Before settling on Star Wars as we know it, George Lucas went through a lot of false starts and drafts. Though it’s almost unimaginable, we almost got a much different movie than the Saga of the Skywalkers we all know and love. If things went the way Lucas had originally planned, there would never have been a Rogue One or Force Awakens. What a dark, dark world that would have been.
Luke was originally a girl
Yeah, originally, Rey would’ve been the second main female Jedi in a Star Wars trilogy. See, when Lucas was writing Star Wars the script changed a bunch, and at one point he decided that Luke’s character was going to be a sixteen-year-old girl who was going to fall in love with Han Solo, because a sixteen-year-old falling in love with an older criminal isn’t problematic at all!
Because absolutely everything from Star Wars needs to be made into a toy, the original girl Luke (named Starkiller because c’mon, how is that not the coolest?) was made into a toy — to be honest, she resembles Rey more than a little bit. Heck, given how Rey’s relationship with Han plays out (plus everything else in the movie) we’d say that Force Awakens was probably just a remake of older, unused Lucas ideas. Only, you know, turning “falls in love with Han” to “thinks of Han as a father” because, again, eww.
It originally didn’t have the trench run
Remember how the ending of Star Wars is amazing and climactic and epic and geez, just watch the video above, okay? Darth Vader coming at Luke. Luke turning off his targeting computer and then Han Solo blasting back to shoot Vader off his tail. Luke barreling down to shoot the one weak spot in the entire Death Star.
It’s so tense and it wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for Lucas’ wife. She’s the one who suggested it. His original version of the trench run had Solo coming much earlier and had Luke doing two runs at the trench because, you know, why not, let’s just chill out for awhile. It’s not like the fate of the entire Rebellion is on the line or anything. Apparently all of Lucas’ original ideas were about as good as The Phantom Menace, which just goes to show: you always need to do at least two drafts. And consult your wife.
Darth Vader wasn’t a cool awesome robot guy
Despite it undeniably being one of the coolest things about Star Wars, Darth Vader originally just looked like a boring human being. So what changed? Concept art!
Remember how, in the beginning of the movie, Vader boards Princess Leia’s (RIP, it still hurts) ship? Well, originally, he was going to fly to it, using a specially built suit. After seeing the suit, Lucas loved it so much he went, “That! Let’s just make him look like that!” This helped with him turning out to be Luke’s dad later — might have been a bit weird for them to excuse away the facial similarities … although they did that with Leia, so who knows?
Even after deciding he needed to be a kickbutt machine robot cyborg thing, Lucas went through a few different changes in Vader design, before landing on the awesome, scary design we all know and love.
Of course, that’s not the only difference between the original Darth Vader and the one who has appeared in literally every single Star Wars film that has been made. (Yes, his charred helmet in Force Awakens counts as an appearance.) There was one huge change made, bigger than just his design …