Fall of the Republic

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Title: Fall of the Republic
Creator: John L. Flynn
Date(s): September 1983
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Wars
External Links: online at the Starkiller archive, Archived version; reference link
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Fall of the Republic is a 5843-word (26 pages) fanwork in script-form by John L. Flynn. "Adapted from Part I: 'The Adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi.' The Journal of the Whills by George Lucas." [1]

He'd written it and sent it to George Lucas. Lucas declined to use it, but gave Flynn permission to publish it as fanfiction as long as no profit was made. Problems ensued when fans started seeing the script on at least one dealers' table, presented with a professional-looking cover, high price, and the disclaimer that the script was a leaked copy of a movie script from Lucasfilm.

A fan in Southern Enclave explains how this was sorted out:

First, I have some information about the purported story outline for the first SW trilogy (THE FALL OF THE REPUBLIC). This information comes from [names redacted] who have spoke to both John Flynn and Maureen Garrett... The out line is not genuine. It was written by John Flynn, a long-time Baltimore area fan, and, according to John, submitted to Lucasfilm. Lucasfilm replied, in essence, that the story was very nice, but they couldn't use it. However, John was welcome to publish it as fan fiction as long as he didn't make a profit or try to deceive people about the true nature of the story. So he did publish it as a fan. A dealer obtained the outline, and, seeing the profit potential, put an official-looking over on it, hyped it as a leaked draft, and started selling if for a high price ($15 in this area; John's original price had been in the vicinity of $4). Originally, Maureen Garrett was skeptical of John's claim that he was not responsible for the deception -- Linda says John was pretty distressed himself, for obvious reasons. By Norwescon, a week after she had talked to Linda (Norwescon was March 23-25), Maureen told Maggie that she agreed that John (and fans) had been the victim of an unscrupulous dealer. The official-looking cover is also not authentic. Maureen told me that Lucasfilm would never put such an obvious cover on a script or story outline, especially a sensitive one. [2]

Reactions and Reviews

It started popping up in sci-fi conventions in the 80's after ROTJ concluded the original trilogy. In reality, Episode III is currently 3 years away from release, and George Lucas claims the script is almost done (keep in mind this was written May 2002). John Flynn also wrote an article for CINESCAPE in which he tells the readers about Episodes I, II, and III, but he neglects to tell them that his sources are just his own fanfiction and his own speculations. [3]

A famous treatment worthy of note in this FAQ is Episode III: Fall of the Republic, a script written shortly after ROTJ by John Flynn, which explained Anakin Skywalker's turning to the Dark Side. It is absolutely bogus. [4]

I was in elementary school I think, or possibly early middle school), my mother bought me the short 26 page treatment that was supposedly Episode III. I was completely bewildered, having only heard rumors of this "prequel" trilogy that could only happen one day far off beyond reality. This was quite a moment.

From that day forth, I have had no clue what this thing is or where it comes from. I don't know if it in any form is even legimate or canon or what. I once looked up John L. Flynn on Google and it turns out he's a professor at some school. I looked at the list of works he's written, and, lo and behold, I kid you not, I found "Star Wars: Fall of the Republic" amongst the many titles.

Before I go on in this story, let me make very clear that I have been extremely strict with spoilers in the final film. I haven't seen the teaser trailer, read the opening crawl, or anything. I haven't even seen the Clone Wars series. With that in mind, if anything I say ends up somehow being a spoiler, there was no intention. All information I'm about to give is from a treatment written on September the 6th of 1983.

The script, quite simply, is fascinating, and completely blew my mind back when I first read it, answering tons and tons of questions I had prior to my questioning of the piece's legitimacy.

It begins when "the High Council of Senators dispatched the Jedi Knights...on a quest to retrive the lost Kaiburr Crystal." It continues by saying "However, within their Council, the evil Senator Palpatine had other traitorous designs. Foreseeing that the Crystal would secure his position as Emperor, Palpatine deceived one of the Jedi Knights and sent him to acquire the Crystal..."

I think this is the prologue, because the next page begins the first scene on a planet called "Sigma Vulcanus". From there, "a swarthy man with a dignified stature, makes an important discovery. Using his lightsabre (as the quivalent of a divining rod), he uncovers the legendary Kaiburr Crystal." Before long, Anakin is confronted by Obi-Wan, who wants to know what Anakin's doing with the crystal.

At this they begin their big fight. There isn't much dialogue in the script, but it ends with a huge earthquake sending Anakin "into a pit of molten lava".

The next scene goes to a planet called Jhantor, described as "the bright center of the universe". I assume this means Coruscant, as its descriptions are almost exactly the same. The scene begins when Senator "Palpatine enters his senate chambers - followed closely by a brash, young courtier named Prince Valarium". In a meeting with other Senators, Palpatine manipulates them to electing him President of the Republic. The only Senators that don't go along with it are Tars Courtney, Mon Mothma, and Bail Organa. At this point, Palpatine orders troops to blockade commercial shipping lanes of Spice and Mineral Mines. [overview ends here].[5]

I tucked into storage and forgot about untill last night when I came across it. I sat down and read it to find that it is a cross from AOTC and the 3rd episode. If anyone is interested in some spoilers If enough people are intrested in finding out what may happen in E3 I will scan the book and email them to anyone interested. All I have to say is that the comment about Anakin falling into the Volcano that James Earl Jones made is confirmed in this! A very neat story to read![6]

Fall of the Republic: Another rumour/myth that refuses to die. Dealers have been selling copies of this pseudo-script treatment for 13 years now as the script for a future SW movie (the third in the prequel trilogy) to fans who knew nothing about it up until seeing it there for sale. A number of people have asked me about this, so here's the straight dope. It is a script treatment written in late 1983 by an author named John Flynn, which is probably a pseudonym. The treatment appears "official" and professional until you actually start reading it. A big no-no in the industry is turning in a treatment filled with typos, which this has in abundance. The story itself is plausible at some points. It tries to draw in elements from Splinter of the Mind's Eye and it includes popular characters like Han Solo and Boba Fett but there are still many plot holes. The treatment started circulating by 1984, and it can be found in just about any dealers' room in America. Lucasfilm has said many, many times that Fall is not an official script, it's fan fiction. The question is, why was this written? Perhaps Flynn was hoping to sell his treatment to Lucasfilm, and ended up circulating it among fans when it didn't look like Lucasfilm would be interested. Maybe Flynn is just trying to get recognition off the SW name, become part of the SW legend. Interestingly, Flynn "resurfaced" about 2 or 3 years ago in a couple of articles he wrote on "the future of SW." Not surprisingly, his predictions only reinforce what he wrote in Fall of the Republic. No doubt it was to keep fueling interest in his work. [7]

On the flight from Minneapolis, first off, I met another author, John Flynn, whose name I recognized. It turns out that years ago he wrote the Fall of the Republic fan story treatment ostensibly for Star Wars Episode III — which I bought at a convention in 1985. The story of how I realized it wasn't the real movie treatment is something I had just written up in a little slice-of-life piece for an upcoming issue of The Gathering — and so it was wild to meet John in person. (He had written the treatise as a Christmas gift for friends one year, and somehow it got into circulation. Mystery solved!) [8]