Kristian Brown, a lucky librarian at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, came across a Revised Fourth Draft “Shooting Script” of Star Wars while digitizing some of the library’s content.
Writing scripts longhand and on paper is a bit of a lost art form these days. The personal computer age seems to have changed everything, much like the mobile industry seems to be changing life yet again right before out eyes. So it’s always fun to look back on the old days from time to time.
1 EXT PLAIN OF ICE PLANET – DAY
A sweeping dramatic shot of LUKE SKYWALKER, mounted on a white snow-lizard, racing across a white snowy landscape. Luke’s scarlet cloak flies in the wind. Curving plumes of snow rise from beneath the speeding paws of the lizard. All about in the distance, snow-wraiths blow on the wind across a cruel and beautiful landscape, in the light of a strange sun.
This mini-sourcebook contains background material from the Second Draft of Star Wars, supplemented with selected material from the first draft, both of which were written by George Lucas. This sourcebook was written in preparation for my sequel to the Lucas script, “Princess of Ondos”. This sourcebook details the major characters, planets, and factions of this early version of Lucas’ Star Wars universe. This information is based entirely on the work of George Lucas.
This summary describes the second draft script of the original Star Wars. Those wishing to simply refresh their memory of the original before reading “Princess of Ondos” may do so here. This summary contains a few details invented by myself which serve to make sense out of the sketchy details present in the Lucas script. These invented but logical details served to make writing a sequel much easier.
“…And in the time of greatest despair there shall come a savior,
and he shall be known as: THE SON OF THE SUNS.” –Journal of the Whills, 3:127
A Fan Fiction sequel to George Lucas’ Second Draft of Star Wars (The Adventures of the Starkiller Episode One – The Star Wars) by Brendon Wahlberg, based on characters and situations created by George Lucas.
Original Story treatment by John L. Flynn (September 1983)
Adapted from Part I: “The Adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi”.
War has ravaged the galaxy. For three years, the Grand Army of the Republic has battled the treasonous forces of Count Dooku and the Separatists.
I started out with the shooting schedule in Philip Peecher’s “Making of Jedi” book, making a list of scene numbers with locations. From there, I took the published version of the script and matched up the text of the scenes with the numbers of the scenes as provided by Peecher’s book. Since the list in Peecher’s book was incomplete, I had to rely on call sheets found on the internet to flesh out it further. Then, since many of the call sheets so closely match the dialogue in the novelization, I conclude the novel is based on the shooting script. I used the novel as a guide to fill in the rest of the scenes. I don’t know if it is 100% accurate, but I think I have it pretty close.
Bottom line: If the movie works, we might have a wonderful, humorous and exciting adventure-fantasy, an artistic and very commercial venture. Most of what we need is here. The question, in the end, is how much faith we have in Mr Lucas’s ability to pull it all off.
COMMENT: Screenplay is a cross between a phantasmagoric Walt Disney cartoon and an exciting, juvenile FLASH GORDON adventure story. It is a fantasy world that has obviously been well thought out by its creator George Lucas.
Roll up mentions TWO Death Stars. After the roll up, the camera pans down to the planet of Had Abbadon, the Imperial capital planet. It is almost entirely urban, extremely overpopulated and polluted heavily.
Han’s backstory: Han was an orphan rasied by Wookiees, flunked out of the Space Academy and met a rich trader until they had a falling out.
ARTOO DETOO (R2-D2) an old and battered construction robot. Artoo is a short (36 inches), claw-armed, tri-ped R-2 unit. His face is a mass of computer lights, surrounding a radar eye. He has a metallic claw arm for grasping and one for computer interface, a hologram projector, and a small floodlight on his forehead. He makes a series of electronic sounds that only a robot could understand, an elaborate combination of whistles, beeps and clicks. He served Master Deak for three years and eight months. He now chooses to continue to serve Master Luke.
COS DASHIT the dark Lord of Alderaan, Consul to the Supreme Tribunal, and ruler of the Galactic Empire. He is a thin, grey-looking man, with an evil mustache which hangs limply over his insipid lip. He plans the conquest of Aquilae, the last of the independent Systems, and the last refuge of the “outlawed, vile sect of the Jedi”. This is the last frontier and the final stone in the great wall of the Galactic Empire.
Star Wars, George Lucas’ lavish space opera, is a fantasy for our times, this generation’s Wizard of Oz. Nevertheless, whereas Lucas’ film was almost universally praised for its costuming, sets, technical perfection, and wondrous special effects, its plot was largely dismissed by reviewers as corny or hokey, strictly kids’ stuff. “The film’s story is bad pulp, and so are the characters of hero Luke and heroine Leia,” says Richard Corliss.1 “I kept looking for an ‘edge,’ to peer around the corny, solemn comic-book strophes,” writes Stanley Kauffmann.2 And Molly Haskell sums up the critics’ objections: “Star Wars is childish, even for a cartoon.”
“A Long Time Ago… In A Galaxy Far, Far Away….”
Even now, some seventeen years later, those words still strike such an emotional response of awe and wonder in the hearts of audiences worldwide. Without doubt, the most popular space age adventure of all time, the “Star Wars” trilogy mesmerized filmgoers with the exploits of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader, and delighted both young and old alike with the antics of See-Threepio and Artoo-Detoo.
The Star Wars Trilogy, comprising Episodes four through six “A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” (respectively), did not begin as one fully-developed, high-concept pitch but rather evolved over a five-year period through a variety of scripts and story treatments. In fact, the origins, original storylines and development of the characters are just as fascinating as anything that has appeared in George Lucas’s final vision, and provide the impetus for this article.
The Development Of Star Wars: A New Hope Version 3.0, Third Draft available (Version 1.0 Second Draft available; Version 2.0 First Outline and First Draft available)
THE DEVELOPMENT OF STAR WARS AS SEEN THROUGH THE SCRIPTS BY GEORGE LUCAS Written by JAN HELANDER DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGES – LULEÅ UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY MARCH 1997 Table of Contents Introduction 1. The Writing of Star Wars 2…. Continue Reading →
Randy & Jean-Marc Lofficier wrote an essay in 1983 about the genesis of the SW scripts. The article was published in a French Sci-fi magazine. In 1987, the article was printed in English in STARLOG’s SW issue. This article was one of the first ever to deal with the original scripts. This article is reprinted in its entirety with full permission from the author. You can find the original article at http://www.lofficier.com/starwars.htm.
“The way I work is that I cut the movie together, I look at it and figure out what I’m missing. At that point, it’s more about how the movie flows together rather than how the script flows together. I’m acknowledging more and more that a script and a movie are two different things.” – George Lucas
Download: The Star Wars – From the Adventures of Luke Starkiller – Third Draft 110 pages 229 scenes Aug 1, 1975 “THE STAR WARS” From The Adventures of Luke Starkiller By George Lucas “… and in the time of greatest… Continue Reading →