George Lucas Always Wanted Luke To Die In Episode VIII

(Photo Credit: Lucasfilm)

Last week, Culture Slate featured an article that highlighted some of the new information found in Pablo Hidalgo’s latest publication, Star Wars: Fascinating Facts. Though the concept of George Lucas and Luke Skywalker's story arc was mentioned briefly, it is an interesting point worthy of a deeper look. On page 140 of Star Wars: Fascinating Facts, Hidalgo states: 
“Years before The Last Jedi began development, the treatment left behind by George Lucas in 2012 also had Episode VIII be the one wherein Luke Skywalker would die.” 
Unfortunately, after turning the page, there is no additional clarification to be found.  If this was Lucas’ initial plan and Lucasfilm sought to uphold his plan (with or without him), then should Rian Johnson continue to carry the brunt of negativity surrounding this poorly-received plot twist alone? That is difficult to say, but regardless, he does not seem to mind. In a December 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johnson stated that he believed Luke Skywalker’s story arc ended with 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

“I think the hero’s journey of Luke Skywalker concluded in Return of the Jedi. This [trilogy] is the hero’s journey of Rey, and Finn, and Poe. The (ongoing) story of Luke is one that has to play in tandem with that of Rey.”

Johnson expressed his regret in failing to incorporate ‘A steel hand clunk to the ground” in the vanishing scene, but in this interview, there was no mention of Lucas or his plans for Luke Skywalker in Episode VIII

In a Star Wars blog post published on the day Disney acquired Lucasfilm in Oct. 2012, J.W. Rinzler wrote: “As of today, Lucas has given his new co-chairman Kathleen Kennedy several ideas..." If Lucasfilm decided to proceed with Lucas’ ideas, then who is to say whether Johnson had any say in that decision at all? Speculation on Lucas' thoughts about the entire sequel trilogy are all over the map, there is a website article for every opinion. From "Films that were beautifully made, that fans will love," to "Lucas attended a screening and said, 'I’ve made a terrible mistake,'" and everything in between. So however you felt about the sequel trilogy, you can rest assured that there is a website somewhere that agrees with you.

In 1981, as production of Return of the Jedi began to wind down, Lucas was admittedly burned out and had grown tired of Star Wars. He stated, “I’m only doing this because I started it and now, I have to finish it, the next [sequel] trilogy will be all someone else’s vision.” If what Hidalgo stated in Star Wars: Fascinating Facts is true, then it seems Lucas must have had a harder time letting go of Star Wars than he originally anticipated.

(Photo Credit: Disney)

In the days since Hidalgo released Star Wars: Fascinating Facts, a few reviews have been given, and they are mixed. One reviewer on Amazon stated that she purchased the book in hopes of some new insight on what has become the new official Star Wars canon. Though she acknowledged that there were “teeny amounts of new information," she stated that most of the content found in this book can easily be found on Wookieepedia, and the remainder consisted of irrelevant facts about advertising and recurrent mentions of insignificant characters. Along with the one-star rating she gave, she stated, "I would not recommend this [book] to anyone, not even collectors, not someone trying to get into Star Wars…” If you happen to be a collector of Star Wars literature, the new “little-known facts” promised to be found within the pages of Star Wars: Fascinating Facts, can likely already be found within the pages of the publications you already own.

Three years have passed since The Last Jedi left us feeling [your emotion here]. It is probably safe to assume that most Star Wars fans have already shared their condolences on the passing of Luke Skywalker with Mark Hamill on Twitter and moved on. For those who have not, Star Wars: Fascinating Facts has given the go-ahead to blame George Lucas, once again, just as fans always have (even when he has done nothing to deserve so much blame). As Obi-Wan Kenobi once said in his best Jedi mind trick fashion, “Nothing to see here… move along… move along.” With season two of The Mandalorian premiering next week, there is no time like the present to move on. 

Source(s):  AmazonEntertainment WeeklyStar Wars