Further proof that the creative well was running dry were some of the ideas proposed – and thankfully, rejected – during the script stage. One was resurrecting Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) in corporeal form instead of just having him be a ghostly presence that has assimilated into the Force. After all, ghost Obi-Wan was good enough for the first two movies. It fulfilled his promise to Vader that, cut down, he would become even more powerful than Vader could imagine. Having him brought back to life, in an old man’s body, would have been too literal and prosaic and a lot less impressive.
But that wasn’t even the worst idea. Another stemmed from the filmmakers’ failure to secure Harrison Ford under contract early for the third installment. Yep, Han Solo might not even have appeared in Jedi. Ford himself reportedly suggested coming back but getting killed off early. Lucas’ co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (who would soon go on to write and direct The Big Chill) liked the idea because it would create suspense over whether the other heroes might die at any moment. But Lucas nixed the proposal, and Ford came aboard and survived the final battle. Lucas made the right call, but even entertaining these ideas was a bad omen for the future of the franchise.
Next Sebastian Shaw