It does make me wonder how George would have wrote Vader and Anakin being the two separate characters in the films, and if and how he’d have used that ‘Vader, still pretending to be a Jedi, repeatedly lured the few remaining Jedi left, to their deaths’ idea.
A time machine, Keith Carradine as Annikin Starkiller, with Timothy Dalton as Darth Vader, and I’m all in for an alternative “what if?” OT universe based on those early drafts. Where they and Obi-Wan Kenobi are good friends, yet Vader is also betraying them and the Jedi behind their backs! 😃
To me, the draft stories are more absorbing than what we saw on screen with the Prequel films; where Vader was still secretly luring the Jedi into traps and their deaths. So much that their numbers had drastically declined over the years, and even when they tried to regroup they were betrayed and massacred. The Battle of Condawn where Vader killed Luke’s father just sounds awesome, coupled with Obi-Wan later defeating Vader at the volcano pit, where Vader was severely injured and left in need of a mask and suit just to breathe:
Lucas is also on record in Rinzler’s Making Of book: “The thing about Vader wasn’t developed until the 4th draft [of Star Wars], when I was sorting out Vader’s real character and who he was”. Yet even here Vader and Annikin are still two completely separate characters:
Even in this 4th draft of Star Wars, the backstory has Vader written a disciple of Ben Kenobi, who betrayed the Jedi, and stole a kyber crystal from Ben, to become a Sith Lord. Annikin, Luke’s father, died at the Battle of Condawn, slain by Vader. Kenobi then defeats Vader, nearly killing him, and leaving Vader in need of the mask to breathe:
Phil Szostak, the Lucasfilm Creative Art Manager & author, in his 2019 “Star Wars Mythbusting” twitter thread:
https://twitter.com/PhilSzostak/status/1157776519923552256 (when debunking George’s “Darth Vader = Dark Father” claim)
‘Darth Vader is not Luke Skywalker’s father until the April 1, 1978 second draft of Empire Strikes Back.’:
Even when Vader had a wife and child as a kind of cover for his secret dark side deeds, and was able to lure other Jedi to their deaths:
^ by Brian Ashmore in 1993.
and this picture of Obi Wan, by Hugh Fleming in 1994, always fires up some “what ifs? thoughts”:
Edit: there is more on this, and the pre-PT era lore in general, in this new thread:
Pre-PT era lore | an OT & EU scrapbook resource | additional info & sources welcome