Sequel Trilogy: What to Expect in Episodes VII, VIII and IX

August 9, 2013 – The producers, potential cast and crew of Episode VII are so tight-lipped and, no doubt, bound by confidentiality agreements, that very few know how the Sequel Trilogy will develop. The story lines are still very fluid and subject to change from George Lucas, who continues to serve as Creative Consultant.

The next best way to read the Star Wars tea leaves is to read the collective postings from Wikipedia. Sources are denoted in parentheses.

“Lucas had story treatments for episodes VII, VIII and IX which he turned over to Disney chairman Bob Iger around the time Lucasfilm was sold to Disney. No information about these has been released; however, during the previous 35 years Lucas had given many hints about the content of the sequel trilogy, including the following (sometimes contradictory) possibilities:

● Episode VII would begin roughly 20 (or perhaps 30-40) years after the end of Return of the Jedi (according to Lucas in 1980 and 1982).
● R2-D2 and C-3PO would be the only characters who might continue through all nine films (Lucas in 1980, 1981 and 1983).
● The trilogy would deal with the rebuilding of the Republic (Lucas in 1980).
● “It’s like a saga, the story of a group of people, a family” (Lucas in 1980).
● The focus would be on Luke Skywalker’s journey to becoming the premier Jedi knight, with Luke’s sister (who was not Leia) appearing in Episode VIII, and the first appearance of the Emperor, and Luke’s ultimate confrontation with him, in Episode IX (a storyline as planned pre-1980, according to A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz).
● Luke would have a romantic relationship with a female love interest (Lucas in 1988).
● The main theme of the trilogy would be moral and philosophical problems, such as the necessity for moral choices and the wisdom needed to distinguish right from wrong, justice, confrontation, and passing on what you have learned (Lucas in 1983 and 1989).
● The key actors, Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Ford as Han Solo, and Fisher as Princess Leia, would appear, in their 60s or 70s (Lucas in 1983).
● In Episode IX, Hamill would cameo, “like Obi-Wan handing the lightsaber down to the next new hope” (according to Hamill, in 2004).
● “The other one — what happens to Luke afterward — is much more ethereal. I have a tiny notebook full of notes on that. If I’m really ambitious, I could proceed to figure out what would have happened to Luke” (Lucas in 1980).

Interviewed in 2012 after the announcement of the new trilogy, Lucas biographer Dale Pollock said that he had, in the 1980s, read the outlines to 12 Star Wars episodes planned by Lucas, but had been required to sign a confidentiality agreement. Pollock said:

● “The three most exciting stories were 7, 8 and 9. They had propulsive action, really interesting new worlds, new characters. I remember thinking, ‘I want to see these 3 movies.'”
● The next film in the series would involve Luke Skywalker in his 30s and 40s.
● That he had little doubt Disney would use Lucas’s outlines as the basis for the sequel trilogy. “That’s in part what Disney bought.”

Author Timothy Zahn, whose Star Wars novel series, the Thrawn Trilogy, is set in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, was also interviewed in 2012. Zahn confirmed the sequel trilogy would not be based on the Thrawn novels, but said he had been briefed years before on Lucas’s plans for the sequels. (Zahn had discussions with Lucas before the first Thrawn novel was published in 1991.)

Zahn said, “The original idea as I understood it – and Lucas changes his mind off and on, so it may not be what he’s thinking right now – but it was going to be three generations. You’d have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke’s father and find out what happened to him, and if there was another seventh, eighth, or ninth film, it would be Luke’s children.”



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