Indulge me a little while I delve into the deepest depths of my knowledge of Star Wars history…
There’s been a rumour floating around Cyberspace for the last week or so regarding a new trilogy of Star Wars films allegedly being planned by King George. What’s more, these new films are supposedly going to be filmed in 3D! Holy shit!
Now I’m no spokesman for Lucasfilm, but I can tell you right now that these rumours are nothing more than pure horse-shit. And I’m going to try to explain why.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that ever since the release of the first Star Wars in 1977, rumours have been floating around of a mythical 9 film Saga. These rumours were based on loose comments George made back in the late 70s when asked about more Star Wars movies and where he may like to take the Saga in the future. Nothing and I mean NOTHING was ever set in stone. These were vague ideas that George had. The key cast of the original Star Wars signed a 3 picture deal in the hope that ‘A New Hope’ would be successful enough to spawn a sequel or two. But beyond those plans, anything else was just fantasy.
In the early 70s when George was putting down ideas for ‘The Star Wars’ he compiled several treatments on what would happen in the story. Those key plot points eventually went on to form the basis of the Original Trilogy. George knew at this early stage that his ideas for the first film were too ambitious, too massive and too expensive to be viable. So he essentially took the first act and developed it into the screenplay that became ‘Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope’. If the film proved successful then maybe he could strike a deal to make a sequel and expand on the ideas that would become Acts 2 and 3, or as we know them now, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’.
It’s interesting to note that when George wrote the final draft of the first Star Wars film, in his mind Luke and Vader were NOT related. As fas as George was concerned, Vader and Luke’s dad were two separate people. It was only when George started fleshing out ideas for ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ did he hit upon the notion of making Luke’s father and Vader one in the same person.
Cynics often note the scene in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ in which Leia kisses Luke as gross and incestuous. But when the film was being made, according to George, Luke and Leia were NOT related. And this is where things start to get really interesting and why talk of a new Trilogy just don’t make sense. At this point George still had vague ideas about a trilogy set after ‘Return of the Jedi’. Remember the scene in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ in which Yoda says: “No, there is another” when alluding to someone else who could destroy Vader? Well that ‘someone else’ was, at the time of writing the script, Luke’s sister. BUT his sister was not Leia.
Here’s how it was going play out: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ was to establish that Vader was Luke’s father. In Episode 6, Luke was to confront Vader and defeat him. This all happened. BUT, that was not the end of the story. In the proposed Episodes 7-9 Luke was to then set about searching for his long lost sister. The ‘someone else’ that Yoda referred to in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. This sister was clearly not Leia, making her kissing him, nothing more than an act of emotional manipulation on her behalf.
The early 80s was a busy time for George. Not only was he making the Star Wars Trilogy, he was also writing and producing the first 2 Indiana Jones films. By 1981 was has buggered and he decided to re-think the direction of the Star Wars Saga. This is when he decided to consolidate his ideas and make Leia Luke’s sister. By doing this, he could essentially wrap up Luke’s story with the conclusion of ‘Return of the Jedi’, thereby eliminating the need to continue the story any further. The idea of Luke having a mysterious, previously unseen sibling was scrapped.
Of course this still left the door open for a Prequel Trilogy, which George only decided to make after leaving Star Wars alone for a decade.
Since 2005, George has gone on record on numerous occasions stating that Episode 3: ‘Revenge of the Sith’ is the FINAL Star Wars film. Ever. And that the entire Saga is Darth Vader’s story. With his death in ‘Return of the Jedi’, the story concludes. That’s it. Sure the Expanded Universe stuff has continued the story, but as far as George is concerned, his input into the story finished with the completion of Episode 3.
Lucasfilm are fully focussed on the Star Wars live action TV series now. This is the medium into which George now wants to take Star Wars. He knows TV is the future. The TV series will be set between Episodes 3 and 4 and will not focus on the Skywalker family. It is not a continuation of the story as seen in the movies, more an expansion of ideas alluded to in the 6 films.
I would love to see more Star Wars films. I really would. But i just can’t see it happening. I’d love to see Mark Hamill return to the role of Luke and assume an Obi Wan-type position in a new trilogy. But I’m afraid that that idea, like any idea of Episodes 7-9 ever happening, is nothing more than a fan-boy fantasy.