the reason he hadn't labeled ANH episode IV was 'cause he didn't think it would do all that well in theaters and since it did, he retitled it a new hope. Fox was on his crack about finishing or even having the idea of a star wars movie. so george hid TESB and ROTJ.
Originally it was one big movie, but the script was a little long and had too many gaps in it. again, i like having a firm grip on the timeframe of when events occured.
Dude, you guys really have to stop listening to Lucas cause that is a load of shit, plain & simple.
The first draft of ESB is title ,'Chapter II, The Empire Strikes Back, November 28-Dec 2, 1977 by George Lucas and Leigh Brackett
Not until the 5th Draft is it titled Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back by Lawrence Kasdan & Leigh Brackett.
If Lucas wanted Episode IV on Star Wars in 1977, the FIRST draft of ESB would read Episode V, not chapter II. You guys have to stop watching the new documentaries cause Lucas is lying his ass off, to make it seem like he had this all planned from the start.
He wrote a script for Star Wars in the early/mid 70's, and had alot of excess plot points that he couldn't fit in a 2 hour movie, and he had some backstory notes on Darth Vader fighting Obiwan too. He didn't have a prequel trilogy in mind, and didn't have a sequel trilogy in mind, let alone a trilogy in mind either. He was making a serial type movie that had a true ending, but just in case it was a hit, he would make a sequel to that, hence Chapter II as the first draft to Empire, but had NO idea where the story would go.
Lucas totally changed the whole trilogy/saga after 1977, Luke & Darth Vader were related now, and you could have this prequel trilogy of how Darth Vader came to be evil, but none of that was there in the Original, and it is sad that Lucas has duped a whole generation of new SW fans. Hey, that is why us old timers who saw the OOT in theaters are here to set things straight!