Luke Skywalker once said that "No one's ever really gone," and that couldn't be more true in terms of the controversy surrounding Disney's Star Wars sequel trilogy. In the years following J.J. Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker, fan opinion has yet to improve amidst a steady stream of reveals about the trilogy's uncoordinated production, its two different directors, and the lack of a cohesive plan from Lucasfilm.
And, even though live-action Star Wars has found new life on Disney+ through The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, admissions about The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson's lack of interest in The Force Awakens' villainous Snoke and Rey's continuously changing parentage have continued to make news and confirmed what fans suspected all along.
Now, more than two years removed from the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, a Lucasfilm executive has shared some information that better explains some of the trilogy's questionable decisions.
Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo Explains Force Awakens Decision
When Lucasfilm Executive Pablo Hidalgo was asked on Twitter about Hosnian Prime serving as the galaxy's capital in The Force Awakens as opposed to the prequel trilogy's Coruscant, Hidalgo explained the decision was "the unsatisfying middle ground" between two studio opinions, saying,
"Basically BR [J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot] wanted it blown up; LFL [Lucasfilm Ltd.] didn’t. Hosnian Prime was the unsatisfying middle ground. It happens."
Hidalgo later circled back on this response, clarifying his comment by tweeting, "(I should say ‘some folks at’ because it’s not like companies have points of view)."
Coruscant was first shown on-screen in the 1997 Special Edition of The Return of the Jedi. However, it wasn't fully explored until The Phantom Menace, where it played a pivotal role throughout the prequel trilogy and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series.
Even so, and despite the fact that Disney's sequel trilogy was intended to conclude the Skywalker Saga, details and plot points from the prequels were largely absent from J.J. Abrams's The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker.
When asked if Coruscant would've worked better for the film since fans were familiar with the planet, Hidalgo tweeted back, admitting that "It would have been better w/o the Starkiller at all:"
"It would have been better w/o the Starkiller at all, but that’s a whole nother discussion. But I think Coruscant being in development in other projects was a big reason for the reticence."
In The Force Awakens, Starkiller Base was basically the cross between a Death Star and a planet; and even though it was capable of destroying multiple planets at one time, it was one of the biggest complaints of the film due to its shoehorned storytelling and lack of originality.
Lastly, another Twitter user made the point that the First Order wouldn't have wanted to destroy Coruscant as the First Order would've wanted it for themselves.
Hidalgo seemed to agree with this perspective and even compared the metropolitan planet to a real-world location, tweeting, "Like Coruscant is Berlin. They want to take it back not destroy it:"
"Yeah, that’s kinda what I was hoping for. Like Coruscant is Berlin. They want to take it back not destroy it."
Could Coruscant Still Make a Live-Action Comeback?
While Pablo Hidalgo's explanations aren't likely to improve fan opinion, they do shed light on how certain decisions are made and how they may be the result of studios' compromise.
Still, it's interesting to learn that J.J. Abrams's Bad Robot wanted to destroy Coruscant. Not only did many Star Wars fans hope to see it return, but it was reportedly central to Colin Trevorrow's Duel of Fates, the original script for the trilogy's third film before Trevorrow was fired in 2017.
Perhaps Duel of Fates is what Hidalgo was referring to when he tweeted about Coruscant being in development for other projects during that time? And, if so, this only shows the lack of coordination and communication between Abrams' Bad Robot and Trevorrow's team.
Finally, the executive's comment about the First Order wanting to take Coruscant is what he "was hoping for" is telling. Even though the prequels and their locations weren't as well-received as those from the original trilogy, Coruscant and its role in Star Wars is the product of years of work from both Lucasfilm and Hidalgo.
It sounds like he too wanted the sequel trilogy to return to the planet in some form or fashion before the saga's conclusion, and considering Star Wars' many parallels to World War II, a Berlin-esque storyline would've worked well.
Still, the new hope of Star Wars these days is Disney+, where both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett have found ways to connect to all of the various trilogies and projects, including that of the prequels.
Perhaps Star Wars fans - and Hidalgo - might still see a return to Coruscant in live-action in the near future?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available to stream on Disney+.