I think the “Star Wars II” parody that ran in Cracked Magazine was just about as close.

§ September 8th, 2023 § Filed under star wars § 15 Comments

So one of the things that has haunted me since childhood was an article that I believe I’ve read in Dynamite Magazine, a pop culture publication aimed at schoolchildren. (COMICS CONNECTION: Dynamite was created, and the early issues edited, by Jenette Kahn, who would later become publisher of DC Comics.) It began in 1974, so it was just in time to ride the Star Wars bandwagon, running several articles and cover features on the franchise over the years.

Your pal Mike was 8 years old in 1977, the proper age for Star Warsing, and thus I glommed onto this mag right quick when I saw it was featuring related material. To be fair, I’m pretty sure I read the occasional issue prior to the release of that film (I seem to recall picking up a special 3D issue of the mag, though that might have come later), but if anything had Star Wars on it, I had to at least give it a look.

One memory I’ve carried all this time, exacerbated by the eventual completion, for good or ill, of Lucas’s plan for a nine film saga, is my having read an article in Dynamite back in ’78 or ’79 with their conjecture as to what those nine films might be. I’m unclear on the exact timeline, but Lucas stated at some point early on that he wanted to make nine movies, three before the current trilogy, and three after. Knowing what the movies are now, I wanted to see this supposed articles conjectures.

Just randonly poking through some Dynamites on the Internet Archive, I believe I may have found the source of that old memory of mine. In issue #44 from 1978, I found an article titled “Star Wars ’78 and Beyond,” which sounded as if this might be a likely suspect.

I remembered a list of multiple entries, each headed “STAR WARS II,”STAR WARS III” and so on, with a paragraph or two beneath giving a brief outline of the alleged events in each film. Kind of a proto-Supershadow, for you oldies out there.

This article…looks like what I was remembering, though with only two entries for Star Wars II and III. I mean, there could still be an article like the one I remembered, but more likely I saw this article and over the years remembered it was having addressed all nine flicks.

Anyway, here’s what Lucas(?) himself(?) said about what Star Wars II would be like:

In a way Lucas sort of predicts the Expanded Universe, what with other people coming to play within the framework he created via books, TV shows, role-playing games, other movies, etc. Everything else is kind of a nothingburger, as none of these origins are really addressed. But it’s interesting to see the “Vader kills Luke’s father” business is at this point still part of the narrative (and it’s pretty clear Lucas doesn’t mean “from a certain point of view” either). And the Ben/Vader fight over the volcanic pit was pretty firmly established at this time.

Elements from this barebones outline would show up in some form in the prequels, from the “midichlorians cause the Force” to that final lightsaber battle between Ben and Vader (and, I guess, the “death” of Luke’s father, more or less). I don’t know when this interview was conducted, but I feel like it had to be early on (or at least drawn from interviews fomr outside sources) if everything is still this nebulous. I mean, I wasn’t expecting major spoilers or anything, but it just sounds like Lucas ‘n’ pals are still working everything out. For example, we’re still at “several sequels” instead of nailing it down to The Nine.

Which brings up to LStar Wars III, where, uh:

Wow, George Lucas invented the Avatar movies, too! Anyway, I think we’d all be down with a Wookiee movie. And again, we’d sort of get this in the Prequel Trilogy, not to mention the Holiday Special.

And that was that. I’m beginning to think this was the origin of that old memory of mine, altered over time from covering a couple of sequels to the dream mag that I carried around in my brain all this time. Unless, of course, I do turn up that article I remembered. Then at last, I will be vindicated!

15 Responses to “I think the “Star Wars II” parody that ran in Cracked Magazine was just about as close.”

  • Billy says:

    OMG Mike, the Internet Archive has Dynamite magazine? Well, there goes anything productive that I’m going to do today.

    Link to help waste every else’s time:

    Great find!

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    Oh, a chance to explain my Star Wars theory!

    I’ve always felt that Return of the Jedi rushed, with multiple plots stuffed incongruously into one movie, and the whole fight against the second Death Star being kind of perfunctory.

    My theory is that it was originally meant to be multiple movies, but when Lucas realized he didn’t want to do three sequel movies, he stuffed them all together. Notionally, I think the search for Han was originally meant to be Episode VI, with the Jabba scenes from RoTJ being its climax.

    Then, the second half of RotJ, with the final confrontation against the empire and the Emperor and the new Death Star were going to be one or more additional movies, Episodes VII-IX.

  • Geoffrey Feiffer says:

    There is a great book out there called The Secret History Of Star Wars by Michael Kaminski that goes thru all of Lucas’s statements and script drafts and shows that Lucas was making it up as he went along. There was no plan and what plan there was did not survive first contact with reality. Anakin and Darth became one character because there were too many characters in what would become ESB.

  • Raymond says:

    I too recall something about nine movies – a prequel trilogy to come out around the year 2000 and a sequel trilogy that would come out about 15-20 years after that. I think this even pre-dated renaming SW1 as Episode IV. i have no recollection of where I saw this, but I doubt it was from Dynamite magazine – I was 16 in 1977.

  • Raymond says:

    And while I don’t recall ever seeing The Secret History Of Star Wars, I clearly remember thinking George was making it all up as he went along – there was no plan. In ESB, when Yoda says “there is another”, I think there was a common belief that that was a reference to Boba Fett. It seemed at the time that since fans figured out it was BF, they felt they had to change it, and since Leia was the worst possible replacement, that’s what they went with.

  • Green Luthor says:

    In the early drafts of ESB, Luke’s training on Dagobah involves both Yoda and Ben’s ghost, like in the final film… but also the Force ghost of Anakin. Vader being Luke’s father was definitely a later addition to the film.

    @Raymond: I’d have to doubt the “another” was ever intended to be Boba Fett, that sounds like random fan speculation. In the early drafts for RotJ, the “another” was, in fact, Luke’s twin sister… but not Leia. (Lucas knew he needed something that would enrage Luke when fighting Vader, and figured a threat against a sister Luke had only just found out about would do it, but it was supposed to be an entirely new character. But then he thought it would be far too difficult to properly introduce such an important character so late in the series, and there was only one female character, so… Leia it was.)

  • Adam Farrar says:

    I feel like as long as I’ve known Star Wars, I’ve known about the duel over lava. I recall my dad explaining it to me when I watched Return of the Jedi when it first came to VHS as I was but a child during its theatrical run. I guess he must have read it some place like these articles but it’s hard to imagine him picking these up.

  • BRR says:

    Most of Dynamite’s content also appeared in a longer Rolling Stone interview:


  • The lava story definitely made the rounds in the pre-Empire times. Star Warp published by respected journalist and legitimate businessman Myron Fass mentioned it in a piece probably cobbled together from existing articles, including Dynamite. The cover of the issue had a photo of Vader conveniently covering the “P” in War, making the mag look like an official Star Wars magazine. I was 8 and didn’t know any better.

  • Chris G says:

    I vaguely remember a MAD Magazine article that ran through what nine Star Wars movies might look like…

  • Snark Shark says:

    Lucas: “Ok, new plan: sell to Disney and enjoy the money.”

  • Sean Mageean says:

    @ Snark Shark

    “May The Ca$h Be With You!”

  • ArghSims says:


    “respected journalist and legitimate businessman Myron Fass”


  • zoot koomie says:

    This article has been in the back of my brain since I read it in ’78 too. I was always disappointed we didn’t get the wookie mockumentary. Thanks for digging it up!

  • Steven says:

    THANK YOU!!! I remember reading this in Middle School and all of us Star Wars fans were going nuts about it! And as the years went by, we could barely remember this school magazine but the content, we really remembered that! We tried to tell people about it over the years and got laughed at.