One of the most controversial elements of the Star Wars sequel trilogy would have made its way in no matter what. Franchise creator George Lucas had cooked up a treatment for the sequels in 2012. Ultimately, those plans were rejected by Lucasfilm after Disney purchased the company from Lucas in a landmark $4 billion deal. Now, it has been confirmed that the original treatment from Lucas would also have killed off Luke Skywalker in Episode VIII.
The reveal comes from Lucasfilm Creative Executive Pablo Hidalgo's new book, Star Wars: Fascinating Facts. On page 140, which comes with the heading "Luke Skywalker's Destiny," it is explained that George Lucas, very similar to what Rian Johnson ultimately did in 2017's The Last Jedi, also planned to kill off the beloved Jedi in the eighth entry of the Skywalker Saga. The passage reads as follows.
"Years before The Last Jedi began development, the treatment left behind by George Lucas in 2012 also had Episode VIII be the one wherein Luke Skywalker would die."
The Last Jedi remains one of the most divisive entries in the series to date. J.J. Abrams directed 2015's The Force Awakens, which brought back Star Wars to the masses rather successfully. Rian Johnson was then handed the baton, tasked to write Episode VIII. He made quite a few bold decisions, not the least of which was killing Luke Skywalker at the end of the movie following his duel with Kylo Ren. This is something Mark Hamill, at times, has expressed frustration with. Luke only appears briefly at the end of The Force Awakens and, due to his death in The Last Jedi, only appeared for a short time as a Force Ghost in 2019's The Rise of Skywalker.
Knowing that George Lucas also intended to walk down a similar path and kill off look in the same entry, chronologically speaking, is a flavorful nugget for fans to chew on. Whether that tastes good or bad will largely depend on one's personal stance on the sequel trilogy and, more specifically, Luke's death. Granted, there is no telling how Lucas would have handled the death, which would undoubtedly shape how it would be received. It is highly unlikely that the entirely of Lucas' treatments will ever be released, so we will be left to wonder for the time being.
Ultimately, The Last Jedi was a huge financial success, earning $1.3 billion at the global box office. It won over critics but divided fans. That left Disney and Lucasfilm in a precarious place in developing Episode IX. Ultimately, after parting ways with Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, who had cooked up a very different conclusion to the trilogy, J.J. Abrams was brought back to finish what he started with the also divisive The Rise of Skywalker. The next Star Wars movie, which remains entirely mysterious in nature, is dated for December 2023. Star Wars: Fascinating Facts is available now. This news was previously reported by Star Wars News Net.