Star Wars author Pablo Hidalgo recently published Star Wars: Fascinating Facts, in which he claims that Luke Skywalker was supposed to die in Episode VIII.
With the book’s release parts of it have made their way to the internet and one page titled “Luke Skywalker’s Destiny” claims that George Lucas had Luke Skywalker die in Episode VIII.
Twitter user @Oozer shared the page that fully reads, “Years before The Last Jedi began development, the treatment left behind by George Lucas in 2012 also had Episode VIII be the one wherein Luke Skywalker would die.”
However, as Disney Star Wars Is Dumb points out, this claim actually contradicts what Mark Hamill stated about his character in an interview with IGN back in 2018.
Hamill explained, “I happen to know that George didn’t kill Luke until the end of [Episode] 9, after he trained Leia. Which is another thread that was never played upon [in The Last Jedi].”
Not only did Hamill detail that Luke wasn’t supposed to die until Episode IX, but he also explained that George Lucas had written an overall arc for the trilogy, something he says Disney did not do.
“George had an overall arc – if he didn’t have all the details, he had sort of an overall feel for where the [sequel trilogy was] going – but this one’s more like a relay race. You run and hand the torch off to the next guy, he picks it up and goes,” Hamill stated.
He continued, “Rian didn’t write what happens in 9 – he was going to hand it off to, originally, Colin Trevorrow and now J.J. […] It’s an ever-evolving, living, breathing thing. Whoever’s onboard gets to play with the life-size action figures that we all are.”
The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson confirmed the fact that there was no planned story after The Force Awakens, “I’m sure they talked about where it might go early on, but when they came to me, there was no mapped story presented beyond TFA.”
Hidalgo would also seemingly try to claim that Luke’s depiction in The Last Jedi was part of Lucas’ original treatment that Disney purchased from him.
The author wrote, “Although Luke only barely appears in The Force Awakens, the concept artists had a lot to imagine based on the fragments of the story they were hearing as it developed.”
“Rey was on a mission to seek out Luke Skywalker, who had disappeared. As described George Lucas, Rey is like Willard going up river seeking out Colonel Kurtz, an allusion to Apocalypse Now. The story had Rey find Luke on a Jedi temple planet, but he is a recluse, withdrawn into a very dark space and needs to be drawn back from despair,” Hidalgo added
He then wrote, “Lucas approved one striking piece by Christian Alzmann that embodied this incarnation of Luke.”
Alzmann did indeed share a concept image of Luke Skywalker in 2018. The artist says the image was completed in January 2013 for a possible sequel trilogy. This was after Disney had purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas. Disney purchased the company in 2012. However, Alzmann does note that George did approve of it.
He explained the piece, “My first image I made for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This was January of 2013. Luke was being described as a Col. Kurtz type hiding from the world in a cave.”
“I couldn’t believe I was getting to make this image and I got a George “Fabulouso” on it to boot,” he added.
However, Lucas made it very clear that Disney and Lucasfilm rejected his sequel plans.
During an appearance on CBS This Morning, Lucas stated, “The issue was ultimately, they looked at the stories and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans.”
“People don’t actually realize it’s actually a soap opera and it’s all about family problems – it’s not about spaceships. So they decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing so I decided, ‘fine…. I’ll go my way and I let them go their way,'” Lucas added.
In fact, Bob Iger also stated in his recently published memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, that George felt betrayed by Disney and Lucasfilm.
Related: Bob Iger Admits George Lucas Felt Betrayed With Disney’s Version of Star Wars
Iger wrote, “George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren’t using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations.”
“George knew we weren’t contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we’d follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded. I’d been so careful since our first conversation not to mislead him in any way, and I didn’t think I had now, but I could have handled it better,” Iger continued.
Finally, he stated, “George felt betrayed, and while this whole process would never have been easy for him, we’d gotten off to an unnecessarily rocky start.”
Despite, admissions from both Lucas and Bob Iger that Disney did not use his original treatments, Hidalgo goes on to claim that Rey, Finn, and even Kylo Ren were part of Lucas’ original vision.
He wrote “The Force Awakens’ long journey from idea to finished film was filled with evolution, but one idea that remained constant from the start was that of a young woman’s quest to become a Jedi Knight.”
“In George Lucas’ original outline, she was a 14-year-old girl named Taryn. In his subsequent iterations, she would briefly be named Thea and – believe it or not – Winkie. When writer/director J.J. Abrams came aboard, he simplified the names to placeholders,” Hidalgo continued.
He then added, “Kylo Ren was Jedi Killer. Thea became Sally. Finn was called Harry. And the character that would be Poe was John Doe. As the film neared production, Sally became Kira (which stuck as a production code name), then Echo, and finally Rey.”
However, by Hidalgo’s own admission it appears Abrams completely changed the characters. On top of that, Abrams also confirmed Disney threw out Lucas’ original outlines and revealed the “mandate was to start from scratch.”
He told Slashfilm in 2015, “I came on board and Disney had already decided they didn’t want to go that direction, so the mandate was to start from scratch and tell a story that was the continuum… And Kathleen Kennedy brought on Larry Kasdan and Michael Arndt, and it was those people I began working with.”
While Hidalgo’s newest book tries to imply that Disney’s sequel trilogy is based on Lucas’ vision, the man himself made it perfectly clear it wasn’t. On top of that, former Disney CEO Bob Iger also made it clear they were not based on Lucas’ vision and so did both J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson.
And if that wasn’t enough evidence, Lucas told James Cameron that his sequel trilogy would explore a “microbiotic world.”
He told the Terminator 2 director, “[The next three Star Wars films] were going to get into a microbiotic world. 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.”
“Back in the day, I used to say ultimately what this means is we were just cars, vehicles for the Whills to travel around in … We’re vessels for them. And the conduit 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,” Lucas added.
What do you make of Hidalgo’s recent claims about Luke Skywalker and the sequel trilogy?