offered any specific plot/event ideas. Tim Zahn has been receptive to questions on Facebook, and the annotated 20th anniversary version of Heir may have some information on this too.

    Zeta1127

    I like the Thrawn Trilogy a lot (a lot), but it's never felt like the sequel trilogy to me, probably because of the comparatively short time between it and the OT.

    But Lucas did specifically veto some things, I know that for sure. I wonder if he offered any specific plot/event ideas. Tim Zahn has been receptive to questions on Facebook, and the annotated 20th anniversary version of Heir may have some information on this too.

    Darth_Nub

    Just to complicate matters, although it explains how Eps VII-IX could have followed the rather definitive ending of ROTJ - there were two visions of the ST. Basically:

    1978-79: Set twenty years later, follows an unknown protagonist, cast largely made up of new characters
    1980-c1995: Follows the aged cast of the OT

    What happened between 1979 & 1980? The Empire Strikes Back, that's what. After the nightmarish experience, GL decided to wrap things up with his space opera as soon as possible, and most likely the vision of ROTJ changed drastically from the 'bittersweet' story Gary Kurtz describes, to the actual end of the Saga.
    As such, the necessity for any sequels was largely eliminated, and GL was forced to rethink what these additional three films could be about. What he probably ended up with was a somewhat pointless 'OT reunion' vision, something which he clearly lost interest in over the years, and would eventually write out of existence with the PT.

    Prior to the production of ESB, however, ROTJ was still not developed beyond a concept, and although it would still have been the end of its own story arc, it wouldn't have had to be the end of the overall Saga. Just what happened to the galaxy years after the Empire was defeated could still have been a perfectly relevant storyline if ROTJ & the PT set things up for it.

    The trouble, of course, is that we don't know what would have happened in the ST anyway, past a rough timeframe & some vague themes.

    Force Smuggler

    If there were indeed going to be 12 movies makes you wonder how different the Expanded Universe would have been. No Thrawn Trilogy, no NJO/DNT/LOTF/FOTJ. Nothing would be the same, thats a scary thought

    Feel Like What

    @Darth_Nub the changing plans for the ST are what I was alluding to on the previous page when I talked about how the Other was already resolved but something else could in theory be set up. But of course you're right and gave actual detail. I always wonder how much other people know about this stuff - other than the little group that posts here.

    It would have been like the Han Solo and Lando Calrissian novels and Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Those all came out of the period when the 12 film plan (or some variant of the longform, Bond-type series) was in play.

    Tosche_Station

    I can see of course the Han Solo books and SOTME, but the Lando books? Didn't they come out all in the early eighties (82/83/84??), by which time the 12 film plan was over?

    Dark Lord Tarkas

    @Force Smuggler Not necessarily. When GL was still talking about creating a 12-film saga, he had a quote either in an interview or in his own notes saying the Emperor would appear for the first time and be defeated in the 12th and final film.

    I think RotJ easily could have resolved Darth Vader's story and still left the Emperor and the Empire alive and well if GL wanted to.

    Feel Like What


    Hmm, you're right, they did come out later. Still, I think they exhibit the same general feel as the HS novels, don't they?

    Force Smuggler

    Maybe the Empire wouldn't have been completely defeated in Episode 12 but if we do the 3 years per movie thing it would be 4th movie in 86, 5th movie in 89, 6th movie in 92, 7th movie in 95, 8th movie in 98, 9th movie in 2001, 10th movie in 2004, 11th movie in 2007 and 12th movie in 2010. HTTE came out 8 years after ROTJ and Star Wars had faded from people's memories. If we waited until after the final movie to do HTTE it would have been completely different from what we have now

    Feel Like What

    They didn't plan three year gaps, though. In the 12-film plan, each film would have a different director, and Lucas expected they'd be easier to make since he'd done the work to set everything up in the process of making the first film.

    Even when the prequels (as we know them now) were being planned in the mid-90s, I seem to recall a quote about how he thought they'd script them all at the same time and film them back to back so that they could come out at one-year intervals (like the LotR movies eventually did).

    Force Smuggler


    I didn't know that. Thanks for the info

    Darth_Nub

    I've always found this quote from Tolkien about his abandoned sequel to LOTR, The New Shadow, to be very relevant to discussion about the ST:

    Feel Like What

    I don't know, I find the challenge of figuring out what happens "after the end of history" and the themes it likely dredges up (the ones in my last? post) worth dealing with. They relate to a project I'm working on, so that maybe says something about the kind of stories I'd be open to.

    Tolkien does have a point regarding the stunted length of collective memory, though.

    Darth_Nub

    Apart from Tolkien's feelings probably being parallel to GL's regarding these unfinished/unmade sequels, I also think it presents a very likely outline for what the ST would be about. Just as The New Shadow was to have been set during a time of peace, when the horrors of the past had faded from memory, society had become complacent & a cult of Melkor-worshippers emerged to threaten the peace, I imagine the ST would have been much the same - the Republic is being restored, meanwhile corrupt politicians (perhaps manipulated yet again by a Sith) a fickle public and maybe other external forces threaten to undermine the newly rebuilt democracy.

    From that, it's not too difficult to imagine that the newly reformed Jedi Order is forced to choose between staying on the path of the Light Side and serving the Republic, or using its power to control a society that refuses to function properly ("the third deals with moral and philosophical problems. The sequel is about Jedi knighthood, justice, confrontation, and passing on what you have learned").

    Feel Like What

    So. The Force ghost/disappearing act thing came up in the context of a possible sequel trilogy tie. I know it's vague and speculative, but it got me thinking. When did Lucas first decide to make the ghosts what they are now?

    At first, Ben Kenobi wasn't going to die at all in ANH. Then, during filming if I remember, they discovered Ben had nothing to do in the final part of the film except stand around (and talk on the intercom?). If I recall, Marcia suggested he be killed off. Lucas eventually agreed. The voice from beyond effect is, I think, just an easy way to get around him not being bodily present but still have him be able to motivate Luke. Note that in the duel, Vader seems confused by what happened to Ben when he disappears. This might be chalked up to his incomplete training (with the disappearing trick being like a mystery in mystery religions, or OT III in Scientology). Or, he might just be checking to make sure Ben, a powerful and formidable adversary, is not pulling the mother of all mind tricks.

    In the Brackett draft of ESB, ghosts appear visually as well but have to be summoned. I'm not sure if there are any notes pertaining to ghost concepts behind the scenes. Ben explains to Luke that he now resides in a different part of the universe, one which Luke may someday discover for himself.

    In the ESB film, Vader tells the Emperor "Obi-Wan can no longer help [Luke]," and Ben tells Luke the same: "If you choose to face Vader you will do it alone. I cannot interfere." Does this imply that Vader knows not only about ghosting, but about the 'rules' of what such ghosts can and cannot do?

    In the early drafts of ROTJ, Yoda was to block some of the Emperor's Force lighting from the netherworld, and Ben would come back in he flesh and be able to duel. Yoda would save Vader in the netherworld after Vader killed the Emperor by tackling him into a pool of lava. Then at the Rebel celebration, Ben, Yoda, and Anakin would all return in corporeal forms.

    In the final film, of course, they stay ghosts, and Anakin is shown to become a ghost as well. In the script, it seems his body doesn't disappear at death - it says Luke burns his father's body on the funeral pyre, if I remember right. For a time, though (in the late 90s?), Lucas (and/or LFL through the EU?) maintained that Anakin did fade away, just off-screen, and Luke only burned his armor.

    In the intermission between the OT and the PT, various novels and games presented disappearing and ghosting as a natural thing that happens when a Jedi dies. Qu Rahn from Dark Forces II, Nejaa Halcyon from I, Jedi (if I recall), etc, fade and/or ghost like this. (The dark siders, at least in Tim Zahn's work, tend to explode like the Emperor at the end of ROTJ, which I think is a pretty cool take.)

    In the rough draft of TPM (which must have come from 1997 at the latest, right? Do we have a rough date to assign this to?) Qui-Gon dies and there is a funeral with pyre, but in the source I'm using (Zombie's site) it's unclear if there is a body. It seems possible that, given how in this early version QG basically shows up halfway through the film and pretty much only serves to die in the duel later, perhaps he was created specifically to illustrate that Jedi in the prequel era don't disappear upon death. If this is the case, Lucas had this in mind before the rough draft of TPM, possibly sometime in the early-mid 1990s. If it's something that only appeared later (if QG does in fact disappear in the rough draft, which I can't confirm or deny), then the non-ghosting must be something that came up during script revisions, and QG must not have been created for that specific reason.

    There are also quotes, from either Lucas or Rick McCallum or both, talking about how the "if you strike me down..." line from ANH will be explained in the prequels. I can't remember where or when these quotes were from, but I do remember them.

    According to @Arawn Fenn on another thread, Lucas (in the ROTJ DVD commentary) now says that Vader's body was in the suit when Luke burned it. So his 'Anakin disappeared too' notion now appears not to apply anymore. But he seems to have held that idea right around the time that TPM was being planned and/or written. This seems important somehow: Anakin could disappear before/during the time when TPM was in production; after it came out/during the PT release period Lucas reversed this.

    Anyway, what I'm wondering is: how did the nature of the ghosts change over time, and when did Lucas settle on the current interpretation of the power as something that is not actually a Jedi trait but a trick learned elsewhere? This is probably impossible to definitively answer at this point, but I'm sure I missed some quotes, background material, clues implied in film lines, etc.

    @Darth_Nub
    @ATMachine
    @Tosche_Station

    Darth_Nub

    I've always found this issue pretty confusing when looking at the behind the scenes material (rough drafts of ESB & ROTJ, deleted scenes in ROTS), although the way it appears in the films seems to fit just fine. The rough draft of ROTJ is utterly ridiculous in its treatment of Obi-Wan & Yoda, so it's a good indication that GL was still wrestling with the concept of the Jedi afterlife by that point.

    Regarding whether or not Anakin's body faded away, I'm pretty sure it was only ever stated in the EU that it did. It was either in the Thrawn trilogy or the Jedi Academy novels, IIRC - early to mid-90s EU anyway.

    I'll have to find those quotes from GL and/or McCallum about the "If you strike me down..." concept - they definitely existed, I just don't remember where they came from.

    Arawn Fenn

    Dark Apprentice from the JAT. But I also seem to recall Steve Sansweet promoting the idea for a while and implying that it came from Lucas.

    Here's what it says in the original script:

    Darth_Nub

    Right. Doesn't look like an empty suit, anyway, there's a body in there, the chest gives it away:

    [IMG]

    Feel Like What

    http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2012/07/24/interviewing-george-lucas/#more-11313


    :oops: Argh... maybe we should take to Twitter to (a) plead and (b) see if he will be allowed to talk about whatever will have been cut after the book is released. The preproduction stuff is clearly the most interesting stuff going on...
  18. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 7, part 1)

    Darth_Nub

    Hopefully 'pre-production' is referring to scouting locations and writing up budgets & contracts, as opposed to developing the story, which is what's most interesting (to me, at least). Apart from that brilliant transcript of how the carbon freezing scene evolved, heaps of the principal photography section in The Making of ESB sent me to sleep. Camera lenses, set building, blah blah blah. Cover it, by all means, but not at the expense of other, more interesting aspects.

    Feel Like What


    I replied to that blog post:


    Not the best proofreading, but eh, I think it gets the message across. Rinzler did respond to another comment, so it's entirely possible that he will actually see this (for all the difference it'd make). Currently it's "awaiting moderation" so we'll see if it even gets posted.

    Tosche_Station

    ^^^^^This.

    I too hope that the cuts aren't extensive.

    shanep

    Yeah I read that interview with Rinzler and I too hope they dont cut down on the early development of the third film. It's something I've always been very curious about and the MoROTJ is the chance for the official word to come out.

    Darth_Nub

    Well, the kitchen is finished, & I've dug Rinzler's Making of ESB out, so here's what Rinzler & LFL had to say about The Grand Plan beyond the OT & the PT:

    The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, p351

    Suck on that and see.

    darthboba

    I tend to get where Lucas is coming from with this:

    and they were written really during the first one.

    Given how much stuff he wound up re-using for the prequels. Plus of course the ANH novel's description of the prequels can be very loosely described as what basically happened, with significant modification. Tend towards thinking Lucas was just trying to get a bunch of discordant plot details-in particular, the Clone Wars, the corporations helping Palpatine become Emperor, and Anakin becoming Darth Vader-to all fit together into a single trilogy.

    Feel Like What


    This is why I can't fault him too badly when he "remembers" there being a big script that was cut up into smaller pieces, etc. A lot of the concepts he ended up using really were embedded in the early notes and such. But at the same time, he has a tendency to go overboard with how specific he remembers the characters and structure being at this early stage. Many of the pieces were there, but the overall picture most certainly was not.

    Also, this isn't really related to anything but I just came across a picture of McQuarrie/ROTJ Coruscant I've never seen before, and it reminded me of how much cool stuff there could be (and is) lurking in the archives. Really hoping for some cool developments in MoROTJ.

    [IMG]

    ATMachine

    That actually looks more like a Joe Johnston sketch to my eyes.

    Actually, though, the Art of Ralph McQuarrie book did have some really cool McQuarrie concept art of Luke and Vader's procession to the Emperor's throne room on Coruscant.

    Vader leads Luke from the shuttle's landing platform in the city center, through the narrow streets winding between high-rise buildings, through the gateway of the Imperial Palace, down wide, lush corridors, and then up the palace's Grand Stair flanked by dozens of guards. Then they take an elevator down to the depths of the building, pass through a long, ominous black corridor, and then finally reach a subterranean cavern full of volcanic lava. Here Luke and Vader have to hop across a series of treacherous stepping stones, until they finally reach the Emperor's throne.

    Really, it has to be seen to be appreciated. (And I'm not putting my copy on the scanner, so don't ask! :p) It would've made for an absolutely stunning sequence on film.

    Feel Like What

    I think you're right. It looks unattributed and I parroted what someone said on the page I got it from, but it does look more like Johnston (I almost changed it in my previous post before hitting "post").

    EDIT. J124 = Johnston drawing 124, perhaps?

    ATMachine

    FLW, did you see my edit above?

    (sorry for double post)

    Actually, though, the Art of Ralph McQuarrie book did have some really cool McQuarrie concept art of Luke and Vader's procession to the Emperor's throne room on Coruscant.

    Vader leads Luke from the shuttle's landing platform in the city center, through the narrow streets winding between high-rise buildings, through the gateway of the Imperial Palace, down wide, lush corridors, and then up the palace's Grand Stair flanked by dozens of guards. Then they take an elevator down to the depths of the building, pass through a long, ominous black corridor, and then finally reach a subterranean cavern full of volcanic lava. Here Luke and Vader have to hop across a series of treacherous stepping stones, until they finally reach the Emperor's throne.

    Really, it has to be seen to be appreciated. (And I'm not putting my copy on the scanner, so don't ask! :p) It would've made for an absolutely stunning sequence on film.

    I believe McQuarrie based this sequence of sketches on Lucas's very first rough draft of the film (in which Vader brings Luke directly to the Emperor's secret subterranean throne room). In the revised rough draft, Luke is taken up the Grand Stair to the Emperor's public throne room in the Imperial Palace. Then, at the end of their first meeting, the Emperor commands that Luke be taken down "to the tombs." Later, Luke wakes up and he's lying on a rock outcropping in the lava-filled subterranean cavern.

    darthboba

    Yeah, making of ROTJ will be great. I almost wish he'd waited for the effects technology to catch up to what he wanted to put onscreen for Jedi-it would be the hands-down most visually grand film out of all six if he had, IMO.

    Feel Like What


    I didn't see it initially, but I have seen (at least part of) that sequence of images and they are very, very cool. I didn't realize they came from the McQuarrie book (I thought perhaps from Art of ROTJ, which is the only one I don't have). Some of these images have been used in other books, I now realize, like The Illustrated Star Wars Universe. Jealous of you having the McQuarrie book, also.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    (found here.)


    And, I'm not sure the technology had to go very far to catch up. After all, this was on screen before ROTJ came out:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    darthboba

    Holy crumbcakes. I think you just posted my new desktop backgrounds for life, dude.

    I've never much liked Blade Runner's "look", actually. It looks gross and humid to me; always want to shower after watching. :p

    ATMachine

    Yep, those are the ones! But there are other images in the series (which are shown in the Japanese-text Star Wars: The Art of Ralph McQuarrie book--can't recall if they're in the massive English hardcover book) that were never fully completed and which exist only as black-and-white pencil sketches. (These include, most notably, a drawing of Vader and Luke ascending the massive Grand Stair of the Imperial Palace, with black-robed guards to left and right on every step.)

    As I noted above: I believe McQuarrie based this sequence of sketches on Lucas's very first rough draft of the film (in which Vader brings Luke directly to the Emperor's secret subterranean throne room). In the revised rough draft, Luke is taken up the Grand Stair to the Emperor's public throne room in the Imperial Palace above. Then, at the end of their first meeting, the Emperor commands that Luke be taken down "to the tombs." Later, Luke wakes up and he's lying on a rock outcropping in the lava-filled subterranean cavern.

    Force Smuggler






    My lord. Those pictures are amazing

    Feel Like What


    I don't suppose you could be convinced to even take pictures of these images (not even scan them, I understand that objection) and link to them? :) I really need to pick up that (those) book(s). Like REALLY.

    ATMachine

    Most of the SW drawings in the giant The Art of Ralph McQuarrie book are actually reprinted in the Japanese-text Star Wars: The Art of Ralph McQuarrie book (which is only $40 compared to the $250 price of the English hardcover). That one's exclusively devoted to his Star Wars art, as opposed to the career-spanning focus of the larger volume. The Japanese book also comes with a little booklet including English translations of all the interior text. (Notably, the Japanese edition also includes a few additional SW drawings, which McQuarrie happened to rediscover during repairs to his furnace, though too late to go in the larger hardcover.)

    As for pictures--I'll give it a go, just need to dig my camera out. :)

    Feel Like What


    Fair enough - but I was merely using it as an example of a semi-believable industry/cityscape that was on screen in the early 80s (in this case, before ROTJ itself). My personal favorite filmic depictions of this type of city are from the original ROTJ SE ending. And if I'm not mistaken, those were models (going to try to dig for an interview about them in a few minutes). There's a shot in TPM I like a lot too, of golden sunset light against a Chiang/McQuarrie-type building.

    My point being that these types of shots would theoretically have been possible at the time of ROTJ.

    darthboba

    Yeah, I adore Coruscant in the ROTJ:SE ending. Sort of a New York/London vibe to it, especially with the clock striking sound. But your point about BR is fair.
  19. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 7, part 2)

    ATMachine

    Here we go. Pictures from the Japanese softcover book.

    These aren't the only treasures inside this wonderful book... but I'll leave the others for you guys to discover when you buy your own copies.

    [IMG]
    An earlier production painting of the arrival at Coruscant, with a more "airplane-like" shuttle design.

    [IMG]
    A pencil sketch for the second "Luke and Vader arrive on Coruscant" painting.

    [IMG]
    A sketch of Luke and Vader crossing the streets of Imperial City.

    [IMG]
    A corridor in the Imperial Palace.

    [IMG]
    The Grand Staircase of the Palace. I believe McQuarrie slightly regretted not completing this one.

    [IMG]
    The stepping stones across the lava to the Emperor's throne.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
    The Emperor's throne in the lava chamber.

    [IMG]
    An alternate concept for the Emperor's throne, with flaming braziers on either hand. (Just in case the lava lake wasn't hot enough for you...)
    Last edited by ATMachine, Sep 3, 2012
  20. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 8)

    Feel Like What

    @ATMachine Wow. Thank you so much. (I especially like the first image of the landing pad.)

    In black and white, the throne room (the stepping stones) reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. Which is fitting.

    darthboba

    Bottom left:

    [IMG]

    Annnd there's the Galactic Senate. :p

    Darth_Nub

    Here's the baffling handwritten 'Saga outline' included in Rinzler's Making of ESB:


    It's undated, and Rinzler has little to say about it, other than that it's "a very early outline for the Star Wars Saga." Personally, I don't think it's all that early, and if it's being suggested that it dates to before SW/ANH was finished, that's garbage. My own impression is that it's some scribbling GL did during the later writing of ESB, probably after Lawrence Kasdan had come on board. I don't believe it's a literal outline of actual episodes, more a rough illustration of story arcs. Problem is, from the scan it looks like it continued onto another page, which might pin down when it was written a bit better.

    darthboba

    So there's no context in the book itself for it?

    Darth_Nub

    A picture of the handwritten page itself appears just before the section where GL begins his earliest development of the story of ESB, which is, IMHO, somewhat misleading, as I'm convinced it dates from considerably later - I'd place it as being written in late 1978 or sometime in 1979, but its location in the book strongly implies late 1977 or even earlier.
    Rinzler does acknowledge that most of these notes are undated, and that GL would rearrange them all together in whatever order worked for him at the time.

    Given that GL obsessively used the same yellow pads & 2B pencils, notes from various years all look much the same.

    darthboba

    It's gotta be pretty early-when did ANH start being billed in theatres as Episode 4? 1978? He's obviously not going to mark it as "episode six" after doing that. :p

    Feel Like What


    I think the first time the film itself was shown with that title was 1981, but the script released in The Art of Star Wars (1979) was the first piece of media to call it Episode IV (if I'm remembering correctly). Depending on when in 1979 TAoSW was actually released, the title may date to earlier than that? (Accounting for time to be assembled, sent to publisher, printed, bound, shipped, etc.)

    Tosche_Station


    If it helps, TAoSW was released in November 1979.

    darthboba

    Hmm...how about when the TESB story/script first showed Episode V? That'd at least give us a general window between this being potentially valid and it no longer being so.

    Also: This is odd.

    Luke meets Ben K, becomes aware of the force, joins the rebel
    forces, destroys the death star, but not before it disintegrates
    Alderaan. Meets: Han solo / pirate, Leia / princess, robots.
    Also Darth Vader.

    Why would he be describing the plot of a film he'd already made, in terms of what was going to happen in it, describing them as though they hadn't happened yet?

    Tosche_Station


    According to "The SW Annotated Screenplays", 'Episode V' first showed up in the 'final' draft - the (appropriately) FIFTH draft - dated February 1979.


    That synopsis could only be fourth draft of SW at the EARLIEST .

    To me, darthboba, it's no more 'odd' than Rinzler bringing up this stuff in the second book, even though it supposedly was concurrent with the period of the making of the first film.

    darthboba

    According to "The SW Annotated Screenplays", 'Episode V' first showed up in the 'final' draft - the (appropriately) FIFTH draft - dated February 1979.

    I'm going with "sometime in 1978" then.

    It's just oddly termed for something written after ANH was released, IMO.

    Feel Like What


    Eh, I have done this too... while plotting something out that gives added context to something you're already created, sometimes it helps to be able to see it within the new structure(s) you're creating. So you write short synopsis to help keep it all straight. If that particular synopsis sounds strange to contemporary ears, we should keep in mind that the "meaning" of Star Wars has changed considerably over time, and Lucas himself has emphasized and re-understood different aspects of it over the years.

    Making an outline like that might also help with keeping themes, character arcs, etc, going in their logical directions. Especially because depending on when that outline was written, the films contained within might not have even been planned to have been released in chronological order.

    The reason this outline is so strange is because we already knew about a 12-film plan with a Bond-like structure (probably from 1977-78). We also knew of a subsequent 9-film trilogy of trilogies plan (1979-onward, though its contents shifted over time). The outline on that page of TMoESB doesn't seem to match either of those plans (though I suppose it could be a version of the 12-film saga but it's hard to tell since the second page is MIA). Perhaps it dates from a time in between, when Lucas already wanted a more linear story (i.e., there don't appear to be any artsy "wookiee" or "droid" films here) but hadn't yet cut the total number down from 12 films to 9? Also interesting is how there are basically no details. Maybe Lucas had several different ways he considered when creating a structure for the films, and this one was discarded early?

    darthboba

    Yeah, I dimly remember doing that when I still wrote fanfic. Guess not so odd. :p

    Still going with 1978 for the other part. TESB became Episode V in February 1979, and ANH obviously followed that.

    Feel Like What

    Joe Johnston storyboards from early 1978 call Empire "Episode II." This is another wrinkle - for much of its production, that was the number associated with ESB. Whether that came directly from Lucas, I do not know. (It looks like it might have because the title was registered with the MPAA in March 1978 as "Episode II (Two)." But In that outline, Empire would be episode VII. So while it seemed fairly straightforward - at first the films might be numbered sequentially no matter when they took place chronologically - perhaps the whole numbering system was in considerable flux.

    Ah, just discovered something else: the second draft has the subtitle "Episode V." But it's only in the typed version, which is dated "2D April 1978." Apparently the handwritten version still called it Episode II. Perhaps this is the exact day Lucas decided on the numbering system the films still use?

    Also, I just ran across another random reference: according to Zombie's article on the "odd films" that Lucas was thinking about in the 12-film plan, Lucas said in Time in March 1978 that there would indeed be twelve films. I don't have the issue, obviously, so I don't know if this was a recent or old interview. But perhaps we can use dates like this to try to pin things down with a bit more specificity?

    Darth_Nub

    My own opinion is that this is a glimpse at GL's thought processes in between his 12-part 'Adventures of Luke Skywalker' series and the 9-episode trilogy of trilogies, which would place it in somewhere between the Brackett draft (February 1978) & the first draft of ESB to bear the 'Episode V' title (April 1978?). This would suggest that it represents part of GL's actual hammering out of a completely new vision of what he originally saw as a comic book / Flash Gordon style serial.

    With the creation of Father Vader, the backstory had suddenly taken on a far greater scope beyond the single film about the young Ben Kenobi. Here he outlines it as requiring a prelude - perhaps this would show the formation of the Jedi & the Republic. Then there's a 'Clone War Trilogy', clearly the meat of his prequels.
    I'm inclined to think that the Epilogue/Prologue would have covered the events after the downfall of the Jedi & the Republic - Obi-Wan fleeing into exile with the infant Luke, and perhaps Luke's early years with Obi-Wan watching over him, hence the occasional references from the time to Luke appearing as a three-year-old in the final prequel film.

    Again, I don't believe this represents an actual plan of films to be made, GL is just writing down his thoughts, hence why he includes a brief description of what happened in the first film in the broadest, simplest way. What we've got there is the entire movie boiled down to the most essential, basic points, in the context of attempting to figure out what would happen next.

    A telling detail is his use of the phrase 'star wars trilogy'. I've no idea when this term first appeared, but I would imagine it was first used after GL began referring to the 9-episode plan.

    It's incredibly frustrating that the pages following this aren't shown or quoted - the scan shows this page sitting on top of others, they're probably not lost at all.

    Feel Like What

    I am seriously considering sending Rinzler an email regarding this type of thing (asking whether he remembers any additional details or even if he has any media he can share related to them). On the one hand it seems unlikely, but I've seen effects guys from Alien, Empire, et al, online, sharing pictures of their work behind the scenes. So.. it might be possible?


    BTW In case it wasn't clear, my guess is pretty much the same as yours, Nub. Except that when Lucas wrote that outline, he might have thought everything he wrote would turn into films... even if he only considered it for the day/hours when he wrote it. I think he knew he had said there would be 12 films, and he either felt stuck or still really liked the idea of twelve. But his story was becoming more linear. He was looking for a way to keep the 12-film structure but have the story become what it would have been in the 9-film plan.

    By this point he seems to have dropped the "tangential films," as he later said in Bantha Tracks. But it isn't as simple as his comment made it seem. They aren't in this outline, even though he still presumably has 12 films here. So perhaps their excision happened shortly before this outline was written? When did the Holiday Special come out... perhaps his dislike for it played a part in his dropping of the "odd films," considering the usage of wookiees in it and his dislike for how it turned out?

    Ord-Mantell

    Yeah, it's probably just a brief temporary plan for the Saga, between the "12 episodes series" of late 77 after ANH's hit, and the moment when Lucas definitely made up his mind on the eventual format the whole Saga would take, after draft 2, the merging of Father Skywalker with Vader, and the actual birth of the prequels as we now know them : the 9 films Trilogy of Trilogies, apparently occuring during the late stages of ESB's pre-production (late 1978), or shooting of that movie (spring 1979).

    Anyway the first public mention of the 3 trilogies' plan by Lucas is from the on-set interview with Alan Arnold during ESB's shooting, if I'm correct.

    The most confusing about this "early outline", is that it was virtually completely unknown to everybody (except Lucas...?) before Rinzler's book (MOESB). Nobody ever made any references about it before, as far as I'm aware (Lucas, Kurtz, Kasdan, Kershner, Kazanjian....), and it had never transpired at all in the media. Re-enforcing the idea that it was only a brief temporary scheme, when Lucas was actually toying and experiencing with the concept of his Space Saga.

    But there's a fact we know for sure : What Lucas had in mind regarding a possible movie series before ANH's release and smash success, if so, except for the envisioned written sequels (Splinter of the mind's eye, and the other that never was), remains a mystery. So nothing can be asserted for sure in this matter.

    Feel Like What

    I was editing and ran out of time. I checked, and the Holiday Special aired in November of 1978. Perhaps the excision of the "odd films" from the saga was not actually the thing that produced the 9-film saga (as the Bantha Tracks comment would imply). Perhaps Lucas already saw TV as a place he could put those types of projects (the holiday special, eventually the ewoks and droids series, etc.). But he still had twelve films available - and wasn't sure how he was going to fill them (which is where the outline in MoESB comes in, he was trying to figure that out). I forget, do we have a good estimate on when Annikin and Darth were combined, when that first occurred to Lucas?

    Ord-Mantell

    Surely between February 1978 (1st draft by Brackett) and late March of that year (2nd draft by Lucas, where Vader has suddenly become Luke's father). Although the idea might have been in his head some time before, but temporarily discarded until then.

    Darth_Nub

    This is a very common misconception, largely fuelled by the LFL spin at the time, as well as the occasional comment by the likes of Mark Hamill - that GL had 12 films planned out ("Four trilogies!" as dear old Luke put it), then dropped three of those films for being 'tangential' to the saga, leaving the 9-episode trilogy of trilogies. Wrong.

    The 12-episode plan was 'The Adventures of Luke Skywalker', and the majority of those episodes (I estimate eight) would have followed Luke & co. during the Rebels vs Empire conflict, with the final victory over the Empire most likely occurring in Episode 12. What little evidence there is regarding specific plotlines indicates that there may have been four episodes not set during this period or following this plotline - one film about the young Ben Kenobi, a film about the formation of the Jedi & the Republic, one about droids, and one about Wookiees. There was no prequel trilogy in place yet, nor was there a sequel trilogy set twenty years after the events of what would become the OT.
    It does seem likely that the first three Star Wars films would have formed a trilogy of sorts, but further adventures (Luke looking for his sister) would have taken place not long afterwards.
  21. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 9)

    Feel Like What

    I knew that, though I must have half-forgotten. What I really was trying to get at was that perhaps Lucas's excision of the "tangential" films was divorced from the cutting the numbers of films from 12 to 9. Perhaps he got rid of the tangential ideas, then thought some more, realized twelve films (on the scale of SW) were too many, then cut it down (considering how the outline in MoESB implies at least 8 "plot" films but apparently no "odd" films).

    OR perhaps the "cutting" was simultaneous, and by the time of that outline, there were only 9 films total. For all we know (extrapolating based on that first page) the second page might say something like:


    Episode VII The Empire Strikes Back
    Luke wounded by snow monster, Rebels escape Empire, Luke learns Jedi skills, Han frozen.
    Episode VIII End of SW Trilogy
    Episode IX Epilogue

    In other words that outline could be a hybrid - the ideas for 9 "films"/general eras he already had ("prequel era" films + "original trilogy era" films) - but he might not have yet realized that 9 films was a perfect fit for a trilogy of trilogies structure/might not have yet invented the Sequel Trilogy.

    Darth_Nub

    I'm more inclined to think that when he wrote that outline he still had the 12-film plan in mind, 'odd' films and all, perhaps ditching one or two. With the expansion of his backstory, he'd just managed to fill in a few of the other installments (originally intended for Luke & co) that he hadn't quite though through, and one of his odd films dealing with the early, early history served as the Prelude/Episode I.

    So we might have ended up with:


    The details are very rough speculation, but you get the picture. How the Father Vader storyline would have affected the later episodes I'm not sure. The weird outline may well date to just before GL settled on it.

    It also just occurred to me that what I've labelled the 'Second Star Wars Trilogy' almost seems like something that could have evolved into what we now refer to as the Sequel Trilogy of Episodes VII-IX in the 9-episode trilogy of trilogies.
    Admittedly, I came up with those eps off the top of my head, but it's based on what little we know about what was meant to happen to Luke after the third Star Wars film.

    The omission of the Wookiee film may have come about because of early talks regarding the television special, or perhaps because he was already intending to recycle his early draft idea of the Wookiees aiding the Rebels in a later film.
    GL's comments & descriptions about the separate Wookiee film are almost identical to those in the 1977 Rolling Stone interview about what he didn't use in SW (and could be used in another) - he probably oscillated between considering using the scenes of the Wookiees in their own film or just as part of another Rebels vs Empire story.

    ATMachine

    As long as this is The Thread for SW pre-production discussion, I'd like to shift gears for a bit and talk about TPM.

    It seems to me that the first draft of TPM might -- if filmed -- have been more well-received than the final product. At the very least, it lacks several notorious problems in the film as ultimately made:

    -- Obi-Wan is a lone Jedi sent on a mission to protect the Queen of Naboo. Qui-Gon is not seen until the film reaches Coruscant, so the issue of Obi-Wan having a mentor figure whom we've never heard of before (contradicting his ESB description of Yoda as "the Jedi Master who instructed me") is far less glaring.

    In later drafts Lucas decided to jump at the chance of depicting a proper Jedi master-student relationship -- something he'd wanted to do since his first draft script of ANH. Unfortunately, that screwed with "what we thought we knew" from the OT.

    Because in this first draft Obi-Wan is the one who discovers Anakin and sponsors his training, it's Queen Amidala (ie, her decoy) who is skeptical about bringing the boy on board.

    -- Jar Jar speaks in normal English, not an annoying stereotype dialect. Notably, the humans of Naboo treat the Gungans as an oppressed racial minority: they complain that "they smell" and Amidala forces Jar Jar to ride in the cargo compartments of the Queen's ship. Part of the plot of the movie is the issue of the Naboo having to overcome their prejudice in order to join the Gungans in taking back their planet.

    (It would seem Lucas consciously decided to drop the angle of the Gungans as a downtrodden minority, and instead made them Stepin Fetchit-esque stereotypes. In both cases the Gungans stand in for African-Americans, but the final film's handling of that analogy is grossly offensive.)

    -- There are no midichlorians. Obi-Wan decides to train Anakin based on nothing more than his intuition (and seeing him perform in the Podrace). Anakin's connection to the Force is more ethereal; he mentions, for instance, having seen Obi-Wan in his dreams before meeting him. Lucas must've wanted a more quantifiable reason for his Jedi Knight to have such faith in Anakin's potential.

    -- Anakin and Padme get more screen time together in the final battle. They fly a two-man starfighter into the space dogfight; Anakin pilots while Padme fires the guns, so they have to work together. Thus Anakin doesn't accidentally blow up the droid control ship.

    So, all this considered, it would seem that the first draft had fewer of the issues which are commonly seen as marring the finished TPM. Lucas's script revision process appears to have introduced some rather questionable choices. I really do wish the first draft were available so we could compare it with the final version....

    Arawn Fenn

    Jar Jar speaks like one of the kids on Full House, not a person of African descent. And if you're determined to attach a "Stepin Fetchit" label to Jar Jar, I don't see how that automatically extends to other Gungans like Tarpals, Boss Nass, and the guys duking it out with battle droids in the final battle.

    PiettsHat

    I actually read that Jar Jar was based a lot on Charlie Chaplin and his distinctive walk. Specifically, I remember a featurette of Lucas showing Ahmed Best how to properly walk as a Gungan. Charlie had a "splayfooted stagger" he based off of his town's drunk known as Rummy Binks which seemed to be where Lucas drew inspiration.

    Tosche_Station

    ^^^^
    Here's hoping that the above post doesn't get lost amid a single-fixation* detour.

    *Jar-Jar

    Dark Lady Mara

    I agree with ATM's points. Jar Jar speaking standard Basic would've been nice, but I think it also would have improved the film if midichlorians had been left out and Padme flew with Anakin in the final battle. There was way too much cutting between the four different elements of the battle. Three would have been a little more manageable.

    PiettsHat

    Granted, this is just my theory, but I think Anakin's destruction of the Trade Federation control ship was altered in order to fit a larger symbolic and thematic point: Namely, that Anakin will accidentally destroy the galaxy trying to protect those he loves. I've always thought that this:

    [IMG]

    looks rather (and interestingly) similar to this:

    [IMG]
    Note too that the control ship is destroyed from the inside out, much like the Republic is eventually brought down.

    And also, in this manner, Padmé can really tie up her own story because she was the leader of Naboo and I think that Lucas thought it was important that she confront Nute Gunray after all he had put her and her people through. I don't really have any evidence for any of this, but that's just how I read the scenes.

    darthboba

    Yeah, not really seeing how a 14-year-old girl knowing how to handle the turret of a plane she's probably never even seen before helps that scene any. :p

    Feel Like What

    She's a good shot with a blaster in the finished ("finished") film anyway, though. So if they simply said "oh, she got training in how to use some of the weaponry" or if Ric Olie (RIC!) gave her a crash course, I could believe it. It'd be like Indy's dad in Last Crusade.

    darthboba

    Except that Indy's dad misses horribly and then causes the crash of the airplane by shooting the tail off.

    Plus good with a blaster against slow-moving droids ain't like dustin crops. :p

    ATMachine

    Also on the subject of the TPM first draft:

    [IMG]
    Here's some concept art by Doug Chiang, taken from the old TPM Insider's Guide CD. This dates from the first draft, in which all the Jedi wore black robes.

    [IMG]
    Here's another concept design (by Iain McCaig?) from the same time. In this version Obi-Wan has a weird tattoo on his forehead.

    The idea of Obi-Wan dressed in black and with a special Jedi tattoo on his forehead reminds me of the physical description of Dr. Wellington Yueh in Dune:

    "Paul raised his head, saw the man's stick figure [Dr. Yueh] standing several paces away, took in at a glance the wrinkled black clothing, the square block of a head with purple lips and drooping mustache, the diamond tattoo of Imperial Conditioning on his forehead, the long black hair caught in the Suk School's silver ring at the left shoulder."

    In the Dune universe, the Suk Medical School's Imperial Conditioning is a training regimen that instills in its subjects an absolute prohibition against harming others; this allows Suk doctors to become the trusted elite confidantes of dukes and emperors. The recipients of such conditioning wear a forehead tattoo to set them apart.

    Now, the Jedi might not be sworn not to kill, but their elite training does make them the confidantes of powerful galactic leaders. (At least, it does in the very earliest concepts for SW. In the Journal of the Whills, Mace Windy is the "warlord to the Chairman of the Alliance of Independent Systems," and in the ANH first draft, Jedi General Luke Skywalker holds a similar position as military commander under King Kayos of Aquilae.) Such an outward physical mark of Jedi training seems to be what this concept art is evoking. (Never mind that Obi-Wan doesn't have any garish face tattoos in the OT....)

    Note the reference too to Yueh's ponytail, worn in a specific fashion--over the left shoulder. This is very similar to the Padawan hair braid worn over one ear in the prequels. It's interesting that it seems as if Lucas was drawing on Dune once again when he returned to SW.

    ...

    Also, there's this tidbit in the "Terminology of the Imperium" glossary at the end of Dune:

    "IMPERIAL CONDITIONING: a development of the Suk Medical Schools: the highest conditioning against taking human life. Initiates are marked by a diamond tattoo on the forehead and are permitted to wear their hair long and bound by a silver Suk ring."

    So long hair (bound in a ponytail) is apparently a prerogative of those elite doctors who have successfully completed the rigorous Suk School training.

    Compare this to the descriptions of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in the shooting script of TPM:

    So Qui-Gon has the long hair (here fastened in a ponytail) that is allowed to fully-fledged Jedi, while Obi-Wan has the short hair of an apprentice. Notably, Doug Chiang's concept art paintings for the TPM first draft, in which Obi-Wan is already a full Jedi Knight, depict him wearing a topknot-style ponytail. Thus, long hair = full Jedi, short hair = Padawan.

    And of course, this idea continues into Episodes II and III, where first Obi-Wan and then Anakin wear shaggy haircuts as a show of their rise in status. (Incidentally, some of the CG animatics for the Mustafar lava duel, viewable on the Blu-Ray, show Anakin wearing a ponytail.) Funny that the Jedi hairstyles might ultimately derive from Dune...

    (This wardrobe feature also recalls somewhat the character descriptions in the ANH first draft, in which Kane and Annikin Starkiller wear samurai-style topknots. But in that version, the hairstyle was said to be that of the inhabitants of the Kessil star system, which the Starkillers had been exploring--so not actually a Jedi trademark. General Skywalker of Aquilae doesn't seem to wear a topknot.)

    Squiner

    I don't understand why people always refer to Anakin's victory as an "accident". I mean, what's the difference between luck and "The Force"? Or intuition and "The Force"?
    Imo, Luke used the Force consciously while Anakin used it unconsciously just like he did during Pod-Races.
    The Force is strong with him, so I really don't see the problem.

    I agree with this.

    HevyDevy

    On the subject of Anakin accidentally destroying the control ship, while I agree that it seems implied that the force led him there (there seems to be a lot about destiny in Phantom Menace, plus a distinct mythical feel to the film) I get the feeling it is intended to contrast his actions later in the saga. Surrendering himself to the force and unintentionally turning the tide vs controlling his own destiny and taking grave actions which destroys the foundation of the galaxy as he knows it.

    ATMachine

    Looking more closely at the text on that last image I posted above -- Iain McCaig was indeed the artist who drew the picture of young Obi-Wan with the Dune-esque forehead tattoo.

    He also drew these two concepts for Obi-Wan's hairstyle. Notice the black robes.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
    In the first draft script, Obi-Wan is about thirty years old, but it seems that Lucas was also toying with aging Obi-Wan up and making Qui-Gon the younger of the two Jedi. Thus the white hair.

    As for Doug Chiang's concept art for Obi-Wan's first-draft all-black costume, here are a few other images from the old Insider's Guide:

    [IMG]
    Obi-Wan's hairstyle in this piece can also be seen in Chiang's early production paintings.

    [IMG]
    According to the Art of Episode I book, the "strange weapon" is actually designed to resemble a Native American peace pipe, so I guess it's a Jedi ceremonial staff.

    [IMG]
    Here's Obi-Wan wearing a purple hood--perhaps a mark of his elite status as a full Jedi Knight?

    Feel Like What

    I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "aging Obi-Wan up," because originally, wasn't he supposed to be, like, in his sixties or seventies in the OT? So thirty or greater would have been the OT-era assumption already? In other words, by aging "up" how much are you thinking... in his fifties in TPM? The white hair could imply age, but on the other hand I have also met younger people with white or very blond hair. And clearly there was some experimentation going on with appearances of Jedi (perhaps it was dyed).

    Also, I don't think it's in any of the scripts that are available publicly, but Qui-Gon definitely could have been the younger of the two Jedi. There is a drawing of him (I don't remember who did it, looks like McCaig though) as such in the Art of Episode I book, and it says Lucas was thinking about it.

    [IMG]

    Darth_Nub

    One of the things I'm most curious to see in Rinzler's upcoming Making of ROTJ is the development of Luke's 'Jedi outfit' and what GL and others had to say about it. Although both GL & Mark Hamill mentioned that it was black to emphasise the risk Luke was facing from the Dark Side (Hamill said to GL that it was very 'Vaderish', GL replied, "It's meant to be"), IIRC, it was also meant to be at least similar to the original Jedi uniform worn during the time of the Republic.
    The pictures above clearly reinforce this notion, and suggest that perhaps the more military vision of the Jedi was still in place while the PT was first being developed. The outfits aren't exactly the uniforms of soldiers, but they're closer to those of Samurai or medieval warriors than the 'warrior monk' look that would be settled on.

    It's almost definitely a coincidence, but I've always found it intriguing just how similar this outfit worn by a young Obi-Wan in Marvel Comics' Star Wars #24 is to both Luke's in ROTJ and the early concept sketches:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    Obviously it's not identical, but it's certainly not just a predictable adaptation or duplicate of what Obi-Wan wears in SW/ANH.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Sep 3, 2012
  22. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 10, part 1)

    ATMachine

    Feel Like What, I meant that Obi-Wan is already at least thirty in the first draft as originally scripted, but he might have been made even older, judging by some of the concept art drawings (the ones where Qui-Gon is the younger of the pair). In the text of the first draft, though, Obi-Wan refers to Quigon Jinn (thus spelled) as "my mentor and good friend," so it would seem that the idea of making Obi-Wan the elder Jedi was just something Lucas had the concept artists toss around. (Kinda like Ralph McQuarrie's drawings of female Luke in ANH.)

    The image you posted is actually from later in pre-production, after Liam Neeson had been cast. Note that he has gray hair--the drawing was probably based on the third draft, in which Qui-Gon is a white-haired sixty-year-old, and Obi-Wan is 25.

    Here are some McCaig drawings of "young" Qui-Gon, without a beard:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
    (Ignore the reference to the "screenplay"--I really think this idea was just considered in the concept art.)

    [IMG]

    Feel Like What

    @ATMachine Do we have a date on that first draft? These pictures seem to be from early 1996 (I can barely make out the dates though, perhaps someone else can see better). And the one I posted indeed must be after Neeson had been cast - I chose that one because (1) I knew it was associated with the text about a younger Qui-Gon in TAoEI and (2) it popped up on a search. Yours are probably better examples.

    I would love to see a MoSW-type take on the development of TPM. It would encompass everything that happened/changed/developed between the early 80s and 1999. There is so much in there that would be fascinating to study.

    And your point about the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan relationship being a result of Lucas wanting to show a master/apprentice relationship is, I think, an astute one. I had thought of it as Lucas simply wanting Obi-Wan to have an arc in the story... but yours makes sense too.

    ATMachine

    Lucas first began work on the script in November 1994. The typed version of the first draft--i.e., the version I described above, with Obi-Wan as the main protagonist--was completed on June 13, 1996, according to the TPM Insider's Guide. Which would seem to fit with the picture dates.

    Actually, I think the Doug Chiang concept art pieces I posted of Obi-Wan in black robes are from early 1995 (as is the McCaig art of young Obi-Wan with the forehead tattoo). The McCaig concept art of Obi-Wan with white hair, however, appears to date from September 1996, and the young Qui-Gon sketches are from December '96.

    So I guess I was right--the first draft has Obi-Wan as the younger Jedi, though he's still at least thirty years old and a full Knight; but Lucas later had the concept artists play with making him the older of the pair.

    ...

    Correction: the McCaig concept art of Obi-Wan with white hair and in black robes actually dates from April 1996. (It's hard reading those tiny dates!) Still, it would seem my point stands: the earlier (1995) sketches depict Obi-Wan as roughly thirty, while the concept drawings from 1996 show him as being older than Qui-Gon.

    (I would guess that Lucas must have completed a handwritten version of the TPM rough draft somewhat earlier than his typed copy, which seems to have included a few revisions.)

    Here's a similar McCaig concept drawing of white-haired Obi-Wan, from August 1996. By this time it would seem that the idea of Jedi wearing black robes had been dropped.

    [IMG]

    ...

    Okay, I pulled out my copy of the TPM Illustrated Screenplay and had a look at the storyboards to note the Jedi costuming. What I found was an extreme mishmash of storyboards from different points in production.

    The earliest storyboards don't seem to be from the rough draft; two Jedi appear in almost all of them. But given the shifting nature of Qui-Gon's and Obi-Wan's respective roles in early drafts, determining which of the Jedi is which in these early storyboards is rather difficult.

    One of the Jedi looks like this:

    [IMG]

    That is, he's wearing a samurai-style topknot, plus two braids in front. Obi-Wan sports this style in Doug Chiang's early production paintings, as seen above. Lucas modeled it on the hairstyle of the warrior Madmartigan in his previous film Willow.

    The other Jedi has this look:

    [IMG]

    Seriously. A Mohawk. There are no words.

    The Mohawked Jedi is the one who goes into Mos Espa with Padme and Jar Jar, and who later duels Darth Maul. Later, though, during the duel in the Theed power complex, it's the same Mohawked Jedi who gets trapped far behind the laser gates, and who watches helplessly as the other two combatants fight. The Jedi with the topknot gets knocked over into the melting pit and finds a precarious handhold.

    (In the revised third draft script, it's actually Qui-Gon who falls into the pit. His triumphant leap upward is ironically cut short as Maul hacks him down. However, I don't know which draft the storyboards depict, and the details of the duel changed from draft to draft. In the rough draft, for instance, there are no laser gates and no pit; Obi-Wan is simply knocked off a catwalk, and Qui-Gon is cut down by Maul while Kenobi is climbing back up.)

    In later storyboards, Qui-Gon wears either a samurai topknot or a ponytail (but no side braids). He's also clean-shaven and dark-haired. Obi-Wan sports short hair and two front braids over his ears. These depictions probably were based on later drafts of the script.

    Other storyboards, presumably drawn after Liam Neeson had been cast, added a beard to Qui-Gon's face, but otherwise kept the same Jedi "look" (i.e., a ponytail for Qui-Gon and two braids in Obi-Wan's hair). Even then, though, there were variations. In some drawings of bearded Qui-Gon, he wears a topknot and is dark-haired and dark-bearded; in other storyboards his ponytail hangs down, and he has lighter-colored--presumably gray--hair and beard.

    ...

    One more interesting detail I noticed:

    In these Doug Chiang costume concept drawings, Obi-Wan is wearing black robes:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    However, in Chiang's larger production paintings, Obi-Wan wears black body armor over his torso, as well as protective vambraces on his forearms. It's a very no-nonsense, military warrior look--as opposed to the relatively benevolent image in the costume designs, with soft robes and the "staff of peace" (my term) modeled on Native American peace pipes.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    You can see the torso armor more clearly on this EU Qui-Gon action figure which reused Chiang's early costume design.

    [IMG]

    ...

    I seem to have verbal incontinence tonight... hopefully this more in-depth post will make up for that a little.

    I was thinking about the idea in the prequels of the Jedi being chosen by genetics, and taken away from their families at birth. And I realized that, fundamentally, it's not a particularly bad or even unusual idea.

    Such notions have a long pedigree in the SF of Lucas' youth. Consider: In Dune, the hero Paul Atreides is the product of a millennia-long breeding program conducted by the Bene Gesserit sisterhood. Their ultimate goal is to produce a Kwisatz Haderach, a man with the power to see various possible futures and to choose which one to enact. Unexpectedly, Paul's mother Jessica, who loves her husband, chooses (using the extraordinary control of her body granted by Bene Gesserit technique) to bear the son Duke Leto hopes for, instead of the daughter demanded by the Sisterhood. Thus Paul is born one generation early, and is not subject to Bene Gesserit control.

    EE "Doc" Smith's Lensman series features something very similar. Although the Lensman corps is open to anyone who passes the ultra-rigorous training, the highest levels of the discipline are reachable only by certain specially-bred individuals. The Arisians, the ancient, omniscient aliens who created the Lens (and in fact all galactic life), have enacted several breeding programs in various species, which are designed to culminate in the successors to their own position as guardians of the galaxy. Humanity, at the time of the series, has come the closest to reaching that goal. The books' principal hero, Kimball Kinnison, is in fact the penultimate male in the human breeding program, and his wife Clarissa is the destined penultimate female. As a Second Stage Lensman, Kim Kinnison has no need of the physical Lens itself; his mind alone is a weapon of unparalleled power. Kim and Clarissa's children, the apex of centuries of Arisian influence on human reproduction, have even greater mental powers, and they are ultimately destined to evolve into something beyond human.

    Or, crossing genres for a moment, consider Harry Potter: the witches and wizards of Hogwarts are all selected for school at this magical university because they have magical power "in the blood." Wizarding talent seems to be genetic. Some Muggle families produce an unexpected wizard child, owing to intermarriage in past generations; conversely, sometimes wizard parents have a Squib, a magically-non-gifted baby. But readers don't complain about this aspect of the books. So why do some SW fans dislike the genetically-destined nature of the Jedi in the prequels?

    I would guess it's largely down to the fact that it violates a central theme of the OT. Namely, the power of self-confidence. The Force was a metaphor for believing in yourself. Luke used the Force (i.e., his own faith in his abilities) to destroy the Death Star. Han Solo, the cynical rogue, disbelieves in the Force and so he can't use it. From the original films, it appeared like the Force was open to anyone, so long as they just believed. The prequels flatly contradict that--and it ruins the metaphor from the OT.

    It must be admitted, though, that the seeds of this change had already been planted very early on. In the second draft script of ANH, the first in which the Force involves powers of telekinesis, the Jedi are trained in families. Luke's father, the Starkiller, is a mighty Jedi warrior with numerous sons in the service of the Rebellion. It's also said that the first discoverer of the Force's power, known as the Skywalker, transmitted this knowledge only to his twelve sons, who in turn passed it on to their sons. An echo of this crops up in ROTJ, when Luke tells Leia that "The Force is strong in my family."

    The first draft of ANH has a father and son Jedi pair, Kane and Annikin Starkiller, but it doesn't particularly emphasize the genetic aspects of the Force. In this version, however, there was very little of a supernatural aspect to Jedi abilities; the Jedi and Sith were merely hardened warriors who had undergone rigorous training, giving them supreme command of mind and body. Much like the Bene Gesserit sisters' supreme control over their bodies in Dune.

    ...

    Just a few words about the costumes in the storyboards I described above: In the earliest drawings the younger, Mohawk-wearing Jedi has a sleeveless shirt and vest, metal bracelets on his bare upper arms, and vambraces on his forearms. The other Jedi, with the topknot, wears basically the armored costume Chiang first designed for Obi-Wan, plus the accompanying hairstyle.

    In the next set of storyboards, where the Mohawk is gone but Qui-Gon is still beardless, Obi-Wan is wearing standard Jedi PT robes (though possibly black in color) along with a double-braid Padawan haircut, while Qui-Gon is wearing the same armored outfit (and topknot) mentioned above.

    The later drawings, in which Qui-Gon sports a beard, show both Jedi in the standard prequel-era Jedi garb. At this point I would hazard that the black outfits had definitely been discarded.

    As for which Jedi is which in the early drawings: The various TPM making-of books all make clear that the "looks" of both Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were extremely fluid. However, I'll hazard a hypothesis.

    Most of the early storyboards of the Tatooine scenes appear to show Qui-Gon as the one with a Mohawk (since the Mohawked Jedi is the one who enters town, meets Anakin, etc.).

    On the other hand, the storyboards of the Theed duel with Darth Maul seem to make Obi-Wan the Mohawked Jedi, since it's he who falls behind and gets trapped beyond the laser gates. The other Jedi, the one with the topknot, falls into the melting pit, which we know Qui-Gon did in at least one draft.

    Feel Like What

    I think the "problem" people have with midichlorians is actually several different things that get conflated. One, it didn't seem necessary to have a basis in cell biology to explain how the Force communicates with living things. The more mystical explanation given in ESB works just as well for many people. Thematically, it might work in TPM because of how symbiosis is supposed to infuse the whole film, but overall it doesn't seem like a necessary thing to explain. (The magic system in Harry Potter, which I gather is given cursory if any physical explanation, is just as accepted even without such an explanation.)

    Two, people think that it divides characters into those who are born with the Force and those who can never have it. In other threads I have found a basketball metaphor to be useful, however: There are lots of basketball players who were born with the genetics that make them tall, fast, etc. But there are other people who weren't born with those advantages, who still worked at it and became successful players (Mugsy Bogues). So even with some hereditary aspects to strength in the Force, we in terms of logic don't necessarily have to conclude that some people are just born with it and others can never touch it. However, the prequels do feel like they have that exclusive division, to me.

    We also don't know if people are born with different numbers of midichlorians, and this makes it easier for them to contact the Force, or if they are born with some kind of mystical tie to the Force and the midichlorians flock/grow around that focal point between the organism and the Force. (Right? I could be forgetting something.)

    ATMachine

    A couple more early Doug Chiang sketches:

    [IMG]
    Obi-Wan wearing a blue shirt.

    [IMG]
    Obi-Wan wearing the Jedi armor seen in color in the production paintings.
  23. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 10, part 2)

    Darth_Nub

    Ladies & gentlemen, I present you with Baron Obi-Wan Calrissian, second in line to the Kadar Duchy of Cloud City, regarded as the black sheep of a once-proud family for abandoning his duties to pursue some damn-fool idealistic crusade.
    Rumoured to be survived by an illegitimate nephew who refuses to acknowledge his existence, but insists on retaining the family name for the purpose of achieving easy credit at various galactic casinos.

    Whereabouts and ultimate fate of the first-born heir unknown. Last seen discussing the negative effects of external cerebral implants with un-named individuals.

    [IMG]

    Tosche_Station

    [face_laugh]:p

    ATMachine

    By contrast, here are the original ANH designs for Jedi robes, as worn by Ben Kenobi:

    [IMG]
    A Ralph McQuarrie concept for Obi-Wan, based on the look of a Japanese kimono.

    [IMG]
    Another McQuarrie Obi-Wan concept, this time incorporating blue robes over white.

    [IMG]
    A later McQuarrie drawing of Obi-Wan's costume, featuring Alec Guinness's likeness.

    [IMG]
    John Mollo's early design for Ben Kenobi, wearing Tatooine settler garb.

    [IMG]
    Another drawing of Obi-Wan in Tatooine peasant dress. This style is actually also based on Japanese clothing.

    [IMG]
    Mollo's first sketch of Obi-Wan in a samurai-style kimono.

    [IMG]
    Here Mollo experiments with putting Obi-Wan in a simple white robe (an idea which was ultimately rejected, judging by the notation: "go back to floor-length kimono"). Also note the tassel on the point of Obi-Wan's hood.

    [IMG]
    This design is very close to Obi-Wan's final film outfit; however, his cloak still has an elaborate clasp and a tassel on the hood.

    [IMG]
    The final "look" for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    ...

    Nilo Rodis-Jamero's concepts for Luke's "Vaderish" Jedi gear.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
    This last one is a bit different than what we saw in the film.

    In Annotated Screenplays, Rodis-Jamero describes his design approach to Luke's Jedi outfit: "I remember George telling me that in samurai movies costumes say a lot about the characters; the way the costume is folded, the way it's tucked in is very important. So I thought, Luke has become a Jedi; he's more distant, more serious. I thought, What do gunslingers wear when they mean business? They wear black. If you look at Luke's costume, it's all derivative of Japanese designs... Ben also wore some kind of Japanese kimono. So I tailored the costume in a way that would allow Luke to fight in the action sequences."

    ...



    [face_laugh]

    Actually, given the shoulder pads, the vambraces, and the huge belt, he kind of looks like an alternate-universe Kyle Katarn...

    Arawn Fenn



    If we refer back to Luke and Leia's dialogue from ROTJ, she's suggesting the same concept, using virtually identical language: that she can never have it. Luke's response seems telling: he says, in essence, you have it too because you're related to me. This is his opportunity to explain that, in fact, anyone can do it, and that's why she's wrong about not being able to do it, because she's a person, and people in general can do it. But instead he says: you can do it because you're a Skywalker.

    In other words, it's largely a myth that there is a solid division between the OT and the PT on this point. By the middle of the OT the idea that "anyone can use the Force" is dying if not already dead, though it may have seemed viable in the era when ANH was the only film. It's basically fanon.

    In still other words, we have no particular reason to assume the Force is like basketball.

    ATMachine

    On a totally unrelated note, but relevant to stuff earlier in the thread: Since Sebastian Shaw's Anakin was obviously dark-haired, should Padme have been blonde? It might've been interesting if Leia resembled her father and Luke took after his mother.

    Granted, I get the symbolic appeal and the symmetry of having Anakin look just like Luke, given Lucas' attempts to make their stories parallel so closely. But, given the very different prequel-era chronology that was implied in the OT, it's still fascinating to extrapolate about "what we thought we knew" and how it could've been different from what we ultimately got.

    Tosche_Station


    By this same 'rationale', PILOTING-SKILLS * are 'inherited' too.......

    *think: Luke vis-a-vis his father as it relates to their relative skills as pilots.


    ^^^This.

    Arawn Fenn

    Still fanon.

    ATMachine

    Funnily enough, Shaw had dark hair and blue eyes, which is a very stereotypical description for heroes of the 1930s pulps--Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Conan the Barbarian, the Shadow, etc. all had dark hair and blue/gray eyes. (Not to mention the literary James Bond, or the Gondorians of Tolkien's Middle-earth.)

    [IMG]

    This is just me throwing out fanon, but.... A dark-haired Anakin and blonde Padme would be kind of reminiscent of Paul Atreides and Princess Irulan from Dune. Perhaps fitting, given the massive amount of Dune influence on early versions of SW. (Just ignore the fact that in Dune Paul's true love is the redheaded Fremen woman Chani--who isn't really physically described until the third novel, well after she's dead and buried.)

    (Although.... said third novel in the series, Children of Dune, is focused on the twin children of Paul Atreides and Chani, one a girl and one a boy. They both have their mother's red hair. Not to mention that Paul's son Leto ultimately inherits his father's empire, and sets in motion a plan to save humanity from ultimate extinction... which requires a physical transformation so horrific that Paul, who knew it was necessary, instead chose to die rather than carry it out himself. The son makes up for the failure of the father... sound familiar yet? Children of Dune was released in 1976, too late to have an impact on ANH, but it seems to have been a major influence on the rest of the OT.)

    In fact, the descriptions in ANH Draft 1 of hero Annikin Starkiller and Princess Leia were modeled on the blond-haired Flash Gordon and redheaded Princess Aura, as they were described in a Flash Gordon novel Lucas read in the early 1970s. (Note that Lucas rather shamelessly ignored the "canon" pairing of Flash with dark-haired fellow Earthling Dale Arden, and instead hooked his ersatz-Flash-Gordon hero up with the exotic space princess.) Reflecting his Kurosawa influence, though, Lucas gave Annikin a samurai topknot hairstyle (changed to "short hair" in later drafts).

    Later on, it seems that Lucas told costume designer John Mollo that he wanted Leia to be a "Jean Harlow type"--thus the white dress. Perhaps that also explains why Ralph McQuarrie's early drawings of her depict Leia as blonde. (Of course, Queen Fria of Frigia, the Flash Gordon Sunday strip character whose hairstyle inspired Leia's cinnamon buns, was also a blonde.)
    Last edited by ATMachine, Sep 3, 2012
  24. ATMachine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 3
    Star Wars Episode #'s: When Did Lucas Make Up His Mind? (page 11)

    ATMachine

    Young Sebastian Shaw.

    [IMG]

    Feel Like What

    A rule that posits that the Force must be only inherited is just as fanon. While your Luke/Leia conversation point is a fair one, Luke could just as easily be sensing her nascent strength in the Force (the same way Vader notices the Force is with Luke during the trench run, or Qui-Gon notices Anakin even before they do a midichlorian test). You're an EU-following fan; there's nothing in the films that requires a "you start with n midichlorians (or x Force potential) and that's the most it can ever be" approach, and as far as I'm aware there's nothing in the EU that says that either. Am I missing something?

    I think the two concepts always coexisted in Lucas's brain. He was clearly influenced by the Lensmen books (inherited superpowers) but also things like Carlos Castaneda's teachings, eastern mysticism, and the power of positive thinking (based more on the will). Both concepts come from the films and Lucas; the idea that anyone could use the Force is not fanon. While it's unclear to me to what degree the "anyone" approach applies to today's saga and how it interacts with the hereditary concept, both were there from the beginning:

    A few months ago I was looking for a picture of him as a young man and couldn't find a good one, so thanks.

    Arawn Fenn


    Whether or not such is the case, he's still explicitly saying that Force potential runs in his family. He's using the concept of Leia's Force potential as a segue to the revelation of their shared parentage. Thus it doesn't really matter if he sensed her potential through the Force ( something which the more experienced Vader seemingly did not sense ). It's been suggested that Vader senses the Force is with Luke during the trench run because Luke is consciously using the Force at that point, while it may be worth mentioning that neither Qui-Gon nor Palpatine sensed Anakin's Force potential when they first met him.

    The EU ( Street of Shadows specifically, though there are doubtless other examples which don't immediately come to mind ) does say that beings without a sufficiently high midichlorian count cannot learn to use the Force at Jedi level. This is not some kind of radical divergence on the part of the author, since it seems to be a fairly defensible extrapolation from the midichlorian test in TPM. Why test midichlorian counts for Jedi candidacy at all, if in fact midichlorian count does not indicate limits on Force potential? In fact, the midichlorian test itself comes across as reminiscent of KJA's "Force-detecting paddles" from Jedi Search, before the PT and the introduction of midichlorians, which convey the same idea - that some people can use the Force as the Jedi do and some simply can't. KJA would be an example of an EU author who got that impression while only having the OT to go on.

    ATMachine

    FLW, did you see my post at the foot of the previous page with the Dune and Flash Gordon references? I'd hate for it to get lost in the shuffle--I rather enjoyed writing that one.


    Feel Like What

    Instead of indicating limits, it could conceivably indicate pre-existing talent. I'll make up some conjecture: what if living things have a direct connection to the Force, and midichlorians, while present in every living cell, may congregate or reproduce more easily in the cells of creatures with stronger direct connections to the Force? Then you would end up with Force-sensitives who had high midichlorian counts as the result (rather than the cause) of their current level of Force talent. The Jedi would probably be more apt to snap up apprentices who already show some aptitude, rather than picking people they would have to teach from scratch, so they would still prefer those with higher midichlorian counts. But in this scenario, the midichlorian count could change, depending on the individual's changing relationship with the Force.

    I don't think the above is the intent of Lucas or anyone else in particular. It's just an example of how a midichlorian count could indicate something other than upper limits on an individual's Force potential.

    And you did see the Lucas quote where both the heredity and willpower approaches are mentioned, right?

    I actually don't have a ton to add (shamefully, I haven't read any of the Dune novels yet), except that it does seem strange - not unbelievable, just strange in hindsight - how undefined Mother Skywalker seems to have been prior to TPM. I wonder if Lucas had any concrete ideas about her appearance or station in life during the making of the OT... and if so, what they might have been. To the extent that I imagined anyone from Leia's description, I think maybe I imagined a brunette. Not sure why. A blonde would make sense, with the Luke taking after his mother idea you mentioned. Others have tied together his ability to see good in Anakin with the way Padme did the same in ROTS. Visual echoes might have accentuated this.

    Also, I recently rented John Boorman's Excalibur. I vaguely remember having seen it in my mid-teens (I think), but I think I underestimated the amount of influences, or simply similarities, it had/has to imagery in my imagination. This is mostly unrelated except that when they got to Camelot and the knights of the round table, I was like - man, if they were going to go with more militaristic Jedi in the prequels, this would have been a great model (perhaps not the chrome armor, though even that might have been an interesting touch). Some of the knights (one of whom is Liam Neeson) wore topknots as well, which is what made me remember/mention this. The whole 80s-mythic vibe too.

    [IMG]

    I guess to some extent it is similar:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    Darth_Nub

    Interesting, I haven't seen most of those. It looks as if the kimono-inspired vest/tunic for Jedi was a bit of a constant, even as far back as the early sketches for Obi-Wan, then eventually through the PT. Even Vader has one over his armour in SW/ANH (eliminated for ESB & ROTJ).

    The last picture, the 'gunfighter' look (and 'Han Solo look', let's face it), seems to be directly adapted from this Ralph MacQuarrie sketch for SW:

    [IMG]

    What now strikes me as odd is how dramatically different the early Chiang Jedi designs are to virtually all the designs for the OT.


    -----------------------------

    OK... I think that's most of the major Saga-development threads from the temp boards. Phew.
    Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn likes this.
  25. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
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