Details about George Lucas‘ unused original treatment for the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy have been as exciting as they’ve been hard to come by. Lucasfilm is understandably keeping the treatment close to the chest, but every time we’ve caught a glimpse of the franchise creator’s plans, it’s been a conversation starter. The latest detail? George Lucas always wanting to kill Luke Skywalker in “Episode 8.”
The news comes from a new book written by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, titled “Star Wars: Fascinating Facts: Story, Lore & History From The Greatest Galaxy.” In the book, which hasn’t been released yet but had some pages leak on Twitter, Hidalgo writes: “Years before ‘The Last Jedi‘ began development, the treatment left behind by George Lucas in 2012 also had Episode 8 be the one wherein Luke Skywalker would die.”
Even more fascinating is that the book notes deeper parallels between Lucas’ original plans for Luke Skywalker, and what Ryan Johnson ultimately delivered in “The Last Jedi.” According to Hidalgo, Lucas envisioned Luke as “a recluse, withdrawn into a very dark space and needs to be drawn back from despair.” Lucas’ treatment alluded to Luke Skywalker’s arc in the sequel trilogy mirroring that of Colonel Kurtz in “Apocalypse Now.”
So, the sequel trilogy did not disrespect Lucas’ wishes, as some fans complained about when “The Last Jedi” came out. On the contrary, several plot beats in the recently finished trilogy are quite similar to the original treatment by George Lucas, including a young woman going on a quest to become a Jedi Knight. Before she was Rey, Lucas wrote a character “like Willard (Martin Sheen‘s character) going up river seeking out Colonel Kurtz, an allusion to ‘Apocalypse Now’.”
“The story had Rey find Luke on a Jedi temple planet, but he is a recluse, withdrawn into a very dark space and needs to be drawn back from despair,” Hidalgo explains in the book.