What is it ?
Dedicating to exploring Star Wars history with original research, this site is meant to supplement the highly-praised book of the same name with original essays. The Secret History of Star Wars has been published since 2008 by Legacy Books Press.
But what is the book about? Culled from over 400 sources and filled with quotes from people such as George Lucas, Gary Kurtz and Mark Hamill, The Secret History of Star Wars traces all the way back to 1973 to examine how the first 14-page treatment that began the series came to be and was slowly built, draft by draft, year by year and movie by movie. Covering a period of over four decades, you will discover how George Lucas got his ideas for the original film, how Darth Vader was made into Luke Skywalker's father in 1978 and forever altered the arc of the story, what happened to the infamous third trilogy in the series and how the prequel stories came to be. The book also reveals the style and method of Lucas himself and how his personal life affected and shaped the story, for better and worse.This is a book which challenges many legends surrounding the series and places the films in a new light. For those who think they know everything about the series, prepare to be surprised!
Updates (Updated October 2014!)
If you care about Star Wars, history, cultural heritage, and film preservation: help Save Star Wars
11/09/14: Hello again! So, I started working on a pretty big piece for the site but it sort of...grew. A lot. I didn't realize how ambitious it was. The good news is that it will be well worth it when I finally get it completed. When that will be could be days or weeks, depending on my schedule. In the meantime, you can follow me on Youtube for the new show Star Wars News and Views (see previous post). Episode VII has finished filming so it will be less Episode VII-centric for a little while, which I'm looking forward to. And yeah, of course I heard of the title announcement. I like it, even though it's nothing too special; sometimes it works to keep things to the point (like "A New Hope"). I'm working on a second article to tide everyone over, so I'll to have that up in the near future.
10/04/14: Hey guys! So, after a solid year on hiatus I'm back for more content than ever before! There are a lot of articles that I'm in the midst of working on, plus I have a lot of ideas for ways to upgrade the site that I'm hoping to get in place in the coming weeks. For those who have loyally followed the site in the past, be prepared to check back in often, it's been a while. In the meantime, I've also started a Youtube channel discussing all things Star Wars, but mainly Episode VII, just because that's kind of THE thing going on right now. We put out videos every week, and often multiple times a week, so it's a good source for a quick dose of Star Wars news and discussion (but I'll get into this more sometime later). We all sort of do this with our friends as it is, so why not just turn on a camera and let people catch up with Star Wars news and discussion in an entertaining way? For instance, did you know the original trilogy has had an official 4K restoration from the negatives? No one seems to be aware of this sly fact. Anyway, see you all real soon, and thanks for anyone that keeps coming back here!
04/02/13: I'm not sure if anyone else has heard, but Dark Horse Comics is going to be making an adaptation of George Lucas' 1974 rough draft to Star Wars. This story is vastly different than the film itself, and might as well be considered it's own universe--it's also a really good script. The comic is being written by Jonathan Rinzler, official Lucasfilm historian, so it should be legit. The artwork itself is very good, and willl be using Ralph McQuarrie's earliest designs. You can read more about it here , among other places. Personally, I'm excited by this and am really looking forward to seeing this in September. It also inspired me to write something new for the site: an article where I basically review every early draft for the first three films. These aren't terribly in-depth, and naturaly subjective, but if anyone is interested in reading any of the early scripts this might be a good guide for you.
03/14/13: Just wanted to post that the Sequel Trilogy article is finally up! Sorry for the long, long delay, although I think it was for the best as a lot of news came out in February of this year. I'll be making a few nips and tucks to it over the next day or two, but for now you can read about it here: The Complete History of The Sequel Trilogy . I'll be making an update in the next week with some additional thoughts.
03/08/13: My, how the new year does tend to bring distractions with it. There's been a lot of Episode VII news to talk about, among other things, but that will have to wait for a few days. For now, I just thought I would drop everyone a line and say happy 2013. I'm in the middle of catching up on a lot of work that I really should have been doing in January, but luckily that means there will be a pretty big update sometime early next week, complete with a quite lengthy, all new written piece by me. Thanks for everyone who keeps coming back here! Once again, you can follow on Facebook if you really want some day-by-day updates. See you all real soon!
11/12/12: The first four episodes of a new Youtube channel following Star Wars news called Apprentice News, co-hosted by myself, Corey Vidal and Joel Sullivan are now online. See episode 1 here, discussing Disney buying Lucasfilm. Watch episode 2 here, discussing the fluxuating episode numbers of the series. In episode three, we discuss what the future of the expanded universe is. And in epiosde four, we talk about directors. Unfortunately the day after this was filmed Spielberg said he wasn't planning on directing Episode VII. But of course, he could change his mind before Episode IX! This is a fun series that I am proud to be a part of, and I think all of you will enjoy it. Subscribe to us, leave us comments, and keep up with the latest news on the new films. Meanwhile, I'm closing in on finishing that sequel trilogy article. Check Facebook for the latest updates. See you soon!
11/11/12: I'm hard at work on the sequel trilogy article. Some events bumped it up until tomorrow or so. A preview of things to come? I'm co-hosting a new Youtube series on Episode VIII news. See our Vlog at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tro1ZuxVpwo&feature=g-u-u and follow us at youtube.com/apprenticenews. A very respectful Rememberance Day for those of us in the British Commonwealth. Oh yeah, Michael Arndt writing the new film? Seems like good news to me. Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine were fine films if I don't say so myself.
11/03/12: So, I'm at work and my friend Patrick texts me to say that IGN is reporting a new Star Wars film and Disney buying Lucasfilm. "Oh, Patrick, always believes things he reads on IGN." Because rumours like that are reported every year. Imagine my shock when I got home! Just say it out loud: Episode VII, VIII and IX. Mind=blown. To all of us who remembered hearing about these for so many years, the fact that they are being made, with George Lucas to boot, is incredible, exciting and nerve-wracking all at once.
So yeah, I know at least a few of you are wanting to know my thoughts on all of this. Well, I'll talk a bit about all that, and also leave you with a few updates for the site.
So first, what do I think about all this? Well, the event itself is really not surprising. I agree with George Lucas, Disney and Lucasfilm are a good match, and they already had close ties in the first place. This seems like it was bound to happen one day, whether it was with Disney or someone else. What is downright shocking is the timing of it all. In 2025 sure, but 2012? Wow. Especially with everyone pre-occupied with the hurricane and the American election, this was a nerd sucker punch if there ever was one. What's almost as shocking is the level of complete secrecy that this massive, massive deal was worked out in. Not even a rumour. And especially after Lucas swore up and down a few years ago that he was done with the films and there was no story for the sequels, man this was a shock.
But let's get to the meat of it. Is this a good or bad thing and what will it change. It's a bit too early to say, but one thing I feel pretty confident about saying is that I don't think this is a bad thing. Disney owns Pixar, Miramax and Marvel, and I think most people will agree The Avengers did just fine as a product of Disney. There's nothing wrong with Disney owning Lucasfilm because Lucasfilm will continue to exist and continue to have a large degree of autonomy. And when it comes to accusations of pandering to kids and whathave you, I have to ask if you ever saw Return of the Jedi and Phantom Menace; I mean there are episodes of the Clone Wars series that are centered around Jar Jar Binks, so I don't think the tone of the series will shift that way very much, any more than it already has, in fact I partly expect it may become more adult as a result of this new deal. The more successful Star Wars products of the modern era that increase interest in the series have been things like Force Unleashed and Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith, stuff that kids can get into but that have been noted for including material with more mature audience in mind.
As for the films themselves, people have been worried that the new movies will no longer be "George Lucas' babies," that this will create a rift in the series, and to a large degree I have to disagree with those concerns. George Lucas didn't direct Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and he only co-wrote them, plus many of the ideas and elements we love were the product of people like John Williams or Ben Burtt or the many talented designers and artists. But, of course, George Lucas was the one creating the stories and the characters and guiding the designs and execution to a large degree, his stamp is all over the films. That isn't changing. George Lucas is providing the new films' treatments--the stories and characters--and will be onboard as a creative consultant, so he will continue to have input into the design, the overall direction and maybe even the writing, casting and hiring of crew. So, if you thought Empire Strikes Back turned out fine, then sleep well, because the situation really isn't much different. This has also been how the Clone Wars series has been made, and even though I don't watch that show very often I feel it's actually a better product than some of the Star Wars movies themselves.
So, just based on the information we have, I'm not worried at this point. In fact, I'm a little relieved. To be perfectly honest, and I think we all know this, George Lucas is a rather poor writer and director, and the prequels suffered some heavy blows because of this. However, he is amazing with stories, with worlds, with designs, with ideas and with imagination, and he'll be a position to provide all of his strengths and offer none of his weaknesses. Again, Empire Strikes Back--good film, yes? It's also somewhat exciting that it appears that for the first time ever he won't be writing any of the screenplay drafts himself, which is going to create a new direction that I'm interested in seeing. Maybe some things may feel weird, but I'm curious to see what the end result is like, and enjoy this kind of variety, just because the past three films have had the exact same strengths and weaknesses, so this will be something new and potentially good. So, basically, I see no reason to fret just because George Lucas is no longer in the drivers seat. He's still going to be getting the ball rolling and looking over everyone's shoulder. Heck, this is how the Indiana Jones movies were all made.
Another thing I've heard people discuss is the fact that the series is now changing. It's no longer "The Tragedy of Darth Vader," the rise and fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker, and what you thought Star Wars was about will no longer be the case, it will re-balance and find a new direction. To those who are concerned about that, you have my sympathies and I understand where you are coming from. That must be a little disappointing, and I think this is a very valid point. I also have this to say: welcome to the club. It's a crowded one.
Almost every single fan has now had this experience. What Star Wars "is" has undergone massive transformations a number of times now, and there has always been a big part of the fanbase that has found this a bit disheartening. Empire Strikes Back took Star Wars in a different direction. The Special Edition changed the original trilogy. The prequels changed even the Special Edition and completely re-wrote a lot of the previous trilogy. And now the Sequel Trilogy will change everything before it, prequels included. But, you will learn the same thing we all learned years ago: you can ignore the new stuff and just watch the stuff you like, or you can roll with it and have slightly mixed feelings about some things like most of us do. Well, fans of the non-SE original-original trilogy kind of got the short end of that stick, but at least they have their VHS tapes and their memories. Star Wars means different things to different people because over the course of the last 35 years it's done nothing but change, and if in the past you've been lucky enough to not have to give up something to keep up with the series, you are now officially a veteran like the rest of us.
Another thing I have heard discussed is the Expanded Universe. Again, like the people that really loved the Six Episode Star Wars Saga, I feel for you. Because the EU is about to be wiped clean, at least the post-Jedi stuff. George Lucas has said these will be original stories, not EU-centric ones. So, I guess that means the EU will begin anew, post-Jedi. This was going to happen eventually, because the EU is getting so cluttered that they are now writing themselves into corners with it. That's why the earliest EU was usually some of the best, because they had cart blanche to make things up to suit the story rather than having to make decisions based on an entire library of established continuity. There is a parallel industry that faces this problem: comic books. After decades of writing, long-term comic book series like Spiderman get bogged down by their own continuity, and the characters either don't change and become boring, or they have to change and after 30 years are not the same character anymore. So, they start over. Marvel has done this once or twice by now. Those EU books and games you love won't disappear from your shelves, you just won't have many more new ones. Again, this sucks for people that thought things were fine, but I've found the EU to be suffering from it's own volume of output for many, many years now, so I'm glad to take the shotgun to it and put it out of it's misery. Like I said, this was going to happen one day, but I'm frankly surprised it was this soon. I fully expected Lucasfilm to milk it the rest of the decade, and they could have gotten away with it if they wanted, so I see this as a somewhat classy decision, to start fresh before more fans stop taking it seriously. I'm in the middle of reading the Zahn trilogy right now actually, and I'm glad these things existed, but I do think the time was right to call it quits. It will be interesting to see what they do in it's place.
And I think, when you get down to it, that's what excites me about all of this. Everthing will be new and fresh, and not knowing how things will turn out is fun. It reminds me of the prequel speculation in the 1990s and early 2000s. I think these films will turn out much better than those films because I expect the writing, directing and acting will be better, so I'm cautiously optimistic. I could be wrong, but we'll see. It's really too early to make many concrete opinions because there literally is only a tidbit of information to go on. But based on what we know, I don't really see much to be concerned about. The shock of all of this--the abruptness--is still making my head spin, but when you step back and look at everything for what it is, and put it all in the context of Star Wars history, I don't see much reason for concern, at least yet. You know, Steven Spielberg has always said he wanted to direct a Star Wars film; he was the first choice for Return of the Jedi, and directed a few parts of Revenge of the Sith. I'm guessing he might be the first guy on George Lucas' mind when considering a director. And that possibility excites me. It excites me to be able to see someone else--whomever they are--get to play in George Lucas' world, and it excites me to be able to see new films. And that unknown factor is the most exciting of all. Will the films be set 5 years after Jedi, or 100 years? Will any of the previous characters appear? What is the story about? Will the story be more political, more adventurous, more kid-friendly, more adult-friendly? Who will write and direct and act in it? What will it look like? What will modern technology be able to show us when coupled with talented designs and the power of George Lucas? I don't know the answers to these, but my imagination is going crazy. And I enjoy that. To me, that was the best part of being around for the prequels, and like I said, I also think the final products will be better than those films, if only slightly.
Some have also said that 2015 is too soon. I partly agree. However, this is the same amount of time that Empire, Jedi, Clones and Sith were made in, from writing to release. It's do-able. However, I do also agree that the first entries take longer to set up and make because you have to consider the following films as well as the immediate film. I sort of expect this to be delayed until 2017. But at the same time, Lucas has obviously been thinking about this for some time and has treatments--the stories and characters--already in hand (supposedly, at least) so I think he has already been doing that sort of leg work in secret. The optimist in me is saying don't worry be happy. For now.
There is also a last question: why now? Why is George Lucas doing this? It's not money. See the below paragraph. But really, it's not money. I know many people think it's about money and toys, but since Lucas isn't keeping any of the sale that proposal utterly falls apart. I have two theories. One is that he wants redemption; the prequels were massively criticized and were not the classics he--and many fans--expected and hoped they would be. So this is his chance to go out on top, to make some really good films and rebuild his legacy. If they don't work, hey, he can't say he directed or wrote or produced them, and if they do he will rightfully get a lot of credit. A second theory is that he knows all of this will happen--the Lucasfilm corporation being scooped up and more films being made--and this is way of controlling that process, of doing it all on his terms and having an active voice in both where Star Wars and Lucasfilm goes in the 21st century, long after he is dead. If it's going to happen--and it will--he'll decide the shape of it. He is, after all, notoriously obsessive with control.
A final thing to discuss before I get to some site news. George Lucas is giving the $4 billion--all of it--to charity. Wow. There's not much to say except this is one of the most generous moves I have ever heard of. Whatever criticism you may have about his films, fine, but this is one classy human being. George Lucas, I already respected you, but because of this I adore you. Of course, it's really no sweat off his back, it won't impact his lifestyle at all because he has more money than he knows what to do with as it is. But still, not many billionaires would sell their entire life's work just to give the payment back to all of us. It warms my heart to see him do something like this; he's always been very philanthropic--again, he can afford to be--but this is on a level beyond anyone in film history. Hats off, my good sir! (and can you please throw us original-original trilogy fans a bone too if you are feeling generous? I'll trade you my food stamps!)
So yes, those are my immediate thoughts on what's happened this head-spinning week. Star Wars is about to get very interesting, for better or worse.
And what does that mean for this place? Well, I was in the middle of writing a cool article on the cinematographers and cinematography of Star Wars when this news broke. That's on the back burner now. Instead, because I can already see some confusion on the history of the Sequel Trilogy, that will be what the next article will be. I'm hoping to have it up before Thursday, so check back here often. A lot of the info can be found in the Appendix on the subject in the book Secret History of Star Wars, but some of it will not be, and it's 100% original, so it's a good freebie for those who don't own the book. In the meantime, give the Facebook page a like to follow news, site updates, links and discussion that isn't found here. I post to it fairly regularly.
ApprenticeFacts is about to re-launch on Youtube, bringing you daily Star Wars trivia, now with me as the head writer! They are about to launch a channel/series for updates on Episodes VII, VIII and IX, and I will probably have some involvement there as well. They are good channels, so subscribe to them if you want to have some additional Star Wars info in your lives!
10/22/12: Just checking in with a brief state-of-things. I've been busy working on various projects the last month but I should have a new and fairly lengthy article on the cinematographers and cinematography of the saga. I expect it will be up some time in the next week or two, so check back shortly. In the meantime, you can follow some extra links through the Facebook page .
09/13/12: Brief update today. If you've read the book this site is based off, or some of the articles, you may remember the Journal of the Whills document. Making of Star Wars provided a synopsis of it, and a few excerpts. However, I have realized that the recent book, Star Wars Year by Year, contains a fuller transcription of the first part of the story. So, I have done a brief update of my article on that document. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to read about. Very interesting!
08/27/12: New article posted. A little later than I wanted, but once I introduced the topic of Vietnam it kind of changed the whole thing and made it a lot bigger than I first intended. Read on to Battle of the Primitives: Nature Versus Industry and Vietnam in Star Wars .
In other news, the Facebook page has grown to 100 likes in its first month and a half, so thanks to all of you who follow it. I try to add content every day or so to give you your daily Star Wars fix. Also, to those who generously donated a couple bucks my way, thank you a bunch! I have some old magazines on the way in the mail that I will sharing with you guys as a result. I'm also hoping to be starting a Youtube channel at some point in the future. Some things don't work as well on paper, especially in the style this site works in, than they do in a personable presentation style video, so I'm trying to get things together to make that happen, though it may take a couple months of work. I'm also working on a much needed update to Save Star Wars, so don't think I have forgotten about that either.
And this is pretty cool: a month or two ago, there was released a duo of anthology books called Myth Media and Culture in Star Wars and Sex, Politics and Religion in Star Wars. Aside from the fact that they are terrific reads, the former also included a chapter written by myself, based on an edited/expanded version of the Akira Kurosawa piece I wrote for this site in 2007. I've only read the book my chapter was in, and while I am proud of the chapter I wrote for the anthology the real reason to own this is for the other essays, which are all very good and provide a lot to think about. The book looks slick too, with a glossy hardcover finish and high-quality paper. I don't make money on this or anything so when I recommend it I really mean that; it's well done.
Finally, I probably should have mentioned this before, but it slipped my mind. A lot of people have asked for this, and yes, Secret History of Star Wars is now available on Amazon Kindle ! So for those of you who want it on the go, you can pick it up for a much cheaper price than the printed version. Speaking of which, I am in the middle of working on a much-needed second edition, but it may be up to a year before this is even ready (though you never know). There are a lot of factors, both business and practical, but at the earliest it will be a spring 2013 release. There is also talk about a hardcover edition. We'll see what happens. Be back soon!
06/30/12: Got a brand new article posted, looking at one of the more interesting surprises from a work-in-progress version of Leigh Brackett's draft of Empire Strikes Back. Read on to The Sister That Never Was .
I've been updating the Facebook page daily, so go join it for a daily dose of Star Wars goodness.
06/23/12: Hey look! An update! Well, it has been a while. Here is the state of things. Basically what happened is that I found studying at University, writing on other projects, and also contributing to this site regularly was not feasible. Meanwhile, any spare writing time for the internet I had was invested in my Save Star Wars site, which began as a side project and now has become more complex than this one. That site's pretty well off now, and I'm taking a year off of school to catch up on debt and just get some mental relief. That means I'll have a lot more time for this place!
So starting this month I am going to be posting at least one new article a month, and hopefully more than that. So for all you who have loyally checked back here the last two years, the old days will be back very soon! I'm also hoping to overhaul the design of this place to make everything a bit more exciting visually, so big changes will be coming soon. If any web designers have any ideas or contributions, feel free to let me know. I really don't know anything about web design/programming.
Also, I am aware that for about three months there was some Google Malware warning flagging the site. Don't worry, it is in fact just a false alarm. It should be going away now once I clear this up with Google. There was also this weird problem a couple months ago where emails from here were ending up in my junk mail. If you emailed me and I never got back to you don't take it personally, and apologies for the unintentional snub. This no longer appears to be happening.
As a tangent, there is a new Youtube series called Star Wars Apprentice Facts. They are posting a new 2-minute trivia video every day for 1138 days highlighting interesting and lesser-known bits of Star Wars history. The show looks pro and it's pretty entertaining! I'm going to be contributing some writing for them in the near future so check them out.
What else? I'm in the process of building a Secret History of Star Wars page for Facebook . Because why not. It seems everyone is doing that these days and I finally have time to build one. So give it a like if you enjoy what you read here, and I'll post some exclusive links there to make it worth visiting.
FINALLY...starting this month I'm putting up a PayPal donation button. I don't really want to, but it's only voluntary, and to be honest, I'm just a university student with a $12,000 income and a $25,000 tuition debt, and this site doesn't come without its cost. The Original Trilogy Reception articles, for example, cost me over a hundred dollars to get all those sources. I couldn't do a piece like that right now, so any money that comes into the site will allow more ambitious research and also pay for stuff like web hosting. I'm not against the idea of an ad or two in the corner, but I don't want people to have to see a Viagra banner when they come to read about cool Star Wars stuff, so this seemed a better direction for now. Anyway, see you all real soon!
06/21/11: New article up, this one a study of Yoda's speaking patterns across the six films. It's an interesting study made in collaboration with a real linguist, a little lighter than some of the fare around here. If all goes well I'll have another article up by the end of the month!
12/16/10: I'm not dead! Luckily traffic to this site hasn't pettered off with my non-existant presence the last six months or so. Real life has kept me pretty busy, and to be honest I think I needed a bit of a break from this site, as it is often a lot of work to maintain with all the other things I have going on. Fear not though, for I do have a number of articles either in the works or in various stages of completion. I should also mention that select chapters of Secret History of Star Wars, both the book and the articles on this website, were included in the course reader for a Star Wars related course taught this year by professor Douglas Brode at Syracuse University in the United States. Which is pretty cool, and it's also neat to see the franchise studied at universities; sounds like a fun way to earn marks!
I'm sure by now you have heard about the passing of Irvin Kershner, which saddens me greatly. He was a terrific, warm human being who had a passion and energy that never faded even when he was in his 80s. He's also a hell of an underrated director. I was building a lengthy work about him since 2008, but I never could get ahold of him personally, and in his last year he was often unavailable due to health problems; one of the biggest regrets of my life is that I never got the chance to chat with him. People know him for his last few years making so-so Hollywood films (Never Say Never Again and Robocop 2), but he had a really interesting career in the three decades prior. I would recommend checking out Flim Flam Man, The Luck of Ginger Coffey, Hoodlum Priest or if you can find it my favourite work of his (other than Empire), Raid on Entebbe. Loving, Eyes of Laura Mars and Return of a Man Called Horse are often considered to be good examples of his films as well. Rest in peace, Kersh. Let's hope Lucas doesn't dick around with your greatest work of cinema too much (more, that is).
While I am here I should wish you all a merry Christmas, or if you don't celebrate Christmas then "[insert religious or secular holiday here]", and I hope each and every one of you has a fantastic new year. 2010 was not a particularly kind year to me, but I can tell 2011 is going to awesome for all of us. Thanks for coming back to the site and I'll see you all real soon. There are a lot of really interesting things I want to share. Be sure to also continue to poke around in Save Star Wars, and it would be really helpful if you guys could help spread the word on that one, as this site wouldn't be here in the first place if those films hadn't originally existed, and I dunno about you but I think they are worth saving.
09/13/10: Hello all! Hope you had a good summer. You may have noticed I have been a bit absent this season. This is because for the last month and a half I have been hard at work on a sister site. As you know, George Lucas has suppressed (and neglected) the historic and ground-breaking original versions of the Star Wars trilogy. Maybe this is just a brilliant marketing bluff, but if Lucas' own words are any indication, he would like people to forget the originals ever even existed and he's been making decent progress in this goal. For all my respect for the man, this really is a disturbing thing, and something that I think has gone on long enough. It basically is the most important issue in the modern era of cinematic (not to mention pop cultural) preservation. So, to educate on the subject I created savestarwars.com. It's not a giant bitch-piece about how George Lucas is the devil though. Instead, I intend for it to educate on the processes involved in cinematic preservation and film materials, the legal issues surrounding motion picture preservation, as well as the history of the original Star Wars films' picture and audio, but most importantly of all to highlight the travesty that has befallen the Star Wars films. I like to think of it as a sort of website version of originaltrilogy.com (which is merely a petition and forum). So, while you restlessly wait for more material from this site, there are pages worth of material that I am glad I wrote. So, take a look at Save Star Wars Dot Com. See you again soon!
06/19/10: While I continue to work on Brackett's draft, I thought it might be fun to post another Empire-related article today. A guy by the handle of ABM posted at TF.N how Luke's amputation doesn't actually occur in any early draft of Empire Strikes Back, and I thought it would be a good springboard for an examination of this. Read on to The Origins of Luke's Severed Hand. Also, I'm not a big fan of conventions, but I think the fact that there will be an hour-long interview between Jon Stewart and George Lucas will make Celebration V a really interesting one; their brief chat on the Daily Show earlier this year was priceless!
05/29/10: Well, Empire Strikes Back turned 30 this week. Ever since the 1990s this has been considered the best of the series, and growing up with the films it certainly was always a toss-up between this and Star Wars--still is! Hats off to Irvin Kershner, who is still with us and closing in on 90 years old, for crafting such a beautiful, complex film. It's too bad that the original version is not available in high quality to celebrate the occassion. Or...is it? Remember the guy who did A New Hope Revisited? Well, he released a theatrical re-construction of Empire last week, that uses a color-corrected 2004 master with the original footage re-composited in to terrific effect. It's a real technical masterpiece. If you want to enjoy the original Empire--go see if you can find it. And yeah, I said I would have that article on the Leigh Brackett draft. I don't. It's in the process of being written, but it won't be available for at least another week. In the meantime, I was interviewed by Ars Technica last week on the original 35mm sources for Star Wars, which might interest some--basically a scaled-down version of the article I already wrote on the subject. And for those wondering what I actually look like, there's a photo of me on the People Versus George Lucas blog from the Toronto premiere. Back soon!
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