Lucasfilm’s former Director of Fan Relations Craig Miller recently reiterated his claims that George Lucas’ original plans for his third Star Wars film that became Return of the Jedi was to be about hunting down Boba Fett and rescuing Han Solo.
Miller previously made the claim to Inverse back in 2016, when he detailed, “Originally Boba Fett was set up in Empire as a character, and the third movie’s plot was going to be more about Boba Fett rescuing Han Solo and all of that.”
He continued, “Boba was gonna be the main villain… That was set up, why he was taking Han Solo away, why there was a thing with him in the Christmas special.”
However, those plans were scrapped along with a separate trilogy that would cover the downfall of the Emperor.
Miller explained, “When George decided not to make a third trilogy, he completely jettisoned that story line, which is why in the first ten minutes, Boba Fett gets bumped into and falls into the mouth of a giant monster.”
As for that other trilogy, Miller revealed, “So he took what was planned for the third trilogy, which was the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, and the battle with the Emperor, and that got squished down from three movies to one movie. And that became the plot of Jedi.”
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Miller elaborated, “At first there was one film, and then George originally announced that it was one of 12, and there were going to be 12, and then that changed to, oh there was never 12, there was only 9, and he was going to make 9.”
“And then during all of it, George kind of lost interest in continuing it… While we were working on The Empire Strikes Back, George decided he was going to complete the first film trilogy and that would be it,” Miller stated.
Miller went on, “And I remember sitting in a mixing room with George, working on Empire, and he told me he was just going to make the third movie, which didn’t have a title at that point, and then stop.”
“He was going to retire from making big movies and make experimental movies. And that’s why the whole plot of the third movie, what became Return of the Jedi, completely changed,” he asserted.
Now, in a new interview with Star Wars Interviews, Miller reiterated his claims about Boba Fett being the main villain in the third Star Wars film.
He stated, “I worked with George quite a bit during my years at Lucasfilm. And one part of my job was to discuss with him things I was hearing from fans. Questions or issues they had with the films.”
“Like parsec being used to describe the Kessel Run seemingly as a measure of time instead of distance. Or why Chewie didn’t get a medal. And we spoke a few times about things in (or not in) the script for Empire,” he elaborated.
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Miller then went on to discuss Boba Fett, “The biggest thing was, as you mentioned, that Boba was intended to be the main villain in Return of the Jedi. That film was going to be about rescuing Han, dealing with Boba, etc. The redemption of Darth Vader and overthrow of the Emperor was intended for the next trilogy.”
“But when George decided in 1980 not to do that next trilogy, Boba Fett became expendable and those things had to be dealt with in the third movie,” he stated.
While Miller recently reiterated his claim that Boba Fett was supposed to be the primary antagonist and villain in the third film in his interview with Inverse, he detailed that as part of his job as Director of Fan Relations was to make up rumors about the films.
He explained, “We wrote a fake treatment for The Empire Strikes Back, and had just enough things people knew would be there – like that there would be an ice planet – and let it leak so there would be more rumors.”
“And Starlog Magazine helped us. We gave them the earliest photos of The Empire Strikes Back, and they wrote an article saying ‘We don’t know what’s happening on Empire Strikes Back, but here’s a list of rumors we heard.’ And it was a list that I compiled and gave them,” he revealed.
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Miller went on to note that George approved of the rumors, “I showed it to George and he said ‘You should write more rumors!’”
The former Director of Fan Relations went on to detail what exactly he did, “What we did in the final article, it ran that piece with the rumors, and then it had a sidebar, which was a response from me as a rep of Lucasfilm.”
He continued, “In it, I said some of the above was true, some wasn’t — we wouldn’t tell them which was which — and here are some more rumors that we’ve heard, that may or may not be true. At that point the only photo we released was Luke on the Tauntaun, but you only saw the Tauntauns neck and top part of its head.”
In fact, an archive of that issue of Starlog shows Miller was touting Boba Fett as the next villain, “Even Darth Vader isn’t necessary for more than a few films. We’ll have a new villain, Boba Fett, and of course the Emperor and the entire Empire yet to overcome.”
What do you make of Craig Miller’s claim about the original plans for Boba Fett?
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