What Did The Original Script For The Empire Strikes Back Look Like?

Illustration for article titled What Did The Original Script For The Empire Strikes Back Look Like?

Word is the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back has been making the rounds on the web...without Lucasfilm's OK. What didn't make the final cut? A cloned Lando, Luke Skywalker's twin sister Nellith, and a war with the Wampas.


According to Crave Online, Leigh Brackett's 1978 script, known as "Star Wars Sequel," laid to groundwork for the prequels. Brackett died of a cancer a month after finishing the script, leaving George Lucas - and then Lawrence Kasdan - the task of rewriting. What differed in Bracket's first draft?

- Coruscant, the Imperial homeworld, appears and is known as Ton Muund.

- Lando Calrissian is a clone, and his family was displaced by the Clone Wars. Lando's clone lineage began with his great-grandfather.

- Bespin is the homeworld to a wispy alien race. Says Crave:

[I]n this early draft, the native inhabitants of what we know of as Bespin, the Cloud People, seem to resemble the Kaminoans in Attack of the Clones. They're tall, "white-skinned and white-haired" and ride on flying manta-rays. (This may be coincidental, but they also use darts as weapons, and the Kaminoans were linked to the toxic dart in AOTC.) The notion of flying steeds is absent in ensuing "Empire" scripts (along with the Cloud People) but will be entertained for the next two films before finally getting implemented in "Clones."

- Luke must battle Darth Vader to complete his training, instead of doing hard cardio workouts with Yoda strapped to his back. Also, Yoda's name is Minch.

- Chewbacca goes toe-to-toe with a Wampa! Why in the name of Mr. Midi-chlorian (i.e. my pet term for the Star Wars universe's supreme deity) would you can such a hair-raising sequence? Also, the Wampas are irked that the Rebels are on Hoth and invade their base.


- Darth Vader may not be Luke's father, and Luke's twin sister Nellith is hidden somewhere across the galaxy.

These radical changes echo George Lucas' lighthearted letter to the creators of Lost at a dinner for the spooky island drama last Thursday:

Don't tell anyone ... but when 'Star Wars' first came out, I didn't know where it was going either. The trick is to pretend you've planned the whole thing out in advance. Throw in some father issues and references to other stories — let's call them homages — and you've got a series.

Illustration for article titled What Did The Original Script For The Empire Strikes Back Look Like?

This certainly helps explain why Star Wars is perhaps the most famous incest fable this side of Oedipus Rex and Genesis 19:30-38, when Lot dirty danced with his daughters.


[via Crave Online]


Dr Emilio Lizardo

I thought Lucas always claimed just the opposite - that he had the whole thing planned out in detail ahead of time. Especially with the whole Luke/Leia incest thing. Is he having fun with us or is he finally coming clean?

Either way, the fact that there was another woman who was supposed to be his twin suggests that he didn't plan on Leia being the twin all along.