Star Wars: The Last Jedi is currently entertaining critics ahead of its impending release to the world on Friday. But it would seem Mark Hamill still wonders what might’ve been if George Lucas had stayed with the franchise for his own versions of the new trilogy. Hamill has been down this road plenty in the past and holds Lucas in the highest regard when it comes to Star Wars.
He’s talked about the original plans for Episode VII soon after Return Of The Jedi was released, and apparently had some mild disagreement over Luke’s character arc with Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. He cleared up any confusion behind that and seems to have delivered the performance of his career in the latest installment, but still wishes Disney had pondered Lucas’ ideas according to Metro:
“What I wish is that they had been more accepting of his guidance and advice. Because he had an outline for ‘7,’ ‘8,’ and ‘9’. And it is vastly different to what they have done…
“But then again, I don’t want to be an old stick in the mud. There were the originals. There’s the prequels. But that’s all George. And now we have the next generation. And as far as I can see they are more popular than ever.”
The details of Lucas’ version of these films is murky at best. According to an interview with Total Film in 2008 (via Inverse), Lucas went on to say there would be no future features in the Star Wars franchise because there was “no story.” That apparently changed once Lucasfilm was sold to Disney and new films were being kicked around, with Lucas reportedly penning an outline that was turned down according to Vanity Fair in 2015:
[Abrams] said Lucas’s treatment had centered on very young characters—teenagers, Lucasfilm told me—which might have struck Disney executives as veering too close for comfort to The Phantom Menace and its 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker and 13-year-old Queen Amidala. “We’ve made some departures” from Lucas’s ideas, Kennedy conceded, but only in “exactly the way you would in any development process.”
Any discussion of what George Lucas would’ve done differently with the current trilogy really shouldn’t happen until all three films are released. These films seem to be introducing the universe to a new audience while paying respects to Lucas in the right places. The Force Awakens itself is nothing but a nod to the very first Star Wars film.
Maybe they’ll be released as a book at some point.