It’s Star Wars Day, an unofficial holiday observed by fans of George Lucas’ celebrated sci-fi film series, so it’s fitting that today is the day when a LucasFilm insider reveals the original plan for “Return of the Jedi,” the final film in the “Star Wars” original trilogy. In an Inverse article that examines the holiday’s beginnings as well as the first wave of marketing, Craig Miller, LucasFilm’s first fan relations officer, revealed that bounty hunter Boba Fett was set to be the original villain in “Return of the Jedi,” but George Lucas changed his mind during the making of “The Empire Strikes Back.”
After the success of the first “Star Wars,” Lucas announced there would be twelve films, but halfway through, Lucas lost interest in continuing the series and scrapped the entire plan. “While we were working on The Empire Strikes Back, George decided he was going to complete the first film trilogy and that would be it. And I remember sitting in a mixing room with George, working on Empire, and he told me he was just going to make the third movie, which didn’t have a title at that point, and then stop,” says Miller. When Lucas decided not to make subsequent trilogies, he took the plot of the third trilogy — the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader and the battle with the Emperor — and reduced it into one film. As a result, Boba Fett, was jettisoned out of the film in the first ten minutes of “Return of the Jedi,” but it explains “why he was taking Han Solo away, [and] why there was a thing with him in the Christmas special.”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the first stand-alone “Star Wars Anthology” film, will be released into theaters on December 16th.