George Lucas: The Force Is ‘Like Yoga’ and Other Early ‘Star Wars’ Tidbits
Hayden Christensen and George Lucas on the set of 'Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith' in 2005 (Everett Collection)
And you know you love the Ewoks. Just accept it — it's easier that way.
But, as Yoda himself would certainly agree, there is still much to be learned about "Return of the Jedi" — and the entire "Star Wars" saga itself. And some interesting new behind-the-scenes facts will make themselves known in J.W. Rinzler's "The Making of 'Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,'" which is set to hit store shelves on October 1.
In celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the release of "Jedi" this weekend, Huffington Post was treated to an excerpt from the upcoming book, one which details a production meeting from July 1981 attended by George Lucas, director Richard Marquand, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and producer Howard Kazanjian. The transcript reveals that Lucas already had the basic concepts of what would become the "Prequel Trilogy," the first installment of which was 18 years away at the time -- even though he ended up changing his mind about a few things in the interim.
The most amusing tidbit has Lucas claiming that the Force is "like yoga ... everybody can do it. If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it; but the ones that really want to do it are the ones who are into that kind of thing." This ended up not being the case, as "Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999) revealed that the Force is an ability exclusive to Jedis due to their abundance of midi-chlorians, intelligent microscopic organisms or whatever.
Lucas also describes Grand Master Yoda as "a guru; he doesn't go out and fight anybody." This of course would completely change by the time we got to "Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002), in which Yoda engaged in a completely insane lightsaber duel with Count Dooku (Christopher Lee).
[It's amusing to see that Lawrence Kasdan disagrees with both the idea of Yoda not being good in a fight and that anybody can use the Force. Oh, George -- if only you'd listen to your writers more.]
Hey, a lot can change in 18+ years ... and a lot can stay the same, too. What's most notable about the "meeting minutes" is just how much of Lucas' description of Anakin Skywalker's background ended up making it into the prequel trilogy:
"Luke's father gets subverted by the Emperor. He gets a little weird at home and his wife begins to figure out that things are going wrong and she confides in Ben, who is his mentor. On his missions through the galaxies, Anakin has been going off doing his Jedi thing and a lot of Jedi have been getting killed -- and it's because they turn their back on him and he cuts them down. The president is turning into an Emperor and Luke's mother suspects that something has happened to her husband. She is pregnant. Anakin gets worse and worse, and finally Ben has to fight him and he throws him down into a volcano and Vader is all beat up.