Boba Fett Was Supposed to Be the Main Villain of Return of the Jedi

Wednesday, 04 May 2016 - 1:11PM
Star Wars
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 - 1:11PM
Boba Fett Was Supposed to Be the Main Villain of Return of the Jedi
Many changes were made to the original Star Wars trilogy over the course of production (remember when it was called The Adventures of Luke Starkiller?), but it seemed that the general outline, at least, was planned from the start. It's easy to forget that the trilogy was originally supposed to be no less than nine movies, and as a result, significant changes were made to Return of the Jedi in order to finish up all of the dangling storylines.

Opening quote
"I remember sitting in a mixing room with George, working on Empire, and he told me he was just going to make the third movie, which didn't have a title at that point, and then stop," Craig Miller, who was Lucas's fan relations officer at the time, told Inverse. "He was going to retire from making big movies and make experimental movies. And that's why the whole plot of the third movie, what became Return of the Jedi, completely changed."
Closing quote

Since Return of the Jedi wasn't supposed to finish off the trilogy, it originally looked very different. The ultimate showdown between Vader and Luke didn't happen, obviously, and even more surprisingly, the primary villain of the movie was supposed to be a certain fan favorite character:
Opening quote
"Originally Boba Fett was set up in Empire as a character, and the third movie's plot was going to be more about Boba Fett rescuing Han Solo and all of that," Miller said. "Boba was gonna be the main villain… That was set up, why he was taking Han Solo away, why there was a thing with him in the Christmas special. 

"When George decided not to make a third trilogy, he completely jettisoned that story line, which is why in the first ten minutes, Boba Fett gets bumped into and falls into the mouth of a giant monster. So he took what was planned for the third trilogy, which was the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, and the battle with the Emperor, and that got squished down from three movies to one movie. And that became the plot of Jedi."
Closing quote

This actually makes a lot of sense. Many fans were upset about Boba's unceremonious death after he had been giving so much build-up, but it's a little more understandable if he was originally supposed to be the main villain (with some kind of redemption arc, most likely, if he was trying to "rescue" Han Solo). If there had been nine movies as planned, Boba probably would have become some kind of antihero, possibly even joining up with the good guys. We may never know, but now that George Lucas is definitely uninvolved with the new series and will presumably never use these ideas, maybe he'll release them at some point. That would be an amazing May the 4th present!
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