Discussion George Lucas and the Mystery of the Treatment

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII - Spoilers Allowed' started by Darth_Corvus, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Dra--- Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 5
    Perhaps Lucas is just giving us the treatment?
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  2. StoneRiver Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2004
    star 4
    Just wanted to clarify (or muddy the waters) regarding the above bullet point. I thought it had been actually established that GL never really had 4 trilogies but rather 3 trilogies and some spin offs? (3 trilogies and a couple of odd films - one with just Wookies, one with just droids).

    Aaaargh, so much conflicting information!!
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  3. TtheForceHurts Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2010
    star 3
    I think the "Han Solo dies" plot was discarded once Leia became Luke's sister and couldn't be his love interest...
  4. Seagoat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2013
    star 4
    Actually, I think the very VERY original idea was 4 trilogies, but early on, the fourth trilogy was rethought to become some odd spinoff films, because I know even back in the 80's, George mentioned "a beginning, a middle, and an end", but he mentioned nothing about another middle part.
  5. Darth PJ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2013
    star 4
    I think the one overiding story facet left for further exploration (when looking at the existing 6 films as a whole) is how was Anakin conceived??? There is a real sense now, IMHO, that Anakin (even though the 'chosen one') was created by the Sith... be that Plagueis alone or Plagueis and Sidious. That being the case, I can imagine some focus being placed on the Skywaker lineage... in that they (Anakin, Luke and Leia) were born of Sith. Is grandad Skywalker (as in Anakin's father) still out there???
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  6. TtheForceHurts Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2010
    star 3
    Being a fan of the Plagueis story (and hoping we will get that spinoff- movie) this is a really interesting premise. If they want to follow that mystery though I think that we will need that spin-off. Ideally it will be hinted at in EPVII. Before VIII we get that spin-off movie to clear up the background and then it will be revealed in the last two Episodes (with a Vader spin-off between VIII and IX).

    BTW, yesterday I watched Zero Dark Thirty for the first time and I think that the chief interogator(name is Jason Clarke) in the first half of the movie would (physically) be a great middleaged Palps...
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  7. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    That would still retcon half the EU. Everyone has a stance on this EU debate. We will see in the movie what Abrams' is.
  8. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    I always saw Skyfall in it. Passing on the Torch. The old people realizing that they are too old. Lots of references to the old ways, clear signs that there must be a change..just perfect. If we are going to see a Skyfall-First Class hybrid with lightsabers, I'm all for it.
  9. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    Yeah pretty much. These are roughly the same facts written a lot better. All that's left is to figure out the likely content and the amount of change done to the various treatments.
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  10. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    He said a lot of contradictory things. But if some of the 12 are spinoff films, all the better. We might still get them.
  11. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    Well with probably 40 or so years between EP VI and EP VII In-Universe, It would be kinda hard to make a direct continuation, but could happen.
  12. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    Well Mara died with only giving birth to Ben. BUT here is an idea. What if one of Luke's little *ahhem* adventures left one of his EU love interests pregnant. And Little Nomi Skywalker was born. Oh and you want some Shadows of the Sith right. What if her mothers was Lumiya herself. A little internal struggle is always nice. Can she be truly a Jedi? Will she be haunted by her mothers Legacy for the rest of her life? Who knows.
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  13. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    Errr what?
  14. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    Probably when 7-9 and 10-12 was merged to be the new 7-9, 10-12 was re-imagined to be spinoff films. We might see them as well. Of course a few Clone Wars spinoffs were also planned that we will never ever see now.
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  15. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    For Lucas anyway. The way I heard it, Ford still wanted to kill him off but Lucas vetoed it. Ahh the good old days when he was vetoing bad things.
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  16. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    Somehow I doubt we will see the direct adaptation of EU works. For example a potential Kotor movie will see the end of the Mandalorian Wars instead of the actual Kotor. A Kyle Katarn spinoff would talk about...saaaay how he left the Jedi Order and what he did until Jedi Outcast. If I am wrong I would love to see a Plagueis movie. There is so much lore in it. Oh and one for Bane. Hell the entire Bane trilogy.
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  17. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Let me see if I can write up my understanding of how the plans changed. It's a very confusing subject. Lucas has said different things at different times, Gary Kurtz's recollections seem to be a mixture of ideas from Lucas at different points in the development plus things that Kurtz just liked, and other sources have varying degrees of relevance and believability. In the Saga forum we like to talk about this stuff a lot; here's what I think might be semi-accurate...

    Pre-1977: Lucas is building an imaginary world which could hold any number of stories. He wants to tell at least one as a film. He also seems drawn to a trilogy structure (mentioning such in 1975).

    1977ish: The project expands, partially because he now knows how popular it can be, and how that affords him many more opportunities to make more. He sees the project as having perhaps an unending number of parts (like the James Bond series), or perhaps twelve. Importantly, the twelve films would not break down into a series of four trilogies. This is the time period that the "tangential" film ideas date from (and yeah, it does seem like the Holiday Special wookiee parts, plus the ewoks and droids cartoons, and maybe even the Jedi-focused parts in the Clone Wars tv series, are all related to these). There would be perhaps one film telling the story of "the young days of Ben Kenobi," which would also presumably include the fall of Darth Vader to the dark side and Annikin Skywalker's death at his hands, on the volcano planet (if I recall correctly). There would be many "Adventures of Luke Skywalker" movies - probably the bulk of the series would follow this storyline - and the Emperor would be dethroned in the last one. Each film might be done by a different director. Lucas saw himself as setting up the world so that others could take over and do variations on a theme. The films' numbering wouldn't run chronologically in this conception but instead would go by the order of release (ESB was called "Episode II" before things got reshuffled, as below.)

    1978-1979ish: The merging of the Darth Vader and Annikin Skywalker characters during the development of ESB changes how Lucas is thinking about the project. A nine-film structure presents itself, though not before other setups are considered, at least loosely. (There is a 12-film structure in Lucas's notes which is undated, and includes a "Clone Wars trilogy" - said Wars would have been quite different than what it developed into; if interested, check out Lando in the early drafts of ESB - and a trilogy of films in which the original SW is number six in the overall series.) The nine-film structure that eventually settles out would be a trilogy of trilogies. Each trilogy would span several years in-story, and each would be separated from the others by several decades in-story. Each would follow different sets of characters and deal with different themes; perhaps Threepio and Artoo would be the only characters to appear in every film.

    Vader becoming Luke's father made the story and worldbuilding a bit less open, and this probably had something to do with Lucas's development of the trilogy of trilogies and the abandonment of the happy-go-lucky 'variations on a theme, multiple directors take turns telling their own stories in my world' approach. It became more and more a single story, his story.

    The prequels as a trilogy (and not just a single film) come from this conception. The political aspects of them probably remained very consistent from this era all the way to when they were made, though the Clone Wars may have taken place/ended in the first prequel film here, to be followed by the rise of Palpatine, the destruction of the Jedi, and the takeover of the Empire.

    The sequel trilogy also comes from this conception. Lucas did say he had ideas for it, though he also always said it was "ethereal" or "out there somewhere," which people took to mean that it was going to be weird - but it seems like what he actually meant was simply that his ideas were much less defined and detailed than, say, the ideas for the prequels. One thing that some fans have considered as a hook for the sequels, set up in ESB, is the "Other" who became Leia in ROTJ. In the early drafts of ESB, Luke has a sister - not Leia - who is also training to be a Jedi, though she's across the galaxy in some hidden place. They don't meet in ESB, but it's set up such that they might, later in the series. In subsequent drafts, the sister - Nellith Skywalker - is no longer mentioned, and when Luke leaves Dagobah, Yoda says to Ben "we must search for another." Slowly this morphs into "there is another." What that seems to say is that Yoda knows where there is already someone else who has potential to replace Luke in Yoda and Ben's plans. This doesn't seem like it's Leia at this point in development. It feels like a return to the 'character X training across the galaxy, to be revealed later' idea, minus the character name. It could very well be a sequel trilogy hook that was later collapsed in ROTJ.

    1980-1990s: Lucas gets tired of making the films, partially due to his marital problems in the 80s taking a lot out of him. So ROTJ effectively ends the series, even though he keeps mentioning the trilogy of trilogies structure in interviews and stuff. What would be in the sequel trilogy also seems to change in this time period. From the way he speaks about the project, he talks about the sequels as a kind of original trilogy cast reunion. This may have been part of it from 1979 on (what I mean is that, for example, perhaps an aged Luke might have been a supporting character in the sequels in similar fashion to how prequel-era characters like Ben Kenobi were supporting players in the original trilogy), but it seems like that earlier conception did have slightly more focus on themes and having some political/philosophical point to make, rather than just being a romp with an already-familiar cast.

    1990s-2000s: While developing and making the prequels, Lucas decides to re-structure the films as a six-film series centered on the 'Tragedy of Darth Vader.' Over time he starts saying he doesn't want to do any more after he finishes the prequels, and that there isn't any more story to tell, and that he never said he was going to make more anyway. The focus on Anakin becomes stronger and stronger as the PT goes on, until in ROTS's development the film is actively edited to exclude anything that doesn't directly affect him (which is probably why the film excludes Boba Fett, who might have appeared at one point in development, and also why the scenes depicting the formation of the Rebellion were cut, not to mention some other cut things).

    Then... Lucas sells LFL to Disney and you all know the story there. So where did the treatments come from? It doesn't seem like he could have had usable treatments (of any length) from any time earlier than 1979, and as he redefined the series to be The Tragedy of Vader, it's questionable how useful even those (hypothetical) stories would be (remember, he did always say they were "out there somewhere," in contrast to the prequels, in which he knew what would happen). The Other is probably one story hook, and he did imply that Luke might get a girl in the "next three," but from the tone it's hard to tell if he's serious or just responding to the interviewer in a jocular fashion.

    So these treatments could be anything. They could be old random notes that are to be cobbled together into films. They could be actual stories that date back to the 70s/80s (though given how much of the PT was written 'on the spot' as it were, this seems unlikely). They could also be a mishmash of old ideas, a few story notes, and newer ideas, all rolled together by Lucas much more recently. We really have no way of knowing at this point.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Aug 5, 2013
  18. Jedirush2112 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2013
    star 3
    I'm not saying a direct continuation. Just that what transpired in Episode VI should have some effect on Episode VII. Kinda like Karma or more like cause and effect. Sometimes the effect of our actions are not revealed until many years later. Like a son or daughter that you didn't know you had and now hates you with a passion. Or a secret student of the Dark Side who was abandoned at the conclusion of Episode VI and now wants revenge. Perhaps a qalaxy left in disarray, ripe for the taking by pirates, gangsters and War lords. Cause and Effect! Cause and Effect!
    Last edited by Jedirush2112, Aug 5, 2013
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  19. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    There is that pic on starwars.com in which ANH is Episode 6 of 12. Wonder what that means.
  20. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Please see my reply above.
  21. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    Wasn't it true that it never got beyond the first couple of story meetings (if that)? From how I interpreted it, it was shot down pretty quick and that was the end of it.

    Either way, I'm sure we'll have more insight on it once The Making of Return of the Jedi book is released in a few months.
    Last edited by HanSolo29, Aug 5, 2013
  22. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    Interesting. Never heard the name Nellith Skywalker before. Of course I never read any of the Scripts. Might have to get them.
  23. Darth_Corvus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2010
    star 4
    So it still looks like Luke banged Lumiya and little Nomi/Nellith Skywalker is out for revenge for the death of her mother. I'm all for it.
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  24. I_Love_Scotch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2013
    star 2
    So I guess one major element is consistent with the original treatment...Vader has been defeated. So I guess we can expect there to be a new hero (duh) but the problem is Lucas killed off the Emperor so who is going to be this ultimate baddie in Episode IX? Probably Jar Jar...been pulling the strings this whole time. Darth Jar Jar.
  25. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Jedi Bendu Script Site. Nellith is from Leigh Brackett's draft of Empire.