I normally don’t like to include unused concept ideas in the deleted scenes area, but these ideas from Episode III are just too cool to ignore.
YOUNG BOBA FETT
There’s not a whole lot to say about the Boba Fett concept. I was a little surprised to find out that Lucas actually entertained the idea. It did seem to make sense though – Boba should have his revenge. Mace Windu killed his father, thus setting up the reason Fett doesn’t like Jedi all that much. Boba might have been happy to learn that Windu kicked the bucket later on, but there was probably a small part of him that was upset he wasn’t involved somehow.
There aren’t many references to Fett’s possible appearance in Episode III. One notable mention is in the Star Wars Insider magazine where one of the captions on a piece of concept art containing Fett reads: “On January 10, Lucas states definitively that Boba Fett would only be 16 and therefore too young.”
The question is – too young for what? Revenge? To be a bounty hunter? To wear the suit? Age didn’t seem to matter much when Lucas threw him into Episode II. Age didn’t seem to be a factor when he made Anakin a little kid in Episode I doing all the wacky stuff he did. Makes you wonder.
Personally, I think it would just be one extra thread to complicate a film already jam packed with plot. As much as I would have liked to have seen him, I’m not crying a river at his not appearing in the film.
YOUNG HAN SOLO
Of course, he would be much younger – only about ten years old. This idea made it into the rough draft of the screenplay. Concept art was approved, dialogue was written, and the character was inserted into the Kashyyyk battle scenes as a helpful kid who actually plays a role in finding the elusive General Grievous’ location to the delight of Jedi Master Yoda.
Iain McCaig is quoted in The Art of Revenge of the Sith as saying this about the cancelled cameo: “It’s not in the script anymore, but we were told that Han Solo was on Kashyyyk and that he was being raised by Chewbacca. He’s such a persnickety guy later on – he always has to have the best of everything – so I thought it’d be great if when he was a kid, he was an absolute slob.” Of course that slightly goes against the whole “Solo saved Chewbacca from slavery and Chewie owes him a life-debt” thing. Here’s the excerpt from the rough draft with ten-year-old Han Solo’s line:
I found part of a transmitter droid
near the east bay… I think it’s still
sending and receiving signals.
Good. Good. Track this we can back
to the source. Find General Grievous,
From there, Solo and Yoda were supposed to track the signal to Utapau, therefore locating Grievous. Yoda would then report to the council with Grievous’ location which prompts Mace Windu to send Obi-Wan over with a bunch of clones in order to capture Grievous and end the war.
Unfortunately, by the time the first draft of the script was completed, Solo was dropped. To be quite honest, I think it was a good idea. There are enough random cameos in these films. I’m including the only two pieces of concept art I could find that show what Solo might have looked like in the film. You can see them in The Art of Revenge of the Sith and The Making of Revenge of the Sith.
THE LEMUR PEOPLE
Originally, the planet of Utapau (shortly called Utapo during production, though the name Utapau goes back to the early drafts of Star Wars) wasn’t supposed to be inhabited by the creepy aliens of Tion Medon’s race. Those tall guys were supposed to live on Mustafar. That’s why they sort of look like they belong there. Instead, Utapau was supposed to be inhabited by a race of lemur-like beings. The concept of the lemur people was dropped early on and the original Mustafarians were moved to Utapau. New beings were created for Mustafar and that was that.
According to The Making of Revenge of the Sith, the concept of the unnamed lemur people was officially dropped some time around January of 2003. Artist Ryan Church said it best: “Ultimately, we have enough furry fighting things.” Depending on their final height, they would have undoubtedly been endlessly compared to Ewoks. Perhaps it was a safer bet to not include them.
Carl Jones e-mailed me with a fun bit of trivia. Terryl Whitlatch, creature artist extraordinaire for Episode I, wrote a book called The Katurran Odyssey which features – you guessed it – a race of Lemur people. George Lucas even helped promote it with some textual raving inside. It makes you wonder if Terryl was the original inspiration for the Lemur people. Perhaps it was a discarded concept from Episode I? You never know.
Interesting enough, the book contains a blurb from Dinotopia author, James Gurney. I remember something from the time Episode I was out where Lucas’ team was accused of doing some heavy lifting from the designs in Dinotopia. I think the Naboo sets were the ones mentioned with the little green domed buildings and the plazas. I seem to recall reading an article saying Lucas even called Gurney to make sure he wasn’t too angry at the coincidences, but I can’t confirm that’s what the conversation was about. Anyhow, thanks to Carl for that little bit of trivia.
So the lemurs never made it into Episode III, but there was plenty of concept art created which give us an idea of what might have been.