my favorite website of all time has posted a new article: the complete history of the Sequel Trilogy.http://www.secrethistoryofstarwars.com/completehistoryofthesequeltrilogy.html
this is a very interesting read which chronicles GL's evolving "vision" and how it changed over time, from a "12 episode saga" (in which the ST was always
intended to be made), to an offhanded comment in the media (in which the ST was never intended to be made), to an 'incentive' to make the company more attractive to disney.
it also reveals some of the story development that went into the OT: it reveals exactly 'when' vader was written in as luke's father (this was NOT intended from the beginning of the saga); it talks about the "other" mentioned in ESB, how this character was intended to be the focus of the ST, and how GL decided to scrap the idea and just make leia into the "other" instead, at the last minute, just to wrap things up because he never wanted to make another sequel. evar. (read: because he just didn't care anymore) :-\
Not surprisingly, the final draft of Empire Strikes Back, written earlier that year, contains a tantalizing hint at a story to come. As Luke is leaving Dagobah, Kenobi remarks that Luke is their only hope. "No," Yoda replies, "there is another."
Recently, on the Empire 2004 DVD for example, Lucas claims that this line wasn't referring to anyone specific but was simply added to increase the danger, that Luke could die because there was someone else ready to replace him. The explanation doesn't quite hold up. But an examination of this infamous line reveals that Lucas indeed must have had some plans for sequels. The line in the initial drafts achieves what Lucas claims of it, and it first appears in the revised second draft. Yoda says, "Now we must find another." In the third draft the line is similar: "No...we must search for another." But in the fourth draft it undergoes a subtle yet highly significant change: "No, there is another." Implying that somebody is already out there, ready to step in and replace Luke, someone that only Yoda knows of....
...Unfortunately, as production of Empire Strikes Back dragged on and on, Lucas may have begun to re-consider things. The difficult shoot was infamously nightmarish, with the budget nearly doubling, accidents and all sorts of problems on sets, and a methodical director that didn't always listen to George, who suffered health problems just as he did on the first film. Making Empire Strikes Back was not the fun adventure he thought it would be in 1977...
...Out of this, an option loomed for Lucas of simply ending the franchise with Episode VI. With Return of the Jedi tying up the story--Vader dead, the Empire defeated, the heroes victorious--what need was there to extend the story beyond this? The third film stood poised to tie up the loose ends and finish the story in a satisfying way, and because of this, Lucas would vow to never make a Star Wars film again by the time Jedi went into production. [Pollock, Skywalking, p. 274-5]
This, of course, left one major lingering hole: the mention of the "other". If Lucas wanted to eliminate the sequel trilogy, as he had envisioned it, or at least give him the option of backing out of making it, then this now needed to be addressed, especially since audiences were looking forward to the reveal of who this would be. Without room to satisfyingly introduce a new character just to address this issue, Leia was merged with this character, justifying her importance as the last hope by making her Anakin's daughter and Luke's twin sister, re-using the twin sister concept that had been in place in the first draft of Empire Strikes Back; this also resolved the Luke-Leia-Han love triangle more definitively.
--> it seems the "other" was supposed to be the focus of the ST, but instead GL threw in the towel, and swore to never make another SW movie. He just wanted to walk away, and in so doing, the "other" became leia by default. :-\
here are some choice 'Lucas Quotes' from the article:
MTV online on September 10th, 2004:
"This was never planned as a nine-episode work. The media [pounced when] I made an offhand comment, 'It might be fun to come back when everyone's 80 and do another one of these.' But I never had any intention of doing that."
Merge Digital in 2006:
"Merge: Can this really be the end of the Star Wars saga?
Lucas: Yes. The series starts with Darth Vader as a young lad and ends with him dying. So I don't know where else I can take it.
Merge: Wasn't there talk at one time of three trilogies?
Lucas: That was created by the media, not me."
Total Film magazine in May 2008:
Lucas: I've left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no Episodes VII-IX. That's because there isn't any story. I mean, I never thought of anything. And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn't at all what I would have done with it.
The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn't come back to life, the Emperor doesn't get cloned and Luke doesn't get married."
"Han and Leia probably did get married. They settled down. She became a senator, and they got a nice little house with a white picket fence. Han Solo is out there cooking burgers on the grill. Is that a movie? I don't think so."
---> 'fast forward' to 2012 ---->
"When Kathy came on, we started talking about starting up the whole franchise again ... and I said, 'Well, I've got to build this company up so that it functions without me, and we need to do something to make it attractive.' So I said, 'Well, let's just do these movies.' "