Movie Editor's Blog

Movie Editor's Blog

5 ridiculous Star Wars sequel rumours from the 80s

When 'Star Wars' came out in 1977, folks went nuts speculating about the sequel.

The rumour mill threw up all kinds of crazy story ideas for 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi' - from time travel to vampire aliens.

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Without the internet, it fell to legendary sci-fi rag 'Starlog' to collate the fevered imaginings of bearded super-fans.

Here's a few of our favourites. We hope the rumours for 'Episode VII' are just as outlandish.

Mysterious figure... Han Solo (Credit: PA)

Han Solo's duel with Vader

The most intriguing rumour nugget on the pile was that Harrison Ford's iconic scoundrel was to wield a lightsaber in the anticipated sequel. It wasn't that simple however; in a battle with Vader towards the end of the film, it was reported that both Solo and Vader's lightsaber's would fuse together, combining the life forces of both.

When Luke came to the rescue, he would be faced with a conundrum: If he kills Vader, would he not also kill his friend?

Han's fate was the subject of both rumour and many discussions in the writing of the scripts. The notoriously difficult to work with Ford was the reason George Lucas froze his character in carbonite at the end of Episode V, he simply didn't know if he would want to return for a sequel.

At one stage the plan was even to kill off Solo in 'Return of the Jedi', meaning a much more bittersweet ending for the trilogy. None of that happened in the end of course, and instead we got Solo partying with little fur balls on the forest moon of Endor.

Pale rider... Star Wars almost features Vampires (Credit: PA)

Vampire aliens and Leia's seduction

It wasn't just Han's mortality in the balance, there were a number of other much-darker avenues that the franchise was rumoured to be following. At one point Luke and C-3PO were apparently going to be captured by a "horrendous" alien and dropped off in a prison full of breathable liquid.

Weirder still, the only way to kill their alien captor was to drive a metal stake through its heart, like Dracula. With no option, Luke was going to melt down his friend Threepio and use him as the stake to kill their oppressor and escape. Because that's the most obvious solution.

In another dark twist, Princess Leia was said to be captured once more by Vader and seduced by the dark side of the force to betray her friends and the rebel cause.

Knight and day... time travel mooted for Star Wars (Credit: PA)

Let's do the time warp again!

Ahh time-travel, that old plot device that always makes things so much simpler. Black holes and time-warps were both rumoured to be space crevices the Millennium Falcon would tumble through in the 'Star Wars' sequel.

Luke, Han and Chewbacca were allegedly going to travel back to the time of the Clone Wars and fight alongside a younger Obi Wan Kenobi and his padawan Anakin Skywalker. It would have been interesting for sure, and probably better than the Clone Wars we eventually saw in 'Episode II'.

In another scenario Han and Chewie land on a desert planet to find 13th Century time-travellers fighting Stormtroopers off with crossbows and catapults. As ridiculous as it sounds, the kernel of the idea may have found its way onto the screen in 'Return of the Jedi' with the Ewoks and their Empire-confounding shenanigans.

Who's the daddy... Vader's back story changed (Credit: PA)

Daddy issues

Father issues are central to 'Star Wars'. Anakin never had one, Luke didn't know his growing up and then found out he was the evil ruler of the galaxy, and Leia, well Leia's died not long after she found out who he was. The issue of whether Vader was planned to be Luke's father from the start has been brought up a lot, but there are plenty of rumours to say that he wasn't.

There was talk of both Obi Wan being Luke's father and the much more interesting idea that Obi Wan is revealed to have murdered Anakin Skywalker, with Anakin not eventually becoming Vader. Obi Wan is a character who barely develops over the course of the original films; remaining a mentor figure and a beacon of the light side. This would have lent a nice darker shade to the character.

Leia's adopted father, the ruler of Alderaan, was also once reported to have a bigger role in the overall story. He was rumoured to be in the pocket of the Emperor, and to have had a part in the destruction of his own planet before escaping to be Palpatine's right hand man.

The emperor's new groove... Orson Welles might've been baddie (Credit: PA)

Space-Queens, the flight of the Falcon and, wait, WHO would play the Emperor?

Speaking of Vader's evil mentor, his involvement was correctly predicted early on in reports on the film, but who would play him was subject of some debate. Two names popped up: Christopher Lee and Orson Welles.

Christopher Lee of course got his chance to play a Sith in Episode's II and III, but Orson Welles would have undoubtedly been fantastic as the series' big bad, purely because he's Orson Welles!

There were many other rumours, such as our heroes meeting an evil space queen, Rebels enlisting winged aliens called Quarrels to their cause and Luke convincing Vader to join turn good earlier than he eventually does. Special effects boffins at Industrial Light and Magic were also allegedly working on a way to have the Millennium Falcon fly out of the screen and up the cinema projection beam.

Well that's just silly.