Ewok Talk #3: George Lucas’ Influence on “The Rise of Skywalker”

There is no question that George Lucas is a visionary beyond his years. There’s also no question that some of his ideas can definitely be…. out there. That being said, it seems a lot of fans in this day and age are willing to a accept those “out there” ideas. I would like to posit that one of the ideas presented in The Rise of Skywalker, namely Force Healing, was a George Lucas idea all along and it was repackaged and repurposed for the Sequel Trilogy we got. Here’s why…

I would first like to point out that there are pieces of George Lucas in Episode IX. We don’t know exactly what they are, but they’re there, somewhere:

“This movie had a very, very specific challenge, which was to take eight films and give an ending to three trilogies, and so we had to look at, what is the bigger story? We had conversations amongst ourselves, we met with George Lucas before we started writing the script”

This quote is from JJ Abrams himself referring to him and Chris Terrio meeting with George Lucas some time before the script was written. This quote is from April 18th, 2019, shortly after The Rise of Skywalker was officially announced and largely slipped under the radar, I feel.

I’ve always kept it in the back of my mind. Trying to piece together where Abrams and Terrio may have been using ideas influenced by George Lucas directly. It wasn’t until I did my most recent Episode III rewatch (right after The Clone Wars ended on May 4th) that I started putting the pieces together between III and IX. IX almost acts as a sequel to III, capping off a lot of ideas that III introduced and even, in some spots, mirroring key scenes (more on this in another article).

I want to focus on one key aspect of the III/IX “duology” specifically….

“Love can’t save you now, Padme. Only my new powers can”

This line from Anakin to Padme on Mustafar really stood out to me as this is exactly how Rey is saved from death by Ben Solo in Episode IX, through love, juxtaposing the unnatural, dark side ways that Palpatine promised Anakin to save Padme from death… And I do believe this line is deliberate. I believe this was part of George’s sequel trilogy plans.

George was laying the groundwork, sowing the seeds for concepts to be more fleshed out in his version of the Sequel Trilogy if he ever decided to make one. After he decided not to make it, he reworked or retired those ideas. Of course, the genius thing about them is that they work just as well if they’re never fleshed out as they do if they are. If Palpatine doesn’t return and no one actually discovers the literal way to cheat death through love, the concepts still work on their own. Palpatine becomes just as “ironic” as Plagueis and Anakin saving Luke from dying through love and sacrifice is good enough to fulfill that concept. But I don’t buy that there wasn’t more. That setting up Anakin’s fall predicated on being able to use the force to save people from death was more than just an idea for one film…

After George decided not to make his sequel trilogy, he began to implement those concepts in his next project, The Clone Wars. We know that “Kira”, a young girl (around 14) was to be the focus of his sequel trilogy. Ahsoka, a young girl (around 14), then became the focus of The Clone Wars.

But, obviously, it’s not just something as broad as that. In one of the most influential arcs in the entire show, The Mortis Arc, the concept of force healing and bringing someone back from the dead through love and sacrifice were both used on Ahsoka who is killed and then brought back from the dead on Mortis by the personification of the light-side of the force, The Daughter.

I believe this idea was brought over from George’s retired Sequel Trilogy and instead recycled into Clone Wars which became the focus of his Star Wars career after the prequels.

“Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life…”

An excerpt from the ever-famous “Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise” a modern classic as it were within meme culture on the internet, but also another key window into the mind of George Lucas when laying the bricks in the foundation for his Sequel Trilogy.

One the few things we’ve gotten from George about his idea for the sequels was this:

“[The next three ‘Star Wars’ films] were going to get into a microbiotic world,” he told Cameron. “There’s this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force…. The midi-chlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force.”

So it’s clear that George wanted to explore the concept of midi-chlorians more and the microbiotic world of the Force itself. Is it a mere coincidence that Palpatine tells us that the secret to cheating death is “influencing midi-chlorians” who are essentially the houses for the living force itself and that that concept would be explored in the sequel trilogy more? I don’t think so…

Thank you for coming to my Ewok Talk

Author: klitheelder

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