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What Star Wars would be like with Lucas still in charge

Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released, we've gotten our first glimpse of the new Star Wars universe. While it seems like most people are happy with the new movie, we can't help but wonder what could have been. Episode VII only exists because George Lucas sold the franchise to Disney, meaning that this the first Star Wars movie he hasn't been part of his vision. What would he have done differently? Here's what Star Wars would look like today if George Lucas was still in charge. Spoilers ahead!

Way more CGI

If there's one thing we know about George Lucas, it's that the man loves CGI. When digital effects became the go-to method in the late nineties, Lucas went back and added a bunch of it to his original Star Wars trilogy. By the time Revenge of the Sith came out, the movie was pretty much ninety percent CG, with the occasional human actor walking through a scene. For The Force Awakens, director J.J Abrams decided to go back to the series' roots and use practical effects as often as possible. Obviously, the movie has a pretty decent amount of CGI in it, but not nearly as much as it would have if Lucas had directed it. With the advancements made since the last Star Wars movie Lucas directed, it's unlikely Lucas would have filmed any actual sets or actors at all.

A Younger Cast

When Disney purchased the franchise, George Lucas provided the higher ups with his outline for a new trilogy. Disney read over the notes and then decided to go in a completely different direction. The contents of these documents has been kept relatively secret, despite constant requests from rabid fans. The only bit of information that's been released is that Lucas' original story would have focused on a younger cast, probably in their early teens. Disney decided this was too similar to the child Anakin Skywalker from The Phantom Menace, and that fans were still upset over how that movie turned out. While this seems like an extreme example, it was probably smart for Disney to distance themselves as much as possible from the prequel movies.

A Completely Different Han

One of the only other aspects known about Lucas' original vision was that he planned on having Luke, Han, and Leia come back in supporting roles as guides for the new characters. If you haven't seen The Force Awakens yet, here come some major spoilers, so consider yourself warned. Han plays a major part in the plot of the new movie, until he's killed by Kylo Ren towards the end. It's an emotional moment, but it's also been a long time coming. Harrison Ford has been trying to get Han Solo killed since The Empire Strikes Back. He finally got his wish, but there's no way Lucas would have allowed this to happen. The main reason Lucas never killed off Han was because he feared kids wouldn't buy toys of a dead character. Whatever the reason, Lucas is a hero for keeping Han Solo alive as long as he did, and we only wish he'd been able to save him forever.

More Darth Vader

After the release of the prequels, it became clear that Lucas considered Star Wars to be Anakin Skywalker's story. The first six movies detail his rise as a Jedi knight, seduction to the dark side, the birth of Darth Vader, and his eventual redemption. The biggest reason Lucas always cited for not wanting to make further Star Wars sequels was because Vader's story was complete. If Lucas had decided to continue with the franchise, it seems pretty likely that he would have found a way to bring Anakin and or Darth Vader back into the story. Most likely, we would have seen Anakin's Force ghost popping up, giving people advice and hoping that nobody mentions the time that he slaughtered a bunch of children.

A Full Expanded Universe

Star Wars isn't just a popular movie franchise; it's a multimedia empire. Since the release of the original trilogy, there's been mountains of books, comics, video games, and toys that kept the story going. Obviously, the movies and cartoons made up the official canon, but George Lucas always showed a certain amount of respect for the expanded universe. He would take names and concepts from the novels and incorporate them into his movies, like when he included the planet Coruscant in the special edition of Return of the Jedi. When Disney bought the franchise, the company junked all of the expanded universe canon, rebranding it as Star Wars Legends. While this makes sense from a practical standpoint, it still stings for fans. Lucas would have kept the expanded universe alive, because he understands that it's not a good idea to piss off a large group of nerds. After all, he's had years of practice doing just that. Why poke the badger again?

Acrobatic Lightsaber Fights

The Force Awakens only features a handful of lightsaber duels, but they're some of the most unique and brutal fights in the entire series. Abrams decided that since the characters using the weapons wouldn't be very experienced with them, the fights should be more aggressive and kind of clumsy. It makes sense, and it makes the scenes stand out from the series' other lightsaber battles, but it's also not the sort of George Lucas would have done. The prequel trilogy is filled with crazy, acrobatic and over the top lightsaber fights, with Jedi and Sith flipping around all over the place. Lucas would have found a way to include at least one experienced lightsaber wielder into the plot so that he could keep showing off these sort of fights. Even if it meant that Chewie picked up the weapon and revealed that he'd secretly been training with it.

More Merchandise-Based Scenes

This isn't a knock of George Lucas, but the guy liked to sell toys. There are plenty of scenes and characters included in his Star Wars movies that are clearly just there to make merchandise from. For example, the pod racing scene in The Phantom Menace spawned playsets, vehicles, and video games, but it didn't really advance the plot in any meaningful way. Now, this isn't to say that The Force Awakens is lacking in the toy and merchandise department. Disney has gone all out in a promotional blitz, and there's plenty of stuff to buy. We're just saying that none of the scenes in the new movie feel like extended commercials, and that's not how it would have ended up had Lucas made it.

Fewer References To The Original Trilogy

A major complaint about The Force Awakens is that it feels almost like a remake of the original Star Wars. And the film does include a ton of references to A New Hope and follows many similar story beats. There's no way people would be making this complaint about Lucas' Episode VII. There's no reason for him to even consider remaking any of his movies. If he wants to update them, he just goes back and does it. If he had made a new movie, it would have been a completely new plot, or else it wouldn't have been worth Lucas' time.

It Also Probably Wouldn't Exist

It's fun to think about what Lucas would have done with the new trilogy, but in all honesty, it probably wouldn't exist if he still owned the rights. Before selling the rights to Disney, Lucas spent years saying that there were no plans to make any more sequels and that he had told the story he wished to tell. Sure, he had more ideas, but he made it clear he wasn't interested in filming them. Since George Lucas has more money than most small countries, it's not like he ever has to do anything he doesn't want to do ever again. So, whether you love or hate Disney's version of Star Wars, it's likely the only one we were ever going to get. Also, this is the closest we've ever come to seeing the Jedi team up with The Avengers, now that they're owned by the same company. So, get ready to see Darth Loki, y'all.