Part of what I love about fictional universes with extensive historical lore is knowing it all sprang from the mind of the author. That someone, somewhere sat down and took the time to map out a country or a galaxy. They lovingly created cultures and species and planets and political strife, knowing most of it would never see the light of day within the context of their story. Unless, of course, they were lucky enough to become a pop culture watershed and fans clamored for a history book.
Star Wars is one of the lucky few properties that not only gets to indulge in the minutia of creating a galaxy, but can peel back the curtain to show the process of how a world is created. Worlds like Jakku in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In a recent Instagram post showcasing concept art, Lucasfilm revealed that — once upon a time — Rey wasn’t from the desert planet where the last major battle between the New Republic and the Empire was fought. Instead, she was a girl named Kira who lived on a junk planet full of jungle.
Jakku’s origins can be traced to an early Episode VII visuals meeting, where the concept of a “junk planet” was discussed. Early versions of the script included a young hero named Kira, described as a “longer, hothead, and gear-head.” The junk planet eventually became a desert world, though a jungle was considered, as was[a planet made of melting glaciers]. Initially, the wreckage was to include a crashed Imperial space station. This was later changed to a Star Destroyer, as seen in The Force Awakens.
Of course, just because these ideas weren’t used for Jakku doesn’t mean their dead on arrival. With decades of concept art in the archive, Lucasfilm has a reputation for breathing life into old Star Wars ideas such as vehicles, planets, and aliens. Perhaps one day, future installments of the franchise will feature a tundra jungle full of scrap metal. Or even a castle built on a melting glacier. You know, just as a nice foil to Vader lava lair.