How George Lucas Helped Influence The Last Jedi
Ever since purchasing the rights to Star Wars back in 2012, Disney have more or less shunned George Lucas and his many sequel trilogy ideas... or so it would seem. In reality, the legendary filmmaker has contributed to Episodes VII and VIII alike in more ways than you probably realised. So, with that in mind, here is how George Lucas helped influence The Last Jedi.
Contrary to popular belief, director Rian Johnson wasn't trying to ruin the childhood of elder fans with his depiction of the Star Wars universe. In fact, many of the core concepts of The Last Jedi were initially aired during a creative meeting on Skywalker Ranch back in 2013. Everything from an island home to the first ever Jedi Temple to the idea of Kylo Ren were conceptualised. George Lucas even approved the design of a bell-shaped structure for the remaining Jedi to teach and learn the ways of the Force. And aside from a drastically different looking Luke Skywalker – who would have appeared more like a bald monk than a shaggy-haired hermit – the creator of Star Wars himself also played no small part in shaping the dynamic between the grizzled Jedi Master and his younger counterpart.
According to Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo, the portrayal of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi played out much like George Lucas had initially intended. In his mind, the disillusioned Jedi Master would isolate himself on an unknown planet around thirty years after the fall of the Galactic Empire. But despite his reluctance to train the young Force-sensitive Kira – a fear induced by his failure to prevent the “Jedi Killer” from destroying his Jedi Academy – Skywalker would eventually find the willpower to once more help the galaxy. This would later see him rejoin the Rebels in their fight against the evil doers of the galaxy, as explained by Lucasfilm executive creative director Doug Chiang:
"[Luke] always had this potential dark side within him, being that his father was Darth Vader. So he is really struggling with that. He ended up secluding himself in this Jedi temple on a new planet, and he's just there meditating, reassessing his whole life. Gradually, over the arc of the movie, he rediscovers his vitality and comes back to himself."
It's also worth mentioning that Lucas had the initial idea to reveal the main villain – i.e. Kylo Ren – as the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo. There was even talk of introducing a character named “Skyler”, who would have filled the role of Finn in both The Force Awakens and its sequel. And with that, we just about cap off all the details Rian Johnson and others reused from the lips of George Lucas himself. So with that being said, do you now view The Last Jedi in a different light? Or do you wish Disney used an entirely different premise for their highly-anticipated sequel? Let me know in the comments below.