Universal Rejection Letter
UNIVERSAL INTER OFFICE MEMO
Date: (probably Fall 1975)
Subject: “The Star Wars” screenplay by George Lucas (probably 3rd Draft)
To my mind, we’re really rolling dice with this kind of a project, but I think the concept here (at least in terms of what has been done so far with the genre), is rather exciting, and combined with the potential action inherent in the piece, it seems to me an attractive possibility in many ways.
On the other hand, a great deal of this screenplay (above the special effects and make-up problems) is going to be very difficult to translate visually. I’m thinking particularly in terms of our robot “heroes,” Threepio and Artoo.
And even if all visuals and special effects work perfectly, the story could be ultimately no more than an interesting exercise if the audience doesn’t completely understand the rights and wrongs involved, and just as important, have absolute empathy with young Luke Starkiller. And it is in these areas I believe the script still needs work. Action and adventure abounds. We still need more from the characters.
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.
–From the book EMPIRE BUILDING. THE REMARKABLE REAL-LIFE STORY OF STAR WARS
by Garry Jenkins, Simon & Schuster (London) 1997: p. 41-42.