Star Wars : Scripts

The Star Wars saga began with a 13-page treatment for a space adventure movie that George Lucas drafted in 1973, inspired by multiple myths and classic stories. According to one source, Lucas initially wrote summaries for fifteen stories that would make up the Star Wars saga. Out ofthese fifteen stories, Lucas originally planned to film only one of them as a feature film. Then, in 1978, following the success of the first released Star Wars film, he publicly announced that he would create a total of twelve films to chronicle the adventures of Luke Skywalker (in the original scripts, the character’s name was Luke Starkiller). In 1979, Lucas retracted his former statement, saying that he would instead make nine films.[2] Four years later, having completed Return of the Jedi, Lucas announced that he was finished with Star Wars and no additional films would be made. Finally, in 1995, Lucas suddenly announced that he would produce a trilogy of prequels (Episodes I, II, and III), for a total of six films. He also claimed at the time that he had always envisioned "the whole thing as a series of six films".

Other sources, including publicly available draft scripts of Star Wars, show that Lucas had an incomplete and quickly-changing conception of the Star Wars story up until the release of the first film in 1977. Story elements such as the Kaiburr crystal present in early scripts are missing entirely in the films, while names were freely exchanged between different planets and characters — "Organa Major" being the original name for Alderaan, for instance (Organa later became Princess Leia's surname). Even as late as the production of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, there were significant differences from the films which emerged — for example, Lando Calrissian being a clone from the Clone Wars and the climactic battle of Return of the Jedi taking place against two Death Stars orbiting the Imperial capital planet, then known as Had Abbadon. [3] Another version of the Return of the Jedi script had Luke turning to the dark side after killing Darth Vader. Leia would then become the next Jedi to fight the dark side. This did not happen, however, because Lucas felt that the ending would be too dark, especially for children, who were a major part of the audience. Also, George Lucas had the script of The Empire Strikes Back saying that "Obi-Wan killed your father," all the while having the "I am your father" line in mind. Since Darth Vader's voice was overdubbed by James Earl Jones, the true line was revealed in post-production. In addition, the story released as the novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye was intended as a possible direction for a low-budget Star Wars sequel — however, the success of A New Hope allowed Lucas to pursue the more ambitious The Empire Strikes Back instead.

Lucas has been criticized from time to time for allegedly deviating from his original conception of the universe that was introduced in the original 1977 film. It has been theorized by some that developments in the later films, including (but not limited to) the revelation of Darth Vader as the father of Luke Skywalker, the revelation of Princess Leia as Luke's sister, and the progression of Darth Vader from a powerful lackey serving under Grand Moff Tarkin to a much-feared military leader answerable only to the Emperor (as well as the overall Star Wars Saga's shift in focus from Luke to Vader as the main character) go completely against the history/characters/relationships that were established in the original 1977 film. The Star Wars prequel trilogy has also been accused of similar retroactive changes that were allegedly not part of Lucas' original concept for Star Wars.

For his part, Lucas claimed in a segment filmed for the THX-remastered VHS release of the original trilogy that the original Star Wars story was intended as a single film, but was later split into three because the story was too long to be told in a single film. In the DVD commentaries for the original trilogy, Lucas claims that many story elements were changed within the production of the films—for instance, the attack on the Death Star in A New Hope was moved from the end of the trilogy in order to strengthen A New Hope on its own merits, while the character of Chewbacca established the Wookiees as a technologically advanced race, necessitating their replacement with Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. Other changes, including the death of Obi-Wan in A New Hope, were made during the filming. Lucas also stated in the commentaries that the prequel stories existed only as "notes" explaining the backstories of characters such as Obi-Wan. In an interview with Wired prior to the release of The Phantom Menace, Lucas remarked that he had allowed the publication of novels written as sequels to the films (see Expanded Universe) because he would never make the sequels himself.

Lucas's history of different statements regarding his future and past plans for the Star Wars saga have caused a great deal of popular confusion, while drawing criticism from some. For example, some still believe that Lucas's original plan was for a "trilogy of trilogies," based on early statements made by Lucasfilm regarding sequels. For more information on the supposed sequel trilogy, see Sequel trilogy (Star Wars).

It has been reported that Lucas's original script was almost 500 pages long. The title, originally The Adventures of Luke Starkiller, was changed several times before becoming Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

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