First a caveat: since 1977, Star Wars creator George Lucas has had a long history of making statements about his plans for future Star Wars films that do not pan out. He is, to put it politely, something of an improvisational artist.
That said, Lucas’ apparent original plan for the sequel trilogy (the movies that became The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and the upcoming Episode IX) is an eye-opening one, even for him.
As far as I’ve seen, these are the first specifics George Lucas has shared about what his vision of Episodes 7-9 would have been. This comes from @insighteditions awesome companion book to “James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction series” on AMC: pic.twitter.com/Wtlw8zlrqv
— Livio Ramondelli (@LivioRamondelli) June 12, 2018
According to the companion book to the AMC documentary series James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, which features Cameron interviewing Lucas (full disclosure: the show also contains me), the Star Wars creator was “going to get into a microbiotic world” and finally introduce us to mysterious creatures called the Whills.
If that name sounds familiar, it’s because the original Star Wars was originally described as being “from the Journal of the Whills,” a never-seen chronicle that was excerpted in the Star Wars novelization.
In Rogue One, the characters Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) described themselves as Guardians of the Whills, but no further explanation was offered. They were also briefly mentioned in the Clone Wars series. But we’ve never met them.
Lucas’ mention of “a microbiotic world” — and his comparison to the reaction to The Phantom Menace — has led some Star Wars fans to assume the creator was going to return to those much-loathed “midi-chlorians,” the microorganism that supposedly acts as a marker for how much Force power you have. (After Anakin Skywalker’s “high midi-chlorian count” in that movie was much mocked, they were never mentioned again.)
But that’s a big assumption to make just because he used the word “microbiotic,” which simply refers to microorganisms in general. And it’s worth mentioning that this isn’t the first report on what Lucas had planned for the sequel trilogy.
According to another recent book, The Art of The Last Jedi, Lucas’ plan for the first of the sequel movies was to have Luke Skywalker as a hermit on a remote planet approached by a young female would-be Jedi — in other words, exactly what we got in The Last Jedi, just one movie earlier.
How the Whills and the world of microbiota would have wrapped into that is a mystery known only to the reclusive creator himself. Because despite Lucas’ claim that he could have gone it alone, he was pretty eager to sell his company in 2012 — for $4.06 billion, which now looks like something of a bargain for Disney.