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OT Plot Development Analyses

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Hey guys! I've been trying to start up some OT plot development analysis at the TFN forums, but it's becoming clear that very few people are interested. So I thought I'd try starting up a discussion here.

There's way too much text to port over so I'll just leave these links here:

TSHOSW: Leigh Brackett and Lucas' filmic style for SW

Discussion of the Leigh Brackett script and the development of the Emperor as a character. (Apparently there was an idea where he was going to be in a giant tank like the Guild Navigators from Dune...)

ANH Pre-Production Art (McQuarrie/Mollo/Tavoularis)

Analysis of Ralph McQuarrie's art plus that of John Mollo, costume designer on ANH.

Visual Design of the ANH First Draft

Some attempts to visualize the very first draft script of ANH.

Let me know if you guys like these discussions at all or want to see more of this sort of analysis...

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

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Some interesting thoughts there on the Brackett script and Lynch's Dune.

The sequences you talk about in Dune aren't mystical as such, they are altered states of consciousness and there is isn't much of that in Star Wars.

Paul sees the melting hand because of suggestion backed up by nerve induction, nothing particularly mystical about that.

He sees the golden path because of, 'essentially' a massive drug overdose which he is trying to control using physical and mental discipline.

The Bene Gesserit dress it up as mystical because it gains them political influence. 

In the OT there is no drug that makes the Force happen, life makes it grow not the Spice, only in the PT do you get any form of in universe mechanism for Jedi/Sith ability (ROTJ introduced the notion that blood lineage is a vector but until then anyone could be a Jedi, that was the charm of the idea).

It took generations of selective breeding, Spice saturation and training to produce one Kwisatz Haderach.

So the OT approach is even more of a cinematic achievement because that space opera had real mysticism where as Herbert's had rationally described phenomena resembling the mystical from book 1.

In a way it would have made more sense to flip the styles around and yet counter-intuitively I think they both worked better they way they turned out.

Lynch's Dune isn't a faithful adaptation of the book but it's cinematically evocative of the sweep of the book in a way that a purely physical adaptation couldn't have been. 

I'm more shocked that Lucas went for Brackett and Lynch (as a choice to direct ROTJ) in the first place.

If you read her books, her script is very much in her style and Lynch's work should have flagged up how difficult to manipulate predictably he is and that was clearly not the sort of director Lucas wanted.

Lynch had Lucas summed up when he met him.

His suggestion that George direct ROTJ himself makes me wonder if he hadn't been swimming in spice gas himself.

It's a shame in a way because if he could have survived through to the end a Lynch ROTJ might have been a better film than the 'Lucas by proxy' film we ended up with.

It might have also have been less painful for Lynch than having his planned adaptation of the Dune saga snatched away by Dino.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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In an ideal world JEDI could have been no more constricting for Lynch than Elephant Man was, but oh well. (Looking solely at THX-1138 you would have thought Lynch/Lucas would have been a pretty good teamup. )

Very interesting threads, ATM. Especially putting an image to draft 1. It's been a while but I remember thinking that superficially at least, the scene in Phantom Menace of Qui-Gon fighting Maul in the desert, with the kid running out of the way, was very evocative of the opening scene of the first draft, where the Sith have tracked down the Jedi in hiding.

Some other thoughts: The Brackett script is actually closer to the finished movie than Lucas' own early SW scripts were to that movie, so I think she was more on the right track than she's generally given credit for. But had she lived the movie probably would have been missing Kasdan's younger, sort of 80s smartass vibe which really helped keep both sequels from disappearing up their own ass (the way ongoing science fiction stories often do).  

I think Dale Pollock wrote that ultimately the greatest influence on Star Wars will always be Lucas' own previous 2 movies, and I tend to agree. Mismatched parents it would seem but it feels like a perfect blend to me. 

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I applaud you for going against George's Original Vision (Luke and Leia as siblings) in your McQuarrie discussion.  I'd imagine you will get banned from Tf.n shortly.

;)

 

It is interesting to match up McQuarrie's an Mollo's drawings up with the various scripts.  If I could draw, I'd love to do comic adaptions of the scripts based on the relative production art.

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Baronlando wrote: Some other thoughts: The Brackett script is actually closer to the finished movie than Lucas' own early SW scripts were to that movie, so I think she was more on the right track than she's generally given credit for.

quote about the Brackett script from Kurtz in Starlog 1978.12

pg.22

The script, penned by Brackett, was carefully constructed to avoid all cliches and stereotypes.  Unfortunately, shortly after finishing her initial draft, the talented writer passed away.  Already nearing pre-production time, Kurtz and Lucas picked up the script and ran with it.

"We now have two drafts that we're quite pleased with," says Kurtz.  "We took Leigh Brackett's draft and looked at it.  It was fine.  George took it and made some minor modifications, fleshing it out a bit because, obviously, she didn't have the chance.  She was going to do two drafts and a polish but passed away just as she was about to start the second draft.  The difference between her first draft and the second one completed by George is fairly minimal.  George had to re-adjust the emphasis slightly.  We may or may not hire another writer to do a minor dialogue polish.  We'll be making that decision soon."

There's an air of diplomacy in Kurtz's words, which could be attributed to George inserting the 'reveal' around this time. 

Welcome ATMachine, read many of your posts, elsewhere.  Have you thought about blogging?

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Thanks for the welcome, guys. I'm glad you like this stuff--I really ought to have posted here first, it seems! :D

I do find it amusing how much Lucas borrowed from Dune over the years. The first draft of ANH, of course, was virtually a Dune clone... but he was still cribbing from it just as hard when developing ESB. Thus in his early notes we get ideas like the Emperor being hidden in a "cold, macabre, gray steel box" like a Guild Navigator; or the twin children, one boy and one girl, of Paul Atreides Anakin Skywalker; or the notion of Mentat "Mynoc" human-computers; not to mention the idea of Ovan Marekal's monopolistic Spacing Transport Guild.

I've learned a lot about the history of SW over the years... I really ought to turn my musings into a blog, I suppose. That would be a good project for the future.

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

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doubleofive said:

Welcome to OT.com. You'll find we're passionate about our opinions, but I'd like to think we're fairly open to alternate opinions as long as you aren't troll-y about them.

 SHUT YOUR FACE!

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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xhonzi said:

doubleofive said:

Welcome to OT.com. You'll find we're passionate about our opinions, but I'd like to think we're fairly open to alternate opinions as long as you aren't troll-y about them.

 SHUT YOUR FACE!

Erm... I didn't mean to shut down this thread.  (I just meant to shut down 005's face).

So... please continue.

And, hurrah for Plot Development Analysis!

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Done and done.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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first time since 2005 i've ventured to TFN :P

good stuff ATM.  Was always interesting and frustrating the idea that the early drafts of ESB originally  did not have any compelling cliffhangers and the lightsaber fights seemed anti-climatic, yet AOTC in its final form was criticized for these things.

 

click here if lack of OOT got you down

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doubleofive said:

Wait, what?

Hey, you're not supposed to reopen your face.

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doubleofive said:


Wait, what?


SHUT YOUR FACE!

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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I applaud you for going against George's Original Vision (Luke and Leia as siblings) in your McQuarrie discussion.  I'd imagine you will get banned from Tf.n shortly.

 

;)

You're more right than you know--somebody posted a map of Mongo from Flash Gordon in one of my threads and it got summarily deleted, with a warning that reposting it would get the thread locked.

Guess I'm all in for you guys now.

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

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All that fuss over a map? Gott im Himmel!

“Okay, I’m goin’, takin’ off. See ya… bye….” — Chip Douglas

“This concludes our broadcast day. Click.” — Chip Douglas

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Heh, turns out it was actually less weird than it seemed... the guy who posted the map of Mongo hotlinked the image, but the site he linked it from had a script which automatically substituted an obscene image when it detected hotlinking. Thus the deletion.

Moral of the story, kids: Hotlinking is bad, m'kay? ;)

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

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doubleofive said:

Welcome to OT.com. You'll find we're passionate about our opinions, but I'd like to think we're fairly open to alternate opinions as long as you aren't troll-y about them.

I think that sums us up perfectly, as well as explains what makes us unique in Star Wars fandom. Passionate, but not close-minded. I know that seems a little off coming from a one-film-only fan, but I think you guys know what I'm getting at.

A belated welcome aboard, ATM.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”