Behind the Secrets of 'Lost'

LINDELOF: It was just a cartoon about this guy named Boba Fett who was a bounty hunter. And you're like, "What does this mean?" And you had to wait before "The Empire Strikes Back" came out and then here is this guy Boba Fett who was introduced in a row of other dudes. And the audience was like, "I know that guy, I've seen one of his adventures before." And the fact that there was a platform, whether it was on a holiday special or not, to actually go deeper on the show.

ABRAMS: I thought you were going to go the other direction on the point which was that because of the quality of that special --

TAPPER: -- Yeah, it was pretty bad.

ABRAMS: -- that you ought to be careful that you're not making the Thanksgiving "Star Wars" special. As a fan you're so excited to kind of see something that someone else might not, but on the other hand you want to make sure that the way you learn that information is of a certain quality.

CUSE: That's why we canceled the "Lost Christmas Talent Show."

LINDELOF: I guess now would be a bad time to tell you that Bea Arthur is in Episode No. 4 of Season 3. Going to be a leader of The Others.

How Will It All End?

TAPPER: Do you have in your minds an endgame, where the show ends, what happens? Is it all sketched out that broadly?

LINDELOF: Absolutely. I mean when we first started talking about the show in that -- in that very first meeting we talked about, you know, OK, everyone was saying what would Season 2 look like, what would Season 3 look like, what would Season 4 look like?

And we started having those conversations and obviously that conversation ended with "and here's where the show ends." This would be theoretically what the last episode of the show would be. But the reality is you're sorting running a race, a marathon, where no one has told you where the finish line is. So your plan at how how you're going to feel and how you're going to finish when you cross mile 26 changes because when you're passing the nine mile marker someone tells you the marathon has been extended to 40 miles.

So what our original ending is hopefully is going to still be in play. But the reality is the characters who were involved in that ending and what happens on the island might change as a result of external factors. God forbid, Josh Holloway decided to leave the show after six seasons, which is what he's contracted for. If that were to happen, we as writers would have to change our minds about certain story directions that we're taking. But the kind of conceptual idea of the ending is in place.

But it's a very organic process. We feed off of what we see so you see a character like Desmond all of a sudden he becomes a regular in Season 3 as does Michael Emerson who played Henry Gale because they were both so incredible and so wonderful that we ended up deciding that we were going to tell more stories with them than we had originally planned. We always are listening to what the show is telling us it wants us to do. We are not the masters. We are in concert with all these other forces in trying to guide the show. But the show has its own ideas about where it wants to go.

TAPPER: Does the show talk to you?

CUSE: The show does, it talks to me often but I'm medicating and that helps a lot.

ABRAMS: It's been talking to me this entire time and it's telling me to kill you.

TAPPER: So Desmond and Henry Gale are happy accidents, characters that you didn't initially mean to become major characters.

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