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BTS The Sequel Trilogy That Never Was: Episodes VII-IX: The Historical Record

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth_Nub, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Couple of questions for zombie:

    - Some time ago I found this entry on the Wookieepedia page for the ST:

    According to a German sci-fi magazine the titles for the three films of the sequel trilogy:

    In German:

    Part 1 Die Wiedergeburt der Freiheit

    Part 2 Die neue Herausforderung

    Part 3 Die Fremden

    In English:

    Episode VII: The Rebirth of the Freedom

    Episode VIII: The New Challenge

    Episode IX: The Strange Ones

    That's all there was, no references. I sent an enquiry to the mods about where it had come from, & they actually decided to remove it from the page, as it wasn't referenced & seemed to be just speculation. I looked into it & couldn't find a thing anywhere (recently found the Wiki reference in an AICN forum, but nothing else).
    I know it's almost definitely utter nonsense, but just wondering if you came across this supposed German sci-fi mag in your research.

    - What's your stance on Dale Pollock's claims to have seen the outlines for 12 films? You do cover it in TSHOSW, but you're somewhat, well, 'diplomatic', & don't dismiss the claims out of hand. What do you think Pollock really saw? Is he making it up, did he exaggerate what he did see (based on the various statements from GL over the years), was he being a mouthpiece for LFL, or did he see actual material, however rough?
  2. zombie

    zombie Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 4, 1999
    That German mag is probably just printing rumors circulating on the internet. Back in the prequel days, you would see stuff like that in mainstream mags like Entertainment Weekly. I would pay it no mind.

    As for Pollock, I'm sure he "saw" some treatments, and possibly notes, for films beyond just the OT. He was interviewed for The People Versus George Lucas documentary where he re-tells this story. However, I think the amount of material Pollock saw is far beyond what he thinks he saw--for starters, Pollock never actually read through the material, he seems to have literally "seen" it, but in his own words "Lucas would never let me read it" (or something close to that). In the 2005 chat transcript, however, he says he DID read some stuff, claiming that a Jar Jar Binks character was in place for at least one prequel--which contradicts his later statement (in People V. GL) that he never read the super-secret treatments. But, he did read the early ANH material. Then you realise that "Bink" was a supporting character in the ANH rough draft--and this is certainly what Pollock is remembering here (Jar Jar was implicitly admitted as being a PT-era creation). Pollock definitely read this material, as its included in his book. So, he seems to have read the early SW material, but not anything for the unmade films.

    As for nailing it down to "12 films"--Pollock seems unaware, at the time of the chat transcript, that Lucasfilm briefly announced these in 1978, so I'm going to take him at his word here. However, as he has established that he never read any ST material, and as the PT "outline" at the time was basically just the ANH notes (which he may have read), the best answer I can give is that he simply came across information that indicated 12 films were planned, not story material itself (its unlikely Lucas developed this far--the "12 films" thing was more of a hype device than anything). Besides which, by the time Pollock was writing (1981?) the 12 episode thing was apocrypha. When you consider that Pollock saw the treatments for ANH, ESB and probably ROTJ as well, we're already exceeding 50 pages of treatment material here, so its no surprise that 30 years later Pollock remembers Lucas having stacks of detailed treatment notes.
  3. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Don't want this thread to just be a Q&A with zombie, but...

    Another issue brought up in TSHOSW - you refer a couple of times to the Sister Skywalker plot that first appears in the first draft of ESB being abandoned 'for obvious reasons', once it was established that Vader was Luke's father. However, you don't elaborate. I assumed you meant it would have seemed somewhat ridiculous that Vader had two children he wasn't aware of. Well, we all know now just how ridiculous GL thought that was...

    I'm not completely convinced that Gary Kurtz's claims about Luke's sister training on the other side of the galaxy & being revealed as 'the Other' in Ep VII or VIII are just due to him being confused. In terms of Luke's age & hers, it may have related to a version of the saga in which the ST was more of a direct continuation of the OT, rather than one set 20-40 years later, but it does seem perfectly plausible that this was one of the few ideas GL did have for Episodes VII-IX.
  4. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
    It is perfectly possible that Vader didn't know he had a son prior to Empire (that was ultimately decided, at least in Return), so it is possible that the Sister Skywalker plot was never abandoned. After all, why is it ridiculous for Vader to have two children?

    -If Vader didn't know he had a child prior to Empire, he wouldn't know about his daughter either (that's not ridiculous, at least for Lucas, because that was decided in the making of ROTJ)
    -If Vader did know about his son, it is possible that he didn't know that he had twins (that happens actually in Episode III; he knew Padmé was pregnant, but not that she had twins)
    -It is also perfectly possible that he kenw he had a son AND a daughter.He just never said anything about her (in the original movie he didn't say anything about having a son either)

    So, the Sister Skywalker plot being dropped is just pure speculation. And I cannot think about any "obvious" reason.

  5. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 26, 2001
    I'm going to go home tonight and pull out a Lucas interview from the Lucasfilm Magazine around the time of Willow where he discusses more SW films. I want to see if he mentions anything about # of films there and what he has to say.

    Just watch, he'll say 12 films with the first one coming out in 1995. [face_laugh]
  6. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Actually, now that I think about it, it's unlikely 'the Other' that Yoda mentions in ESB was intended to be Luke's sister:

    OBI-WAN: That boy is our last hope.

    YODA: No. There is another.

    This indicates that Obi-Wan isn't aware of this person, at least not in terms of him/her being another hope for the galaxy. If Vader had two children, one of which Obi-Wan was keeping an eye on, he'd know there was another one. Probably. Hmm...

    It still doesn't obliterate the idea that the Sister Skywalker plot was something once intended for the ST, though. Had GL chosen to follow this route, Obi-Wan's line would have been just yet another plot hole (retconned & rationalised to hell, no doubt...).
  7. zombie

    zombie Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 4, 1999
    You know, I never got around to tracking down that issue myself (the one with him on the set on the cover?), I'm curious what he has to say in it.
  8. Juan-King

    Juan-King Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jul 24, 2004
    well in #17 he's interviewed , and this is '92 , and he's still referring to a third trilogy but not sure if he'll live long enough to make it .

  9. zombie

    zombie Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 4, 1999
    IIRC, he was saying the same thing in 1998 and even into 2001 (even though in 1999 he had said, for the first time on record I believe, that the story is finished at episode VI).
  10. FirBholg

    FirBholg Jedi Youngling star 1

    May 10, 2002
    Obi-wan certainly knew of Leia, her parentage and upbringing in ESB (even if Lucas didn't when the script was written). But he had focussed on Luke exclusively for 20 years. Further, he's Obi-wan Kenobi, and Leia was raised by a senator to be a senator, and he still has all his old instincts regarding distrust of politicians, and quite possibly forgot to include Leia Organa in his thinking.

    People have blind spots. That is one of his.

    But that is the sense it makes after the fact, in the context of the 6-film saga. It is possible that when ESB was done, Lucas had only vague notions of the "other", and the sister might well have been someone other than Leia, of whom Obi-wan knew nothing, to keep her safe if he (and Luke) were found.

    DARTH_JANISSARY Jedi Master star 1

    Sep 6, 2002
    I think I Thought I read that The droids were telling the story to anceint Egyptions I think or vagly remember it somewhere I do remember it was in an Indiana jones article however
  12. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    That's just an in-joke in Raiders of the Lost Ark - Artoo & Threepio are depicted in hieroglyphics on one of the walls of the Well of Souls:



    (And BTW, the nightclub at the start of Temple of Doom is called 'Club Obi-Wan')
  13. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Pretty much 100% pure speculation, but it has occurred to me now & then that the subplot involving Qui-Gon Jinn's ethereal existence after his death & his instruction by a 'Shaman of the Whills' may have been something that was connected with the ST.

    Both GL & Rick McCallum made repeated references to Obi-Wan's line in ANH, "If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" while the PT was being made, & they emphasised its importance in the overall scheme of things. As it turned out, all we got in the film of ROTS was a throwaway line from Yoda, & Liam Neeson's voiceover as Qui-Gon wasn't used at all. The reference to the Shaman of the Whills was also turfed, although it does appear in the novel (& the comic, I believe). Just like the mystery of Sifo-Dyas, the hyped payoff promised by GL never happened.

    Is it possible that Episodes VII-IX, in dealing with moral & philosophical problems, would have introduced us to the Whills & their followers, a higher order of Force users who had a greater understanding of the Force than the Jedi ever had? Was this something that dwindled to the point of nothing as GL made the PT more & more focused on Anakin with each film, eventually making the ST completely redundant & even detrimental to the six-film structure?

    As I mentioned, this is speculation only, but it's a strange loose end that could have been eliminated completely & wasn't. It's extremely unlikely it's there just in case they do go back & make the ST, but there's something about this 'Shaman of the Whills' business that seems to echo the vague references about the ST being 'ethereal', 'philosophical in tone' & 'Jedi knighthood, justice, confrontation, and passing on what you have learned.'
    It also means that the mysterious 'Other' wouldn't have had to be a Jedi if there was another benevolent order of Force users.

    It's possible that this subplot was originally something from Eps VII-IX that GL attempted to incorporate into the PT & didn't really work, so removed most of it, leaving only the barest reference to explain Force ghosts, not that even that was necessary.
  14. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
    And the script.
  15. MeBeJedi

    MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 30, 2002
    You are referring to Qui-gon's lines in ROTS, which, to my knowledge, were never shot.
  16. DarkFather13

    DarkFather13 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Aug 19, 2002
    then more than likely, Luke will die in the first half of Episode addition, it would appear Leia is a driving "force" in the new trilogy.....
  17. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    IIRC, the scene was shot & Qui-Gon's lines recorded, but it never worked, so it was never included in a cut of the film (a la the Wampa scenes in ESB). However, it all comes from GL, it wasn't an EU type invention.
  18. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    The Sequel Trilogy of Episodes VII-IX was originally conceived in GL's mind before he decided that Leia was Luke's sister - whatever 'driving force' existed as a person would have been another character altogether, most likely mentored initially by Luke, but not necessarily a member of the Skywalker family, & probably not. In this incarnation, Luke may well have died in Ep VII, just like Obi-Wan in ANH & Qui-Gon in TPM.

    After ROTJ, however, (when Leia was established as Luke's sister), if GL ever realistically thought he would make the ST, it was only going to be a type of epilogue to the OT, so Leia would not have have been the focus. Luke would have been the main character, dealing with issues such as 'the necessity for moral choices, the wisdom needed to distinguish right from wrong, Jedi knighthood, justice, confrontation, and passing on what you have learned.'
  19. zombie

    zombie Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 4, 1999
    It's a bit confusing sorting out Lucas' feelings at certain points in time, because he tells contradictory reflections--which, IMO, indicate his conflicting feelings towards the ST. There's a lot of back-and-forth through the years.

    -In 1983, he had come up with a vague, yet still distinct, replacement for the original ST, which was centred around re-uniting the aged original cast.
    -At the same time, he vowed to be done with Star Wars films--forever.
    -Yet by the close of the 1980s, he indicated he was interested in doing more "sometime", especially the prequels, and he still talked about a sequel trilogy--so he hadn't closed the doors after all (the collapse of his personal life and financial empire in the years prior might have had something--or a lot--to do with this).
    -In the early 1990s he finally allowed authors to go beyond ROTJ with the EU--but mandated they be set 5 years after the film, which allowed a door for his ST, which was set some 30 years later.
    -In the mid-90s, he decided to do the prequels, largely based on the success of the above EU, and talked about doing a ST if he could--so, it was in the cards.
    -In early 1999, Speilberg and Rick McCallum still talk about plans for a 9-film series, showing he wasn't totally closed off to it
    -Later that year, he finally states that the prequels provide a closed I-VI storyline...although in other interviews into 2002 he still provides a distant possibility of the ST, even if he is clearly apprehensive--so his "letting go" was not all at once.
    -It is only in 2005, after finishing the prequels, that he makes it very clear that he has no interest in devoting another 10 years of his life to another Star Wars trilogy.

    Out of all of this, you can see that Lucas was always a bit apprehensive, yet nonetheless genuinely interested. I think he left himself the window open all along because he wanted to do it, but had to wait to see if he actually had the time and resources to do it. By 2005 he had the resources, but at 60+ years old not the time or strength. I doubt he will ever direct again, and even if he produced more SW films, it would be close to the involvement of a director, and at his age I think he just can't be bothered. I think this is why it is only in the 2000s that the EU books encroached into the ST timeline era with stuff like Vector Prime, because he finally realised they would never happen as films.
  20. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Really? This is somewhat contradictory of the position you take in TSHOSW - that the ST was something he conceived pre-ESB, but quickly abandoned any real interest in after the difficulties of making ESB, when he was more concerned with wrapping things up ASAP. As you put it, "Lucas never had a huge emotional investment in it."

    The prequels existed in his mind somewhat, as there was a backstory he had developed to a certain extent, & by affixing episode numbers of IV & V to the existing films, he had made something of a commitment to filling in that three episode gap. Episodes beyond #6, however, why bother? The good guys won, the bad guys are gone. If there were ever meant to be other Sith Lords floating around, they were never established in the OT, & the PT actually negated their possible existence with the Rule Of Two.

    Despite occasional murmurings about the ST by GL in the late 1980s & 1990s, I'm still convinced that he eliminated its existence as he developed the PT, with contradictory plot points (one of which happened as early as ROTJ - Leia as the Other), with the gradual transformation of the Saga into a six-film story structure, and, I believe, by incorporating whatever vague concepts he had for Episodes VII-IX into Episodes I-III, simply because he was starved for material.

    The Sequel Trilogy, even as a type of 'Very Star Wars Reunion Special', probably never made it past about 1995, and was dead & buried by 1999. Mentions by GL, Rick McCallum & Steven Spielberg were little more than that - mentions.

    Any SW fan who was around at the time of the OT knew there were meant to be 9 episodes, but what were the powers that be meant to say?


    TOSCHESTATION Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 17, 2003
  22. zombie

    zombie Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 4, 1999
    That's very true, but he still left himself the option open as a curiosity. The prequels were the same way--in 1983 he didn't want to ever make a Star Wars film again, yet at the same time he was definitely making preliminary plans to make more; in the back of his mind he really did want to, it just wasn't practical. The ST was always something he would have liked to have done, but when one factors in the emotional and physical struggle needed to bring it to life it wasn't something he was that invested in.
  23. hoogle

    hoogle Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 25, 2004
    This is what i'd do if i was George here!

    1) Double team the Executive Producer and general overview with Steven Speilberg since they work well together and have a long history with Indy etc

    2) Write the story himself and get scrip writers to script it up with him being able to apply edits here and there.

    3) A) Hire Andy & Larry Wachowski to direct one episode ( they made the Matrix Trilogy)Perhaps the first
    episode of the final trilogy.
    B) Hire David Twothy to direct the second/middle episode of the trilogy ( he has done the two Riddick
    films as well as an earlier film that's really good called 'The Arrival'.
    C) Hire Andrew Adamson to direct the final and third film of the trilogy. ( he did the first two Narnia

    All Three of these directors are very talented, have worked well with major special effect productions in imaginative fantasy worlds, while being relatively un-homogenised and edgy in films that have balanced the act of being main-stream yet not pandering to it.

    I would go for the Wachowski's first, they would start things of with a zip, bit like how the original matrix did without giving too much away. Then Twohy to take up the second, Chronicles of Riddick is an under rated film with good choices of supporting players and a well captured sci-fi setting. The invasion of the planet is quite spectacular.
    Then Andrew Adamson helm the third, he has great technical know how but also the soft-touch and would deliver a well judged emotional end to the whole ?journals of the whills?

    You heard it here first?.
  24. TheLateAdmiralPiett

    TheLateAdmiralPiett Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 1, 2004
    Speilberg is the only one Lucas would trust with the sequel trilogy if he ever lets it be done, especially if they're done after Lucas is dead.

    By the time Lucas is dead though, Speilberg won't be far behind, if he doesn't die first for that matter.
  25. halibut

    halibut Ex-Mod star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 27, 2000
    I can't imagine anything more horrifying. Except maybe the Farrelly brothers