Had Obi-Wan Kenobi lived through his climactic lightsaber duel with Darth Vader in A New Hope, we might be looking at a completely different franchise. And that was the idea in George Lucas's original draft for Star Wars. Eventually, this would change, and the death of Kenobi would become a pivotal turning point for Luke Skywalker. But that wasn't always the fate and destiny laid out for these iconic characters.
We learn this in the latest script pages shared by Chewbacca actor, Peter Mayhew on Twitter. For the past couple of months, Mayhew has been sharing the first draft of George Lucas' seminal screenplay, which is quite a bit different from what actually made it to the screen in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. And letting Obi-Wan Kenobi live is one of the biggest changes of all. You can read the three script pages below in their entirety.
In this version of the story, Obi-Wan avoids Darth Vader's death strike, and is instead aided by Luke Skywalker in fleeing the Death Star. Yes, Kenobi will live to see another day. And it would have drastically changed everything from this moment on. And Star Wars history wouldn't be what we know it today. Not only does Luke's destruction of the Death Star become rendered less powerful, their is no soul searching for the young Jedi, and the Yoda subplot becomes moot. This, in turn, would radically alter a great big chunk of The Empire Strikes Back. And what about Luke's training? Would he have two Jedi Masters? Would Kenobi continue to show him the ways of the Force? It's possible we'll never know.
Having Old Ben killed before the third act of the movie was a masterstroke by George Lucas, and gave the movie a great twist. It also introduces the idea of a Force Ghost, which has become an important part of Star Wars lore. Losing Ben Kenobi greatly ups the stakes. Some speculate that George may have made this big change to appease Sir Alec Guinness, who was not happy with the way things were going on set. The actor may have seen the potential for more sequels, and the director graciously gave him a way out that made for a better movie? Perhaps.
Having Ben Kenobi survive is a great 'What If?' And it's one that fans will surely ponder for years to come. We'll never know what might have become of Luke Skywalker and his training had he remained under the tutelage of Obi-Wan. We all saw what happened to his Padawan Anakin. Would Kenobi have failed from keeping Luke away from the Dark Side as he did Darth Vader? You can continue reading the original script pages below. When the screenplay reaches its conclusion, Peter Mayhew promises a big surprise. So stay tuned.