George Lucas had a roadmap for the Star Wars movies that was far, far from the final sequels fans enjoyed.
In the book The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005 from Taschen, Lucas, 76, discloses details of the outline he envisioned for his follow-up to the prequel trilogy, which culminated in 2005's Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. According to Polygon, the creator of the sci-fi world wanted to make Princess Leia the true hero in the end.
"She ended up being the Chosen One," Lucas said in the book, the outlet reports.
The filmmaker’s company, Lucasfilm, was acquired by Disney in 2012. In the deal, Disney also purchased Lucas’ outlines for three new Star Wars movies — what would be the third trilogy in the series, following the original trilogy (released from 1977 to 1983) and the prequel trilogy (released from 1999 to 2005).
Disney ultimately decided to veer away from Lucas' intended plot lines for the new installments, introducing new characters and making Leia a general of the Rebel Alliance.
Carrie Fisher originated the role of Leia in the original, A New Hope, and she later reprised her character for the recent sequel trilogy made by Disney, before her death in December 2016 at age 60.
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According to Polygon, Lucas also wanted to bring back Darth Maul, the short-lived villain from 1999's Phantom Menace, to be the primary antagonist in the sequel trilogy. The villainous forces in the new films ended up being Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo Ren and (spoiler alert) Emperor Palpatine.
"Maul eventually becomes the godfather of crime in the universe because, as the Empire falls, he takes over," Lucas said, adding, according to IndieWire: "Darth Maul trained a girl, Darth Talon, who was in the comic books, as his apprentice. She was the new Darth Vader and most of the action was with her. So these were the two main villains of the trilogy."
Disney Chairman and former CEO Bob Iger wrote in his 2019 memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company that Lucas felt “betrayed” by the company’s plans for the franchise.
During a meeting where they began to discuss the first movie in the third trilogy, 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Iger wrote that Lucas "immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren’t using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"George knew we weren’t contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we’d follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded," Iger continued. "I’d been so careful since our first conversation not to mislead him in any way, and I didn’t think I had now, but I could have handled it better."
Iger added at the time: "George felt betrayed, and while this whole process would never have been easy for him, we’d gotten off to an unnecessarily rocky start."
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