Before JJ Abrams made 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, George Lucas had his own plans for a Star Wars sequel trilogy that never came to fruition. Instead, he sold his company Lucasfilm to Disney.
Now, we've learned a little more about what Lucas had in mind, thanks to a snippet of an interview from the new Star Wars Archives book released earlier this week, as pointed out by r/StarWarsLeaks. "Darth Maul trained a girl, Darth Talon, who was in the comic books, as his apprentice," the passage says. "She was the new Darth Vader, and most of the action was with her. So these were the two main villains of the trilogy. Maul eventually becomes the godfather of crime in the universe because, as the Empire falls, he takes over."
The main story of Lucas's proposed trilogy, according to the extract, was Leia trying to bring back the Republic while fending off this rising criminal threat. Many of the Empire's remnants, meanwhile, formed their own groups on different planets. Elsewhere, Luke Skywalker tries to rebuild the Jedi across the trilogy.
There are only a few paragraphs of detail, but here's how the three films were originally planned to end. "By the end of the trilogy, Luke would have rebuilt much of the Jedi, and we would have the renewal of the New Republic, with Leia, Senator Organa, becoming the Supreme Chancellor in charge of everything. So she ended up being the chosen one."
These passages are apparently based on new interview material with Lucas himself.
Once Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney, JJ Abrams and writer Lawrence Kasdan ended up taking the trilogy in their own direction.
Darth Talon is no longer part of Star Wars continuity, as far as we can tell, but the character was only created in 2006, so Lucas clearly spent some time thinking about how it might pan out after the release of the prequels. Artwork of Talon was also included in an art book for The Force Awakens. It was also previously revealed that the plan was for Talon to corrupt Leia and Han Solo's son – ultimately Kylo Ren's journey in the films ended up being rather different.
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Few things are as contentious in modern pop culture as the direction of the Star Wars sequel movies – it's easy to get caught up in what-if scenarios around the films. The Rise of Skywalker ended up being the subject of intense discussion when plans around the film's previous iteration, Duel of the Fates, leaked online in the form of concept art and script leaks.
Our advice? Try not to think too hard about all the times Star Wars has been bad, and watch The Mandalorian instead.