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.

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  1. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Hmm...

    IIRC, 'Granicus' & a 'sea planet' were mentioned in Rinzler's Making of ESB. I think Hoth might have originally been a name for Bespin, too. I'll have crack at the page using Photoshop tomorrow & see if I can decipher anything else.

    Interesting that he carries on grouping eps 6-8 as 'Star Wars Trilogy (es)', but doesn't group the further episodes. I suppose it implies that there would be another 'Star Wars Trilogy', but maybe he hadn't settled on exactly which episodes? Maybe Episode 12 - the 'conclusion' - as a standalone film somehow?

    What the new page does confirm is that the one we saw in Rinzler's Making of ESB was part of the 12-film plan (rather than a longer or shorter one). I'm inclined to believe that this is GL's first real attempt at planning just what those 12 films would be about, and most likely that attaching a figure of 12 was originally somewhat arbitrary.
    It's also possible that he never intended for there to be only one prequel film as a part of this plan (the 'Young Ben Kenobi' adventure), apart from his 1975 '3 episodes plus one' plan. Or, rather, that once he sat down & started filling in these 12 episodes, he realised the backstory could & should be expanded, simply for story material.

    Still not sure if this is pre-Father Vader or not. Something about there being a 'Clone Wars Trilogy' plus an 'Epilogue' suggests to me that it's before the Father Vader storyline was settled upon. That's just my own opinion, though.
    No info in the Episode 7 slot (i.e. ESB), also suggests it's before GL had even finished his first outline, but not necessarily.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Nov 1, 2012
  2. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Just checked Rinzler's Making of ESB, that page with planets appears to have been quoted in its entirety anyway:
    (I've mentioned it before, but 'Kazzook' was actually the name used for the Wookiee planet in the Holiday Special)

    Other than a couple of names that haven't been ever been used, there's not really anything there we haven't seen in the six films already made. Almost all the names were changed, but they're all a straight match for:
    Kashyyyk
    Bespin
    Hoth
    Kamino
    Geonosis
    Naboo
    Coruscant
    Naboo again
    Dagobah
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Nov 2, 2012
  3. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    @Darth_Nub

    What I meant was that depending on how each planet was described, we might be able to tell something about the dates for the outline. In the story treatment by Lucas dated November 28, 1977, Hoth is the ice planet. If my attempt to read through that other page is correct, Hoth at that time was a possible name for the gas planet - meaning these notes probably predate the treatment (and most likely the story conferences too).

    Also, while looking at MoESB myself, I noticed that another page presented in it (p. 7) is slightly transparent; it appears to be on the sheet before the first page of the outline. This is important because this page is pretty clearly related to plotting ESB (putting a limit on its age). This page also says:

    Obviously this would also fit with a very early (mid to late 1977) date for the entire notepad. (It does look like it's all bound together and is not a collection of loose notes simply stacked, I think.)



    Completely unrelated, in your list of planets you give Naboo two spots... one of which is "grass planet." I'm unsure how much design work was done on any film for Alderaan, but there are several McQuarrie paintings of its meadows and prairies. Some of these may have been commissioned for The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, but not all of them could have been (there are too many and his style changed over time and depending on the project). This isn't an important point at all, I just like those paintings, and consequently, Alderaan will always be the grass planet to me. Naboo can seem like some weird impostor.

    [IMG]
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Nov 2, 2012
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  4. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    I'm not too sure about that - I've checked the Brackett draft (Feb 1978), & it seems to match the note pages, for the most part:

    - Ice Planet - unnamed
    - City Planet - Ton Muund
    - Bog Planet - unnamed
    - Gas Planet - Hoth
    - Garden Planet - Besspin-Kaalida.

    The obvious discrepancy is Hoth. Very possible they were going back & forth, but what it suggests is that the notes could have been done after the Lucas treatment of November 1977, or even after the Brackett draft. The lack of any name in the Brackett draft for the Bog Planet suggests to me that the notes were made after Feb 1978.

    Of course, the various pages could have been done at very separate times, as GL was very particular about the types of paper & pencils he used, so they'd fit together well enough. I'd still place the list of planets at around or after the time of the Brackett draft, and given the proximity of the episode list in the notepad to it (right before), I think it's safe to say it was done about the same time.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Nov 2, 2012
  5. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    The Lucas treatment is pictured on page 26, and it opens "on the bleak white planet of Hoth" with Luke riding a snow lizard. Also, the notes on how the story should progress (the ones on page 7) are very very basic - like Lucas was just starting to figure out the direction of the story.

    I dunno, it reads to me like it could be at the very start of his thought process?

    Also... on second thought, the way the pages are dogeared, it looks like they might be stapled or clipped together. So all of this guessing-depending-on-what's-next-to-what may turn out to be useless, haha.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Nov 2, 2012
  6. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Careful with how you read anything in Rinzler - it's all undated, & where something appears in his book doesn't necessarily mean it's when it occurred related to other such notes. It's one of the first things that struck me when I read it. I'll have to take a closer look.
    Main point being - the ice planet is called Hoth in GL's November 1977 treatment, but the name is attributed to the gas planet in Brackett's February 1978 draft, which would place the planetary notes as almost definitely having been made after GL's treatment, as the rest of Brackett's planets match what's in the notes (apart from Dagobah).
    Hard to say when the episode list was made, but I'd say around February 1978 - with the backstory being extended to a whopping five episodes, I'd even say March - after he'd read Brackett's draft and went back to the drawing board.

    Regarding the McQuarrie Alderaan paintings, that also occurred to me, but I've got a feeling he might have based them loosely on some work he did for an unproduced sci-fi film called 'Star Dancing', prior to SW, which led to him meeting GL in the first place:

    [IMG]
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  7. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    That painting above was for the ROTJ development. There are other early-80's Joe Johnston illustrations as well showing this.
  8. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Timothy Zahn has weighed in on the upcoming ST, and there's this little tidbit:

    http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/11/02/star-wars-sequels-timothy-zahn/

    I'm going to take it with a grain of salt (Zahn himself does qualify his recollection with "as I understood it"). I doubt GL told him much at all, & he could have interpreted 'generations' to specifically refer to the Skywalker family, when it mightn't necessarily have been the case. It also would have been something GL mentioned around 1990, when the 'reunion' vision of the ST was pretty much all that remained as something that could ever be done if anyone could be bothered (& probably wouldn't).

    It's a perfectly logical interpretation, of course, I'm just not sure GL ever intended for Luke to have any children, I could see him becoming more of a Ben Kenobi-type recluse by the time of the ST. Just as audiences had witnessed the PT, I imagine the intention would be that we would meet up with Luke again after he had also spent the intervening years discovering & coming to terms with the specifics of his dark heritage.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Nov 3, 2012
  9. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    From what I've heard from and about Zahn, I don't think he ever talked directly with Lucas. I could be wrong. (Perhaps one of us could ask him about it; he seems amenable to discussion usually.) But it seems like he's likely extrapolating from the same quotes we are familiar with - the ones about 'passing on what you have learned,' the bit in the intro to Splinter of the Mind's Eye about the "saga of the Skywalkers" taking three trilogies to tell, etc. His statement could be interpreted as implying inside information, but I doubt that was his intent.

    He might even be considering quotes we've gone over and usually attribute less weight to, like statements from Gary Kurtz or Mark Hamill. Or perhaps the licensing people passed on their understanding of what the ST would have been. Or maybe the author of the article just added the "he was briefed" line because that's their interpolation of what 'must' underlie Zahn's words, even if in reality he is just speculating from the above-mentioned quotes.

    What planet would it have been for? The Sanctuary Moon? (I need to get The Art of ROTJ. It's the last one I don't have.)
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Nov 3, 2012
  10. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    I think you're right, I do seem to recall something about Zahn never meeting GL, the IV doesn't actually say he did anyway ("he was briefed on Lucas' plans for sequels"). Even so, he did have close dealings with LFL, he's probably extrapolating from what they were telling him about the limitations of what his stories could deal with.

    Unlike Hamill & Kurtz, he doesn't seem to be presenting some massive slice of inside information, just giving his own impressions of what little he can recall (as that's obviously what he was being asked for the interview).
  11. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Also Nub that's a good connection between Star Dancing and the grass planet images. Have you ever seen any details on that film, or much more McQuarrie art from it? I don't think I could ever find much, which was always disappointing...
  12. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Next to nothing, I just recalled the picture & looked for it last night. This site has a bit more artwork, but it looks like it's been sort of abandoned & the thumbnails don't seem to work:

    http://www.ralphmcquarrie.com/gallery_1/films/star_dancing/index.html

    Other than that, just this from Hal Barwood's Wiki entry:

    (Hal Barwood & Matthew Robbins were close friends of GL back in the 1970s, part of the original circle which included the likes of Francis Coppola, Steven Spielberg & Brian De Palma)
  13. Krueger Force Ghost

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    I don't know if this has been posted, but I've never seen it before. Hamill (from 1983) talks briefly about another film in "2004" involving Luke. He confirms that R2 and 3PO will be the only characters to appear in all three trilogies. He describes his role as being in "another plane of existence", whatever that means. Anyway, jump to 3.06 for that part. It’s interesting, nonetheless:

    Last edited by Krueger, Nov 3, 2012
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  14. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    :eek:
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  15. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Not sure but the mounds planet has some art in the RotJ book by both Johnston and McQuarrie. They also did some of the airship concepts.
  16. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    The original plan in ROTJ was for the Rebels' strategy conference (held on a fleet flagship in the movie) to be on a grass planet, and more specifically in some sort of organic hive-like city structure that served as a Rebel base. This idea only appears in the rough draft of ROTJ--it was phased out by the revised rough draft. The name of the planet, per Annotated Screenplays, was to be Sicemon, located in the Sice system.

    There were also plans for Sicemon to be the home of giant flying winged creatures, which were used as a means of transport. (This idea came from the unused Bespin "air whales" of ESB.)
    Last edited by ATMachine, Nov 3, 2012
  17. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Yeah, that's come up before (page 5 of this thread). Typical Mark Hamill babble, similar to his quotes in Rinzler's Making of ESB (page 4 of this thread). He just interpreted GL's comments about the ST & the tangential stories being 'ethereal', 'out there' and 'odd' to refer to the content of the stories, rather than what GL actually meant - that they were still just vague, undeveloped ideas in his mind (Eps VII-IX), or standalone films that don't fit in with the rest of the SW Saga (Wookiee film, Droid film).

    GL had no intention of later SW films being along the lines of The Matrix, Inception or whatever. Old Luke Mark could still have gotten one thing right - I wouldn't be surprised if he appears in the new films as a Force Ghost - but it's unlikely that was the intention back then.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Nov 4, 2012
  18. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Only semi-related, but because we've discussed the (apparently) 1978 potential outline concept here - I've seen multiple people online talking about the Sequels, and then (presumably because they saw those two pages on Rinzler's blog) making fun of Lucas for saying he had plans when he 'only had that sheet.' We, of course, suspect that page probably lasted for, like, a day. And whatever Lucas had in mind for the Sequels over all thirty-plus years, it was probably more than that outline (which might just be something he was brainstorming about one afternoon). It's frustrating.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Nov 18, 2012
  19. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

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    Well, this is a fun read. One post stands out to me:


    =D=

    [face_laugh]
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  20. DARTH_BELO Force Ghost

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    WELL......I don't even remember posting that...[face_thinking] Aside from the joking and laughing, I must say:

    I have NEVER been so glad to be SO wrong!!!!!!! [face_dancing]

    One thing is for sure though, I was NOT by any means the only fan that thought this way at that time...There were several such posts over time... (And after having that mindset for years, imagine my excitement after hearing about all this! [face_hypnotized] )

    Although it IS creepy how some of what I said there seems like that's pretty much what is likely happening. Although, in my defense-I WAS right about GL not doing it. He even announced his "retirement" not long after I said this. It was unpredictable at the time that Lucasfilm would be sold to the movie-churning machine that is Disney, which is specifically what is making this possible.

    Although I must say-you are quite thorough to be able to dig up this 2 year-old post, from way back in a sea of posts-going back to 2010. I applaude your tenacity! ;)
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  21. darklordoftech Force Ghost

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    Does anyone know why what was supposed to be Episodes VI-IX became just Episode VI?
    Last edited by darklordoftech, Dec 30, 2012
  22. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    I'd say it was a joining of three things: George was exhausted was the primary reason. ANH and TESB were not smooth productions at all and he'd just gone through a fairly ugly divorce. Another part is that there may not have been much story to convert into another trilogy. Off the top of my head, the only things I can remember is "Luke's sister" and the Emperor being defeated. You don't really need another three films to cover those two things.

    Finally-LFL and its subsidiaries at the time were pretty financially sound by that point between Raiders/SFX for a large number of other films/the success of Star Wars merchandising. They didn't need to do another three films to make sure they weren't going to go broke. These three things pretty well came together and squished the sequels flat.
  23. darklordoftech Force Ghost

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    Because Palpatine was always meant to live until the end of the saga, him getting killed off 2/3 into the saga will always piss me off (unless the ST thinks of a good justification).
  24. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Who says he's not coming back? [face_whistling] :p
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  25. darklordoftech Force Ghost

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    Yay! So glad to meet someone else who isn't anti-ressurection. I didn't mention him coming back because I didn't think anyone would take me seriously if I did.
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