I'll try to avoid them, but you can expect spoilers for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' ahead
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh official movie in the Star Wars franchise and follows new protagonists Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) as they adjust to a new and unfamiliar galaxy alongside Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and the Resistance.
However, as has been revealed in the book: The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars VII was almost a very different movie. The book includes a lot about the making of The Force Awakens and confirms a number of rumors, including the possibility of an underwater Death Star and a much larger role for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). But The Art of Star Wars also revealed a few rejected plots as shown through early concept art. So what Star Wars VII movie did we almost get?
1. Darth Talon
The Art of Star Wars reveals that Darth Talon appeared in early concept art for The Force Awakens. For those of you who don't know, Talon was a villain from the Star Wars: Legacy comics; a Lethan Twi'lek, Talon rose to power as the hand of Darth Krayt, joining the powerful Darth Nihl as Krayt's personal assassin.
Talon was a third generation Sith, raised on the original Sith home-world of Korriban. Loyal and immensely powerful, the Twi'lek easily slew her original master, Darth Ruyn, under orders from Krayt.
Darth Talon would have made an excellent addition to The Force Awakens, as she could have served as a means of introducing the concept of the Sith Empire and their history to a cinematic audience. Moreover, early artwork also outlines a character called the 'Jedi Killer,' who is described as being tall with red skin; does this remind anyone else of the original Sith species? Who wouldn't like to see Korriban and the true Sith on the big screen?
2. Castle Vader
Darth Vader almost played a much larger role in The Force Awakens. Although his presence certainly underlined Kylo Ren's motivations, the search for secret Jedi sites almost lead our protagonists back to the Death Star ruins on Endor. One location we could have seen is Darth Vader's home, a mysterious castle where I'm sure he spent many a winters night.
I'd have loved to see Castle Vader in The Force Awakens, with a serious Dracula vibe and teeming with the dark side.
3. Poe The Bounter Hunter
Our new protagonists went through a lot of changes in the early days of pre-production. Originally we had a Stormtrooper named Sam and a bounty hunter named John Doe; unfortunately, the pair didn't seem too close considering the latter was depicted as abandoning the renegade Stormtrooper after their tie fighter crashed.
Moreover, John Doe was originally going to be a bounty hunter and at one point was lined-up to become a Jedi Knight. The concept art also reveals that he was on the verge of having a Wookie sidekick, although perhaps that would have been a little too much 'Han Solo'.
Remember the giant Death Star 'Planet Killer'? I'll understand if you've forgotten... it was so subtle and discreet. Well the beast of a WMD almost found itself on Dantooine of all places! Although I'm a fan of the rural farm world, I'm glad Abrams went for a random ice planet. I wouldn't want to think that the old Jedi Enclave from KOTOR had been destroyed in all the chaos of Star Wars VII!
5. The Dark Side vs. The Light
I know it seems a little lazy to say that the dark side and the light almost played a large role in the movie, but trust me, we almost saw a much different perspective on the battle between good and evil.
I've always been a fan of Grey Jedi, who believe that a Jedi needs the balance between the dark side and the light in order to truly understand the force. In the wider Star Wars universe, Jedi such as Luke Skywalker, Starkiller and Revan have rested somewhere between dark and light, testing the ground between the two binary opposites.
Well, original concept art shows Hayden Christensen appearing to Luke as a force ghost. However, he is also depicted as shifting between Anakin and Vader, serving as the empirical embodiment of Luke's struggle between the dark side and the light. This would also have made Luke's role in The Force Awakens drastically more significant and could have confirmed the theory that he turned -- at least partially -- to the dark side.
Bonus: Supreme Leader Snoke
In an apparent attempt to distinguish Snoke from Darth Sidious, the original plan was to make the Supreme Leader a woman. In a complete contrast to Sidious, the big bad of The Force Awakens was going to be female, in addition to being completely consumed by the power of the dark side.
Have another look at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens extended TV spot.
Which of these ideas would you like to have seen in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'? (Let me know in the comments!)