It doesn't come as a surprise anymore how George Lucas has always laid out the foundation for Anakin Skywalker's epic Star Wars story long before the prequel films were established. Now, according to a new Lucasfilm book called The Star Wars Archives: 1995-2005, George shared information about Anakin's backstory during a conference meeting for Return of the Jedi in 1981. Present during the said meeting were director Richard Marquand, producer Howard Kazanjian, and writer Lawrence Kasdan who all saw how the tragic story of "The Chosen One" would've unfolded.
The book's author Paul Duncan shared the passage from the conference on Twitter and it'll give you a detailed idea of how Lucas' original plans for the character. Turns out, he was able to stick with his vision for the character and Anakin's backstory didn't go through some major changes. Read the full passage below:
Anakin Skywalker began hanging out with the Emperor, who at that point nobody knew was that bad, because he was an elected official. He was a politician. Richard M. Nixon was his name. He subverted the senate and finally took over and he was really evil. But he pretended to be a really nice guy. Luke’s father gets subverted by the Emperor. He gets a little weird at home and his wife begins to figure out that things are going wrong and she confides in Ben, who is his mentor.
On his missions through the galaxies, Anakin has been going off and doing his Jedi thing and a lot of Jedi have been getting killed - and it’s because they turn their back on him and he cuts them down. The President is turning into the Emperor and Luke’s mother suspects that something has happened to her husband. She is pregnant. Anakin gets worse and worse, and finally Ben has to fight him and he throws him down into a volcano and Vader is all beat up.
When he falls into the pit there is hardly anything left of him by the time the Emperor’s troops fish him out of the drink. Then when Ben finds out that Vader has been fished out and is in the hands of the Empire, he is worried. He goes back to Vader’s wife and explains that Anakin is the bad guy, the one killing all the Jedi.
Mrs. Skywalker has had the kids, the twins, two little babies who are six months old or so. The Skywalker line is very strong with the Force, so Ben says, “I think we should protect the kids, because they may be able to to help us right the wrong that your husband has created in the universe.” Ben takes one and gives him to a couple out there on Tatooine and he gets his little hideout in the hills and he watches him grow. Ben can’t raise Luke himself because he’s a wanted man. Leia and Luke’s mother go to Alderaan and are taken by the king there, who is a friend of Ben’s. She dies shortly thereafter and Leia is brought up by her foster parents. She knows that her real mother died.
I think you can make Ben take the blame for Vader. “I should have given him more training. I should have sent him to Yoda, but I thought I could be as good a teacher as Yoda. I wish that I could stop the pestilence that I’ve unleashed on the galaxy.” His burden is that he feels responsible for everything that Vader has done.
It's amazing how George has always been sure of how he wanted to execute the character and didn't bother altering his story considering the prequel trilogy came out almost 20 years after his conference meeting for Return of the Jedi. The end result was pretty astonishing as well and even though the prequel trilogy isn't exactly seen by a lot of fans as a flawless series, I gotta say it was still successful in fulfilling Anakin's journey to the dark side and that's what matters.
Meanwhile, The Mandalorian Season 2 is now streaming on Disney+.
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