The alternate ending to Return of the Jedi
The Making of Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi by J.W. Rinzler is has hit the book stores and IO9 has done a promotional piece for it. The book as a great story about how an early idea for the ending of Jedi was for Like Skywalker to actually turn to the Dark Side himself!
IO9 reports a “Even though Lucas really wanted a bright, upbeat ending, and he fought against killing off any major characters — even Yoda, for a long time — during one story session, Lucas pitched a really, really dark ending. In a nutshell, the scene with Vader and the Emperor unspools the way it does in the final film. Vader sacrifices himself to take out the Emperor, and then Luke helps Vader to take off his famous helmet.
And then — Luke puts on Vader's helmet himself. In the transcript of the story session with Lucas and Kasdan, Lucas says: "Luke takes his mask off. The mask is the very last thing — and then Luke puts it on and says, 'Now I am Vader.' Surprise! The ultimate twist. 'Now I will go and kill the [Rebel] fleet and I will rule the universe.'" Kasdan immediately responded, "That's what I think should happen" — but Lucas didn't actually want to go that dark because "this is for kids."”
THAT would have been an ending to end all endings eh? That movie was also going to be called Revenge of the Jedi... which would have made this proposed ending even more bat shit crazy.
You can buy The Making of Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi from Amazon.