After Star Wars hit it big, fans became really invested in what would happen to the characters in “Star Wars II,” as it was referred to when talks of a sequel were starting to make the rounds. Without an internet to pass around hearsay, the duty of cultivating rumors fell to publications like Starlog, which devoted an article in their February 1980 issue to listing all the supposed rumors. Thankfully, The Empire Strikes Back turned out differently, because some of these are pretty silly.
Some of the highlights: Han clumsily picking up a lightsaber, fighting Vader, and getting his life force tangled up with the Sith Lord’s. Orson Welles or Christopher Lee playing Emperor Palpatine. Obi Wan Kenobi either secretly killed Luke’s father or secretly is Luke’s father. Vader seduces Leia (hopefully in a metaphorical sense) into betraying Luke and Han. The Millenium Falcon falls through a black hole, sending Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, and Vader through time.
And on the subject of time travel, one rumor has the cast meet up with 13th century time travelers to fight off Stormtroopers with primitive weapons. Another time travel rumor involves the Falcon falling through a different time warp to the Clone Wars, where Luke, Han, and Chewie join the fray. Yeah, it’s really for the best that The Empire Strikes Back didn’t use any of these ideas (other than perhaps Orson Welles as the Emperor!), because I doubt it would have been as popular with hokey time travel elements.
All the rumors are below, but do check out the original article that was looking through Starlog issues of this era for some more interesting info from a time pre-Empire.
It seems that there are more rumors involving Han Solo than any of the other characters. Someone who claims to have read the “final synopsis of the script reports this:
“While on the ice planet, Hoth, our intrepid Rebels are attacked by Stormtroopers. Although the Rebels defeat the troopers, the representatives of the Empire knock Chewbacca unconscious and take him as their prisoner. Although Leia insists that Chewie’s rescue must wait, that other Rebel business must take precedence over an attempt, Han defies the orders and takes off in the Falcon to rescue is friend and co-pilot.
Someone else who claims to have read the same “final synopsis” says no, that it is Han Solo who is taken prisoner, not Chewbacca!
Near the climax, Han Solo crosses lightsabers with Darth Vader. Although Han doesn’t really know how to use the weapon, he’s doing fairly well when suddenly the light beams are “fused” together and Han’s and Vader’s “life forces” are intermingled. Luke has a chance to come to the rescue — but if he kills Vader, might he not kill his friend too?
Word has gotten around that the Emperor will make an appearance in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Equally persistent are the rumors that he will be played by Orson Welles … and by Christopher Lee.
And more than once we’ve heard that it turns out that Vader is really Luke’s father! Of course, we’ve also heard, from reliable sources, that Ben Kenobi is really Luke’s father, and, from still other sources that Ben killed Luke’s father.
Luke and C-3PO are captured by a horrendous alien (stop-motion animated, the story goes) who dumps them into a tank-like prison filled with a breathable liquid. The only way the alien can be killed (shades of Dracula) is to drive a metal stake through his heart. The only metal around, unfortunately, is C-3PO; and Luke melts the ‘driod down to fabricate the weapon.
The Millennium Falcon falls into a black hole — with Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie and Darth Vader aboard — and travels through time.
On a jungle planet, where Luke and Han are seeking allies against the Empire, the two enlist a race of winged aliens called the Quarrels.
Princess Leia is captured by Stormtroopers and delivered to Darth Vader who, by use of the force, seduces her into betraying Luke and Han.
The special-effects team at Industrial Light and Magic, near San Francisco, have been working on an experimental process that uses holography and makes it possible for an image of the Millennium Falcon to fly off the screen and up the projection beam.
In their travels, Luke, Leia and Han encounter a female villain, a sort of “Queen of Outer Space.”
It is said that Han Solo and Chewie land on a desert planet where they meet time travelers from Earth’s 13th century who are trying to fight off Stormtroopers with catapults and crossbows.
Through the use of the Force, Luke persuades Darth Vader of the error of his ways and convinces him to enlist with the Rebels against the Empire.
Luke convinces Han to accept the teachings of the Jedi, initiates him into the ways of the Force and from that point on they grow and learn together.
The Millennium Falcon passes through a time warp, and Luke, Han and Chewbacca end up fighting in the Clone Wars, side by side with Luke’s father and Obi Wan Kenobi.
I think my current favorite concerns princess Leia’s father. Of royal heritage, he is the nephew of the Emperor, and, rather than leading the Rebellion, he is actually a double agent. Forewarned of the Death Star’s attack on Alderaan, he escaped and now sits in the Emperor’s court, advising him.
Source: Huffington Post