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Star Wars: How a Typo Created Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas

In Star Wars canon, the Clone Wars began with the actions of a mysterious Jedi Master – but if not for a typo, that Jedi might have never existed.Almost every film in the Star Wars saga underwent heavy changes between the first draft of its script and its final theatrical cut — and sometimes, the changes continued even beyond that. Plot points were revised, subplots were cut, names were changed, and characters were added or removed. When George Lucas began work on Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, much of the film’s story had been predetermined. It had to establish the beginnings of the Clone Wars, Anakin and Padmé’s romance, and plant the seeds for the emergence of the Empire in Episode III. However, not everything was set in stone from the film’s first draft.

One of the key components of Star Wars lore established in Attack of the Clones was the creation of the Republic’s clone army. While the development of the clones was manipulated by Darth Sidious and his apprentice, Count Dooku, the film revealed that the clones were originally ordered by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas. Little was revealed of Sifo-Dyas in the Star Wars prequels; plans to expand on his history in Episode III were abandoned by George Lucas to keep that film’s focus on Anakin Skywalker. His story would eventually be told in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Sifo-Dyas would go on to become one of the most intriguing members of the Jedi Order. But he almost never existed. Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas is best known to Star Wars fans as the Jedi who originally placed the order for the clone army, a force that would serve the Republic and give its name to the Clone Wars. While he has become a character of great mystery and intrigue in Star Wars canon, Sifo-Dyas was originally nothing more than another character’s false identity. In an early draft of the script for Attack of the Clones, the name of the Jedi Master who ordered the clone army was given as “Sido-Dyas.” This was intended to be a less-than-subtle pseudonym for Darth Sidious.

In this early version of the script, rather than remarking that this mysterious Jedi Master had been killed around the time the order for the clones was placed, Obi-Wan Kenobi contacted the Council to ask if they knew Sido-Dyas. Neither he nor they were ever aware of any Jedi by that name. Ultimately though, Sido-Dyas was dropped from the script due to a typo. At one point in that early draft of Attack of the Clones, the name was mistakenly spelled “Sifo-Dyas.” George Lucas supposedly preferred the sound of this misspelling. Rather than simply changing the Sith Lord’s false identity to Sifo-Dyas, Lucas opted to rewrite the script to reference an entirely separate character — Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas.

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