Author Topic: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"  (Read 1245 times)

Offline Scott

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"The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« on: September 13, 2004, 12:37 PM »
Does anyone buy that line, Lucas has been spouting this for years now but there is no way in hell that he knew the whole story arc from ANH to ROTJ.  No way...no how

The biggest two things I don't think he had planned were Vader being Luke's father and Luke and Leia being siblings...Thoughts?


Offline Darth Broem

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Re: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2004, 01:05 PM »
He might have because he really seemed to want rights to make the sequels.    Who knows?  He seems to have been a pretty quirky guy back in that day.  So, I can see him writing something up. 

Yeah, I would not think he had a total ANH to ROTJ story arc going.  He probably knew there was enough material or ideas for him to start another movie or two if he wanted. 

I do think that Vader being the hero's father was an idea that he was kicking around though.  Not necessarily Luke's dad.  I'm sure it was not spelled out in the final form that we see now. 

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Re: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2004, 03:16 PM »
Broem he already said it much more succinctly than me, but I've looked at this for a long time, so I have to type, dammit!

If you read through the various drafts of Star Wars prior to the shooting script, it's obvious that a lot of the ideas that ended up in Ep 5-6, and even 1-2, come and go as concepts in different incarnations regularly. Star Wars is a pretty lean condensation of all the best stuff, but it evidences that there was a larger canvas than what one movie could accomplish.

So, I believe he's had a story outline that had enough material and events to or ginally span three or more films, but through smart rewriting, was compacted into one great script.

When then faced with actually doing more movies, the ideas that didn't quite cut if for SW were pulled out of the drawer. Ideas, themes; not complete scripts. So, when developing ESB and ROTJ, good material came back in that made for good elaboration on existing character arcs, but ideas that were flimsy (even in the pre-76 SW drafts) also came back when momentum ran out - like the old sibling idea coming back to ROTJ. And some events that played out well in ESB eliminated themes once under consideration for ROTJ.  For example again, the siblings:

I strongly believe that the sibling idea did not exist as an option post-76 until Kasdan wrote himself into a corner with Luke refusing to fight Vader. The character needed strong motivation to push him into an emotional urge to fight. Lucas and Kasdan have said as much in the past. I'm convinced that the Leia/Luke relationship was intended (in ESB dev time)  to evolve into a spiritual "love" while the Leia/Han relationship was to head toward a physical "love". There's plenty of action on-screen that support that direction. That idea is kinda-sorta in ROTJ, as Luke (knowing Leia is his sister or not) chooses the solitary path of spiritual wisdom over physical needs.  So while basic ideas have been there since the beginning, things change during the creative process. 

It's normal really, and I don't see why this topic is such a sore point for some, are so quick to jump into conspiracy theories or think he has reason to lie about the development of the movie's storyline. You write a script that's too big to shoot. You rewrite it with the best parts. It's a big hit, and you make sequels. You revisit what you originally had, fill in the holes left by your rewrites for the original, and alter tones and themes after actors take hold of the personality of your characters and the story drives itself toward conclusion, sometimes not in the direction you originally intended.

So from the start, I say Lucas had an outline with material enough for 3 movies. He realized it before ever going before cameras on the first one, and wrote a great script that is both self-contained and open for expansion. The sequels use the ideas and themes that fell away and new ideas and themes developed from the creation of the first script.

-J

Offline Jedidz23

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Re: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2005, 05:16 PM »
Well, this thread hasn't been visited in a while.  Let's dust it off...ok, there is no way that I buy that Lucas had everything worked out nicely in his head.  I can't imagine he even had planned that Vader was Luke's father.  It's just wrapped up to neatly, and there are too many flaws to indicate this is fact.  If you read articles from the late 70's, Lucas never seems to indicate that this was part of his ultimate plan.  Fans under age 25 probably think this is true, but I highly doubt it.  Thank goodness it worked out in the end!

Offline Herbert_Ackermans

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Re: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« Reply #4 on: June 1, 2005, 04:12 PM »
Read those first drafts of what became Star Wars. His earliest ideas are lightyears away from what it became.

Yes, very basically it is all a bit the same story, but that is the very groundlayer.

Beyond that, many ideas are different, very different from what they have eventually become.

Offline Darth Broem

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Re: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« Reply #5 on: June 3, 2005, 08:27 AM »
Where does one get these early drafts from to read?  Is there a book out there?  I have heard of several ideas and stuff over the years from different sources.  Is there an actual draft of these someplace to purchase?

Offline Jedidz23

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Re: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« Reply #6 on: June 3, 2005, 10:38 AM »
I think you have to have access to the Lucas archives for some of this stuff.  At least, that is what I keep hearing on the Star Wars message boards.  I don't believe it has been published for public consumption.  Heck, we don't have the original, unaltered movie at our disposal (on DVD), so I doubt we'll get a script!   ;)
« Last Edit: June 3, 2005, 10:38 AM by Jedidz23 »

Offline Nathan

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Re: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« Reply #7 on: June 3, 2005, 03:07 PM »
I think some of this stuff is in The Annotated Screenplays.

Also try this site:
http://www.starwarz.com/starkiller/
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Offline Brian

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Re: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« Reply #8 on: June 6, 2005, 11:33 AM »
This is something I was talking about with the Mrs. while we watched ANH and ESB this past weekend.  Although I do think he probably had enough material and ideas to make all three movies, there are a few things that I don't buy that "were the plan from the beginning".  I can accept the Vader as Luke's father idea, because no matter what, that really is a cool twist...and one of the biggest in movie history.  Every time I see that scene I think back to how cool that probably was to see in 1980 for the first time.  I was a little too young (3) at the time, but I bet fans were blown away.  Something like that likely couldn't happen in these days of internet spoiling and spying.  The Luke-Leia sibling thing, I don't know.  I just don't think after watching them smootch it up through ANH and ESB that Lucas had that in mind at that point.  I mean, I don't mind them being brother-sister, that's fine, but seeing them kiss numerous times prior to figuring it out is a little creepy at times.  Kiss on the cheek "for luck" is one thing, but the liplocks to spite Han are another ;).  Overall, I do think he probably had enough ideas and material from his brainstorming and writing to make all three movies...but a lot of that stuff came after the fact.  Just while watching ANH, it really is a nice, self contained movie...meaning, if for some reason it didn't spawn sequels (which I am quite happy it did), it really does stand alone quite well.

Offline Darth Broem

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Re: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« Reply #9 on: June 6, 2005, 11:56 AM »
I do remember him being interviewed by 60 minutes I believe.  Back in the summer of 99.  He did say he had a basic outline.  He always envisioned Anakin being a slave on but stuff like his owner being a blue 2 foot tall flying bumblebee he had not.  Basically he admits that stuff is made up along the way. 

Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: "The Movie Was Too Long, So, I Made The First Third"
« Reply #10 on: June 7, 2005, 08:59 PM »
I think there were some ideas that he had in mind all along and some he didn't.

Vader being Luke's Father?  Definitely.  I think there were clues in ANH about this....the exchange between Owen and Beru about Luke.

Luke and Leia being brother and sister.  Maybe I'm reading a little too much into it, but I think there are subtle hints in ANH for this as well.  Just the way Ben looks at Luke after viewing the message from Leia.  I think it was one of those ideas GL was toying with, and when he made the sequels, he decided to expound on it.  (afterall, Luke needed someone to train post ROTJ.)

Some things he made up along the way: Qui-Gon Jinn (not originally part of the grand scheme but he fits quite well), Jar-Jar Binks (probably best kept out of the whole thing), Watto (another idea that popped into his head) and stuff along those lines in the prequels.

Good writers always have some over-arcing plot, but they leave room to add things.  Hell, GL even substituted wookies in ROTJ for Ewoks because he made Wookies far less primitive than he needed for the script.
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