The original Star Wars films were pretty straight forward; they consisted of a hero’s journey, complete with an old wizard, a cruel villain, and a damsel in distress. They were conceived from the creative genius of George Lucas, and based on his fascination with Kurosawa films and the mythology analysis of historian Joseph Campbell. They were his passion projects and, seeing as how he was never sure if he’d get to keep making them, they were not always as narratively coherent as fans would like.
As full of plot holes as the original trilogy is, the prequel trilogy that Lucas set out to make made certain things canon that were never brought up in it. In fact, the prequels didn’t seem to follow any template set forth by the three films he’d already made. Unfortunately, this made for some continuity problems. But were all of his changes a bad decision, simply because blanks were being filled in a way that fans were adverse to? You decide, with these 10 things Lucas made canon that weren’t in the original trilogy.
When first we meet one of the last remaining Jedi in the Star Wars Universe, it’s grizzled old Obi-Wan Kenobi, explaining the concept of the Force to a callow young farmboy named Luke Skywalker. Luke’s looking to make sense of the ideologies his father gave his life for, and Obi-Wan describes the Force as an energy field that binds the galaxy together and connects all living things.
In Episode I, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn explains that the Force is actually made up of microscopic creatures that live inside the cells of everyone in the galaxy, and if they’re sensitive enough, they’ll be able to hear them trying to communicate its will.
In the original Star Wars trilogy, Boba Fett is a ruthless Mandalorian bounty hunter, hired by Lord Vader to track down the Millennium Falcon and Han Solo, who Vader plans to use as bait for Luke Skywalker. Not much is known about Boba Fett’s past - he’s simply a mysterious menace.
In the prequels, it’s established that Boba Fett is a clone of Jango Fett, a Mandalorian bounty hunter that was recruited by Lord Tyranus to be the genetic sample for a clone army. Jango raises Boba like a son from infancy, and the Fett family then becomes an integral part to the plot of Episodes II and III.
While it is now standard procedure to earn the ranking of “Darth” when accepted into the Brotherhood of Darkness in Sith circles, this was not always the case. In the original Star Wars trilogy, Obi-Wan Kenobi actually refers to Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith by what is ostensibly his first name when he declares, “You’re only a master of evil, Darth.”
In the prequels, Lucas clearly means “Darth” to be a title and not a name, as we are introduced to two Sith in Episode I: Darth Sidious and his apprentice, Darth Maul. Darth is now a label to indicate esteem, and when Anakin Skywalker becomes “Darth Vader”, it is his Sith title, not his change of name.
While R2-D2 is considered nothing if not an adventurous little droid, the original Star Wars trilogy saw him at his most indefatigable covering vast swatches of Tatooine desert without issue. He was able to communicate with starship computers, rewire blast doors that had unexpectedly shut, and reverse the forward momentum of the trash compactor walls on the Death Star.
In the prequels, by contrast, Lucas has him flying around with repulsor lifts, soaring hundreds of feet in the air, and creating Mario Kart inspired oil slicks. It would have been quite handy in the original trilogy if R2 could have come through with a fraction of those superpowers.
C-3PO and R2-D2 have enough trouble remembering their long and sordid history of being traded from one owner to another, without remembering who first cobbled them together. When we first meet them, it’s established that R2-D2 is an astromech droid, and Threepio is a protocol droid. They were presumably built in some droid factory before beginning their lives serving their dedicated functions.
In Episode I, for no reason whatsoever, it’s established that Anakin Skywalker, the young slave boy who would grow up to one day be Darth Vader, is the one that built C-3PO. A protocol droid, on a remote backwater planet, to assist his mother (also a slave) with housework.
Obi-Wan changes his narratives frequently over the course of the original trilogy, especially when it comes to the real identity of Luke’s father, and the circumstances surrounding his death. In Episode IV, when R2-D2 meets Obi-Wan, he insists that they know one another when he delivers a message from Princess Leia requesting the old Jedi Master’s help.
Not only does Obi-Wan not remember R2 at all, despite frequent interactions in the prequels, it’s also stated he “served” Leia’s father in the Clone Wars, when in fact Bail Organa was a Senator, not a military leader, and it was Obi-Wan who was a general, and served the Jedi Order.
When Luke and Threepio follow runaway R2-D2 out into the wastes of Tatooine, they encounter Obi-Wan Kenobi, the last of an ancient order of Jedi Knights. He informs Luke his father was a Jedi too, one that left Tatooine to fight in the Clone Wars, before being turned to the Dark Side and becoming Darth Vader.
It was never established that Luke was in hiding on Tatooine, but the prequels suggest that Luke and his twin sister Leia were taken and separated from Vader so that he wouldn’t be able to find them. Prior to Episode III, Luke simply was born on Tatooine, like his father before him, and dreamed of also one day being a pilot.
One of the main reasons that Obi-Wan Kenobi urges Luke to train with Yoda is that he’s a powerful Jedi Master, and was also his mentor before the Jedi became extinct. Luke flies to the planet Dagobah solely on Old Ben’s word that he’ll be encountering his old instructor, and receive the same teachings he did.
In the prequels, Obi-Wan’s master is only Yoda if you consider a few philosophical conversations in a hallway constitute Jedi training. His master is in fact Qui-Gon Jinn, who was never mentioned once by Obi-Wan in the original trilogy.
To hear Owen Lars talk around his kitchen table, Luke Skywalker’s father was a reckless starfighter pilot who wanted nothing more than to get away from his boring life on Tatooine and see more of the galaxy. It’s ambiguous whether or not Owen and Anakin were supposed to be related, but they supposedly were around each other enough for Owen to form an opinion of Anakin “getting involved in the Clone Wars”.
In Attack of the Clones, it’s established that Anakin doesn’t join the Jedi to fight in a war, doesn’t live on Tatooine past age ten, and interacts with Owen so briefly as his adoptive brother-in-law, that it’s a wonder Owen cared what happened to him.
In Return of the Jedi, Luke explains that he has no memory of his mother. So he asks Leia, who he’s since found out is his twin sister, if she has a memory of their mother. She explains she remembers “just images really” of her. She’s described as very beautiful, but sad.
In Episode III, it’s established that Padme, Luke and Leia’s biological mother, dies in childbirth, making Luke’s perception canon (no memory of her) and Leia’s perception (fuzzy memories) completely impossible. It could have been cleared up if Leia had mentioned she was referring to her adoptive mother, Breha Organa, of Alderaan.