MOVIES

George Lucas Almost Gave The Force This Much Longer Name

If you’re a true Star Wars superfan, your ears likely perked up at the prior mention of the Ashla, the Bogan, and the Jedi Bendu. These specific words have been brought back into the modern canon, largely under the creative guidance of current Lucasfilm chief creative officer Dave Filoni. In “Star Wars Rebels,” the burgeoning rebellion makes a temporary base on a distant planet called Atollon, where Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.) encounters an ancient being strong in the Force called the Bendu (voiced by acclaimed “Doctor Who” star Tom Baker).

The Bendu introduces himself as the embodiment of the middle of the Force, balancing both extremes of the light and dark, which he identifies using Lucas’ original language as the Ashla and the Bogan. It’s particularly fitting that this character debuts in “Rebels,” as the animated series takes massive inspiration from Lucas’ early drafts, basing characters like Chopper and Zeb Orrellios on old designs for R2-D2 and Han Solo.

With Filoni’s live-action series “Ahsoka” likely diving even deeper into ancient Force lore in Season 2, more and more of Lucas’ original ideas could come back. We might even get a proper explanation in canon for the Whills, the mystical creatures who shaped the flow of destiny in the early conceptions of Star Wars and might have already been featured if Lucas’ plans for a sequel series had been followed.

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