Over the decades, Mark Hamill has been the one to listen to for hints and clues as to how the future of Star Wars would take shape. He’s always been very forthright and genuine, and overall the best kind of movie star that a fan could ask for.
Way back in 1983, Hamill discussed the possibility of a future Sequel Trilogy:
Hamill asked Lucas what he would be doing in it according to nerdreport.com:
More interesting than that however, was Mark Hamill’s statements in an interview with Maria Shriver, also back in 1983:
“It’s either going to be on another plane of existence, or not the same character. When you see the ending, you’ll see why it has to be the last one. Period.” ~Mark Hamill, 1983
On another plane of existence. That sounds very interesting.
George Lucas seems to echo some of those thoughts, hinting at a much more deeply metaphysical and perhaps a more mature Star Wars Trilogy. Lucas stated according to starwars.com:
“The other one — what happens to Luke afterward — is much more ethereal. I have a tiny notebook full of notes on that. If I’m really ambitious, I could proceed to figure out what would have happened to Luke.”
So we know that Luke was to be a like a monk in meditative solitude, rather than a vagrant hermit.
It’s possible that this young Force-sensitive woman would have been a teenager according to ScreenRant:
According to Arndt:
Early outlines for the movie centered around the characters Sam and Kira. Arndt described them, respectively, as “pure charisma” and a “loner, hothead, gear-headed, badass.”  While its been widely reported that Vanity Fair said the leads of George’s outline were “teenagers,” George himself said they were in their 20s, which fits the early concept art better. He also said the story was about the grandchildren of Anakin Skywalker.
However, Lucas himself stated:
“The original Saga was about the father, the children, and the grandchildren. That’s not a secret to anybody, it’s even in the novels and everything. The children were in their 20s and everything, so it wasn’t The Phantom Menace again.”
Kira would later find Luke exiled in a Jedi Temple:
Lucas himself showcased art of where the first Temple (and Luke) was located. His plan was for Luke to slowly regain his faith by training a new pupil, Kira (who would later become Rey), meaning Skywalker factored in Lucas’ sequel trilogy much earlier than in actuality.
Accoding to ScreenRant:
The book also reveals Lucas’ initial plans for Episode VII and possibly the rest of his Star Wars sequel trilogy. As it turns out, Luke exiled himself to a remote location where the first Jedi temple existed decades after the fall of the Galactic Empire. Over the course of the film, Luke would slowly regain his spirit and, eventually, start to train the new Jedi, named Kira.
According to Arndt:
So, the late-2012 idea of a Luke Skywalker haunted by the betrayal of one of his students, in self-imposed exile & spiritually in “a dark place”, not only precedes Rian Johnson’s involvement in Star Wars but J.J. Abrams’, as well.
According to slashfilm.com:
In the book, we learn that one of the first meetings to visualize The Force Awakens happened on January 16, 2013 at Skywalker Ranch with George Lucas himself. Among the pieces presented at the meeting were portraits of an older Luke Skywalker training a new disciple named Kira (who was later renamed Rey). The idea was that, 30 years after the fall of the Empire, Luke had gone to a dark place and secluded himself in a Jedi temple on a new planet. The paintings show Luke meditating, reassessing his whole life.
Leia would also have been trained by Luke according to screenrant.com:
Shortly after Episode VIII premiered, Hamill shared that Leia’s Force sensitivity was a plot point in Lucas’ outlines for the sequels. He did not state specifics of how exactly that would manifest, but said it would be a “waste of innate talent” if Leia never tapped into that side of her.
Mark Hamill also stated:
“This is always something that interest me because we can communicate telepathically and I tell her in one of the movies, I guess the third one, you have that power too. So I always wondered, and I don’t read the fanfiction, why she wouldn’t fully develop her Force sensibilities and I think that’s something George Lucas addressed in his original outline for 7, 8, 9. I was talking to him last week, but they’re not following George’s ideas so we’ll have to wait and see on that one. But it seems like a waste of an innate talent that she should utilize in some way.”
More recently, Hamill has made this comment regarding Luke’s fate in George Lucas’ version of the Sequel Trilogy as reported by ign.com:
In this 1983 interview with Gene Siskel, it’s hinted that Luke Skywalker would be a father in the Sequel Trilogy:
Again Hamill states that “it wouldn’t be on the same plane of existence.” I have to wonder if at least a portion of the Sequel Trilogy might have taken place in the afterlife that the Force Ghosts inhabit.
According to thewrap.com, in his unauthorized biography of George Lucas, Dale Pollock said back in 2012 that he was fortunate enough to read Lucas’ outlines for the Sequel Trilogy, and beyond…
The stories for “Star Wars” episodes seven, eight and nine, which George Lucas has outlined and the Walt Disney Company will produce and release, are “the most exciting” in the series, the filmmaker’s biographer told TheWrap on Wednesday.
While researching his book, Dale Pollock, author of the unauthorized Lucas biography, “Skywalking: The Life And Films Of George Lucas,” was allowed to read the outlines to the 12 stories written by the filmmaker but was required to sign a confidentiality agreement.
“It was originally a 12-part saga,” Pollock told TheWrap. “The three most exciting stories were 7, 8 and 9. They had propulsive action, really interesting new worlds, new characters. I remember thinking, ‘I want to see these 3 movies.’”
I’d be very interested to read what Dale Pollock might have to say on the matter of the Sequel Trilogy now.
According to Owen Likes Comics:
Likewise, the thematic inspiration for the possible sequel trilogy were outlined by George Lucas himself, in an interview published in Denise Worrell’s 1983 book Icons: Intimate Portraits. In the chapter entitled “The Dark Side of George Lucas”, Lucas is reported to have only a vague notion of what will happen in the three films of a sequel trilogy. He is quoted as saying:
“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.”
Here is some additional concept art for the Sequel Trilogy, though I’m not certain if these were produced before or after Lucasfilm’s sale to Disney. Either way, they look far more interesting than anything that actually ended up in Disney’s Sequel Trilogy films:
According to Naboo News, Darth Talon from the Extended Universe appears to have played a role in the Sequel Trilogy as one of the primary villains, who seduces Han Solo’s son to the dark side of the force. According to Futurism:
Among them comes a member of the One Sith under the name of Darth Talon. In the One Sith, Darth Talon served as a personal assassin for the Emperor and Sith Lord Darth Krayt. Trained as a child to be a Sith Lord, Darth Talon finished her training after many years, and slew her former mentor in cold blood under Darth Krayt. With her dedication at hand, Talon was anointed as a Sith Lord of the One Sith.
As a member of the One Sith, Darth Talon was not one to give up on her hunt. Due to her failure to capture Princess Marasiah Fel because of Cade Skywalker, Darth Talon went to every way possible to ensure she would find her mark. Through her hunt to take down Emperor Roan Fel, Darth Talon went to every means necessary, including killing Princess Fel’s personal mentor and guardian by the name of Elke Vetter. That, of course, didn’t happen till after cutting off Vetter’s arm and leg to obtain what information she needed about the princess’ whereabouts.
She even attempted sabotage of a Jedi ship after sending the planet Vendaxo’s wild life after them. Due to her failure to kill Princess Fel, Darth Talon’s life was spared, and ultimately, her orders were to hunt down Cade Skywalker. The ultimate goal would be to turn the last scion of the Skywalker bloodline into a Sith Lord due to his ability to control the Force.
Though it’s not clear how close to the EU mythology the Sequel Trilogy incarnation of the Darth Talon character would be.
According to The Art of The Last Jedi, Han Solo’s son was to become a Jedi Killer.
The lower panels in this concept art seem to show a steaming love scene, suggesting that the Sequel Trilogy may have been meant for older audiences.
In terms of visual design, the Prequel Trilogy had a kind of World War I era motif, where the ships and designs looked largely hand made, or made in a fabrication shop. The Original Trilogy had an industrial World War II motif, what people now refer to as Diesel Punk. But in some of the designs that we see from George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy, it appears that he may have intended to push the art design forward to a more Viet Nam era motif, similar to the Viet Nam era motif of the designs that we see in James Cameron’s Aliens. This in turn makes me wonder if the art design for any potential Episode X through XII might have had a more 1980s Cold War era motif, to further demonstrate the passage of time through changing design motifs.
Given what has been said about George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy being “ethereal” and “on another plane,” I have to wonder if he intended to expand on material that was explored in The Clone Wars episodes, Overlords, Altar of Mortis, and Ghosts of Mortis.
George Lucas has made some statements in regards to focusing on the Whills in the Sequel Trilogy.
According to Naboo News, the Whills were referenced in a line from an early draft of The Revenge of the Sith screenplay:
What are the Whills? According to George Lucas:
“Originally, I was trying to have the story be told by somebody else; there was somebody watching this whole story and recording it, somebody probably wiser than the mortal players in the actual events. I eventually dropped this idea, and the concepts behind the Whills turned into the Force. But the Whills became part of this massive amount of notes, quotes, background information that I used for the scripts; the stories were actually taken from the Journal of the Whills.”
According to Slashfilm.com, Lucas stated:
“Back in the day, I used to say ultimately what this means is we were just cars, vehicles, for the Whills to travel around in…We’re vessels for them. And the conduit is the midi-chlorians. The midi-chlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force.”
The Whills sound suspiciously like a soul.
This concept seems to be touched upon in The Clone Wars episodes, Voices, Destiny, and Sacrifice, where Yoda travels to the center of the Galaxy to a planet which holds the wellspring of the Force, and the source of midi-chlorians. The Living Force, the Unifying Force, and the Cosmic Force are explored here.
I also wonder, if the Sequel Trilogy was meant to be much more mature than the preceding films. Episode I was very much for little kids. Episode II & III, for older kids, but still for kids. Episode IV, V and VI, were mainly an all ages affair, but probably primarily aimed at early to mid teenagers. So if the Sequel Trilogy continued that trend, and matured into more adult material, that would mean that a person could start with Episode I as a little kid, and watch continuing episodes as they grew up. The material in the movies would mature along with the viewer as the episodes went along.
It’s likely that we’ll never know the full extent of what we missed out on. But there may be more hints and tidbits about George Lucas’s Sequel Trilogy out there in articles and Mark Hamill interviews for those willing to hunt for the material. Perhaps together as a fan base we could piece together the real Sequel Trilogy story. A great place to start looking would be the old Starlog Magazines, the entire library of which is now available online for free courtesy of archive.org, right here.
Mark Hamill wished hey had stayed closer to George Lucas’ vision for the Sequel Trilogy, according to Metro:
Mark Hamill has now admitted that he is a little disappointed that Lucas is no longer involved, while also registering his disappointment that the powers that be over at the studio weren’t “more accepting of his guidance and advice.”
Wouldn’t it be nice to get a comic book series telling the story of George Lucas’ intended vision for the Sequel Trilogy? It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, since the Star Wars franchise has already previously published alternate versions of the Star Wars Saga. Maybe folks reading this can send Mark Hamill a friendly tweet, and ask him what the chances are of getting such a comic series.
The following are comments from the original blog post.
Alexrd: A bit late to the party, but most of that concept art was developed for The Force Awakens. The rest was the art department brainstorming ideas with no direct input from Lucas (except for the ‘first Jedi Temple’ pictures). The only piece of those that Lucas actually approved was of the bell-shaped Jedi Temple that is also absent from the article. There’s also a more complete excerpt of the recent George Lucas talk with James cameron that brings more context to that single quote: