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Today I feel like sharing some stray thoughts on this week’s spoiler news stories which may or may not be true. I really have no clue. On one hand they could be laughable stories we think about in a few years as we look back on the early era of the Sequel Trilogy. On the other hand, they are completely possible story avenues to take. I am of course talking about the rumors involving Ewan McGregor returning as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ian McDiarmid returning as the malevolent spirit of the late great Darth Sidious.
I can’t help but think back to the Revised Rough Draft of Return of the Jedi. Essentially, the “Neitherworld” of the Force. These rumors we have today sound weird to us, but that was part of the original conception for the grand ending to the saga. The Revised Rough Draft may have brought in ideas that were intended for Episode IX, where Luke was to finally confront the Emperor and destroy him the help of his sister. Well in this draft, Luke has help via Obi-Wan and Yoda’s spirits.
Is there a chance that Lucas’ story treatments brought in these rough ideas? I think so. It would also allow for a lot of extrapolation upon the Force ghost phenomena we’ve seen in the films so far. This idea could also pull threads from Episode I-III, and IV-VI and draw them into Episode IX, tying the whole saga together, with characters, wills, and intentions of the past culminating in the final defeat of the dark side.
The stakes are high in the first draft of Return of the Jedi:
If Vader becomes one with the dark side of the Force, he will lose all identity. If he turns to the good side, he will pass through the Netherworld and Ben will rescue him before he becomes one with the Force. -Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays by Laurent Bouzereau page 300. Del Rey, 1997.
I have pulled out these excerpts from the Revised Rough Draft of Return of the Jedi by George Lucas for our readers to look over during this speculative season of the Episode VII spoiler season.
Please feel free to speculate in our comments, on our Tumblr, our Twitter, or our message board.
Slowly, the hooded figure looks up, revealing his face. It is Ben Kenobi in the flesh.
I could no longer stay in the netherworld.
But Yoda said…
…that I would become one with the Force and choose not to return to the material world? That your anger prevented me from…
But I’m not angry…not anymore…I understand why you didn’t tell me about my father. I do.
I know. And I am here to help you destroy the Emperor, and…your father.
Suddenly Yoda appears beside Ben.
You can and you will…I in the netherworld, and Obi-Wan at your side. Help you we will.
112. INT. HAD ABBADON – TOMB’S DUNGEON
Luke stands with a start and begins to look around. Ben slowly stands also.
Did you feel that?
Yes. It’s the Emperor. He’s moving this way…
…and so is my father.
He is following the Emperor. Yoda!
I am between them and the Force…cloud their minds, I will.
Luke, you must take them on one at a time. Together, they will destroy you…
The Emperor enters the cavern and looks across to the boiling lava lake. He sees Ben and is surprised.
So you are not dead after all, Obi-Wan. I thought I felt your presence in the netherworld. So, you have returned. But you have failed…the boy is mine, and will soon embrace the Dark Side.
It is you who have failed, my old friend.
The Emperor turns around to see the shimmering image of Yoda standing before him.
Evil one, this will be the last day of your existence.
Your presence in the netherworld can do me no harm. And neither can this boy or this old man.
Your fear is strong…overestimate your abilities, you do.
Vader steps out of the shadows and stands next to the Emperor.
My Master, they must be destroyed. Now it is too late to turn the boy.
Luke looks at his father, then reaches out and Vader’s lasersword leaps off the Dark Lord’s belt and into the young Jedi’s hand. Luke ignites the lasersword as the Emperor pulls a sword out of his sleeve and tosses it to Vader.
Vader’s sword ignites and he starts to move toward his son. Luke backs away.
120. INT. HAD ABBADON – TOMB’S DUNGEON
Vader brings his lasersword down hard on his son, but Luke is able to block his father’s blow. A quick sword exchange, and Luke forces Vader back. Another exchange, and the Dark Lord recovers, pushing the young Jedi onto a small rock surrounded by the bubbling pool of lava. Ben and the Emperor watch from the far side of the cavern.
He is every inch his father.
He is stronger than you imagine, and has many allies.
Allies? If they are all as you, I have no concern. Once the boy has killed his father, I will have him destroy you…
Perhaps, but it will not save you. I have foreseen your death at the hands of Skywalker.
But I have not, therefore it cannot be.
Unless you can no longer see…
Luke fights back with all of his strength and drives his father back across the tiny rocks. A crashing blow by Luke causes Vader to lose his balance and fall onto one of the small rock islands, his sword hand landing in the molten lava. His sword and part of his metal are melting away. Vader backs away from his son, expecting the death blow at any moment. But Luke hesitates as Ben and the Emperor watch.
Finish it, boy! It is the power of the Dark Side that you feel…
Luke lowers his lasersword.
I cannot. I will not turn to the Dark Side. I only fight in self-defense, not to do your Emperor’s bidding.
With that, Luke extinguishes the lasersword and tosses it to Ben.
If he is to be destroyed, you must do it.
131. INT. HAD ABBADON – TOMB’S DUNGEON
Lord Vader struggles to stand as Ben prods the Emperor onto the same small island. Luke stands behind Ben and watches.
You have become old and weak, Lord Vader. I will take care of this.
The Emperor turns his back on Vader and faces the old Jedi, raising his hands in the air, which causes lightning to strike at Ben.
Luke leaps in front of his mentor, and raises his hand in defense. The bolts are deflected by an invisible shield. Wherever a bolt hits, the image of Yoda momentarily appears at the point of impact.
Your Master in the netherworld cannot protect you for long. You will turn to me or die.
The lightning bolts become more intense, and Ben is knocked unconscious. Luke drops to his knees under the pressure.
This is the power of the Dark Side that you deny. Your strength will never match it.
Luke struggles to remain conscious against the superior power of the Emperor.
Obi-Wan foresaw my destruction at your hands, young Skywalker, but it seems his vision was clouded…Perhaps there is still another Skywalker. Why can I not see, could the netherworld have influenced my perception? Another Skywalker…your father!
The Emperor turns around to see Lord Vader flying at him. The lightning bolts around Luke disappear as Vader hits the Emperor, knocking them both into the fiery lake of lava. The hideous screams of the Emperor are soon muted. Luke struggles to his feet and stares at the spot where his enemy and his father disappeared into the cauldron of molten rock.
Ben puts his hand on the young Jedi’s shoulder.
It is in Yoda’s hands now.
He turned back to the good side.
Yes, he did.
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