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Saga How Would You Write And Make - Return Of The Jedi

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Zara Solaris, Sep 11, 2022.

  1. Zara Solaris

    Zara Solaris Jedi Youngling

    Jul 12, 2022
    Greetings faithful Jedi Council Forum members, and welcome to the second edition of How I Would Write & Make, where I or any one of you takes a piece of popular culture (a film, television series, novel, video game or whatever) and imagine an alternate perfect universe in which the piece is still successful and or influential to the culture at large, but you list 26 total differences in which the new version would differ from the original and therefore appeal to you. Today, let us continue our reworking of the Original Trilogy by picking up from the previous film and continue with Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi - which so happens to be my personal favorite because its themes resonated with me more than the others.

    Where were you in 1980 when this film came out? What about the times you watched The Empire Strikes Back before the Special Editions in 1997 and onward while Star Trek took over in science fiction movie franchises? At first, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (20th Century Fox) distributed it, but with the sale of Lucasfilm and future Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies to Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (Walt Disney Pictures) in 2012, there was always the tiny feeling that Star Wars was sort of a Disney film waiting to become a Disney film. Lucas himself said Disney might have wanted to make it if Walt Disney himself were still alive, saying that Walt had vision and was not risk averse. Many would have called the Star Wars Trilogy "Disney's Folly 3.0" if that was to be the case.

    In this edition, we are going to take a look at an alternate universe in which Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi has a similar path in terms of development as well as certain author appeal elements that will make it enjoyable and hopefully others are eager to indulge in this and other concepts that would certainly change up the basic story but not too drastically. Reflecting how Disney owns Star Wars now yet and how Fox distributed then, this universe would have Disney and Fox both distributing this film on a $45,000,000.00 budget while pushing the boundaries of PG ratings close to R. Fox would have first retained North American distribution rights while Disney would have international distribution rights. Disney and Fox would have to make the case for a PG-13 rating.

    1) First off, the film would open with the 1985 Walt Disney Pictures logo before fading to black and hearing the 1953 Fox Fanfare with the CinemaScope extension by Alfred Newman over the contemporary Fox logo to see the Lucasfilm logo over the final extension of the fanfare so that it blends almost seamlessly into John Williams' brilliant score. The beginning of the film would play similarly to the version in our universe with the blue on black words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." leading into the opening crawl with "Star Wars" and "Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" anticipating the verbatim worded opening crawl from the original version that will lead off into us tilting down to Endor orbit. Unlike the film with the Star Destroyer Avenger, it would instead be the massive Star Dreadnought the Executor overhead.

    2) We would then see Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones)'s shuttle arriving from the Executor at the Death Star II to put the mighty battle station's construction back on schedule. He tells young Imperial Moffs Tiaan Jerjerrod (Michael Pennington) and the Force-sensitive Sate Pestage (Jeremy Bulloch) - the commanders of the Death Star II - that Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious himself is coming to oversee the final stages of the construction. It is clear from the outset that Pestage is a crimson Sith lightsaber-wielding Force user with plans to supplant Vader as Palpatine's apprentice. Jerjerrod tries to reassure Vader that the crews will double their efforts to get back on schedule. Vader goes to his meditation chamber and beckons for his son Luke Skywalker to join him on the Dark Side. Together, they can overthrow and destroy the Emperor and bring true peace to all the galaxy.

    3) Like with the film in our universe, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) would have set off for Jabba the Hutt's palace on Tatooine with a message and "gift" for Jabba and arrive. Unlike the completed film, the message R2 would show to Jabba (Larry Ward) would be of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) - both proclaiming themselves as Jedi Knights - and offering a bargain for the life of Han Solo while Leia states that her previous offer of valuable protection for Jabba's more ethical and safe ventures from the Empire by the Rebellion still stands. Curious about it and eager to test the young Jedis' mettle, Jabba refuses to exchange Solo back - for now, at least. The musical numbers played in the palace would be "Lapti Nek" (1983) followed by "Jedi Rocks" (1997 onward). The droids are put to work with R2 sent to the Sail Barge to prepare the plan.

    4) It is during the musical numbers when we see Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch/Temuera Morrison) is there flirting with some of Jabba's slave girls with the intention of someday freeing them, while Winter Retrac (Lisa Eilbacher) and Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) have planted themselves in Jabba's palace disguised as guards. After watching the poor slave dancer Oola (Femi Taylor) be fed to the ravenous Rancor pit monster, a bounty hunter named Boushh (Princess Leia in disguise) arrives carrying a bound Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) with them - demanding all 50,000 credits for the Wookiee when they brandish a thermal detonator to intimidate Jabba when asked why they must receive 50,000 and no less. 3PO begs and pleads for Boushh to take 35,000 to which the bounty hunter agrees. As Chewbacca is led away down to the dungeons, he only hopes Luke and Leia's plan will be able to work in time to save Han's life.

    5) That night, Boushh frees Han (Harrison Ford) from his carbonite block imprisonment while everyone is asleep - taking great care to not wake anybody up as the bounty hunter rests Han against a rock. Boushh removes the helmet to reveal the bounty hunter as Leia who has come to rescue him and that she and Luke will come back for Winter, Lando, Chewbacca and the droids. But like in the film, Jabba has heard everything and the curtains pull back to show his entourage has them surrounded. Han protests that he paid Jabba off enough and that he will do what his old boss asks as long as his friends are let go and free. Jabba tells Han that even though the payment Han gave him was generous enough, the war has been bad for his business and that Han is a loose end he must tie up in order to keep his business out of the galaxy's war.

    6) Leia goes willingly over to Jabba after Han is taken to the dungeons and reunited with Chewbacca who explains all. She tells Jabba she can offer something better than a threat if Han and Chewbacca are let go - which leads her to strip completely nude from head to toe as she allows Jabba to give her oral sex from behind in a graphic, explicit and lurid scene. 3PO, Lando and Winter can only hope Luke and Leia's plan to save them all will work. The next morning, Luke arrives at the palace to find Leia has become Jabba's new slave dancer - which unlike the film, the slave girl outfit does not have the bracelets, boots or cloth skirts around the panties so that it is an actual bikini swimsuit. Eager to test the young Jedi's mettle and skill, Jabba taunts Luke with him bouncing Jedi Mind Tricks off after his success with Bib Fortuna (Erik Bauersfeld).

    7) With that, Luke uses the Force to summon Leia and a blaster to his hands as a terrified Jabba drops them both as well as a Gamorrean guard into the pit to be fed to the Rancor named Pateesa. Luke and Leia use cunning and resourcefulness to outmaneuver and get the Rancor in the right position to fell it, but they prove their good hearts as they comfort the Rancor's keeper Malakili (Paul Brooke) after they have killed it. Malakili thanks them for giving Pateesa - just a baby Rancor - a quick merciful death that it would not have if it was to fight a huge Krayt dragon. Jabba orders Han, Chewbacca and Luke to be terminated at the Pit of Carkoon in the Sarlaac's belly as Lando goes with them. Winter, 3PO and Leia go with Jabba's entourage on the Sail Barge where R2 waits to carry out Luke and Leia's plan and depose Jabba forever.

    8) On the journey out to the Pit, Luke and Han would have their conversation while Leia and Winter have a conversation about news of the Rebellion massing at Sullust in a month. Leia tells Winter that she and Luke and have taken care of everything even as 3PO tries to mediate between Saelt-Marae and Ree-Yees. Like with the film, the Skirmish of Carkoon would happen with the exception of Boba Fett not falling into the Sarlaac Pit but sent flying until he crashes in the Dune Sea nearby. Once Leia finishes strangling Jabba to death, she summons the Obi-Wan Kenobi lightsaber she had brought with her to the Palace and confiscated by Jabba to cut her collar and join Winter and Luke in fighting off Jabba's forces before swinging with Winter over to the skiff where our heroes recover the droids and destroy Jabba's sail barge.

    9) After that, Winter would join Han, Lando and Chewbacca back on the Millennium Falcon to head for the Rebel fleet at Sullust while Luke and R2 in their X-Wing and Leia and 3PO in their Y-Wing would make a return trip to Dagobah - having a promise to keep to "an old friend" Yoda. The Emperor (Ian McDiarmid) would arrive and Pestage would imply to him that Vader's interest in Luke has clouded his judgment, but Palpatine is still intrigued by the prospects of turning Luke to the Dark Side of the Force. This does not sit well with Pestage, but Vader is patient and eager to have his son back. Back on Dagobah, 3PO and R2 are keeping watch over their friends' ships as Luke and Leia comfort an older, sicker, weaker and dying Yoda (Frank Oz) who confirms that Vader is Luke's father and tells them there is another Skywalker as he fades away.

    10) Luke and a Rebellion duty uniform-clad Leia are despondent and unsure of what to do until the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness) comes by to explain everything and why he kept the truth from the two of them. He tells them he would have told them had Yoda and Leia's old mentor Ahsoka Tano allowed him to. After hearing the history of Anakin Skywalker and his wife Padmé Amidala and how the Emperor drew Anakin to the Dark Side to become Vader with the promise of saving Padmé, Luke realizes that the good he sensed in Vader is still powerful. Even when Obi-Wan doubts it, he asks Obi-Wan to have faith in him, until Obi-Wan tells them that the other hope - the other Skywalker - Yoda spoke of is Luke's twin sister. Now knowing that Leia is Luke's sister and Vader's daughter, Obi-Wan admonishes them both to tread carefully.

    11) Arriving back at the Rebel fleet, Luke and Leia decrypt stolen Imperial intelligence they had picked up in hacking Imperial comm networks that says the Death Star II is operational and that the majority of the Imperial fleet is setting a trap for them all. Luke and Leia are about to explain everything when R2 and 3PO reveal that they had recorded their conversations with Yoda and Obi-Wan on Dagobah - and Mon Mothma (Caroline Blakiston) has stated that the Rebel Alliance is willing to take a chance on Luke being able to bring Vader back to being Anakin Skywalker if it means the Empire can be defeated again. Winter tells Leia that she saw the good in Vader as well during the destruction of Alderaan as he considered the late Senator Bail Organa an old friend and objected to Alderaan's demise. Wedge Antilles (Denis Lawson) has a surprise for Luke.

    12) During the Rebels' liberation and occupation of Bespin, Wedge managed to recover Luke's old blue lightsaber - the one of his own father Anakin Skywalker, found banging around Cloud City while removing the severed hand as best they could. Since he had made a new green lightsaber modeled after Obi-Wan Kenobi's, Luke gives his father's lightsaber to Leia who is honored to do so. As planned by General Crix Madine (Dermot Crowley) and Admiral Gial Ackbar (Erik Bauersfeld), Luke and Leia will join Han, Chewbacca, 3PO and R2 as the command crew for the stolen Sentinel-class Imperial shuttle Tydirium to take Han's strike team to the Forest Moon of Endor where they will rally the native Ewok and Yuzzum peoples to bring down the shield generator protecting the Death Star II so they can start the attack on its reactor.

    13) Before leaving for Endor, Han and Chewbacca trust Lando and his Sullustian friend Nien Nunb (Kipsang Rotich) with the Millennium Falcon while Luke and Leia trust Wedge and Winter with their X-Wing (Rogue/Red Leader) and Y-Wing (Gold Eight) to lead the fighter attack. The journey to and landing on Endor would proceed much like the film and culminating with the speeder bike chase through the forest. Luke and Leia get separated, and Leia is found by a young Ewok named Wicket W. Warrick (Warwick Davis). She shows him her lightsaber and tells him she is a Jedi, who Wicket believes to be accompanying a "Golden Man" to rally the Ewok and Yuzzum peoples against a great evil. They manage to fight off an Imperial scout trooper patrol and escape back to Wicket's home of Bright Tree Village to await the rest of the strike team.

    14) Luke, Han, Chewbacca, 3PO and R2 would go in search of Leia; but are caught by a Yuzzum snare trap and are only rescued by a young Ewok named Princess Kneesaa (Patricia Hayes) out on a hunt who discovers 3PO. Seeing Luke with him tells Kneesaa that their "Golden Man" - C-3PO and his two Jedi Knight protectors have come. She calls a summit of the Ewok and Yuzzum peoples to meet with her father the Ewok Chief Chirpa (Jack Purvis) back at Bright Tree Village with her leading our heroes and the Rebel strike team back to the village. The Ewoks and Yuzzum are trilingual this time around, speaking their native tongues while also fluent in and understanding Galactic Basic Standard (English) and Shyriiwook (the Wookiees' native tongue language). Like in the film, 3PO translates the history of the Galactic Civil War to the Ewoks and the Yuzzum.

    15) The prophecy of the Forest Moon goes that "In a time of great darkness, a so-called Golden Man will come flanked by two protectors known as Jedi Knights. One would wield a blue lightsaber and the other a green lightsaber. Together and with the great magic called the Force, they would lead the Ewok and Yuzzum peoples to victory over a great peril threatening them all." That peril is the Death Star II and the Galactic Empire's operations on the Forest Moon. Leia wields a blue lightsaber and Luke wields a green lightsaber, and C-3PO's metal casing is gold in color - so the prophecy is true. Believing himself to be a danger to the group and the mission there, Luke says goodbye to Leia and Han as he heads off into the woods to turn himself over to Vader and keep his attention from drifting towards the Rebels' mission.

    16) Like in the film, Luke is brought to Vader and they have their conversation on the landing platform - but Vader removes Luke's binders as they converse unlike in the film where the Emperor removes Luke's binders aboard the Death Star II. Inner dialogues are also present as they probe each other's thoughts, and it is here that Luke learns Vader hates himself more than anything for killing Luke's mother Padmé who he loved dearly - and therefore lost faith in himself to renounce the Dark Side. Luke will not give up, as he is taken by Vader to the Death Star II where Luke outwits the Emperor by saying the Rebellion knows of the Empire's trap and is about to spring their own. Luke retains a confident and collected atmosphere of hope for the Alliance while the Emperor remains confident in the Rebels' certain and eventual fall.

    17) Unlike the film; Lando, Wedge, Winter and the Rebel fleet come out of hyperspace and immediately make for the Imperial fleet on the far side of the Forest Moon to put it between them and the Death Star II's operational superlaser. The Emperor indeed proves willing to fire on his own fleet if it means getting a clean shot at the Rebels, and he destroys the Star Destroyers Devastator and Tyranny along with the Rebel Cruiser Liberty. Meanwhile, Rebel cruisers Home One (Ackbar's command), the Independence (Rieekan's command), Endeavor (Mon Mothma's command) and Viscount (Madine's command) push the attack on the Executor as Han and Leia have rallied the Ewoks and Yuzzum against the Empire, with Leia coming into her own to wield lightsabers and the Force only as Ewoks and Yuzzum hijack AT-ST walkers.

    18) The fight between Luke and Vader aboard the Death Star II remains unchanged for the most part until the end of it. As the two lightsaber combatants probe each other's minds, Luke feels sorrow for Vader's anguish until Vader learns of Leia being Luke's sister and therefore his daughter. Luke loses control for a bit as he presses the attack, but is snapped back by the Emperor's crowing and goading him too soon before he can slice his father's hand off. Both he and Vader choose to switch off their lightsabers and remain defiant of the Emperor even as the shield is brought down from the surface of Endor. Lando, Wedge and Winter head down to pick up Han, Leia and the others to head to the Death Star to rescue Luke if they at all can. The Emperor remains calm as he asks who will be the first to break when Endor is destroyed.

    19) During the battle, Admiral Piett orders the Executor to push into the Death Star II's gravity well to protect the battle station when a repentant Boba Fett joins the battle midway and dies redeeming himself by ramming Slave I into the bridge of the Executor causing it to crash onto the superlaser dish and take it offline. Enraged by this turn of events, the Emperor tries to electrocute Luke to death but Luke is saved by Vader becoming Anakin Skywalker again and dueling the Emperor when some sudden arrivals come to rescue Luke. The battle is joined as the Millennium Falcon and the Rebel command cruisers dock and land aboard the Death Star and start shooting up the place. Anakin rushes his son to his friends and family and begs Leia to get Luke away from there, but Leia will not abandon her brother or father again.

    20) During the entrance of the heroes into the Emperor's throne room; Chewbacca, Wicket, Kneesaa, 3PO and R2 hold the Emperor's guards off just long enough for Anakin to use his Vader lightsaber to redirect the Emperor's Force lightning onto the guards - killing the Emperor's most trusted red guard Kir Kanos (Pat Roach). Apoplectic and unleashed over the death of his most trusted guard, the Emperor merges himself with the battle station to declare his rule over the entire Universe unchallenged and threatening all. In the commotion of Luke, Anakin and Leia leading the Rebel forces in taking the Death Star II's defenses off line, Pestage tries to flee to an airlock but is pursued by Anakin. Seemingly having the once Vader at his mercy, Anakin ducks down for Han to shoot Pestage through the heart and they eject him into space.

    21) Luke and Leia meet up with Han and Anakin and say that the Death Star II is turning to face Endor - the superlaser might be coming back online again due to the Emperor disappearing and merging with the station. Anakin orders Ackbar, Madine and all the Rebels to evacuate the station as quickly as possible. R2 is once again Luke's astromech for the X-Wing, and 3PO is Leia's gunner for the Y-Wing. Wedge and Winter take up the gunports of the Falcon with Chewbacca, Nien Nunb, Wicket and Kneesaa as extra crew for Han and Lando. As Anakin leads them in his Advanced TIE Fighter (TIE/ad) through the superstructure to the reactor, our heroes are having quality time together even if being chased by TIE fighters (TIE/LN), bombers (TIE/sa) and interceptors (TIE/IN). Han orders some fighters to head back to the surface.

    22) Cutting through a tunnel a little too tight, both Han and Lando knock the Falcon's sensor dish off and free into the bowels of the battle station and know they both will have to pitch in for repairs. They soon make their way to the Death Star II's main reactor as Leia and Luke shoot out the reactor's north tower power regulator so to bring down its energy shields. Anakin apologizes to Padmé, Obi-Wan and his mother Shmi as he opens his fighter's hatch and uses the Force to throw his red Vader lightsaber at the Emperor's visage killing the Emperor as Han and Lando in the Falcon open fire shooting out the reactor. Retrieving his lightsaber which has now turned whitish-blue, Anakin and our heroes are soon chased out of the collapsing and exploding reactor with a lone TIE Interceptor chasing them back out of the battle station.

    23) Ackbar orders the fleet to move away from the Death Star II as Luke's X-Wing and Leia's Y-Wing are the first to emerge from the superstructure. The fireball of the super-heated reactor gas catches the pursuing TIE Interceptor, forcing the Falcon and Anakin to compensate as they emerge from the flames with hollering whoops of joy as they escape the exploding superstructure tunnels behind them at last. The Death Star II explodes behind them as the fleet rockets towards the surface of Endor to mop up the remaining Imperials there and screen for debris that might threaten the Sanctuary Moon. Luke and Leia ask Han and Lando where their father is, and Lando sights Anakin's TIE Fighter spinning out of control and crashing towards Lake Marudi near the Bright Tree Village as they speed to the crash area to aid Anakin.

    24) Emerging from his crashed TIE Fighter in Lake Marudi, Anakin still in the Vader armor stumbles and collapses against a tree near the beach head as Luke and Leia rush to their father's side. His life support suit fried, Anakin asks Luke and Leia to remove his Vader mask and helmet so he can see his twin children with his own eyes. With a loving and reassuring smile, Anakin tells his children to leave him - and tells Luke he is thankful for still believing in him after all this time. Luke and his mother Padmé were a lot alike, Anakin says with his loving arms around them as he dies in the arms of his children. The spirits of Obi-Wan, Yoda and Shmi Skywalker (Pernilla August) touch the empty Vader armor before disappearing. Winter, Lando and 3PO help Luke carry Vader's empty armor to a clearing where they start building a large funeral pyre.

    25) Happy that the Empire's back has ultimately been broken but sad that her father had to give his life to make it happen, Leia is comforted by Han stripping his and her clothes off as they engage in a graphic and tender love scene. Wicket and Kneesaa sound horns of victory across the Forest Moon over the rest of the day. That night, a teary-eyed Luke gives a Jedi's funeral pyre for what is left of Darth Vader's armor. For yet a third time, he has been orphaned with the murders of his Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru and Obi-Wan; and now his father has died too - causing him to break down in tears of heartbreak. A common Skywalker family trait is revealed that any loss can eat up even the strongest heroes from inside. He is only comforted by the Force Ghosts of his father Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and mother Padmé (Natalie Portman) who tell they will always be there for him.

    26) Like with the 2004 version; we would see scenes of planets like Bespin, Tatooine, Naboo and Coruscant celebrating the fall of the Empire at Endor and the Rebels' aid in its continuing fall. On Coruscant, fugitive Jedi would be leading revolts against Imperial Security to take back the old Jedi Temple and reclaim it from being the Imperial Palace. Rebel starfighter and capital ship forces would be devastating Imperial occupations. Back on Endor, Luke has finished burning his father as he hugs his sister Leia; his friends Han, Winter, Lando, Chewbacca and Wedge as the Ewok celebration (with the 1997 music) heralds the New Republic. As the celebration continues on, the Force Ghosts of Obi-Wan, Ahsoka (Elisabeth Sladen), Yoda, Anakin, Padmé, Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) and Qui-Gon appear showing Luke and Leia that the Force will be with them...

    And that's another edition of How I Would Write & Make for Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). It does not stray too far from the source material, but gives just enough to make it feel fresher and more innovative in my opinion. We may still have Terri Nunn or recast her with Lisa Eilbacher as Winter, Leia's handmaiden, as well as an explanation for where the Skywalker lightsaber is found in a someday HIWW&M for The Force Awakens. I wanted Winter in this trilogy so that it is not a big sausage fest with Leia the only major female (Smurfette principle, anybody?) focus character. The potential for this version to pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test (with the Anita Sarkeesian addendum) before the term "Bechdel test" would even be coined might make this version even more of a success with more people over the many decade Star Wars would become popular.

    I also wanted the scenes of Jabba's Palace to be more explicit and let the film have a PG-13 or even an R rating to show some graphic details (show, don't tell/imply); and the Empire fighting the Ewoks and Yuzzum on Endor to have much more explicit undertones of a diverse Vietcong-like set of good guys fighting the KKK-resembling Stormtroopers - since Lucas wrote Star Wars in the 70s during Watergate and the Vietnam War when he and other colleagues were facing prospects of conscription. This is just an Alternate Universe that I have proposed which is fun to imagine if things turned out differently. But as TV Tropes gleefully points out, Your Mileage May Vary on this - so fellow Jedi Councilors, let me know what your opinions on this idea would be and feel free to offer your ideas on how you would change this film if you wanted to or politely point out what you don't like about my ideas for the saga starting with this film.
    BlackRanger likes this.
  2. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 14, 2018
    I must admit, there are points where this post feels like it has too many characters. The switch with Luke and Vader going from a Jedi duel of Force and wills against Palpatine to a dogfight in the Death Star tunnels in particular feels awkward - like the way Lucas toyed while writing the SW 1977 third draft with suddenly stopping the dogfight in the finale so Luke and Vader could have a swordfight on the surface of the Death Star before Luke planted a bomb in the reactor shaft by hand.

    And, while things like mentions of Ahsoka and Kir Kanos etc. might be fun for longtime fans, they don't help to advance the storyline of the movies themselves. Quite the opposite - they simply complicate matters, and worse, they shrink the universe. Things like Han's vague allusion to "That bounty hunter on Ord Mantell" in ESB are great precisely because they let people fill in the details themselves. Cameos and name-dropping for their own sake, however, make the SW galaxy feel small, cramped even, contracting the universe rather than expanding it. Not to mention raising awkward questions like, if Ahsoka is so important, why is she not helping with the final push against the Emperor? And whatever happened to Sate Pestage, anyways? Shoehorning in things like that tends to create more problems than it solves.

    While Leia fighting the Empire on Endor as a Jedi is a neat idea, I also think Luke and Leia versus Vader or the Emperor in a lightsaber battle would be fun. I do have a suspicion that back in 1975 Lucas intended the third film to have a climactic lightsaber duel in a lava-bound castle, akin to the Emperor's underground chambers beneath Had Abbadon in the ROTJ rough drafts, or Vader's fortress on Mustafar from the current Disney canon. (Vader's lava castle being on Mustafar becomes more interesting when taking into account the 1975 third draft's mention of the "Battle of Condawn", which was where Luke's father died and probably where Vader was burned - but it was also apparently a battle with multiple participants, where the Jedi suffered a great defeat at the hands of the Empire, a good reason why Vader or the Emperor might build a triumphal castle there.)

    In such a scenario derived from Lucas' 1975 ideas, the villain of the duel would probably depend on whether Vader is redeemed in such a scenario or not. It might be Vader, in which case the Emperor might be killed during a space battle the way Tarkin dies in SW 1977, or it could be the Emperor himself - perhaps showing a Force ability he worked hard as a politician to conceal, or just a facility with swordsmanship. (As Lucas said in 1977, "The Force really doesn’t have anything to do with the lightsaber. Anybody can have a lightsaber. It’s just a weapon like a pistol, and Leia could use the lightsaber as well as anyone else. But she really hasn’t had any training with a lightsaber because she doesn’t really like them; she prefers pistols." The idea that only Jedi could use lightsabers was something not at all true in early SW. Lightsabers really were just laser swords.)

    At any rate, the duel would probably be somewhat similar to Splinter of the Mind's Eye, where Luke finds himself trapped elsewhere and unable to intervene while Leia and the villain trade blows - or, for that matter, similar to the duel between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul in Episode 1 where Obi-Wan Kenobi finds himself in a similar position. As Lucas told Alan Dean Foster about the finale of Splinter (where, before SW 1977 was a huge hit, Lucas and Foster originally had Luke kill Vader), he wanted Leia to be a "bloody, battered, beat-up babe" by the end of it, so some major character injury was clearly in order. Maul blinding Kanan Jarrus with his lightsaber in Rebels comes to mind.

    If the duels from Splinter of the Mind's Eye and Episode 1 are any guide, Luke would eventually get the chance to face off alone against the villain, while Leia lay on the ground, grievously wounded. Or perhaps Luke, still trapped, would use the Force to give a blinded Leia the sight she needed to fight the villain, like how Leia uses the Force to guide the temporarily blinded Mara Jade to kill Joruus C'baoth in The Last Command. You can tall Zahn probably got the idea from Lucas for that one, because it's something cribbed from Frank Herbert - in the climax of Dune Messiah, the blinded Paul Atreides accesses the eyes of his newborn son to let him kill the Tleilaxu envoy Scytale. ;)

    I also suspect the finale of the duel would feature Leia and the villain plunging together into the lava, like Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty plunging into the Reichenbach Falls - with the villain dying, but Leia surviving somehow. If Luke fought the villain, perhaps he defeated him but refused to kill him, at which point the villain pulled out a treacherous hidden blade or something, and Leia rushed to his defense despite her injuries. Or maybe the wounded Leia found herself outmatched by her opponent, and had to resort to desperate measures. At any rate, they both would plunge toward the lava.

    Perhaps Luke would grasp Leia's ankle and save her from falling, while the villain plunged to his death - maybe, having severed Leia's own arm, he found nothing to grab to arrest his fall? Or maybe Leia would fall into the lava, but used the Force to save herself from burning and levitate out of it again - floating up like a goddess out of the fire, with her clothes and hair all burnt away, like Daenerys emerging naked and hairless from the pyre that hatched her dragon eggs in the novel version of Game of Thrones.

    Of course, when Darth Vader became Luke's father, his redemption had to fit somewhere into that idea for the climax of the saga, and ultimately - combined with the switch from a Luke/Leia romance to a Han/Leia story - displaced it altogether. Where would Vader fit into such a duel of Luke and Leia against the Emperor? Would he fight against the Emperor and die? Would he and Luke be separated from Leia, and fight side by side as they raced to join her and save her from being killed? Perhaps Vader could be mortally wounded killing a party of several Inquisitors whom he himself had once trained - giving them a thematic reason to be present in the story besides simple fanservice. (The Inquisitors seems like a useful way of harnessing the idea of multiple Sith Lords from the 1975 second and third drafts. Later, while working on the fourth draft, Lucas pondered the idea of having "only seven Sith - one in each sector". It was only with ESB that the idea of having only two Sith onscreen, Vader and the Emperor, took hold. And even then more Sith Lords might have been found waiting in the wings if there were more movies that introduced Nellith Skywalker's character - perhaps including Nellith herself...)

    I've been greatly enjoying this series. Hopefully your imagination leads you to further interesting ideas for SW in the future!
  3. Zara Solaris

    Zara Solaris Jedi Youngling

    Jul 12, 2022
    Thanks. Now, this is a probably crazier idea I have - but I was thinking for the end Force Ghosts scene at the Victory Celebration on Endor, I was thinking of doing a take on a scene from Leigh Brackett's draft of The Empire Strikes Back in which Luke takes the oath of the Jedi. I would have it be 3PO, R2, Chewie, Wicket, Kneesaa, Nien Nunb, Han, Lando, Wedge and Winter watching and cheering with the other Rebels, Ewoks and Yuzzum as Luke and Leia are knighted as Jedi by the Force Ghosts assembled (Anakin, Padmé, Obi-Wan, Jar Jar, Yoda, Ahsoka and Qui-Gon) with Luke and Leia raising their ignited lightsabers to the skies as the final shot before the end credits.
    BlackRanger likes this.
  4. BobaFettHunter39

    BobaFettHunter39 Jedi Youngling

    Sep 8, 2022
    The thing about Leia, weird. Haven't you read Max Rebo's tale

    DARTH_BELO Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 25, 2003
    For ROTJ, I would have the Jabba sequence go mostly the same, but Jabba's entertainment chamber would be much larger scale, and the rancor would be in an arena, not a pit. I'd also have included the deleted scenes, with Luke adjusting his lightsaber and talking with the droids, and also the conversation they all had together before leaving Tattooine.

    I would have had the Death Star II surrounding Coruscant, rather than Endor and the mission to destroy the sheild generator would be more of a heist in imperial security facilities, rather than just a bunker in a forest. I also would have liked to see certain pirates and smugglers the Rebellion had befriended (whether thru Han or not) join the fight as well, sort of a "putting aside our differences to defeat a common enemy" sort of thing. The Vader/Emperor/Luke showdown would've been in his throne room or whatever place he had on Coruscant-rather than on the Death Star II, and that's where the duel would've taken place. When the DSII is destroyed, the galactic celebration montage would be longer, like Order 66 but this time celebrating and showing clips of various alien races on different planets rising up and taking over.

    I also would've included dialogue toward the end with Luke talking to Leia about the nature of the force, more or less the "beginning of her training," before a celebration scene with Luke seeing the Force ghosts, leading to an iris out.
    Tosche_Station and BlackRanger like this.
  6. Saga_Symphony

    Saga_Symphony Force Ghost star 4

    Oct 30, 2010
    Have it take place years after ESB.

    Keep the scenes of Vader meditating to contact Luke, which transitions into Luke finishing his new lightsaber.

    Get rid of the sister reveal. It's gross and there's no need for the "other hope", but if you have to have it, just reveal she's a strong Force-sensitive. Works just as well.

    I like the idea of having the Wookiees instead of the Ewoks. Maybe have them both.

    Make Endor more visually interesting than just woods and some treehouses.

    Vader's line is changed to "Your mother thought as you do".

    Have Vader get more damaged in the throne room to make his death more believable.

    Keep Sebastian Shaw as Anakin's Force ghost.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2022
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  7. Noname12

    Noname12 Jedi Knight star 1

    Dec 19, 2020
    I don't agree with that. I think having hayden in force ghost is great. Anakin died in palpatine room in coruscant. So having him in his younger version before he turns to the darkside is symbolic. And it's a nice call back to the prequel trilogy.
  8. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    Disagree. If Anakin died in RotS then who or what is Darth Vader? His animated corpse possessed by a Dark Side demon?
    I have seen this argument before and some of those making it suggest that Anakin really did not do any of the bad things Vader did. Because his soul was gone, frozen in time or some such.
    I do not agree, Anakin is Vader and Vader is Anakin.
    Vader is just the dark parts of Anakin, his lust for power, the desire for order, his anger and fear, his "the ends justify the means" mentality. All made stronger by the venom of the Dark Side.
    But all Vader is was there in Anakin.

    Also Obi-Wan tries to say that Anakin is dead from a certain point of view. But Luke proves him wrong. Anakin was always there, the light was still present, faint yes but had not gone out. Anakin himself says that at the end. That Luke was right about him.

    Thus I think the old ghost better shows the full character journey of Anakin Skywalker. The good man that due to his own flaws made some terrible mistakes and did a lot of evil. He went to "Hell" in a manner of speaking. But the love and faith of his son enabled him to crawl back out and break the chains he forged himself. And die at peace, a more Enlighted person and a better Jedi than he had even been.
    The young ghost, to me, suggest regression, that Anakin has not learned anything, that he is back to the young, angry, fearful and prideful person he used to be. The person that could not let go.
    Plus I think it works better for Luke to see a healed version of the father he just said goodbye to, rather than a young man that he would likely be momentarily confused about.

    Plus it breaks the internal logic of Force Ghosts.

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
    BlackRanger likes this.
  9. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 14, 2018
    I just wanted to say the suggestion of "his animated corpse possessed by a Dark Side demon" is very funny, and it reminds me of Dante's Inferno, where the sinners in the penultimate zone of the ninth circle of Hell actually are sent to Hell as soon as they commit their sins and a demon possesses their bodies to live out their lives on Earth.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2022