Author Topic: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981  (Read 550 times)

Offline Matt

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HuffPo: 'Star Wars' Prequels Were Mapped Out By George Lucas & Lawrence Kasdan In 1981: Exclusive Excerpt From 'The Making Of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi'

This is remarkably close to the final product in 2005, except for everyone being able to use The Force, Yoda not fighting, and the twins/Leia's real mom thing.

Quote
REVENGE OF THE JEDI STORY CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT, JULY 13 to JULY 17, 1981óSUMMARY
Participants: George Lucas, Richard Marquand, Lawrence Kasdan, and Howard Kazanjian
Location: Park Way House
Note: Many of the ideas here are conceptual only and should not be considered as canon in the Star Wars saga.

THE STORY OF ANAKIN

Lucas: Anakin Skywalker starting hanging out with the Emperor, who at this point nobody knew was that bad, because he was an elected official.

Kasdan: Was he a Jedi?

Lucas: No, he was a politician. Richard M. Nixon was his name. He subverted the senate and finally took over and became an imperial guy and he was really evil. But he pretended to be a really nice guy. He sucked Lukeís father into the dark side.

Kasdan: The Force was available to anyone who could hook into it?

Lucas: Yes, everybody can do it.

Kasdan: Not just the Jedi?

Lucas: Itís just the Jedi who take the time to do it.

Marquand: They use it as a technique.

Lucas: Like yoga. If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it; but the ones that really want to do it are the ones who are into that kind of thing. Also like karate. Also another misconception is that Yoda teaches Jedi, but he is like a guru; he doesnít go out and fight anybody.

Kasdan: A Jedi Master is a Jedi isnít he?

Lucas: Well, he is a teacher, not a real Jedi. Understand that?

Kasdan: I understand what youíre saying, but I canít believe it; I am in shock.

Lucas: Itís true, absolutely true, not that it makes any difference to the story.

Kasdan: You mean he wouldnít be any good in a fight?

Lucas: Not with Darth Vader he wouldnít.

Kasdan: I accept it, but I donít like it.


Lucas: Well, anyway, Lukeís father gets subverted by the Emperor. He gets a little weird at home and his wife begins to figure out that things are going wrong and she confides in Ben, who is his mentor. On his missions through the galaxies, Anakin has been going off doing his Jedi thing and a lot of Jedi have been getting killedóand itís because they turn their back on him and he cuts them down. The president is turning into an Emperor and Lukeís mother suspects that something has happened to her husband. She is pregnant. Anakin gets worse and worse, and finally Ben has to fight him and he throws him down into a volcano and Vader is all beat up.

Now, when he falls into the pit, his other arm goes and his leg and there is hardly anything left of him by the time the Emperorís troops fish him out of the drink. Then when Ben finds out that Vader has been fished out and is in the hands of the Empire, he is worried about it. He goes back to Vaderís wife and explains that Anakin is the bad guy, the one killing all the Jedi.

When he goes back his wife, Mrs. Skywalker has had the kids, the twins, so she has these two little babies who are six months old or so. So everybody has to go into hiding. The Skywalker line is very strong with the Force, so Ben says, ďI think we should protect the kids, because they may be able to help us right the wrong that your husband has created in the universe.Ē And so Ben takes one and gives him to a couple out there on Tatooine and he gets his little hideout in the hills and he watches him grow. Ben canít raise Luke himself, because heís a wanted man. Leia and Lukeís mother go to Alderaan and are taken in by the king there, who is a friend of Benís. She dies shortly thereafter and Leia is brought up by her foster parents. She knows that her real mother died.

Kasdan: She does know that?

Lucas: Yes, so we can bring that out when Luke is talking to her; she can say that her mother died when ďI was two years old.Ē

I sure wish Lucas would have stuck to his guns on the Yoda thing.  One of the hokey-est things in the prequels.

Offline Scott

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 10:10 PM »
100% marketing...it was one of the best received parts of AOTC and all for gimmicky fight scene.  Although if you take Lucas on what he says look at how Yoda got beat by Palpatine.  Mace had him beat, Yoda couldn't...

Offline Scockery

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2013, 12:05 AM »
I knew that Palpatine was never going to the Emperor's name. It was supposed to be "Richard M. Nixon".  :P

Offline JediJman

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 09:46 AM »
I liked the Yoda fight scene.  I think it would be silly to have him respected as a leader, but deficient with lightsabers or any other aspect of the Jedi.  A slow burn killing Jedi behind their backs would have been cool though.  I like that better than Anakin marching into the Jedi nursery.
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2013, 10:54 AM »
Also would have made a better Leia/Luke chat about Mom in Jedi if she escaped and died a few years later... instead "Mom was sad from the impression I got as a newborn for the 2 minutes I knew her."

Offline McMetal

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2013, 10:40 PM »
Also would have made a better Leia/Luke chat about Mom in Jedi if she escaped and died a few years later... instead "Mom was sad from the impression I got as a newborn for the 2 minutes I knew her."

Seconded, that line always rang hollow for me.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 12:07 AM »
I viewed the line from Leia as more of a force impression than an infant's memory...  Kind of the force at work in Leia.  In that tone, I rather enjoy the thought.  I still would've found it interesting if Padme had survived and gone into hiding as well, but passed away from something between trilogies.

Yoda fighting, I really hoped for a force showdown...  Not the sabers.  I felt like using the force to beat your opponent was A) Not used well at all in the Prequals, and B) established pretty nicely in ANH as the "gentleman's way", of sorts.  Kenobi preferred it...  Vader wasn't going to let him go that route, and then the whole thing about him becoming more powerful once struck down and all, but I felt like Kenobi established that use of the force showed one's TRUE power, and that was carried throughout the OT then...

Flash forward to the Prequals and there's these force stalemates that then require decisions be made with lightsabers.  Meh.  That's for the weak.  Yoda/Dooku having Yoda hand Dooku his ass just by force beating him up would've been great.  Then YOda being fought to a Force Stalemate with Palpatine...  Have the saber reveal there.  Have Yoda's basic character itself be broken by Palpatine because Palps leaves Yoda no other choice than to get brutal.  Don't make it so hokey, just have it become almost something he uses to escape a situation he's pretty sure he's about to lose even.  Yoda's exile to Dagobah is sort of in some kind of "shame" if you will.
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Offline Matt

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 06:00 PM »
I like the idea of Mom Skywalker raising Leia for a couple of years and then offing herself due to her severe depression over the whole situation.  Would've been way too heavy for a movie targeted at kids, but it fits better with Leia's dialogue in Jedi and would have made more sense than whatever that ending was that we actually got.

On the Yoda thing, I caught the tail end of Clones on Spike last weekend--neat/movies/TV--and the Force faceoff with Dooku wasn't all that bad.  But then Dooku says that line, and the fanwank begins.  Yoda jumping and spinning around like the Tasmanian Devil ruins all the dignity he had in Empire and Jedi, and even Phantom Menace.  It makes me sad to see what they turned that character into.

I try to pretend like the prequels never happened, but sometimes it's hard, y'all. #InRecovery

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 07:25 PM »
I think acceptance of them helps...  Ignore the crap, enjoy the good.

My gf still laughs her ass off when Padme falls out of a fast moving vehicle in the sky onto a sand dune, and demurely rolls looking like a sleeping angel...  then boom, up and barking orders.

LMAO.

Lucas you tard.
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Offline Qui-Gon Jim

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 08:34 AM »
I think acceptance of them helps...  Ignore the crap, enjoy the good.

My gf still laughs her ass off when Padme falls out of a fast moving vehicle in the sky onto a sand dune, and demurely rolls looking like a sleeping angel...  then boom, up and barking orders.

LMAO.

Lucas you tard.
EVERYTHING on Geonosis is pretty much the worst in all of SW (aside from Padme's costume).  The worst crime AotC commits is the bungling of the C-3PO humor.  Totally misses the mark.  By 5 million light years.  So f'n terrible.

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 12:43 PM »
I think the whole "Yoda as guru" concept was a product of the filmmaking technology of the times.  From all of the behind the scenes docs at the time, it seemed very clear that there was a lot of uncertainty about whether or not the Yoda puppet would play well dramatically opposite an actor, and if the audience would suspend their disbelief and buy into the character.  Barring that, the technical challenges of filming those TESB Dagobah scenes were considerable, and just creating the appearance of the character WALKING was huge.

Fast forward to 2000, and all of a sudden it's possible to make a digital Yoda do almost anything that an actor can do, and in some cases more.  So, what to do?  Perhaps Lucas took the "Judge me by my size, do you?" line to heart in reconsidering the possibilities with Yoda?  But I think his desire to see Yoda fight was tempered by the realization that if it wasn't done right that it could look completely ridiculous.  He said so himself in the AOTC behind the scenes video.
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Offline Scockery

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 04:06 PM »
I think acceptance of them helps...  Ignore the crap, enjoy the good.

My gf still laughs her ass off when Padme falls out of a fast moving vehicle in the sky onto a sand dune, and demurely rolls looking like a sleeping angel...  then boom, up and barking orders.

LMAO.

Lucas you tard.

Around that time (before):

Anakin: "SHoot him down!"

Clone Pilot "We're out of rockets, sir!"

Obi-Wan: "Then use your lasers!"

Clone Pilot: "Then the movie would over, sir!"

Anakin: "I don't care!!!"

Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 04:38 PM »
Wasn't the Yoda fight scene not even in the original screenplay? Weren't some graphics artists fulling around with the Yoda model in their downtime and Lucas saw one of their fight sequences using Yoda and said, "Wow! That's cool! Let's put that in the movie!"
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