The untold truth of the original Star Wars

Before settling on Star Wars as we know it, George Lucas went through a lot of false starts and drafts. Though it's almost unimaginable, we almost got a much different movie than the Saga of the Skywalkers we all know and love. If things went the way Lucas had originally planned, there would never have been a Rogue One or Force Awakens. What a dark, dark world that would have been.

Han Solo was originally a giant green monster

Yes, Han Solo, arguably the hottest of the original three main characters (Chewie might be hotter) was originally a giant green monster, which is almost antithetical to Han Solo in the films as we know it. Sure, Han is a scruffy-looking nerf herder, but he's a handsome scruffy-looking nerf herder. Can you imagine the famous "I love you" / "I know" scene if Leia was saying that to something that resembled a praying mantis more than a man? Who would've cared if he had been trapped in carbonite? He had gills at one point!

Luckily, Lucas eventually concluded, "That costs too much, and also maybe I should just use a human?" Of course, his next choice was "flamboyant pirate," which makes us think of no one aside from Jack Sparrow! Eventually, he settled on a cute carpenter as a rogue-ish smuggler. Thank God too, because if not, then there would have been no chance for a romance between him and the original Luke.

No, Luke wasn't originally gay — he was …

Luke was originally a girl

Yeah, originally, Rey would've been the second main female Jedi in a Star Wars trilogy. See, when Lucas was writing Star Wars the script changed a bunch, and at one point he decided that Luke's character was going to be a sixteen-year-old girl who was going to fall in love with Han Solo, because a sixteen-year-old falling in love with an older criminal isn't problematic at all!

Because absolutely everything from Star Wars needs to be made into a toy, the original girl Luke (named Starkiller because c'mon, how is that not the coolest?) was made into a toy — to be honest, she resembles Rey more than a little bit. Heck, given how Rey's relationship with Han plays out (plus everything else in the movie) we'd say that Force Awakens was probably just a remake of older, unused Lucas ideas. Only, you know, turning "falls in love with Han" to "thinks of Han as a father" because, again, eww.

Luke was originally the Obi-Wan "old mentor" guy

At some point in his endless drafts, Lucas had the idea to make Luke Skywalker a general who would actually be a Jedi and have experience. He was basically Obi-Wan Kenobi. the older Jedi mentor from the prequels.

But wait — who would he have been mentoring? Who would've he taught the ways of the Jedi to? Who would have gone through the whole Hero's Journey and was between the ages of 18-35, as all main characters must be? Annikin Starkiller. Yeah — originally the first episode of Star Wars was more like Attack of the Clones then anyone should feel comfortable admitting to.

Eventually, Lucas decided to cram Skywalker and Starkiller into one person (sounds messy), and we got the pale-skinned, blonde boy we all know and love (and wish was more diverse). So, when you see Luke Skywalker in Episode VIII, just know that he looks almost exactly how he would've in the first Star Wars, if Lucas hadn't changed his mind.

It originally didn't have the trench run

Remember how the ending of Star Wars is amazing and climactic and epic and geez, just watch the video above, okay? Darth Vader coming at Luke. Luke turning off his targeting computer and then Han Solo blasting back to shoot Vader off his tail. Luke barreling down to shoot the one weak spot in the entire Death Star.

It's so tense and it wouldn't have existed if it weren't for Lucas' wife. She's the one who suggested it. His original version of the trench run had Solo coming much earlier and had Luke doing two runs at the trench because, you know, why not, let's just chill out for awhile. It's not like the fate of the entire Rebellion is on the line or anything. Apparently all of Lucas' original ideas were about as good as The Phantom Menace, which just goes to show: you always need to do at least two drafts. And consult your wife.

Darth Vader wasn't a cool awesome robot guy

Despite it undeniably being one of the coolest things about Star Wars, Darth Vader originally just looked like a boring human being. So what changed? Concept art!

Remember how, in the beginning of the movie, Vader boards Princess Leia's (RIP, it still hurts) ship? Well, originally, he was going to fly to it, using a specially built suit. After seeing the suit, Lucas loved it so much he went, "That! Let's just make him look like that!" This helped with him turning out to be Luke's dad later — might have been a bit weird for them to excuse away the facial similarities … although they did that with Leia, so who knows?

Even after deciding he needed to be a kickbutt machine robot cyborg thing, Lucas went through a few different changes in Vader design, before landing on the awesome, scary design we all know and love.

Of course, that's not the only difference between the original Darth Vader and the one who has appeared in literally every single Star Wars film that has been made. (Yes, his charred helmet in Force Awakens counts as an appearance.) There was one huge change made, bigger than just his design …

Darth Vader wasn't the main bad guy

Originally Darth Vader wasn't the cool, omnipresent bad guy, with connections to every single character in the film. He wasn't there killing Ben, wasn't there to have "killed" Luke's dad, and wasn't there to choke out that whiny little punk who talked about how the Force wasn't real. He was just a background character who ordered others to attack the main characters … kinda like Darth Sidious in the prequels.

The main baddie was a guy called Valorum, which is the name of a character in the prequels. Hrm. (If you think we're referencing the prequels a little much, it's not an accident. Lucas said that, when he went back to write the prequels he read through all his old drafts first, because why not take all the old stuff he cut and try to make three movies out of them? How could that mess anything up??)

By the way, this version of Star Wars is the same in which Luke Skywalker was a general teaching Annikin Starkiller. This script was so close to what we actually got, eventually a comic company went, "Hey, we like money," and adapted it as a comic book, that you can purchase, with moneys! Yes, you can read what a Star Wars movie in an alternate universe looks like. And that's not the only alternate Star Wars movie you can read …

The original second Star Wars

The sequel that never was is called Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Back when Lucas wasn't sure how Star Wars was going to do at the box office, he hired a writer to pen a cheap sequel script so that, if he had to, he could make a second one for much less money. Of course Star Wars became galactically (get it?) successful, and Empire Strikes Back replaced Splinter.

The story followed Luke and Leia (plus the droids) taking a trip to a swamp planet to find a thing called a Kyber crystal. You know, those things that Jedis use for their lightsabers and the Death Star uses to power its blow-y up-y blasts? Well, in the original version of the story, these things also increased your connection to the Force, which is why Luke was attempting to find it. But Darth Vader follows and the two battle, with Luke cutting Daddy's arm off before fleeing. As you might be able to tell, some elements of it made it to Empire Strikes Back — a climactic showdown between Luke and Darth, a swamp planet, a weird freaky ending — but all in all, it's incredibly hard to tell how Star Wars would've come out if he had stayed with his original sequel plans.

Of course, even when he landed on Empire, he didn't immediately get to the awesome version everyone loves. He had to work through some changes first.

Leia wasn't originally Luke's sister

Yep — as late as the filming of Empire Strikes Back, Lucas had not decided that Leia was Luke's sister. The two of them were even going to have a discussion about their feelings about each other, which would have looked super-creepy after the sibling reveal. Even creepier than the kiss.

This, honestly, makes a lot more sense. Think of the end of the movie! It's a bit weird if they're not twins. The two of them have a weird psychic Force connection at the end, which makes sense for Force-powered twins, but not so much for just two random people who happen to hang out sometimes. Of course, maybe it would have been better, since then the weird knight-saving-Princess plot of the first movie — accompanied with him repeatedly calling her hot — might not seem quite as creepy, but hey, what do we know?

Lucas didn't make the decision until making Return of the Jedi (which was originally called Revenge of the Jedi, because Lucas was apparently going through a case of the sads or two). Of course, that's not to say that Lucas was clueless about Luke's sister. He had an actual plan he was going to implement …

Luke was going to meet his sister in Episode VII

Yes. That's a seven, AKA what eventually became Force Awakens. Originally, Return of the Jedi wasn't the actual ending of the series — it was to be the end of the first of three trilogies Lucas was going to make. He planned on waiting a little bit and then making another three movies with Han, Leia, and Luke, in which Luke met his sister — named Nellith — among other awesome stuff. It would have dealt with Luke becoming an awesome Jedi, along with Leia, before eventually taking on the Emperor and rebuilding the Republic. Also, R2 and C3PO would have been there, because of course those two droids would have been. They basically run the show.

Darth Vader wasn't going to be his dad

Yes, originally Darth Vader wasn't going to be Luke's dad. Even while making Empire Strikes Back, he wasn't the father! See, originally, on Yoda's planet, Luke was going to meet up with his own father's Force ghost, and it wasn't Vader. While it's somewhat easy (and cheesy) to write away "Vader killed your father" as "from a certain point of view," it might not have worked so much, after Luke meet his dad's literal ghost.

This version did at least include Vader attempting to befriend Luke so the two of them could take over the Universe together, much like what happened in Return of the Jedi. So it wasn't that different, right? Okay, no, super super different. Like, can you imagine a Star Wars without all the daddy issues? We sure can't.

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