Ever since George Lucas revealed that Star Wars was not the first chapter of a saga, but the fourth part of a nine-part story, people have speculated over where the filmmaker was going to take the series.
Of course, following the original trilogy, Lucas wrote and directed the prequels, three movies that told Anakin Skywalker’s story as he transformed into Darth Vader.
However, Lucas was never able to make the sequel trilogy. Disney purchased LucasFilm and created their own set of movies, only taking on board notes from the series’ creator rather than telling his stories.
The 74-year-old has been particularly coy when talking about his vision for the sequel trilogy. Last year, though, an accompanying art book for The Last Jedi revealed some initial sketches that Lucas had made for the sequel trilogy, including artwork that saw Luke Skywalker training a new disciple, named Kira, on a secluded planet very reminiscent of Ach-To.
Thanks to commentary from Lucas in another accompanying book, James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, which comes out alongside the AMC series of the same name, we have further information about the sequels.
According to the interview, the three movies would have centred on something established during the ill received prequels, midi-chlorians. Established during the Phantom Menace, the microscopic life forms were said to live everywhere and within everyone: yet, Anakin had the highest count of midi-chlorians that Qui-Gon Jinn had ever seen.
“Everyone hated it in Phantom Menace [when] we started to talk about midi-chlorians,” Lucas tells Cameron, who conducts the interview. “There’s a whole aspect to that movie that is about symbiotic relationships. To make you look and see that we aren’t the boss. That there’s an ecosystem.”
And how would that have related to the sequels? “[The next three Star Wars films] were going to get into a microbiotic world,” he continues. ”But there’s this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force.”
Any Star Wars fan worth their salt will recognise the Whills. The first movie was initially part one of the ”Journal of the Whills” before being retitled Star Wars (and then retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope). The Whills, present in Lucas’s earliest drafts, were an order of immortal beings who seemingly controlled everything through the Force.
“Back in the day, I used to say ultimately what this means is we were just cars, vehicles for the Whills to travel around,” Lucas tells Cameron. “We’re vessels for them. And the conduct is the midi-chlorians. The midi-chlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force.”
In other words, rather than the Force being some mystical thing people could control, the Force was a literal thing being controlled by a set of beings behind-the-scenes. All that ‘chosen one’ malarkey was purposely created by the Whills – they created certain destinies for people.
When Phantom Menace debuted, Star Wars fans really – really – hated the idea of midi-chlorians. “If I’d held onto the company I could have done it, and then it would have been done,” Lucas says. ”Of course, a lot of the fans would have hated it, just like they did Phantom Menace and everything, but at least the whole story from beginning to end would be told.”
That Star Wars would eventually criticise the idea of destiny and ‘chosen ones’ is something that was explored in The Last Jedi. Rey, we discover, has no special background but can still control the Force – her destiny, though, is one she seemingly makes for herself, rather than one created by tiny organisms (although Episode IX could change that).
So, fans of Star Wars, now we know where Lucas would have taken the story. Those who criticise the Disney sequels may want to rethink their stance, or perhaps they will wish Lucas had been able to fulfil his vision. Either way, Rey, Finn, and Poe are here to stay, and that’s probably for the best.
Excerpt provided by Insight Editions from James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction. © 2018 AMC Network Entertainment LLC. All rights reserved. James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction airs Tuesdays at 9pm on AMC on BT TV
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