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What Could Have Been / Star Wars

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Original Concept Art for A New Hope, the first film of the series.

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For What Could Have Been examples for the rest of the individual movies, please see their individual Trivia pages:

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The Franchise


  • George Lucas originally wanted to make a movie of Flash Gordon, but wasn't able to secure the rights from producer Dino De Laurentiis — who would later make the Flash Gordon movie after Star Wars took off. In retrospect, Lucas was rather fortunate he didn't get the rights, considering he would have had to deal with the problem of having a porn parody, Flesh Gordon, coming out before his film would have been released. As it was, that was on De Laurentiis to deal with.
  • Lucas then turned to the films of Akira Kurosawa for inspiration, and wrote a script that was pretty much a remake of The Hidden FortressIN SPACE! He considered buying the rights to that, but decided to develop his own story further.
  • The earliest story idea for the film wasn't even titled Star Wars. It was initially an idea called The Journal of the Whills, which (the journal itself) also serves as a storytelling device. (It found its way to the Legends universe, and was made canon in the novelization of the film and The Force Awakens. Additionally, a concept called 'The Guardians of the Whills' was mentioned in Rogue One.)
  • The basic story of the original trilogy was intended as a single movie, beginning with The Hero's Journey to become a Jedi and ending with the defeat of the Empire with the destruction of the Death Star. Realizing how immense that project would be, Lucas opted to not tell the defeat of the Empire in a single movie but keep the destruction of the Death Star (which is why the Death Star II came into play as well as another forest planet being involved). Lucas also coalesced the backstory notes into what became the foundation for the prequel trilogy, deciding that an entire trilogy happened before the original films. In each trilogy, the story grew far beyond the original intention. Much of this is covered in Michael Kaminski's The Secret History of Star Wars, which painstakingly goes over documentation from the very earliest days of the project to show how Lucas developed and transformed his original vision, especially the idea that Luke's father and Darth Vader were two different people.
  • In 1976, at the point in which Lucas planned the entire story, the saga was going to be composed of twelve films divided into four trilogies, of which the original film would be Episode IV. Two of them would have Luke learning further about the Force, one would have been a prequel series portraying the past of Vader and Obi-Wan, and the fourth, according to Mark Hamill, would feature a younger generation whom Luke had passed the torch to. In 1980, after the release of Empire Strikes Back, Lucas decided to reduce the saga to "only" three trilogies, closing it with the death of the Emperor at Episode IX (though the New Republic itself might start being rebuilt earlier, in Episode VII) and planning to make possibly a couple standalone films if he had the chance. During the production of Return of the Jedi, however, he decided to end the franchise right there, so he killed the Emperor in the same film and closed all the subplots. It was in 1990 when technical advances in CGI (mainly represented by Jurassic Park) motivated him to continue the saga, choosing to make next his planned prequel trilogy.
  • Back when the films would be nine, Lucas originally wanted to serve as a mere supervisor while each new installment was helmed by a different director, who would be able to put their own style and ideas into the franchise. However, when Lucas realized how little control this approach would allow him during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back (and probably due to a particularly disastrous incident of "leaving it in someone else's hands"), he decided to take a more direct control of the franchise. This ultimately played a big role in shrinking down the saga, as he realized the effort to harness so many films would be too massive and stressful for him, so he used Return of the Jedi to wrap up most story threads before eventually returning to do three more films set before the original.
  • According to Lucas, at some point the whole series was supposed to have a Framing Story with R2-D2, the last surviving member of the main cast, telling an advanced future race, the Whills, about the fall of the Republic and the rise and defeat of the Empire. This idea might have been inspired by a similar one considered by Alejandro Jodorowsky when he was trying to adapt Dune, a novel that inspired Lucas in several others aspects.
  • Palpatine was originally conceived as an Anti-Climax Boss, a power-hungry dullard manipulated into the Galaxy's top spot by Vader and Tarkin, who ran things behind his back. Notably, this detail was changed so late in the universe concept that it made it into the novelization of A New Hope.
  • Initially Luke and Leia were going to be the Official Couple of the series, with Han as the Romantic False Lead, and Luke's sister was going to be a totally different character named Nellith. Due to Lucas's burnout by the time of Return of the Jedi, he killed two birds by just making Leia the other Skywalker.
  • Lucas considered for Vader and Boba Fett to be brothers.
  • Lucas's conception of the Force was not as black and white as it turned out in the movies. Originally Jedi (and Sith) used both the Light and Dark Side of The Force. This lasted well into the production of The Empire Strikes Back where Lucas's notes mention that telekinesis is a Dark Side power and a Jedi who uses it too much will become imbalanced. This is illustrated in A New Hope when Obi-Wan notes that The Force both controls the actions of a Jedi and obeys their commands; if a Jedi continually imposes their will on The Force and never allows themselves to be controlled by it, massive imbalance will result. Also the Sith were not really evil, it was just that the Jedi and Sith were rival clans who saw The Force in different ways. The Evil in the story came from the inhumanity of The Empire and its bureaucrats.

  • George Lucas offered the merchandising rights to Mattel, but the company president passed since he didn't believe that movies were an effective medium for selling toys. He would later come to immensely regret this decision when Star Wars became a Cash-Cow Franchise overnight.
  • After getting turned down by United Artists and Universal, George Lucas pitched the film to Disney which also turned him down. Yes, the same studio which would end up buying the Star Wars franchise...
  • Lucas considered having Frank Darabont (known for films such as The Shawshank Redemption) write the prequels while kicking around ideas in the early 90's.
  • Surprising as it might be for some, Ron Howard revealed that Lucas actually did not want to direct the prequel trilogy. He approached Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg and then Howard himself, but all of them declined because helming the uber-hyped Star Wars prequels was too daunting of a task, and eventually Ron convinced Lucas he had to do it himself. Howard would later go on to direct Solo, though.
  • There were plans to re-release all six movies in 3D. However, they only got as far as The Phantom Menace in 2012. Months later, the Disney buyout occurred, and the plans for re-releasing the remaining movies were scrapped in favor of the Sequel Trilogy.
    • Both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were fully converted to 3D as well prior to the Disney purchase and were eventually shown at various Star Wars conventions from 2013-2015.

Unmade works

    Lucas's third trilogy 
  • According to Tom Veitch, in the 90s Lucas directed the plot of the comic book Dark Empire, approving the basic premise and driving forward the plot point of Sidious returning in cloned bodies. It was rumored at least since 2001 that Lucas saw the series as the closest to his sequel trilogy, and while this has not been confirmed outright (although an insider claimed so), he certainly went to use cloning and Force manipulation of life again in the prequels.
  • In one of George Lucas' outlines for a potential sequel trilogy, Darth Maul would've been the Big Bad (presumably his death in Rebels didn't occur in this story — though Rebels was internally greenlit before Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, the decision to kill him off in the third season came after Lucas's retirement). After the Empire fell, Maul would have worked his way up to become one of the most powerful crime lords in the galaxy, putting him in a position to threaten the New Republic. Darth Talon from the Legacy comics would also have had a large, action-heavy role as Maul's apprentice and right-hand woman. Leia would've had a key role as she tries to rebuild the Republic, eventually being elected Chancellor (thus Lucas joked that she would now be the "chosen one"), while Luke tries to rebuild the Jedi. Leia's children would have had key roles as well, probably the main protagonists, as Lucas considered making this trilogy about "the daughter and the grandchildren" after the prequels had been about the father and the originals about the son. Lucas stated one of the main reasons he didn't end up making a sequel trilogy himself is because it would be a lengthy process and he wanted to focus on raising his daughter and being there for his family.
    "At that time I was starting the next trilogy; I talked to the actors and I was starting to gear up. I was also about to have a daughter... it takes 10 years to make a trilogy... I'd still be working on Episode 9!... Finally, I’d decided I’d rather raise my daughter and enjoy life for a while."

  • Ron Moore was going to serve as the head writer and had this happened, he would've have had the honour to have worked on three of the four major sci-fi franchises with the word "star", as he had written multiple episodes of and served as story editor for Star Trek series The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine as well as writing two episodes of Voyager and serving as the showrunner for the 2003 Continuity Reboot of Battlestar Galactica.
  • It was planned to be a 100 episode series, though with an option of ultimately being a 400 episode series.
  • Karen Traviss was going to write a novel about Boba, but she cancelled it in fears that it would conflict with Underworld, as she had previously found the same problem when writing Imperial Commando: 501st, which conflicted with The Clone Wars (and is also the reason why she didn't write the sequel to Imperial Commando: 501st. Ultimately, 501st was her last book in the Star Wars franchise).
  • A. C. Crispin (The Han Solo Trilogy) proposed a book series about Leia's backstory, but Lucasfilm also turned that down in case it conflicted with Underworld.
  • 1313 was originally meant to tie-in with Underworld, but after Underworld was postponed in 2010, 1313 was altered to be more standalone.

    Duel of the Fates (unfilmed Episode IX script) 
  • Colin Trevorrow was originally going to direct this version of Episode IX, but he left under vaguely explained Creative Differences. The box office failure of The Book of Henry and Trevorrow's allegedly egotistical behavior may have also been a factor.
  • Trevorrow has stated that Palpatine wasn't going to come Back from the Dead in his original script for the film, and so wasn't the film's Big Bad. According to the leaked script, at most he has a posthumous cameo, with Kylo Ren finding a hologram recording of Palpatine in Vader's Mustafar castle, instructing him to take Luke to the Remnicore system and find Tor Valum, Sith Master of Darth Plagueis, to learn the power to control life. Accordingly, Rey wasn't revealed to be Palpatine's granddaughter in the original script.
  • Large portions of concept art for the film have been released, along with one of Trevorrow's early scripts.
  • Trevorrow's original concept would've been a much darker story. Kylo Ren is the Big Bad and doesn't seek redemption as Ben Solo, revealing to Rey that he was the one who killed her parents on Snoke's orders and seeking out Tor Valum, master of Darth Plagueis, to learn Dark Side powers from him, including the ability to drain people's life force. Kylo also ends up blinding Rey during their duel.
  • Finn would end up leading a team of defected Stormtroopers against the First Order in the climax.
  • Leaked scripts indicate that there would be a larger timegap between it and the previous movie than the few months between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker; approximately ten years or so, enough for the First Order to be deeply entrenched in the galaxy and for Hux to become Chancellor.
  • The bulk of the action would have taken place on Coruscant, where a massive First Order ship resembling the Supremacy would serve as a citadel of sorts called the Capitol. A massive revolt would have taken place on the planet, with Finn at its helm. Meanwhile, Leia and the Resistance would aim to destroy a galaxy-wide communications jammer over the planet's orbit.
  • Hux would have been portrayed here as a Force wannabe, collecting lightsabers and attempting to conjure Force powers without success, much to everyone else's annoyance. When Coruscant is overrun by the Resistance in the climax and the Capitol begins to lift off, Hux would have committed seppuku in his office with a red lightsaber, with the script's narration noting how he realized that he "lost the Star Wars".
  • The Eclipse-class Dreadnought from Legends would have made its first canon appearance here. Early in the plot, the heroes would hijack it thanks to Rey using a Jedi Mind Trick on the entire bridge crew, and it would end up serving as the Resistance's flagship in the climactic battle over Coruscant. Not only would it provide the Resistance with weapons and vehicles to start a riot on Coruscant's surface, but it would also have been the first time where the heroes use a superlaser against enemy ships.
  • Rey and Kylo Ren's final duel would have taken place on Mortis. The Force ghosts of Luke, Obi-Wan and Yoda would also have appeared to aid Rey.
  • Rose Tico had a much larger role in Trevorrow's Episode IX than The Rise of Skywalker (where she was Demoted to Extra), including accompanying Finn on a mission to Coruscant and helping steal a Star Destroyer. Rose would've had a Disney Death and been captured by the First Order. Hux attempts to use the Force on her during an interrogation, which fails miserably.
  • Leaked concept art depicts Rey wielding a blue double-bladed lightsaber and wearing a dark-colored outfit similar to Luke's in Return of the Jedi. According to the script, her lightsaber would've been constructed from the two halves of Anakin's wrecked saber and Rey's staff, which was partially incorporated into The Rise of Skywalker (Rey has repaired Anakin's saber and the ending reveals she's constructed a new saber for herself using her staff). Concept Art also depicts Rey with longer hair worn in a ponytail, whereas in The Rise of Skywalker she has gone back to her three-bun hairstyle (this was partly necessitated by Rey's appearance needing to match up with the unused footage of Carrie Fisher).
  • Luke Skywalker would've had a larger role in the film, haunting Kylo Ren and offering advice to Rey as a Force ghost.
  • Leia Organa had a much more active role in the plot; it should be noted that the leaked Duel of the Fates script was written before Carrie Fisher's passing, which required Leia's role to be drastically reduced in Episode IX. Leia also survives to the end, instead of dying in the third act.
  • Poe and Rey have a romantic relationship and she never displays any affection towards Kylo Ren/Ben Solo, especially seeing as he's a lot more villainous in this version. The script included a subplot where Rey worries about having to sacrifice her relationship with Poe to become a full Jedi, due to the old Order's ban on romantic attachments, only for Leia to reassure her that love will make her a stronger person and that she doesn't have to cling to all the old Jedi traditions.
  • R2-D2 would've been seriously damaged (as depicted in concept art). There were rumours that he was actually destroyed/killed off, though Trevorrow clarified that R2 actually just "took a bad hit."
  • Temiri Blagg, aka 'Broom Boy', would've reappeared, as one of several Force-sensitive children Rey ends up training in the ending.
  • The Knights of Ren are more active in the plot, including getting into a fight with Poe, Chewie and Rey, during which Rey kills one of them with purple Force-lightning in a moment of anger and desperation. Rey also recognizes one of the Knight's masks and eventually realizes they helped Kylo kill her parents.
  • Kylo would've actually gone inside Vader's castle on Mustafar which, while worse for wear, isn't completely in ruins like it is in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Rey's original surname is revealed to be Solana, with Kylo telling her this as he's dying as a gesture of repentance. In The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo does still reveal to Rey what her surname is, though the circumstances are different and her name is not Solana but Palpatine — though it's implied that her parents abandoned the name — with Rey later adopting Skywalker as her name.

    Rangers of the New Republic 
  • This show was originally intended to have Gina Carano's Cara Dune in the lead role, until Lucasfilm cut off all affiliation with her for social media posts they deemed offensive, and put this series on hold indefinitely. Kathleen Kennedy later stated that some of the show's most important plot points could make it into The Mandalorian instead.

  • Josh Trank was in line to helm a Boba Fett movie as the second installment in the Star Wars Anthology series. However, after word got out about his incredibly erratic and unprofessional behavior on the set of Fantastic Four (2015), Trank was replaced by James Mangold, and Solo was moved forward to become the second Anthology film while the Boba Fett movie was pushed back. After Solo bombed at the box office, the Boba Fett movie was scrapped, albeit with elements repurposed in The Mandalorian and its spin-off The Book of Boba Fett.
  • On February 6, 2018, Disney announced that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners of Game of Thrones, would write and produce a new Star Wars trilogy, with their first movie set to release in 2022, and would have been focused on the origin of the Jedi Order. This changed in October 2019, when it was announced that the duo stepped away from their Star Wars films, stating that their contract with Netflix making it so that they could not effectively work on the films. However, Kathleen Kennedy acknowledged that the studio would be open to the pair returning to work on their trilogy when their schedule allows.
  • In a June 2021 interview, Zack Snyder confirmed that he was attached to an unnamed Anthology film, which would've been inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai but it never materialized. He has since reworked the project as a franchise for Netflix entitled Rebel Moon (a nod to the Rebel Alliance from the films). It is believed, but not confirmed, that his story would have involved Yoda in a significant role, set well before the events of the Prequel Trilogy.
  • While making the final season of Clone Wars, Dave Filoni was wavering between either the Bad Batch or Rafa and Trace being the subject of the next animated series. After the former won out, their show still featured an episode with Rafa and Trace to give an idea what their show would have been like.
  • Director Patty Jenkins and producer Kevin Feige were originally tapped to helm their own separate Star Wars films, with Jenkins set to direct a Rogue Squadron movie. After a period of Development Hell and silence from most involved parties, Lucasfilm announced in March 2023 that both movies were cancelled, though Kathleen Kennedy clarified a month later that the former project was still in development.

Other Media

    Comic Books 
  • Peter David was initially tapped to write the first Star Wars Infinities mini-series, which would have adapted A New Hope. The comic would have seen Uncle Owen buying R5-D4 instead of R2-D2, which would have set off a chain of events that ended with Princess Leia usurping Darth Vader and the Emperor, and becoming a Sith Lord and the new ruler of the galaxy. She also would have taken on Luke as her apprentice and lover (since neither of them knew they were related). Understandably, Lucasfilm objected to the dark tone and the depiction of Brother–Sister Incest.
  • Dark Empire was nearly published by Marvel, with Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy even beginning work on the series under Archie Goodwin's supervision. Unfortunately, Goodwin left Marvel under unpleasant circumstances, and since he was pretty much the only one at the company who really believed there was an audience for new Star Wars comics (as the franchise was considered finished after Return of the Jedi), Marvel tabled the project indefinitely. Veitch and Kennedy were eventually able to publish the story at Dark Horse, kickstarting the company's long line of successful Star Wars comics.
  • During Walt Simonson and David Michelinie's run on Star Wars (Marvel 1977), the two came up with an idea for a plot where the Empire would build a second Death Star. Lucasfilm vetoed the idea and refused to give an explanation in order to avoid spoiling the plot of Return of the Jedi. Simsonson and Michelinie altered the story slightly to replace the new Death Star with a different Imperial battle station called the Tarkin.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Star Wars daily strips were nearly cancelled and taken off the LA Times at the end of 1980. The Star Wars fanclub managed to convince them otherwise via a letter. The response also mentioned that they attempted to do something similar with Ziggy.

  • Jack Chalker was originally to write what became The Han Solo Adventures, but chose to finish off his own series instead.
  • In addition to writing the script for The Empire Strikes Back, Leigh Brackett was also tapped to write a Leia novel for Del Rey. Nothing was written of them before she died.
  • The Thrawn Trilogy:
    • Originally Zahn wanted the character that became Joruus C'baoth to be an insane clone of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the clone he unleashes on Luke at the end of The Last Command to be a clone of Darth Vader. Lucasarts vetoed both of these.
    • Also vetoed was the original name he proposed for the Noghri: the Sith. Which explains the Vader connections—Zahn, like many fans, was speculating just what Vader's title 'Dark Lord of the Sith' actually meant. At the time, evil Force-users were simply called "Dark Jedi" in the Expanded Universe. The Noghri's bulging eyes and protruding jaws were also supposed to be the inspiration for the design of Vader's mask.
  • Some sources claim that, at one point, there were plans to have Shannon McRandle (the model who poses for Mara Jade on trading cards and book covers) make a brief cameo in Jabba's throne room in the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi, since it's established in this trilogy that Mara was hiding out there waiting to kill Luke. Nothing ever came of this, but the rumor persisted for a long time, even after the Special Edition's release.
  • Zahn and Stackpole wrote "The Reenlistment of Baron Fel", which started as a six-comic miniseries and was revamped into a four-part story. It's about Ace Pilot Soontir Fel, once of the Empire before defecting to the New Republic, getting abducted by Thrawn and joining the Empire of the Hand. They finished both versions, and both of them have both versions. But they haven't been bought and published. They are just sitting on those hard drives. Waiting. This is incredibly frustrating.
  • One scrapped book from Robert J. Sawyer titled Alien Exodus would have depicted humans coming to the Star Wars galaxy through time and space from a troubled future Earth - in fact, the humans were to have been refugees from an Earth around the dawn of the society seen in of THX 1138. The plot would have seen the humans free themselves from Varlian enslavement and eventually lead an exodus to Corellia, apparently giving rise to the theory of humans originating there. The story would additionally have delved into the beginnings of the Solo and Skywalker bloodlines, with the latter originating with the first human Force user. The project was recycled into Deborah Chester's Alien Chronicles trilogy, which - despite a few nods from the Legends canon - was set in an original universe.
  • Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Academy Trilogy had many changes during its development:
    • He had originally planned the series as a direct sequel to The Thrawn Trilogy, before Lucasfilm casually mentioned the upcoming Dark Empire series which changed everything in between and prompted major rewrites (such as Coruscant being a recovering war zone rather than a Shining City). He was also concerned that this made Daala's attack on Mon Calamari feel too repetitive and anticlimactic, as Mon Calamari had already suffered a much bigger invasion in Dark Empire. There are still traces of this problem in the published books, such as characters behaving as though the events of the Thrawn series are more recent than they're supposed to be.
    • Anderson had planned to kill off Mon Mothma via the subplot with her getting poisoned, but Lucasfilm vetoed this idea. She was kept alive until just before the New Jedi Order series begins.
    • Admiral Daala would've been killed off in the second book, Dark Apprentice, but after reader feedback that Anderson compared in intensity to the character of Annie Wilkes in Misery, this was scrapped. He ended up being happy with this decision, as Daala's character became a major staple throughout the rest of the books, especially in the Fate of the Jedi series.
  • The proposed miniseries Spectre of Thrawn, between the two Hand of Thrawn books. Cowritten, again, by Zahn and Stackpole! And it never happened.
  • Young Jedi Knights:
    • The original product listings for books 13 and 14 named them as "Return to Cloud City" and "Return to Kessel" instead of "Trouble on Cloud City" and "Crisis at Crystal Reef".
    • Kevin J. Anderson originally intended to use Skorr, "the bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell" (who was featured in a story arc from the daily Star Wars comic strip running from 1979 to 1984) as the main villain of the third arc of the series, but created the similar character of Czethros instead after he remembered that Skorr had been killed off at the end of the storyline that had featured him.
  • New Jedi Order:
    • Believe it or not, Luke Skywalker was the character originally slated to die in Vector Prime to show that the Yuuzhan Vong meant business, but Lucasfilm put a moratorium on visibly killing him, and Chewbacca was ultimately chosen after the writers thought that killing Han Solo or Leia Organa wouldn't have the same effect (some fans have also joked that Chewie was picked because, since he couldn't have written dialogue, he was the most awkward character to write!). James Luceno later considered to kill off Han in The Unifying Force, but desisted.
    • While George Lucas approved the majority of the series' outline, he vetoed at the possibility of the Yuuzhan Vong being Force-users on the basis that dark siders would inevitably betray each other and make the formation of a society impossible. Rumors said that they were intended to be revealed as the Sith, as The Phantom Menace had yet to be released when the series was being planned.
    • The cancelled second book in the planned Dark Tide trilogy, The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide: Siege.
    • The Knightfall trilogy: Knightfall I: Jedi Storm, Knightfall II: Jedi Blood, and Knightfall III: Jedi Fire. Some elements appeared in The Edge of Victory and Star by Star.
    • As revealed in The Essential Reader's Companion, Boba Fett was meant to appear in Hero's Trial, but was written out due to concerns about the book being overstuffed with characters.
    • Early plans had Jacen and Anakin in swapped roles - Jacen died and Anakin was captured by the Yuuzhan Vong. It's pretty obvious that the Edge of Victory duology was setting this up, as several Anakin-based storylines started, only to be abruptly ended by his death in the following Star by Star. Anakin's death came from on high - George Lucas had an Executive Veto that said that Anakin's trajectory too closely mirrored his namesake grandfather, and to avoid confusion, the brothers' roles were reversed.
    • For the series' conclusion, the planning team floated up the possibility of wiping out the Yuuzhan Vong entirely in The Unifying Force, but they ultimately considered that a merciful option was more interesting and had the Vong exiled away.
  • Legacy of the Force: The ending to the series is very straightforward, with Jaina killing Caedus in one-on-one combat. Dennings' original idea was much weirder. Jacen's flow-walking would eventually cause him to switch bodies with his brother, a disguised Jacen fulfilling Anakin's sacrifice in the past and Anakin being resuscitated by Jaina in the present. Nothing came of this suggestion.
  • Red Harvest: The first draft of the novel had a character named Middish Sunblade, who was removed for being perceived as being "too whiny".
  • Darth Plagueis:
    • George Lucas was pretty involved in the early iterations of the project, choosing Darth Plagueis to be a member of the Muun species and deciding that Plagueis should wear a transpirator mask after having an accident at some point of his life. When the novel was revived, Lucas didn't rejoin the project, but his decisions were kept.
    • An early version of the story developed during the novel's initial development before being temporarily shelved featured Darth Plagueis and Qui-Gon Jinn in a race for immortality, both unaware that they were sabotaging each other's efforts and pursuing the same goal, with the novel concluding by having Qui-Gon successfully contacting the Whills (whom he mentioned in a Deleted Scene of Revenge of the Sith). When the novel was unshelved, Lucasfilm executive Howard Roffman suggested Luceno to give a greater focus on Palpatine to improve the story. In retrospective, James Luceno told the Star Wars Insider magazine that his original outline was "all over the place, way too long and trying too hard to resolve every loose end".
    • An early draft of the novel had Darth Plagueis discovering Emperor Palpatine's first name but never actually use it as a way of playing to Palpatine's huge ego. While the idea was dropped and Palpatine's first name was never revealed in the Star Wars Legends continuity, Luceno eventually went to reveal Palpatine's first name "Sheev" (which was created by George Lucas himself) in Star Wars: Tarkin, his next novel following Darth Plagueis and part of the new Star Wars Expanded Universe.
    • Reportedly, Luceno was originally reluctant to cast a Bith (see musicians of Mos Eisley Cantina) as a Sith Lord (Darth Tenebrous - Darth Plageus' master), but eventually concluded: "What the heck?" One wonders what other species could have filled that role.
    • Respect to the book's climax, Luceno previously wrote that Darth Plagueis had transcended his need of sleep in Dark Lord—The Rise of Darth Vader although Revenge of the Sith stated that he was killed on his sleep, hoping to establish a Retcon on Plagueis' death to make it more exciting and less anticlimatic, possibly in a lightsaber duel. However, he was told in no uncertain terms that Plagueis obligatory had to absolutely die on his sleep and that there would be no retcons, leading Luceno to ask if he could establish instead that Plagueis was still alive during The Phantom Menace, a request he was granted.
    • A follow-up to Darth Plagueis was planned by Luceno at some point, featuring an story starring Emperor Palpatine between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, but Luceno desisted on writing it after resolving to pitch Tarkin instead, and Luceno realized that he could still write about Palpatine on while focusing the story on Grand Moff Tarkin. Despite this, Luceno has stated that he's still interested in writing a novel about Palpatine someday, but even if it ever materializes, it would no longer have any connections to Darth Plagueis.
  • Star Wars: Kenobi: The story was originally supposed to be a comic, but turned out to be too long for that medium.
  • EU fans are still annoyed about not getting the planned Sword of the Jedi trilogy due to the Disney buyout. It would have focused on Jaina Solo Fel and would probably have been a big step in the older characters of Han, Leia and Luke passing the proverbial torch to the next generation (something that the New Jedi Order series had been teasing all the way through, up to and including a "graduation" scene for the Young Jedi Knights characters, only to reverse course and go back to the continuing adventures of Luke, Han and Leia in the subsequent Dark Nest trilogy).

  • In 2014, a series of Official Parody stickers for the parody line Wacky Packages was planned with a Star Wars theme. Despite teases and announcements, the series never came to be officially. A few stickers were bootlegged in the "Lost Wackys" series of stickers, but never in the actual line.

    Video Games 
  • X-Wing Alliance: Planned ships that didn't made the final cut were the Starviper from Shadows of the Empire and a modified Strike Cruiser. Also, a multiplayer function would have allowed one player to fly the ship and a second one control the turret (for freighter ships). The odd bit is that the turret function is programmed into the game, but none of the ships are flagged for being flyable with a gunner. It is unknown why this is the case, since re-enabling the function causes no issues.

    Web Animation 
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Creatures: The character Aree was originally planned to be a pit droid. This was changed to a safari droid, a new droid type created for this series, after it was decided that a pit droid shouldn't be doing a job it wasn't made for. He still retains a lot of design traits as pit droids, however.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Pals:
    • Concept art and early storyboards for the series revealed that Miree originally was going to have disc-like extensions on the side of her head, resembling Leia's iconic spiral buns. These would be removed in later storyboards, replaced by her top antenna.
    • Early concept art for the Wookie youngling gave them an oval shape in design with no indication of a neck and Black Bead Eyes, instead of the defined body and brown eyes they gained in the series proper.

    Western Animation 
  • Star Wars Detours. Made by the same people that created Robot Chicken, the show was meant to be a parody of Star Wars. But due to Disney buying the franchise, they decided to scrap the idea. However Seth Green has stated that 39 episodes were made, just not released.