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. Danaan Jedi Master

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    how about the Coen brothers [face_laugh]
  2. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Found an interesting tidbit that got me thinking in the Lucas Quotes thread:

    Taken from a Q&A session conducted by Leonard Maltin in 1997

    "How much has the prequel story changed since you wrote the original treatment in the 1970's?" Todd--San Rafael, CA
    "Back when I was writing Star Wars in 1974. I didn't really flesh out the storyline of the first three episodes. I had a rough of idea of what happened and who the major character were, but I didn't include a scene-by-scene scenario of what happened in my treatment. That is what made writing the script in 1995 and 1996 more difficult because I had to go back to my sparse treatment of the prequel and greatly flesh it out. Some old ideas that really didn't work anymore were thrown out. And I added a great deal of ideas that have developed in my mind over the years to the script. Over the past 15 years since the release of Jedi, I have been jotting down neat ideas I've come up with in one of my spiral notebooks. I took all the new ideas and the old ones from my original treatment and came up with a character-driven adventure."


    I'm guessing some of these old ideas may well have related to the nine-film trilogy of trilogies that he'd chosen to abandon in favour of the six-film narrative following the rise, fall & redemption of Anakin Skywalker.

    Although they were set roughly 20-30 years apart, a great deal of the setup for the Sequel Trilogy would have had to have been done in the PT - after all, Episode VII would have been coming after Episode III, & in theory, it was the prequels which would be fresh in the minds of the public, not the OT. As such, what was being dealt with in the ST would have to follow on from the events of the PT.

    "...if we are ever able to link togther all three, you'd find the story progresses in a very logical fashion."

    - George Lucas to Alan Arnold, 1979, Once Upon A Galaxy

    For starters, it's been established that the ST would deal with the rebuilding of the Republic - something we never saw in the OT, but we did in the PT. The Republic fell due to internal factors rather than external ones, presumably the ST would cover the struggle to prevent it happening again.
    There's also the obvious theme of the "sins of the father", sins we've just witnessed, & how Luke, presumably, would be dealing with the burden.

    But what else? What did we see in the PT that could possibly be setup for the ST, & what didn't make it through that could have done so?

    Food for thought...
  3. hoogle Jedi Knight

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    I think the direction of the third trilogy could be about creating a republic/democracy of the force as opposed to politics and what this means in relation to the prequel era, the OT era and both the dark and light side of the force, pertaining to the Jedi and the Sith in particular.

    For starters it would have to use some kind of mechanism as metaphor in this regard, for it?s obviously a very touchy subject in a very politically run world

    A few seeds of the bat that could be are there in the two trilogys that could be elaborated on in the last trilogy.

    1)Anakin has the highest midi-chlorean count in history but he eventually still doesn?t have much of a direct connection to the living force as the first two trilogies showed.

    2) The Jedi in the prequel trilogy, have set themselves up as the keepers of the peace in the republic, this is related to their supposition that because they have force powers due to midi-cholrean biology, that the best way for the republic to exist is for it to be dependant on their powers in maintaining and keeping peace. The Republic lived or died on the Jedi?s ability here.

    3) In Contrast to this we see it is Padme in AOTC who suspects Dooku from the start.

    4) In TPM Qui-Gon instructs that the Jedi can?t use their powers to directly help.

    5) The Ewoks are what enables the DS to be destroyed in ROTJ. It is not force powers that turns Vader Sith back to Young Anakin Jedi in spirit.

    6) The workings behind the force ghosts could be elaborated on as part of under-pinings that go on to be resolved in the last trilogy as the natural basis for the type of democracy that rebuilds the new republic.

    7)Luke having to dis-cover in the process of the new republic that it is in the distinction of the development of the midi-chlorean force users from the over-all force that gives the sith, not their power, but the in-balance that serves this power.

    8) Ultimately the last trilogy is used to show it is not the ability to manipulate the force that is the basis for the new democracy of the republic, it is in the under-pinnings of what creates the force ghosts that comes about being achieved as the new republic of the force is created. This ends up taking away the pre-eminence of the Jedi and the Sith, for while they maintain their powers, the governing principles of the new democracy relating to the meaning of the force ghosts, amplifies as the republic spreads the force above the midi-cholrean based light and dark sides.

    9) The essence of the new democracy of the republic creates mirrors that separates the different agendas of the competing ambitions in the new republic through default to the tele-kensis collective abilities that is behind the manifestations of the force ghosts. While this draws the corrupt and valiant to the new republic alike, when amplified as the new democracy, the different dimensions of reality attained it is found, while they have to be achieved, once attained they can not be falsely taken without the dimensions of the force ghosts implementing the new democracy of the republic in fail-safe mode.

    This new republic, with it?s non midi-cholrean based over riding force democracy of different dimensions, tests both friendships and definitions of Jedi & Sith, as temptations are brought abut for the Sith and Jedi users resisting the greater governing contexts of the force in relation to their shard mid-cholrean pre-eminence of old.

    10) A lot of the conflict in this last trilogy is psychological as the different dimensions of the force ghost based democracy slowly renders the reach of both massive space weapon based conflict and one on one conflict purely on the psychological grounds as no political advantages are able to artificially manufactured as the power of the new republic begins to spread through out the galaxy.


    Well, that?s just one direction that could be elaborated on in the last trilogy which I think would be really interesting and not out of touch with what has come before.
  4. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Based on the prequels we got, with their depiction of the jedi in the waning days of the republic, and the ineffective senate, there are a ton of things that could be developed for a backdrop to the sequels and even some core story ideas.
  5. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    What I find fascinating about the quote, & maybe it's just me, is that it hints at a PT that was different to the one we got. Of course there would be ideas that would be rejected, but it's something about the wording that points to more essential elements.

    I'm speculating, but I think that things were thrown out because they had to be thrown out, not because GL just didn't like them. Some of these would have been ditched because of developments in ROTJ - the specific naming of Leia as 'the Other' being the most obvious - but I do believe his decision to abandon the ST had massive implications on how any further episodes could be made, & I do believe he did abandon it while developing the prequels, despite vague mumblings from himself & others as late as 1999.

    Again, the 9 film plan was something that would have all the films being released every three years, not one trilogy following the next 16 years later - the ST would have come directly after the PT, just as ROTJ followed ESB.
    After the revelations & developments of ROTJ, the prequel trilogy would have been something the public was well & truly ready for in 1986 - who was Anakin Skywalker? Why did he become Darth Vader? How did an evil, deformed old man take over the galaxy? Who was Luke & Leia's mother? I know these were questions I was asking in 1983, & continued to ponder for 16 years.

    The Sequel Trilogy, however, was originally conceived to follow Episode III, by which time we'd have been treated to the story of how the Republic had fallen, the Jedi had been all but wiped out, & a noble hero had been reduced to a half-man, half-machine, asthmatic monster. Just how it could possibly engage an audience is not as obvious as it might seem, if, as GL put it, "the story progresses in a very logical fashion".

    If the ST was ever a serious consideration, there would have had to be some sort of hook in the PT for the public to want to see more. The PT as we've seen it does tie everything up, it makes a point of coming full circle.
  6. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Good post.

    I'm almost certain that designs and just the overall character types were probably used by Lucas based on things he originally wanted to use for the ST.

    He even admitted himself that he didn't really have much of an idea of what to make episodes one and two about as he started. So he likely threw alot of stuff away ad started over, with the exception of some basic story points and characters.

    As we know, Lucas never lets what he thinks is a good plot point or character name or type go unused.

  7. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Something else that occurred to me - I think it's important to view the Sequel Trilogy in the context of a 'trilogy of trilogies', i.e. three connected, but separate, narrative arcs, & not simply as Episodes VII-IX of the nine-part Star wars Saga.

    When GL first came up with the very concept of a prequel trilogy, it's pretty clear that Obi-Wan Kenobi was intended to be the main character, not Anakin Skywalker - his comments always refer to Ben Kenobi primarily. Anakin & his story were crucial to it, but in terms of how the story was presented, it would have been very much from Obi-Wan's point of view. Most likely Anakin would not have been investigated as deeply as a character, his fall would have occurred due to a simpler lust for power, not because of a difficult moral struggle & inability to let go of things.

    Early comments from GL imply that it was Anakin assassinating Jedi Knights one by one in secret, & Obi-Wan would investigate the killings, only to discover that it was his apprentice all along (who, perhaps, had disappeared) - the Duel would occur, & the rest is history. What this indicates is that Anakin's involvement with Palpatine &/or the Sith would have occurred somewhat earlier, & it's unlikely the story would have followed the same tragic struggle as he descends to the Dark Side as we eventually saw.

    The earlier draft of ROTJ in which Vader drags the Emperor into lava, & Luke says to the ghost of Obi-Wan, "He turned good, didn't he?", to which Obi-Wan simply replies "Yes, he did" - no unmasking, no apparition of Anakin at the end - also suggests that the character of Anakin Skywalker was not meant to be as important as an actual person in the PT, & that this Obi-Wan focused view of the PT still existed in GL's mind as late as the development of ROTJ.
    However, once Anakin was given greater depth in ROTJ - most notably by actually being unmasked - we can see the earliest indication that the PT would focus on him instead, & in turn, the birth of the six episode structure, in which Anakin's story would continue across the saga as a whole.

    How does this relate to the Sequel Trilogy? Just in the sense that if it's acknowledged that the PT was once its own separate story with a different focus, not parts 1-3 of a six part story as it's meant to be considered now, it's easier to see how a trilogy could follow the 'climactic' events of ROTJ, not simply be some anti-climactic add-on.
    Although the ST would have followed the previous six episodes chronologically, & would have related directly to what had happened previously, it did not have to be as intertwined with them as the PT & OT have turned out to be. It could (& probably would) have followed a character who didn't have to be a Skywalker. A Force user, most likely, but not even necessarily a Jedi.
  8. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Where did you get the information about Anakin secretly killing Jedi behind Obi-Wan's back? This is definitely rather more similar to what I expected to see in the prequels, but isn't directly implied by anything in the films, so I'm not sure how I got that impression.
  9. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    In one of those SW Insider interviews with Hamill I took some quotes from, he says at one point how he would tell fans each trilogy had it's own set of new characters when they would ask him when he would return for more SW.

    So your conjecture might not be far off at all.
  10. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Not surprisingly, I originally found it in The Secret History Of Star Wars. It's from a private conversation GL had in 1977, recounted in Rinzler's 'Making Of Star Wars':

    "When the Jedi restored order, Darth Vader was still one of the Jedi. What he would do is catch the Jedi off-guard and, using his knowledge of the Force, he would kill the Jedi without them realising what was happening. They trusted him and they didn't realise he was the murderer who was decimating their ranks."

    Now, bear in mind, this is referring specifically to Vader's backstory, not Anakin's, at a time when the two were separate characters. In fact, the quote goes on to mention Luke's father:

    "...The Jedi were so outnumbered that they fled and were tracked down. The tried to regroup, but they were eventually massacred by one of the special elite forces led by Darth Vader. Eventually, only a few, including Ben and Luke's father, were left. Luke's father is named Annikin."

    However, although the two characters were separate, I think it's fair to assume that when Vader and Annikin were merged, this backstory of Vader's relating to the murder of the Jedi remained relatively intact. Later quotes regarding the Jedi purge make mention of the Jedi being lured into a trap, not unlike what ended up in ROTS, but they're not contradictory with this secret assassination concept, even though, ultimately, it did not survive.

    As far as Obi-Wan investigating the murders - that's a piece of conjecture on my part, partly derived from what few mentions there are in ROTJ about him tracking down Anakin/Vader & confronting him, and also from Obi-Wan's own investigation sub-plot in AOTC, which, I believe, may have had its genesis in this more cloak-and-dagger version of the Jedi's extermination.

    There's also some comments from GL in 1981 to Starlog about the prequels that seem to reinforce this view of the prequels:

    "The other ones (the prequels) are a little more Machiavellian - it's all plotting - more of a mystery."
  11. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I figured it had to be an old quote, as it did sound rather Vader-like. I wonder why he threw out that idea and developed the prequels as he did... increased sympathy for Anakin, as he became the main character? The OT makes it seem like a multiple-personality issue almost (Anakin dies when Vader appears, etc) - which would have made an interesting (though perhaps not very swashbuckling-serial-style) way to portray Anakin's fall.
  12. ZEM Jedi Knight

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    As interesting as it all is, in short, I'm glad that there isn't a sequel trilogy. [face_plain]
  13. hoogle Jedi Knight

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    The third trilogy would have been the best of all three to me.

    Apart from the latest technological effects stuff, the story of piecing back the republic and how this relates to the force, Sith & Jedi and the previous two trilogies would have been double exciting.
  14. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Potentially yes. The thing great about it to me is it would be blue-sky.
  15. yankee8255 Force Ghost

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    Is there really a point to the third trilogy once the emperor is defeated in Episode 6? After the way ESB and ROTJ play out, it seems a third trilogy would have to go in the direction of Thrawn Trilogy (ie Rebels trying to rebuild the Republic, faced with resistance from remnants of the empire), which I'd rather they not do. Once the Emperor is defeated (who has been established as the ultimate bad guy), a final trilogy seems rather anti-climactic. That might make sense in the original, longer "serial" type concept Lucas (may have) had earlier on, but once you've gone with the "trilogy of trilogies" idea, seems the ultimate climax has to be defeating the emperor.

    For what it's worth, one memory I have from the early 80s on the subjectis that at some point I know there was discussion of the 3rd trlogy being significantly later and not having the OT characters as the central characters. There was specific mention of R2D2 and C3P0 being the only 2 characters to appear in all 9 films.
  16. Blur Force Ghost

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    Interesting thread. Well before the prequels came out (or the Special Editions), I remember a lot of fans were wondering about what any possible future SW films would be about.

    In fact, I specifically remember around 1988, I was reading a sci-fi magazine (can't remember which one) and there was a short interview with Lucas. One of the questions he was asked was why Luke Skywalker didn't get the girl in any of the three SW films - his reply was, and I quote, "You haven't seen the last three". So, I guess he may have been thinking about doing some sequels to ROTJ at that time.

    However, I believe that the post-ROTJ EU which started in 1991 with Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire & Dark Horse's Dark Empire, and which ballooned to comprise a huge number of books, comics, role-playing games, etc. by the late 1990's made any post-ROTJ adventures with Luke Skywalker & co. a moot point. By 1998/1999, if Lucas made a post ROTJ-film, almost anything that he did would almost certainly contradict some facet of the EU, which had already been well-established by that time.

    And the girl that Lucas referred to in that 1988 interview ended up being Mara Jade (by default).

  17. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    was that Lucas interview in Starlog?
  18. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Starlog, Issue 127, February 1988

    Starlog: Will you return to the Star Wars universe?

    Lucas: Hopefully, I will someday be doing the next three Star Wars, but I'm not sure when. The next three would take place 20 or 30 years before the three films they're celebrating here today. I'll do the first trilogy first. There are nine (films) floating around there somewhere. I'll guarantee that the first three are pretty much organised in my head, but the other three are kind of out there somewhere.

    Starlog: Why didn't you give Luke a girl?

    Lucas: You haven't seen the last three yet.


    (Taken from TSHOSW)

    Make of that what you will - I doubt very much that GL actually had any sort of romance for Luke thought out, more likely it was a case of, "Well, people seem to want it to happen, why not?"

    Even then, Eps VII-IX would have either been following another character altogether, or an aged cast - if the latter, would anyone want to see a romantic subplot involving sixty-year-olds?
    If the quote has any truth to it, it's possible the older Luke may have already been married or involved with someone when we first encounter him.
  19. DARTH_BELO Force Ghost

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    As much as I would LOVE to see Episodes VII-IX, I don't really think it would work, realistically...

    I mean, let's assume, JUST for an example, that they happen to begin work on it in 2 years, so 2012. Okay. That would mean Ep. VII would come out in 2015. Then with the usual 3 years in between episodes, we'll expect this will be a project lasting a whole decade! That means, Ep. IX would not be released until 2021...I mean, that's a LONG time, given the ages of Lucas and the "expected" cast!! Could that even work!? I mean, lucas would be over 80 by the time Ep. IX comes out!! And Mark Hammill? I can't see that working out...

    I would LOVE to see it happen though, don't get me wrong-but realistically thinking, I don't think it will be possible...:(
  20. hoogle Jedi Knight

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    I heard from a good source that the dark side of the force is a pathway to many gifts some consider un natural....still, would have been good to see, Hamil was a top actor and would nail Luke again over a trilogy i'm sure. The Redemption of Anakin is one thing, the redemption of what created Vader and the Empire is another.
  21. Blur Force Ghost

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    I completely agree that Episodes VII-IX wouldn't work in any way whatsoever.

    I will also add that I have 0 interest in seeing films taking place after ROTJ - not only for the reasons stated in the previous threads but, as I mentioned in my earlier post yesterday, the EU is very established at this point, and anything Lucas made would almost certainly contradict the numerous books/comics/games, etc. that are out there. Granted, I know some fans out there ignore the EU, but whether or not you like it, it is Lflm.-sanctioned, and as such it does have a certain amount of credibility (at least IMHO).

    Also, though some people may disagree with me on this, I'm not really interested in seeing an older Luke, Leia, Han, etc. in any more SW films. It would remind me too much of seeing those old geezers in the ST movies back in the late '80's and '90's.
  22. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Episodes VII-IX, at least, the original ones GL envisioned when he attached the 'Episode V' to ESB, will not be made.

    ROTJ & the PT, through changing the overall focus, incorporating elements that may have been destined for the later eps, & introducing new, contradictory ideas, have changed the vision of the Star Wars Saga enough that the original Sequel Trilogy doesn't really exist anymore.

    George Lucas has basically denied these later episodes never really existed to begin with, which simply isn't true, but it's clear that they've been literally written out of history. There will be further Star Wars features, even though some statements from GL deny there won't be, but they won't continue the same story as Episodes I-VI, & they definitely won't follow the storylines we're attempting to discover in this thread.

    FWIW, I'd love to see them, but I'd rather just read what was actually developed, as any attempt to make them would be so heavily modified to fit in with the existing six episodes that they wouldn't reflect the original vision.
    Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn likes this.
  23. hoogle Jedi Knight

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    I don't think the last trilogy would have been much modified to fit the first two trilogies. And it probably wouldn't be about the rebuilding of the republic.

    When it comes to the rebuilding of the republic the force is with the Jedi i think. It is when the republic reaches a certain power that the Sith seem to rise again. AS the in old Republic lore (like the massive on line game is showing) and was shown is the first trilogy, the Sith start to gain the upper hand. When the republic is being rebuilt, the force is with the Jedi side of the argument for a while, as the history leading to the first trilogy showed and we see in the second trilogy.

    The third trilogy would be about how the force ghost aspect of the force evolves the republic. In the first trilogy Qui-Gon is seen to be the most powerful Jedi force user by the end of it, for it is he that gives the surviving Jedi hope and that hope is played out in the second trilogy. It is really the dimension of the force ghost aspect that helps create Luke, and that the Sith don?t know about, and that is what Luke goes back to, beyond the Jedi force material skills in the redemption of Anakin and the destruction of the Emperor.

    It would be a logical transition for the force ghost aspect to be advanced upon up another notch in the last trilogy. I think it would go somewhat along the lines of Luke and the Jedi being faced with a similar situation to that of the Jedi in the prequel trilogy relating to the Sith and the dark side of the force when the republic has reached a certain size and power again, which this time has been achieved a lot quicker due to the consolidation that the Emperor had keep together out of the old republic into his Empire.

    The situation would be after great initial success in rebuilding the republic, it is starting to come apart at the seams again just as quickly, and the Jedi are finding themselves exactly in the same situation as the first trilogy and starting to commit the same errors, although this time it is worse cause it hasn?t even been built up over thousands of years like it had been in the first trilogy. Luke and the Jedi in their efforts would unlock a new aspect of the force ghost thing that enables a new understanding and utility of the force when certain power is reached, like that of the newly rebuilt republic.

    It would be something like what happened to both Luke and Anakin with their seeing the future and how this affects there actions. But this time it would more universally un locked in coming into play with non midi-chlorean life forms also. And because of the power attained in the New Republic, it would feature heavy in any of the nexus points relating to the governing of the republic in this certain power threshold. Essentially, these issues would play out in the netherworld of the force rather than the physical reality itself and with essentially the conceits of both the Jedi and Sith sides of the force equation being exhausted by this aspect of the force, thus playing out with the characters involved but not imposing on the natural flow of the force in the logistics of the new republic.

    The new republic would come to be known by the Sith and Jedi as playing out over this void of the netherworld of the Force or they would sense this, but recall of its trials would be limited for both Jedi and Sith and non midi-chlorean actors would have no recall although it would be just as prevalent in their individual actions when relating to being above the certain power threshold as achieved by the new republic in general. The last trilogy would have been more internal, meta-physical and mirror like in it?s emphasis out of the three. It would have been something similar to this or along these lines and quite consistent with the arc of the first two trilogies and over al
  24. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Yeah, well, The Clone Wars show is Lucasfilm sanctioned too and we both know that Lucas is steamrolling Mandalorian EU with it even as we speak.

    EU only means something until Lucas decides otherwise.
  25. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Not really. The show has been sufficiently vague such that it does not explicitly contradict most previous continuity, there are nods to previously existing Mandalorian content, and the director has apparently consulted with the writer of Open Seasons.