10 Times Star Wars Abandoned George Lucas’ Vision

Summary

  • George Lucas envisioned faster Resistance ships, not slow-moving bombers like in The Last Jedi.
  • Lucas criticized The Force Awakens as a “retro movie” which lacked new ideas.
  • Lucas intended stormtroopers to remain clones, but the new canon replaced them with conscripted soldiers.


George Lucas opened the Star Wars universe as a space for other writers to tell new stories, but sometimes their ideas abandoned his vision. Lucas’ Expanded Universe rules outlined what was off-limits, and he occasionally requested changes to match his view of Star Wars. Even so, several books, comics, and video games featured concepts that went against what Lucas would have done, some of which received public criticism from him. After selling Lucasfilm and handing the franchise to other creatives, the Star Wars movies and TV shows introduced more designs, styles, and character arcs that went against Lucas’ vision.

Some of these ideas differ from Lucas’ approach to storytelling, reflecting the new filmmakers who continued his saga. However, other decisions contradict Lucas’ previous statements or completely defy his definition of the Force and what “balance” means. Others don’t fit with Lucas’ Star Wars saga, taking the story in a direction that goes against Lucas’ original intent. This can be seen most clearly in 10 examples of times when Star Wars abandoned Lucas’ vision.

Related: New Star Wars Movies: Every Upcoming Movie & Release Date


10 The Resistance Fleet Would Have Been Too Slow For Lucas

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The venerable, slow-moving Resistance bombers are one of the most criticized aspects of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Lucas would likely agree. The Disney+ series Light & Magic revealed that Lucas envisioned the rebels modifying their ships to make them go faster, in contrast to the assembly-line approach of the Imperial fleet. Massive, slow-moving bombers may have made sense for the New Republic fleet, but the sequels portrayed the Resistance as the new underdogs fighting against the First Order. The Last Jedi then spends most of its time on a slow-speed chase through space, ignoring Lucas’ love of speed.

9 Disney’s First Star Wars Film Was A “Retro Movie”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars A New Hope Force Awakens Differences

Audiences loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it came out in 2015, but Lucas was not impressed. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Lucas criticized the filmmakers for wanting “to do a retro movie. I don’t like that. Every movie, I worked very hard to make them different. I make them completely different – different planets, different spaceships to make it new.” The first film of the sequel trilogy may have succeeded in capturing the tone and style of the original films but did so at the expense of new ideas, something Lucas always excelled at.

8 Stormtroopers Are No Longer Clones Of Jango Fett

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

Jango-Fett

The stormtroopers in the Star Wars original trilogy are recruits from across the galaxy, but this wasn’t the case when Lucas owned the franchise. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones introduced the Grand Army of the Republic, cloned the bounty hunter Jango Fett, and these soldiers became the first Imperial stormtroopers. Lucas intended for the stormtroopers to remain clones, joking in the commentary track that Jango’s habit of bumping his head “gets cloned into all the stormtroopers, and that’s why they keep bumping their heads.” However, the new Star Wars canon has established that clones were phased out and replaced by conscripted soldiers.

7 Luke Skywalker Married Mara Jade

Star Wars: Union

Luke Skywalker married Mara Jade in the Star Wars Legends timeline, and Lucas was famously against the idea. Attack of the Clones revealed that Jedi are forbidden to form emotional attachments, so Lucas felt that Luke would honor this tradition after Return of the Jedi. Seth Green and the team behind Robot Chicken decided to create a comedic sketch with Lucas where he becomes visibly angry after a writer claims that he is the creator of Mara Jade.

6 Ysalamiri Could Repel The Force

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

Ysalamiri in Star Wars Legends.

The first Star Wars movie established that the Force exists in all living things, so it’s hardly surprising that Lucas didn’t like the Ysalamiri in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. These creatures could repel the Force by creating a Force-neutral bubble, leading to fan complaints about this contradicting Lucas’ vision. Zahn later attempted to explain that the Ysalamiri only limited a person’s ability to influence the Force, but Lucas and longtime collaborator Dave Filoni still weren’t fans of the idea. Filoni explained at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 that the Ysalamiri wouldn’t appear in Star Wars Rebels season 3 because they contradicted Lucas’ concept of the Force.

Filoni’s discussion of the Ysalamiri begins at 43:20 in the Star Wars Rebels season 3 panel.

5 The Yuuzhan Vong Were Immune To The Force

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order

Whereas the Ysalamiri could repel the Force, the Yuuzhan Vong seemed to exist outside of it and couldn’t be influenced or sensed by the Jedi. Lucas disliked the idea for the same reason as the Ysalamiri, believing that all living creatures were part of the Force and nothing was immune to it. The Yuuzhan Vong were set to appear in a canceled episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but Lucas insisted that their immunity to the Force was removed.

4 The “Potentium” & The “Unifying Force” Claimed There Was No Light Or Dark Side

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order

Jacen Solo with half his face in red and the other half in blue.

Lucas defined the Force as having a light and dark side, but two philosophies claimed otherwise in the Star Wars Legends timeline. The heretical “Potentium” philosophy claimed that what most Jedi called the light side was the Force itself, and the dark side was simply a perversion caused by power-hungry individuals. The similar “Unifying Force” philosophy viewed the light and dark side as symbolic, not literal, believing that morality depended on a person’s intent. While it makes sense for Star Wars to explore alternate views of the Force, these philosophies contradict Lucas’ vision.

3 Colin Trevorrow’s Episode IX Would Have Made Rey A Gray Jedi

Star Wars: Duel of the Fates

Rey Skywalker holding her lightsaber next to concept art for Duel of the Fates

“Gray Jedi” is commonly used to describe a Jedi who seeks balance by walking the line between the light and dark without surrendering to either. This was the guiding principle of the ancient Je’Daii Order in Legends, who viewed this “balance” as sacred, but this is not how Lucas defined balance in the Force. While Lucas acknowledged that a balance exists between light and dark, he believed that giving into darkness led to destruction, while light led to salvation. Therefore, he would argue that embracing the light to counteract the dark is the best way to maintain balance, as one is selfless while the other is selfish.

Colin Trevorrow’s canceled movie Star Wars: Duel of the Fates would have ended with Rey embracing both the light and the dark, essentially making her a Gray Jedi. Because the movie ended on Mortis, Trevorrow likely drew from the Mortis arc in Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3, which explored the balance between light and dark. However, the Mortis arc also demonstrated how the dark side nearly threw the Force out of balance, not the light, making Rey’s new philosophy inconsistent with Lucas’ vision.

2 The Galaxy Learned Palpatine Was A Sith Lord

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Chancellor Palpatine in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Palpatine kept his Sith identity a secret throughout Lucas’ Star Wars movies, but The Rise of Skywalker ignored this by having the entire galaxy learn he was a Sith. As Chancellor of the Republic, Palpatine wisely hid that he was a Sith so the galaxy wouldn’t turn against him, and he maintained the secret as Emperor so no one would suspect his true motives. This strategy could have helped him in The Rise of Skywalker if he had presented himself as a reborn Emperor returning to save his galaxy from a corrupt, gaining support from ex-Imperials. However, revealing the Sith Eternal made even the First Order leadership skeptical.

1 Palpatine’s Return Contradicted The Chosen One Prophecy

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Canon) & Star Wars: Dark Empire (Legends)

Palpatine returned from the dead in canon and Legends, contradicting the Chosen One prophecy both times. Lucas reframed the Star Wars saga as Anakin Skywalker’s story, ending with him fulfilling his destiny to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force. However, the sequel trilogy established that the Force was already out of balance again and that Palpatine had returned, meaning Anakin didn’t bring balance after all. This makes the overall story of the sequels inconsistent with the rest of the saga, making it the best example of Star Wars abandoning George Lucas‘ vision.