One thing we all know about George Lucas is that he loves to change things around. 20 years after a film’s release or during production, it doesn’t matter.
Esquire UK had a fascinating article about this with concept artist Iain McGreg, who worked on storyboards for all three prequels, The Force Awakens and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Speaking at Academy of Art University in late 2016, he revealed what the original ending storyboarded for Revenge of the Sith much different and so much better.
In the released film, when arriving at the planet Mustafar (George Lucas’s intergalactic vision of hell) to confront Anakin, Amidala completely breaks character from the strong willed fighter she had shown in the previous films by snivelling and crying.
In original storyboard, Natalie Portman’s Princess Amidala realizes that Anakin Skywalker has fallen to the darkside and she lays the groundwork for what later becomes the rebellion.
In the original concept art seen below, when Natalie Portman’s Princess Amidala arrives at Mustafar, she attempts to kill Anakin with a knife.
She holds the knife to Anakin’s throat but does not have the heart to kill the man she has fallen in love with.
McCaig said that the rest of the film from that point on followed a similar trajectory.
Does this mean that Padme still died of a severe case of “broken heart”? Hopefully not, but I am guessing so by McGaig’s statement.
He also describes how the storyboarders had to guess what would happen in the movie based on what happened in the original trilogy due to the script being late. However as the script continued to be influx (as many of the movie’s actors have previously mentioned), major plot points had to be changed.
I have made my thoughts about Lucas’s scripting skills known before.
In my opinion, this original ending fits in with Princess Padme Amidala’s character so much better.
I would love to have seen this storyboard play out, see Amidala survive Revenge of the Sith and play an active behind the scenes role in forming the rebellion between episodes III and IV.
Remember in Return of the Jedi, when Luke asks Leia what she remembered of her mother, she said mostly feelings because she died when Leia was still young. We think of the mother she is describing now as her adoptive mother, Bail Organa’s wife, but that could have easily have been her natural mother Padme.
What are your thoughts? What ending do you prefer?