Luke was supposed to know about the lost Jedi Order in the original script of A New Hope, but that was changed and it created a bit of an issue.
As Star Wars expanded, a strange continuity issue with A New Hope developed, yet the film’s original script wouldn’t have caused the same issue. In 2016, the late Peter Mayhew – who had played Chewbacca from the very beginning all the way up to The Force Awakens – shared snapshots of his original script for A New Hope. It was a delightful adventure through time to see how things had changed as George Lucas developed the story and his franchise. Aptly, A New Hope changed a lot, even into filming, during which Luke gained his iconic surname after originally being named Luke Starkiller.
In looking through these original script pages, there are the bones and meat of what would launch the iconic original Star Wars trilogy. Yet, overall it still looked quite different from the final product. Among the differences are the first scenes with Luke and Obi-Wan. In the theatrical cut, when presented with his father’s past as a Jedi, Luke is clueless as to what Obi-Wan is talking about. They discuss his death – intriguingly before Lucas had decided Vader was Luke’s father – and Obi-Wan gave him his lightsaber. However, the original copy shows a subtly different interaction, one which could’ve corrected an unexpected problem if kept.
Luke Had Heard Of The Jedi In A New Hope’s Original Script
Like every screenplay, the original script for Star Wars, ultimately later retitled A New Hope, went through many revisions. Back then, it was originally called The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the “Journal of the Whills” and it featured Luke being well aware of the lost Jedi Order. It’s strange that this element wasn’t carried over into the final cut. In Star Wars, Luke knew about the Clone Wars, but not the Jedi, despite their intricate involvement in the war and the Order’s long history. In this original cut, while he wasn’t well versed in their lore, still not knowing what the Force was, Luke wasn’t completely ignorant of the existence of the Jedi.
This is among the tamest and smallest changes made between the many early drafts. Some of the changes are quite interesting to consider. Originally, Han Solo was going to be a green-skinned alien with bugs, and Luke was going to be part of a big family. Lucas had even intended for the Emperor to feature, too, but he was right to leave Palpatine out of A New Hope. All of these were abandoned as Lucas refined the script to what the first Star Wars is now. The entire process of how Lucas created a galaxy far, far away is fascinating, especially in tracking what he kept and what he abandoned.
A New Hope’s Original Script Would Have Worked Better Than The Final Version
Although many things were changed between the first and final drafts, in this context, the original might have been superior as it wouldn’t have created such a conundrum. If this altered scene between Luke and Obi-Wan would have been in the final cut of Star Wars, it wouldn’t result in a major lore-busting change as would’ve happened if R2-D2 and C-3PO’s escape pod was shot down. However, it would alleviate the seeming contradictory point of Luke not knowing about the Jedi. The Clone Wars had only ended two decades ago by the time of A New Hope, so the collective memory of the Jedi couldn’t have disappeared so quickly.
Obi-Wan Kenobi even proved why he should’ve been aware of them. Regardless of whether Luke ever saw Reva’s lightsaber and put two and two together or how much Uncle Owen tried to hide his heritage, just living on Tatooine, the memory of Inquisitors hunting down Jedi would still be fresh. There were surely plenty of opportunities for Luke to have heard about them – unless the Empire was so good at instilling fear of anything related to the Jedi that even people on Tatooine would be wary of discussing them. Nevertheless, A New Hope is the way it is, which is for the best as from it came Star Wars.