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Medium, Pablo Hidalgo and Young: Many of the ideas for TFA and TLF were from Lucas

Lunar Wolf

Member
Nov 6, 2017
8,737
Los Angeles
https://www.starwarsnewsnet.com/2018/01/pablo-hidalgo-sheds-more-light-on-george-lucass-influence-on-the-sequel-trilogy.html

https://medium.com/@Oozer3993/george-lucas-episode-vii-c272563cc3ba


Medium Article(written by Reset Era regular Oozer):

When George decided to make a new trilogy, he moved quickly. On June 1st 2012, he hired producer Kathleen Kennedy to become co-chair of Lucasfilm, a move many saw as a signal that the company was getting back into the movie making business. But the cinematic Star Wars universe was thought dead, so most speculation was about Indiana Jones 5. Later that same month, members of Lucasfilm’s story team learned the news. “We’re making seven, eight and nine.” Michael Arndt would be hired as the screenwriter and Lawrence Kasdan brought on as a consultant sometime around then. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were told at Celebration VI in August, and Harrison Ford was likely called and informed at roughly the same time. Lucasfilm as a whole was then made aware in September. Then the sale to Disney happened in October and the world was told. And things really got going.
In December of 2012, production designers Doug Chiang and Rick Carter and ILM Creative Director David Nakabayashi met to pick artists for the “dream team” for Episode VII. The day after the meeting, Rick Carter met with George Lucas at Skywalker Ranch. The design team had its first meeting on January 9th, 2013. In attendance were writer Michael Arndt, who had recently turned in a 40 to 50 page treatment of the story, and director J.J. Abrams, though the latter would not be officially announced as attached to the project until the 25th and due to post-production on Star Trek Into Darkness would only attend weekly teleconferences with the team until May when he joined full time The design team, or “Visualists” as Rick Carter would call them, would meet with George Lucas on January 16th at Skywalker Ranch, where he would be shown art of Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Temple he had exiled himself to, and the training of Kira. This appears to be his last involvement with the film.



Early outlines for the movie centered around the characters Sam and Kira. Arndt described them, respectively, as “pure charisma” and a “loner, hothead, gear-headed, badass.” While its been widely reported that Vanity Fair said the leads of George’s outline were “teenagers,” George himself said they were in their 20s, which fits the early concept art better. He also said the story was about the grandchildren of Anakin Skywalker.


"From the very beginning we sort of settled on very quickly that we wanted the girl, Rey, to be a scavenger. We always wanted her to be the ultimate outsider and the ultimate disenfranchised person, because that person has the longest journey… And then we were struggling to figure out who the male lead was going to be. I remember we talked about pirates and merchant marines and all this stuff". — Michael Arndt
Early on I tried to write versions of the story where [Rey] is at home, her home is destroyed, and then she goes on the road and meets Luke. And then she goes and kicks the bad guy’s ass. It just never worked and I struggled with this. This was back in 2012. It just felt like every time Luke came in and entered the movie, he just took it over. Suddenly you didn’t care about your main character anymore because, ‘Oh f–k, Luke Skywalker’s here. I want to see what he’s going to do.
Some of the very first concept art done for the movie was that of a remote Jedi Temple where Luke Skywalker was hiding out. George approved at least one such piece [2], the only art piece we know of that he approved:



Phil Szostak, author of The Art of The Force Awakens and The Art of The Last Jedi, revealed that the Luke Skywalker seen in The Last Jedi had his genesis in ideas from late 2012.

So, the late-2012 idea of a Luke Skywalker haunted by the betrayal of one of his students, in self-imposed exile & spiritually in “a dark place”, not only precedes Rian Johnson’s involvement in Star Wars but J.J. Abrams’, as well.
Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now was an inspiration for this take on the character. Doug Chiang created a concept piece of Luke’s X-Wing submerged in the waters of the planet he was exiled on in February 2013

Another late 2012/early 2013 idea appears to be Mono Lake in California as inspiration for the planet that would become Jakku. The planet being strewn with junk comes from Michael Arndt at the very first meeting of the design team on January 9th , so it may have originated from the Lucas/Arndt days.
While not much about Han Solo or Leia Organa’s roles in George and Michael’s treatment is known, there are several pieces of concept art from early 2013 of the Millennium Falcon on or above the planet of Felucia, which was briefly glimpsed during the Order 66 Jedi purge montage in Star Wars Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. Additionally, text in The Art of The Last Jedi implies that Han would have shown up later in The Force Awakens than he does now. Additionally, Harrison Ford told GQ that as he remembers it, his first call with George Lucas about Episode VII included the detail that Han would die in the movie.

Darth Talon, a character from the Star Wars Legacy comic series known for seducing one of Luke Skywalker’s descendants to the dark side, makes a curious amount of appearances in early concept art. Interestingly enough, George Lucas was known to be fond of the character, asking game development studio Red Fly to include her in their Darth Maul game around the same time he likely started thinking about a sequel trilogy.



The art above is accompanied by the caption “The tattoos are a lot simpler. The follow a rhythm and they flow. And that’s the evil thing puppeteering her from behind.” Darth Talon also appears in a series of storyboards titled Seduction from February 2013, the earliest known storyboards from the movie.



Pablo Hidalo:

The first couple of points worth discussing here were actually brought up by Full Of Sith Podcast contributor Bryan Young on his Twitter page, where he noted that a number of story elements from both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were borrowed from Lucas’s story treatments based on The Art Of… books for both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Young mentioned that many of the plot points for the character of Kylo Ren were already decided by Lucas: that he would betray his uncle, kill many of his fellow students, and ultimately murder his own father. Likewise, Rey would ultimately convince Luke to get out of his depression and do something about the war. The key difference is that both of these events would have happened in the same Episode VII – whereas in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, they’re both late-movie plot points. Hidalgo added to Young’s observations by noting that Kylo Ren’s origin was actually intended to be explored in Episode VII instead of Episode VIII:


Pablo Hidalgo: In a very general sense, the original idea of 7 started midway through what we now know as 8.

So the difference between The Force Awakens and Episode VIIas it was originally conceived was that the story would have coincided with Ben Solo’s fall to the Dark Side. Instead, we’re introduced to him being Snoke’s apprentice for a few years:


Pablo Hidalgo: The son falling to the dark side was always in the mix. The movies just ended up having it already an established fact.

Later, Young got into an argument with an Expanded Universe fan who was unhappy with the direction of the new films. The EU fan argued that Star Wars Legends was closer to Lucas’s vision (it wasn’t), an Young responded by reiterating what was mentioned above, with other users chipping in to suggest that Lucas’s ideas weren’t completely scrapped so much as they were reworked by the people working on the new movies. Hidalgo added to the conversation by adding some of the code names for the other characters:
Pablo Hidalgo: Skyler and Kira (and Kira wasn’t the first proposed name either; she had at least two others) became, after a fashion, Finn and Rey. The Jedi Killer morphed from Talon corrupting the son to becoming the son. Uber became Snoke. The starting point shifted. Yadda yada yada.


“The Son” and “The Jedi Killer”, of course, referring to the character that would become Kylo Ren. “Talon”, interestingly enough, refers to the Sith Lady that was seen in the Star Wars: Legacy comics (an idea that Lucas did pull over from the Expanded Universe, though not in the way that the character was originally meant to appear). It’s also worth emphasizing that these are story treatments and not scripts – as far as we know, Lucas only completed an outline for Episode VII and only had a few other ideas for the other two movies:
Lastly, Hidalgo noted that “Skyler” (Finn) was originally The Son (Ben Solo) in some drafts of Episode VII:

Pablo Hidalgo: Skyler was the son in some versions. And as for how all that was gonna go down, that ain’t my story to tell.
tldr;

Rey is 80% George's creation. Female protagonist, scavenger, Jakku, finding Luke to become a Jedi, getting him out of his depression and doing something about the war came from him. Rey may or may not have been intended to be a Skywalker but it's uncertain. There doesn't seem to be strong implications that she was meant to be a Skywalker for episode VII.

Finn was originally called Sam/Skyler and the male lead. Kylo Ren was just referred to as the Son (of Solo) or the Jedi Killer. Sometimes Finn/Sam/Skyler was the Son and sometimes the Jedi Killer was the Son. They could've potentially both been the Sons at the same so there would've been 2 Solo sons.

Darth Talon morphed from being the Jedi Killer corrupting the Son(Finn) to becoming the Son(Kylo Ren).

Lucas' Episode VII would've started with TLJ.

Han was always intended to be killed by the Jedi Killer.

Kylo Ren's character pretty much followed Lucas' points: Betray Luke, kill many of his students and murder Han Solo.

Lucas' episode VII would've coincided with Ben Solo's fall to the darkside not have it as an established fact a few years already down the road.

Snoke was named Uber.
 
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Duane

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
2,989
FYI, the Medium article was written by Reset-er (and Star Wars OT regular) Oozer last weekend, and I’m pretty certain it prompted Pablo to start tweeting about the subject a bunch starting literally the next day.
 

excelsiorlef

Member
Oct 25, 2017
40,844
I don't think you can say shit like Rey is 80% Lucas... ideas and actualization are completely different.

Some credit sure but certainly not 80%
 

jaekeem

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,552
I wish they had shown us Ben's fall to the darkside, rather than having it established from the outset of VII.

I think it would have been a chance to make up for how badly done the prequels were, in regards to Anakin's fall. It also just seems far more compelling to me as a plot than the new hope rehash VII ended up being.
 

MMarston

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
7,550
On this note, people should really check out the concept art books for both movies if they wanna see more of the early days of planning the sequel trilogy. Lots of interesting imagery


 

TheXbox

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,656
Really intriguing stuff, although not much of it is new. I wish they'd release Rinzler's book for TFA. There's been many indications that the film's production was far more tumultuous than Disney/LFL have let on.
 

Moebius

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,001
Darth Talon would have been awesome. Hopefully they bring that character into future movies. I feel like they really fumbled Finn's character. I liked him in the last movie but he could have been totally missing from this new one and I wouldn't have felt any different. The only plot point that had any weight to it in the last jedi were the Kylo, Rey and Luke relationships.
 

Bonefish

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,261
On this note, people should really check out the concept art books for both movies if they wanna see more of the early days of planning the sequel trilogy. Lots of interesting imagery
Its mostly depressing due to the fact that it shows how JJ Abrams literally sapped the character and creativity out of nearly all the conceptual work for Episode 7.

Every opportunity to showcase unique or new visual flair was wholesale traded for cheap nostalgia pandering and unoriginal design work. Lucas should have never sold to Disney.
 

El Bombastico

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
11,109
Man, now I almost wish Lucas had said "Fuck it" and made the ST himself.

If only to see how badly he would've fucked it up this time...
 
Oct 27, 2017
15,485
All the stuff seen would have had me much more excited than the current trilogy does. And we could have gotten a cool junker planet instead of Tattoine 2: The return of even more desert. Lucas has always been a good ideas man, but he just needed people around him to actually contest his ideas, reel in the crazy and polish them. *Sigh*
 
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El Bombastico

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
11,109
I doubt it'll ever happen, but I do have a small bit of hope to one day get the "Lucas VII-IX" in comic form.
It wouldn't be the same. We need Lucas directing and trying to make actors say his pissawful dialogue for the full effect.

Just imagine Adam Driver as directed by Lucas. If you hated Kylo Ren before, oh boy...
 
OP
OP
Lunar Wolf

Lunar Wolf

Member
Nov 6, 2017
8,737
Los Angeles
It wouldn't be the same. We need Lucas directing and trying to make actors say his pissawful dialogue for the full effect.

Just imagine Adam Driver as directed by Lucas. If you hated Kylo Ren before, oh boy...
Ben Solo(before he turns):I-I killed them. I killed them all. And not just the men....and the women....and the children....and the babies but their little puppies too.
 

Aftermath

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,756
George Lucas Question to JJ Abrams in one of those video Interviews in 2015/15

"What Happens to Darth Vaders Grandchildren?"

JJ replied

"I Dunno George you wrote this shit" laughs

Will they re-add that in episode 9
 

excelsiorlef

Member
Oct 25, 2017
40,844
Its mostly depressing due to the fact that it shows how JJ Abrams literally sapped the character and creativity out of nearly all the conceptual work for Episode 7.

Every opportunity to showcase unique or new visual flair was wholesale traded for cheap nostalgia pandering and unoriginal design work. Lucas should have never sold to Disney.
We got a good movie instead of another Prequel quality one.
 

MMarston

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
7,550
Its mostly depressing due to the fact that it shows how JJ Abrams literally sapped the character and creativity out of nearly all the conceptual work for Episode 7.

Every opportunity to showcase unique or new visual flair was wholesale traded for cheap nostalgia pandering and unoriginal design work. Lucas should have never sold to Disney.
Eh, I was still impressed with and enjoyed the final result that he managed to put out in the end, even taking into account the visual retreads.

Also, I do not envy JJ being in the position he was in when he took up the project. According to the art book and some other things I've read

1. Dude signed up while he was still in the midst of wrapping Star Trek Into Darkness.

2. Arndt left writing/production after a good deal of work on it, so they had to re-jig it fast

3. They regularly ran into the problem that plagued the old EU during the conceptual/pre-production phase: a lot of things they kept chugging out were way too out there for Star Wars and it kept happening more often than it should have. They had a hard time pinning down an ideal identity of what this new era would look like; hell, it was already pretty late in the game when they finalized Kylo's mask.
 

excelsiorlef

Member
Oct 25, 2017
40,844

Medalion

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
12,203
Everything is Lucas' fault... that's why he sold this thing, because nobody likes his ideas anymore.

It's not that hard to conceive some of the bad ideas... are Lucas'... look at the prequels and the changes to the OT, do you need anymore evidence?
 

Darknight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,153
Really intriguing stuff, although not much of it is new. I wish they'd release Rinzler's book for TFA. There's been many indications that the film's production was far more tumultuous than Disney/LFL have let on.
What happened to Rinzler’s book? I remember it got announced but then it just disappeared. I love his books about the original trilogy.
 

Einchy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
28,065


This was your idea, wasn't it George?
I love the idea of Rey opening up an X-Wing to slash some shit with a Lightsaber, and I can imagine it making for an awesome action set piece, but I don't know how you can do it without it being dumb as shit. That concept art makes it seem like a Lightsabers, like, 20 X-Wings wide.
 

Aadiboy

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,676
Say what you will about Lucas, but at least his TFA planets would have been unique and cool.
 

El Bombastico

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
11,109
Rey, to show she's totally not Anakin.

"I really love Sand."
You joke but I can imagine Lucas actually having such a line in the film.

"Its like poetry."

You can have a good movie with interesting and creative visuals too.
Too bad Lucas has proven himself to be incapable of such a feat.

Say what you will about Lucas, but at least his TFA planets would have been unique and cool.
And everything else would have been shit.

No thanks.
 

9-Volt

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,527
I suspect they’ve not fully scrapped idea of Darth Talon. Episode XI needs another villain and she sounds perfect for the role. There has to be someone else behind First Order in the shadows and she needs to be last remnant of the Sith ideology. Snoke is not a Sith or a strong character and neither is Kylo that leaves a huge empty spot in dark side.
 

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,984
There would've been a load of controversy if they'd gone through with Talon, being the ultimate "evil female vixen who uses her sensuality to corrupt men".

But George is a horndog.
 

TheXbox

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,656
What happened to Rinzler’s book? I remember it got announced but then it just disappeared. I love his books about the original trilogy.
Shitcanned. No one knows why, although I'd hazard a guess that it involves a mixture of sensitivity over story details as well a desire to uphold the reputations of present-day LFL/Bad Robot. I don't think the film was a nightmare by any stretch, but I do think there was some tension between the two companies, and between JJ and the rest of LFL.

 

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,984
Rinzler's blog, before it was shut down, made it pretty obvious that he didn't like the direction Lucasfilm was heading post-George. The books probably would've exposed some stuff Lucasfilm would rather keep under wraps.
 

Jarmel

The Jackrabbit Always Wins
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
5,132
New York
I kinda like the idea of having TFA and TLJ in one film. Seems like a lot of interesting ideas got scrapped and instead we got JJ mystery box shit instead.