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Original Third Draft Script Page from Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope

This single script page comes from the third draft of the original movie Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope. George Lucas began writing the script in January of 1973, a full four years before the movie would actually be released. Lucas had played around with the idea of a space fantasy film for years before he began writing the storyline and script that would eventually morph into the film audiences know and love today.[1] The early drafts of the script are extremely different from the end product, with Luke Skywalker being called Annikin Starkiller and Han Solo being portrayed as a green-gilled alien monster.[2] By the spring of 1975 Lucas was on his third draft of the script and the story was beginning to take shape. Annikin Starkiller was now known as Luke Starkiller, and the script was titled The Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Starkiller. Most of the plot elements were finalized by this point in the drafting process, and only one subsequent draft was made before the script was finalized in March of 1976.[3]

Early on in the writing process George Lucas worked closely with his colleagues Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck, and Gary Kurtz. The group of four would talk through the storyline together and bounce ideas off of each other about characters, settings, and plot elements. After these conversations, Lucas would then incorporate their suggestions into his next draft. The handwritten edits in blue and black ink on this script page are in the handwriting of George Lucas himself. This page of the script comes from the cantina scene in the city of Mos Eisley on Tatooine when Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi meet Han Solo and Chewbacca for the first time. Luke and Ben are attempting to convince Han Solo to fly them to the planet Alderaan in his ship, the Millennium Falcon. This script page came to the Mercury Collection from the private collection of Gary Kurtz, one of George Lucas’ colleagues.[4]

Pictured below is part of the third draft of the 1975 manuscript of Star Wars: A New Hope. You may notice that the scene in the manuscript was changed in the final version of the film.

Third draft of the original Star Wars film script

Source:

[1] “A young, enthusiastic crew employs far-out technology to put a rollicking intergalactic fantasy onto the screen”. American Cinematographer. American Society of Cinematographers. p. 1. Archived from the original on May 15, 2014. https://www.webcitation.org/6PZvshnuE?url=http://www.theasc.com/magazine/starwars/articles/starwars/behind/pg1.htm.

[2] The Characters of Star Wars. Star Wars Original Trilogy DVD Box Set: Bonus Materials. 2004.

[3] “Starkiller”. Jedi Bendu. Archived from the original on June 28, 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20060628065925/http://www.starwarz.com/starkiller/scripts.htm

[4] “Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope vintage original 3rd draft script page with handwritten annotations by George Lucas.” Profiles in History. Auction 22. Lot 135. July 29, 2005.

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