BTS Reconstructing the Backstories

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Star Wars as a narrative constitutes more than just a film or series of films. Around those hours of celluloid (or pixels) are histories and backstories; some elaborate, some not. Some are hinted at in the films themselves, some come from script drafts, some come from interviews.

    These speculative histories, as a topic, have generated a lot of commentary and argumentation. Sometimes it's hard to keep people's positions straight. I'm going to try to lay out snapshots of some of the implied stories surrounding the films at certain points in time, as I understand them. Everyone is of course welcome to comment, but if you disagree with something, please provide contravening evidence (or at least evidence of ambiguity - I'm aware that this is very speculative).

    And by all means, please post your model for scrutiny as well!


    The Young Days of Ben Kenobi, as of 1977

    ?Prior to 35 before SW77:

    Annikin Skywalker follows Obi-Wan Kenobi off Tatooine, on a damn foolish idealistic crusade (the Clone Wars). Owen Lars (Annikin's brother) and his significant other Beru know Annikin at this time. Owen disagrees with Annikin's politics/philosophy and thinks he should stay on Tatooine and not get involved.

    (Backstory from exposition in the film. Placed at this point in the timeline because of the characters' presumed ages, and the fact that Annikin has some notoriety as a pilot in the Blue Leader story. As almost his entire backstory at this point is to be a pilot and Jedi in the wars, these things fit together well. While it's possible to move the Clone Wars farther towards the OT, this placement seems for the time being a fair choice.)

    *According to the revised fourth draft, Owen Lars is in his mid-fifties in the film, and he calls Ben a "crazy old man." Seems Ben is older than mid-fifties. And because of Owen's age and the Blue Leader story I suspect Annikin is supposed to be about Owen's age.

    *Note also that Annikin's reason for leaving involves ideals of some kind. While young children can and do have ideals, this sequence of events - idealism leading to participation in a war - seems to suggest that Annikin is already at least a teenager when he leaves Tatooine, if not Luke's age in SW77.

    It's possible that neither Obi-Wan nor Annikin are Jedi Knights at this point, and both leave Tatooine to learn the Jedi ways. If Kenobi is already a Jedi, Annikin may be a non-Jedi following him to train, or he might be a Knight also, springing to action at Kenobi's urging.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi serves Bail Organa of Alderaan as a General. This may actually take place before he arrives on Tatooine/leaves with Annikin in tow (is Ben a Tatooine native?).

    (From the film.)

    ?Circa 35 before SW77:

    A boy who will grow up to lead the Rebellion's Blue (Red) X-Wing fighter squadron meets Annikin Skywalker, who is by this time a great pilot.

    (Extrapolated from the shooting script. Part of the scene in question was included in the special edition of A New Hope.)

    ?Sometime between 35 and 20 before SW77:

    Obi-Wan Kenobi takes Darth Vader as a Jedi apprentice.

    *Placed here in the timeline because Vader is still a "young Jedi" at the time he starts killing Knights, and because he's described by Ben as a "boy" in the shooting script.

    Sometime later, Vader is seduced by the dark side and leaves Kenobi's tutelage. The order in which these things occur is uncertain, and Kenobi in any case may not be immediately aware of what Darth is doing.

    (Backstory from exposition in the film. Kenobi's story to Luke in his hovel, and Vader's "When I left you, I was but a learner, now I am the master.")

    *George Lucas, while giving some information for the establishment of the expanded universe in July-August of 1977, tells of Vader secretly murdering Jedi while still appearing to be on their side. This is difficult to reconcile with Vader having left Kenobi as a "learner," unless he was doing this while still Kenobi's apprentice.

    At some point either while h/>
  2. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    What little is known about the Sequel Trilogy is in this thread: http://boards.theforce.net/star_wars_saga/b10456/30565196/p1/?113

    It's largely what zombie covers in TSHOSW, & there really isn't much at all known about these films. I'll try to put together a summary when I get a chance.

    As for your model of 'The Early Days of Ben Kenobi' - pretty much spot on. One small development that occurred when ROTJ was made - Owen was changed to being Obi-Wan's brother, rather than Annikin's (script & novelisation). I've always felt it was an odd little change, as GL chose to change it back in AOTC, & didn't even include the dialogue about it in the film of ROTJ.
  3. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Yeah I left it out because it seemed like a one-off. Probably should go back and mention it. I wonder what prompted it. It certainly wouldn't have made the whole thing any clearer... Also, Obi-Wan says in ROTJ that Anakin was already a great pilot when he first met him, almost echoing Blue Leader. Nothing in SW77 precludes this being the case, but I wonder if this and the Owen/brother change signal anything about the backstory being fiddled with? At face value it doesn't seem like it (as nothing else seems to have changed) but maybe we are missing something?

    As for the sequels, I know most of the info on them is in the Secret History but I figure it's worth it to lay it all out in a timeline anyway, just for fun (especially as the ST was always one of my favorite SW thought experiments). Hell, I'll include the "Tangential Trilogy" too (Droids, Wookiees, and the formation of the Jedi/Republic), as the hints of their existence (with no mention of content at all) were even more tantalizing.

    Also, I think perhaps the backstory for the Emperor, and Darth joining the Empire, was already in motion by the time Lucas talked about it in the summer of '77. The political story he recounts (how the Republic turned into the Empire) is very similar to a gob of exposition Luke gives to his brothers Biggs and Windy in the second draft. So the general outline didn't change much.

    However, in the summer 1977 version, the Chancellor/Emperor plays a much more in-depth role (he's not even mentioned in the second-draft version of the political story - the Senate, controlled by the power and transport companies, pulls the strings and manipulates the populace into accepting an Empire). I didn't think Lucas had decided to make the Emperor the great and powerful Oz at this point, but Vader is already described as being above the military hierarchy and attached directly to the Emperor, so maybe he had. Of course, maybe the Emperor is just a politician, even if Vader does report directly to him. Darklighter and the Sith Pirates in the second draft were supposed to be the Emperor's bodyguards, after all.

    Also, in the summer of '77 Vader is mentioned as running around killing Jedi in secret while still a Jedi himself. I'm really not sure how to square with his leaving Ben as a "learner." He must have been dabbling in the dark side while still appearing to be a 'good student.'

    Also also, Nordom made a good point regarding Yoda's line about Luke's age in ESB. Even if we ignore the context and take it as a reference to a Jedi policy (or even a policy specific to Yoda himself) - Yoda didn't train Anakin, Ben did. A refusal by Yoda to train Anakin because of his age (in the ESB and/or ROTJ - era backstory) might actually be the catalyst for Ben having chosen to train him. And in fact this is exactly what we see in the prequels (except Obi-Wan is dealing with a whole council of Jedi, not just Yoda):

    INT. TURRET ROOM - NABOO PALACE - LATE DAY

    The sun streams into the multi-windowed room at a low angle. It is not quite
    sunset. YODA paces before OBI-WAN, who is kneeling in the center of the
    room.

    YODA : Confer on you, the level of Jedi Knight the Council does. But agree on
    you taking this boy as your Padawan learner, I do not.


    OBI-WAN : Qui-Gon believed in him.

    YODA : The Chosen One the boy may be; nevertheless, grave danger I fear in
    his training.


    OBI-WAN : Master Yoda, I gave Qui-Gon my word. I will train Anakin. Without
    the approval of the Council if I must.


    YODA : Qui-Gon's defiance I sense in you. Need that, you do not. Agree with you, the council does. Your apprentice, young Skywalker will be.

    The motivations and their expression clash a bit with the ESB-ROTJ version of the story, as Obi-Wan was already reckless on his own and Qui-Gon didn't exist, but essentially this is pretty close. (Interestingly, in the rough draft of TPM this disagreement on whether to train Anakin doesn't exist.)
  4. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Found something interesting. As I noted, the political backstory from summer 1977 features the Chancellor/Emperor pulling the strings, with the help of some corrupt senators. In the second draft version, the Emperor is not mentioned, but these senators are. In the final film (TPM), the evil-est senators we see are the ree-yees from Malastare, or maybe the Trade Federation guys, if they count (I don't think they do).

    However, the art department had created designs for "evil senators" (as shown in the TPM Art of- book). Though none of the drawings are dated, they seem to come from fairly early on in the process, especially as one of their distinctive features - facial tattoos - later came to be used for Darth Maul.

    This says to me that even in the early-mid 1990s parts of the early backstory were being used to an even greater degree than in the finished film. It also implies that Lucas had such a breadth of backstory-anecdotes to choose from and wade through that the process of constructing the prequels was less connect the dots than mix and match (compare the rough draft notion that everyone would think Anakin should be trained, then the revised version that Yoda and Obi-Wan disagree, which seems more in keeping with ROTJ). Lucas probably started with some version of the backstory as he remembered it and added or subtracted pieces as he rediscovered various plans he'd made from various stages of development, and as he developed the more 'personal and interesting' stakes for the eventual actual films.
  5. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    This is a sticky issue, I had a long argument with zombie about it, as he takes Ben's Tatooine origins as a given in the original 'orthodox' storyline presented in 1977, the relationship between Obi-Wan & Annikin being a parallel of that between Biggs & Luke. I don't think this is necessarily the case, it was always my belief that Obi-Wan was of noble birth, from a planet like Alderaan, who took Annikin under his wing at some point, perhaps while on a mission to Tatooine, or out there recruiting young men for the Clone Wars.

    Making Owen Obi-Wan's brother would seem to suggest that yes, Obi-Wan was originally from Tatooine, but that would mean Owen was always meant to be Obi-Wan's brother, & not Luke's real uncle - & I don't believe this is the case (nor does zombie).

    There's not much evidence either way, the only thing in the OT which hints at Annikin/Anakin's original relationship prior to Anakin becoming a Jedi is in ROTJ where Obi-Wan tells Luke that his father was already a great pilot when he met him, but that he was amazed how strong the Force was with him - clearly indicating that Obi-Wan was already a Jedi when he first met Anakin.

    In all honesty, I'm not entirely sure that Luke's father was originally meant to be from Tatooine, either.
  6. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I too had a feeling that Obi-Wan came from elsewhere (his name is certainly different from others we think might be Tatooine natives), and the Owen thing certainly seems to flip that around. But as to your last point, doesn't Ben's "[Owen] thought [Annikin] should have stayed here and not gotten involved" imply that Annikin was a Tatooine native? It's open to interpretation but I would lean in that direction.

    Also - by ROTJ Annikin and Darth had become one character, and Obi-Wan was always established as Darth's teacher, so he must then have been a Jedi upon meeting Anakin, in order to maintain continuity. However his prior Jedihood may not have been part of the story as of '77, when the exact relationship between Annikin and Kenobi was less specific.
  7. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Quite right, I slipped into looking at the 1983 vision, not the 1977 one - Annikin was meant to be from Tatooine - Anakin, however, wasn't, just as Annikin's brother was Owen Lars, while at the time of ROTJ, Owen was the dead brother of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    It's why I brought up the Uncle Owen issue, as it's something that changes the backstory in a subtle, but significant way. The way I see it, the Jedi Knight from Tatooine was Owen Lars' brother, the other was from somewhere else. In 1977 it was Annikin Skywalker, in 1983 it was Obi-Wan Kenobi. Considering that he returned somewhat to the original version & eliminated the later from the cut of ROTJ, I find it strange that GL bothered with 'Obi-Wan as Owen's brother' at all. It's perhaps a tiny glimpse at the PT vision he once admitted he abandoned when actually sitting down to write it in the early 1990s.
  8. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    "The Jedi knight from Tatooine." That's a nice way of putting it. And the Owen-brother implications are kind of what I meant by "fiddling with the backstory." And it's interesting that Lucas talked about that presumed fiddling - where is that from?

    It's a shame there is so little documentation of the process from '79 to '97 (especially the very beginnings of TPM). I remember an article in the Insider, the very first one I saw (a birthday present from a friend), in which GL officially announced the prequels. I wondered, and continue to wonder, what the story was at that point (or before).
  9. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    Darth_Nub/Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn,

    My take on the Owen/brother ROTJ change:

    I think it tied into the whole "hidden from your father" aspect.

    I really believe that Lucas didn't have that idea 'set in stone' until ROTJ. Nothing from SW/ANH implies that any child (or son, in the context of the original film) of A. Skywalker would automatically be a threat to the Empire. Ditto for TESB*, even though by this time, Vader = Annikin (though only Lucas really knew this, and maybe Kasdan/Kershner...). When it came time to fully integrate the Father Vader ret-con into the back-story, as part of the general writing process for the third film (circa '80/'81), Lucas came up with the "you (now, Luke AND Leia) were hidden from your father when you were born".

    *to me, the original dialogue for the Emperor hologram scene implied that both the Emperor and Vader casually knew that Skywalker had a son who lived on Tatooine.

    With this new plot point, it made less sense for Anakin (in the current guise) to be from Tatooine, so in order to 'account' for the Lars', Lucas decided to make them relatives of Ben . The logic would have been that Vader presumably wouldn't look for any offspring residing with Kenobi's relatives (under this scenario, Lucas obviously would have jettisoned Obi-Wan's line about Owen thinking that Anakin "should have stayed here and not gotten involved" - "here" being Tatooine (implication that Anakin had lived/worked with the Lars' on the homestead).

    I've not quite worked out how this change would relate to the TESB/'79 back-story point that Luke would be three years old during the events of Episode III (creation of Empire, Jedi Purge, etc.).
  10. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    That makes a lot of sense, TS. To me there are some indications in ANH that Luke is being protected/watched over by Obi-Wan ("Your father wanted you to have this" is suggestive, and why else would Ben be on Tatooine, of anywhere in the galaxy?). But I think you're right that in retrospect (and with the added developments of ESB and ROTJ) placing Luke with his relatives for protection would have seemed less like protection and more like slapping a big target on him. Good catch.

    It seems like this change was a momentary one. It's not in the revised rough draft of ROTJ, though Leia is the Other and was separated from Luke because it was "safer." The Owen-Ben brother notion was also cut from the final film. And the earliest known art of Anakin for TPM (as far as I can tell, some 1995 Doug Chiang drawings/paintings of an older-looking Anakin riding out of the desert) has him on Tatooine. Perhaps the Owen-brother thing was a Kasdan addition?

    Where does the Luke-in-Episode-III-at-3 quote come from? I remember it, I just can't place it. And is it pre-ESB, post-ESB, post-ROTJ? I'm trying to understand how the Annikin turning/child(ren) being born timeline would work.

    If your hypothesis about the Son of Skywalker being common knowledge in ESB is true, perhaps ESB-Annikin/Vader knew about his own child(ren) the whole time, and they weren't so much hidden from birth as stolen and secreted away? Is that even necessary, or could it be that Annikin simply left Luke on Tatooine with his relatives and never came back? (I'm not sure whether it should be 'child' or 'children' as there is the Other/possible sister to contend with.)

    The Luke-abandonment idea is interesting and simple, though with the early SW drafts' focus on the Jedi ways being passed from father to son it may not fit very well, tonally (a Jedi father ignoring his kids instead)?

    On a completely different topic, while looking for that Chiang painting I found a page of George Lucas quotes regarding the sequel trilogy. Nothing new, and they're not sourced, but I remember them... and the point is that it's telling to read them in order here. You can really see a progression in his attitude towards sequels (it really isn't until the release of TPM that he starts to disown them, even if they were mostly collapsed into ROTJ and unofficially shelved at that point).

    The way no one seem to know about or take them seriously anymore irks me. At one point they were common knowledge, maybe even more interesting to contemplate than the prequels. And I think the combination of their official dissolution and the existing films becoming "The Tragedy of Darth Vader" made the universe feel a lot smaller and less engrossing. But that's kind of beside the point here.
  11. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    Thanks.


    Or, it was a Lucas addition, but for the prequels he changed it back (to ANH/TESB "continuity"*, that is). It's possible; the Chiang '95 art is some 12 to 14 yrs after ROTJ was written and released, after all. Plenty of time for Lucas to re-think the Owen-Ben notion. Only thing is, he left the "hidden from Vader/The Emperor" notion intact.

    *while fully aware that it's not exactly an 'ideal' continuity to begin with....

    I'd forgotten that it wasn't in ROTJ's revised rough draft. Seems that most of that back-story exposition scene was written for the third and final draft - perhaps jointly by Lucas and Kasdan (?).



    It's taken from Alan Arnold's "Once Upon A Galaxy: The Making of TESB" (1980 - and unfortunately out of print). The interview in question was on the set of Dagobah circa' Jul-Aug '79. In that interview, Lucas said that there's a 20 year gap between the three (!) trilogies, and that Luke is a three-year old at the time of Episode III (which would make him 23 yrs old in SW).

    As recently as a week ago, I had thought it difficult to reconcile the above with the back-story as given in ROTJ. But, I think it went (originally) this way: as stated in the script/novel (but not the film), when Anakin 'left' (presumably meaning, when he turned) he "didn't know that your mother was pregnant" . But (continuing from the film), Obi-Wan knew that any offspring of Anakin's would be a 'great threat' to the Emperor. Then, once Mother Skywalker learned of being pregnant, she confided in Obi-Wan. Once the eventual birth(s) took place, together, Obi-Wan and Mother Skywalker split the children up, hiding them away (from their father**). She takes Leia with her to Alderaan, and Obi-Wan took Luke to his (Obi-Wan's) relatives on Tatooine. Three years later, the Empire is created, the Jedi are destroyed, and a dark-side Anakin eventually becomes Darth Vader, following the horrible injuries he incurred from a duel with Kenobi on Condawn.

    **perhaps Obi-Wan and the Mother were seeing 'signs' of Anakin's turn to the d.s ahead of the actual turn, or ....hiding them from their father was a strategy to be used solely against the Emperor, so that the evil ruler wouldn't be able to 'use' them against Anakin . After all, Obi-Wan said that they were hidden from their father, in order to protect them from the Emperor . He does not say that they were being also 'protected' from their father (who wasn't Vader at this point, anyway).

    Edit to add: iow, this alternate/original ROTJ scenario need not operate under the assumption that Luke and Leia were fathered by an already evil man, as some have suggested that it does.

  12. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I like this. I suppose it's close to my "stolen" line of thinking, just a nicer way of putting it. And the distinction between being hidden from Anakin, to protect them from the Emperor is subtle but important.

    I guess I was thinking there were only two choices - either Anakin didn't know about his children or he did know and left them behind for some reason (i.e., I didn't think of the convoluted but logical solution you posed above).

    True, but the Other was one of the only specific sequel concepts ever mentioned, so they're almost synonyms (or they were, until I remembered that Lucas also talked about rebuilding the Republic and the necessity of moral choices and, if you believe Mark Hamill, old man Luke).
  13. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    It's also possible that Anakin knew about his child(ren) (or potential children!) and left Obi-Wan because he felt he wasn't learning enough, fast enough to be able to protect them from horrors like those he'd seen in the Clone Wars. In studying on his own (or with the Emperor, if he's the Wizard by now?), trying to gain that power, he falls to the dark side. Obi-Wan and Mother Skywalker find out about this, and Mother hides/is hidden with the child(ren) (and/or Luke is taken to Tatooine at this point). Perhaps Anakin is told they are dead. Obi-Wan duels Vader.

    More fanfic than anything else, but it kinda works (possibly minus the "twin sister" revelation for Vader in ROTJ, depending).
  14. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    I also disagreed with zombie on this matter, though for slightly different reasons.

    The 'clincher' for me would be that in the third draft (script itself? or character notes) , Ben Kenobi (he's not "Obi-Wan" at this point) is in exile on Tatooine. That would indicate imo that he wasn't from there originally. It's probably safe to say that the subsequent drafts of SW didn't change that aspect.


    I don't think that it would mean Owen was "always" meant to be Obi-Wan's brother, since it's agreed that only ROTJ had made them brothers, and not the first film.



    I agree, but that last part is from ROTJ, so 'technicality' it wouldn't establish what exactly the original (i.e. SW circa '77 and prior) relationship was. To do so, we need to go by what SW/ANH said.

    That being said , like you, I'm not sold on the Ben/Annikin = Biggs/Luke parallel - that they became Jedi together ( that is, going by just the film SW alone AND any 'ancillaries' like earlier script drafts/background-character notes ). Ironically, the ONLY place that 'hints' that they became Jedi together is later on, from I think the first draft of TESB (by Leigh Brackett) which has Yoda saying that he trained both Ben AND Luke's father on the 'bog planet' (whether that idea was from Lucas or Brackett is another matter, but it was most likely from Lucas). This would indicate that, even at that stage, the back-story was still in a state of 'flux', in some ways.

    Also, I think that there's a bit of "excluding the middle" going on with this particular point, though I don't mean that you Darth_Nub or Thrawn are doing this. What I mean is, the idea that in order for Ben and Annikin to have been 'peers' (in terms of Jedi Knighthood) as per their original-SW relationship, they 'must' have trained together/became Jedi together/left home (Tatooine) at the same time. Barring this - the assumption holds - would mean that it was a master-apprentice relationship. I think this is wrong. The poster Bad Radio on the 'Secret History' thread tried to assert the same thing: he said that Ben being called "my father's commander " by Luke in the third draft means, "Annikin was Ben's apprentice" (ergo, - per Radio - Annikin = Vader). Zombie and others argued that the "commander" point (which was not mentioned in subsequent drafts) proved no such thing, and merely showed that in military terms (perhaps the Alderaanian military?) Ben K. 'out-ranked' Annikin S. Nothing more.

    So, in short, I think it's unnecessary to make Ben/Obi-Wan and Annikin
  15. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    When, then, did he go back to placing Anakin on Tatooine?
  16. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    Probably when he started writing the PT/TPM or early 90's.



    Oh. I meant that the identity of the Other (who was not Leia) was 'always' meant to be revealed in the third film - if at all - and thus was not 'pulled' from the sequel trilogy. I think the "ROTJ = 'collapse'/merger of the sequel trilogy into the 'original' Ep VI" idea is entirely based on G. Kurtz's somewhat disjointed anecdotes about the bigger SW story.


    ;)

  17. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Like I said, it's a shame there's so little material to study from that time period.

    Perhaps you refer to the imminent attack of your Rebel fleet - I mean, perhaps you refer to the Lucas quote about the sequels being about the character who "survives Star Wars III." Mmm, could be, but it could just as easily be Luke. Maybe Lucas was taking care not to confirm Luke's survival so the climax of Jedi would still be dramatic.

    And I hadn't meant the Other reveal so much as the involvement of the Other at all. Leia doesn't do much as the Other, but she does appear and play a role as a motivator. I just figured the Other would go unmentioned in Jedi (or undetailed - perhaps Yoda would speak of Another Skywalker but the character would be unknown (Nellith Skywalker?)). Are there any drafts of, or notes on, Jedi from before Leia became the Other?

    Also, we may not have to take Mark Hamill's word for it (on an older Luke). Lucas did mention showing an aged Luke Skywalker in sequel films, several times. As far as I can tell, most or all of these mentions come from after 1980, so they may not reflect the circa-1979, pre-Jedi plan. However, given that the PT was always going to follow or at least mention younger versions of OT-era characters, I find it hard to believe that Old Man Luke wouldn't have made an appearance in the ST.
  18. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I've been searching through EU sources for mentions of the Clone Wars or other prequel-era tidbits, essentially looking for evidence of specifics from a "summer of 1977"-type backstory outline shining through like some Gospel of Q. I found something interesting regarding the circa-ROTJ story, Obi-Wan as the brother of Owen, etc, in the Heir to the Empire Sourcebook, published by WEG, 1992.

    At the least, EU sources like this can tell us how other fans (who became authors) interpreted the information they were given in the films and other infodumps. At most, this may be taken directly from such an infodump, established by LFL and possibly by Lucas himself (as references to the prequel era had to be vetted from on high in those days).

    EDIT: Upon reflection, this appears to be very very close to the ROTJ novel, so I guess it's not unique or new. OH WELL. Still, I hold out hope that maybe some bits of a "Q Document for SW" can be found in other places.
  19. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    That's pretty much the starting point for my belief that Obi-Wan isn't a Tatooine native in SW/ANH. His being a Jedi Knight immediately suggests that he's either in exile or on the run, everything else follows from that & seems to reinforce it - somewhat exotic real name, noble bearing, even his existence as a hermit, as opposed to a farmer or trader.


    Exactly - making them brothers at the time of ROTJ was a new development. Again, Owen wasn't originally referring to his estranged brother (however well it works) when he says, "That wizard's just a crazy old man", he's referring to someone from the past who can only be trouble. The only thing, IMHO, that ties Obi-Wan to Tatooine is this brief, ultimately abandoned development.


    True, & there's very, very little. About the only thing from the 1977 film is Obi-Wan's line about Luke's father "following old Obi-Wan on some damn fool idealistic crusade" - which clearly suggests that:
    a) Annikin was the follower while Obi-Wan was the leader;
    b) Obi-Wan was older than Annikin.

    Now THAT'S really pulling apart a line.

    Probably, but it's quite possible that the whole 'Jedi Knight' concept originally included the notion that such great beings were something above mere mortals, & certainly not from some dump like Tatooine, i.e. there was a certain amount of elitism at work in the order.
    IIRC, Kane & Annikin Starkiller from Draft 1 weren't from the desert planet.
    Just a possibility, not necessarily something I'm convinced
  20. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I just responded to another of your posts in the Secret History thread. I commented on he dark ages and how developments during that time are even more poorly documented than ROTJ itself... and here Lucas says he has a notebook with all those developments! What's disconcerting is that there isn't a source for TPM that can give us even the kind of stolen glimpses into those hallowed golden pages we got for ANH or ESB.
  21. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    Jan 17, 2003
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    The discussion on the "What did the OT lead you to believe about the Prequels that turned out to be false?" thread over at the Classic Trilogy forums is getting into territory that's relevant to the topic of the current thread.
  22. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    Jan 17, 2003
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    Since it was being touched upon in the other thread, I wanted to take the time to discuss the back-story relationship between Obi-Wan and Vader, specifically focusing on their pre-Star Wars confrontation, Vader's injuries and adoption of the suit and helmet as a result of said confrontation, and Obi-Wan's subsequent exile on Tatooine. (I will mostly use Rinzler's Making of Star Wars book for reference).

    First off, Vader's suit/helmet:

    "Man-Machine Progression":

    Rinzler notes how "the identity of the man-machine character changes from draft to draft". In the first draft, it was Kane Starkiller ("all that's left is my head and my right arm!" ) In the second, it was Montross (Holdaak). In the third it was Ben Kenobi (though now, his arm alone is 'partly mechanical'). Ultimately, the concept will rest on the character of Darth Vader. But when did this happen?

    Rinzler speculates (I say 'speculates' because he doesn't give/mention any specific source(s) for this) that this happened with the fourth draft (Jan 1st 1976). He states, "Although it is not explicitly stated , Vader made the jump to man-machine in Lucas's mind while he was at work on this latest version". (emphases mine). Then, he quotes the Aug'77 Rolling Stone interview about the 'volcano duel', as 'evidence' that Lucas put the man-machine concept onto Vader for the fourth draft, where Lucas was simply saying that he didn't have the details figured out for Vader's "real character and who he was" until that draft. Even if that is true - that he had the volcano fight in place by the time of the fourth draft - the final dialogue of the shooting script and of the film contains no whisper of such event, and in fact, implies a less dramatic parting of ways between Vader and Ben (zombie alluded to this before). The final script still described Vader's suit/helmet as "an armored space-suit", which interestingly is all that it was in the second and third drafts (he even takes off his helmet/mask for a bit in one of those versions). I think that, at best, the fourth draft may have in the background introduced the idea of Vader having been injured from a previous confrontation with Kenobi, though maybe not as life-threatening as it became (think facial scars).

    Now, in the spin-off 'Splinter of the Minds Eye', when Luke cuts off Vader's arm, mechanical appendages are showing, implying that Vader had at least an artificial arm. But the book may have been written around late '76, after the main production of the film was finished (principle photography). The point is that Rinzler, I think, is largely making an argument out of silence: the lack of mention of any man-machine character after the third draft (Lucas claiming he had this idea for the fourth draft, notwithstanding). I believe that summer of '77, or maybe during post-production of SW, is the earliest time Lucas could have had the idea for the battle which leaves Vader as "one very destroyed being" . Briefly, for TESB, this changes to Vader being thrown down a 'nuclear reactor, thus becoming a mutant' (second daft, by Lucas, according to Laurent Bouzereau - Rinzler makes no mention of this. Perhaps it was in background notes but not in the actual draft itself?). By ROTJ at least, the battle switches back to involving lava.


    Obi-Wan's exile (changes name to "Ben" - fourth draft?):

    In the fourth draft, Ben "explains that he's been chased across the galaxy by Vader" - this implies a different scenario to that of the PT/ROTS where Obi-Wan leaves Vader/Anakin "for dead", and continues to think of him as being dead until (off-screen EU, between Ep III and IV) he finds out that Vader had survived the battle. Once again, this exposition from the fourth draft fits best with a scenario where Vader is not significantly injured, especially not in a potentially life-threatening way. That I can tell, the first instance of the "Vader being left to die" theme was in the accompanying sourc-ebook for the SW role-playin
  23. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    The Jedi novel has Vader recall lava crawling up his back, and the film shows (while he's being electrocuted) just how much of his body has been replaced. Drawings for his face for Empire show Toxic Avenger-level grotesqueness. I doubt he was intended to have walked away from those injuries...
  24. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    Jan 17, 2003
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    The above are all true, so I amend what I said earlier: while "Vader being left to die" was probably already the case with TESB and ROTJ, it most certainly was not the case with the first film*, as illustrated by the points I made in the previous post ("armored space-suit", Ben having been "chased across the galaxy by Vader **, "when I left you...." , etc.)

    *by "with the first film", I mean "not according to pre-production up to and including the final shooting script ". Post-production may have been a different story, and post-theatrical release yet another (ie the Rolling Stone, summer of '77 "Vader ends up one destroyed being" comment).


    **not just by the Empire, but by Vader specifically
  25. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Yeah, I always found the "When I left you" line and implied backstory interesting. The turns of events seem fairly straightforward, but still interesting.

    It might be useful to compare the two versions of the political backstory, the third(?) draft version narrated in the story and the summer of '77 version narrated by GL (in the back of TMoSW). Vader's role is mentioned in the latter, and I remember vaguely having some trouble trying to reconcile Vader's having left Ben and his role as explicated there. I think he's said to have been killing Jedi before they knew he had turned. The earlier version has Darklighter in the same role, but he leaves his instructor prior to (in the process of?) learning the dark side (IIRC). That version sounds consistent with the original film to a slightly greater degree than the later version(s).