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George Lucas likes to say that he had the entire Star Wars saga mapped out by the time cameras started rolling for the first film back in 1976 and we now know that he was already planning the prequels while making the original trilogy. A new excerpt from a book about the making of Return of the Jedi - which turns 30-years-old this month - has revealed that Lucas did have plans for the prequels dating back to 1981.
The Huffington Post has published a portion of a story meeting between Lucas, writer Lawrence Kasdan, director Richard Marquand and producer Howard Kazanjian while they were in the process of planning Jedi in July 1981.
Some of the ideas that Lucas mentions do make it all the way to the finished prequels. For example, he says that the Emperor was a politician and that no one could figure out that he was evil. There’s also the idea that Anakin Skywalker would get closer and closer to the Dark Side while Luke and Leia’s mother was pregnant. Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi would have a fight near a volcano, which was finally visualized in Revenge of the Sith.
However, there are a couple of more interesting ideas that never turned up again. Lucas insists that Yoda never picks up a lightsaber and fights (Kasdan is very disappointed in that). He also says that Yoda can teach anyone to use the Force, but as we learned in The Phantom Menace, only people with midi-chlorians can actually use the Force.
The story meeting is reprinted in The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi by J.W. Rinzler. It will be released on Oct. 1.
The Star Wars saga will get to continue now that Lucasfilm is owned by Disney, with J.J. Abrams directing Episode VII. It comes out in 2015.