Original Star Wars trilogy almost had a much darker ending, according to George Lucas transcripts

Filmmaker considered including ‘the ultimate twist’ at the end of 1983’s Return of the Jedi

Louis Chilton
Friday 24 April 2020 08:54 BST
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George Lucas‘s original Star Wars trilogy almost had a much darker ending than the one that made it into the final cut, according to a recently resurfaced report.

1983’s Return of the Jedi brought triumphant closure to the story of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, but Lucas originally planned on something much more unsettling.

On the advice of co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, the film was to be titled Revenge of the Jedi, because Kasdan thought “Return” was weak.

Transcripts of meetings between Lucas and Kasdan have revealed that Lucas suggested a twist at the end of the film: after Darth Vader dies, Luke would have picked up his helmet and placed it on his own head.

Lucas suggested: “Luke takes [Vader’s] mask off. The mask is the very last thing – and then Luke puts it on and says, ‘Now I am Vader’.”

“Surprise!” he continued. ”The ultimate twist. ‘Now I will go and kill the [Rebel] fleet and I will rule the universe.’”

According to the transcripts, Kasdan responded: “That’s what I think should happen.”

However, insisting that the film “is for kids”, Lucas soon shied away from the idea of such a bleak conclusion.

While The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi have retroactively changed Luke’s fairytale ending to something a little more bittersweet than Return of the Jedi suggested, many fans will still be glad Lucas changed his mind.

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