Star wars the annotated screenplays
Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays by Laurent BouzereauSTAR WARS: THE ANNOTATED SCREENPLAYS
“George Lucas went through many different permutations of plot, subplot, and character before he was satisfied with what he had.” (vii)
In 1973, George Lucas wrote a forty-page outline about Mace Windy. Sound familiar? Inspired by Joseph Cambell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, early drafts of Star Wars had Annikin Starkiller, The Knights of Sith, kiber crystals, and Lars Owen. “The two droids did not exist in the first treatment.” (9)
As a Star Wars fan and historian, this publication could be used to explain the concept of historiography, revisionism, and demonstrate how science fiction is inspired and crafted.
“it is fascinating to go back and explore how Lucas created the stories and the characters and try to visualize what the movies might have been like if Luke Skywalker has been over sixty years old.” (vii)
Welp, now we can.
In the story meeting transcripts between George Lucas and Leigh Brackett, Lucas defined the Force as: “The act of living generates a force field, an energy. That energy surrounds us; when we die, that energy joins with all the other energy. There is a giant mass of energy in the universe that has a good side and a bad side. We are part of the Force because we generate the power that makes the Force live. When we die, we become part of that Force, so we never really die; we continue as part of the Force.” (181)
According to Ben Kenobi, “The force is what gives the Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” (35) “A Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him.” (59) It partially controls your actions, but also obeys your commands.
Master Yoda adds, “A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind.” (175) The force needs to be felt, size doesn’t matter, and concentrating is important to feel the Force flow. “For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we.” (187) “You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you… me… the tree… the rock… everywhere! Yes, even between the land and the ship!” (187)
Luke didn’t want to believe it, but “Through the Force, things you will see. Other places. The future…the past. Old friends long gone.” (191) “Always in motion is the future.” (191)
“Decide you must how to serve them best.” (191)
It could be argued that many of the original ideas not used, especially in The Empire Strikes Back, are recycled or adapted in THE FORCE AWAKENS or THE LAST JEDI.
* “He plays it into Artoo, and Threepio translates that the crystal gives the coordinates to a star system.” (140)
* “I imagined that beneath the mask Vader was hideous; his mouth was cut away, and he had one eye hanging low.” (165)
* “Caped and hooded in a cloth of gold” (174)
* “In the story treatment Yoda tells Luke that Ben gave him the talisman he wears around his neck so that he could find him.” (178)
* “Luke says he feels the Force the most when he is angry.” (183)
* “Later Yoda and Luke reach a tree with giant twisted roots near a dark sinister cave. Yoda says that the tree is strong with the dark side of the Force and tells Luke he must face it. Luke feels he is not ready but eventually goes inside the cave. At one point he sees a shape and instinctively swings his weapon, only to realize that there is nothing. He comes out shaking and scared, and the scene ends with Yoda telling him to go back inside the cave.” (183)
“At one point in the original Star Wars, Han Solo was going to be black.” (196)
“At one point Luke and Leia were going to be Oriental.” (197)
“One of the things he was doing on Tatooine besides watching over Luke was learning how to keep his identity after he became part of the Force.” (198)
* “The Emperor raises his hand, and Vader starts choking; the Emperor tells him that the boy is his to train and that Vader’s place is with his fleet. Vader asks for forgiveness and leaves.” (307)
* “During story meetings Lawrence Kasdan suggested that in order to give an emotional twist to the story, Luke should die and his sister should take over at the end. George Lucas was opposed to this idea, arguing how upset he was as a child when a hero was killed.” (314)
* “It was conceivable that Luke could die or turn to the dark side, and if he did, then it would be up to Leia to redeem everybody.”
* “Another dark idea that Lawrence Kasdan had for the ending was to have Luke put on Vader’s mask and say that he’s now going to destroy the Rebel fleet and rule the universe.” (314)
A NEW HOPE
Artoo was named after, “Reel 2, Dialogue 2.”
Chewbacca was inspired by George Lucas’ co-pilot canine, Indiana.
Subtitles were used to encourage children to learn how to read and to encourage bonding with their parents.
The famous, “May the Force be with you” catch phrase didn’t appear until the third draft.
A lot of battle sequences were initially cut using World War II film footage.
In the climax, the footage of the Rebels in the war room during the Attack Run was cut from previous footage with off-screen dialogue through a PA system.
The Special Editions were also done for archival purposes, among other things.
This screenplay adds seven additional scenes, including Jabba confronting Han, the “space pirate.” The Millenium Falcon is a “hunk of junk” and is often referred to as the “pirate ship.” Star Wars fans could debate whether Han shot first for lightyears.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
In Empire, characters like Chewbacca were filmed welding because I was the only thing you could see what they were doing.
Irvin Kershner drew storyboards for Empire about six hours a day for an entire year! He believes that “In any film, communication is key; miscommunication is a curse.” (148) “If I ever used a long shot, it was for an emotional effect, not to show the sets.” (144) Also- “All the Americans in the film play the good guys, and all the characters who speak with a British accent are the bad guys. I did that on purpose.” (141)
“At first I thought Yoda should be eight feet, nine feet tall with a big beard, like an oversized Moses” (188) (Ki-Adi-Mundi anyone?) In early drafts, Master Yoda was simply referred to as, “The Critter.” When Mark Hamill was talking to Yoda, he couldn’t hear his voice. “He did a good job, Mark; he is a good actor.” (199)
In the second draft of Empire, the idea of Vader being Luke’s father first appeared. Han was also supposed to reply, “I’ll be back.” NAHT AHNOLD!
“When Chewbacca is trying to put Threepio back together and he’s got his head in his hands, that’s like in Shakespeare’s Hamlet; it’s the grave digger staring down at the skill.” (204) I never would have made this connection, though IG-88 is also in the background!
The screenplay adds two additional scenes and Chewbacca howls, moans, and barks rather frequently. The phrase “buffeted” is also used quite a bit.
RETURN OF THE JEDI
“Blue Harvest” was a “bogus title” used during production.
Lucas came up with the idea of Leia strangling Jabba with her chain similar to a scene in the Godfather.
According to George Lucas, Return of the Jedi is about the redemption of this fallen angel and Luke building his own lightsaber symbolized himself detaching from his father.
“When Luke finally manages to fix the weapon, Yoda’s image appears. He tells Luke that now that he has mastered the secret of the lightsaber, his training is complete and he is ready for the final test: his father.” (273) I wonder if a similar moment will happen to Rey?
“We don’t ever get to see how he does it, but the idea of retaining your identity after you’ve passed on is something that Ben learned as a Jedi.” (269)
The screenplay adds five additional scenes and axes the Yub Nub song.
According to George Lucas, “I said this is the stuff that happens later, this is the stuff that happens before, and this is the material I need to make the script about. And that’s how it came about that there was enough material for six scripts.” (120) He also is on record saying, “Writing has never been something I have enjoyed.” (144)
Before Yoda peaced out, he told Master Skywalker: “Luke, when gone am I…the last of the Jedi you will be. Luke, the Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned.” (266) Sounds like a great title for a movie!
“Even though at some point Yoda and Ben interfered, I eventually decided they couldn’t connect physically with what Luke was doing.” (301) How did Yoda come back in the newest installment and light the tree on fire with lighting?
Help me George Lucas, you’re my only hope.
How To Format A Screenplay - 5 Basic Elements : FRIDAY 101
Star Wars : The Annotated Screenplays
The lowest-priced item that has been used or worn previously. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended. This item may be a floor model or store return that has been used. See details for description of any imperfections. Featuring all three original trilogy scripts in their entirety, this book includes interview annotations from George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, and numerous others who worked behind-the-scenes on the films. I have to admit that there wasn't much in this collection that really stood out for me - perhaps in there was, but with DVD documentaries and internet access today, most of the annotations in this book are things you probably already know. This book makes up for that weakness with in-depth notes and comparisons to all three original drafts, explaining how the characters and stories could have been entirely different for us.
This book is unique in that it includes information on how earlier drafts of the scripts differed from the final versions. However, it only has changes from the releases of the Star Wars original trilogy as it was published in The book also includes comments from George Lucas , Lawrence Kasdan and other individuals responsible for creating the movies. Luke Skywalker was Annikin Starkiller. Han Solo was a "huge green-skinned guy with no nose and large gills.
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