Star Wars Newsbones: Dec. 2013 (Shopping; Attack Squadrons; Mythbusters; Episode VII)

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Star Wars is the Keith Richards of Movies. The only difference being that one day, Keith Richards will actually die (for real) and Star Wars will live on. Just when you think interest in Star Wars is waning or going away, something happens to bring it right back to life. News is more frequent and now that Disney owns the whole mess, expect the merchandising to get even bigger. Whatever you’ve seen from Marvel in the last few years, that’s what you’re going to get with Star Wars and Lucasfilm. You’ll see new films, TV shows, comics, games and much much more. Here are a few recent news bits I thought you might enjoy and Happy Holidays! (more…)

Read Some of Kasdan’s Original Handwritten Empire Script Pages

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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.

Slashfilm recently got their hands on a few pages of Lawrence Kasdan’s original, handwritten draft of The Empire Strikes Back. It was all part of this year’s “May the 4th be with you” (AKA Star Wars Day) celebrations that now (unofficially) take place every year on May fourth.

The pages are fun to read and while many have seen the old drafts before, these handwritten pages give us a few more glimpses into the development of the film. In one of them, Yoda seems to imply that when you’re a full-on Jedi, you can “see” things differently. You can actually see the Force around everything which is an interesting concept. Another mentions a deleted scene where Luke is training on Dagobah and fighting off some training ball droids that shoot stun bolts at him, similar to the one that Obi-Wan used while on the Millennium Falcon in the original film. There are a few other bits including Han’s line “…just remember that, because I’ll be back,” which was later changed by Harrison Ford to “I know.”

It’s a small bit of film history you might enjoy.

Source: Slashfilm

The Empire Strikes Back – First Draft by Leigh Brackett

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Download: Star Wars Sequel by Leigh Brackett

The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980 and even as a 10-year-old, I remember reading about an early version of the script written by a Sci-Fi author and screenwriter named Leigh Brackett. She turned in a first draft and passed away from Cancer in 1978. This draft was based on a story outline from George Lucas.

From there, as the story goes, Lucas tried his hand at a draft or two but then turned those drafts over to Lawrence Kasdan who ultimately penned the script, although Brackett was still credited. It’s unclear as to the reason why, but it’s assumed that this was a professional courtesy since not many people really knew if any of her work ended up in the final version.  Many interviews with Lucas and others who had seen the draft implied that it beared very little resemblance.

For years, this elusive draft seemed like a “holy grail” of sorts to Star Wars aficionados. In 2010, however, I was shown a scanned version of what appeared to be this draft by Brackett. It came complete with handwritten notes, crossed out words, and matched up with just about every description of the actual thing you could think of. If it was a forgery, it was an elaborate one.

At Starwarz.com, I also host a site called Starkiller. This small group of people specialize in Star Wars scripts. Being that I’m a member, we posted the script online and it’s the most popular download on the site.

At first read, you do get the distinct impression that it’s very different, but it’s mostly the dialogue. Many of the concepts and scenes are still intact.

SOME noticeable differences include:

  • Han is never frozen and there are no bounty hunters like Boba Fett
  • Lando has a different last name (Kadar) and a lady friend
  • Planet names are different or changed around
  • Yoda is called “Minch”
  • Han is sent on a “mission” to speak to his powerful Step-father (which is supposed to be part of the next film)

and the biggest one of all…

  • Darth Vader and Luke’s Father are TWO DIFFERENT characters

Luke’s father, simply referred to as SKYWALKER in the script, shows up in ghost form along with Ben while Luke is being trained. What’s more is he also tells Luke about his sister – who is not Leia. Her name is Nellith. Luke takes the oath of the Jedi along with his Father, Ben and Minch (Yoda).

It’s clear that Lucas wasn’t sure on the direction he was going with the whole Anakin/Vader story yet. It makes you think about Lucas’ explanation of how the whole saga was always supposed to be about Anakin Skywalker. When Empire was being made, it seems he had no idea about this. Nor did he know that Leia would be Luke’s sister, which explains his non-reluctance to having them romantically linked in the film. Was he shooting from the hip then, and is he now rewriting history?

Other than that, you’ll see that the general framework and outline from Lucas is pretty much there. Not much of Brackett’s dialogue remained but some of her spirit did.

For fans, this is a great find and a great read so I’m happy to be able to share it here as well as over at the Starkiller site.

Enjoy reading it and please leave some comments.

Download: Star Wars Sequel by Leigh Brackett