My Morning in Exile

“Empire Strikes Back” was on TV the other day. I came in right when Leia planted a wet one on Luke. Two possibilities: (1) either Lucas didn’t really have the whole story arc planned out in advance; or (2) Mackenzie Phillips was an uncredited script doctor on that flick . . .

  • You’ve heard the term “suicide by cop”? How about “firing by press conference.”
  • My wife works for a small division of a giant conglomerate, and because of it, she gets company discounts on all kinds of weird crap like gas fireplaces and orange juicers and stuff. If that practice holds true for Liberty Media, the Braves may have access to some very cheap steroids soon. Hello 2010 division title!
  • You’ll be shocked to hear that Curt Schilling is trafficking in bullsh*t again.
  • Free Buster Posey.
  • Expensive Tim Lincecum.
  • John Russell knows there’s no success like failure. And that failure’s no success at all.
  • And at the risk of opening a prequel can of worms, how on Earth could Leia have said that her mother “died when I was very young,” and she remembers “images, feelings. She was very beautiful, kind, but very sad” if she died during childbirth in “Sith”? The technical answer is that in 1983 or whatever they didn’t know they were going to do the prequels, but you’d think that since he was getting, like, a billion dollars to make them, Lucas would have figured out how to make Padme’s death jibe with the lines from “Jedi.”

    Sorry, but I’m a bit Star Wars preoccupied today.

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    1. Kevin S. said...

      Actually Craig, the prequels were written (or at least outlined) back in the 70s when Lucas wrote the original trilogy.  Makes some of the inconsistencies even more aggravating.

    2. lar said...

      Do you *really* want to talk about the crappy ending to Sith, which, up until Padme died “of a broken heart”, was actually very cool? Because, really, the “broken heart” thing is probably worse than, and a bigger cop-out than, the stupid midichlorians thing. It was *so* bad, so poorly written.

      Anyway, I think the typical justification/retconning of that line is that Leia, being strong in the Force, can remember that image/feeling on some sort of cosmic, sub-conscious level. I dunno, it’s something weird like that…

    3. John said...

      Couldn’t she have been referring to Bail Organa’s wife, whom she presumably thought was her real mother until she found out she was actually a Skywalker?

    4. Chris H. said...

      John’s explanation makes the most sense, but IMO the simplest thing to do is pretend the prequels never happened.

      No fuss, no muss, and save all your jokes about Egyptian rivers, please.

      —chris, who doesn’t completely accept the Ewoks, either

    5. Chris H. said...

      Oh, and you know what would’ve been cool?

      When Hendry announced the Bradley suspension and was asked why, he should’ve just shouted, “He’s part of the rebel alliance and a traitor!  Take him away!”

      Bonus points if he’d done the finger-stab motion too.

    6. ecp said...

      @John – That was always my theory, because the incongruity of the storyline otherwise made no sense.  Unless, of course, The Force gives one the ability to sense those sorts of things in the womb.

      But then again, if that were true, wouldn’t Luke and Leia have known that they were brother and sister all along?  But wait!  When Luke tells her, she says, “I know.  Somehow I’ve always known.”

      The mind reels with possibilities!

    7. Chris H. said...

      Actually, Star Wars could explain all kinds of baseball puzzles.


      DAYTON MOORE enters the office to confront DAVID GLASS.


          This has been a disaster, Dayton.  I think
          we need to go in a different direction.

                MOORE (glowering)

          David, if you strike me down, I will become
          more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

      FADE OUT

    8. scatterbrian said...

      Oh and there could be more. Lucas evidently wrote the saga in nine parts, and 7-9 exists somewhere. I read the beginning of what was allegedly the script for #7. The scene took place in Cloud City, which Luke and Leia turned into the new Jedi Temple. The Temple is attacked and nearly decimated by a bunch of jet-packed Sith dressed like Vader.

    9. ES said...

      Originally Leia wasn’t meant to be his sister.  Episodes 7-9 were going to be the quest to find Luke’s sister and the destruction of the Empire.  Lucas never thought he was going to make the prequels so he consolidated all that information into Episode 6 and made Leia Luke’s sister.  Also rounded out the story by killing off the Emperor.

    10. Ben2009 said...

      Can I just say, I love these threads.

      Did Lucas include the kissing scene in Empire to throw the audience off the scent?  Leia as Luke’s sister is a big surprise in Jedi, right?  Who would have seen that coming after the kiss in Empire?

      And story-wise, she doesn’t know they’re related so why wouldn’t she kiss him in that moment?

    11. Craig Calcaterra said...

      Actually, Empire is the movie that Lucas had the least to do with, story wise. He wrote the general arc, but the script was by the legendary Leigh Brackett (Big Sleep; Rio Bravo) and Lawrence Kasdan. This, of course, it why it’s by far the best of the six movies IMHO.

      My guess: they weren’t considering sister/brother stuff at that point. They simply needed to give Leia some ammo in the early movie bickering between her and Solo, so bam, a kiss designed to induce jealousy.

    12. Craig Calcaterra said...

      Wait, they had to have thought of it because they wrote that “there is another” line from Yoda, and later had Luke call out to Leia when he was hanging on the antenna at cloud city.

      Crap. This is even more troubling than I thought.

    13. Chris L said...

      Craig, they had to be considering the brother/sister stuff then because of Yoda’s last line in Empire: “No, there is another”, meaning Leia.

      Of course, Ben should have known that too, even as a ghost.

      Agreed on Empire, though.  Best of the bunch.

    14. scatterbrian said...

      Well, Ben should have known that because he was there when Luke and Leia were born.

      The whole Force sensing stuff is a bit murky though. I mean, Vader could sense when Kenobi made his way around the Death Star. Shouldn’t he have sensed that his two kids were in the house, too?

    15. ES said...

      Not only that scatterbrian, but Vader had Leia tortured.  There is no way that Lucas would have his ‘hero’ Anakin tortue his own daughter. 

      The “there is another” line was meant to set up Episodes 7-9.

    16. HP3 said...

      Chris H. is the Most Valuable Poster today.

      “He’s part of the rebel alliance and a traitor!  Take him away!”

      “Our position is correct, except…no Yankee Stadium.”

      Way too funny. 

      Star Wars geek posts at a comedy baseball site led by a Shyster.  What fun.

    17. Chris H. said...

      Thanks, HP3.

      And it occurs to me that the Yankees have a further advantage (besides payroll, etc.): if they end up in Minnesota or some other cold place, they can shelter inside of CC Sabathia.

      OK, I’m done.

    18. Ben2009 said...

      As usual, wikipedia may provide the answer to the Luke/Leia kiss mystery:

      In an interview with, producer Gary Kurtz described an early outline for a nine film series. He stated that the original plan for Return of the Jedi was for Han Solo to die and Leia to become “Queen” of her people. Leia was not originally planned to be Luke’s sister. “Episode VII” was to focus on Luke Skywalker’s life as a Jedi, while “Episode VIII” marked the appearance of Luke’s sister (which was not Leia), and “Episode IX” was to be the first appearance of the Emperor. [11] In a later Film Threat interview, he stated that the idea for a third Star Wars trilogy “was very vague. It was Luke’s journey really up to becoming sort of the premiere Jedi knight in the Obi-Wan Kenobi mold and his ultimate confrontation with the emperor. That was the outline of it and all that happens.” [12]

      If Leia wasn’t supposed to be Like’s sister, then the kiss makes sense.

    19. Charles said...

      At the risk of being too PC, I gotta say that making light of Mackenzie Phillips’ situation—this was, after all, a pretty serious form of abuse at the hands of her father—doesn’t jive very well with the anger that was directed at Mark Whicker just one week ago.

    20. DaninPhilly said...

      The really sad thing about the SW prequils is they totally ruined the franchise.  If they had never been made we’d always be able to think about how awesome they would have been, but now that they had, it kind of exposes the first three as a little hacky.

      The same thing happened with all the “Highlander” movies.  The first was way more enjoyable if you never saw the sequils.

    21. Greg Simons said...

      @David, thanks for the link to the trailer.  That lean in by Luke & Leia made my skin crawl.  After seeing that, I’m assuming (and really, REALLY hoping) Lucas hadn’t decided yet they were siblings.

    22. David said...

      There was so much Star Wars disinformation in these replies that it made this girl sound like a Lucasfilm scholar, by comparison. 

      Here’s the scoop in a nutshell (to mix food metaphors):

      1) The reason Luke and Leia kissed in ESB is because the Lucas hadn’t yet decided that they were siblings when it was made.  When Yoda says “There is another” in ESB, Lucas wasn’t sure who he was referring to, but there were vague plans to introduce a new character in the next movie (ROTJ) who would be Luke’s twin.  Although this has been documented in quantiplicate (despite a few apocryphal comments Lucas makes about his ‘Star Wars’ “vision” as though it comes to him through divine inspiration), the screenplay and the deleted passionate kiss in this trailer further demonstrate it.

      2) The obvious explanation for Leia’s impossible recollection of her mom, Padme, is similar to the one above: Lucas hadn’t yet written ROTS when he wrote ROTJ.  When it came time to write the prequels, he decided that it would be most dramatic to have Padme die in childbirth (although there were some early thoughts that Padme would live in exile herself for several years).  Lucas was willing to sacrifice the continuity for the sake of the drama.  (Some fans elect to ret-con the inconsistency by saying that, since Leia was Force-sensitive, her memories and feelings were so heightened that she could even remember being born.  No dice, for me.  I’m content to just accept the flaw and move on.) 

      3) There are not now, nor have there ever been, episodes 7 thru 9 written. 

      4) Lucas had not written the prequel trilogies when he made the original trilogy.  In fact, he hadn’t even written the first and second sequels when he made the first one.  He did have a few small elements of the prequels sketched out, much the same way all writers write down biographies of their characters, but it wasn’t intended to be a movie.  The primary prequel element that was indeed written from the very start was that Obi-Wan Kenobi had defeated Darth Vader in a battle near a volcano which forced him to wear his life-support suit forever afterward.

      5) If you’re interested in the evolution and backstory of Star Wars, I can’t recommend the book ‘The Secret History of Star Wars’, by Michael Kaminski, highly enough.

      6) As long as you’re thinking about ‘Star Wars’, make sure to watch my ‘Star Wars’ mini-documentary and to share it with all your friends!

    23. Craig Calcaterra said...

      Fair enough with all of that David, but how then does Luke “call out” to Leia when he was hanging on the antenna in Cloud City? That’s some Force stuff happening there, no? Is that just a plot cheat, or does Lucas figure that Leia has it for some reason?

      Yeah, this is nitpick central, I know.

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