George Lucas’ Initial Plan for Luke Skywalker in the Sequel Trilogy!
Since the announcement of a new sequel trilogy, it’s become a common activity to go back through old interviews with cast and film makers to try to glean information about Lucas’s original intent for what would happen after Return of the Jedi. Mark Hamill, ever open on the subject, has been one of the greatest sources of that information, frequently relaying bits of his conversations with Lucas over the years about what he had expected from subsequent films. From the various comments, it seems the direction that Lucas envisioned evolved over the years, but seemed to always focus generally on Luke as a wiser and older Jedi.
This 1983 piece, while light on content, does get interestingly specific on a possibility that was once envisioned for Luke’s future. And it ties into some popular theories for what people expect out of Episode VIII.
The piece itself is fascinating. The late great Gene Siskel doing a feature on the release of Return of the Jedi. It features some interesting commentary on the quality of the film and the evolution of the saga as it was seen at the time of release. It also features some interesting comments from Anthony Daniels and Mark Hamill on some difficulties they had with the roles they were given by Lucas. And while all of that content is great fun, it is the one comment from Hamill towards the end that stands out the most in light of the release of The Force Awakens. George Lucas wanted Luke Skywalker to be a father in the sequel trilogy.
This isn’t a hugely shocking revelation, but it is interesting to hear from someone as in the know as Hamill would have been at that time. Many years before Lucas ever dreamed up the commitments of the prequel era Jedi Order, and well before anyone knew that the sequel trilogy would occur about 15 years later than planned, Lucas intended to show Luke as the father figure, coming full circle from his redemptive role as the son of Anakin. One of the more popular theories of Rey’s parentage has been that she could be the daughter of Luke, either left in hiding by Luke before he ran off to Ahch-to or possibly believed dead after the slaughter of Luke’s Jedi Academy (could that be her grave Luke stands in front of in the last shot of The Force Awakens?).
The Rey as Luke’s daughter theories make quite a bit of thematic sense to the apparent direction of the trilogy, but have met some resistance due to the Jedi code or other issues. But, if Lucas himself was considering this direction, it would seem to lend more credence to that possibility.
But there is also another possibility. Many fans think that Rey being Luke’s daughter is too obvious, especially given that the creators of VIII and IX seem to be treating it as a mystery. If she was Luke’s daughter, that wouldn’t really be much of a mystery or a revelation. Pretty much everyone walked out of their first viewing of TFA thinking that Rey was probably Luke’s daughter. Of course Rey not being Luke’s daughter doesn’t mean that Luke can’t be a father to someone else in the sequel trilogy, right? So think about this for a while as well.
We don’t know how much of Lucas’ original vision remains within the movies as we see them now. How much of Lucas’s treatments are still intact, has been quite the topic of debate recently in light of Lucas’s 60 minutes interview. But we do know one thing. George still wants to know what happened to Darth Vader’s grandchildren (plural). He said so, right here…