Darth Maul & 100 Jedi: George Lucas' Star Wars Sequel Plans Were Very Different To Disney (2023)

By Nathaniel Roark

George Lucas' sequel trilogy may not have come to fruition, but Star Wars' creator shared key details that distinguished his version from Disney's.

Darth Maul & 100 Jedi: George Lucas' Star Wars Sequel Plans Were Very Different To Disney (1)

The Star Wars sequel trilogy took a different approach under Disney from what George Lucas originally intended, and his would have been so very different to Disney. In 2011, Disney CEO Bob Iger approached George Lucas with the idea of acquiring Lucasfilm. There was just one problem; Lucas wanted what he called "the Pixar deal," hoping for something similar to the $7.4 billion Disney paid for Pixar. Disney, however, felt Lucas was seriously overestimating his company's value; "Lucas had many talented employees, particularly on the tech side, but no directors other than George, and no film development or production pipeline, as far as we knew," Iger recalled in his autobiography The Ride of a Lifetime. Lucas attempted to increase the value by finally penning his vision for the Star Wars sequel trilogy.



Related: The TRUE Disney Star Wars Story (Finally Revealed By The CEO)

Disney went in a very different direction after the Lucasfilm acquisition, of course (and paid just over $4 billion, for that matter). But details of Lucas' Star Wars sequel trilogy have emerged over the years, most notably courtesy of Paul Duncan's The Star Wars Archives 1999-2005. This offers an exciting glimpse into Lucas' plans, which would have built on Star Wars: The Clone Wars as well as the original trilogy - and they would have been very different to Disney's version of the sequels.

Darth Maul & Darth Talon Were The Villains Of Lucas' Sequel Trilogy

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One of the biggest differences in Lucas' original plan was having Darth Maul as the sequel trilogy's main villain, with Darth Talon as his apprentice. Darth Maul has previously returned in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series, which Lucas acknowledged, while the character of Darth Talon was drawn from the Star Wars: Legacy comic series by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. According to Lucas in The Star Wars Archives 1999-2005, Maul would have taken advantage of the power vacuum left by the fall of the Empire, eventually becoming "the godfather of crime in the universe," while Talon would have been Maul's apprentice and "the new Darth Vader" with most of the action centering on her.

Bringing back Maul in the sequel era seems to have been a personal passion for Lucas, as he'd explored the idea in other projects as well. The canceled Darth Maul video game Battle of the Sith Lords, given the working title of "Maul," would have focused on a clone of Maul teaming up with Talon 130 years after Return of the Jedi. Maul's later appearance in The Clone Wars and his planned appearance in the canceled video game make it unclear whether Lucas would have kept him in the sequel trilogy, but it would have been an interesting way to tie the Star Wars franchise together.

Maul's appearance would have made him the villain in the first and last film of Lucas' saga. His defeat at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi prevented him from being part of Palpatine's plans. After the Emperor's defeat, Maul would have returned to claim what he felt should have been his to begin with. Talon's inclusion is also interesting because it showed Lucas taking inspiration from the Expanded Universe, but it also would have contradicted Darth Talon in the Legacy comics. Battle of the Sith Lords tried to maintain continuity by having a clone of Maul in 130 ABY, but Lucas' plans were an early sign of Disney eventually rebooting the Star Wars canon.

Related: Star Wars Canon Supports George Lucas' Sequel Trilogy Plan

Leia Led The Galaxy In Lucas' Sequel Trilogy

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In addition to his choice of the main villain, Lucas had a different idea for the main hero, with Leia taking center stage in his sequel trilogy. Lucas explained that the prequels were about "the father," the originals were about "the son," and the sequels would have been about "the daughter and the grandchildren." While Lucas didn't provide details on who "the grandchildren" were, he did explain Leia's role as a leader in the sequels, with her trying to rebuild the Republic and "get it under control from the gangsters." This would have culminated in Lucas revealing that Leia was the Chosen One, perhaps implying that the mantle passes symbolically between generations.

Lucas' Star Wars Trilogy Saw Luke Reform The Jedi

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Disney's Star Wars sequel trilogy chose to sideline Luke Skywalker, but Lucas would have done the opposite and focused on Luke rebuilding the Jedi Order. A few years after Return of the Jedi, Luke would have put out a call to any surviving Jedi, as well as training two- and three-year-olds like the original Jedi Order. Because "Jedi have to grow again from scratch," it would have taken about twenty years for there to be a new generation, leading into the rest of the sequel trilogy. This is similar to the first twenty years of Luke's Jedi Order in canon, except that it ended with Kylo Ren destroying what Luke had built.

However, Lucas' sequel trilogy would have ended with Luke having rebuilt much of the Jedi and Leia becoming the Supreme Chancellor of the New Republic. This is more in line with the Star Wars Legends timeline, where Luke became Grand Master of the New Jedi Order and Leia became Chief of State of the New Republic. On the other hand, Luke's journey with the Force may have been different in Lucas's sequels, as it would have gone into the microbiotic world of the Force, focusing on the Whills that communicate through the midi-chlorians. This would have tied back into the prequel trilogy, but it may have changed Luke's understanding of the Force, too.

50-100 Jedi Had Survived The Dark Times In Lucas' Vision

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Another of Lucas' biggest changes would have been 50-100 Jedi having survived Order 66 and the Dark Times that followed. Star Wars had several Jedi survive Order 66, both in canon and Legends, but certainly not that many who lived past Return of the Jedi. Both continuities had already shown that Yoda's claim about Luke being the last Jedi wasn't exactly true, but Lucas' vision would have taken it to another level. However, Lucas also stated that there were about 100,000 Jedi Knights at the time of the prequels, meaning that even 100 surviving Jedi would only account for only 0.1 percent of that.

Related: Think There Are Too Many Order 66 Survivors? Lucas Would've Made It Worse!

The Jedi Order only had 10,000 Jedi at the height of their power, so Lucas' vision would have made Order 66 even more tragic. Luke having 50-100 Jedi would certainly help in rebuilding the order and could've led to some very interesting stories. Many Jedi would hesitate to work with the son of the man who betrayed and hunted the Jedi, and having three different generations could've created debate on the proper way to reform the Jedi. This is just one of Lucas' many plans that make his original vision for the Star Wars sequel trilogy unique, and it will always be fun to consider how the saga could've ended differently.

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