George Lucas’ sequel plans for Star Wars could have made way for Baby Yoda’s introduction, way before The Mandalorian happened. Let’s take a look.
The Star Wars saga would have been very different from what it is now had George Lucas made a sequel trilogy, which could have included Baby Yoda years before The Mandalorian did. Back in 1977, Lucas took the audience to a galaxy far, far away in the movie now known as Star Wars: A New Hope, which introduced heroes Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo, as well as villain Darth Vader. Their stories continued in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, which along with A New Hope form what’s known as the “original trilogy”.
Lucas later decided to expand the Star Wars universe with a prequel trilogy, released between 1999 and 2005, and focused on the backstory of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. The saga Lucas began came to an end with Disney’s sequel trilogy, which not only closed the Skywalker saga but also the arcs of the original heroes, making way for new ones who could carry on with the legacy of the Star Wars saga if the studio decides so. However, way before the sequel trilogy happened and even before the prequels, Lucas had an idea for a sequel trilogy, of which some details have come to light as years have passed, and a new book with interviews with Lucas reveals more of what his sequel trilogy could have been like, including the possibility of Baby Yoda’s debut years before The Mandalorian was even a concept.
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Titled The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III 1999-2005, the book contains detailed information from the Star Wars prequel trilogy, along with interviews with Lucas in which he shared more about what his sequel trilogy could have been like. First off, it would have been set “a few years” after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, with Luke trying to restart the Jedi. To achieve that, he would have had to put the word out as the Jedi would have had to grow again from scratch. Luke would have had to find “two and three-year-olds” to train them, and 20 years would have had to pass for the galaxy to have a new generation of Jedi. Now, given that Lucas tends to add characters that can draw the attention of a younger audience, as was the case with the Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks, Baby Yoda could have appeared in the sequel trilogy as one of Luke’s apprentices.
The Child, best known as Baby Yoda, is an infant member of the same mysterious species as the legendary master Yoda, and just like him, he’s Force-sensitive. With proper training, Baby Yoda could become a Jedi, which is something fans are hoping to see in The Mandalorian at some point. Given Yoda’s popularity after his brief but unforgettable appearance in the Star Wars original trilogy, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Lucas could have considered adding one more member of Yoda’s species to the sequel trilogy, only that instead of him training Luke as Yoda did, it would have been the young Skywalker who took on the role of master. Of course, how cute and adorable Lucas’ version of Baby Yoda could have been is up to the imagination of every Star Wars fan, more so when taking into account that this would have happened in the late 1980s/early 1990s.
Ultimately, it was for the best that Baby Yoda made his debut many, many years later, as his presence and arc are very important parts of The Mandalorian, and the advances in special effects (both practical and CGI) have definitely benefitted Baby Yoda and helped him make a big impact. Surely, it would have been interesting to watch Luke Skywalker train Baby Yoda, who could have even used some of Yoda’s techniques in a fun mirror of his own training.
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