CT The Original Original Return of the Jedi

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


Which Return of the Jedi Would You Have Preffered?

  1. The Return of the Jedi We Got

    19 vote(s)
  2. The Original Ideas of Return of the Jedi

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

    9 vote(s)
  1. gezvader28

    gezvader28 Chosen One star 6

    Mar 22, 2003
    I think it was Fantastic Films magazine that ran a speculation piece that supposed that Kenobi was a clone : "Obi-One" .
    Tosche_Station likes this.
  2. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Master star 3

    Apr 14, 2018
    Or OB-1 - "Old Ben-1".

    Intriguingly, Frank Herbert's novel Destination: Void (published in 1965 and later revised in 1978) features a ship crewed by clones who all have the middle name "Lon" - after Lon Chaney, "Man of a Thousand Faces". It seems very possible that Lucas read it and took some inspiration from it. Maybe the "-wan" part of Obi-wan's name was meant as a possible story thread where, as a clone, he was a "pale imitation" of the original "Obi Kenobi"?

    In the 1978 revisions, Herbert also expressed some feelings about a certain SF movie "cloning" his own work: one of the clones mentioned as being on the ship is named "Legata Lon Hamill."
    Darth Caliban and Tosche_Station like this.

    JEDI-RISING Chosen One star 6

    Apr 15, 2005
    the book "Star Wars the annotated screenplays' goes through different versions of the OT's scripts, and none of this stuff was in early versions, so whether any of this wsa discussed , it didn't make it to paper.
  4. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Jul 29, 2016
    There are treatment ideas that might have been cool, but absolutely not Han dying or Luke ending up on the dark side.

    I never understood why Gary Kurtz or others thought that the film would have been better if those had happened, or why Lucas just was in it for the money by giving ROTJ a genuinely happy ending. I also prefer the end celebration to the Spaghetti Western idea, and I don't get why the upbeat note of ROTJ's finale is just for merchandise.

    I don't think anything would have made Lucas make an ST in the 80s.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2022
  5. patbuddha

    patbuddha Jedi Grand Master

    Feb 3, 2002
    The earliest version of ROTJ is basically the third act of the 1974 rough draft. This is the basic structure of that screenplay:

    ACT 1. We are introduced to a family of Jedi. Imperial forces commanded by Darth Vader lay siege to Princess Leia's planet with their space fortress. She has a contentious relationship with one of the heroes. Pilots loyal to her launch a counterattack on the space fortress.

    ACT 2: Following the counterattack, the Empire invades Leia's planet. The male heroes escort her off-world with the goal of reaching a safe location. Darth Vader brings in a specialist to help track them down. The good guys temporarily escape by flying through an asteroid field. Leia and the hero she has the contentious relationship with begin to fall in love.

    ACT 3. Leia and her protectors land on a forest planet that's home to a tribe of furry primitives. The tribe helps the heroes attack an Imperial outpost on the planet. Pilots launch their second counter offensive against the Empire's space fortress. The young Jedi hero is aboard it when the attack begins. He is set to be executed when a Sith switches his allegiances to help the him escape before the fortress is finally destroyed. Vader is killed and Leia and her paramour cement their relationship with a kiss.

    So even if there had been an idea not to have a second Death Star in the eventual film that got made, it wouldn't have been the "original" idea as the narrative had always been more or less structured around these two separate attacks. Lucas’s first draft of ROTJ has not one, but two of them.

    Han Solo doesn't die in that draft either. You will often see click bait articles stating that him dying was the "original" story but it simply wasn't. It was something Harrison Ford was lobbying for, but which Lucas never took seriously. Lucas and Kasdan have a discussion during the story conferences on the subject of killing off characters:
  6. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Master star 3

    Apr 14, 2018
    And the "space fortress" the villains have orbiting Princess Leia's birthworld is really more of a command center, akin to the Trade Federation battleship in TPM.
  7. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Force Ghost star 5

    Mar 13, 2014
    It’s a little murky but Kurtz was largely replaced before Empire was finished. Howard Kazanjian effectively took over producer responsibilities with post production.

    Production on Empire was a mess that spiraled out of control going way over budget. Responsibility for that fell to Kurtz. It nearly bankrupted LucasFilm which would have cost Lucas the ownership rights to Star Wars.

    Some of the setbacks were outside anyones control. But Kurtz would not pressure the director and production to move faster to get back on schedule. Then Kurtz personally okayed props like stormtrooper costumes to be sent away for promotional use. Problem was those items were still needed for filming. That mistake cost millions of dollars. Money LucasFilm did not have.

    That’s when Kazanjian was brought in to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. Kazanjian had just finished successfully producing More American Graffiti without any issues or budget problems.

    Empire was a production riddled with setbacks and problems. It beat the odds to turn out like it did. There was no way that process could have worked a second time. Lucas wasn’t sure if he could keep making movies after that. Luckily Raiders of the Lost Ark was next - and it finished ahead of schedule and under budget. Kazanjian was also producer on Raiders.

    Lucas for his part was loyal to Kurtz and shielded him from criticism. Kazanjian is an uncredited producer on Empire. Irving Kershner most likely didn’t come back for Return of the Jedi because he knew they just pulled off Empire.

    I feel like Kurtz would have known future Star Wars stories as planned before Empire had finished filming. I also wonder if Darth Vader being sent to get the second Death Star back on schedule wasn’t in part inspired by Empire’s production problems and delays.
    BlackRanger likes this.
  8. oierem

    oierem Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
  9. DarkGingerJedi

    DarkGingerJedi Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 21, 2012
    May sound funny, but growing up I always thought that the DS2 in ROTJ, was just the same one from the first film, being repaired. It wasn't until the 90s I think that I realized it was completely new battle station. lol
  10. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 7

    Oct 4, 1998
    Early in 83 when the first images with DS2 were released to the public, my first thought was, 'How did they manage to salvage so much of it? It looked like it blew itself to pieces, and the novelization said it was blasted apart right down to the atoms.' Then TIME magazine published their RotJ review before the movie hit theaters, and that explained it was a new Death Star, which made a whole lot more sense to me. So of course I have a problem with TRoS and the DS2 wreckage. :rolleyes: