Luke Trained Leia In The Force
It should be noted that at various points in history, Lucas developed a number of varying concepts for a theoretical Star Wars sequel trilogy. Obviously, once Return of the Jedi came out, his original plan could no longer happen. Han Solo was very much alive, Darth Vader and the Emperor had been defeated, and Leia was revealed to be Luke's sister. So, Lucas had to come up with something new. He actually spent quite a bit of time working on outlines for Episode VII - IX prior to Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, but Kathleen Kennedy scrapped those ideas in favor of what we got. While fans will never get to see Lucas' sequel trilogy, some of the story beats he was planning have been revealed.
Mark Hamill stated that in Lucas' outlines, Luke trained Leia in the ways of the Force. He never got into greater specifics of what that might have entailed, but it would have been fascinating to see the twins work together in that capacity. Official Star Wars canon has indicated Leia received minor lessons from Luke in regards to her Force abilities, but she never became a full-fledged Jedi Knight. Leia's areas of concentration were always politics and leadership. Especially with the rise of the First Order, she didn't have the time to completely dedicate herself to Luke's teachings. If Lucas' ideas remained intact, it sounds like Leia would have followed her brother's footsteps and helped establish a new Order. Given the tease in Return of the Jedi (Luke saying, "In time, you'll learn to use it [the Force] as I have."), this would have been a natural continuation for Leia's individual story and allowed her to reach her full potential as Force user. As it stands, fans were only treated to snippets, and that's the most that'll ever be seen onscreen.
Luke Died In Lucas' Episode 9
After bidding farewell to Han Solo in The Force Awakens, Star Wars fans had to say goodbye to another original trilogy hero in The Last Jedi. At the end of the film, Luke sacrifices himself so the surviving members of the Resistance can escape, igniting a spark of hope throughout the galaxy. It was an epic and fitting sendoff for Skywalker, but per Lucas' original drafts, his death wasn't supposed to happen until the final movie, after he trained Leia. This was another revelation from Hamill, who again did not share much beyond the fact Luke was initially going to die in Episode IX.
It's an idea Hamill was fond of, since he lobbied to Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to save Luke's noble death for Episode IX. Of course, he eventually came around and realized that Last Jedi was a better movie with the ending Johnson had constructed. One can't blame Hamill for his original feelings, however. After all, Luke was the protagonist of the original trilogy and the entire franchise started with his journey. It would have been poetic if he had stayed around to the very end and bowed out gracefully in a heroic gesture to save the galaxy once and for all. Hamill will reprise Luke in the actual Episode IX, but in all likelihood it will be a minor role as a Force ghost to share some important wisdom with Rey. His story is now complete.
As one might expect for a movie that's been in development for close to 40 years, Episode IX has gone through several iterations before it finally hits the big screen this December. Even Disney's version underwent substantial changes; Lucasfilm started over from scratch following Carrie Fisher's death and replaced Colin Trevorrow as director with Abrams. It's always interesting to read about how different these films could have been and compare it to what we actually got. Hopefully, Abrams and company were able to come up with a fitting final chapter and Episode IX gives fans reason to celebrate.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019