Details or plot points that were known about prequel trilogy before it was released

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I was just thinking about this and the only detail about the prequel trilogy that I recall hearing prior to the release of any of the films was that Vader and Obi-Wan had battled over lava and Obi-Wan defeated Vader by knocking him in (this is how I understood it at 15 or so when I first heard the detail in 1995 or so). This is the only detail depicted in the prequel trilogy that I can say with certainty I had heard about prior. Were there any other details we knew about this era beforehand? And also, while I'm on the subject, where and when did the information on the duel between Vader and Obi-Wan first surface?
 
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I had never heard of any 'lava' rumors concerning the Obi-Vader duel. the whole "lava" thing originally came from the concept art from the emperor's throne room in RoTJ. the emperor was supposed to live in a castle on a "lava planet". this idea evolved into vader's castle (as seen in Rogue One). the first concept art which depicted this "lava planet" was from RotJ in 1983 -- we finally saw this infamous 'lava planet' in ROTS in 2005 (aka:Mustafar).

the rumored "lightsaber duel on the lava planet" was supposed to be "Luke v Vader", not Obi v Vader. this rumor had been floating around since 1983 when the concept art was published. I'm not sure when (or why) this was applied to the untold-backstory of the Vader-Obi duel -- but as a lifelong fan, I did not start hearing this 'rumor', until AFTER ROTS was released. it seemed to be a case of revisionist history, based on concept art from ROTJ.




(perhaps there is a comic book from 1978 or something I'm not aware of ... but AFAIK, this was the first reference to any "lava planet", and this was GL's intention for how it would be used in the story: it was the setting for the emperor's throne room).
 
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I remember getting a huge load of printed script-ish pages, with the story of how Vader came to be. I never read the whole thing, but I remember reading something with lava. I'm quite sure this was before the prequels, but I could be wrong.
 
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I bought the book A Guide to the Star Wars Universe by Bill Slavicsek in 1995 or so and I feel like this information might have been included in there. I don't have a copy handy anymore but if someone does perhaps they could look up the entries on Anakin, Vader, and/or Obi-Wan to verify. Thanks in advance.
 
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The Vader/Obi-Wan lava duel is from the RotJ novel. If I remember right, Obi-Wan mentions it to Luke when talking to him after Yoda dies.
 
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Palpatine using political manipulation to become Emperor was pretty well known as well. It was mentioned in the original novelization of either ANH or ROTJ. The actual specifics were what was unknown until the movies came out. Although I still laugh at how, in spite of all that, there was a group of fans who believed that the Emperor was actually a clone of Senator Palpatine (or vice-versa), even though the proof that that wasn't true was there all along, most notably Darth Sidious on Palpatine's balcony in TPM, and later how camera stops right on him during Qui-Gon's funeral when Mace Windu questions which Sith was destroyed.
 
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The Vader/Obi-Wan lava duel is from the RotJ novel. If I remember right, Obi-Wan mentions it to Luke when talking to him after Yoda dies.
Yup. Here's the quote from the book:

"When I saw what had become of him, I tried to dissuade him, to draw him back from the dark side. We fought…your father fell into a molten pit. When your father clawed his way out of that fiery pool, the change had been burned into him forever—he was Darth Vader, without a trace of Anakin Skywalker. Irredeemably dark. Scarred. Kept alive only by machinery and his own black will."
 
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^^^ “Molten pit” could easily be interpreted, and have been (re)imagined as a part of an industrial set design— maybe even in the abandoned, long-forgotten scrapyards of Coruscant… (There's a very awesome action set in one of the TCW's episodes where Mace and his Jedi fight Aura and her bounty hunters in a shipyard of crashed battleships. The visuals there-- and narrative as well, outperform anything of The Prequel and this Sequel). The very idea of a “lava planet” is just so… dumb. AOTC may be pure camp at its best, but ROTS is just so dumb-looking.

Palpatine using political manipulation to become Emperor was pretty well known as well. It was mentioned in the original novelization of either ANH or ROTJ. The actual specifics were what was unknown until the movies came out. Although I still laugh at how, in spite of all that, there was a group of fans who believed that the Emperor was actually a clone of Senator Palpatine (or vice-versa), even though the proof that that wasn't true was there all along, most notably Darth Sidious on Palpatine's balcony in TPM, and later how camera stops right on him during Qui-Gon's funeral when Mace Windu questions which Sith was destroyed.
In a precise, one-page treatment, The Journal Of The Whill provided such a tantalizing glimpse into the origins of Palpatine— and for TPM. Too bad what we got from George’s actual story for Episode l was the equivalent of some freshman stoner scrambling to write his term paper while cluelessly cribbing off copy-and-paste references the night before LOL

Always loved the insinuation that Palpatine wasn’t always the monster he turned out to be in SW. The idea of his ferocious, overarching Machiavellian mechanization, which lead to a somewhat tragic Faustian pact wit the Devil— or Sith in AGGFA’s case, is the stuff of great and epic tomes. And when coupled with his manipulation of a young Amidala as his vehicle to his rise to power, the context of literary figures such as Brutus and Lady Macbeth poisoning their tragic heroes, would have sent The Prequel to such catastrophic heights of greatness. But a SW Roger Rabbit/Goofy was what George was most excited about instead LOOL And despite it’s shortcomings, TPM is the only worthy prequel tale to tell.

(LOL@ that concept art image has got to be the dumbest-looking one Ralph has ever conjured up: He must have been doing some good drugs to troll of such magnitude: It’s on the silly-meter comparable to that camp He-Man sh*t: They’re in a cave surrounded by flowing lava… and there’s noting there but… a throne LOOL SW— at least until the laziness/thoughtlessness/carelessness of this Sequel, had mostly shown restraint despite its fantasy/magical components, where the laws of logic and reason still accounted for something in AGFFA. And looks like Rian ripped off this rejected concept art design for his Snoke throne. When will these lessors just stop going through the trash of the greater talents, and make an effort on their own????)
 
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Wow, thank you Neal for posting the exact quote. And SnTrooper. I knew that I had heard about something similar to what we ended up seeing in RotS. It sounds like there were other elements mentioned during this same conversation in RotJ that were retconned in the prequels such as Owen being Obi-Wan's brother and Padme having died when Luke and Leia were 4.
 
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The lava battle was first shown in Marvel comics Star Wars run. It was based on info provided by LucasFilm

This & Solo’s empire days are 2 things I am glad survived this long forgotten era
 
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