Episode 550


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No mention that Luke is leading Rogue Squadron during the battle makes me frown

The Wampa stuff was filmed but cut because the man in suit looked stupid. Part of it can be seen in the trailer. Threepio ripping the sign off the door of the room with the Wampa's trapped and a couple of Stormtroopers go to search the room and that goes badly for them.

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Re: Blade Runner. The studio took it away from him and made drastic changes to it, such as the narration by Harrison Ford that sounds like he has a gun to his head and the happy ending. As far as I can tell, the original Star Wars films were Lucas' vision, albeit with special effects that weren't as far along as he wanted.

There are five versions of Blade Runner on DVD/Blu-ray: the workprint, the theatrical cut, the director's cut, the international cut, and the final cut.

The 30th Anniversary Blu-ray is up for pre-order on Amazon for $23.99.

The Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection Blu-ray is not being released by Criterion, but Criterion did recently release a Blu-ray of The 39 Steps.

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During a re-release of Star Wars, shortly before Empire. The saga had been roughly outlined before the release of Star Wars, but Fox wasn't about to let Lucas confuse audiences by putting "Episode IV" in the opening sequence when there wasn't any assurance of sequels or prequels.

That's actually not entirely accurate. I'm reading a book right now called The Secret History of Star Wars which uses every interview, every published piece of work, every draft of every script, and all kinds of studio documents, and is essentially calling Lucas on a lot of his self-mythlogizing bullshit.

The title fo the first movie (which is on the shooting script and known to most Star Wars fans of a certain age) was The Adventures of Luke Skywalker: Saga I: Star Wars. This actually ties into both the novelization of the first movie and the first novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, both of which (in their original printings, which I have and can thus attast to this) are subtitled "From The Adventures of Luke Skywalker". That, of course, is a lot of title, so Star Wars was all that wound up on screen.

When Star Wars became an enormous hit, Lucas knew he would be able to make at least two more movies. He then sketched out a rough outline of the next two. He did not hit on the idea of Vader being Luke's father until the third or so draft of TESB. (In fact, the Force ghost of Luke's father, as a totally separate character, appears in the draft scripts prior to this.) At that point it looks like he had his idea to make TESB Episode V, and then on the 1981 re-release of Star Wars, he added the Episode IV after the fact.

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That book is actually slightly inaccurate itself. It's very heavy-handed on the "Lucas is a lying douchebag" hammer.

The shooting script for A New Hope was designed mostly to be a one-movie deal, yes, because at the time Lucas put aside his designs for the larger saga. There are notes dating back years before the filming of A New Hope (therefore not in official shooting scripts or anything of the like) that detail the ever-evolving character that was Anakin Skywalker, along with ideas for the Skywalker twins. They were never entirely outlined in detail, and when A New Hope was filmed, the overall continuity was pretty much ignored and/or reworked to be a fluid thing, especially because it wasn't sure that sequels would be made. In any case, however, Mark Hamill has said repeatedly that he was told by Lucas on the set of A New Hope that the original plan was for A New Hope to be the first in a trilogy, and that trilogy would be the middle three films in a nine-film saga (sometimes its been said to have been twelve at one point).

As for the shooting scripts of Empire, yeah, there's a bunch of variations partially because it wasn't all set in stone and partially because the secret of Anakin=Vader was purposely being altered in prior scripts. Even during shooting, David Prowse actually said "Obi-Wan killed your father" on-set because no one outside of producers, Kershner, and James Earl Jones were supposed to know the truth.

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Having read the drafts many times, and having actually been alive when these things took place and interviews given, I can assure you that Lucas plain did not have a plan in place when he says he did. I'm not getting on him for it, but the fact of the matter is that he did not have the trilogy in his head the entire time from the beginning. Hell, I can distinctly recall his original announcement that the series was going to be a twelve part serial, just like from the 1930s serials he was homaging. Then it became nine parts. Then six. Then just those three. Finally it went back to six.

Read "The Star Wars" draft from 1973. It bears virtually no resemblance to what eventually went onscreen.

I am not knocking Lucas - every film changes drastically from inception to release. But the notion that there was a masterplan in place from day one is just not true.

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"Your father was a great pilot when I met him" and the idea of Yoda training Obi-Wan alone are testaments to the fact that Lucas isn't some great planner. As for the previous drafts, I own an authorized book from the time of the special editions that does an in depth look at each draft after each scene section.

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Lemme rephrase what I said before:

Lucas didn't have an outline in the sense of an actual story plotted out. He had, basically, a jumble of ideas, none of which were in their proper place. The Skywalker/Starkiller family existed in about fifteen thousand different forms before the version that was done in the films, and it wasn't even solidly decided upon until Return of the Jedi. It was basically "there's a father and two kids, a boy and a girl." All three of them were the main character at some point up until the production of A New Hope.

However, the idea of A New Hope being the chronological fourth in a series of films (which was going to be somewhere between 6 and 12 in total) was something that was definitely decided upon before the release of ANH.

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Oh, the shooting script for ANH basically ignored anything other than Luke's story. It's been my theory for a while that Leia and Vader might not have been related to Luke according to the version of the film that was shot. Lucas had told people during the filming of ANH that he wanted to do a lot more, but all the writing on the wall said that Star Wars would hit theaters and become a cult hit at best, so Lucas figured "eh, I can at least do this and then maybe some more TV movies with Luke," hence Splinter of the Mind's Eye. It wasn't til it became a huge success and Fox went, "okay, yes, please do a dozen more of those" that Lucas decided to officially go forward with the idea of the grander saga outside of Luke.

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