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Leigh Brackett's first draft of Empire — Page 2

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Well, the online scan of the typewritten version of Brackett’s draft does make the love triangle explicit, since Darth Vader offers to help Luke win Leia’s hand if he joins the Dark Side.

Although I don’t think the Brackett draft is “more dramatic” overall; it’s very talky and undoubtedly needed work that she probably would’ve undertaken if she hadn’t passed away.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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Leigh Brackett’s Longhand Outline for The Empire Strikes Back: [From Craig Miller’s biography “Star Wars Memories”
Leigh Brackett's Longhand Outline for The Empire Strikes Back
High resolution (but don’t expect anything to be legible) version
http://fd.noneinc.com/scripts/CraigMiller-StarWarsMemories_pg165-LeighBrackettESBOutline.JPG

Maybe this surfaced at an auction and there might be a better res pic out there.
Looking forward to reading which notes made it into the draft to understand where ideas surfaced from the story meeting and which she created to work out the story development.

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It’d be really cool to get more of this-but especially any official documentation of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye being the original low budget sequel.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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 (Edited)

Star Wars Insider issues #145-146 have some pretty substantial excerpts from the 1976 story conferences of Lucas talking with Alan Dean Foster about SOTME. Apparently Luke was going to kill Vader in the original “low-budget sequel” ending, and Leia ended up pretty badly scarred from the duel. (Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, lightsaber beam in the body’s eye, I’d guess…)

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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On the early evolving story days, in Craig Miller’s book (pg.382) it is said that Fett was to be the main villain for a movie and that the emperor wouldn’t be shown until the sequel trilogy which was about (pg.375) which ever character survives movie ‘Three’. It really sounds like George/Kurtz/et al were conceptualizing writing everyone out. Harrison in carbonite, ‘the other’ could move Hamill out. Fett makes Prowse expendable. The above ‘Leia badly scarred’ seems like the way to move Carrie out.

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You’re confusing the ideas for a low-budget sequel, which George Lucas considered while making the original film (in case it performed poorly at the box office), with the much more expansive ideas for a Sequel Trilogy, conceived during production of ESB.

In the former case, Lucas was genuinely afraid that SW would be a flop, and took measures while writing the 1976 fourth draft to make the film work as a standalone story if necessary: by doing things like introducing Tarkin as a proxy character for the Emperor, whose death represents the Empire’s eventual defeat.

However, he also talked to Alan Dean Foster about doing a novel or two, which could be used as the basis for a couple of TV movies in case fully-fledged cinematic sequels weren’t possible. Those discussions led to Splinter of the Mind’s Eye – which at the time was conceived as being a potential capstone to Luke’s journey. Hence Leia survives her duel with Darth Vader, but is badly scarred, while Luke kills Vader and thus avenges his father’s murder.

(One reason Lucas was panicked about not getting the chance to do sequels was that even back in 1975, he’d already envisioned SW as a trilogy, plus at least one prequel film: echoing Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas, a “trilogy with a prelude”.)

In the latter case, the massive success of SW 1977 led Lucas to start more expansive planning for sequels, and hitting upon the idea of a trilogy of trilogies.

It seems that at that point, Lucas wanted the film after ESB to feature the defeat of Darth Vader, but also the demise of Han and Leia. Probably this was a result of the chemistry between Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford; Lucas had wanted Luke to “get the girl”, but real life moved events in another direction.

Lucas mentioned in the newsletter Bantha Tracks that the Sequel Trilogy would focus on “the character who survives Star Wars III”, almost certainly meaning Luke. As we also know, the plan was for the ST to focus on Luke’s adventures with his long-lost sister, and their defeat of the Emperor.

Boba Fett being the agent of either Han or Leia’s demise in “Star Wars III” probably figures in to what Craig Miller meant when he mentioned Fett’s expanded role. One possibility would’ve been for Leia to be killed in battle by Boba Fett’s disintegrator: turning her into dust, like the planet Alderaan she was princess of.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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Oh man I really want to go and get old Insider issues. That brings back so many memories of getting them for one year as a kid. I recently found a few old issues in a store so I’ll have to find those particular issues.

It really feels like the original concepts for more stories were like classic continuing pulp stories and adventures for strips and magazines.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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FYI: Craig Miller is the person who wrote much of Bantha Tracks and in his book he’s got the full transcripts of the interviews which were conducted for the publication. The order of the questions and some of the words (because the interviews were conducted in different times) are expanded/contracted. He then in a next chapter helps explain why certain things are said verses what we had been lead to believe.
For those who use facebook, going through his account might surface some stuff.