Recasting The Star Wars Original Trilogy in the 1990s
On our last episode I recast the Prequel Trilogy in the 1970’s. You can read that article right here. We’re moving on twenty years to 1997 or 1998 from the time that George Lucas cast the prequels. In their place, we have the original trilogy and casting that trilogy with actors working, or on the rise, in that era.
Let’s set the stage for this. Lucas would have been noodling around with the idea of doing this sequel trilogy for a while now. He would have just finished releasing the “Special Editions” of the Prequels (known in this timeline as the Original Trilogy). Fox would have wanted this bad. They would have had that James Cameron Titanic money invested in the craziest big event films to ever arrive in theaters.
Lucas being Lucas would have done everything on his own as he did with the prequels. The Sequels would have “harkened back to the serials” he would say. “Less intrigue and more adventure” and “Giving kids nowadays something hopeful.” In 1997 it would have been the the perfect time. People were beginning to crave spectacle more and more. If you think about it, 1997 – 2005 would have been the perfect time for the Original Trilogy. We would have wanted something hopeful, where good guys were good guys and bad guys were bad guys. Now that we have set the stage, onto the casting…
The “New Hope” of Episode 4 has to have the youthful resilliance of a teenager but that sort of semi-seriousness and complete believability in everything that’s happening. Luke is our anchor but he’s also a cry baby and a complete teenager who’s out of his element. Mark Hamill will always be the best and only choice for Luke Skywalker. Something about that look that he gives, the longing for adventure and more as he watches the duel suns of Tattoine set, that kills me every time. You also must consider the “teen heartthrob” aspect of this. Hamill was on the cover of Star Wars magazine AND Tiger Beat. So…
Isn’t it a foregone conclusion? No, matter what DiCaprio says, he had serious discussions with Lucas back in 2000-ish about being Anakin Skywalker (as did Ryan Phillipe, someone I also considered). It’s the simplest and easiest choice because it’s the best choice. Coming off of Titanic, it would be the movie that Fox would want him to make. He has the “whiny teenager” aspect down, but he’s also a guy who at the time was considered a great and accomplished actor. He would have been able to bring the yearning for adventure out in a different way.