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.
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.
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 →
The eerie blue-green planet of Aquilae slowly drifts into view. A small speck, orbiting the planet, glints in the light of a near by star.
Download: Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the “Journal of the Whills” by George Lucas (Saga I) Star Wars Revised Fourth Draft 156 pages 252 scenes The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the “Journal… Continue Reading →
Download: Star Wars (Public Version of Fourth Draft) Published Script: Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, from the Journal of the Whills. As published in The Art of Star Wars, Ballantine 1979 Labeled: “Revised Fourth Draft, January 15, 1976.”… Continue Reading →
Download: Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the “Journal of the Whills” by George Lucas (Saga I) Star Wars Fourth Draft, January 1, 1976 171 pages 252 scenes Jan 1, 1976 The Adventures of Luke Starkiller… Continue Reading →
Download: The Empire Strikes Back – Shooting Script/Fourth Draft Written by Lawrence Kasdan. 435 Scenes THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK SHOOTING SCRIPT FOURTH DRAFT BY LAWRENCE KASDAN October 24, 1978 Lucasfilm Ltd. 1. EXT PLAIN OF HOTH – HELICOPTER SHOT –… Continue Reading →
Download: Star Wars Episode II – Jar Jar’s Great Adventure STAR WARS EPISODE II JAR JAR’S GREAT ADVENTURE Written by GEORGE LUCAS and JONATHAN HALES Lucasfilm Ltd. Second Draft, June 24, 2000 P.O. Box 2009 Pink Revisions, June 28, 2000 San Rafael,… Continue Reading →
Download: The Beginning (The Phantom Menace) – Revised Third Draft Third Draft May 13, 1997 Revised June 6, 1997 104 pages “THE BEGINNING” 1. EXT. SPACE (FX) Title card: A long time in a galaxy far, far away… A vast… Continue Reading →