George Lucas,  Sequel Trilogy

George Lucas wanted the third Star Wars trilogy to get into the world of the Whills (UPDATE: the complete excerpt from the interview)

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UPDATE!

Here’s a longer excerpt from “James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction” (2018) where George Lucas talks about his intention to put the Whills in Episodes VII, VIII and IX.

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Thanks to Alexrd for sharing this.


Here’s an older quote from Lucas in Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays (1997), about the Journal of the Whills:

“Originally, I was trying to have the story be told by somebody else; there was somebody watching this whole story and recording it, somebody probably wiser than the mortal players in the actual events. I eventually dropped this idea, and the concepts behind the Whills turned into the Force. But the Whills became part of this massive amount of notes, quotes, background information that I used for the scripts; the stories were actually taken from the Journal of the Whills.”


Qui-Gon mentioned “a Shaman of the Whills” in this deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith.

222 INT. POLIS MASSA-OBSERVATION DOME-NIGHT

On the isolated asteroid of Polis Massa, YODA meditates.

YODA: Failed to stop the Sith Lord, I have. Still much to learn, there is …

QUI -GON: (V.O.) Patience. You will have time. I did not. When I became one with the Force I made a great discovery. With my training, you will be able to merge with the Force at will. Your physical self will fade away, but you will still retain your consciousness. You will become more powerful than any Sith.

YODA: Eternal consciousness.

QUI-GON: (V.O.) The ability to defy oblivion can be achieved, but only for oneself. It was accomplished by a Shaman of the Whills. It is a state acquired through compassion, not greed.

YODA: . . . to become one with the Force, and influence still have . . . A power greater than all, it is.

QUI-GON: (V.O.) You will learn to let go of everything. No attachment, no thought of self. No physical self.

YODA: A great Jedi Master, you have become, Qui-Gon Jinn. Your apprentice I gratefully become.

YODA thinks about this for a minute, then BAIL ORGANA enters the room and breaks his meditation.

BAIL ORGANA: Excuse me, Master Yoda. Obi-Wan Kenobi has made contact.

0 Comments

  • lovelucas

    Biggest regret was the deletion of the Qui-Gon/Yoda conversation on Polis Massa. So huge – that Yoda realizes he’s been wrong.

    • Alexrd

      Yoda doesn’t realize he’s been wrong. He wasn’t wrong to begin with. What he realizes is that he failed to stop Sidious. But that was already in the movie.

      • lovelucas

        Yoda does admit he was wrong – it was in the deleted scene cited. And actually he even says to Qui-Gon that he, Yoda, will become Qui-Gon’s apprentice.

      • Alexrd

        Please, quote where Yoda admits being wrong. Both in the movie, the script and the deleted scene he only admits that he failed. He never admitted that he was wrong. He wasn’t wrong to begin with.

    • lovelucas

      (sigh) – it was deleted – George decided not to go that route but it was definitely originally part of RotS. This was CGI Yoda and voice work for Qui Gon

      • Alexrd

        What I’m asking is, where did you got that from? It’s not in the script, it’s not in the movie, it’s not in any published deleted scene nor in any making of featurette or book.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Alexrd

        Well, there is a quote from GL himself concerning Qui-Gon and his insistence that Anakin is the Chosen One and should be trained:

        “I think it is obvious that [Qui-Gon] was wrong in Episode I and made a dangerous decision, but ultimately this decision may be correct. The Phantom Menace refers to the force of the dark side of the universe. Anakin will be taken over by dark forces which in turn destroy the balance of the Galaxy, but the individual who kills the Emperor is Darth Vader — also Anakin. The tale meanders and both the prediction and Qui-Gon are correct — Anakin is the chosen one, and he did bring peace at last with his own sacrifice. Luke couldn’t kill the Emperor himself, but he could make Anakin reflect on his life and kill the Emperor.”

        –George Lucas, Cut Magazine interview, 1999

        (Pulled from an old post by darth-sinister on TFN)

        But as you can see in the quote, Lucas is hedging, and “on balance”, seems to be stating his belief that Qui-Gon was correct, because his faith in Anakin is ultimately vindicated at the end of the saga, as Anakin fulfils the prophecy in destroying the Sith and bringing balance. By that measure, it may well be Yoda that is “wrong” — though I understand that “wrong” is a problematic term. In searching out the above quote and trying to check its fidelity, I also found it lurking inside what appears to be a solid examination of the moral complexities of Star Wars, called “The Gospel According to Star Wars: Faith, Hope, and the Force”, by John C. McDowell. Google allows you to read so many pages; and what McDowell writes below, in response to the Lucas quote, is interesting:

        (p. 68-69)

        “This set of claims somewhat trivializes the situation, though. The evil inflicted on the galaxy in the form of Darth Vader, and the dreadful carnage and waste that occurred, cannot and should not be covered over by a thin netting of rhetoric such as “Oh, well, it all worked out alright in the end.” The very ability to decide whose belief about Anakin was eventually shown to be true is only something that can be said after the event. At the time, of course, this hindsight is not available to the saga’s characters. Also, unless we want lazily to promote a cosmic determinism in which all events are fated to occur, we should not miss the important contingent factors that contribute to Anakin’s fall.”

        McDowell then goes on to point out Qui-Gon’s rebuff of Obi-Wan warning him that Anakin is “dangerous”, as well as calling Anakin’s meek insistence that he doesn’t want to be a problem “morally commendable and selfless”. It’s almost as if by seeing/presuming the danger in Anakin’s training, Yoda and the Jedi allow it to come to pass. As McDowell then says: “With hindsight we can see that the processes and activities involved in Anakin’s training by his trainers, just as much as in the boy’s being trained, contribute to the looming tragedy”. It’s funny how not even McDowell can completely break out of the cosmic determinism he decries: “looming tragedy”.

        This whole topic is a thorny one. You could just simplistically assert a sort of yin-yang effect — if Qui-Gon is right, Yoda is wrong, and vice versa. Or, as in the Lucas quote, they’re both right and wrong. The divide between Yoda and Qui-Gon may simply be a lot more subtle than charged debates and discussions tend to make it. But the “180” the Jedi do at the end of TPM is a salient detail. One moment, they seem opposed to training Anakin; the next, they’re letting him in after all. Yoda, on the other hand, does keep to his gloomy view on letting Anakin be trained. And he is the one that makes contact with Qui-Gon around the “dark times” of the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire. So that’s got to be worth something.

        Ultimately, Yoda does recognise he has “more to learn”; and in the deleted scene, humbly pledges to become Qui-Gon’s apprentice — which says a lot, I think. Even if Yoda never concedes he was “wrong”, he is at least prepared to put aside his ego and return to a state of grateful one-on-one matriculation. That’s actually pretty big. Even Yoda, after nearly one-thousand years, can see that his understanding is incomplete.

        In my lengthy response to this James Cameron extract, I do offer an explanation of Qui-Gon and his importance to the saga. After it didn’t go through in the comments section here, I went back and started adding stuff to it. I’m still working on it at present (lots of topics and quotes and tweaks being made), but I hope to have it uploaded in the next week or so.

      • Alexrd

        @Cryo

        Yes, that’s referring to Qui-Gon. Lucas is explaining that Qui-Gon was wrong in taking someone that old for Jedi training, but he was also right in the sense that Anakin was the Chosen One and he had a destiny to fulfill as a Jedi.

        In any case, the argument was that “Yoda realizes he’s been wrong” when he does nothing of the sort, neither in published nor in cut material.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Alex

        “Yes, that’s referring to Qui-Gon. Lucas is explaining that Qui-Gon was wrong in taking someone that old for Jedi training, but he was also right in the sense that Anakin was the Chosen One and he had a destiny to fulfill as a Jedi.”

        Right. But if Qui-Gon can be wrong, it leaves open the possibility that Yoda can be, too. After all, these characters, while godly, are not meant to be infallible.

        “In any case, the argument was that “Yoda realizes he’s been wrong” when he does nothing of the sort, neither in published nor in cut material.”

        It’s true that he literally never confesses to being “wrong” — in that, he doesn’t use that particular word, no. On the other hand, neither does Qui-Gon admit much error, except for his make-nice moment with Obi-Wan on Naboo:

        “You’ve been a good apprentice, Obi-Wan. And you’re a much wiser man than I am.”

        But, of course, there is that Lucas quote, where Lucas offers us his own view that Qui-Gon was perhaps wrong, as you seem to agree, in taking Anakin at his age. With Yoda, I am not aware of an equivalent quote. But no matter; the idea is there. I think the issue here is that “wrong” is a bit of a pejorative word, because it sounds like the characters objectively failed in some way, and that we’re making some blanket judgement against them. But really, it’s subjective and open to interpretation.

  • lovelucas

    Actually – a bigger regret is that George’s story is no longer his to tell and those who make the decisions don’t respect the essence of Star Wars

    • Cryogenic

      Don’t respect — and don’t even UNDERSTAND it.

      “We know that the nature of genius is to provide idiots with ideas twenty years later.” (Louis Aragon)

  • Darthqui-gon

    This is what we should have gotten. A totally unique original concept films!!!! Instead of the Shit Disney and Kennedy gave us!!!! Lucas is a genius and the greatest filmmaker of ALL time!!! P.S. George I love The Phantom Menace in the whole concept of the midi-chlorians it makes sense of why some can use the force and so can’t. And there’s a million more stiff think the way I do. Phantom Menace is not hated. If anything it’s a misunderstood masterpiece!!!!!

  • Cryogenic

    SORRY!!!!! Don’t approve that. I spent hours on it and all looked absolutely fine. But then the spaces instantly screwed up the moment I pressed “Post Comment!!! 🙁

    • Cryogenic

      Oh, what a contrast: A stirring tease of an avant-garde third-chapter wrap-up to the greatest cinematic dream-text of our age, every bit as much of a dizzying, definite mindfuck as the third chapters to Lucas’ extant trilogies (ROTS and ROTJ – “twins”; or moreso); versus what actually manifested: an insulting, propagandistic monument to the identity-politics-driven, toxic/thought-destroying platform of SJW-ism (which will date these films horribly), a redolent tribute to fanboyism run amok (another assault on the timeless nature of the series), and a craven, unapologetic exercise in “franchise-building” and corporate money-making, on a scale as distasteful as it is vitiating (chasing money is not art). Well, I know which one I’d choose.

      So, this news, stunning, revelatory, and rallying as it is, is also more than a touch depressing. If there is yet anything that has been said or released in a handful of words (and I appreciate the fuller extract provided by Alexrd), since Lucas handed over the gold plates and the keys to his kingdom to the merchants of pap and appropriation (“white slavers”), that exposes the cratered emptiness of the Disney era or throws it into starker relief, I’m not aware of it. I love how Lucas is still, in fact, “burning down the coffee shop”, or at least offering a mean hallucinogenic punch from his lemonade stand – sticking his thumb in the eyes of his enemies and being a Middle-class American, Buddhist-Methodist badass; doing it HIS way, on HIS terms, in HIS own style, as he’s always done, with wily, meek-and-mild, unassuming savagery; a mode of conduct and self-expression which many continue to fail to grasp about the man (but what’s new this far down the road?).

      Predictably, the fan response to this has been largely mocking, boorish, and dismissive. Even many hardcore prequel fans seem to have virtually passed right over it. Yet these remarks of Lucas’ are like mana from heaven. We live in a deadened, consumerist culture that is practically gasping for new ideas, new direction, and when Lucas tosses out some nourishing crumbs and a few drops of water, perhaps it isn’t surprising that people respond much the same way they did to “The Phantom Menace” and the PT as a whole: “Well, uh, yeah. Thanks for that, George. Wait… That’s it?” A culture that has lost its way and imploding is a culture that doesn’t realize it has lost its way and imploding. Lucas continues to reveal our degraded, decaying state.

  • Cryogenic

    How come??? Ugh….. The above is a test. I just posted a small chunk of it from the same Word document source. Yet it looks fine!!! Perhaps there is an issue with large comments.

    Any way for me to try again??? I could try smaller chunks, I suppose; as above. But I’m afraid of one or more of the chunks screwing up; which would ruin everything.

      • Cryogenic

        Thanks, Alex! 🙂 Yes — I guess I do!

        I’m gonna try this one last time. I converted the file to plain-text.

        Let’s see if this works…

      • Cryogenic

        It comes to something when the very software itself is against you. I tried again — but now it’s whining at me that “you already posted that comment”.

        Ay, caramba!

        If you see anything “meaty” above, it’s probably the first three paragraphs I tried sending in a subsequent test post (the longer, screwed-up post is “awaiting moderation” — and I can’t do anything here; it won’t even let you delete). But that’s barely even a tenth of it!

        How do I get people to read this thing? Cryo is fired up and he has things to say today. Oh, man. I just wanted to spring this beast on everyone and surprise them. I’ve lost that element now.

        And sorry to Anthony for screwing up his comments section. I sort of wanted to put it here first because this is where my inspiration to say things — lots of things! — on this topic first kicked in. But I may have to go and put it elsewhere and then give a link.

  • Stefan K

    Don’t get me wrong – I don’t know what to make out of the whole (current) Disney SW canon, or better, the ST. (I enjoyed “Rogue One,” but from what I have read, the ST is probably not my cup of tea.) And I would have loved to see GL’s treatments made into movies.
    However, I have recently read Lazypadawan’s article on SWPAS, and I have to agree (at least to a certain degree). Being angry at Kennedy or the Story Group won’t change anything in the long term, so it won’t help to continue with it. And we all know that constant anger will lead to the dark side / will not make us feel better. Moreover, there are people who enjoy the ST, and the last thing I want is to ruin their good time.
    To sum up: I will probably ignore the majority of the Disney SW and “vote with my wallet.” I was happy back in 2012 when the Saga was finished, and I am happy with GL’s SW now. However, I will hope that GL’s story treatments will see the light of day, who knows…

      • Cryogenic

        @Alexrd

        Exactly right. Everyone is pursing their lips and censoring themselves lately.

        Provided you try and strike a balance between the Jedi and Sithly aspects of your being, the disciplined “Apollonian” and chaotic “Dionysian”, there is nothing wrong with voicing opinions — even very strong ones. You know, try not to call for the death of people you dislike, try not to malign their families, keep personal attacks to a minimum, don’t use profanity every other word. Stuff like that.

        After all, I DID think we lived in a democracy, not an oppressive dictatorship. And I did also think two World Wars were fought, in part, to keep people free and leave their basic liberties intact. A lot of ink has flowed and a lot of blood has been spilled, and not only in war, to give people the right to dissent and speak their mind.

        But these days, I’m beginning to wonder. On the one hand, you’ve got people operating with no filter, and very little sense of empathy or fair play. And on the other, I see many becoming increasingly nervous about “hate”; when criticism and polemical thinking are basically the life-blood of a democratic social space.

      • Stefan K

        Fair points. I think that it is important to distinguish fair criticism from outright hate, and that’s what you are saying, too.
        One important thing however: make sure not to ruin another fan’s good time for liking parts of SW that are not your cup of tea.

      • Cryogenic

        @Stefan

        “One important thing however: make sure not to ruin another fan’s good time for liking parts of SW that are not your cup of tea.”

        Good rule. One needs to calibrate their opinions (somewhat); and/or decide where and when is the best time to air them.

        Unfortunately, over the years, and still now, Star Wars fans less enamoured of the PT haven’t restrained themselves from commenting and constantly infringing on prequel discussions on prequel boards — even when the discussion parameters are clearly (and collegially) defined in advance. Even very clearly-delineated Fan/Appreciation threads have been repeatedly intruded upon by people with an axe to grind. And more open-ended threads in which critics/bashers are welcome to participate have often been run off-course by those with a negative mindset. And any time you try complaining or reasoning with the person, you’re usually met with a barrage of sarcasm or some hissy objection that YOU’RE the one intruding on THEIR right to be negative.

        People who hate on something can’t seem to stop hating on it; or keep a civil lid on their behaviour. So I’m sensitive to what you say. We should be mindful of becoming what we dislike. But I will just say, for my part, I have refrained from going into SEQUEL TRILOGY forums, and SEQUEL TRILOGY gathering places, and enclaves where people love Disney to death, because I really don’t share their enthusiasm a great deal, and I prefer to concentrate on what I like and value instead. However, this still isn’t good enough for some (some of the same people who’ve bashed the prequels relentlessly over the years), leading to censorship and banning, even when you try and confine whatever negativity and criticism you have to a handful of focused discussion threads (like in, say, a PREQUEL TRILOGY forum, where a great many prequel fans seem to have similar tastes and concerns). So I don’t feel like being too kind. But again: I hear you.

        “To sum up: I will probably ignore the majority of the Disney SW and “vote with my wallet.” I was happy back in 2012 when the Saga was finished, and I am happy with GL’s SW now.”

        Yes. This is a healthy attitude and mirrors the satisfaction expressed by GL himself at the completion of ROTS in 2005. As he said in interviews at the time: “I finished what I set out to do”. The original saga is a complete artistic entity. Still wish Lucas had given us his third and final chapter, though. But if he’s reasonably content, we should probably try and be, too.

  • Cryogenic

    Sorry. I finally tried posting again from a plain-text document. But that hasn’t helped at all. I will pursue some other way of getting this text out to people.

  • Stefan K

    What I like about the interview (thanks Alexrd for the long excerpt!): James Cameron and GL are talking like old friends. JC does not have an axe to grind and seems to respect or like what GL did with SW (including the PT).

      • Cryogenic

        @ Alexrd

        HAHA! I love Cameron’s tightly-worded, diplomatic response.

        Yes, I remember that clip.

        Wish I could have eavesdropped on that conversation between him and Lucas. But it’s a good and fair assessment that Cameron gives, too. A retrenchment with baby steps. One of the best descriptions, in my opinion. Yet, if you read his response as I do above, then… Ouch! The diplomacy hat is on and that’s not a strong recommendation at all.

    • Cryogenic

      Yes! I like that, too.

      Some years ago, Cameron expressed concern that Lucas had set about altering the Original Trilogy and was suppressing the original theatrical versions; and, of course, some people seized on that as another banner to wave. “See? Even James Cameron DISAGREES with Lucas!!!” Well, yeah. I suppose he does. Or, at least, he did. There’s no crime in having a different opinion, after all. But it’s also great to see how much he apparently values and respects him. The excerpt is, indeed, wonderful to have.

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