‘Return Of The Jedi’ 1981 Story Conference Teases Prequel Storylines, Suggests Yoda Shouldn’t Fight

A new book, “The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” by J.W. Rinzler, is hitting shelves just in time for the 30th anniversary of “Episode VI,” and in the lead-up to the book’s release, the Huffington Post has posted a fascinating excerpt.

The passage comes from a transcript taken from a 1981 story meeting held by George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan, director Richard Marquand and producer Howard Kazanjian. During the conversation, Lucas fills in the backstory of Darth Vader in order to help the rest of the team craft an appropriate ending for the fallen Jedi.

What’s so interesting about the conversation is how closely it matches the story from the prequel films, decades before they reached theaters, and how Lucas’ explanation differs in other respect. For example, Lucas breaks down the relationship between the Emperor and Vader, essentially beat-for-beat from the prequels, but he explains how Yoda is more of a guru and a teacher and less of a full fledged Jedi knight, who is not ever supposed to fight.

This little factoid about non-fighting Yoda catches Kasdan completely off-guard, and you might be just as surprised to see that back in 1981, George Lucas hadn’t besmirched the sanctity of the Force by basing its potency within a person on a midi-chlorian count. The “Star Wars” creator compares the Force to yoga, saying that anyone can tap into its power if they take the time to practice, like the Jedi. And to think, we were that close to never hearing about midi-chlorians.

Head over to the Huffington Post to check out the transcript from the “Return of the Jedi” story meeting.