A long time ago, during a five-day story conference for the original Star Wars trilogy’s final chapter, creator George Lucas revealed an early Darth Vader backstory to producer Howard Kazanjian, writer Lawrence Kasdan, and Return of the Jedi director, Richard Marquand.
This juicy bit of Star Wars history comes from The Star Wars Archives Eps I-III 1999-2005, a new book from author Paul Duncan, who we can all thank for bringing a somewhat bizarre original backstory for one of, if not the greatest movie villain of all-time in Darth Vader, to our attention. You can have a gander at it in a tweet from Duncan down below.
July 13-17, 1981: This is George Lucas explaining to Richard Marquand, Howard Kazanjian, and Lawrence Kasdan the background for Anakin, Obi-Wan and the Emperor during a story conference for Return of the Jedi, so they have context for the end of the movie. pic.twitter.com/XcURLY3JBb
— Paul Duncan (@kershed) November 28, 2020
I initially just read the excerpt, unaware of both the new book and Paul Duncan. I wasn’t sure what to think about it so I did some Googling to make sure this was actually real. I then thought old Georgie boy may have been doing a bit of trolling. Because if you ask me, it reads as if Lucas was making the whole thing up on the spot. He wasn’t doing either of those things, it was just part of the process as they say. Sure, there are similarities to the canonical backstory, but there were also some significant changes.
I really enjoy pieces of information like this. The, ‘what was’ and the, ‘what could have been. It’s the film version of listening to early demos of your favorite songs. In fact, I will probably be snagging myself a copy of The Star Wars Archives Eps I-III 1999-2005.
You folks most certainly have some thoughts on this.
You know where they go, this ain’t you folks’ first rodeo, in the comments down below!
Source: Paul Duncan