When George Lucas wrote the first draft for the original Star Wars, it was a stark contrast to the movie we know and love. After numerous re-writes, edits, cuts, and additions, Lucas finally turned in a product that bore little resemblance to what he typed up years earlier. This left behind an entire Sarlacc pit of unused ideas, forgotten characters, and elements that were either retooled or cut completely. Plus enough conceptual art to fill an entire gallery. In this list, we're going to look at 10 such elements that we believe could have worked, or at least be reintroduced into a future installment.
10 The Death Of Deak Starkiller
According to the book The Cinema of George Lucas by Marcus Hearn, the first draft of Star Wars that resembled an actual screenplay, rather than a plot synopsis, focused on the Starkiller family.
Kane, a Jedi, and his two sons, Annikin and Deak, lived in hiding on a distant moon. Their lives are interrupted though, when a Sith murders Deak, prompting Kane to ask General Skywalker to train his surviving son to become a Jedi Knight. The death of the 10-year-old Deak may have been too brutal for audiences to bear back in the '70s. However, it would have been interesting to see how his death affected the sixteen-year-old Annikin.
9 Montross Holdaack
In a later incarnation of the script featured a version of Han Solo that most fans will find familiar. A pilot who serves alongside his trusty pal, Chewbacca, Han agrees to fly our heroes out of Mos Eisley, for a fee of course. However, alongside Chewy, Han also has a third crew member with an interesting physical characteristic.
Lucas scholar Marcus Hern claims that the third pilot was Montross Holdaack, and is a cyborg, whose only organic parts are his head and an arm. Cybernetic beings appeared frequently in the early drafts, sometimes as heroes and other times as villains. The character Lobot, Lando's cybernetic friend from The Empire Strikes Back, was likely born out of this idea. But we'd still like to see a character like Montross make an appearance sometime in the series.
8 How Han Got His Ship
Speaking of Han Solo, in the original draft, he didn't have his own ship. In fact, had things gone as originally written, we would've seen how everyone's favorite scoundrel got the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. And no, he didn't win it in a card game with Lando.
Hearn says that, in the draft, the ship in question was a pirating craft where Han had worked. While at Mos Eisley, Han faked an emergency to scare everyone off. This allowed him to steal the vessel and get our heroes to their next destination. It's a cunning movie that sounds like something only Han himself could've thought up, and it would've made for a better explanation than Solo.
7 R2-D2 Talks Like A Human
One of the most adorable traits of R2-D2 is that he communicates in beeps and boops, yet everyone is still able to understand him. This wasn't always the case, and in an early draft, R2 actually talks like a human, English and all. In essence, he talks the way one would assume R2 would if he were given vocal cords. He argues with C3-PO, drops quips left and right, and is generally a giant smart-ass. It would've been hilarious to see our little droid friend insulting C-3PO and being able to understand it all.
6 Dueling In Space
In one of the last drafts to be written before production began, Lucas envisioned a world where people would literally fly into the depths of space and have lightsaber duels in the stars. This is originally why Darth Vader was seen wearing a breathing mask. It wasn't because he was unable to breathe on his own, it was because he needed a way to travel in between spacecraft without suffocating in the vacuum of space.
This idea is forever immortalized in a concept painting by Ralph McQuarrie, where Darth Vader battles Deak Starkiller (this time a high ranking Jedi), shortly after arriving on his ship. While Deak Starkiller would be reworked into various different characters as production progressed, Vader's spacesuit stuck, and today it remains an enduring piece of Star Wars iconography.
5 Stormtroopers With Lightsabers
Early drafts made little distinction between the Sith and the Empire. At various points during the writing process, the Sith was the Empire, and vice versa. It wasn't until much later that Lucas separated the two. But this early idea did spawn a number of cool concepts, one of which was force sensitive stormtroopers. Artwork from McQuarrie shows a number of stormtroopers carrying lightsabers and shields like European knights. While the idea was scrapped, it would have been cool to see lightsaber-welding stormtroopers duking it out with Jedi knights.
4 Wookiees In The Death Star Assault
Despite being the most recognizable alien race in all of Star Wars, the Wookiees regularly get the short end of the stick. First, Chewbacca doesn't get a medal, then his family is made a laughing stock in the Holiday Special. And finally, they were replaced by a race of stupid teddy bears in what was supposed to be their big break.
But in one of the drafts, the Wookies were members of the rebel alliance. Some even became pilots, and were recruited in the attack on the Death Star. Unfortunately, Lucas didn't seem to think the Wookies would make good pilots, and axed them from the scene. What gives, George?
3 Krayt Dragon In A New Hope
Unlike other entries on this list, the Krayt Dragon is part of the Star Wars canon. The creature has appeared in a number of different expanded universe material, and its skeleton can be seen briefly in A New Hope amongst the sand dunes of Tatooine. Obi Wan mimicked the sound the roar of the Krayt Dragon to scare off the sand people from an unconscious Luke. However, if early concept art is to be believed, the lizard-like creature was to play a bigger role in A New Hope.
Among the many pieces of Ralph McQuarrie's artwork for the original Star Wars, there is a painting of a Krayt Dragon (pictured above) attacking some sand people. While it is not known whether this was ever supposed to be in the movie, it does make for an intriguing scene that would've looked really cool on screen.
2 Lea's Interrogation
Lea's interrogation scene in A New Hope was restrained, to be sure. All we see is a hovering droid with needles and pincers, but the movie leaves it up to us to imagine what figure out what happened next. But if things went the way Lucas had originally imagined, it could've been a lot more graphic.
The Cinema of George Lucas details a scene in one of the final drafts, where our heroes find Lea hanging upside down, covered in blood, with her eyes glowing bright yellow. This concept was scrapped due to budgetary cuts, much to the disappointment of Carrie Fisher, who was looking forward to being hung like a piece of meat.
1 The Kyber Crystals
Kyber Crystals are what powers a Jedi's lightsaber, a fact that has remained part of the canon for over four decades. However, The Cinema of George Lucas mentions that in nearly all the rough drafts that Lucas wrote, the crystals held more importance. Initially, Lucas wanted the crystals to be a powerup of sorts, a way for the Jedi to gain force energy and become more powerful. The crystals could heal injuries and even bring people back from the brink of death. While a very interesting concept, Lucas scrapped it at the last minute, choosing instead to make the Force a purely spiritual energy that wasn't bound to a physical object.