BTS When Did Lucas Envision What the "Clone Wars" Was?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by SlashMan, Aug 2, 2013.

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  1. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 5, 2012
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    It would seem that the line about the Clone Wars in A New Hope was just a a throwaway line to demonstrate how Obi-Wan was involved in a major event in galactic history. But supplemental sources from around the time A New Hope was released have actually stated that Stormtroopers were clones.

    Could it be that Lucas knew more than we thought about the Clone Wars back in 1977?
  2. darklordoftech Force Ghost

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    Sep 30, 2012
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    Definitely, although the bashers won't tell you this.
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  3. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

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    Supplemental sources also said that the Clone Wars were about the Jedi fighting and defeating the Mandalorians so who even knows. It seems like a safe bet that he wouldn't have called it the "Clone Wars" if he'd known it was just going to be a single war and that droids would be just as involved as clones, though.
  4. darklordoftech Force Ghost

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    Those supplemental sources weren't written by GL himself and the plural wars might include the Galactic Civil War.
  5. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 18, 2012
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    Well... I suppose it depends upon what you mean by "more than we thought". Are you suggesting that he knew about Count Dooku, for example? Or the Trade Federation? The Separatists? That the clone army was part of a Sith plot orchestrated by Palpatine?

    Well...let's see. Palpatine wasn't named even at the time of ANH. He wasn't a Sith Lord (neither, at that point, was Darth Vader) but rather - according to the novel - more of an ambitious politician who had become simply the mouthpiece for the governors and moffs vying for power. Dooku, a fallen Jedi, another Sith Lord? You'd think Old Ben might have remembered that when he castigated himself for not being able to teach a young Jedi as well as Yoda could...

    So, all that we can really suggest he may have 'known' might be that the war involved clones (I think most of us might have figured that one) and that the stormtroopers might be in some way related to them. Given that the Empire now commands the galaxy, the clone wars might still have pitted the clones (now Imperial Stormtroopers) against the Republic.
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  6. darklordoftech Force Ghost

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    Sep 30, 2012
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    He knew that the stormies were clones, and the ANH novel might have been trying to justify Palpatine's non-appearance in the movie.
  7. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

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    Jun 16, 2007
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    Well, Palpatine's name and Vader's status as a Sith Lord were both mentioned in the 1976 novelization. It's the movies themselves that neither ever appeared in.

    I assume the origins of both the stormtroopers and Boba Fett's armor come from Lucas's background notes.

    Idk what this means.
  8. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    In the rough (?) draft of ESB, Lando is actually Lando Kadar, a clone from an extended family composed entirely of clones. His grandfather couldn't conceive children, but could pass on his family line through cloning. Their planet was ravaged by the Clone Wars, which (if I recall) may have included warfare between countries on the planet. This also, again if I remember correctly, is not something from Brackett but is from Lucas himself.

    So I think the answer is, when he first wrote a mention of "the Clone Wars" he probably was thinking about some event that would be the narrative equivalent of the Butlerian Jihad from Dune. He probably had some general ideas - else he'd not have called it the CLONE wars (obviously it involved clones in some capacity). But the details of what it meant seem to have been come up with sometime between the production of ESB and AOTC. That's a huge window, and just for myself I suspect many of the details were invented or reinvented for AOTC itself. But we don't really know... I don't think.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Aug 2, 2013
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  9. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 5, 2012
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    This is interesting, because then the importance of the Fetts comes into play. It seems that Lucas always tries to incorporate older ideas into his works, trying to implement them in a cohesive manner.

    The Jedi vs. Mandalorians seems to have been reworked to a great degree into Order 66. Though the Mandalorians' place in the Clone Wars themselves is not omitted with the fact that Jango himself was the template for the clone army. The well-known "Supertrooper" backstory to Boba was eventually revisited once it was decided that the Mandalorian armor was the basis for the clones (later Stormtroopers).

    Lucas has lots of different scenarios to how portions of the saga play out; just look at the many drafts of A New Hope. I believe that he simply took many of the best ideas from these different outlines and compiled them into the final product.
  10. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Some discussion about this topic from 2010:

    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/lando-kadar-and-the-clone-clans-king.30813951/

    My own theory (as stated in that thread) is that in 1977 the Clone Wars were little more than a sci-fi sounding name, and GL hadn't thought much about the details at all. IMHO, they were probably meant to have occurred considerably earlier in the narrative than they eventually did, perhaps having been over at the time of Episode I, or just winding up (much as they were in ROTS, but at the start of the PT).

    Exactly. In early drafts of SW, the conflict which led to the fall of the Jedi and the establishment of the evil Empire was referred to as "the Jedi Rebellion of '06", and doesn't appear to be associated with the Clone Wars at all. It seems that GL decided to combine these two conflicts into one when he actually wrote the PT proper in the 1990s.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Aug 3, 2013
  11. Darth Eddie Jedi Grand Master

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    May 14, 2013
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    Well all in all I'd say the Clone Wars turned out pretty rad. The notion of clones versus robots is a fairly powerful one if you think about it.

    The Clone Wars have really defined the last decade in Star Wars, hasn't it? Although GL wasn't conceiving of specific visions of who battled who and why during the Clone Wars in '77, I'm sure he let his imagination to run wild in that direction without even writing it down.

    Never underestimate that which is not written down.
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  12. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    You can sort of see what eventually became the Clone Wars in the ANH novel, IMO-the description of how Palpatine was helped by the 'organs of commerce' in becoming the Emperor is obviously the center of what happened, although I can't say when that notion and Jedi vs. Mandalorians became unified. They're both from fairly early on, though.

    There's also a very strong description of a Sep movement in the 1990s Rogue Squadron books and that Palpatine painted the Jedi as in league with them in the same books; barring sheer magical coincidence that particular portion of ROTS has been around quite a while.
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  13. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Except for the Faustian Bargain for Padme angle of ROTS, much of ROTS does seem to be pretty old. The Clone Wars might have ended earlier in the story in the 70s/80s version(s), but in reading through Lucas's notes from Making of SW, etc, one is really struck by how consistent that aspect of the story stayed.

    Oh... I just remembered that he dropped in a midichlorian mention as the book was being written, inserted into supposedly older material, with no note. However, I don't think the political stuff was a later insert. Even the prologue to the ANH novelization is pretty close to ROTS. That really does seem to be a core part of the backstory from very early on.
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  14. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 18, 2012
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    Okay, let's face head on what is actually being asked. It seems to me that the OP might be suggesting that the Clone Wars, as it became fully formed (in AOTC) was already in the mind of Lucas (ie, as part of a fully formed and pre-existing saga outline). This may or may not have been the intention of the OP but...this is part of an ongoing discussion.

    I think there may be some... confusion as to what, actually, those of who doubt the idea of a pre-existing saga at the time of ANH (particularly in the form it was finally realised) are actually arguing. Nobody is arguing that the ideas were not Lucas'. That's a starting point (though all ideas are derivative and, being a fan of Campbell's - and of Flash Gordon, Dune etc. etc., Lucas is acutely aware of that aspect). I don't think many people argue that the majority of the ideas are not to be found in rough draft, pre-ANH or ANH era material. Clones, Sith etc. are all there prior to, or contemporary with ANH.

    The thing about creating a story is... is not about having ideas, but about resolving which of those ideas are what the story is about. As you write a story there is a temptation to let every wild idea you have implant itself into that story. The real secret of good story-telling is resolving what the story is, ultimately about; about recognising the themes, characters and events so that they are focused. That way you draw people into the story.

    When making ANH he resolved which elements he had been playing with were relevant to that story and the result was the masterpiece originally known as Star Wars. Any problems I have with the directions that have been taken since are not that Lucas never had the ideas in his mind, in one form or another, but rather with how those elements originally pared away, and then re-introduced in later movies, fit in with the themes already existent.

    The introduction of Vader as father has clear trajection from pre-ANH material, but it was pared away and re-introduced, and so altered the story. It is not a continuation of, but instead a shifting of themes. The idea of the story arc being that of the 'tragedy of Anakin Skywalker' is a shifting of themes, and that results in a revision of the other movies with regard to those themes if the series is to be seen as a self-contained and complete saga.

    Most of the time a full work has gone through the process of shifting themes, re-focussing etc., byt the time we see it and so the end result is a thematically consistent whole. With the Star Wars saga the themes have been changed while we have been watching. The whole process has gone on in front of an audience. The problem with that is, while a pre-public work can be altered (by going back and re-focussing the scenes/chapters etc. to fit the thematic of the whole, as it has evolved) the Star Wars movies are already in the public view.

    In short, no-one is saying that Lucas never had any of these ideas knocking around in his head. There is a difference between having ideas and having a whole storyline worked out.
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  15. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

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    Jun 16, 2007
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    Probably because he wanted it to involve clones in some capacity.
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  16. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 29, 2000
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    And 'clone wars' in general is just an awesome name..it could be a war on a planet full of clones (possibly Lando's home in the older TESB drafts), or a war where clones tried to conquer the Republic (Thrawn Trilogy), or a war where clones fought the private armies of massive commercial concerns (as it is now). And those are just off the top of my head.
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