In the latest episode of our ongoing series, Ryan George reveals what (probably) happened in George Lucas' original pitch meeting for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Fortunately at the time the movie was just called Star Wars, so he didn't have to explain the whole "Episode IV" thing.
Released in 1977, Star Wars was made with a meagre production budget and without much in the way of star power. A newcomer called Mark Hamill was selected to play the hero, Luke Skywalker, while a pre-Indiana Jones Harrison Ford was cast as roguish smuggler Han Solo and a completely unknown actress called Carrie Fisher had her hair arranged strangely to play the role of Princess Leia Organa. The movie's best known stars were Peter Cushing, who played the villainous Grand Moff Tarkin (a role he would later reprise posthumously, thanks to some very creepy CG technology) and Sir Alex Guinness, who played space wizard Obi Wan Kenobi.
Now, more than forty years later, Star Wars fans are getting hyped for the release of Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker, which will finally wrap up the Skywalker saga - even bringing back Emperor Palpatine for a proper farewell. Like a lot of things these days, Star Wars is now the property of The Walt Disney Company, and the House of Mouse isn't planning to let Star Wars end any time soon. While the franchise will be taking a break for a few years after The Rise of Skywalker, there are three - yes, three - new trilogies in development.
To recap (because it can be hard to keep up), Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are developing a Star Wars trilogy, while Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is working on another, and Avatar producer Laeta Kalogridis is writing a script for a movie based on the Knights of the Old Republic video game, which could potentially become its own trilogy.
It may be for the best that Star Wars will soon be moving on to pastures new, as there's already been plenty of tinkering done with the original trilogy of movies - first by adding a bunch of CGI aliens into the mix, then revealing Darth Vader's origins in the prequel trilogy, and now passing the torch to a new generation of heroes in the sequel trilogy. With billions now grossed at the box office over almost a dozen sequels and spinoffs, Star Wars has certainly proven to be the little sci-fi movie that could.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019