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George Lucas: Star Wars Creator, Unreliable Narrator & Time Travelling Revisionist... — Page 7

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The following from George explains everything:

"Everybody said, “Oh, well, there was a war between the Jedi and the Sith.” Well, that never happened. That’s just made up by fans or somebody. What really happened is, the Sith ruled the universe for a while, 2,000 years ago. Each Sith has an apprentice, but the problem was, each Sith Lord got to be powerful. And the Sith Lords would try to kill each other because they all wanted to be the most powerful. So in the end they killed each other off, and there wasn’t anything left. So the idea is that when you have a Sith Lord, and he has an apprentice, the apprentice is always trying to recruit somebody to join him — because he’s not strong enough, usually — so that he can kill his master.

That’s why I call it a Rule of Two — there’s only two Sith Lords. There can’t be any more because they kill each other. They’re not smart enough to realize that if they do that, they’re going to wipe themselves out. Which is exactly what they did."

The Phantom Menace novelisation includes the essential history of the Sith directly from George too. There was never a war between the Jedi or Sith but a skirmish of sorts. More so it was their own hubris that doomed them. There’s also no contradiction to the formation of the Republic which was 1,000 years ago. The Sith could’ve been involved in the full scale war that brought about the Republic but it doesn’t necessarily mean it was a full scale conflict between Jedi and Sith armies as per George.

Full Excerpt:

Night blanketed the vast cityscape of Coruscant, cloaking the endless horizon of gleaming spires in deep velvet layers. Lights blazed from windows, bright pinpricks against the black. As far as the eye could see, as far as a being could
travel, the city’s buildings jutted from the planet’s surface in needles of steel alloy and reflective glass. Long ago, the city had consumed the planet with its bulk, and now there was only the city, the center of the galaxy, the heartbeat of the Republic’s rule. A rule that some were intending to end once and for all. A rule that some despised. Darth Sidious stood high on a balcony overlooking Coruscant, his concealing black robes making him appear as if he were a creature produced by the night. He stood facing the city, his eyes directed at its lights, at the faint movement of its air traffic, disinterested in his apprentice, Darth Maul, who waited to one side.

His thoughts were of the Sith and of the history of their order. The Sith had come into being almost two thousand years ago. They were a
cult given over to the dark side of the Force, embracing fully the concept that power denied was power wasted. A rogue Jedi Knight had founded the Sith, a singular dissident in an order of harmonious followers, a rebel who understood
from the beginning that the real power of the Force lay not in the light, but in the dark. Failing to gain approval for his beliefs from the Council, he had broken with the order, departing with his knowledge and his skills, swearing in secret that he could bring down those who had dismissed him. He was alone at first, but others from the Jedi order who believed as he did and who had followed him in his study of the dark side soon came over. Others were recruited, and soon the ranks of the Sith swelled to more than fifty in number. Disdaining the concepts of cooperation and consensus, relying on the belief that acquisition of power in any form lends strength and yields control, the Sith began to build their cult in opposition to the Jedi. Theirs was not an order created to serve; theirs was an order created to dominate. Their war with the Jedi was vengeful and furious and ultimately doomed. The rogue Jedi who had founded the Sith order was its nominal leader, but his ambition excluded any sharing of power. His disciples began to conspire against him and each other almost from the beginning, so that the war they instigated was as much with each other as with the Jedi. In the end, the Sith destroyed themselves. They destroyed their leader first, then each other. What few survived the initial bloodbath were quickly dispatched by watchful Jedi. In a matter of only weeks, all of them died. All but one. Darth Maul shifted impatiently. The younger Sith had not yet learned his Master’s patience; that would come with time and training. It was patience that had saved the Sith order in the end. It was patience that would give them their victory now over the Jedi. The Sith who had survived when all of his fellows had died had understood that. He had adopted patience as a virtue when the others had forsaken it. He had adopted cunning, stealth, and subterfuge as the foundation of his way—old Jedi virtues the others had disdained. He stood aside while the Sith tore at each other like kriks and were destroyed. When the carnage was complete, he went into hiding, biding his time, waiting for his chance. When it was believed all of the Sith were destroyed, he emerged from his concealment. At first he worked alone, but he was growing old and he was the last of his kind. Eventually, he went out in search of an apprentice. Finding one, he trained him to be a Master in his turn, then to find his own apprentice, and so to carry on their work. But there would only be two at any one time. There would be no repetition of the mistakes of the old order, no struggle between Siths warring for power within the cult. Their common enemy was the Jedi, not each other. It was for their war with the Jedi they must save themselves. The Sith who reinvented the order called himself Darth Bane. A thousand years had passed since the Sith were believed destroyed, and the time they had waited for had come at last.

“Tatooine is sparsely populated.” His student’s rough voice broke into his thoughts, and Darth Sidious lifted his eyes to the hologram. “The Hutts rule. The Republic has no presence. If the trace was correct, Master, I will find them quickly and without hindrance.” The yellow eyes glimmered with excitement and anticipation in the strange mosaic of Darth Maul’s face as he waited impatiently for a response. Darth Sidious was pleased. “Move against the Jedi first,” he advised softly. “You will then have no difficulty taking the Queen back to Naboo, where she will sign the treaty.” Darth Maul exhaled sharply. Satisfaction permeated his voice. “At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have our revenge.” “You have been well trained, my young apprentice,” Darth Sidious soothed. “The Jedi will be no match for you. It is too late for them to stop us now. Everything is going as planned. The Republic will soon be in my control.”

In the silence that followed, the Sith Lord could feel a dark heat rise inside his chest and consume him with a furious pleasure.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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screams in the void said:

Servii said:

screams in the void said:

Yeah , the Legends/canon debate never really bothered me as I remember when the original Marvel comics were kind of dismissed in the 90s and not considered worthy of " Canon " status , and then a decade or so later , they were incorporated into the EU novels and comics etc . Plus , you have the fact that though George didn’t see the EU material as part of his universe , he still often cherry picked from it , from the prequels to the clone wars and even to his sequel trilogy treatments . Which is what the current iteration of Lucasfilm under Disney has been doing a lot of as well .So I see that as relevant to this threads title . I have been making the point ,often ,as well , that the legends material is still in print and yes , a lot of it is even being re issued with newly commissioned cover art .A lot of people act like those stories were wiped from existence when that is clearly not the case .The way I see it ,with everything out there , anyone is free to follow one or the other or even mix and match to suit their tastes where it fits . There’s something for everyone and I will never complain about it . I just read/watch what I like and ignore the rest . I remember the dark times , from about 1986 to 1991 when there was hardly any Star Wars material available .

That’s a good way of approaching it. Star Wars is like a buffet. You enjoy what you like and leave the rest for others. It’s not really worth it to get caught up in which stories are canon or not, since they’re all works of fiction, anyway. The old EU’s “softer” approach to canon, with the different tiers and all that, was more supportive of that “buffet” mindset, since you could take or leave individual stories based on what you preferred. Disney canon is more monolithic by comparison, though that may be starting to change now with stuff like Visions and the KOTOR remake.

yup , it is like a buffet , and with the current canon , I also take or leave individual stories based on what I prefer ,as I do with the old EU .

I fully agree. If only more fans thought along this way, instead of being beholden to what George, or someone at Lucasfilm or Disney says or thinks.

As this thread highlights, these people in power have a highly selective and evolving relationship with the truth and history of Star Wars. Even to the point of trying to retcon or devalue our memories, via changes to ‘canon’, or ‘legends’, or ‘EU’. Or other labels used to categorize certain previous official or licensed content as being less important, and there is a new story or version to replace it.

Continuing on this:

 

Stardust1138 said:

The following from George explains everything:

"Everybody said, “Oh, well, there was a war between the Jedi and the Sith.” Well, that never happened. That’s just made up by fans or somebody. What really happened is, the Sith ruled the universe for a while, 2,000 years ago.

No, it really doesn’t explain everything. This is quite the shitty and ungracious thing when George talks like this. As if his vision is the only one that matters to everyone. And also plays down the contributions of others to the Star Wars Universe.

Additional information:

The “Well, that never happened. That’s just made up by fans or somebody” did actually happen, in the EU. The Jedi-Sith War is part the Darth Bane trilogy of books, the first books to focus on Darth Bane.

Those three Darh Bane books were written by Drew Karpyshyn, who also wrote the senior writer and one of the core game designers on “Knights of the Old Republic” games. He also worked as a writer on the “The Old Republic” game, and wrote two novels set in the same era, “The Old Republic: Revan” and “The Old Republic: Annihilation”.
 

Even the official Star Wars website hints at a Jedi-Sith War in the “databank” for Darth Bane:

“After the Sith were decimated by the Jedi Knights of a thousand years ago, Bane enacted the Sith rule of two: there would be only two active Sith at one time – a Dark Lord to embody the power, and an apprentice to crave it.”
 

In canon, in the 2017-18 “Age of Republic - Darth Maul” comics, it is revealed there was a huge battle around 1000 years ago, between the Jedi and Sith on Malachor, a place where a huge amount of Sith died.

Sidious: “It was here on this dead world that the Jedi struck a terrible blow against the Sith. Many of our order were struck down. All because they wanted to be free.”

This also gave reason for Maul to believe that the Sith deserved revenge for their slaughter at the hands of the Jedi.

 

Thankfully, there are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio George, than are dreamt of in your retconned philosophy.

 
 

Edit: About George’s plans for his new version of the Sequel Trilogy (just one of many over the years for the ST, including there not being any ST at all):

Stardust1138 said:

Greetings all! It’s been awhile. Further details of George’s Sequels leaked from the upcoming book “The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005”.

Here George gives a greater context to the story of the trilogy he wanted to tell beyond what we’ve heard with regards to the Whills, Luke being in exile to find his spark again in Episode VII, and the son of Han and Leia falling to the Dark Side.

THE CHOSEN ONE

George Lucas: "Darth Maul trained a girl, Darth Talon, who was in the comic books as his apprentice. She was the new Darth Vader, and most of the action was with her. So these were the two main villains of the trilogy. Maul eventually becomes the godfather of crime in the universe because, as the Empire falls, he takes over.

The movies are about how Leia—I mean, who else is going to be the leader?—is trying to build the Republic. They still have the apparatus of the Republic but they have to get it under control from the gangsters. That was the main story.

It starts out a few years after Return of the Jedi and we establish pretty quickly that there’s this underworld, there are these offshoot stormtroopers who started their own planets, and that Luke is trying to restart the Jedi. He puts the word out, so out of 100,000 Jedi, maybe 50 or 100 are left. The Jedi have to grow again from scratch, so Luke has to find two- and three-year-olds, and train them. It’ll be 20 years before you have a new generation of Jedi.

By the end of the trilogy Luke would have rebuilt much of the Jedi, and we would have the renewal of the New Republic, with Leia, Senator Organa, becoming the Supreme Chancellor in charge of everything. So she ended up being the Chosen One."

SparkySywer sums up the issue of this would-be retcon by George in having Leia now being the Chosen One, instead of Anakin:

SparkySywer said:

He [George Lucas] describes Anakin as a very straightforward Chosen One who does defeat the Sith and bring balance to the Force in RotJ, at least until he changed his mind and decided Leia was the Chosen One, except not because he never ended up making that ST.

The Secret History of Star Wars | Star Wars Visual Comparisons | George Lucas: Star Wars Creator, Unreliable Narrator & Time-Travelling Revisionist

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Some more contradictions and a bit more hypocrisy from George: Lucas is on record as suggesting doing the New Jedi Order books as the Sequels. Years later he then backtracked and claimed that was not the way he would have done it, despite it being his own actual suggestion (it also a project he worked on and contributed to). And then, rather hypocritically, years later Lucas actually used some of those early NJO ideas for his own Sequel Trilogy film treatments:

oojason said:

Don’t forget the version of the Sequels… that were novels (back in 1999):-
 

In 1999, an interview with George Lucas in Wired magazine, titled ‘Grand Illusion’… just a few months before the ‘Vector Prime’ book (from the ‘New Jedi Order’ series of novels) - began being heavily promoted (with tv advert and poster campaigns), a series of novels which Lucas himself was involved in and contributed to…

^ Grand Illusion - the full article at Wired.

 

A little more background info can be found here:-

https://www.reddit.com/r/StarWarsEU/comments/hr1tnz/behind_the_scenes_the_making_of_the_new_jedi
 

 

and the Total Film interview with George below from 2008:

GrimOnTheDarkside said:

“And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn’t at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn’t come back to life, the Emperor doesn’t get cloned and Luke doesn’t get married.”

~ George Lucas, Total Film Magazine Interview, 2008

^ https://ibb.co/x5q1RrQ

 

When George later changed his mind and decided to try his hand on the Sequels film, his own treatments were based some of early New Jedi Order novel ideas discussed in the article below, notably the conception of the NJO and aspects of other familiar EU stories. George himself had also contributed to the NJO books, having a number of meetings with the authors, instigating changes to the plot and characters, giving feedback, and making suggestions:

https://www.reddit.com/r/StarWarsEU/comments/hr1tnz/behind_the_scenes_the_making_of_the_new_jedi

The text in the above article is a ‘spoiler’. To see the text appear, double-click on the space where the text should be, to see it. Or click here for a screenshot of the article: https://i.imgur.com/6n1rNdM.png

 
 

In Summary…

 
In 1999:

Interviewer: “What about the reports that Episodes 7, 8, and 9 - which exist in novel form - will never reach the screen?”

George Lucas: “The sequels were never really going to get made anyway, unlike 1, 2, and 3, where the stories have existed for 20 years. The idea of 7, 8, and 9 actually came from people asking me about sequels, and I said, “I don’t know. Maybe someday.” Then when the licensing people came and asked, “Can we do novels?” I said do sequels, because I’ll probably never do sequels.”

George also contributed to the New Jedi Order books, having a number of meetings with the authors, instigating changes to the plot and characters, giving feedback, and making a number of other suggestions implemented by the NJO writers.
 

In 2008:

George Lucas: “And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn’t at all what I would have done it”.
 

Around 2011-12:

When George later changes his mind and decides to now try his hand at the Sequel Trilogy, his own later treatments are based some on those same novel ideas, notably the conception of the New Jedi Order, and also some other aspects of familiar EU stories.

Explanations, analysis, and shortcomings of the Star Wars Ring Theory : Plinkett & HelloGreedo | The Emptiness of George Lucas’ Visual Symmetry

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George Lucas made Star Wars, and the guys on originaltrilogy.com made a post about how Lucas some times makes offhand comments about his films. Great job!

Lucasfilm fan since '83!

Christian, husband, father

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Ah why not, I love some wummery occasionally.