If you thought fans were mad at Rian Johnson, just imagine how they may have felt about George Lucas’s direction for the Star Wars sequel trilogy. It’s widely known now that at the time that Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney, the creator of the franchise handed over outlines for Star Wars: Episode VII, Episode VIII, and Episode IX. This was his design for the conclusion of the Star Wars saga that he began in 1977, and that he returned to for the prequel trilogy starting with 1999’s The Phantom Menace. But given that Lucas no longer ran the show, filmmaker J.J. Abrams and and Co. decided to take the story of the Star Wars sequels in a very different direction than Lucas had intended.
We still don’t know too much about where Lucas planned for the franchise to go, aside from the fact that he wanted to bring back Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, but now some curious new details about his intentions have surfaced online. Via a tweet from the book’s illustrator Livio Ramondell (via The Playlist), Lucas apparently reveals in the companion book to James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction series that his Star Wars sequels would have delved deeper into scientific explanations for the Force:
“[The next three Star Wars films] were going to get into a microbiotic world. But there’s this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force… If I’d held onto the company I could have done it, and then it would have been done. Of course, a lot of the fans would have hated it, just like they did Phantom Menace and everything, but at least the whole story from beginning to end would be told.”
While I admit I’m curious as to how Lucas planned to wrap up the storylines of the Original Trilogy characters, this idea of further explaining how the Force work sounds kind of terrible. One of the major aspects of Phantom Menace that fans reacted negatively to was the idea of midichlorians, which basically explained that the ability to control the Force was simply genetic. The Force is something that works much better as an idea rather than a scientific phenomenon.
But Lucas says the midichlorians were key to his vision for the Force:
“Back in the day, I used to say ultimately what this means is we were just cars, vehicles for the Whills to travel around in….We’re vessels for them. And the conduit is the midichlorians. The midichlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force… All the way back to—with the Force and the Jedi and everything—the whole concept of how things happen was laid out completely from [the beginning] to the end. But I never got to finish. I never got to tell people about it.”
For some this may be right up their alley, but boy is this kind of demystification a bit dismaying for myself. The next time you decide to yell at Rian Johnson about “ruining” Star Wars with surprising character developments in The Last Jedi, remember what George Lucas had in mind.