George Lucas’s Star Wars saga spans nine main movies, spinoffs like Rogue One and Solo, and The Mandalorian. That’s a lot of Star Wars, and it doesn’t even count all these other Star Wars projects that almost got made…but didn’t.
- Before handing off directorial duties on the third produced Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi, to Richard Marquand, George Lucas interviewed two other candidates for the job: David Cronenberg and David Lynch. Both men are known for their dark, twisted, unsettling cult movies, such as The Fly and Eraserhead, respectively. And yet both could’ve called the shots on a family-friendly space opera. A producer called Cronenberg at home and asked if he’d consider doing Jedi, and after he said he didn’t direct movies other people wrote, they hung up on him. Lynch, a maker of weird films, ironically passed on the job because he didn’t like Lucas’s weird ideas, like how he initially wanted to make the cute and fuzzy Ewoks giant lizard monsters.
George Lucas, 1986
- In 1983, George Lucas told Rolling Stone that he wanted to make a whole mess of Star Wars movies. He wanted to do one separate from the main story focused entirely on Wookiees, the furry humanoid squealing creatures from the planet Kashyyyk, of whom the most famous is Han Solo’s friend and co-pilot, Chewbacca. Lucas rejected the idea (along with a standalone movie about R2-D2 and C-3PO) when he couldn’t come up with any good screenplay ideas.
Star Wars: A New Hope filming, Death Valley
- When Return of the Jedi hit theaters in 1983, George Lucas tried to assure fans that the trilogy-capping film was not the end of Star Wars. No, Lucas promised, he was going to make nine movies when all was said and done. He’d cut out two-thirds of his original script for 1977’s series-starting Star Wars: A New Hope, most of it the backstories of Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi in their younger days. While that became the basis of the late ‘90s / early 2000s Star Wars prequels, Lucas almost made them in the mid-1980s, just after Jedi.