George Lucas’ 1981 Plan For The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy

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George LucasReturn of the Jedi will celebrate its 30th anniversary of its release on May 25. To celebrate, The Huffington Post’s Mike Ryan wrote a pretty engaging article on the upcoming book The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Author J.W. Rinzler details how the third installment in the Star Wars trilogy’s title went from Revenge of the Jedi to Return of the Jedi, and George Lucas’ rough ideas of how Anakin Skywalker became the Sith Lord Darth Vader.

This gives insights into George Lucas‘ vision of what would become the Star Wars prequel trilogy, but from the vantage point of the early 1980s, while Return of the Jedi was still in production. Although there are some conflicting details, it’s surprisingly accurate to what audiences eventually saw in the produced Star Wars prequels, beginning with The Phantom Menace in 1999.

At the time, Lucas described the Force as something that anyone could learn to use, as if it were a martial art or yoga. He also said that Yoda was not a real Jedi, but rather a teacher of the Jedi Arts, ergo Jedi Master. As such, Lucas said audiences would never see Yoda fight, a decision he obviously reversed for Attack of the Clones in 2002. There is also no mention of midi-chlorians.

Other than that, Anakin Skywalker’s rise to power and fall from grace seems to be spot on with what we saw in 2005′s Revenge of the Sith. Lucas also explained how Luke and Leia were separated while they were babies, and why one went to Tatooine, while the other went to Alderaan.

You can read the excerpt from The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, which features an interview with George Lucas, Empire Strikes Back co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, and Return of the Jedi director Richard Marquand, over at The Huffington Post.


  • merwanor

    Interesting, I have never minded the midi-chlorians part, I just took it as an explanation as to why some people whre force sensetive and others not. Nevertheles, I love all the Star Wars movies. My favorite is of course Empire Strikes Back, but my second favorite is Episode 3.

    I am really looking forward to the new movies, and as both a hugh Star Trek fan and Star Wars Fan, the fact that JJ Abrams is directing is cool. I at least thought the new Star Trek movie was brilliant, and a great homage to WoK.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Baker/694378392 Aaron Baker

    Uhhm … Lawrence Kasdan was NOT the director of ‘Empire’. That distinguished honor goes to Irvin Kirshner. Get your facts straight!

    • Likesbeingmean

      Lighten up and move out of your parents basement, moron.

    • alexubel989

      Empire Strikes Back co-writer Lawrence Kasdan

      The article says nothing about him being the director. Learn to read before you comment.

  • Jesus: version buddha 3.9

    Of course he went the route of giving the power of the Force only to a privileged few. Only the ruling class get Jedi powers, or at best, the police, the protectors of the ruling class…

  • bob

    bull shit. he never planned on making prequels in the 80s. that’s why they were never originally titled “episodes” until the re release in the 90s when he started gearing up for them when he realized he could make money. he’s even admitted as much in other interviews. he so full of shit he’s starting to believe it himself.

    • alexubel989

      You would be wrong. I saw Empire when it came out originally and it was definitely titled Episode V. Hell I still have the original VHS tapes that they released.

  • Todd Foster

    Lawrence Kasdan didn’t direct Empire.