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Lucas and Kasdan hashing out Anakin's backstory in 1981

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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.

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.


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
--- End quote ---

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

100% 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...

I knew that Palpatine was never going to the Emperor's name. It was supposed to be "Richard M. Nixon".  :P

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.

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."


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