I think the opposite. As even if George had made the Sequels back in the 80’s they would be vastly different to what Disney gave us.
Take into account two major bits:
“If the first trilogy is social and political and talks about how society evolves, Star Wars is more about personal growth and self realization, and the third deals with moral and philosophical problems… The sequel is about Jedi knighthood, justice, confrontation, and passing on what you have learned.”
A quote from George in the 80’s. He always viewed each trilogy as being different from the last but interconnected.
If the above quote is from the “Icons: Intimate Portraits” book, then it is worth mentioning that George Lucas only refers to the possibility of there being Sequels as a vague notion in his mind.
In a 1997 issue of the “Star Wars Insider”, Lucas said “[The whole story has] six episodes…If I ever went beyond that, it would be something that was made up. I really don’t have any notion other than ‘Gee, it would be interesting to do Luke Skywalker later on.’ It wouldn’t be part of the main story, but a sequel to this thing.”
In a 1999 interview with “Vanity Fair”, Lucas denied ever having any plans to make nine “Star Wars” movies. “When you see it in six parts, you’ll understand”, Lucas said at the time. “It really ends at part six.”
There are more similar quotes from George. It really can be difficult to take George’s words as fact at times.
Maybe, at best Lucas’ quote of "I really don’t have any notion other than “Gee, it would be interesting to do Luke Skywalker later on.’ It wouldn’t be part of the main story, but a sequel to this thing.” has been incorrectly misconstrued as being his outline for his Sequel Trilogy? Because in Lucas’ own words they are not part of the main story, but may be an idea for a possible sequel or continuation of Luke’s own personal story.
Well, it depends on when George was quoted as to what he said. Early on he was talking 9 films. Never an if about the last 3. The way Mark talked sounded like it was certain he was going to do 9. As he started planning the prequels, he stopped talking about the sequels. By the time he was done with ROTS, he wasn’t planning on doing the sequels any longer. Then as time wore on, he thought about it again. I’m not sure they ever would have gotten made if he hadn’t sold Lucasfilm to Disney. Sure he roughed out treatments, but I get the impression it was more to add value to the company than because he was planning on making them at that point.
Plus, if you read the early treatments and drafts of TESB and ROTJ, they are very different than what we got in the end. That is the nature of movie story telling. It morphs from the earliest ideas to the final product. You can even see that in Colin Trevorrow’s draft and the final TROS. The story follows the same structure, but details have changed drastically.
My above comments about the Whills are aimed at the treatment that George had done, but who knows what would have happened and how the story would have changed if he had decided to start production. We probably would still be waiting for the final installment since he liked to spend 3 years on each film. But based on what he was talking about and his past track record, I think he was headed in a direction that the fans wouldn’t have liked. The fans very much wanted a new trilogy similar to the first and better than the prequels, but with a fresh story. I think going too metaphysical would have lost them. I think Abrams could have started it better. Most of the complaints come from his setup in TFA. But with that I think we got two sequels worthy of the originals. And I think the complaints about what George might have done would make the complaints about TLJ and TROS look insigificant.
He told USA Today in 2015 he planned to make Episode VII himself and then he’d sell to Disney. He decided against it and sold to them outright. He would definitely still be making the trilogy as he said as much to Paul Duncan in his Prequels book about taking three years with the films. I think George stopped talking about the Sequels because he wanted to focus on the stories he was making but that didn’t stop him from privately talking about these things to an extent as he talked to Rob Coleman, the Prequels animation supervisor, about R2-D2 recounting events to a Keeper of the Whills. The Revenge of the Sith junior novel also makes mention of the Ancient Order of the Whills. I think he only had vague notions and the story evolved. There was enough in the Prequels and Originals for another three films but he went back and forth on rather or not to ever make them.
Exactly. The same thing happened with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He ulimately included some of his Sequel plans in Return of the Jedi as he was burnt out and more than likely his divorce took a lot out of him. So the stories did change and evolve. That’s no secret. Stories evolve and take different courses. It’s why I think he pretty much knew the story he wanted to tell with the Prequels but the Sequels he only had vague notions of where the story would go. As in using some of the original plans in the Sequels for Return of the Jedi he’d always have to rework the Sequels a bit if he did revisit them. They were never fully laid out.
I don’t think the Sequels we ended up getting are worthy of the Originals but each to their own opinion. I’m glad some can enjoy them. I wish I could see them as worthy conclusions but I can only find I enjoy The Last Jedi if I see it as its own thing and the other two I find I only enjoy certain scenes. Otherwise they feel too distant from the world George created. I’m very much in full agreement with everything Marcia Lucas said. I don’t hate them by any stretch but they’re very far removed from what Star Wars is to George Lucas and in turn me.
As well as yes, Duel of the Fates and The Rise of Skywalker are very different but The Rise of Skywalker takes storybeats from it and puts them in new contexts. It’s a very J.J. Abrams thing to do. He puts things into his films without thinking of context as to why they worked in the original work but puts them in his own because it “delights” him. That was his whole process with The Force Awakens.
I’ll take Midi-Chlorians and the Whills over X-Wings and TIE Fighters again any day.