Five ‘Star Wars’ Movies That Were Never Made
May the 4th is the corporate mandated day when we remember the great history of Star Wars films through the ages, and also Attack of the Clones. But what about the Star Wars movies that we never got to see? Over the last 40 years, George Lucas and the artists who followed him into the galaxy far, far away have flirted with numerous projects that almost came to fruition and then fell apart for one reason or another. Here are five of the most intriguing Star Wars movies that were never made.
1. Splinter of the Mind’s Eye
When science-fiction author Alan Dean Foster was recruited to write the novelization of the original Star Wars, he was also contracted to write a second book with a relatively small-scale plot with the intention that if Star Wars wasn’t a massive success his book could be easily (and, more importantly, cheaply) adapted into a sequel. Star Wars went on to become one of the biggest movies ever, spawning The Empire Strikes Back, but Foster’s book was published anyway as the first official Star Wars novel. Splinter of the Mind’s Eye follows Luke and Leia on a planet called Mimban as they search for the Kaiburr crystal, which can supposedly augment a Jedi’s Force powers.
2. The Original Prequels
For better or worse, we did ultimately get three Star Wars prequels between 1999 and 2005. But George Lucas’ plans for prequels existed more than a decade earlier, and according to some of his collaborators, his initial ideas for the films were very different. Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz told IGN the original prequels would have been about “the Clone Wars and the formation of the Jedi Knights in the first place; that was supposed to be one of the keys of Episode I, was going to be how the Jedi Knights came to be.” (Kurtz also claimed Lucas’ original plan for Return of the Jedi was much darker than the film we got, with Han Solo dying, Princess Leia becoming a queen, and Luke alone in what remained of the Rebellion.) Instead, the Jedi Knights are well established when The Phantom Menace begins, and those films focused instead on the childhood and teen years of Anakin Skywalker before he became Darth Vader. But it all worked out, because everyone loves those films.
3. George Lucas’ Episodes VII thru IX
While he later insisted he never planned to make more Star Wars movies after Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas (and other members of the Star Wars creative team) used to routinely hint at a trilogy set after Return of the Jedi. (As a kid, we used to speculate about the last third of what was called the Star Wars “tri-trilogy.”) He even on occasion suggested there could be six more episodes after Return of the Jedi. In promoting The Last Jedi, Mark Hamill revealed that he’d spoken with Lucas about — and seen his written outlines for — his plans for Episodes VII through IX. Hamill told IGN “I happen to know that George didn’t kill Luke until the end of [Episode] 9, after he trained Leia.”
4. The Wookie Movie
Before Lucas grew weary of the nonstop grind of Star Wars and backed off the franchise (at least the movie franchise) through the late ’80s and early ’90s, he teased other possible films which were essentially the equivalent of the Disney Star Wars spinoff or standalone films decades before that concept was officially put into production. In a 1980 interview, Lucas threatened suggested that he might make a Star Wars movies just about droids “with no humans in it.” And he also claimed that he was intrigued by an idea of a Star Wars movie “just about Wookies, nothing else.” As the Star Wars Holiday Special proved, this was a tremendous idea with a huge amount of potential.
5. Josh Trank’s standalone movie
When Disney first acquired Lucasfilm and the license to print money known as the Star Wars universe, they put into production an ambitious slate of films that included official sequels to the original series plus “anthology films.” Gareth Edwards started Rogue One, a prequel to Star Wars; Phil Lord and Chris Miller set to work on a Han Solo movie, and Chronicle director Josh Trank was given his own standalone movie. Although it was never officially confirmed, the widespread rumor was that Trank was working on a movie focused on bounty hunter Boba Fett. After a year of development, Trank announced he was leaving the film to “pursue some original creative opportunities.” This movie, whatever it is, is technically still on the Disney release calendar for 2020, but we still don’t know what it is or who is making it. Certainly no matter what is released in two years, we will never see whatever Trank had in mind.
Gallery - Amazing Star Wars Easter Eggs in Non-Star Wars Films: