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CT The Original Original Return of the Jedi

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by MidKnighT, Apr 12, 2022.

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Which Return of the Jedi Would You Have Preffered?

  1. The Return of the Jedi We Got

    21 vote(s)
    67.7%
  2. The Original Ideas of Return of the Jedi

    1 vote(s)
    3.2%
  3. A Mix of the Two

    9 vote(s)
    29.0%
  1. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    So in the early 80's the original story of Return of the Jedi changed quite a bit. Per Gary Kurtz, the early versions of Return of the Jedi the story elements were:
    • Han Solo is rescued from Jabba the Hutt
    • Han Solo DIES in Act 2 during a raid on an imperial base (Endor? Kashyyyk?)
    • Leia was not Luke's sister
    • The allies in the final land battle were wookies not ewoks.
    • There was no Death Star 2
    • There was little or no Palpatine (they were saving him for Episode 9 originally)
    • Luke defeats Vader but goes to the dark side in the process and leaves on his own without the rebels.
    • Leia becomes queen and is in charge of the tattered rebel forces leaving room for a sequel trilogy (the current ending ROTJ kind of wraps things up in a nice bow).
    If there are more details to the original story please let me know.
     
  2. darthvader88

    darthvader88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2005
    There were likely several different story ideas for ROTJ, not just one...

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
     
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  3. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    I voted for a mix of the ROTJ we got and some of the original ideas. Ideas I like:
    • Han Solo is rescued from Jabba the Hutt - of course
    • Han Solo DIES in Act 2 during a raid on an imperial base (Endor? Kashyyyk?) - fine by me actually. Better than his role in Act 3 of ROTJ or his role in TFA.
    • Leia was not Luke's sister - Amen - this should never have happened.
    • The allies in the final land battle were wookies not ewoks. - Amen - much more cool and believable to see wookies taking out storm troopers.
    • There was no Death Star 2 - Amen to this. Granted the Space Battle over Endor was great but a new Death Star is not necessary to make that still great.
    Ideas I would be against:
    • There was little or no Palpatine (they were saving him for Episode 9 originally) - the throne room scene was one of the best parts of ROTJ and Palpatine was already introduced in TESB.
    • Luke defeats Vader but goes to the dark side in the process and leaves on his own without the rebels. - Nah, Vader's redemption is one of the best parts of the saga.
    Ideas I'm on the fence about:
    • Leia becomes queen and is in charge of the tattered rebel forces leaving room for a sequel trilogy (the current ending ROTJ kind of wraps things up in a nice bow). - So it's either this or the "complete victory" ending we got in ROTJ. This ending leaves more room for a sequel trilogy so I'd say it all depends on if Lucas himself did Episodes 7-9 or not. If he did then this ending works. But he didn't so it probably doesn't work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
  4. CampOfSorgan

    CampOfSorgan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 27, 2020
    I like the ROTJ we got, but I will admit the flaws it has. While I like Luke & Leia being siblings, it does feel rushed in ROTJ. And while I like the Ewoks, the Wookiees would have been more believable foes against the Imperials.
     
  5. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    May 27, 1999
    If they'd killed off Han (or Lando & the Falcon, as I've heard speculated), I'd have demanded my money back from the theater manager. And ending ROTJ with yet another cliffhanger would've been suicidal, in terms of audience reaction and box office.
    What we got wasn't perfect, but what could be? I'm quite satisfied with the result we got.
     
  6. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    Here was the original 9 episode plan:

    # EPISODE 1: Was to focus on the origins of the Jedi Knights and how they are initiated and trained
    # EPISODE 2: Introduction and development of Obi-Wan Kenobi
    # EPISODE 3: Introduction and life of Vader
    # EPISODE 4: There were seven different drafts of the film. At one point, they pursued buying the rights to Hidden Fortress because of the strong similarities. At one point, Luke was a female, Han was Luke's brother, Luke's father was the one in prison (interesting point for some debates) and the film featured 40 wookies
    # EPISODE 5: Once written, the screenplay of Empire is almost exactly what is seen on screen. The only cut scenes were those involving wampas in the rebel base (cut because of time and unsolved technical glitches) and about two minutes of Luke/Yoda Jedi training with no real dialog.
    # EPISODE 6: Leia was to be elected "Queen of her people" leaving her isolated. Han was to die. Luke confronted Vader and went on with his life alone. Leia was not to be Luke's sister.
    # EPISODE 7: Third trilogy was to focus on Luke's life as a Jedi, with very few details planned out.
    # EPISODE 8: Luke's sister (not Leia) appears from another part of the galaxy.
    # EPISODE 9: First appearance of the Emperor.

    During the making of ROTJ Lucas kinda decided to cram elements of Episodes 7-9 into Episode 6 and call it a day. Instead of introducing a new character to be Luke's sister in Episode 8 he just names Leia as Luke's sister. Instead of saving the emperor until episode 9 the becomes the big baddy in Episode 6.
     
  7. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2005
    This is what Kurtz stated, but the reality is not as simple as there being one big original outline that predates all the other incarnations of the story. The future is always in motion. GL did have a general idea of what he wanted to include in the Saga, but what you've outlined here is actually what they were discussing at some point during EpVI story conferences, combined with earlier ideas from the TESB days, as I've come to understand it.

    In reality, GL's draft for ROTJ, which I believe formed the basis for those story conferences, was MUCH closer to the finished film. Yes, Luke's sister being saved for later was an older idea, but once George actually got to work on Episode VI, he started to feel that he wanted to wrap up the story earlier. The idea to kill off Han did not come from him and he never liked it.

    A lot of different ideas were thrown around and what Gary calls the "original plan" seems to be what he personally would've preferred. George, it seems, was very set in his vision by the time ROTJ was about to become reality.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2022
  8. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Frankly, I wouldn't have wanted Wookiees instead of Ewoks. No, I don't like Ewoks, but at least they were a NEW species. Having Wookiees would only have decreased the diversity in SW even more, made the OT galaxy even smaller than it was already.
    No, introducing a new species was the way to go, just making them into teddy bears was a mistake. Something completely different yet slightly menacing-looking, to match their cruel behavior, would have been the best choice. If they were Wookies, it wouldn't have been difficult to make them take part in the fight, as Chewbacca could have convinced them. There would not have been much of a challenge. And on first watch instead of thinking "oh no... not teddy bears!", I would have thought "oh no... not Wookiees/"walking carpets" [face_laugh] again!".
    That's something Lucas did right in TPM with the Gungans, a completely alien species plus culture. No matter if you like or hate Jar-Jar, that underwater city was pretty impressive. Same for their unique type of technology, much more original than a bunch of teddys living in a wooden tree village. Take away their silliness and fake accents, and the Gungans would have worked well.
    I could have done without Luke being Leia's brother as well. I mean he could still have had a sister, only it shouldn't have been Leia, but someone not seen before. That way a new character could have been introduced. In fact ROTJ is seriously lacking interesting new characters anyway. Jabba doesn't count anymore as Lucas insisted on including that horrible CGI one in ANH. The Emperor, though only a hologram in ESB, isn't really new either.
     
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  9. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    I agree and that was certainly the original plan. I guess Lucas figured he didn't have time to introduce a new / important character in ROTJ so he just retconned an existing character.

    Exclusive pictures of wookies in ROTJ [face_laugh]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I also like the alien species idea. How about something like Predators? (ROTJ predates Predator so I can say that) :)

    [​IMG]

    I would be very convinced that Predators could take out "an entire legion of the emperor's best troops"
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2022
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  10. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Yeah, predators would have been fine ;)
    I don't like any of the AVP stuff, but SW is diverse anyway, and predators, or slightly modified ones, would have fit right into the SW universe.:D
     
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  11. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2005
    One thing I like about the ewoks - and the gungans - is the “Don’t let the wrapper fool you” aspect. They’re cute and vicious and that’s a good combo. Of course, in hindsight, a more original/alien take on their culture would probably have been more interesting.
     
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  12. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    The problem with Predators or Wookiees on Endor is that they're obviously a threat to the Empire. GL wanted to tell a story with underdogs who were dismissed from being credible threats manage to take the Imps by surprise and show that everyday, common folk can be heroes too. That doesn't work with dangerous species.

    I would have taken the Ewoks more seriously if they hadn't been used repeatedly in slapstick takes. For a more mature audience, it might have worked to see them sacrifice themselves in "human wave" attacks that cost them many lives. But that was probably too dark a take for the kiddy movie GL wanted.
     
  13. A Chorus of Disapproval

    A Chorus of Disapproval Admin & TV Screaming Service star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2003
    I've been in therapy since 1983 over the single one who died, you savage.
     
  14. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    I had an idea for one simple fix for the Ewok problem a couple of years ago. If they had a gas of some kind that disoriented all the stormtroopers. The night before the attack they give all the good guys (Han, Leia, etc...) some kind of immunity serum to the gas. THEN we'd be able to explain stormtroopers missing everything and getting beaten down by rocks. As it stands right now "an entire legion of my best troops" looks like an absolute joke when rocks defeat lasers.
     
  15. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2005
    [​IMG]
    Charal could’ve taken care of that!
     
  16. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    I had to look up who that was. I think I've only seen parts of The Battle for Endor back in the 80's. It was pretty awful as I recall.
     
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  17. Django Fett

    Django Fett Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2012
    I like the idea that there would've been multiple Death Stars orbiting the planet formally known as Coruscant. Also the cut down bunker scene doesn't work as well as the full scene with the deleted content.

    Oh and this too...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2022
  18. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Not the best source for behind the scenes information unless it's been referenced and supported.

    The story conference transcript which is really Lucas telling those involved what the story will be didn't involve Kurtz so when exactly would Lucas be telling Kurtz about this? Presumably some time before he was fired from TESB.
     
  19. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    My understanding is that he was fired AFTER TESB during the planning for ROTJ. Kurtz is listed as the producer of TESB. In my opinion SW went downhill after Lucas fired Kurtz and divorced his wife who was helping with the editing.
     
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  20. Darth Dnej

    Darth Dnej Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Removing the Death Star II is the only thing I think I prefer. So I voted mix, but I lean towards what we got.
     
  21. Jedi Bluth

    Jedi Bluth Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 4, 2021
    I also heard of a rumor that Boba Fett was on stand by during Luke's final duel. That if Luke fell, Fett would have blasted the window on the death star in order to kill Palpatine. Because Palpatine would have been to hard of a problem for the galaxy. I like that, but then again I'm a Fett lover.

    As for what has been said, I would have welcomed some of these things,like....

    1. Han Solo DIES in Act 2 during a raid on an imperial base (Endor? Kashyyyk?)
    2. Leia was not Luke's sister
    3. Well they couldn't have saved Palpatine as we saw him in ESB
    4. Luke defeats Vader but goes to the dark side in the process. (Wasn't this a story in the comics?)
    5. Leia becomes queen and is in charge of the tattered rebel forces. (Was this a comic too?)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
  22. SlashMan

    SlashMan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2012
    I think the ROTJ we got was both a grandiose and satisfying conclusion that also showed evidence of being rushed. A lot of its issues are inherent to compressing nine movies into six. There was no time to develop Luke's sister, so we were given Leia, who was already realized. There's not enough time to develop a new super weapon, so we have another Death Star so everyone already knows the imminent danger without any introduction needed. These are where the film suffered the most, in my opinion. Even another film would have given these points room to breathe.

    Meanwhile the prequels helped realize a few concepts. Palpatine may have been introduced earlier than expected, but the prequels gave him a lot more buildup. Lucas was always never quite certain on how and where to incorporate Kashyyyk; there's an impressive amount of lore that goes all the way back to the 70s. While Return of the Jedi seemed like a natural place (and would even give Chewie more moments to shine), it was satisfying to finally see it onscreen in Revenge of the Sith.

    I'm also fine with a happy ending. Although Han didn't have as much to do, killing him off would just seem predictable. It seems like everyone wanted that just because Harrison Ford despised the character so much, and that wish was finally granted with The Force Awakens.
     
  23. themoth

    themoth Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2015
    I think so too. ROTJ was all about being a feel good, satisfying conclusion and we got that.
     
  24. The Quintessential Jedi

    The Quintessential Jedi Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Mar 13, 2022
    The Wookies replacing the ewoks i can take personally but I'm fine with how everything else came to be, I really didn't need another Skywalker falling to the dark side when his purpose was to reject it and save his father because Luke is what Anakin could not be, Han didn't need to die either in spite of Harrison's preference for the character to be killed off, Leia not being Luke's sister imo isn't all that problematic when you could use her as the Rebel Alliance's leader who actually appears on screen consistently throughout the movie instead of people hiding away sans the brief appearance.
     
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  25. Subtext Mining

    Subtext Mining Jedi Master star 4

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    Apr 27, 2016
    To echo Sarge and Lulu Mars, the point of the Ewoks was that the Empire would never suspect they'd be capable of any sort of effective offensive. Which is why I feel they work even better than Wookiees. Not only are Wookiees intimidating in stature, but as Lucas has said, with Chewie as a co-pilot, they're established as technologically advanced.

    And they didn't take out the Empire, they were just a distraction, like the Gungans.

    From the RotJ commentary:
    -This is the part of the movie that was a real struggle in terms of believability. You know, the style of Star Wars is a little bit light-hearted and doesn't take itself too seriously, but at the same time it has to be believable and realistic - that these funny little bears with bows & arrows could actually, ya know, confront Stromtroopers. Ya know, it's a big challenge, you set yourself up for particular characters and when it comes time for the confrontation, you hope you've given them enough stuff to make it work. In this particular case I think I established part of the credibility of the Ewoks by simply not having them win. I mean, occasionally, towards the end they start to win, but they lose so much in the beginning of this battle. And what you think is gonna happen actually does happen, which is they're absolutely no match, that it makes it more believable. What happens later on is the same kinds of things, they start to get a little bit more successful at it. But never do they actually overcome them. You know, it's really the battle in the sky, that is where the real battle is going on, this is really just the battle to get in to blow up the protective shield generator, which means that all the Ewoks really have to do is distract the troops, which is believable. That they can actually pull them away and engage them enough to keep them occupied while the generator is blown up.

    -See, this film was written during the Vietnam War where a small group of ill-equipped people were able to overcome a mighty power. It's not a new idea. Attila the Hun was able to overrun the Roman Empire. The American Colonies were able to overrun the British. And that's always the same story. The Roman Empire had a huge mechanical advantage and training advantage over the Huns, but the Huns were still able to overwhelm them with, sort of, enthusiasm and their humanness and their belief in what they were doing. And that was the main theme for the overall downfall of the Empire. When it was basically overcome by humanity - in the form of cute little teddy bears.

    -We dared to be cute.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2022