Most artists could only dream of creating something like the Star Wars universe, but George Lucas was the only one who could invent such a universe. While fans might not always have loved all the decisions Lucas made with the franchise, we are nonetheless grateful to him for giving Star Wars to us. All the sequels, spinoffs and everything else Star Wars related would not have been possible if not for Lucas' original ideas.
However, the Star Wars we know and love is not always the Star Wars Lucas had originally intended. He went through a lot of changes and revisions to the franchise over the years, with some of those first ideas being drastically different than what we finally got. Here are some of the ideas George Lucas originally had for Star Wars before scrapping them.
Most fans will know that Lucas’ original film was released as Star Wars before being retitled the more franchise-appropriate Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. That "Episode IV" likely confused and tantalized a lot of fans with a hint that there was more that came before. However, that wasn’t always the case.
Lucas' original title was The Adventures of the Starkiller Episode 1: The Star Wars. It’s certainly a mouthful and still quite ambitious. The title refers to the original hero of the story, Deak Starkiller. Thankfully, Lucas changed the aggressive name and simplified the title a bit.
Boba Fett is one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe despite never really living up to how cool he looks. After Lucas gave him an anti-climatic end in Return of the Jedi, he apparently decided to use him to greater effect in the prequels.
Though we see Boba Fett as a kid in Attack of the Clones, the idea was supposedly that it would be revealed Boba Fett is Anakin Skywalker’s brother. Even for all the family reveals in Star Wars, this seems like a step too far and it does nothing to re-contextualize the original series. It was wise to abandon that idea.
The sounds of R2 D2 are about as iconic as anything else in the franchise. The wordless droid who only communicates through beeps and buzzes helped mandate that every Star Wars film needed to have a cute droid featured.
R2 wasn’t originally so cute, however, as he was written to speak English – and apparently, it was a rather vulgar English. Lucas made him a rude droid prone to swearing until deciding it was better not to understand him and just have C-3PO’s offended reactions. Indeed, it made him a more memorable character.
When the Special Edition of A New Hope released in 1997, one of the most talked about scenes was the new introduction of Jabba the Hutt. Originally, Jabba wasn’t seen until Return of the Jedi, but Lucas had originally planned on including him in the first film, albeit in a much different way.
While the restored scene features a CGI version of the classic character design. The original deleted scene can be found in which Jabba is played as a human by actor Declan Mulholland. The sight is a lot less intimidating than the creature we know as Jabba the Hutt.
Though the character of Mace Windu didn’t appear on screen until the prequel series (played memorably by Samuel L. Jackson), he was originally a significant part of the original trilogy.
At various stages of the creation of Star Wars, Mace Windu was included in the story as Princess Leia’s brother and as Luke’s friend. Lucas even considered having the character serve as the narrator for the overall saga before abandoning the idea altogether. Clearly, the character name stuck with him as he brought it back all those years later.
Lightsabers are one of the coolest ideas in the entire Star Wars universe, and they remain such an exciting part of the franchise all these years later. But while they were presented as the unique weapon which only the Jedi and Sith can wield, they were originally much less exclusive.
The idea was that lightsabers would be as common as blasters in the universe. Every Stormtrooper and thug could carry one, which obviously made them seem a lot less special. In Lucas' defense, if you came up with an idea that cool, you'd probably want to feature it as much as possible.
Thanks to the design and Frank Oz's masterful puppetry, Yoda became one of the most memorable characters in the Star Wars universe. While many fans weren’t thrilled with the CGI reboot of the character in the prequels, that was at least better than what we almost got.
Early concept art shows that Yoda was meant to be a garden gnome-like character. Presumably to be played by a human actor, the character looks ridiculous and totally out of place in Star Wars. Thankfully, there was a change of heart and a little green icon was born.
Of all the changes in character designs, Han Solo was likely the most significant. Before Harrison Ford was made a star by the role, the character was conceived to be a reptilian creature with gills.
As impressive as some of the alien designs are in the original Star Wars, this choice would have cost the franchise its most charismatic character. It's hard to imagine Ford would have agreed to play the character with that look and any actor would have to struggle to be charming under all those prosthetics.
The revelation that Luke and Leia are the children of Darth Vader changed the Star Wars saga forever. The Skywalker lineage remains a massive part of the franchise to this day and, apparently, into the future. But with some of the things that came before, some fans wonder if that was the idea all along.
As it turns out, one of the earlier drafts of Empire Strikes Back did include Luke meeting his father and finding out he had a twin sister, but it was not Vader and Leia. He meets his father as a ghost who tells him that his sister is hidden away in another part of the galaxy. Despite the questions it raises, the Vader reveal is obviously more impactful.
Before Lucas sold the rights to Star Wars to Disney thus kickstarting a new trilogy, Lucas had plans to revisit Star Wars himself. He has said that he had been planning a sequel trilogy that would have focused on the microbiotic world of Star Wars and the creatures of that world called "the Whills".
While Lucas, as mastermind of the entire franchise, should have been able to finish the story he wanted to tell, this sounds like an odd approach. Lucas himself said he thinks fans would have hated the new trilogy – although it's not like they aren't complaining about the sequel trilogy they eventually got.