In 2006, George Lucas Believed ‘Star Wars’ Should Start and End With Anakin Skywalker

Who knew that a sci-fi film made in 1977 would go on to be one of the biggest franchises of all time? Star Wars is admired by many and celebrated by countless fans. With nine movies, two spin-offs, and several television shows based around this universe, it’s a force to be reckoned with. The original characters and galaxy are all thanks to George Lucas, who directed and wrote the first six films. He sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, but back in 2006, he had a different idea for where Star Wars would be today. 

Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill at the pre-opening launch of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland.
Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill at the pre-opening launch of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland | Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images

George Lucas expressed that Anakin’s story is where ‘Star Wars’ should end in 2006

Reddit user u/u/jpotpuppals22 posted a letter they received on Feb. 23, 2006, from Lucasfilm. Anne Merrifield, assistant to George Lucas at the time, signed it and responded to their “attempt to persuade Lucas to make Episodes VII, VIII, and IX.” After urging the user to use some books from the library for their project, Merrifield goes into a thoughtful response regarding a sequel trilogy. 

With regard to the last three (7, 8, and 9) of Star Wars, Mr. Lucas has indicated that he will not make because he feels the story has a good ending when Darth Vader is redeemed in Episode 6. We hope that you can understand that he feels it is important for him to move on to other creative projects, having devoted so many years to the Star Wars films.

Reddit

As we all know by now, the sequel trilogy did end up happening, but went a different route than sticking with a Skywalker-oriented story. Anakin Skywalker’s tale is the heart of Star Wars, as Lucas pointed out, and the only mention of him in the sequel trilogies is Kylo Ren’s twisted idea of what his grandfather would want from him. You do find out that Palpatine has warped his reality of Anakin, though, so it does make sense eventually. 

When Lucas sold ‘Star Wars’ to Disney, he reportedly wanted them to use his sequel ideas

George Lucas, Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, Bob Iger, and Harrison Ford in front of the Millennium Falcon at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland.
George Lucas, Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, Bob Iger, and Harrison Ford in front of the Millennium Falcon at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland | Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Lucas sold Star Wars in 2012 to Disney, which allowed them to create the sequels, The Mandalorian, and to bring back The Clone Wars for Season 7. It also allowed Disney to create the out-of-this-world experience of Galaxy’s Edge at its parks and continue the franchise well into the future. It’s brought a lot of joy, of course, for fans. But it deviated from what Lucas had planned initially, if he were to make sequels. 

As io9 reported in 2018, Lucas shared in Insight Editions’ companion book to James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction what he would do if he kept the rights to Star Wars. In keeping with what he wrote in 2006, his sequels wouldn’t continue the story of the Jedi and Sith, but instead, focus on a “microbiotic world.” The beings in this world were called Whills that controlled fate and destiny in the universe.

What does Lucas think of the sequel trilogies now?

To put it simply, it doesn’t seem like Lucas liked the sequels that much, or at least not The Force Awakens. According to ScreenRant, in Bob Iger’s book The Ride of a Lifetime, Iger wrote that Kathleen Kennedy showed Lucas Episode VI before it premiered, and he “didn’t hide his disappointment.” Lucas found it redundant and said, “there’s nothing new” and that there “weren’t enough visual or technical leaps forward.”

But we probably won’t get Lucas’ thoughts on The Last Jedi or The Rise of Skywalker either, considering he had regrets about airing his opinions on The Force Awakens. In an interview with Charlie Rose in 2015 and called Disney “kids” who played it safe and that he felt like he sold his franchise to “white slavers.” He made it clear after that that it was inappropriate and that he was happy Disney had control of Star Wars

George Lucas being iffy on anyone touching his creation can only be expected. But regardless of how Lucas felt, Star Wars is continuing to gain new fans every day and making old fans happy all the time.