Everybody knows what happened in that galaxy far, far away. But what if those characters and stories played out differently? Check out these 12 “What if?” scenarios that turn Star Wars on its head.
What if Yoda went to the Dark Side?
Can you imagine Yoda as a Sith Lord? It’s a wickedly tantalizing notion. He’s one of the most powerful Jedi of all time, and certainly the wisest. All of that power and wisdom applied to the Dark Side would give Darth Sidious a run for his money.
What if Anakin never became Darth Vader?
In a parallel universe, Anakin Skywalker never succumbs to the Dark Side. He refuses the temptations of the Emperor and helps overthrow him instead. The Chosen One goes on to become a highly respected Jedi Master, allowed to raise his twin children alongside his beloved wife. One day, he even rises to take Yoda’s place (after he dies) at the head of the Jedi Council.
["Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker" image credit]
What if Chewbacca became Palpatine’s apprentice?
When Chewie unexpectedly presents strong Force powers, the Emperor dispenses with Vader and arranges for the murder of Han Solo. With his life debt unpaid and his future suddenly uncertain, the powerful Wookie turns to the Dark Side to feed his pain. Under Palpatine’s tutelage, he becomes Darth Chewbacca — the galaxy’s first Wookie Sith Lord.
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What if Vader turned from the Dark Side — and made Leia his Padawan?
Managing to recover from his wounds at the hand of the Emperor after saving his son’s life on the dying Death Star, the man known as Darth Vader renounces the Dark Side and becomes a Jedi once more — Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker. With his son Luke already a full-fledged Jedi Knight, Anakin takes his daughter Leia as his Padawan learner. Father and daughter now serve the New Republic alongside Luke, rebuilding the Jedi Order. The road to redemption isn’t an easy one for Anakin, especially since his injuries from the Emperor’s attack render him incapable of ever living outside his suit and mask — the very gear that once helped him strike fear into the hearts of citizens across the galaxy. To aid in his struggle for redemption and vouch for his change of heart, Leia stands with her father and takes the last name of her true heritage, becoming Jedi Knight Leia Skywalker.
["Leia and Vader" image credit]
“…Then Perhaps She Will.” — What if she did?
On the flip side of the last scenario, instead of helping restore her father’s good name and legacy, what if Vader instead killed Luke and succeeded at turning Leia to the Dark Side? As father and daughter Sith Lords, this deadly duo together destroy the Emperor and take control of the galaxy. Leia becomes the dark counterpart to her father that Padme refused to be, ruling the galaxy together with ruthless efficiency.
["Then Perhaps She Will" image credit]
What if Vader returned to Tattooine after Padme’s death?
Having second thoughts about his vow to serve Darth Sidious, Darth Vader finds an excuse to visit his mother’s home on Tatooine. Shocked, he discovers a baby boy in the care of Owen & Beru Lars, and instantly feels the child’s strong connection to the Force. Deducing the truth, his eyes are opened to the error of his ways, and he realizes that his wife isn’t truly gone as long as their child is still alive. He leaves the boy in the Lars’ care, returning to serve the Emperor. But it’s only a ruse. He’s able to mask his true feelings just long enough to overthrow the Emperor and bring the Empire to an end. He then fakes his own death and returns to Tatooine, where he lives as a hermit with help from his oldest friend, watching over Luke from afar until his son is old enough to know the truth.
["Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader" image credit]
What if Darth Vader and Obi-Wan’s final fight on the Death Star was more brutal and destructive?
It’s the climactic fight as it would be filmed today: 20 years after their pivotal fight on Mustafar and Anakin’s defeat, Obi-Wan and Darth Vader meet again on the newly-completed Death Star. Old men now but no less powerful than they were decades ago, Vader’s lust for revenge is insatiable. Using every part of the environment as a weapon against Obi-Wan, Vader is brutal in what he sees as a no-holds-barred grudge match. But Master Kenobi, having defeated him once before, doesn’t take it laying down and gives as good as he gets. Both men are injured in the fight, and Obi-Wan even pulls off part of Vader’s mask in an attempt to weaken him. Even in this condition, Vader’s hatred is too powerful, and he succeeds in destroying his former master… Or does he?
["Now I am the Master" image credit]
What if C-3PO masqueraded as Darth Vader?
To facilitate a Rebel infiltration mission, C-3PO’s ability to mimic the voices of others is put to use as he’s conscripted into fooling any Stormtroopers the team encounters into thinking he’s Darth Vader. Needless to say, Threepio wouldn’t exactly enjoy this assignment and comedy hijinks would ensue. Yet somehow it would all work out in the end.
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What if a Clone presented Jedi powers?
Clones. They’re grown and bred to follow orders and fight for the glory of the Republic/Empire. Midichlorians are filtered out of their DNA sequencing to prevent Clones from ever developing Force powers. But somehow, one Clone defies his breeding, possessing Midichlorians and presenting Force powers. Unlike his teammates, he also develops a conscience, questioning the sanctity of the Empire. Secretly, he researches Jedi training, attempting to hone his abilities, and eventually he even builds his own lightsaber. He doesn’t believe that any surviving Jedi would accept a Clone as a true Jedi, but no longer able to follow the Empire’s orders, he goes AWOL. He travels the farthest reaches of the galaxy, staying off the radars of the Empire and the Rebellion both, but trying to right wrongs and help the innocent wherever he goes — all while trying to decipher the meaning of his existence. Is he more than his DNA? Is he a real person?
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What if Darth Vader is haunted by his victims in his dreams?
Of all the scenarios listed here, this one is the least far-fetched. For all we know, Vader may have been haunted by his victims. He was once a good man, after all, and it was the purest of emotions — love — that led to his downfall. Anakin Skywalker is a true victim of his own choices, and with all the collateral damage he racked up along the way, he deserved nightmares for the rest of his miserable life.
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What if Boba Fett had Force powers?
The galaxy’s most dangerous bounty hunter has been keeping a big secret. He’s got a lot more than mercenary skills to fall back on: he’s got Force powers, too! Neither Jedi nor Sith, he follows his own code, and only uses the Force when all other avenues have failed him — and only when his prey won’t survive the encounter, keeping his secret well hidden. Judging by that arm sticking up out of the fog, it looks like someone’s recently felt the sting of his lightsaber. A lightsaber he no doubt stole from one of his victims.
["Boba Fett Birthday Poster" image credit]
What if a former slave-turned-Sith returned to Jabba the Hutt for revenge?
She was once his best dancer, the object of both his affections and abuse. But after years as his slave, this nameless waif managed a daring escape from Jabba’s palace, using her fledgeling Force powers. Alone and afraid, she wandered the deserts of Tatooine until she came to Mos Eisley, where she used a primitive version of the Jedi mind trick to arrange passage off the planet. One day, she’s found by a Sith Lord who senses her potential and trains her as his apprentice. But before she can graduate to the ranks of the Sith she must return to the place where her personhood was stripped from her and take bloody revenge on the one who took it. Slaying guards, bounty hunters, and other wicked denizens of Jabba’s palace, she works her way to his inner court, where the memories of her life as a slave come rushing back. She hesitates, the emotions overpowering, the memories of years of pain and abuse and denigration washing over her. Tears spill from her eyes as she focuses on the object of her greatest hatred: Jabba the Hutt. Instead of wiping the tears away, she uses them to fuel a ferocious attack on his final guards, felling them one after another in quick succession. At long last, she focuses her rage on Jabba himself, first choking him with the Force, then pulling back at the last second to let him breathe. Twice more she repeats this, bringing him to the brink of death, letting him feel the excruciating pain and horror of impending doom, before letting him live. Just as the tiniest grain of hope is planted within him that she might show mercy and let him live, she activates her lightsaber and moves like lightning, severing his head with cold, quiet vengeance.
She is a victim no more. She is now only Sith.
["Sith Revenge" image credit]