(Text) Is Star Wars: Episode VIII being rewritten?

After the original announcement on 12th March 2015 that Star Wars: Episode VIII (by Rian Johnson) would open 26th May 2017 (fourty years after the original Star Wars by George Lucas), Disney have since pushed it back to 15th December 2015. The initial reason speculated was that Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (by J. J. AbramsLawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt) grossed the highest opening weekend from the 18th – 20th December, something Disney wanted to repeat with Star Wars: Episode VIII. But now, a BBC News article has mentioned that

there had been speculation that the script was being rewritten

While it doesn’t mention any specific sources that have speculated this, it does go on to mention that

Disney did not say why the film had been delayed

implying that there was a less optimistic reason for the rescheduling. The next Star Wars film to be released will be Rogue One: a Star Wars Story (by Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta) on 16th December 2016. Star Wars: Episode VIII‘s rescheduling from 26th May 2017 has now widened the release gap to twelve months, rather than the previous six months. Rogue One: a Star Wars Story itself releases twelve months after Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, the shortest gap between two Star Wars films releasing. Star Wars: Episode VIII opening six months later was to shorten that gap further still.

That said, each of the three films from the new Disney regime still open exactly a day before the previous film in the following year. But, 2016 being a leap year means that the gap between Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and Rogue One: a Star Wars Story is still 365 days, making the gap between Rogue One: a Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Episode VIII just 364 days, which remains a record.

(Text) What Star Wars: Episode VIII can learn from Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (J. J. AbramsLawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt) has been released and it’s… well, it’s not good. But I’ll be seeing Star Wars: Episode VIII (Rian Johnson) anyway, to see if Snoke turns-out to be Plagueis. That’s the kind of twist that would make Star Wars: Episode VIII remembered by fans. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens drew on Star Wars Episode IV (George Lucas), and it’s likely that Star Wars: Episode VIII will draw on Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan) to be a “dark sequel” while also being the low point of the trilogy before the expectedly triumphant third act.

So here are some suggestions that will make Star Wars: Episode VIII better than Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force AwakensStar Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens failed because Kylo Ren was a weak antagonist. A large part of that was the ambiguity as to who the protagonist was – Rey or Han – and thus couldn’t focus on the right aspects of his personality. There wasn’t enough time to reveal Kylo Ren as Han’s son and develop that part of him, making it seem like a Forced twist.

Similarly, there also wasn’t enough time to develop the sub-plot of Rey searching for Luke, making the map toward him completely irrelevant by the end and also seeing Forced. See how a weak antagonist can affect everything else?  The plot of Star Wars: Episode VIII will probably involve Luke explaining more of what happened during his absence, and hopefully why Kylo Ren abandoned the new Jedi. The Knights of Ren should have some relevance as well.

This is a good opportunity to really substantiate the plot a bit more – is Rey Luke’s daughter? If so, Kylo is her cousin. That would add to the tension – there’d be a familial relationship between them. And it’s likely that Luke and Kylo Ren know each other, which would skip the establishment of their relationship too.

Basically, Luke’s involvement will provide the opportunity to make the Sequel Trilogy more interesting. The amount of exposition he knows could potentially fill-in the gaps not yet explained, all within the first act, leaving the remaining screen time to actually do something with it. Kylo Ren’s motivations should be properly explained, Rey should be tested more as a character to make her less unbelievable, and Luke can be the one to do this – tell Rey who Kylo Ren is, then train her to fight him. All culminating in some sort of personal showdown with Kylo Ren giving us a reason to actually dislike him, as opposed to us simply being told we’re supposed to.

If Star Wars: Episode VIII is successful, I’ll come away thinking that it’s a great science-fiction film that works because of its antagonist. An antagonist that is well-written this time, who isn’t simply “evil” because he is, but has his own, justified agenda that makes me question my own position in that situation. I never really expected Abrams to do it, given the way he directs his other antagonists… but Rian Johnson? Well, I don’t know much of his work, but let’s just say that this time, he’s working with someone else’s character, not his own, so there’s some possibility of restraint from Lucasfilm.

Will that be good or bad? Who knows? I just hope they realise the fault with Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. They probably won’t, though.

The critics adore it. I can’t think why. Rian Johnson, I anticipate your May 2017 film. It’s on you now.

Because I’m probably not going to let this go until then…

(Text) Is Supreme Leader Snoke Darth Plageuis?

 

I won’t pretend to be the first person to theorise this. Other than whether Han would die, or if Rey is Luke’s daughter, Snoke being Plageuis is amongst the most commonly-circulated possibilities amongst online Star Wars fandom. Is Andy Serkis’ character, Snoke, the same character as Darth Plagueis, whose canonicity is something of much repute. Plagueis was first mentioned by Palpatine in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (George Lucas) , and hasn’t been acknowledged in the Saga since:

Plagueis was only mentioned again in spin-off media, and even then sparingly. But Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (J. J. AbramsLawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt) could be the first on-screen appearance of Plagueis. According to the novel Tarkin – the only other canonical Star Wars work involving Plagueis – Palpatine was the apprentice that murdered Plagueis once Palpatine had learned everything Plagueis knew on how to live forever. The rule of two meant that only two Sith could ever exists at once, further motivating Palpatine to murder Plagueis in order to make Darth Maul his apprentice, leading into Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (George Lucas).

Once Darth Maul was murdered by Obi-Wan, Palpatine needed a new apprentice, leading to the conversation in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith in-which Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Plagueis to convince Anakin to become a Sith apprentice, due to Anakin’s growing fear of Padme dying. And that’s all we know of Darth Plagueis. It should be noted that in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren refers to Snoke as “wise”  – something pointed-out to me by The Anniversary‘s John “Obi-John Kenobi” Campea, who also features on Collider Jedi Council, where I’m getting most of my rumour news. In an interview, actor Daisy Ridley denied that Rey’s staff is Plagueis’ lightsabre, despite it being featured in every marketing item, and running parallel to Kylo Ren’s staff on the Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens poster.

Another citation for the rumour is the Kylo Ren action figure, which mentions Rey’s staff through a dialogue line not said in the final film. It’s been speculated that this has been done due to Disney planning for Snoke to be revealed as Plagueis. However, some denials of the rumour have been that Rey’s staff running parallel with Kylo Ren’s lightsabre is to highlight the parallel between the characters – Kylo Ren is Han’s son, which would make him Rey’s cousin if Rey is Luke’s daughter. It’s also been noted that Plagueis doesn’t have a staff in Star Wars canon.

Another interview with Ridley was also highlighted for Ridley’s specific mention of Plagueis when asked the question, rather than ignoring him. The leading theory is that Ridley is aware that Rey’s staff is Plagueis’, proving that Disney have planned for that revelation. Serkis also described Snoke in such a way that was taken to describing a Muun. Plagueis’ design in non-canonical Star Wars fiction has shown Plagueis to be a Muun, as per Lucas’ intention.

Were Snoke to be shown on screen, it’s likely Disney would draw on Lucas’ idea and make Plagueis a Muun, making Serkis’ description of Snoke to be a confirmation of his character being Plageuis. This is just the rumours surrounding the Sequel Trilogy, but they could be true. What do you think – is Snoke Plagueis? Sound off below, and may the Force be with you.

Top 10 Star Wars Deleted Scenes (Original Trilogy)

(Via Collider)

The Anniversary‘s John Campea on scenes deleted from Star Wars by George LucasStar Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas.

Awaken

A long time ago in a galaxy far,

far away….

Star Wars released its VII Episode today. That’s VII Episodes of C-3PO, R2-D2 and everything from that evocative Main Title, to the iconic medal ceremony. It’s also VII Episodes of Star Wars fans.

The Saga has endured good Episodes and bad Episodes, but even during the hiatuses between the Original Trilogy, Prequel Trilogy and Sequel Trilogy, Star Wars was never forgotten. It has always been loved. Star Wars fans are as loyal and passionate as Chewbacca is to Han Solo. There cannot be a Master without an Apprentice, an R2 series astromech droid without a 3PO unit. Star Wars fans recognise the magic of the Force, their own madness and the fact that since STAR WARS Episode IV A NEW HOPE From the Journal of the Whills (George Lucas) premièred on XXV May MCMLXXVII, Star Wars has been one of the most powerful Forces in the Galaxy.

Star Wars fans are the Human celebration of Star Wars… the Saga itself is a celebration of empathy and positivity. Today Star Wars: the Force Awakens (J. J. AbramsLawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt) officially premièred. Plus, it’s also available in III-D, following a Saga marathon in a number of cinemas. Episode VII’s release has been hyped following the release of a trailer on Monday Night Football. The Force visions foretell what is certain: the Force will surround the cinemas, penetrate the auditoriums and bind the audience together.

The concept of Star Wars Episode VII has been long desired since the release of Episode VI, RETURN OF THE JEDI on XXV May MCMLXXXIII. And now, it’s finally real. One expects Episode VII to be a celebration of the past, as well as the future. It’s said that this Saga will release I film a year until there’s no longer a desire for that. I can’t see that happening. Episodes I – VI have already been told. Episode IX will follow in MXIX. Hopefully Episode XII will follow that in MXXV, X years from now. If ever there were a time to become excited about Star Wars, now has never been more appropriate.

I for one intend to follow this Saga through to its end, and inevitably it will outlive me, and you.

Every generation has a story.

May the Force be with all of us… always.

(Original announcement here.)

RETURN OF THE JEDI by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas

It’s two days until the United Kingdom foreign preview release of Star Wars: the Force Awakens – Episode VII in the saga. At least, officially. There are some midnight screenings, but the official release date is still the 17th. Which is the date I’m sticking with regardless – it makes the counting-down easier. So, rather than going in release order like everyone else, I’m doing it in Episode order. Nyer. Here’s Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas‘ screenplay for RETURN OF THE JEDI.

Script supervisor: Pamela Mann Francis

Location script supervisor: Bob Forest

(Any post published after Star Wars: the Force Awakens premiers will be scheduled. I’m withdrawing from the World Wide Web until I’ve seen it, apart from the websites that I really need – university emails, online coursework submissions, etc. Comments posted will also not be read until then.)

Screenplay by LAWRENCE KASDAN and GEORGE LUCAS

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK by Lawrence Kasdan and Leigh Brackett

It’s three days until the United Kingdom foreign preview release of Star Wars: the Force Awakens – Episode VII in the saga. At least, officially. There are some midnight screenings, but the official release date is still the 17th. Which is the date I’m sticking with regardless – it makes the counting-down easier. So, rather than going in release order like everyone else, I’m doing it in Episode order. Nyer. Here’s Lawrence Kasdan and Leigh Brackett‘s screenplay to THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

The working title was Star Wars IIThe Empire Strikes Back came to exist as a handwritten treatment from producer George Lucas after story conferences held up to November 1977. The treatment followed the same plot as the final film, except for Luke’s confrontation with Vader being prepared by a visitation from his father, Anakin. Brackett finished this draft in early 1978, much to Lucas’ dissatisfaction. Brackett wouldn’t complete a second draft due to death from cancer. Draft two was therefore written by Lucas, who had no other writers available. Lucas’ second draft was the first instance of Star Wars Episode numberings – “The Empire Strikes Back” became the subtitle of “Star Wars Episode II“. Unlike what was now Star Wars Episode I, Lucas enjoyed writing Star Wars Episode II: The Empire Strikes Back when merging Anakin with Vader, creating the twist of Vader claiming to be Anakin – inspired by the emotional weight created by Anakin visiting Luke. This inspiration helped Lucas write draft two quickly, followed by drafts three and four in April 1978. Han’s imprisonment in carbonite and uncertain fate emerged by the fourth draft to give the sequel a darker edge. Vader claiming to be Luke’s father caused a continuity problem – it’s debated amongst Star Wars scholars whether Vader had ever been intended as Anakin and if Lucas had even considered that possibility before writing Star Wars Episode II: The Empire Strikes Back‘s second draft. Though Vader reveals himself to be Anakin, nothing in the series had foreshadowed this – leading to the argument that Lucas improvised this twist, rather than planning it. Hence, the fourth draft was influenced by back story developed during the writing of drafts two and three; Anakin was Ben’s student and is Luke’s father, who was turned to the Dark Side of the Force by Emperor – who was now a Sith and not just a politician. Anakin was wounded by Ben during a fight on a volcano, and was resurrected as Vader. Ben hid Luke on Tatooine as the Galactic Republic became the Galactic Empire while Vader hunted down and killed the Jedi. Hence, draft four moved The Empire Strikes Back from Star Wars Episode II to Star Wars Episode V; the Saga was now a duology of trilogies. Draft five was written by Kasdan, who was hired by Lucas, working from material in draft four. Director Irvin Kershner also had creative input. Producer Gary Kurtz considered it a mature development of the adventure genre.

Nominee: Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay [1980].

Episode VII THE FORCE AWAKENS

The opening crawl is an iconic event in every Star Wars Episode. Through Episode I THE PHANTOM MENACE, Episode II ATTACK OF THE CLONES, Episode III REVENGE OF THE SITH, STAR WARS, Episode V THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and Episode VI RETURN OF THE JEDI, every live-action Star Wars film has included an expository crawl of text before the story commences to bring the audience up-to-date on galactic events. Each opening crawl reveals the Episode number – e.g. “Episode V” – and the subtitle in capitals – e.g. “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK”. The opening crawl text is divided into three paragraphs, describing what instigated the events of the film, how it developed, and how its resolution triggered the first act. None of the odd-numbered Episodes (Episode I THE PHANTOM MENACE, Episode III REVENGE OF THE SITH and Episode VI RETURN OF THE JEDI) featured capitalised pronouns, but all opening crawls were yellow. Until Episode V THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, every opening crawl ended with a three-dot ellipses (“…”). Whether Star Wars: the Force Awakens (J. J. AbramsLawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt) – the Saga’s intended Episode VII – will continue with a three dot ellipses is unknown, but the three-dot version is considered correct among scholars, unlike the “informal” four-dot ellipses (“….”), so that’s the version I’ll be sticking with. STAR WARS Episode IV A NEW HOPE From the Journal of the Whills screenwriter George Lucas describes the creation of the opening crawl as such:

“The crawl is such a hard thing because you have to be careful that you’re not using too many words that people don’t understand. It’s like a poem. I showed the very first crawl to a bunch of friends of mine in the 1970s. It went on for six paragraphs with four sentences each. Brian De Palma was there, and he threw his hands up in the air and said, ‘George, you’re out of your mind! Let me sit down and write this for you.’ He helped me chop it down into the form that exists today.”

In the original screenplays, the opening crawls were presented as such:

Episode I THE PHANTOM MENACE(2)Episode II ATTACK OF THE CLONES(2)Episode III REVENGE OF THE SITH(2)Star Wars(2)RETURN OF THE JEDI

(THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK didn’t feature the opening crawl in its screenplay.)

Star Wars: the Force Awakens will probably include an opening crawl. We don’t know it will, but it most likely will. But we still don’t know what it could be. Some fans have already made their predictions, and now I will be making mine. Just what will Star Wars: the Force Awakens‘ opening crawl be? ….

A long time ago in a galaxy far,

far away….

STAR
WARS

Episode VII
THE FORCE AWAKENS
It is a period of uprising.
Resistant spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil First Order.

During the battle, Resistant
spies managed to steal secret
plans to the Order’s
ultimate weapon, STAR KILLER
BASE, a weaponised planet
with enough power
to destroy an entire system.

Pursued by the Order’s
sinister agents, stormtrooper
Finn escorts a pilot to
Kylo Ren’s landing craft,
possessor of the
ancient weapon that can free
their people and restore
freedom to the galaxy….

STAR WARS Episode IV A NEW HOPE From the JOURNAL OF THE WHILLS by George Lucas [film]

It’s four days until the United Kingdom foreign preview release of Star Wars: the Force Awakens – Episode VII in the saga. At least, officially. There are some midnight screenings, but the official release date is still the 17th. Which is the date I’m sticking with regardless – it makes the counting-down easier. So, rather than going in release order like everyone else, I’m doing it in Episode order. Nyer. Here’s George Lucas‘ screenplay to STAR WARS Episode IV  A NEW HOPE From the JOURNAL OF THE WHILLS. A rough draft for Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Starkiller can be found through the Jedi Bendu Script Site, as can ADVENTURES OF THE STARKILLER (episode one) “The Star Wars”The Star WarsStar Wars: the Adventures of Luke Starkiller, The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from “The Journal of the Whills”“THE STAR WARS” From the Adventures of Luke Starkiller.

“The way I work is that I cut the movie together, I look at it and figure out what I’m missing. At that point, it’s more about how the movie flows together rather than how the script flows together. I’m acknowledging more and more that a script and a movie are two different things.”

In May 1974, the outline was finalised, and Lucas wrote the first screenplay draft, which now included elements such as the Sith, the Death Star, and General Annikin Starkiller. Starkiller became an adolescent, and the General’s role was changed to a supporting Dwarf character. Han Solo at this point was a large, green-skinned creature with gills. Solo’s co-pilot Chewbacca was inspired by Lucas’ Alaskan Malamute, Indiana, who’d sit in Lucas’ passenger seat. The original story was of a son who’s trained in the ways of the Jedi by his father – a hero, who remains alive by the end. The opening crawl was as such:

Until the recent GREAT REBELLION, 
the JEDI BENDU were the most 
feared warriors in the universe. 
For one hundred thousand years, 
generations of JEDI perfected their 
art as the personal bodyguards of 
the emperor. They were the chief 
architects of the invincible 
IMPERIAL SPACE FORCE which expanded 
the EMPIRE across the galaxy, 
from the celestial equator 
to the farthest reaches of the GREAT RIFT.

Now these legendary warriors are 
all but extinct. One by one they have 
been hunted down and destroyed as 
enemies of the NEW EMPIRE by a ferocious 
and sinister rival warrior sect, 
THE KNIGHTS OF SITH.

The full synopsis has been published by Wookipedia. In January 1975, draft two, titled The Star Wars, was complete. It was much simplified and now introduced the young hero as Luke Starkiller, who grows-up on a farm. Annikin was Luke’s father and Jedi Knight, who’s learned in the ways of the Force, a mystical energy field. This second draft included Luke’s brothers, working more as a fairy tale than the sci-fi action adventure of the first draft. The text crawl initially was placed at the end, setting-up the events of a sequel:

Until the recent GREAT REBELLION, 
the DAI NOGAS were the most 
feared warriors in the universe. 
For one hundred thousand years, 
generations of DAI perfected their art 
as the personal bodyguards of the King. 
They were the chief architects of the 
invincible ROYAL SPACE FORCE, 
which expanded the King's power across 
the galaxy, from the celestial equator 
to the farthest stars.

Now these legendary warriors 
are all but extinct. One by one, 
they have been hunted down 
and destroyed as enemies of 
the NEW GALACTIC KINGDOM by a 
ferocious and sinister rival 
warrior sect, THE LEGIONS OF LETTOW.

Lucas realised the Force could be used for evil, and dropped-in a reference to the first Jedi to use the Dark Side, training the Sith in its ways. This second draft was delivered with concept art inspired by its scenes. The third was completed 1st August 1975, now titled The Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker. It was here that Annikin was dead, leaving Luke as an only child brought-up by Ben Kenobi:

The REPUBLIC GALACTICA is dead. 
Ruthless trader barons, 
driven by greed and the 
lust for power, have replaced 
enlightenment with oppression, 
and "rule by the people" 
with the FIRST GALACTIC EMPIRE.

Until the tragic Holy Rebellion of "06", 
the respected JEDI BENDU OF ASHLA 
were the most powerful warriors 
in the Universe. 
For a hundred thousand years, 
generations of Jedi Bendu knights 
learned the ways of the mysterious 
FORCE OF OTHERS, and acted as the 
guardians of peace and justice 
in the REPUBLIC. Now these legendary 
warriors are all but extinct. 
One by one they have been hunted down 
and destroyed by a ferocious 
rival sect of mercenary warriors: 
THE BLACK KNIGHTS OF THE SITH.

It is a period of civil wars. 
The EMPIRE is crumbling into 
lawless barbarism throughout 
the million worlds of the galaxy. 
From the celestial equator to 
the farthest reaches of the GREAT RIFT, 
seventy small solar systems have 
united in a common war against 
the tyranny of the Empire. 
Under the command of a mighty 
Jedi warrior known as THE STARKILLER, 
the REBEL ALLIANCE has won a crushing 
victory over the deadly Imperial Star Fleet. 
The Empire knows that one more such defeat 
will bring a thousand more solar systems 
into the rebellion, and Imperial control 
of the Outlands could be lost forever...

This was then rewritten again, with draft four submitted on 1st January 1976, titled The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars. The pre-production script became draft five, with co-writing assistance from Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck.

“Dialogue has never been my strong point, and so I talked to Willard and Gloria and asked them to do a quick dialogue polish. I gave them the fourth draft of the script, and they just improved the dialogue where they felt they could make a contribution. Then I took their changes, and sometimes I rewrote some of their lines. Some of their dialogue of course changed again when we started shooting. Some of it survived; some of it didn’t. They did about thirty percent of the dialogue.”

This was the version bought by the studio, with unwritten ideas protected by Lucas negotiating sequel rights. This also has a published synopsis on Wookipedia, which ended with a closing crawl:

...And a thousand new systems
joined the rebellion,
causing a significant crack
in the great wall of the
powerful Galactic Empire.
The Starkiller would once
again spark fear in the
hearts of the Sith knights,
but not before his sons
were put to many tests...
the most daring of which was
the kidnapping of the Lars
family, and the perilous
search for:
"THE PRINCESS OF ONDOS."

The familiar “A long time ago,

in a galaxy far, far away…” was first written as  “‘…And in the time of greatest despair there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as: THE SON OF THE SUNS.’Journal of the Whills, 3:127″. Rd2-D2 and C-3PO first appeared in this draft. The Death Star plans were instead the Kiber crystal, which contributed little to the plot other than being a MacGuffin. Lucas considered making Luke female due to the lack of female characters, but instead decided to introduce Leia Organa. The final script was finished in March 1976.

“What finally emerged through the many drafts of the script has obviously been influenced by science-fiction and action-adventure I’ve read and seen. And I’ve seen a lot of it. I’m trying to make a classic sort of genre picture, a classic space fantasy in which all the influences are working together. There are certain traditional aspects of the genre I wanted to keep and help perpetuate in Star Wars.”

It wasn’t until during production that Luke Starkiller became Luke Skywalker. The title was shortened to The Star Wars and then simply Star Wars. The script was further rewritten during production to kill Obi-Wan Kenobi when Lucas realised he contributed nothing from that point onwards.

“In the original script Ben Kenobi doesn’t get killed in the fight with Vader. About halfway through production I took Alec aside and said I was going to kill him off halfway through the picture. I was struggling with the problem that I had this sort of climactic scene that had no climax about two-thirds of the way through the film. I had another problem in the fact that there was no real threat in the Death Star. The villains were like tenpins; you get into a gunfight with them and they just get knocked over. As I originally wrote it, Ben Kenobi and Vader had a sword fight and Ben hits a door and the door slams closed and they all run away and Vader is left standing there with egg on his face. This was dumb; they run into the Death Star and they sort of take over everything and they run back. It diminished any impact the Death Star had.”

The famous opening crawl featured six paragraphs with four sentences each:

“The crawl is such a hard thing because you have to be careful that you’re not using too many words that people don’t understand. It’s like a poem.”

The final opening crawl was written by Lucas’ friend, Brian De Palma, who considered Lucas’ opening crawl too complicated. Lucas received an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay nomination.

Han shot first

Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith by George Lucas

It’s five days until the United Kingdom foreign preview release of Star Wars: the Force Awakens – Episode VII in the saga. At least, officially. There are some midnight screenings, but the official release date is still the 17th. Which is the date I’m sticking with regardless – it makes the counting-down easier. So, rather than going in release order like everyone else, I’m doing it in Episode order. Nyer. Here’s George Lucas‘ screenplay to Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith.

Also worth checking out is Rod’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (The Abridged Script), which is clever enough to be the unofficial Family Guy parody version.

Lucas began developing Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith before the release of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Rather than following-through the Clone Wars sub-plot, he instead decided to focus on Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the Dark Side of the Force, which needed to be convincing for the story to work. Act I ends with Anakin killing Dooku to fully signal his new-found darkness. Working titles included Rise of the EmpireBirth of the Empire and The Creeping Fear, the title posted on the film’s website on April Fool’s Day. Revenge of the Sith was a title speculated by the fan base, which ultimately turned-out to be Lucas’ choice. Initially, Return of the Jedi was titled Revenge of the Jedi, but Lucas changed the title as Jedis, he believed, did not avenge. Revenge of the Sith is an homage to that, as Anakin takes his revenge, making him no longer a Jedi. Anakin’s plot being the centre of the film meant certain other subplots were abandoned to economically tell a focused story. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones established that the planet Kamino had been removed from the Jedi Archives, and Lucas initially stated his intention to explain this. This was later cut to spend more time with Anakin. Other references to the Original Trilogy included a meeting with the ten-year-old Han Solo on Kashyyyk, and the revelation that Palpatine is Anakin’s father by creating him from the Midi-Chlorians, explaining his virgin birth in Star Wars: Episode 1:The Phantom Menace. This was intended to mirror Anakin revealing himself as Anakin’s father. After principal photography wrapped, Lucas rewrote Anakin’s character development, which was realised through editing and reshoots. Before, Anakin believed the Jedi were plotting to take over the galaxy, but the rewrite made it appear that he simply desired to save Padme Amidala.

Script supervisor: Victoria Pike

Nominee: Saturn Award for Best Writing (2005)