SKYWALKER RANCH, CA - In a shocking turn of events, a source close to George Lucas revealed today that the film magnate plans to alter the ending to the upcoming Star Wars: Episode III. Instead of turning to the Dark Side and eventually becoming Darth Vader, in the closing moments of the film Anakin Skywalker will choose to remain loyal to the Jedi Knights.
When confronted, Lucas did not deny the veracity of the leak. "I felt the original ending was just too dark and depressing," he admitted outside his state-of-the-art editing facility on Skywalker Ranch. "Nobody wants to watch three movies just to see the hero go evil. Through episodes I and II, the fans have been rooting for Anakin, and I think to disappoint them in the end would be cruel. Instead they'll get a moving redemption and some really great scenes where Obi-Wan forgives Anakin, and he and Amidala live happily ever after."
When asked about the extent of the changes that will have to be made to Episode III, which has already finished principal photography, Lucas said it would not slow down the film's production. "We had to reshoot a couple of key scenes, along with the new 'Anakin is good' ending, but throughout the first part of the film we're going to continue letting the viewers believe that Anakin could go evil. That will make the twist ending when he shuns the Dark Side and swears to uphold the principles of the Jedi all the more effective."
Lucas denied that the film's announced title, Revenge of the Sith, clashes with this new plot. "That's a typo," he explained. "The real title is going to be Revenge on the Sith, but we're keeping that under wraps for the moment."
This reporter asked Lucas how he plans to deal with the inconsitencies between this new ending to Episode III and the original trilogy. "Using digital technology," Lucas explained, "the new and improved special editions of the original trilogy being released sometime in 2012 will be altered to coincide with Episode III. Fans won't even notice the difference, but I guarantee the films will be better for it. At least, I'll like them better, and that's what matters."
When asked if this will mean completely editing out the character of Darth Vader or possibly making Vader and Anakin Skywalker two different people, Lucas noted that "those would be fairly dramatic changes to the storyline of the original trilogy."
We at This Just In would like to point out that Lucas did not actually answer the question.
James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader in the original series, admitted that Lucas had approached him with the possibility of doing some additional dialogue for the next reworking of the original trilogy. He noted, however, that Lucas said he had not yet decided whether to redub the original movies.
"He didn't say why he needed the new lines," said Jones, "but this would explain some of the weird stuff he had me reading. I wondered how 'Join me, and we shall rule the galaxy as father and some guy' could fit into the storyline."
Actor reaction to the news was mixed.
"I thought I really had this Anakin guy down pat," said Hayden Christensen. "I mean, he was all whiny and evil and stuff, and totally hot for that Padmé chick. Now he's, like, good too. It took me a while to get a handle on that in terms of characterization. But it's cool."
"I don't get it," commented Natalie Portman. "Didn't he just release those old movies on DVD, like, this week? Why would he go changing it again?"
When confronted with the naïve Portman's comments, Lucas laughed maniacally and declined to answer, excusing himself for his daily swim in a giant vat of money.
"I can't believe this," said Mark Hamill, who somehow managed to comment despite not being involved in Episode III in any capacity. "What's going to happen to the great confrontation scene in The Empire Strikes Back? Or Luke saving his father in Return of the Jedi? That's the point of the entire original trilogy! And it was perfect! Was there any line more moving than Luke's 'Father, I have to save you' and 'You already have, son'?"
This reporter snuck out when Hamill became absorbed with reenacting the scene in question.
"I think this will add new dimension and depth to the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin," said Ewan McGregor. "Being pulled back from the brink of destruction by his faith in the Jedi order and in his master, turning down unlimited power to keep his honour... it's like Shakespeare."
McGregor, whose acting repertoire consists mainly of independent films, is not familiar with the original Star Wars trilogy. Our censors have requested that we refrain from repeating his comments when he was told about the character of Darth Vader.
"Hmm," observed puppeteer Frank Oz. "Always in motion are these movies."
"Beep dedoop zip blip," said droid R2D2.
Although no translator was available to clarify that comment, in the event that an unfortunate droid-related accident should befall Mr. Lucas we at This Just In would like to take this opportunity to disclaim any involvement or prior knowledge.